An American who knows nothing but is very interested

Discussion in 'Multinational HQ' started by CarrotGirl, Apr 13, 2005.

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  1. Hello! I have been having a couple of questions that are really bothering me about the British army, just out of sheer curiousity, since I'm engaged to a US soldier who goes on and on about the army and I'm kind of interested to see how our brothers and sisters on the other side of the Atlantic have it. There are a few questions, so please bear with me.

    1) How long is the usual tour for one soldier? How many months?
    2) How long is the break between one tour and another?
    3) I understand that many soldier in Canada/Germany etc. What do you exactly do there?
    4) After you officially become a soldier, do you undergo any further training, say after your first or second tour, for example?
    5) How long does it take for one to rise up the ranks? Like from Major General to Lieutenant General to General etc. I know there's no set time, but what usually determines that?
    6) Finally, and this has really been bothering me. I know there's the Irish Guard and the Scots Guard..etc. Do you have to actually be IRISH to join the IRISH Guard and SCOTTISH to join the SCOTS Guard?

    Muchly appreciated. I hope I'm not embarrassing myself and asking in the wrong place.
  2. I will start the ball rolling before others chip in.
    1) 6 months. This can change for operational reasons or if you are in a critical job/trade.
    2) Depends on the Army's commitments, your regiment/corps and where you are posted to, and .... luck!
    3) There is a large live firing exercise area in Canada that the British Army uses to train formations. Germany - in part remnants from WWII, Cold War and now because they are in a 'Strategic' location - but most importantly - we haven't got room for them in the UK and Germany does not want them to go as they support the local economies.
    4) Lots of different training throughout a soldiers career, probably much in thesame way as the US Army.
    5) Impossible to quantify! Our rank system is different from your (for instance your Sgt is equivalent to our Lance Corporal). Promotion is based on merit, time served and age.
    6) You do not have to be Irish or Scottish to join these Regiments, but most of their soldiers are. Many of the officers are English with spurious links to Scotland, Ireland or Wales.

    Hope this helps for a starter!
  3. Very interesting! Thanks so much. How do the soldiers help with the economies in Germany, for example?

    And also, what are the highest ranks in the British Army as compared to the US of A? Like what would a Major General in the US be in the UK?

    How do awards/knighting etc change the status of a soldier and/or officer in terms of general "respect" if you know what I mean.

    Sorry to be asking so many questions, but this is so fascinating for me.
  5. Sustaining Lowenbrau and kebab shops in business
  6. well as we've got over 20 000 troops there they spend money!! Also we pay the gov't somthing for us being there.

    The ranks are the same for officers - but we tend to spend longer in each rank so are more experienced. Your Junior ranks are so complex that I haven't understood them yet - you have loads of Sergeant ranks so they don't compare directly, you do in general, and I am prepared to be corrected on this, have higher ranks doing jobs we give to our Corporals or even Lance Corporals

    I don't mean to be condescending but there arne't knghts wandering around this sceptered isle willy nilly. This is a common mis-conception by our American friends, but in the army only Generals tend to be knighted. There are some titled officers but your respect is earned by your ability to do your job.

    If you get a bravery medal or something like that then obviously you will get a lot more respect, but it doesn't automatically mean you are brilliant at your job/trade - just that you showed exemplary courage at a point in your life.

    Hope this helps - and I really didn't mean to be rude.
  7. Theloggie makes several very valuable points. If I ever receive a bravery point, people will still hate me because I'm a dumb cnut, I'd just be a dumb cnut who got lucky. On the other hand, "H" Jones from what I gather was neither particularly popular nor particularly competent, but people wouldn't dare say a word against him now (it's different if you're dead :)).
  8. and has a cracking avatar!!
  9. :D Beat me to it!!
  10. This is a good sign! :)

    The modern army isn't quite so geographically based as it was but regiments like those you mention still do have a geographical bias in their recruiting. If only because Uncle/Father/Grandpappy served in it. The oft unspoken logic of this is that it piggybacks regimental identity and morale on "tribal" identity. In modern socially mobile societies this probably doesn't resonate quite so much as it did in times past and the many amalgamations that similar but less explicitly named or famous regiments have suffered has been to the countires detriment.

    The only example that I know of from American history where geography has been tied with unit identity so implicitly is the units raised for the war between the states. Viewed in this light I don't think it's any surprise that this is still the most costly war in terms of American lives.