If you think your Battalion Sergeant-Major is bad, imagine the Brigade Sergeant-Major!
Recall that a Battalion can be around 1000 people, sometimes more, sometimes less. I’ve been in Battalions of 2000 before, and one of around 500. A Brigade will be at least three Battalions together, so that’s a lot of people– and a lot of years of experience for someone to be the Sergeant-Major at that level. How many years? Well, safe to say that at the time, Caesar was a corporal.
So in this we see two things: one, a Brigade-level Sergeant-Major will be old and have an impressive entourage of aides and assistants, followers and hangers-on. Two, the ability of a young soldier to be able to see something in front of his face and yet completely not be aware of it is astounding. Work needing to be done, things left out of place, important Sergeant-Majors, or officers that need saluting can be rendered 100% invisible by a determined soldier who wants to avoid being dragged into something.
Sergeant-Majors and various other officials (such as officers) sometimes visit units and train for a weekend as a sort of guest. It is encouraged, actually, for Sergeant-Majors, Commanders, and Staff officers to go out every so often to see how things are being done “in the field”. Sometimes they visit all as one big cluster, and sometimes they visit one at a time. Everyone has to be on their best behavior, but at the same time it is almost guaranteed that the commander of the unit being visited will be too busy dealing with the visitors to worry about what the “little folks” are doing. So it’s a bit of a mixed blessing.
Why the 2-page spread? I thought this deserved a bit of extra flair. The khopesh guards, the priest of Anubis with his incense-bearing acolyte, the dancing girls, the boys strewing rose petals, the canopic jars with the Sergeant-Majors mummified organs for his voyage on the Barge of Eternity… what can I say, history is fun. And I already did a Roman one. This November there’ll be a series of 2-page comics done, posted on normal Monday and Tuesday post days, instead of a solid week. I wanted to try something different, and hopefully this will whet everyone’s appetite. I’m going to work with a guest inker who is also a fellow veteran and a kick-ass artist himself, so it should be a nice treat.