The Officer who Could not Top Company Commander’s Course

By Lt Col Masood Alam (Retd), 2nd SSC

Lt Col Masood Alam

Lt Col Masood Alam

Editor’s Note: Lt Col Masood Alam (Retd) is from Air Defence.  After the retirement, he has settled in Karachi.

Military compassI attended Company Commander Course in School of Infantry & Tactics Quetta in the second half of 1982. During a night march the DS asked the group leader (who was getting 85% marks in the course and was tipped to top the course), “Which method you are adopting for direction keeping?”

He replied, “Sir, I am using the compass.”

The DS asked, “What is the bearing on which you are going?”

The prompt reply came “Sir, 380 Degrees.” All students burst into a big laughter.

The officer was also related to a DS. Though he did not top the Course but later left for secondment to Saudi Arabia.

Infantry School Quetta

Infantry School, Quetta.

Related Pages:
Army Jokes ( in Urdu/Punjabi)
Army Jokes  (in English)
Humour in Uniform
Pakistan Army Blog (Retired Officers)

Editor’s Note:
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  1. Col (R) Arshad Nazir Faridi Chishty (28 Long Course) says:

    How did mugging up come to stand for LEARNING BY ROTE? Mugging actually means to rob someone in a street crime type offence.

  2. Brig (R) Anwar Khan, Air Def (16 War Course) says:

    Nice anecdote. :)

  3. Lt Col Masood Alam (Retd) says:

    Dear Cheema,
    Thanks for adding the nice pictures of compass and Inf School. You are doing wonderful job. You can now become an EDITOR-IN-CHIEF of any magazine.

  4. Maj Gen (R) Parvez Akmal, Engrs (42 Long Course) says:

    Of ‘Map Reading’ again, an instructor mixed up whether to read ‘Northing’ first or ‘Easting’ to locate a point from a grid reference. When questioned by a student who knew, he replied very confidently, ”Ye apni apni paltan ki drill hoti hai; Northing pehle parh lo ya Easting.”

    • Lt Col Masood Alam (retd) says:

      Very good observation. This reminds me of a true story regarding Eastings and Northings. I will share it soon to bring smile on faces of you all.

  5. Lt Col (R) Javaid Iqbal, Air Def (3rd SSC), UK says:

    Sir! He was a good officer, very thoughtful, it was a deception plan for the enemy.

  6. Lt Col (R) Qadeer Ahmad Chaudhry, Punjab (2nd SSC) says:

    Dear Masood,
    Good one. Thank God he did not reply “Sir, I am using Chaudhry compass”.

    • Qadeer Chaudhry,
      You wanna promote your business (‘Chaudhry Compass’)? :)

      • Lt Col (R) Qadeer A Chaudhry, Punjab (2nd SSC) says:

        Dear Editor,
        It is only the Infantry Wala who understands the use of Chaudhry compass. :)

        • You’re right. Being from Air Def & Avn, I’ve no clue about this “Chaudhry Compass’. Is there Butt Compass as well in Infantry? :)

        • Lt Col Masood Alam (retd) says:

          Dear Qadeer,
          “Chaudhry Compass” is used by all in our Army. When I attended ROB Course some Air Def officers also used to take help of “Chaudhry Compass”. Will share the funny anecdote soon.

  7. Brig (R) Asad Hakeem (2nd SSC) says:

    In fact Masood has forgotten some details. It was a night attack exercise and he was the Coy commander. He had kept me as his runner. Then Maj Afif was the covering DS and his reply was 365 degrees. He was doing well in the course because of his mugging up ability.

    • Lt Col Masood Alam (retd) says:

      Dear Asad,
      Thanks for the detail. You have narrated very correctly, Masha Allah your memory is too good. I had deliberately omitted the names. You must be remembering a few other jokes also which I narrated in the farewell dinner.

  8. Major (R) Munir Ahmed, FF (2nd SSC) says:

    Dear Masood,
    These types of jokes can happen only in Infantry. Good one. I enjoyed it. Keep amusing us.

  9. Azam Gill (2nd SSC), France says:

    Masood Jee,
    Thank you once again for a good read. May be he did actually get lost in the Saudi desert. Or may be his tired brain was far away, was suddenly jerked back to the question and he blurted it out!

    • Lt Col Masood Alam (retd) says:

      Gill, You are very right, such things do happen under stress and strain but provide laughter for all at that moment.

  10. Salman Rashid (Ex Air Defense), 1st SSC says:

    Brilliant anecdote.

    The Saudis don’t deserve our best. They should only have been sent a soldier who could march at 380 degrees! Serves them right for meddling in our affairs. :)

  11. Col (R) Sohail Qureshi, Avn/EME, USA says:

    It could be a honest map reading mistake, it has happened before. One can understand the laughter in a company class. Some people describe PA as the army of uncles and aunties. Milaap helps.

    I hope this officer never got lost in the desert in Saudi Arabia.

  12. Dear Masood,
    It’s a good anecdote.
    I am sure you must have narrowly missed the secondment to Saudi Arabia by giving the correct bearing!!! :)

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