Canadian Guardsman – chapter 4

From the diary note:
“For the second time, I had made sure I was up at the right time. I was still alone in the dining room but the cook had the table been set with a breakfast muesli, fruits and some coffee. I have to thank them when I leave.
Five minutes before the agreed time, my handler came. They had dressed more casually in only their skin tight rubber uniforms. It is still strange for me to see people dressed in them. On the one hand, it really emphasizes the physique and certainly none of the Guardsman I met so far had anything to hide.
The presentations were really up to the point and very straight. At times, I thought that humor is not a value all of these posses. But then my two handlers seem to be become more comfortable with my presence and  become more comfy seeing people dressed like this.

So the seminar started and I was there alone with 680 who gave me some general presentation on the development of the Guard. That all was rigged heavily with propaganda videos and sleek pictures. He didn’t make any replies to my attempt to get a more informal view on the events or situation in general, but was really strict to the script in a sense.
At least, I learned some things:

“Before, the formation of the European Union State was weak. There were many countries and its resources squandered. Especially in the area of policing. So when the unification came one of the first steps was to form a united police force. But violence and terrorism proved to be threat. There was need for more security. However, more police costs money to train, equip and pay them. Especially, if you send people into a highly dangerous and possible deadly situation. However, citizen demanded a more robust approach to policing.
With a more robust approach to policing being a demand and with the rise of terroism  SWAT style and military police tactics became more common. As those were directed against “the other” many citizen were quite eager to see a robust form of policing. In the same time a clear presence sends crime numbers down. At the same time, the cash strapped European governments, especially, in the south had to find ways or reducing cost. A large security apparatus is costly and binds especially young fit males to a unproductive profession. At the same time, you face the issue of corruption, sleaze and nepotism.
One of the remedies that was promoted against this was more discipline and further militarization of police culture and work, conscription as a meany of recruitment. Meaning living in barracks, some policemen, especially in the larger cities, actually preferred this because barrack accommodation was free of charge and cheaper then an apartment in the overcrowded cities. It also meant often a free meal and access to recreational facilities.
So, a new force was born, directed by the centre of the Union state not by its members. All of these Guardsmen would be professional, not bound to any state loyalties or chains of origin. These people lived apart from civilians and lived an ethos of those of thriftiness and dedication. Laziness was discouraged and the most modern means of training from the neuroscience incorporated. IT System developed and emphasis taken on the protection of its members.
The IT system known as Guardsman Management System controls and checks on the work of the Guard. It sees that protocols and laws are adhered to. It gives tools and access to all the information needed for their jobs and heels to check on the progress of the police work. It also eliminates all kinds of nepotism as there are performance numbers.
Thus, we have become the world’s best law enforcement agency and also one of the largest, there are about 11 Mio Guardsmen”.
The presentation was really just a PR thing and 680 seemed to have given this hundreds of times.
Then we ended. I was led to another room in which a U shaped table.
“The other members of the seminar will come soon”
Once we had been introduced, we have settled and the seminar have begun with a presentation by me and about myself. It was really difficult to write down their “names” most of these guys didn’t look so different. Well trained, lean guys with short trendy hairstyles (as if they all had the same stylist) or shaved heads, determined faces.

There was nothing really exciting, I guess, about my presentation: I’m an infantry officer in the Canadian Army and I specialize in CIMIC (civilian military cooperation) and act as the point of contact for the Canadian army when dealing with civilian and government organizations to make sure that their aims are in line. I worked during the rebellion in Quebec, and, later, when the Army pacified the areas of Lanaudière, Laurentides, Outaouais I was heading the CIMIC teams there. I stated clearly our objective: clearing out any terrorists and ensuring a fruitful civilian life. Keeping casualties in the civilian population to a minimum and, thus, winning their hearts and minds. To instruct this, I used some of the PR pictures from that mission: Soldier going to Schools, helping people and so on. The most strange incident occurred when one of the Guardsman – he seemed to be very senior – asked me why we simply didn’t used mind control and reprofiling of the rebel leaders. I answered it was not legal in Canada to do so.
That drew some astonishment.
They were even more astonished when I ended the presentation and had put in a picture of me and my dog from a hunting trip, I did last year. They asked me, if I was allowed to have such an animal, and were amazed, it was not an official one but my own. They seemed shocked when I mentioned it had been on a three week holiday.
680 called for break and afterwards the guys had settled and only then I could talk about my objectives:  Because the Guardsmen are suppressing a rebellion, the Canadians are interested in learning about the contemporary operating environment and learning about the techniques that the guardsmen employ in messaging the population to support the Guardsmen.

Again, I had to take my meals alone. At the midday break, the Guardsmen disappeared without me to some other room. After they had returned they seemed to have eaten. For me, someone had sat a tray with soup and some fruits at another room. And 308 acted like a waiter and served me. When I asked him to sit with me and give me some company doing eating, he was not sure. He seemed not to know what to do and was uninterested in small talking. I couldn’t get anything out of him except that he seems to have weightlifting as a hobby and likes to be in the Guard.
Also, my two handlers don’t seem to go away. Even here, in the barracks, one of them is always with me. During the seminar, it was 680, and while we were on lunch break, the 308 helped me and serve me but did not eat. Very odd.

For the presentations, I have tried to combine this with my notes. The first one was in general about the Situation in their newly acquired state, Ukraine.

