Discussion in 'Infantry' started by ho-hum, Feb 4, 2003.

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  1. Not that I'd be privy to any such knowledge in the future!
    How many of you Inf people lost your parent reg through amalgamation. Can you shed light on your experiences. Good/bad/indifferent?
    Also, have any regiments to anyone's knowledge been "unamalgamated"?
    I must be a sad, sad man to want to know stuff like this...
  2. It sucks.
  3. U.D.R. amalgamated with the Rangers way back in the days of SDR.  An act of utter genius.......aye right!!  Two units with completely different roles, experience, and ethos.  Even now, over ten years later, neither side is happy.  It does indeed suck.
  4. It sucks the big one

    Go from "Fine regiment with traditions dating back years" to "Fish and Chip shop mob" in the space of a week.

    Fcuk the troops over, tear the heart out of the battalion, but let them keep their cap badges, because that will pacify them NOT.Keep them in the dark, and lie to them, from the Colonel downwards. Amalgamate them with the old enemy, and then wonder why it's so hard to get them to work together even at section level.

    De-amalgamate them now, get the recruiting drive on, let's have our old buildings back that still aren't sold

    As soon as GW3 kicks off, no matter what our personal feelings, there will be a stream of young 'uns, who want to get into green soonest.

    No one in our amalgamated regiment, thinks of themselves as a soldier of the X regiment

    They refer to themselves , by their previous Regimental title.

    Tradition is all
  5. PtP - couldn't have put it better mate.
  6. Amalgamations are dreadful and eat the heart out of our Regimental system, which is the envy of many armies around the world.

    Without our Regimental system we are nothing and yet trying to justify this to the bean counters who do not understand is extremely difficult and frustrating.

    The prognosis is not good I am afraid. I fear that with a declining manpower budget (plus a recruiting cap) and the demographic trend, we will be losing more Infantry Regiments in a few years time.

    We do this at our peril.  :'(
  7. Agreed Ramillies

    It seems peculiar to this country, to "overcash" it's peace dividend, and time after time, have to play catch up.

    Much like the famous Duncan Sandys statement "All future wars will be fought with missiles, can the Air Force" , we seem to be ever more reliant on technology, to be the Force Multiplier.

    I don't care how gee-whizzy new kit is. I'm not particularly bothered that a new rifle can shoot a bullet that will fly round corners, take a taxi to it's target and introduce itself before it slots it's victim.

    Wars are about territory and control. Control the enemies territory, and you have won the war. Bright shiny beeping bits of kit won't do that, a man with a bayonet does. That same man, may then swop his bayonet for a Blue Beret, and police the peace, helping rebuild shattered lands.

    However, it takes manpower.It takes active and aggressive recruiting campaigns, it takes retention of the trained troops you have.

    The Army has to be sold, as a "Must have" career. Things have changed since my fathers' day (As he blimmin constantly reminds me) The Army is not a means to see the world anymore, the "Something different every day" is not filtering through to CivDiv.

    Many people join , as I did, because they liked the idea of Army service, or, there was a family or county connection. The County connection can never be underestimated, it is a powerful recruiting influence.

    However, with Regiments being disbanded or bastardised by amalgamation, the incentive of PRO's to use the County lever in their PR and recruiting efforts is going.

    I had a long conversation with my Council City Centre Director today, with a view to getting a TA detachment permission to display, in the City Centre, in a prime spot for the next national open day. He's quite amenable to the idea, subject to talking to the other Powers-that-be. But he had to be TOLD that we were his local Regiment. When I gave the name of the regiment, he said "Oh, I thought it was the name of previous regiment" .

    We lost a lot of people at SDR. We would have lost a hell of a lot more, if we'd lost the cap badge as well. It seems silly doesn't it? That a bit of tin on a beret, and a Flag with some long forgotten names, could make such a difference, but it does, and that is exactly the way it should be. There is no way of explaning to an accountant, what Regimental pride means, no way of explaning the buzz you get talking to the old boys, or even our relatives. They're not interested. They have to find the money for the next system over budget, or a lot of leased Nuclear missiles we're not going to use, or making sure inefficient defence industries keep making a profit, at the expense of the people who have to use the kit in anger.

    It filters down to reserve forces too. Lack of training with helicopters, IFV's, cancelled range days etc. All the bright and shiny stuff, that makes you want to brag to your poor, underpriveleged civvy counterparts when they say "What did you do this weekend"...
    "Well, we dropped off, tabbed for a bit, got bumped, fought our way out to the Heli RV , got a night lift, did some agressive patrolling, another firefight, did loads of ammo, and then on Saturday morning......."

    Instead, it's normally "Fcuk all, tabbed liked twats, went in circles,goal posts moving all over me SUSAT, training staff and the Boss doing their very bloody best with not a lot" But of course, we'll always tell them the first one.... :(

    With the cost of airfares nowadays, it might be cheaper for MOD to ship us to a training ground overseas for the weekend.........

    They'll wring blood out of a stone, stretching the thin red line, so politicians might posture and just plain lie about the readiness of British Forces to conduct operations worldwide.

