All Roles Now Open To Females

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Caecilius

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nice edit.

luckily I caught your original response. which still does not answer all of the questions raised.

What does SUC vary on? What E1 jobs are there out there?

Firstly, tell me, if one has the option of a light PM, AI, light role, and SPIB SUC roles open to them (which most divisions do) how do people move battalions, or rejoin re-roled battalions if they have no experience in the new role? Perhaps, as arms-plotting demonstrated, one can move roles and pick it up, with some effort.

Secondly, how is any battalion's training programme so impenetrable? Arms-plotting again shows that units can re-role quickly, so why cannot officers? Light role BGs are very different beasts with very different G4 burdens to AI BGs.

Thirdly, what courses does a junior officer go through these days? Do orders and the estimate process change ? If someone could do step-up in a CSS HQ, how different is the process in a GCC HQ? What set-up do all of the officer education courses use?

And lastly, with the current officer career model, why can a major not transfer and have a successful career? I know a few, including those achieving starred rank.
To add to this:

Officers who end up in the group routinely command regular units having last served in that role as a first tour Lt. If you can do 15 years away from the regular army, in a completely different role and under completely different circumstances regarding funding, G4, admin, etc. and still command a regular unit then you can probably jump across at SUC with a bit of work.

I think cross-decking SUCs will fail a decent chunk of the time but some people will be successful at it.
 

Toppet

War Hero
Yes. The majority of work that a battalion 2IC, much like a Coy Comd are non-infantry specific.

Also, how many E1 SG2 jobs are there out there?

There are also a lot of E1 that are simply protectionist jobs to promote people into, ditto lots of E2 jobs in combat HQ that a motivated non-GCC person can do, without GCC experience.

It is all policy and doctrine application. The person who has grown up will have a head-start but non-GCC catch up quite quick. I believe ICSC has some pretty good examples of this.
Exactly this. I once thought like john - that once you've chosen your path, it would be virtually impossible to move to another Corps without being some kind of superhuman...until I joined the Civilian world and realised that it happens a huge amount in most other jobs.

I know loads of people who have transferred at senior levels to other areas of the same industry (or other industries). As you say; it's policy and doctrine application. If a Pl Comd in 1 Blankshires who never deployed and spent most of his time running the Regimental Ski Team could eventually be considered for an OC role, there is no reason why someone from a CSS role (with / without Op experience) couldn't do the same, transferring to 1 Blankshires as a SO2.

Having spoken to a few friends (Capt / Maj in Infantry, Int Corps and RE) they're of the same thinking. And all of us are more operationally experienced in the modern Army than Brigadier-Marshall John.
 
Yes. The majority of work that a battalion 2IC, much like a Coy Comd are non-infantry specific.

Also, how many E1 SG2 jobs are there out there?

There are also a lot of E1 that are simply protectionist jobs to promote people into, ditto lots of E2 jobs in combat HQ that a motivated non-GCC person can do, without GCC experience.

It is all policy and doctrine application. The person who has grown up will have a head-start but non-GCC catch up quite quick. I believe ICSC has some pretty good examples of this.

also, no need to be rude, especially if you attack without answering the other questions raised
The biggest issue with having someone with no Infantry background as the Bn 2ic is that they are one bullet away from being the CO.
 
Yes. The majority of work that a battalion 2IC, much like a Coy Comd are non-infantry specific.
What utter tripe.

He's routinely and directly in charge of Bn trg and writing and implementing the BnTrg Directive. That's his prime focus when not on ops. In an infantry bn the vast majority of that training is, rather obviously, "infantry specific".

On ops he's responsible for step-up and for running bn ops if the CO's elsewhere or on the ground (edit: or the CO takes Legz's bullet). Again, in an infantry bn the vast majority of those ops are "infantry specific".

Like any other branch of the Army, no more and no less, the infantry is a specialist role, so to do it successfully you need specialist experience as well as specialist training and the more you go up the ladder the more you need that experience and training.
also, no need to be rude, especially if you attack without answering the other questions raised
I'm being "rude" because you're being either deliberately obtuse or you don't have any of the knowledge or experience you're suggesting you do. Both are equally tedious, but I'll try to control the habit of a lifetime.
Also, how many E1 SG2 jobs are there out there?

There are also a lot of E1 that are simply protectionist jobs to promote people into, ditto lots of E2 jobs in combat HQ that a motivated non-GCC person can do, without GCC experience.

