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Leacock has no right to call himself ‘Major’


Editor: I would wish to comment on the remarks made by Mr Leacock in your issue of May 12, in which he pontificated upon his “military” rank.{{more}}

In 2009, Mr Leacock campaigned for retention of the “old” constitution; as this was successful, I assume that Mr Leacock would agree that Her Majesty is still the titular head of state in SVG. As such, he must then also agree that Her Majesty’s code of Queens Regulations and the Code of Military Etiquette are still also valid instruments here in SVG.

Queens Regulations state that a retiring military (army) officer may only transfer his military rank to civilian so long as it is from the rank of Captain or above. The only exclusions to this are the Kings Troop Royal Artillery and the Brigade of Guards.

However, this honorific extends only TO REGULAR SERVICING OFFICERS upon their retirement from the army. That is to say that it is only applicable to those officers who have served in a proper army and commanded grown-up adults!

Mr Leacock stated that he has self appointed himself with the sobriquet “Major,” as he commanded an army cadet corps.

The rules of Military Etiquette do not allow him to do this. These rules specify that anyone who has held officer rank in any cadet corps (army, navy, air force) may take their rank into civilian life. BUT in order to differentiate between a proper serving officer (as above) and someone who has commanded juveniles, the officer from the cadet corps MUST lower their rank by two decreases. Thus, if Mr Leacock held the rank of Major in the cadet corps, the only rank status he can ascribe to himself in civilian life is that of Lieutenant and he can’t do that, as this is below the rank of Captain!

Therefore unless Mr Leacock has held the rank of Major in a REGULAR army and designates that particular national armed forces, then he has no more right to call himself “Major” than I have in calling myself Pope!

Furthermore, there are many young Vincentians (whom I admire greatly) who have served and are now serving in the armed forces of both UK and USA.

No doubt these fine young people (given the political climate) have been committed to active service and experienced life at the sharp end of their chosen profession.

Is it then morally right that when they meet Mr Leacock, he would expect them to genuflect to him and call him “Major,” when (I presume) that he has never been under fire, yet these gallant young persons have? To my mind he should give kudos to them and not vice versa!

A W Indupp