Army head concerned over low morale

#1
Army head concerned over low morale

Sir Richard Dannatt concerned with low morale in the Army

View GalleryThe head of the Army has voiced concern about poor morale among troops and the strain placed on resources by operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
An internal survey of views at all ranks of the Army prompted General Sir Richard Dannatt to describe the need for improvements in accommodation, pay and medical services.

His intervention came in an internal report, leaked to The Sunday Telegraph, revealing disillusionment with conditions for soldiers.

In his Staff Briefing Team Report for 2007, the Chief of the General Staff said troops felt "devalued, angry and suffering from Iraq fatigue".

General Dannatt said the "military covenant is clearly out of kilter" and called for troops to be allowed more time between jobs.

He adds: "We must strive to give individuals and units ample recuperation time between operations, but I do not underestimate how difficult this will be to achieve whilst under-manned and with less robust establishments than I would like."

The report catalogues disquiet about a wide range of issues facing soldiers, not least the matter of poor housing when they are in the UK, but also bad food, cancelled leave and lower levels of fitness.

In his own contribution to the report, General Dannatt also says that continued delays to military inquests are a "disgrace".

The disclosure of General Dannatt's views followed claims that a leading Army figure had quit over the "appalling" and "shoddy" treatment of troops. Lt Col Stuart Tootal, commanding officer of 3 Para, apparently wrote a resignation letter condemning soldiers' poor pay, lack of equipment, standard of Army housing, and NHS treatment.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence stressed that the report represented the unedited views of individual soldiers which were not necessarily widely representative.
 
#2
Low morale. Why? Don't we join the forces to go on operations? IMO those with low or no morale need to rethink why they are serving. If they don't like it they have the option to sign off. We all know it could be better but it's not. It's certainly better then working in a factory for twelve grand a year.
 
#3
Not disagreeing with you Fallsch, but General Dannat has the overview. He can see how many are going out and how many are coming in and the dilution rate on experience. He might even have an inkling what is round the corner.

His conclusion would appear to be that the current Op Tempo is unsustainable.

Not a happy state of affairs if it is your the train set and marxists are in charge of the purse strings.
 
#4
The main reason why soldiers are leaving in their droves is because they don't like going to Afghanistan and Iraq. Many of those joining at present will find out they don't like going to Afghanistan and Iraq and sign off when they are eligible to. Pay and accommodation is the same as it was 5 years ago when we had cushty NI tours and many soldiers enjoyed that cushty lifestyle. Okay we are away more but FFS we're in the army. What do soldiers expect? The yanks do 15 month tours!
 
#6
Fallschirmjager said:
The main reason why soldiers are leaving in their droves is because they don't like going to Afghanistan and Iraq. Many of those joining at present will find out they don't like going to Afghanistan and Iraq and sign off when they are eligible to. Pay and accommodation is the same as it was 5 years ago when we had cushty NI tours and many soldiers enjoyed that cushty lifestyle. Okay we are away more but FFS we're in the army. What do soldiers expect? The yanks do 15 month tours!
Well of course if they were all like you there would be no problems with recruitment at all. I mean why would the politicians bother at all just dish out enough food a tent and a pint. The truth is we have a very diverse army and we need an whole range of skills and aptitudes and the clever ones, who are able, are leaving and the asylum doesnt run very well when its full of lunatics! If you don't keep your good Sgts you wont get good WOs and if you cannot keep your good captains you wont get good generals and you finish up with a very poor army. That's what Dannatt is saying.
 
#7
His intervention came in an internal report, leaked to The Sunday Telegraph, revealing disillusionment with conditions for soldiers.

Guess someone didn't read Gen Dannatt's message he sent out last time round...
 
#8
Fallschirmjager said:
The main reason why soldiers are leaving in their droves is because they don't like going to Afghanistan and Iraq. Many of those joining at present will find out they don't like going to Afghanistan and Iraq and sign off when they are eligible to. Pay and accommodation is the same as it was 5 years ago when we had cushty NI tours and many soldiers enjoyed that cushty lifestyle. Okay we are away more but FFS we're in the army. What do soldiers expect? The yanks do 15 month tours!
My bolding.

