Army Recruitment and Popular Opinion

#1
Well, the Army has launched yet another recruiting campaign and to my jaded eyes it looks like a genuine effort to address common misconceptions among the demographic who join the Army in the hope of persuading them to do so. Example article:
Army ad promises 'emotional support'

Yet on Radio 4 this morning some retired fossil was wheeled out to comment on this who neatly demonstrated why young people think the Army are a bunch of out of touch dinosaurs. All he could do was bang on about how we needed to make sure Christian recruits would join too and how we needed to have high standards. Completely missing the point that you don't have to be a Muslim to be put off joining an Army you perceive to be run by racists (for instance) and that addressing that falsehood is necessary. Cue howls of outrage that it's not like that ... well, no, it isn't. But when the people you want to join think it is and the talking heads wheeled out are exclusively white, male, old and straight out of the 1950s and reinforce that opinion by being obviously unable to understand the issue then that doesn't matter.

Part of it of course is the usual "young people aren't what they were in my day" nonsense that old farts smelling faintly of wee are prone to; but part I'm sure is the legacy of the retreat of the Army into a military bubble away from external influences and the prevalent toxic attitudes towards "bloody civvies". I wonder how long the Army can survive in its current form if it does not start caring about how it is perceived in British society. I see a yawnung gap between how the Army thinks it is perceived and how it is perceived.
 
#2
While Col Kemp may be one of the dinosaurs you refer to he has a point when he says that the Army should focus on retention problems and deal with its "impenetrable" application process and the "horrific bureaucracy" surrounding it. All well and good appealing to minority groups but if they do nothing about a process that can take endless months to complete then even the people these ads are aimed at will get pi$$ed off.

Or will you get fast tracked if you tick a box from the minority group section.....
 
#3
I always thought that as a squaddie the most important thing was to be able to depend on your mates and they could rely on you. So race, religion, gender or sexual orientation etc should not come into it. I have just been listening to a discussion on LBC about the latest recruiting wheeze where it says it is ok to cry . I have no doubt that some people are prone to cry at times but I for one would not like to be part of a unit that needs to have urgent operational supplies of Kleenex flown in on a regular basis.
 

YarS

On ROPS
On ROPs
#4
Just to compare. Russia military advertising: "Tomorrow is the first day of your new life".
Main slogans: "There no battle without an enemy, and there no victory without a battle", "Borders - to the hell", "Crush yourself to became a better".
 
#5
While Col Kemp may be one of the dinosaurs you refer to he has a point when he says that the Army should focus on retention problems and deal with its "impenetrable" application process and the "horrific bureaucracy" surrounding it. All well and good appealing to minority groups but if they do nothing about a process that can take endless months to complete then even the people these ads are aimed at will get pi$$ed off.

Or will you get fast tracked if you tick a box from the minority group section.....
Your first paragraph is exactly what Maj Gen Cross was saying on R4 Today earlier. I understand that CGS was also interviewed but I didn't hear that one.
 
#6
We used to ask the crows, sorry, recruits what made then join. Nobody ever said " oh that great advert on TV"
Or "I just loved the 4 month application process" (this was a while ago, before capita got involved.)

We had a very good slide shown to us once. A funnel shape showing how many made an enquiry, all the way to Joe many made it into a unit. The interesting part was the numbers that didn't make it and where they dropped off. I'd like to see what it looks like now a days compare the two.
 
#7
While Col Kemp may be one of the dinosaurs you refer to he has a point when he says that the Army should focus on retention problems and deal with its "impenetrable" application process and the "horrific bureaucracy" surrounding it. All well and good appealing to minority groups but if they do nothing about a process that can take endless months to complete then even the people these ads are aimed at will get pi$$ed off.

Or will you get fast tracked if you tick a box from the minority group section.....
Add to which , in a current period of full employment , the applicant is offered something else in civi street whilst waiting for his application to process so never bothers joining .
 