It is all policy and doctrine application. The person who has grown up will have a head-start but non-GCC catch up quite quick. I believe ICSC has some pretty good examples of this.
No idea of specific numbers, but "lots" (as a Trg Depot CO famously replied when asked by a SofS for Def how many recruits he had).

Yes, people can "catch up quite quick", but it's not a question of anyone "having a head start" but of people knowing their job. That comes with experience and training, and there are no short cuts, particularly in the infantry where you're dealing primarily with people and their lives.

nice edit.

luckily I caught your original response. which still does not answer all of the questions raised.
A bit bizarre. My "edit" simply added more and I'm perfectly happy to answer any questions you raise.
What does SUC vary on? What E1 jobs are there out there?
It varies depending on the unit: role, location, separation, etc. Again, "lots" of E1 jobs, requiring a variety of training and experience.

Firstly, tell me, if one has the option of a light PM, AI, light role, and SPIB SUC roles open to them (which most divisions do) how do people move battalions, or rejoin re-roled battalions if they have no experience in the new role? Perhaps, as arms-plotting demonstrated, one can move roles and pick it up, with some effort.
They move with a basic grounding in infantry tactics and operations so they're not starting from ground zero.

I've no idea of your own background, but think of it as a VM moving from LandRovers to Challengers. Very different, but he's got the grounding in mechanics and he's got a bit more than a "head start" over, say, a number two on the GPMG who's moved into the same new role.

For most inf Majors in their mid-30's it would also be unusual for them not to have experience of an inf bn in a variety of roles over their 15 years or so of infantry work, with 8 years or more spread over that time in an infantry bn (not that it doesn't happen, as I was never Armd Inf or Mech).
Secondly, how is any battalion's training programme so impenetrable? Arms-plotting again shows that units can re-role quickly, so why cannot officers? Light role BGs are very different beasts with very different G4 burdens to AI BGs.
Not "impenetrable", but not something you can pick up overnight or on a course - it comes with training and experience.

i can't imagine where you got the idea from that "arms plotting shows that units can re-role quickly" since arms-plotting actually showed the complete reverse: that units can't re-role quickly but take a considerable amount of time to master a new role, which was precisely why most arms-plotting ended some 15 years ago under Mike Jackson. While you may not agree with my view, here's what he said about it:

" ... the result of this system (the 'Arms Plot') was that at any one time a significant number of battalions - up to 20 %'of our infantry overall - were not available ..... to have battalions moving from one role to another was very inefficient and wasteful of expertise. For armoured infantry, for example, the perceived wisdom was that they didn't really master their job for about two years. ..... We were getting breadth at the expense of depth .....
..... the Arms Plot was so detrimental to operational effectiveness, and had so many inherent disadvantages built into it, that it would have to go.
"
Thirdly, what courses does a junior officer go through these days? Do orders and the estimate process change ? If someone could do step-up in a CSS HQ, how different is the process in a GCC HQ? What set-up do all of the officer education courses use?
It's not a question of "courses ... orders ... and processes" FFS (sorry). It's a question of knowledge and experience. Depending on the circumstances that could take years for a CO or Bn 2ic to pick up, and it's certainly not something a mid-30's Major could learn on PCBC.
And lastly, with the current officer career model, why can a major not transfer and have a successful career? I know a few, including those achieving starred rank.
You know a few who've transferred to infantry as Majors in their mid-30's with no prior infantry experience who've gone on to star rank?

Really?

Name them.

Of course it's possible for people to transfer as Majors without committing a career foul. What it's not possible to do, though, is for a Major in their mid-30s with no infantry or GCC experience, male or female, to transfer to infantry and to slot into a Bn 2ic or CO's post. If this happened (and I'm not doubting it) she's unlikely to ever serve in her new cap badge and it's not an example of women's versatility and ability but of the Army playing a game to tick a box.

(edit: sorry about the length, but you made the mistake of complaining about my not answering your questions)
 
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Exactly this. I once thought like john - that once you've chosen your path, it would be virtually impossible to move to another Corps without being some kind of superhuman...until I joined the Civilian world and realised that it happens a huge amount in most other jobs.
That's not remotely how I think at all - on the contrary, I'm one of the few here that's in favour not only of transfers but of lateral entry to the Army at various levels.

What I'm saying is very specific - that in this case it's not in her interest or the Army's beyond a box-ticking exercise. Nothing more, so please don't put your own twist on it to suggest I'm saying something I'm not.
If a Pl Comd in 1 Blankshires who never deployed and spent most of his time running the Regimental Ski Team could eventually be considered for an OC role, there is no reason why someone from a CSS role (with / without Op experience) couldn't do the same, transferring to 1 Blankshires as a SO2.
Except that 1 Blankshires doesn't have any SO2s.

If it did then I'd agree with you. But they don't.
And all of us are more operationally experienced in the modern Army than Brigadier-Marshall John.
If you think inf bns have SO2s that indicates otherwise.

Awkward, that .....
 

Toppet

War Hero
That's not remotely how I think at all - on the contrary, I'm one of the few here that's in favour not only of transfers but of lateral entry to the Army at various levels.

What I'm saying is very specific - that in this case it's not in her interest or the Army's beyond a box-ticking exercise. Nothing more, so please don't put your own twist on it to suggest I'm saying something I'm not.
Except that 1 Blankshires doesn't have any SO2s.

If it did then I'd agree with you. But they don't.
If you think inf bns have SO2s that indicates otherwise.

Awkward, that .....
I was using SO2 in a loose sense to mean Maj, as you well knew.

If I misunderstood your view on Maj transferring to the infantry then I apologise. It seemed like you were against it.
 

Nato123

War Hero
This is the concern of many; that "obviously standards will be lowered". And it's a good way to get people to bite, because it's a legitimate concern - if you can't see how it will work, then there's an easy answer as to how it can be made to work.

However, there's also an argument that it's an overused concern. It was the accusation made against the various recruit training establishments all the way through the 1980s, the 1990s, the 2000s; with the driver being stories that Gen X were being given "time out" cards, that instructors were no longer able to shout at recruits, of "BAME recruiting targets", that the removal of WRAC and introduction of mixed-gender training establishments would be the doom of the Army.

Yet, have standards actually fallen? Are the infantry failing whenever it comes to the contact battle? Because the Northern Ireland, the Falklands, Iraq, and Afghanistan would suggest not. One observation of "Andy McNab" when he visited troops on HERRICK was that it was now regarded as routine, for normal infantry to perform activities that in the 1980s were the preserve of specialist door-kickers. If you grabbed a selection of 1970s squaddies, and threw them into today's MATTs or operations, would they do better on average, worse, or... "about the same"?

So while "standards will fall!" is a tempting rallying cry (for the same reasons that each generation claims that the Army has been getting softer than it was in my time, it's all going downhill, soon the Pl Sgt will be required to tuck each soldier into their fluffy duvets and sing them a lullaby) it's hard to demonstrate that it's ever happened before. Why is this change so special as to cause it to happen now?

The impact of the difference in standards hasn't happened yet because the the amount of Women joining up into teeth arms is still so small that the 'different' standards haven't had much time to have an affect.

As for AM's comment, it was a morale boosting soundbite, no more, no less but because if fits in with your crusade you grabbed onto it with both hands. ...and by comparison could a 'mixed platoon' cope with the worst of the public disorder seen during the 70's Ulster - and FYI , if you haven't experienced the full on, in your face fun don't bother to come out with some ' oh, i think they could' reply, because , my friend , those Riots were often primeval and very physical.

There's a reason why we don't have mixed or 100% womens Football and Rugby teams competing against men in their respective highest leagues or allow Men to compete against Women (Not Trans) in the Olympics or other similar events, and that's because Science and Physiology has shown that it would be unfair advantages to one sex depending on the event ...yet you'd happily let Women go against men in the bloodiest sport of all , to pander to some PC Nonsense and show how woke and right on you are.

The whole concept is blatantly rubbish, hidden behind a load of waffle and only followed by Careerists and those who have their own agenda.
 
Of course you shouldnt penalise them, but the Army also shouldnt give them different standards in the case of the PFT or lower the standards, but make them easier in the case of SCR.
Don't disagree with that at all.
 
There's a reason why we don't have mixed or 100% womens Football and Rugby teams competing against men in their respective highest leagues or allow Men to compete against Women (Not Trans) in the Olympics or other similar events, and that's because Science and Physiology has shown that it would be unfair advantages to one sex depending on the event ...yet you'd happily let Women go against men in the bloodiest sport of all , to pander to some PC Nonsense and show how woke and right on you are.
Firstly, forget elite sport as the basis for a final argument. 99% of existing regular infantrymen couldn't compete against men in their respective highest leagues of Rugby; they'd get smashed by the handful of 6'3" 20st genetic freaks that inhabit the pitch at an international. Likewise, you wouldn't put them in the ring with Tyson Fury or Wladimir Klitschko (and the bottom third probably wouldn't want to get onto the mat with Gemma Gibbons)

We have roughly 20,000 infantry LSNs to fill, regular and reserve. There aren't 20,000 young men in the UK capable of competing on an equal basis with Fury or Klitschko (granted, give them a few drinks on a Saturday night, and thy might believe they could). There aren't even 1100 young men both willing and able to fill the available slots in 2 and 3 PARA (this time last year, they were 10% understrength).