The septics do longer tours, that is true. OTOH they are treated better. They pay no tax whilst on tour. They are apreciated better by their citizens and they have a much bigger force. How quick is the septic turnaround? Must admit that I do not know the answer to that.

There are other things to consider. Things such as conditions in theatre. Are they the same? Treatment at home. Are they the same? etc.

In what way was NI "cushty"? OK 5 years ago, maybe (I do not know). Certainly not in the 70's-80's.

Are the forces more hard pressed now? Probably so and all respect to you.
 
#9
It's the "if you don't like it hand your kit in" mentality which has let it reach this point. If baff had been started earlier etc the forces wouldn't be in their current state.
 
#10
Perturbed said:
In what way was NI "cushty"? OK 5 years ago, maybe (I do not know). Certainly not in the 70's-80's.
I served in Belfast in the late eighties. We lost 5 blokes on that tour but it was still a school playground kids fight compared to current operations.


eveyoz said:
It's the "if you don't like it hand your kit in" mentality which has let it reach this point.
So what do you want commanders to say and do? Should we bin operations or stand those down who don't want to participate because they don't like it? I admit we are overstretched but no-one said it was going to be easy when we signed on the dotted line.
 
#11
Dogface said:
However, Yanks are paid a good combat pay and excellent re-up incentives;

But your everyday salarly is sh1te compared to ours. We are also on average paid an extra £3500.00 for a six month tour.

their families are in good and improving housing

Not much wrong with our housing for soldiers families, especially when you consider the rates we pay for them.

and have a robust support structure including housing, commissary, exchange, and robust military hospitals abd healthcare;

I admit we have been severley shafted on the health care issue with the closing down of military hospitals.

they are respected by their nation and its citizenry;

So are we though admittedly not to the extent of the American public. Your citizens have a common bond with 9/11 though.

and their equipment continually improves.

So does ours. Our problem is we don't get enough of it either on operations or for training back home.
 
#12
Fall, the bond between the US public and their military pre-dates 9/11 by 30 odd years. Possibly more to do with the number of them that have served previousl. 9/11 might suit the hawks, but (IMHO) it's not the reason for the high esteem that ordinary americans display for their armed forces.
 
#13
Fallschirmjager said:
Perturbed said:
In what way was NI "cushty"? OK 5 years ago, maybe (I do not know). Certainly not in the 70's-80's.
I served in Belfast in the late eighties. We lost 5 blokes on that tour but it was still a school playground kids fight compared to current operations.
I do not doubt it.
 
#14
Fallschirmjager said:
Perturbed said:
In what way was NI "cushty"? OK 5 years ago, maybe (I do not know). Certainly not in the 70's-80's.
I served in Belfast in the late eighties. We lost 5 blokes on that tour but it was still a school playground kids fight compared to current operations.

eveyoz said:
It's the "if you don't like it hand your kit in" mentality which has let it reach this point.
So what do you want commanders to say and do? Should we bin operations or stand those down who don't want to participate because they don't like it? I admit we are overstretched but no-one said it was going to be easy when we signed on the dotted line.
On your first point - agreed: I did my first tour in '75 (the 'RA's first ceasefire: they had been effectively wiped out over the preceding 3 yrs), and then 4 more as Adams resurgent PIRA waxed and waned (inc Belfast for 18mths, Derry and 2 in S. Armagh) with the last in '91. I left in '03.

That means I've also had experience of overstretch, underpayment (pre-Thatcher, I had married Cpls with kids who were on council rent-rebates) and Defence underfunding at different times, and under Labour, Tory and LieBar gunmints over 30 yrs.

To put it simply, at no other time since I've been old enough to drink, have the Armed Forces been asked to do so much, so frequently, in the face of so much danger, with - and for - so little.

I can also say with conviction - having had the pleasure of touring a large number of combat unit barracks to assess conditions for Gen Jackson - nor have the physical and social conditions in which troops (and families) at home are asked to live ever been so poor.

