Pascal Derrien

5 years ago · 3 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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Migrant Brother, Soldier On It Is Economic Warfare Out There

In 2013, 232 million people, or 3.2 per cent of the world’s population, were international migrants, compared with 175 million in 2000 and 154 million in 1990. So 3 per cent of the population worldwide live and work in a country they were not born in, I sometimes like to think about it as the 6th continent and funnily enough it is probably the only one with 24 time zones when you think about it. On reflection I suppose no matter where you are yourself on the world clock at this very moment I bet you are within reach of one of its citizens.

Besides the tragedy and horror of the stories of Asylum seekers, migrants are often called up to back up and rescue demanding or wounded economies. While it would be wrong to think only about economic migration as manpower supply it is fair to say it is not an homogeneous group however the general agreement would also be that it requires probably a little bit of extra courage to be able to make the big decision to pack up and start all over again. In a sense Who Dares Wins as they say.

The motto has been used by twelve elite special-forces units around the world, for some reasons all have historical ties to the British SAS but Non-commonwealth countries too have also formed units based on the SAS. For example The French Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment (1st Rima) can trace its origins to the Second World War 3rd and 4th SAS, adopting its "who dares wins" motto. The American unit, Delta Force was formed by Colonel Charles Alvin who served with 22 SAS as an exchange officer and recognized the need for a similar type of unit in the US Army.

An early statement of the idea is "Τοις τολμώσιν η τύχη ξύμφορος" ("Fortune favors the bold") from the Ancient Greek soldier and historian Thucydides.

If you allow me to bring the topic in an Irish context you would be surprised to learn that while Ireland is a neutral country, the island too has its own Special Forces. Numerous and prominent in our Irish Society we have our very own SAS who are forming a unique Irish elite unit. This unit is composed mainly of Migrants from Poland, Africa, India, Middle & Eastern Europe but not only French and Brazilians too among many other nationalities complete the contingent. As an Austrian/French/Irish private, myself and my migrant brothers and sisters account roughly for 15% of the Population of Ireland some even say we would account for 20% of the population of Dublin alone.

We work hard and we train hard mainly because we have to learn another language fast, our training focuses not only on traditional integration skills but is also evolving on creating a strong Esprit De Corps. As our men and women come from different countries with different cultures, our commonality is a way to strengthen us enough to work as a team. Migrant veterans would tell you that Integration training is often described as not only physically challenging but is also very stressful psychologically, I would add to that this is especially true during recession times.

Now if I leave behind the metaphoric aspect of my introduction the values carried by daring migrants are very real and the members of the Irish Special forces show a very strong code of conduct indeed. At this point of the (advanced) post and especially if you are based in Ireland (while applicable globally), I would like to ask you to remember to show respect to what some of us left behind in order to pledge a new allegiance to the Republic of Eire. I bet that if you were to talk to any migrant private I would not be surprised if he or she was to mention this almost invisible oath most of us have undertaken, now I am no general and cannot speak on behalf of all our troops but I think it could probably be something along those lines

              Voluntarily serving Ireland with honour, enthusiasm and fidelity.

              Each Migrant and Irish citizen is your brother and sister in arms whatever his/her nationality, race or religion might be. You show the same close solidarity that links the members of the same family.

              Respect for Irish traditions & roots of your Country of origin, devotion to your family, work ethic and entrepreneurship are your strengths, courage, creativity and loyalty your virtues.

              Proud of your status of migrant you display this in your always impeccable engagement, your always dignified but modest behaviour, and your aptitude to adapt.

             An elite Migrant, you train rigorously, you maintain your knowledge as your most precious possession, and you take constant care of your contribution to Irish society.

             In economic combat you act with passion and without hate, you respect defeated enemies, and you never abandon your tenacity & combative mind-set.

Some migrants have risked their lives to join the Irish Special Forces respecting them for their experiences is sacred.

I dare saying that Ireland has the best special-forces in the world, within the ranks we find the sharpest economic tacticians, the most agile contribution snipers and the most driven privates that have ever faced economic warfare. Sign us up for a routine patrol or a critical mission and we will do our best to deliver with enthusiasm and pride.

Let`s make sure that unlike other Irish Forgotten Heroes in the Vietnam War the country and its citizens recognize fairly and acknowledge clearly the status of the


Photo credit: Brother In Arms (Ubisoft)

Sources: Wiki & United Nations

A modified version of my previous article Who Dares Wins on WordPress

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Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #3

thats a good analogy too :-)

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #2

my two cent is that an expat is on time bounded assignment as opposed to a migrant that may have made a life choice (not always a choice though :-) )

Dean Owen

5 years ago #1

I had no idea Ireland had a Foreign Legion. On a different note, what is the difference between an expat and a migrant?

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