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10 Facts You Didn't Know About the Armed Forces!


Underwear, under-age and under the influence (of rum)! What you didn't know!

1. BRITISH ARMY: In 2005, the Ministry of Defence issued soldiers special antimicrobial underwear that can be worn up to three months at a time without needing a change.

2. BRITISH ARMY: Junior officers in the army, especially those from a privileged background, are sometimes known as Ruperts by the other ranks. This nickname is believed to have been derived from the children's comic book character Rupert Bear who epitomises traditional public school values.

3. BRITISH ARMY: During WW1 a British soldier had to be 19 years old to serve overseas but many lied about their age. About 250,000 under-age boys served. The youngest was discovered to be just 12.

4. BRITISH ARMY: The average life expectancy in the trenches during WW1 was about six weeks. Junior officers and stretcher bearers were some of the people most at risk.

5. ROYAL NAVY: Someone called a clacker mechanic on board is the cook. 'Clacker' is a Royal Navy Slang for pastry.

6. ROYAL NAVY: Clean water was hard to get out in the middle of the ocean, so sailors’ supply of rum wasn’t a luxury, it was a necessity. For hundreds of years, sailors received a daily ration of rum, known as “grog”.

7. ROYAL NAVY: On board, who would be known as the Fang-Farrier? A dentist

8. ROYAL AIR FORCE: The RAF was founded in April 1918. It has always been known as the 'junior service' because it was the last to be formed of the three services

9. ROYAL AIR FORCE: The first female jet pilot in the RAF was Flight Lieutenant Jo Salter in 1994, flying a Panavia Tornado. Now it is a common sight for both men and women to take to the skies for Britain.

10. ROYAL AIR FORCE: The motto of the RAF is “Per Ardua Ad Astra”, which is Latin for “By rough roads to the stars.”