One year in the early 80s while serving our time on the “Special Projects” anti terrorist team, we were finding it hard to relax knowing that almost everyone else in the country is winding down enjoying off time with the family, lazy lie in’s, and Christmas drinks etc, as it’s now Christmas week.

But not us…on the team it was basically dry, with a stringent rule that we’re all limited to 2 pints only. Aye, but 2 pints of what…rum, vodka or whiskey?

Way back then, being on constant stand by 24/7 for a 6 month period…at our home base, where we are located with our family, yet can never let our hair down, is pretty tough. To be honest, I’d rather be home on a short stand down after months away, knowing that my time is completely my own.

It’s times like this, leading an almost constant monastic lifestyle, that the lads can be at their most restless and therefore begin to get playful…give them an inch and…


hang over 2

80s style “ghostbusting.” 

One morning I came into the team’s “hanger” to find a couple of mates giggling away crouched over the front end of one of the team’s Range Rover vehicles. “What’s up” I asked? As I approached them I could see one of them with an assault knife in his hand, and the other wiping dust from the front of the bonnet.

From the mid 70s, the Special Projects Team had been equipped with Range Rovers. We now had the version where the Range Rover name on the front of the bonnet was basically printed letters, as opposed to metallic raised letters…cost cutting I’m sure.

The lads had decided in their “wind down” mode, to “wind up” the headshed. By scraping off the relevant letters and parts thereof, in order to eventually read HANG OVER and no longer RANGE ROVER.

Well needless to say, it went down like a led balloon with the headshed!

We could all imagine ourselves getting crashed out, and having to assault some old empty building somewhere in an isolated corner of Britain for our penance.

But thankfully the headshed’s sense of humour must have leaked through eventually…as we all spent Christmas Day with our families and friends.

The two pints of whisky went down a treat!

Everyone needs humour in their lives, it helps to make the world go around, and everyone needs a wee break now and again, no matter who you are.

Merry Christmas everyone, and Merry Christmas to those young warriors serving today, and keeping us all safe over the holidays. x

Published by: bobshepherdauthor

Bestselling author Bob Shepherd has spent nearly forty years operating in conflict areas around the world. A twenty year veteran of Britain’s elite 22 SAS Regiment with nearly two decades of private security work to his credit, Bob has successfully negotiated some of the most dangerous places on earth as a special forces soldier and a private citizen. Bob comments regularly on security issues and has appeared on CNN International, BBC, SKY News, and BBC Radio. He has also authored numerous articles and books including the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller The Circuit. In addition to writing and lecturing, Bob continues to advise individuals operating in hostile environments. For more of his insights on security and geopolitics visit www.bobshepherdauthor.com

Categories Uncategorized8 Comments


  1. I really enjoy your reflective articles Bob, keep up the good work and best wishes to you and your family for the new year.

    Best Regards


  2. All the best Bob for 2020!
    Keep the stories coming! Great reading and reflection. Have similar stories when I was serving on the first Special Project Unit manned by elements of A and G Squadrons in the 70s.
    Iranian Embassy took place 4 weeks after after we handed over! We all had to make do with watching TV with a cigar and a wee dram!

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