Re: Why this does not surprise me
Having an RSM as a project manager. I was in the army and the only person who scared me was the Colonel and the RSM. The Colonel had no idea who I was and I kept it that way, sadly the RSM did know me and just about everybody else. I suspect that the Colonel was scared of the RSM as well.
Having an RSM as the lead person on the project would be brilliant. They would take zero shit, I have a suspicion that even in the public sector they would deliver on time and budget. Now there may be (real) bodies left in their wake, but hey, things would happen, and you never know, the bodies may be senior politicians so a win-win situation.
Also the RSM would know how to handle Captains pretty well, indeed any NCO knows how to handle their 'superior officer' with skill. Any decent officer worth his salt would listen to their NCO very, very carefully and follow any 'advice' offered. Certainly if the RSM offered any advice all the officers would take careful note. Nobody wanted to be on the wrong side of the RSM.
Oh well, sadly there aren't enough RSM's to dig the govt out of the shit on this one but its nice to dream.