So, in the same week in which it is announced that the armoured brigade bearing the proud name of 'The Desert Rats' is to lose its tanks, along comes another Shlock-Horror story in The Mail today. Apparently, the Parachute Regiment is to have its parachutes withdrawn - no, no, they're not going to throw the chaps out the back of a Hercules with large beachballs to break their fall, they're just not going to train them as parachutists any more, which rather makes a nonsense of the regimental name!
Still, I suppose the Lancers lost their lances a century or so ago and they seem to have managed without them and I'm sure the non-jumping Paras will get by without their wings but it seems a pity because I remember wearing mine with some pride - in fact, I still have a set of three taken off my last uniforms which sit on the book shelf to my left to remind me of 'times past'.
To be honest, I am amazed that it hasn't happened sooner. The last large-scale parachute operation was at Suez in 1956 so it really doesn't look as though the parachute is the entry route of choice to enemy territory, particularly in this age of the helicopter. Perhaps now is the time to change the name and call it the Airborne Regiment, or perhaps, the Airborne Commando Regiment to keep it level with the Rock Apes Marines.
"What's in a name", asked Shakespeare. Well, in this case a lot of regimental pride earned by some very brave men.