Originally Posted by gerry
Although I too am curious about the sword; I have never seen a military women's uniform including this most masculine of weapons! Do please explain Muhler
Very simple. Mary is an officer and the sabre is a part of the full dress uniform. (Even if the Home Guard no longer has a dress uniform. That saves money).
One of the first times a newly fledged first lieutenant wear a sabre is when they go to an audience with the Majesty shortly after graduating from the academy.
I'm not sure about second lieutenants and lieutenants in the Home Guard, because they usually only attend an officers course and not the academy. But I imagine they only borrow a sabre, because from the rank of captain and up all officers in the Home Guard are regulars.
But Mary as a royal is a special case, so she got a sabre when she became a lieutenant. I can imagine it is Frederik's old sabre, because IIRC Queen Ingrid gave Frederik the sabre of Frederik IX when Frederik had been in the military for a few years.
Basically Mary now has the highest rank an ordinary member of Home Guard can have. The next step is captain and as said before that's for academy graduates only. And after that comes major and that requires a staff course at the academy.
But there are advantages in being a royal and perhaps Mary will be promoted even higher. But it can only be a la suite, i.e. honorary. - However Mary is already an officer a la suite, because as far as I know she's never commanded anyone.
Had Mary been an ordinary home guardsman, with no military background, she would first have served for quite a bit as a private attending as many qualification courses as possible, before going for the NCO course, where she would first be squad leader, then after a while become platoon leader and only then would she apply for the officers course. Completing that course she would graduate as second lieutenant or lieutenant (not sure how it works nowadays) and then she would be the second in command of a company, answering to the captain who is the company commander and a regular. And that's it. The end of the line career wise.
There is an interesting difference between the Home Guard and regulars. The Home Guard is basically a militia, so they follow the person rather than the rank.
That was illustrated by an example from when I was in the Army Home Guard back around 1990. Another company in the district had leadership problems with a couple of new NCO's. One had been an NCO in the Royal Lifeguard and the other had been in the special forces. As such they were way more qualified than the senior sergeant who was in charge, and didn't fail to point that out! But while these two were very qualified and probably right in regards to training and methods, the other members of the platoon didn't like them. They knew their platoon leader, they trusted him and they knew he would look out for them. So when he had enough and quit in disgust, most of the platoon transferred to other companies, including ours.
The Home Guard has changed now. There is much more a demand for active service to remain a member today and you can't get away with just a couple of weeks service a year now. But the concept of following the person rather than the rank still applies.
In my time we also kept our weapon and ammunition at home. In my case my rifle and 100 rounds of ammunition. That is also no longer the case.