Letter from a raider to Online Defense


In keeping with my long years spent in uniform, I have always thought that the soldier, more than a job, was a vocation. I always thought this every time I received an order that I had to obey without being able to protest. But above all, I thought this every time that together with the other raiders I was alerted to carry out operations that were always very risky.

I did it out of passion without ever thinking that to do what they "asked" I would also receive a salary. For this reason, being here talking about money seems more paradoxical than ever. But I do it in the hope of shaking some conscience, of those that count, certainly not to raise fuss or, much less, to trigger fratricidal rivalries between different departments of our Armed Forces. It would be the classic "war between the poor", God save us and free us.

Well, as I said I served the country for thirty-five years in the Incursori of the 9th Col Moschin parachute assault regiment, a department commonly defined as the "spearhead" of the Italian Army from which it is legitimate to ask for everything, even the impossible if necessary, as evidenced by the same sinister motto, never fallen into disuse: “beyond death”. Therefore I am not here to dwell on the infinity of training and operations that my colleagues in service carry out regularly, risking their lives every day.

It is a free choice, no one forces them, as at the time no one forced me to enter. Those who decide to become the Raider do it for the love of an idea, for passion, but also for that ancestral transport of belonging to the few, to the only ones, to the exclusive ones. Those same noble motives that drove those energetic young people - and I add a little crazy - infantry soldiers to enter the Arditi of the assault units of the Great War. Valiant men capable of carrying out daring special operations: at night they sheared the barbed wires of the battlefield, then, after throwing a thunderous firecracker, they dashed into the enemy trenches with the dagger in hand, spreading terror among the enemy ranks.

It was the winning move on the whole Grappa front. In that place where every year the famous battle of the solstice is celebrated, one hundred years ago, our precursors led by Major Messe, conquered three important Austrian strongholds in a few minutes.

It was the Italian courage that defeated the Austrians. And to that courage, the Supreme Command of the time, owed gratitude. For this, as reported by the Historical Office of the Army General Staff1, in the beautiful publication on the assault units, these special soldiers had to be paid a "special treatment. From the day the course closes onwards: daily surcharge of L. 0,75, special daily food ration, exemption from all fatigue services, ten-day license to be granted after successful completion of each action to those soldiers (including officers ) who will have distinguished themselves more, granting a badge of daring soldier after participating in two actions ". A sort of reward, as an official recognition of the greater risk taken in contempt of one's life, consisting of a series of concessions which, not surprisingly, stood out in the first place the "overdraft".

Here, after this brief but necessary digression, we come to the present day. At the end of the hard training process that lasted more than two years, the elders of the department affix the same official badge to the right arm to each Incursore student, which was the symbol of the members of the assault departments of the last century: the dagger wrapped in bay leaves and oak.

Well, you may say, for the formal recognition of the exclusivity of the status of Raider in all respects equated to that of the brave Arditi of the Great War, but the "overdraft"? Fortunately, times have changed and what was once called "overdraft" has taken on today's term of additional monthly "indemnity", but the substance does not change: as established by law 78/1983 in article 1 field of application, "such indemnity is paid as compensation for the risk, inconvenience and liability associated with the various employment situations deriving from the service ".

Without going into administrative details that would bore the kind reader, it should be noted that (I repeat Fortunately) Current allowances constitute an important item in the remuneration of military personnel in permanent service of every category and grade belonging to all the Armed Forces. For each specialty and specificity of employment, in fact, the Defense Administration has opportunely planned to add to the fundamental component of the salary, the accessory component of the "operational employment allowances" (fundamental and supplementary). With all good intentions, the legislator then relies on the competent bodies of the State (the Ministry of Defense in our case through the articulation of its commands) to establish methods and, above all, the amount of money to be given for each individual indemnity depending on the specific cases.

And here the donkey falls! In the numerous and apparently aseptic tables showing the remuneration of the indemnities that supplement the numerous annexes of the last concertation decree signed on 23 December and entered into force today, 2022 January XNUMX, they "forgot" about the Incursors, or rather, they reserved them the "bruscolini". It seems paradoxical, but the heirs of those brave Arditi who paved the way for the modern benefits now perceived by everyone, have practically remained dry-mouthed!

For heaven's sake, I know well that you shouldn't look at other people's plates, and far be it from me to do it on this occasion too. Moreover, the facts have already been well described in thearticle published on December 30th us on this same valuable publication signed by Tiziano Ciocchetti, author, among other things, of previous articles on the allowances of the Special Forces.

Obviously, I cannot remain silent that the 170% increase in the allowance of the Ranger and Acquisitors departments has left me perplexed, both because it may indicate lack of clarity on the respective role, and because it appears as a fall of style irreconcilable with the traditional spirit. of the Special Forces community to which the Raiders, let's not forget, are the leading unit.

Unfortunately, the monthly salary difference of the respective allowances between the members of the aforementioned departments and the Incursori, in terms of purchasing power, is now attributable to the classic “pizza and a beer”. A little 'little to justify those who have worked with commitment and humility for 70 years, at the cost of many human lives, earning the nickname "special" on the battlefield while the others have become so with the stroke of a pen of a variant organic.

But Acquisitori and Rangers weren't the only ones to have one more reason to toast to Christmas: other conventional departments such as the Bersaglieri (good for them) also had fundamental allowances set up to the extent of 160% of the operational employment allowance. basic, with all the good and the sympathy that can be nurtured towards the members of this prestigious specialty of our Infantry.

To conclude, returning to the use of the Arditi of the new millennium - the Incursors of the 9th "Col Moschin" assault regiment - the Defense Staff requires the greatest number of special missions and the consequent greater risks of "passing to the creator" , as it should be. They are willing to take those risks and, if necessary, even go “beyond death” faithful to their motto. And, as always, they will do their part with sacrifice and honor for the tricolor they proudly wear on their arms and for that badge that indicates that only they can do it.

The General Staff do its part. Hence my prayer, because I know that they, my colleagues, out of pride of belonging would never ask for it: increase their allowance also to the Incursori conspicuously and thus remedy the rudeness done ... but, above all, give "to Cesare that which is Caesar's. "

Happy New Year to all soldiers and their families!

ten. with the. (r.) raider Fabio Filomeni

1 BASILIO DI MARTINO. FILIPPO CAPPELLANO “The Italian assault units in the great war (1915-1918)” Army General Staff - historical office, Rome 2007.

Photo: author

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