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Apocryphal SWO stories out there.......

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Apocryphal SWO stories out there.......

Old 19th May 2011, 21:13
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Apocryphal SWO stories out there.......

There must be some classic stories about SWOs you have met, out there..........
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Old 19th May 2011, 22:18
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Sgts mess at Waddington in early 80s, unkempt ATC CI sat in foyer, in chair usually reserved for Senior NCOs and the SWOs 'friends'

SWO 'who are you'

CI 'Pratt Sir'

SWO 'I asked who you are not what you are'

Other ATC staff disappear into distance at great speed and laughing.
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Old 19th May 2011, 22:33
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I'm wondering how this thread will have even the tiniest chance of being what it could be with the new crack down on naughty words...
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Old 19th May 2011, 23:19
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Many stories and legends about one incredible SWO - Bernie Lawton - enough said
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Old 19th May 2011, 23:33
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Back on 2001, I used to get on alright with our SWO, and was having a coffee with him in the mess one lunchtime, when he told me he was posted. Very quietly, he added that we were soon to have a female SWO.

There is a brief interlude, whilst I spent 3 months at sea, a little time at Bagram, and then about 6 weeks leave. I then return to the mess, sporting lengthy sideburns.

Having a beer with a friend, I am approached by a short serious looking bloke, who tells me my sideburns are outrageous.

'I know - there 'frickin' cool aren't they'

'They need a good couple of inches taken off them'

'Chill out, who do you think you are, the 'frickin' SWO or someone?'

'I am the Station Warrant Officer, and I'm telling you those sideburns need a trim'

Lengthy swig of lager by both parties......

'Look mate, I don't know who you are but your beginning to get on my nerves now. Why don't you just 'frick' off?'

Notice drinking partner turning blue behind him......

'I beg your pardon....'

'Look mate, everyone knows the SWO is a bird. Now do one!'

Glint of a smile by short serious looking individual, more vivid colours coming from drinking partner....

'Ah, allow me to introduce myself, WO [female sounding first name], the Station Warrant Officer'.


'Ah...indeed Sarge. Sideburns, razor... go. I'll see you in the morning'

To be fair, I trimmed my sidies [he did check], he saw the funny side of it and was posted within 3 months, only for the old SWO to return. When I related the story to the old SWO he laughed for days.
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Old 20th May 2011, 00:07
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Not quite a SWO, but on recollection, I think the SWO took his lead from our formidable Irish Wg WO on our rather small but very select unit.

At said WO's top table after a particularly turbulent tour which had seen 3 OCs in the space of 5 years, all of them thrusters, but the middle on in particular being a pain and causing no end of problems with his thrusting. After the usual nods of thanks and tall tails, he proceeded to get a pace up as he headed to the punchline of his retirement speech. Now bearing in mind that 2 of those 3 OCs were in the audience, the entire room was initially stunned before then giving him a standing ovation after his statement of:

"Sirs, I think its fair to say we all know it has been a hard few years for the unit with constant deployments. As far as I'm concerned (now looking directly at both ex-OCs) you are both responsible for that.

Gp Capt X. You left 18 months too early. Wg Cdr Z. You arrived 18 months too late. And because of your collective inability to sort yourselves out on the posting plot, we had to put up with that absolute shower of sht running the place for 18 months in the middle."

Now how's that for a shot across the bows. The privileges of being a retiring WO!
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Old 20th May 2011, 00:10
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Most SWOs are egotistical bullies who rhyme with "clucking anchor". An outdated concept for when we had conscripts from National Service, but these days just an uneccesary annoyance for the volunteers that make up a professional service. Let's face it, any senior NCO or officer can tell a subordinate to "get a hair cut" or "trim sideburns". Sounds like a defence saving to me...

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Old 20th May 2011, 00:51
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Not sure what the SWO mans job is in wartime, (remember, what we train for?), but an RSM in the Army is responsible for distribution of ammunition and rations, (and discipline), for that you need someone who has A). the 'big picture' and B). the necessary authority, not a job for "any old SNCO".
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Old 20th May 2011, 01:06
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Apocryphal maybe but here goes anyway.

Airman taking short cut back to work after lunch is walking over the grass outside handbrake house. SWO's window flies open and airman is treated to:

"Airman, only 2 people get to walk on that grass. Dogs and God - and even he asks my permission first."
Old 20th May 2011, 02:32
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i'm sure you remember the infamous SWO with a glass eye, Mr Terry B*****l. He was the epitome of a SWO and the trick was to get on the side of his glass eye as he couldn't always make out if you had long burners or not. the day he caught me most by surprise was when i strolled into MT in coveralls, hands in pockets and long burners - the shock on my face said it all when i realized he wasn't the usual MT chap. swift dressing down commenced. believe he went for the WO commissioning scheme.

SWOs are worth their weight in gold and the mere threat of being seen by the SWO keeps standards higher IMO. and who the hell would sort out Battle of Britain reception blah funerals and parades if they weren't around?
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Old 20th May 2011, 05:17
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"Not sure what the SWO mans job is in wartime, (remember, what we train for?), but an RSM in the Army is responsible for distribution of ammunition and rations, (and discipline), for that you need someone who has A). the 'big picture' and B). the necessary authority, not a job for "any old SNCO"."

