It was quite amusing to see General Khalid Shameem Wynne, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee doing the ‘Slow March’ with his two escorts while he was reviewing the Guard of Honour presented to him on his retirement. This is for all Dear VVIPs – civil and military both – kindly be advised that the escorts change to slow march from the quick march to allow you more time to inspect the guards at your reasonable leisure and pace than passing by them hurriedly marching at 32 paces a minute (standard quick march pace). Their changing to slow march doesn’t mean that you should also resort to slow march. You just keep on walking normally, gracefully in a dignified manner, looking into eyes of the guardsmen as you pass by them, even stopping once in a while to say hello to some elderly or too young a looking soldier.
It is for the Military Secretaries of the VIPs to apprise them of such details of the protocol and if need be make them rehearse these beforehand within the confines of their spacious offices than to make a mockery of themselves in public. Remember, the First Lady running after her husband ‘PM Raja Ashraf’ to join him for reviewing the Guard of Honour at Vietnam airport? It deserves to be in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the only incident of its kind.
COL. RIAZ JAFRI (RETD),
Rawalpindi, October 9.