The presentation on their Ukrainian efforts was given by a big guy, with really strong upper body muscles. He was introduced as the hero of Lviv, but the connotation was lost on me.
Well, theses are my notes:
“Following stages: Liaison prior to integration with the security forces. Then in the weeks before the integration: deployment of Guard units to all larger cities for patrolling with Ukrainian police. At the same time, setting up a processing centers for conversion of Ukrainian police to Guard.
Then, the first problems started to happen. Guard induction takes 3 years for senior Guardsmen and 6 months for normal Guardies. For us it is important to fully adjust every member of the Guard to his service and duty.
We also started recruiting new Guardsmen among the eligible part of the population. However the ideas of public service is not so ingrained in society. Especially in the target group.
On the other hand, the spread of the rebellion and the terrorist attacks helped also with the conversion efforts and recruitment. More police volunteered to join the Guard.
However, not all had the necessary preconditions to be Guardsmen. The unfit remained police and will continue in that role, for the time being. However we eventually plan to fade them out and replace all of it by Guardsman.
Today most of Ukraine has been pacified. We have also intermixed the Ukrainian brothers throughout the Union and Guardsman from all the union into us.
The most rebel hit areas are still under our security blanket. A strong presence of the Guard, especially on patrols, but also interweaving them with the civilian population and taking over certain municipal functions have helped. Indeed, the Guard to civilian ration there is the highest in the Union.
Many young men earn glory when serving there.”

What was disconcerting was not the presentation, but the images they used to emphasizes their point: Recruiting stations, policemen getting their head shaved, before after shots of first smiling policemen looking like the average guy and then shaved, rubbered, emptily smiling of the Guardsmen, they had made of them. Guys getting manhandled and arrested quite unfriendly. And then some of the newspaper headlines. There was also a hint on the government censoring the news and a pictures of a family of a suspect being deported. Also this picture of youth staring at some kind of Guard run youth camp.
Not even sure what they do with the huge number of troops. There was some discussion and then the Seminar was announced to be over. I was taken again to the guesthouse for dinner.

***
In the evening, Simon asked 680 again, if he could go jogging.
“I have discussed with my superiors, and it is possible but we must insist that you wear a security chip. The regulations are to not let anyone loose on base without such a chip and the ability to track where he was.”
“And how would you do that?” Simon feared they might want to implant it into him.
“Well, we go to the base security and he can fit you with a wrist band, that contains the chip. You can also use this to open doors and stuff.”
Reluctantly, Simon agrees to get one fitted to his left wrist. The tight rubber band around the ankle and could not be removed he was told.
They took him back to the guesthouse and Simon and 680 agreed to come for him in half an hour to take him running.
“Just something light”, they had agreed.

Five minutes before the half hour was over, both of the Guardies appeared in the Guesthouse.
Simon was first a little bit perplexed. “Are you not wearing any sports gear?”
680 replied: “Of course we do.”
Indeed, the long sleeve rubber suit had been exchanged with a short sleeved, short panted one piece, skin tight triathlon suite like thing in dark blue with twelve golden European stars and the Guard logo. Both their numbers were displayed as well.
Instead, in the long boots their feet were in trainers and both of the Guardies wore matching gloves.
Simon sat his watch.
“Do you not keep track of your runs?”
680 answered: “No need” smiled and pointed at the earpiece.
So, they started 680 leading, Simon after them and 308 always in the back. They turned towards a slightly wooded area with many tracks.
680 ran quite a pace. Once they had turned into what was a larger gravel road, they encountered about 20 or so Guardsmen in tank suits, with helmets and open visors running in the opposite direction.

They were chanting a running cadence:
Who wears black and has no friends?
Who wears black and has no friends?
It’s the men of the Guard.
They come slamming down on crime hard!

Who wears black and has a tank suit on?
Who wear black and has a tank suit on?
It the men from the Guard.
Breaking down through your door in the night hard.

Who wear black and has butt plug up his ass?
Who wear black and has butt plug up his ass?
It’s the men from the Guard.
They come slamming down your butt hole hard.

Who wear black and has a little silver pin in his ear?
Who wear black and has a little silver pin in his ear?
It’s the men from the Guard.
They get controlled by GUMS hard.

As they pushed by, Simon was quite surprised by the song and the speed of the runners and the cloud of dusk they caused when running in the heavy suits.
“Wow, what was this?”
“Oh, just some infantry unit doing their running PT.”
“Do they it in the suits?”
“Sure, train in the suit, work in the suit, life in the suit.”

They jogged on. The lyrics of the song were quite disturbing but Sion decided not to ask questions about it.
While they jogged on they were passed much more groups of Guardsmen running.

“Your bunk mate snores,
your ass plug hurts,
It’s great to be in the Guard.

You have been canned 10 days straight,
Your unit got punishment duty.
It’s great to be in the Guard.

You have seen your family one day in the last two years,
Your big brother tells you, you’ll be frozen
It’s great to be in the Guard.”

For some reason, he noticed that all Guardsmen seemed to have a certain special walk, as if there was something sticking up in their ass. But he was not sure. Could that be? But how could he ask about that.
They came to a watering spot. Several Guardsmen sat under a canopy and drank from a fountain. Simon signalled 680 to stop.
“I need to drink”. He stood in the queue, before him was a guy a little bit smaller then him, all muscle and with striking red hair and freckles. He couldn’t be older then 20.
Simon said hello. The guy turned around and looked at him perplexed.
“Are you not from Guard?”
“No, I’m Simon Martin, I’m from Canada participating in a seminar.”
“Oh”
Before they could talk on 680 pulled him away.
“Please, do not disturb the lower ranks. They are actually not allowed to talk with you.”
“But…”
“Seriously, that is out of protocol. We have been specially selected to talk to you, but the others don’t have the training.”
They finished drinking in silence. Simon noticed in the distance that some of the Guardsmen must be couples, some held hands, while another couple was clearly kissing each other.
Some of them obviously talked about him and stared at him as if they had never seen a foreigner. 680 made them jog back home in what was certainly not a leisurely pace. Simon showered and thought a long time before getting to sleep about the strange songs.

 

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