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Army not valued by societyt?

#1
Extract from the Westminster Hall Debate on the British Army

30 jan 07

Rt Hon Gerald Howarth Cons MP for Aldershot.

" The people who are leaving are the backbone of the british Army: the captains, majors and senior warrant officers. They are the repository of the real experience in today's army. Their loss is potentially the most damaging, and something has to be done about it.

I have two guards battalions in Aldershot at present. Before Christmas, the CO fo the Irish guards told me, 'Sir, we are not valued!'


Is the Army of today valued by Biritsh society?
Are we valued?
 
#2
Bedpan2zero said:
Extract from the Westminster Hall Debate on the British Army

30 jan 07

Rt Hon Gerald Howarth Cons MP for Aldershot.

" The people who are leaving are the backbone of the british Army: the captains, majors and senior warrant officers. They are the repository of the real experience in today's army. Their loss is potentially the most damaging, and something has to be done about it.

I have two guards battalions in Aldershot at present. Before Christmas, the CO fo the Irish guards told me, 'Sir, we are not valued!'


Is the Army of today valued by Biritsh society?
Are we valued?
Not if we call them "SOCIETYT".... Don't think they'll appreciate the titbit (sic).
 
#3
The Commanding Officer of the Irish Guards calling an MP (and an opposition one at that) 'sir'? Surely only in writing as per usual formalities, and certainly not meaning it?
 
#4
How can we truly be valued, if the great unwashed public can't see what we are doing?

MoDPR needs to really go into overdrive. They really don't have this problem in the US, Australia and increasingly Canada, where the CDF has become lionized of late, especially over Afghanistan.

We need nth degrees of separation from the politicians, as we are 'tainted' by them. Conversely we need those very same politicians to be singing our praises at every turn. Whatever is said about Reid, he didn't have this problem. His delight at being around the Forces was evident.

Maybe one of the meeja outlets can start an adopt-a-squaddie scheme?

Pick a soldier, write to him or her, get news about what they're doing, photos etc ,send him or her little *gifts , make them feel appreciated, be a part of their lives, always good for morale, especially if you're a fit girlie :D Maybe the CQMS/RQMS could organise something, along the lines of "Send letters to BFPO xxx , we'll dish them out" . The boys and girls could them mix and match till they found a correspondent they were happy talking with?

The fact is, society can't value us, until we become more accessible to them.
 
#5
We in the forces are valued, just only when the firemen/binmen are out of strike and only if there isn't some juicy gossip about Big Brother floating around.

As accurate today as it ever was.

I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o'beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:

O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's ``Thank you, Mister Atkins,'' when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's ``Thank you, Mr. Atkins,'' when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.

Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy how's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints:
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;

While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind,"
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
But Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!
 
#12
Maybe we need "Big Brother in a Barracks House Live"

Vote now to send Terry on stag. Text 12345

Vote now to give Steve extras. Text 56789

"Big Brother' could be the Badge.

Two birds with one stone.
 
#13
PartTimePongo said:
Maybe we need "Big Brother in a Barracks House Live"

Vote now to send Terry on stag. Text 12345

Vote now to give Steve extras. Text 56789

"Big Brother' could be the Badge.

Two birds with one stone.
Ratings will go through the roof when they dish out the bouncing pint and get stuck into a game of freckles.
 
#15
clownbasher said:
What's the poem? I've never seen that one before?
I assume, Clownbasher, that you are under 25. The education system stopped using Rudyard Kipling a generation ago because he represented the "British Empire and all that was bad about it".

A shame really, as he was one of the most descriptive authors and poets for many generations.

By the way, read it out loud. It works better that way.

Litotes
 
#16
Litotes said:
clownbasher said:
What's the poem? I've never seen that one before?
I assume, Clownbasher, that you are under 25. The education system stopped using Rudyard Kipling a generation ago because he represented the "British Empire and all that was bad about it".

A shame really, as he was one of the most descriptive authors and poets for many generations.