    The British servicemans ability to function in the face of adversity, is steadily being eroded. Yes, lies about equipment procurement etc, are taken for granted. What is unacceptable, is the persistent erosion of service values and traditions, by politicians more keen on making a name for themselves in the glossies and, serving their own ambitions.

    Solution? Stop spending money on fairy stories kit and false economies,  and,  start spending on the here and now. Start spending boldly on recruitment. Start asking servicemen, "Why are you REALLY leaving the Army?" De-Amalgamte just one Regiment, and watch the morale upsurge sweep through the Army.

    Make life in the Army more transparent. Not just "Frank" type guff ,  but show that the Army is the sort of organisation, that a lot of young people would yearn to be a part of. Show the Army as Britains foremost 21st century employer. Let's have a massive shake up , and SELL the Army, it's values and traditions, that enshrine all that was, is and will be great about the United Kingdom.

    Rant switch to Safe........
  8. Well said PTP.   As for selling the army though we have been, right down the line to the highest bidder (sorry - the lowest bidder)

    When dealing with amalgamations you really need to know where we have come from.
    In 1881 there were 109 Regiments of Foot - numbered not named.  These were organised (amalgamated) in to a one regiment two battalion county based system. This went on pretty much unchanged until the late 1950s when the Regiments were drafted into a Brigade system which was again regionally based (apart from LI and RGJ Brigades). This system lasted until the late 1960's when 30 Regiments emerged.
    These went forward until the early 1990s when the current line up was formed by mindless government drones in Whitehall (or wherever else they live,  their dull grey lives uncoloured by history, tradition or any thing else the Army holds dear.

    As for un-amalgamating Regiments the only one I know of is the Gloucestershire and the Royal Hampshire Regiments-  which really was an egagement which never got to the alter.  

    And, indeed if you look at the Cavalry during WWII several regiments were 're-invented' instead of un-amalgamating regiments which had been 'fractionalised' during the 1920's. Churchill wrote the the CGS about this saying;
    " Surely it is very a very odd thing to create these outlandish Regiments of Dragoons, Hussars and Lancers when there exist already telecsoped up the 18th, 20th and 19th Hussars, 5th Lancers and 21st Lancers. Surely all these should have been revived before creating these unreal and artificial titles. I wish you would explain to me what was moving in the minds of the War Office when they did this".

    So it is a minefield and with the current mindset of the 'powers that be' who knows what might be the future, corporate sponsorship? The Royal Tesco Regiment !! The Black Watch (Timex's Own). I shudder to think. Or maybe they will just go back to numbers from 1 to what ever they can get away with, because no one will care if a number is culled of the bottom of the pile, losing the XXth Infantry Regiment is not as bad as losing the Royal XXXXXXXXXX Regiment who's history (or at least part of it) goes back to 1795!!!!. I say no one will care but what I mean is no one will care apart from those who remember when thay had some pride in their cap badge and where that badge came from.  

    Do I qualify as a sad sad man for knowing stuff like this?Or a sad sad man for caring? I hope it is neither!

  9. Ventress

    Ventress LE Moderator

    Excellent posts, the Regimental System is, or was the envy of the world, now I am not to sure. I have seen my County Regtiment  finally bought to its knees with an amalgamation with 'the old enemy'. The Civilian Bean Counters then say get on with it, make it work- like it is the easiest thing in the world. Any resisitance is seen as antiquerian and the work of the 'dinosaurs'

    I have never had the privilage of serving in a Regtiment, coming from a Corps that has since been sucked into a Tri-Service maelstrom. (You should try that roller coaster ride to oblivian!)- But I served with enough to know what an Infantryman holds dear. His traditions and his mates, who all share a common ethos.

    I believe the CDS's and Regimental Colonels have to hold their hands up and say 'we were weak and didn't do enough', they just rolled over and thought of their pensions. We all know the strong principled CO's, who fought their Regiments corners- Mad Mike of the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders who fouhgt a long campaign to save the ASH from amalagamation. The York and Lancs even disbanded rather than do it in 1969.

    I dont know what tricks Hoon and Blair have up their sleeves once GW2 has finished, in respect to the Army.
  10. The last thing CDS and Regt Cols want is to cut units. It was probably a line from the bean counters saying - no money.. cut something.. and I see that some Inf Bns cannot recruit, therefore amalgamate them.

    The worrying thing though is the current reduction in inf recruit training courses. By delaying courses perhaps caused by a lack of money to run them, potential recruits go off the boil despite great efforts by the recruiters, and the youngsters go off and do something else.

    Reducing the no of courses and delaying recruits from entering the system will envitably result in less numbers emerging from training which will exacerbate undermanning in some inf bns. Now being cynical, I wonder if this is a ploy for a cry for more amalgamations ? ???

    It had better not be !!
  11. The stealth cutting of our armed forces had been going on well after SDR and up until some months ago......funny stopped once the press got hold of it. bet it will start again once the war is over.....politics  :mad: