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Camouflage Press
Basic Training
Basic Training

Novel: 276 pages, 76,000 words
Copyright © Marquesate 2009
Paperback: ISBN 978-1-60820-461-8 (print)
eBook: ISBN 978-1-60820-462-5 (ebook)

Kindle: ASIN B005Y0HS7E

Joining the Royal Marine Commandos is a challenge that only the toughest men should take on.

Platoon Sergeant Col 'Bulldog' Wilson's world of work, gym, exercise and discipline is heaved out of its angles when the new recruits arrive with Chris Thompson amongst them. Twenty-one, handsome, tall, university graduate, triathlete, and ... openly gay in an environment of institutional homophobia.

Col finds himself thrown into turmoil that is nothing like any conflict he'd ever encountered, nor any operational theatre he'd ever fought in. When this particular battle becomes personal, he has to ask himself who is the enemy.



Chapter 1

Wednesday, 3 September 2003. Lympstone, Devon, UK

"Sergeant Wilson," the platoon commander called out and Col turned, saluting.

"Yes, Sir?"

"I'd like to see you in my office."

"Yes, Sir." Bloody one pip wonder. Twenty-nothing and barely passed out of the officer course, now proving himself on his first post. Commissioned, just because he'd been born with a silver spoon ... but Col swallowed the grumble and made his way to the Lieutenant's office.

"Please take a seat." Col did, noticing the stack of papers on the officer's desk. "I'd like you to look through some of the applications, especially the equality forms." The second lieutenant produced a smaller bundle. "And in particular this one." Col found a piece of paper under his nose and he took it, quickly scanning through.
"Triathlete, not bad." Muttered to himself, "Graduate? What the hell's a student ..." and then he came to the next column. Reading it once, twice, a third time, just to make sure. "Homosexual?" He stared at the officer. "You must be kidding me."

"Apparently not."

"I hope the lad keeps that to himself."

"One would hope so, wouldn't one?" The lieutenant shrugged his shoulders and sighed. "I advise you to keep an eye on him. The recruit sounds extremely promising; high achievements in sports and intellectually above average. In fact, I was told they tried to recruit him directly into an officer career, but he refused to take the chance."

"Why?" Col studied the form once more, then placed the bundle in his lap.

"According to the report from the recruiting officer, he was adamant that while a commission was certainly the ultimate goal of anyone, he wanted to experience the ranks, first."

"And you believe that bullshit?" Col stood up. The 'anyone' was grating, and he felt targeted. Demoted, with no chance at this stage of his career to get close to a commission. But then he'd never been officer material. Too stuck in the dirt and best suited to the midst of the action. 'Bulldog' alright. They'd got his nickname spot on.

"Why wouldn't I believe it? What other motives might be feasible?"

"I reckon the guy's got something to prove." Col shrugged, kept the forms under his arm. "And if he isn't wise, and I don't think he is, judging from that little tick in the wrong box, he'll cause a hell of a lot of trouble."

"Then watch him. Besides, we cannot be seen to discriminate against him nor anyone else, because of religion, gender, race..."

"Sexuality," Col finished for the lieutenant. "I know, I know."

"Indeed. If we don't take care, we will get into trouble with the equality officers, and we cannot afford to bring ourselves into disrepute."

"Of course not, Sir. I will keep an eye on the recruit." Col saluted and left the office.

Christian Thompson. Twenty-one. Six foot. Green eyes. Brown hair.

He'd already memorised the vitals.

Publisher: MLR Press
Publication Date: 21st October 2011


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