"The British Army has been ordered to take an extended 25-day Christmas holiday or ‘work from home' in an attempt to cut its gas and electricity bills," reports a British newspaper. This reminds me of George Marshall as a Depression-era garrison commander encouraging his married troops to take time to plant vegetables.
Not so, Joe, responds the Ministry of Defence's blog. "To suggest the Christmas leave plan is a cost-cutting measure is not true. In recognition of the exceptionally busy year the Army has had, both on operations and at home -- including vital support to the London 2012 Olympics, fuel tanker drivers' strike and the Diamond Jubilee -- the usual Christmas leave period has been extended. Personnel who are essential to supporting operations will remain on task regardless of this leave period and there will be no impact on the mission in Afghanistan."
From that blog, I also learned that the Welsh regiment has a "goat major." That is different, apparently, from aging majors who are old goats.
Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.