What's your solution? Have an army with lots of vacancies?

If they want to do it, and they can pass the tests, let them.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
The biggest issue with having someone with no Infantry background as the Bn 2ic is that they are one bullet away from being the CO.
I worked for a couple of pure blood Bn 2ics who were only a second bullet away from the BC or nearest decent bloke taking over for the sake of the Bn.
 
Firstly, forget elite sport as the basis for a final argument.
You dont have to look at elite sports, with a few exceptions most female sports in the Army are of a way lower standard than the mens.
Go on any cross country event and it normally the females doing a shorter course and given a head start.
 
I was using SO2 in a loose sense to mean Maj, as you well knew.
No, I didn't "know". The two are not synyonymous.

What I'm against is the sort of transfer suggested here as, to echo Mike Jackson, it gives you breadth at the expense of depth. In GCC units you can't afford that luxury.
 
I'd be careful about insisting that the various Depots were succumbing to pressure to pass out recruits that couldn't pass a BFT or APWT. Or at least, not even once...
Why do you think I need to be careful?

I was there, personally, when the CO (PH, RRW, the finest officer it's been my privilege to serve under) refused to do so. He was dying of cancer at the time.

I was also there (different trg depot), a couple of years later when the Div Col directly ordered the CO and OCs to pass out recruits at the first opportunity regardless of whether they'd passed any mandatory tests in order to keep up the numbers.

As I was when one OC got carried away with the "pressure" tried to pass out one recruit as the intake's "Best Recruit" when the QMSI APTC pointed out that he was still on remedial PT, had never passed a BFT, and was unlikely to do so.

COs had wastage / pass out rates on their office wall at section level, updated every week, and NCOs' grades depended on them.

The list goes on. This isn't anecdotal bar-stooling - it's personal, first-hand experience.
 
Shooting is one area where recruit standards have demonstrably climbed, what with the introduction of the Operational Shooting Policy. Today's infantry shooting test is an order of magnitude harder to pass than the test of the late 80s / early 90s. It's far closer to the old 80s-vintage NITAT pre-deployment test [1], but with smaller targetry, and more emphasis on being able to hit the target in each position (last time I looked, you have to pass each phase, not just generate a total).
Totally incorrect. You've completely ignored the radical change in the weapon and the sights, although you've mentioned it later in a different context.
You might argue that these were the gladiators designed to allow the CO to preen, but then you could also argue that the reserve of skilled firers was broader and deeper, and the pressure to develop the most efficient techniques for rapid accurate firing, was greater.
If you did the latter you'd be badly misinformed and unaware of how the units that regularly did the best at RASAAM allocated their ammunition at the expense of the majority of the bn.
 
I worked for a couple of pure blood Bn 2ics who were only a second bullet away from the BC or nearest decent bloke taking over for the sake of the Bn.
I feel your pain. We once had one of those as well.
 
What's your solution? Have an army with lots of vacancies?
YES!

Why not?


A dramatically smaller Army until you a) know what it's for and b) can attract the most suitable, regardless of who or what they are, who want to be with others of similar ability and mindset.
If they want to do it, and they can pass the tests, let them.
And who covers for them when they're injured, which they're four to ten times as likely to be as men in the infantry?

And who pays their remedial training and medical discharge when they're close to ten times as likely to need it as men in the infantry?
 
No, I didn't "know". The two are not synyonymous.

What I'm against is the sort of transfer suggested here as, to echo Mike Jackson, it gives you breadth at the expense of depth. In GCC units you can't afford that luxury.
are you quoting mike Jackson as proof you cannot cross-deck into the infantry?
 
YES!

Why not?


A dramatically smaller Army until you a) know what it's for and b) can attract the most suitable, regardless of who or what they are, who want to be with others of similar ability and mindset.
And who covers for them when they're injured, which they're four to ten times as likely to be as men in the infantry?

And who pays their remedial training and medical discharge when they're close to ten times as likely to need it as men in the infantry?
Paying for remedial training and medical discharge is a stronger possibility for the female currently broken and rehabilitating in Hunter Coy at Lympstone, than there is of her passing out and joining a Commando.

Not surprising really, given how many males, who are up to ten times less susceptible to injury, spend time being fixed before they can complete the course and be drafted to a unit where life won't be a whole lot easier.
 
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