It is a simple fact that adventurous, patriotic, individuals who live only for the fighting are a rare breed, even in Britain, whose warrior culture is perhaps stronger than anywhere else in Europe.

It is also true that no-one said it was going to be easy when we signed up. Nor did they say "but - O by the way - we fully intend to use that as an excuse to treat you and your families (including your parents when you are dead) like shit".

Do a bit of reading, around the Crimean War (incompetent niggardly gunmint, under-resourced troops), or the state of British Defence at the time of the Boer campaigns (too small a Regular Army, not enough infantry), then you will find uncomfortable parallels.

Soldiers across our much-too-small Army are reacting quite predictably to what is NOT being done for them by their bosses at a time when they are being asked by their bosses to do one hell of a lot. Calling those who have had enough w*nkers, and continuing to under-support the dwindling numbers who choose to remain, is hardly going to resolve the long-term problem that One-Eyed-Gordon has created for the nation - a rapidly declining ability to prosecute the Foreign and Defence policies chosen by his gunmint*.

That is the real issue.[hr]Stonkernote: There are of course the other issues of whether the Foreign and Defence policies are the best ones for the UK, and whether those policies actually hang together logically . . .
 
#16
Fallschirmjager said:
ABrighter2006 said:
Fall, the bond between the US public and their military pre-dates 9/11 by 30 odd years.
I agree. I couldn't help but notice American citizens welcoming home with open arms those returning from Vietnam. :)
Okay Fall, maybe I was going more along the lines of the numbers who were served in an unpopular war, got shafted on returning, and having rebuilt their lives, have gone on to have children, who are now serving. :)

It was a fair ambush though. :D
 
#17
I doubt there is a consistent demographic in the Armed Forces. A sizeable minority are dedicated careerists who put the Army (etc) ahead of everything else they do (including family) and probably come from a military background. These are either the future high-flyers or the long-service professionals who remain at relatively humble rank but who are enormously admired by their peers and juniors, and they seem born to their profession. All of us will have known quite a few of these gits :wink: I mean dedicated professionals whom everybody admires, who live for ops and nothing else etc...you know who I mean.

The rest of us mortals have to (had to in my case) struggle on with our own mere adequacies, family commitments etc, and it is a fact that the service is not the sole object of dedication when family comes along. Any organisation has a distribution curve of ability and most of us are in the middle.

I believe the pinch point for the second group has long passed. It is when members of the first group start to put in their papers in a very public manner (being respectors of tradition and all that) that serious alarm bells should ring...or start being listened to after a long period of ringing.

Historically, the Armed Forces have always been screwed over to a lesser or greater extent by political masters. However, there was always an understanding based on deep respect and the fact ministers would have served in uniform at some point. That situation has completely changed. As far as the current bunch are concerned, the Armed Forces are just another government organisation to be screwed and spun, and those who speak out are off-message troublemakers.
 
#20
Perturbed said:
Fallschirmjager said:
The main reason why soldiers are leaving in their droves is because they don't like going to Afghanistan and Iraq. Many of those joining at present will find out they don't like going to Afghanistan and Iraq and sign off when they are eligible to. Pay and accommodation is the same as it was 5 years ago when we had cushty NI tours and many soldiers enjoyed that cushty lifestyle. Okay we are away more but FFS we're in the army. What do soldiers expect? The yanks do 15 month tours!
My bolding.

The septics do longer tours, that is true. OTOH they are treated better. They pay no tax whilst on tour. They are apreciated better by their citizens and they have a much bigger force. How quick is the septic turnaround? Must admit that I do not know the answer to that.

There are other things to consider. Things such as conditions in theatre. Are they the same? Treatment at home. Are they the same? etc.

In what way was NI "cushty"? OK 5 years ago, maybe (I do not know). Certainly not in the 70's-80's.

Are the forces more hard pressed now? Probably so and all respect to you.
Well said that man. The lads deserve better. 1972 we lived in portakabins in NI the wives and families lived in caravans in Lulworth.

I don't know if it's true but a former USAF bloke told me the Yanks replace pads quarters every few years.
 

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