THINKING ABOUT MY SANDHURST COMMANDER

Source BBC News: http://www.bbc.co.uk

Being a captain now, Prince Harry often remembers his master from Sandhurst Academy: “I often remember Major D., our company commander. I could go on for hours telling you about his exploits in Kuwait, but I’d feel embarrassed for him. I know that Major D would say that he wasn’t really brave; it was just that he was completely devoted to his military career.
Probably of all the company commanders at RMA Sandhurst, Major D. has reached the state we all strive after. Major D. is at the point we’re heading for!

It’s the point I wanted to reach ever since the day I entered the gates of RMA Sandhurst. He has the right answer for any question he’s asked. His knowledge of military affairs is impressive. He’s a truly accomplished soldier. When you talk about him the word “duty” loses any pomposity. You feel you would really love to do your duty as Major D. does!
When I think of him, I remember all my small sacrifices, delays, hesitations, negligence, or laziness. This is not a sign of virtue, but as a sign of honest acknowledgement of my faults. I’d like to be very much like him! A beautiful tree has deep roots. Major D’s character is like that beautiful tree.

He lives and breathes military life. Discipline and competence come to him in such a natural way. They jokingly say about him that “even in his sleep he’s standing
to attention”. He’s imbued with discipline like a practicing believer is imbued with his creed.

In the time spent with him, I realized that he constantly strives for a certain state that has to be preserved and which is its own rationale. This is the source of the principles he has instilled in generations of cadets that go through the Academy! His credo is: build and build things that last! He’s the one who really does that and he really has a lot to give.

He has a real connection with all the cadets he trains. That’s why I love Major D., although I never feel the need to tell him so. I know that once we are officers, all the former cadets of the Alamein Company will try to follow Major D.’s example. We’ll be cut from the same cloth. We all hope one day to become like him. I hope I’ll be the same as Major D. I’ll have the same attitude to my country.

I’ve finally learned the secret of the mutual respect for one another held by all those who wear the military uniform. We’re part of the same sacrifice in war. I understand why Major D. does his duty without boasting. Major D. is like me, a part of this people. They respect him, and he, by virtue of everything he does, deserves their respect.

Now that I’ve understood this, I’ve also made my decision. I’ll go overseas and I’ll be one of those who engage in the thick of the fight. My deeds will make people proud of me. I won’t be looking for any reward! I’ll be one of those young men, dressed in uniform, and serving their country”

Vasile Michael

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