Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hoo-Ah!

The Tonga Defence Services are the pointy end of things for the Kingdom of Tonga in the Pacific. Numbering about 500 troopies -- more or less -- in total, a significant percentage of them have been serving in Iraq and, more recently, in Afghanistan.

The following is a video of the Royal Tongan Marines ending their recent tour with the RAF in Afghanistan:


You ever get the feeling that sometimes civilization doesn't stick as thoroughly as some folks might want to believe?

Heh.

LawDog

29 comments:

Expat(ish) said...

You should see what the NZ All Blacks do before a game. I'm surprised when other teams take the field.

_XC

Jim said...

I went to Tonga armed with knowledge that the place bore two nicknames: The Friendly Islands and the Savage Islands.

About ten minutes on the ground persuaded me that while savagery was not apparent, it was a good place to exercise the most extreme possible courtesy.

As an aside, some young history student looking for an MA thesis topic could do worse than investigate service by Polynesians in modern wars. The American Samoans are particularly proud of their representation in U.S. armed forces.

Rev. Paul said...

I know that I'd want them on my side in any given conflict.

Anonymous said...

Awesome.

For some reason I doubt the NZ team would intimidate these men very much.

ben

Matthew said...

I recall in a chowhall on Pendleton at the HRST Master course seeing a blowup of the USMC uniform plate that had a Pacific Islander Marine in a Sarong with an EGA on it.

No way I'd call any of these guys out for wearing one.

Harriet said...

Gotta love a good Haka!! Thanks for sharing that!

Jerry The Geek said...

"The world is run by the people who show up for work every day."

These guys not only show up, but they also leave ... in style!

They also scare the poop out of me!

Anonymous said...

When they have a pig roast ...don't be the guest of honor! Just sayin.....

Anonymous said...

1. A fine group of healthy young lads.
2. Not sure what they were doing with the RAF -tho that outfit does have a ground fighting force (RAF Regiment).
3. Look like they could chew rocks and spit gravel.
4. Thanks for the flick.
V/R JWest

Dirk said...

And that's a video that Al Jazeera will never, ever show.

SpeakerTweaker said...

After seeing something like that, one wonders if mere bullets and explosions are sufficient against such a target!

Oh, and Expat(ish) isn't the only one who though of the All Blacks' pregame ritual.



tweaker

Anonymous said...

Civilization is a thin veneer. Scratch it and the underlying barbarian shoots out. :)

I used to work with Tongans, Samoans, & others from the area. They formed fully a quarter of the city's (Carson) population at that time. Even the runts could dismember me. It's good to be respected by the local chiefs.

Ulises from CA

Orion said...

I've played rugby against Tongans (and Samoans, and Kiwis) - I would ***NOT*** want to face them in combat.

OW.

Orion

Jeff the Baptist said...

I'm sure the English thought the same when they started forming the kilted Highland Regiments.

Old NFO said...

Why do they remind me of ROK Marines??? :-)

seeker_two said...

Might make a few jihadists nervous if they did that on a daily basis....

Gerry N. said...

Hmmmm? Warriors behaving as warriors. Who'da thunk it?

montieth said...

"You ever get the feeling that sometimes civilization doesn't stick as thoroughly as some folks might want to believe?"

Looking at the riots in Vancouver, not really...

kestrels-nest said...

War is pretty much by definition uncivilized, and those who are, as you so aptly put it, "at the pointy end of things" had better know now to be likewise. I have the greatest admiration for such warriors - and I'd certainly want these guys on my side! Hoo-bah!!!

Peter said...

The afghani want to be known as fierce warriors when the blow up children. Not to long ago these men would have FED their children dead afghanis.

Anonymous said...

Heh. It'd be a more impressive if they could their timing spot on,

Still looks good.

Tola said...

i agree with everyone except Anonymous at 8:36. i guaran-damn-tee you those boys learned that haka by the time they were in first grade. i know many Tongans, Samoans, Kiwis, Cookies, and Fijians who grew up not far from the bush, and it's still in them. you do NOT want to be on the wrong end of an argument of any size from these guys.
Malo e lelei to our Tongan brethren.

Anonymous said...

I've heard that the annual Tonga vs. Samoa rugby game makes the invasion of Iwo Jima look tame...

Cybrludite said...

And because no post on the subject of hakas is complete without it...

New Zealand vs. Scotland Rugby

dr mac said...

Hey Cybyrludite,

Did you see the ad for Tonga beer ? It shows the same commercial with 8 seconds footage tagged on at the end of the Tonga players doubled over in laughter. It finishes with the line, "Tonga Beer. Don't have a short one".

Heh.

Anonymous said...

South sea islanders are at the very recent end of civilization, and they are proud of it.

The Gurkhas are even closer. They seem quiet in comparison, but they are warriors!!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1393355/Hero-Gurkha-handed-bravery-medal-Queen-said-I-thought-I-going-die--I-tried-kill-I-could.html

BadFrog said...

LawDawg,
this is an 'interesting' take on the All Blacks and their haka.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOw_yLklP6Y&feature=player_embedded

Krysta in MKE said...

"Warriors behaving as warriors. Who'da thunk it?"
Kinda what I thought.
It did put chills down my back, & as with any professional fighter, I'd want them with their backs to me, rather than facing me.

Motomom said...

You know, the original haka involved women. Seeing it stripped to its all male form is...odd.