By the way, read it out loud. It works better that way.

Litotes
Do you actually read a thread before you post?
 
#17
Litotes said:
clownbasher said:
What's the poem? I've never seen that one before?
I assume, Clownbasher, that you are under 25. The education system stopped using Rudyard Kipling a generation ago because he represented the "British Empire and all that was bad about it".

A shame really, as he was one of the most descriptive authors and poets for many generations.

By the way, read it out loud. It works better that way.

Litotes
Oh dear. I fell for that one, too!

Litotes
 
#18
Speaking as a completely non-military person who does value the Army, it seems to me that there are a couple of problems.

The first is a generational thing; a hangover from those days of National Service which provided such a rich source of anti-establishment humour / culture from the late '50s all through the 60's and a chunk of the 70's (from Carry on Movies to Monty Python to more serious film makers). The Army (and the other services to an extent) was portrayed as divided on class lines with gormless officers and put upon, badly paid soldiers. Add in the general anti-military fallout from the Vietnam War (yes, it was an American thing but the influence was felt here too) and you have some strong negative perceptions of the military.

Once propagated, these images remain pretty well embedded in the average person's view of the Army / military and remain to this day.

That they are woefully inaccurate doesn't seem to matter; its what people perceive that counts.

In addition, the government seems obssessed with voter reactions to military issues and, to be honest, come over as ambivalent on many military issues (Trident, Euro Fighter, Aircraft Carriers etc etc). All of which puts things military in a less than favourable position in the minds of society than, say, the NHS or Education.

A real effort to change those perceptions is needed and, unfortunately, that kind of sustained PR exercise costs a fair bit of money which might not be easily obtained from the treasury without there being electoral pressure of some sort.

The second issue is that a lot of people regard the military as a kind of motor insurance policy; you have to have one and you have to pay the premiums but you begrudge paying them and are thus always looking for a cheaper alternative. No one really thinks through that when you have a crash the 'cheap' policy will be found wanting at which point it may all be too late. So it is with the military for some people.

Again, the way to correct this attitude is with a concerted effort to explain the role of the military in helping Britain maintain its interests in the modern world; an expensive exercise which the government probably won't undertake without some form of pressure.

In the absence of funding to do the above I'd say its up to those who support the military to be as active as they can be to help change views, in particular, senior ex-service people.

While a lot of posters here were a bit negative about him, someone like Mike Jackson (and other retired service chiefs) could be very good at talking to the media and making support for the military a real issue; being more vocal about the value of the armed services and the need to maintain them. Maybe also the Armed Forces Federation (I think its called that) could be more active in this regard too.

Anyway

Apologies for a rather long post, but I do think there is an issue with the Army being valued correctly by society and it will take a long term communications effort to influence the country, and hence the government, to turn it around.
 
#19
The above comments are very true. We are seen and perceived by some in this country as third class citizens. There's not only a requirement to re-educate our countries people, we need to educate those in positions of power, to their duties under the covenant.

An example of being treated like third class citizens.
Why do some people feel threatend by service personnel asking to be treated the same as others. If the Homelessness Legislation stated any other group in our country was not permitted to a local connection due to their employment. People would be asking why. However the legislation allows our military and their families to be treated with disdain and discrimination when needing housing assistance.

This is not about service personnel getting better treatment, its about getting the same treatment as everyone else. We are asking for the removal of 15.10, Act 199(2) and (3) from the legislation.

Please sign the Petition and email your MP, EDM 288.
Hitback
 
#20
What we really need a nice war, close to home with a few bombs dropping on British towns.

You can bet your bottom doller we'd be flavour of the fecking month then.

Fighting unpopular wars, far away from home, that no-one really cares about. Thats the problem. Most of the population think we, the military, started the war and are just over there for sh1ts and giggles. How can you persaude poeple to pay for things they never see when the meeja tell them we are taking cash from their kids schools.

It'll take a generation or more before we have the same support as the other countries.
 

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