Wounded Soldiers
KIA arrangements
Prisoners of War
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Old 20th May 2011, 05:45
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Bzn lm swo

I know a loadie that did the SWO's job at BZN!!!!
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Old 20th May 2011, 06:41
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My experience is that there are as many variations of SWO as there are of any rank and trade. The difference is that the SWO is in a unique position to 'set the trend' at a unit.

If the SWO is a bad un, it permeates through the entire unit but a good un is a godsend and can make a unit 'zing'.

When the current Mrs O-D was somebody in authority at a place not far from Oakham, the SWO was a top notch guy who was a character in every sense of the word and participated in most aspects of the social life of the station, casting off the SWO 'mantle' when appropriate (ie on the football pitch) and wearing it to full effect when necessary (Prisoner and escort, quick march!!).

Several days before the QBH List was published, the dear lady visited the unit and at the end, as her carriage taxyed for take-off, the stash turned to said SWO and said something along the lines of: "It's a couple of days early but Mr ????, you're to be awarded the MBE in the next honours list, come and have a pint!

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Old 20th May 2011, 07:25
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Anyone else remember the SWO's immortal words about 1230 pm (ie DAYTIME) on a June lunchtimeas we w atched a fleet of black cars sweep up the main drag towards Binbrook SHQ - (In an Irish acent). "Didn't know there was a (adjecive) funeral today. Oh, sh1t - it's (adjective) Taceval". Well at 3 in the morning people are either at work or at home (well someone's home, middle of the day, the off duty shift is spread across N Lincolnshire, and this was pre mobile phones!

Last edited by Wander00; 20th May 2011 at 07:44.
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Old 20th May 2011, 07:28
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Wyton, early '80's.

In a room in the Guardroom is the ancient Fire Alarm System. A huge piece of kit, covered in bells, whistles, lights, levers and cranks.

Newly promoted Cpl (Gerry) posted in to the Guardroom. Gerrys' never seen the kit before.

Lunchtime, regular staff off for scran, SWO in his office, Gerry 'in charge'.


Fire Alarm goes off.

Gerry dashes to Alarm Room to be confronted by flashing lights and loud buzzing.

Gerry frantically pulling levers, pushing buttons, no joy, buzzer still sounding.

"Turn the f***ing thing off" comes a low growl from the SWO's office.

Gerry continues pulling levers, pushing buttons. Still no joy, buzzer getting louder.

"Turn the f***ing thing off" comes a louder growl from the SWO's office.

Gerry, defeated by the 1940's technology of the Fire Alarm, picks up the Tannoy Microphone, switches it on, but instead of the the immortal words "FIRE, FIRE, FIRE, THERE IS A FIRE etc"

RAF Wyton was bombarded through every Tannoy speaker with an irate SWO voice shouting "TURN THE F***ING THING OFF".

Last edited by taxydual; 20th May 2011 at 07:30. Reason: Sp
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Old 20th May 2011, 07:54
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Not quite a SWO but WOGI, which is close enough, at BRNC.

1/2 term Flight joins BRNC (weird RN system of having cadet aircrew turning up half way through the term) and, as is the norm, not enough kit to give them all uniforms- no one expects new entrants to turn up half way through the term. So their first go on the parade ground has the majority wearing uniform but a few stuck in their civvie suits. As said (short and angry) WOGI prowls down the Flt inspecting turn out he gets to one of the civvied cadets. The said cadet is wearing a lime green suit with suede shoes.

WOGI stops, stunned.

'What is the matter with your shoes, they have gone all furry" sotto voce + extra sarcasm.

'They're suede, Sir' cheerful graduate with degree in basket weaving or some such.

'Suede? SUUUUEEEEEDDDDEEE!!!' In a voice that cracked the steps and conveyed a good 32+ years of disgust. Turning to the PO in charge of Flt


Lucky FLt missed out a couple of weeks of 'square bashing' until the uniforms all turned up.
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Old 20th May 2011, 08:08
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Flt Sgt Jake McQueen of AAITC fame in the late 80s !

IIRC, he went on to be the SWO at Leeming then was "services no longer required" for something or other.

Will never forget having to cart his dog (scamp ?) around Otterburn for the leads and then having to look after it for the weekend whilst Jake went out on the sauce.

Happy days
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Old 20th May 2011, 08:24
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JM was declared 'persona non grata' after taking drink and using his SWO's voice (and language) on children playing on the grass at XI Sqn's Families Day.
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Old 20th May 2011, 08:25
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Walking across the grass one day in mid-80s Linton, there came a cry from the SWO (maybe more of a scream), asking us what the young officers were doing walking over his grass, since this was the sea and, as we weren't called Jesus, he failed to see how we could walk on water. My smart-arsed reply that it was okay because some of us were Royal Navy and could rescue our Junior Service colleagues was met with an apoplectic SWO ensuring Midshipmen (one in particular) became more accustomed the RAF's habits, in the guise of SDO for longer than normal
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Old 20th May 2011, 08:34
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Leeming, 1980. Airmens Living In Christmas Bash.

Self all togged up to help serve my guys Turkey etc.

After suitable interval, decide to depart before Airmens high jinx commences.

SWO, in uniform, hovering in Airmens Mess Foyer, leaves with me.

SWO offers me a fag, bit stunned I take it. Pair of us walking, chatting and smoking towards respective messes. SWO dumps his fag down a drain and then bolloxs me for smoking in uniform!!

Last edited by taxydual; 20th May 2011 at 08:47. Reason: Clarity
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