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Military rank confusion in partisan times

"There were many, many times thereafter that Don regretted having enlisted - but so has every man who ever volunteered for military service."

- Robert A Heinlein (Between Planets)

COMMENT The most tragic of duties an officer has is delivering the news of death to the next of kin. This is something I had to do one cold Penang dawn many years ago. Loved ones always know when you turn up at their doorstep. They always know.

My condolences go out to the families of those fallen commandos in Lahad Datu. There will be plenty of time and opportunity for politics to take its unhealthy hold on this matter during the campaign period of this election (and no doubt even I will participate) but for now, I would suggest a moment of reflection. The situation in Sabah is a question of chickens coming home to roost, but this is an issue for another article. Indeed, a gathering storm looms on the eastern seaboard of Sabah.

However, partisan politics is a never-ending war and the armed forces has unfortunately been dragged in this mess. The recent statement by Defence Ministry secretary-general Ismail Samad on the "serious concern" of the unauthorised use of military ranks by retired armed forces personnel without the approval the Armed Forces Council deserves a response...