YarS

On ROPS
On ROPs
#8
Yet on Radio 4 this morning some retired fossil was wheeled out to comment on this who neatly demonstrated why young people think the Army are a bunch of out of touch dinosaurs. All he could do was bang on about how we needed to make sure Christian recruits would join too and how we needed to have high standards. Completely missing the point that you don't have to be a Muslim to be put off joining an Army you perceive to be run by racists (for instance) and that addressing that falsehood is necessary. Cue howls of outrage that it's not like that ... well, no, it isn't. But when the people you want to join think it is and the talking heads wheeled out are exclusively white, male, old and straight out of the 1950s and reinforce that opinion by being obviously unable to understand the issue then that doesn't matter.
Nothing offensive, but do you really think, that women, Muslims, gays, and other layers of the Modern British society is exactly what British Army really needs to be effective tool for Britain's defence? Another advertising:
"Army is a game only for the best players".

Part of it of course is the usual "young people aren't what they were in my day" nonsense that old farts smelling faintly of wee are prone to;
It's a fact. Modern Brits are very different from previous generations. You can say they are better, I can say they are worse, but both of us agree that they are different.
but part I'm sure is the legacy of the retreat of the Army into a military bubble away from external influences and the prevalent toxic attitudes towards "bloody civvies". I wonder how long the Army can survive in its current form if it does not start caring about how it is perceived in British society. I see a yawnung gap between how the Army thinks it is perceived and how it is perceived.
Ha! There are another question - how long can survive United Kingdom after such "modernisation" (may be better word will be "elimination") of her Army?
 
#9
Nothing offensive, but do you really think, that women, Muslims, gays, and other layers of the Modern British society is exactly what British Army really needs to be effective tool for Britain's defence? Another advertising:
"Army is a game only for the best players".


It's a fact. Modern Brits are very different from previous generations. You can say they are better, I can say they are worse, but both of us agree that they are different.

Ha! There are another question - how long can survive United Kingdom after such "modernisation" (may be better word will be "elimination") of her Army?
Reported for trolling. Again.
 
#10
CAPITA CAPITA CAPITA.. That is the reason so many good people get bored of the application process. Seriously I have around 20 people who we have recruited, passed Int Corps selection, and then got bored of the long and utterly minding numbing stupidity of CAPITA.
I can't with good conscience encourage any one to go through that, and currently don't. I tell my mates (Cyber experts etc), not to bother! Why we can't get Muslims and Gays to join is the same reason? they can't.. the system is broken. MoD, Army, you broke it, and refuse to accept that as some people are probably hoping for jobs at CAPITA when they have finished messing the Army up.

New Capita system has left British Army recruits unable to register online
Signing up for the RAF? Don't bother – you've been Capita'd
 
#11
I could never fully understand how it takes so long from initial application to the parade ground, why months? it took me one week, from signing on to Catterick, and the army was twice the size it was now. This was in 1972. I appreciate that checks have to be made, today its I suspect, computerised, not so in 72, so why does it take so long?
Note:- A few years ago I applied to work on an army camp near Litchfield, in my trade, on new build accommodation blocks, I had already been cleared to work on MOD property in the past, but it took so long, that I had to take other work while waiting, when clearance was given, I was into my third month on another construction site, and so stayed where I was.
 
#13
Got to agree with the OP's last comment regarding perception. From my (faintly wee smelling) position I'd say we've been suckered into all this marketing nonsense (witness the "be The Best" on the bus off the bus debacle) and spend a fair amount of dosh on suits giving us what they want together with a large bill. I'd give a dozen good JNCOs an all expenses trip to somewhere fun (OK, OK the investment appraisal would be ten volumes long) and get them to talk about the Army whys and wherefores. I admit that you might need a suit to convert it into suitable advertising. Maybe even put them up on screen - the NCOs that is? I quite like the "made in the Navy" ads. But the perception of the great British Public is fickle.

Recruiting? Disaster. Two of my nephews gave up in utter frustration and I reckon one of them would have made a cracking soldier. How we have managed to dig ourselves into this without sacking Crapita is beyond me - although I suspect we signed up on a crap contract with severe get out clauses (would we ever be so silly??)

Young people are certainly different now and there is little doubt that they are less robust and have some pretty odd expectations. But I tell you what - they recently did pretty well in combat. It's interesting that recruiting was buoyant after the Falklands, during and after Afghanistan. I'm pretty sure I was a wet behind the ears numpty when I joined but I reckon I was more open to being moulded and just getting on with it than many of the recruits I trained.

I think we're still good enough to mould people but how to get them in? Dunno - hire a bloody consultant. Pass the Senatogen.
 
#14
Got to agree with the OP's last comment regarding perception. From my (faintly wee smelling) position I'd say we've been suckered into all this marketing nonsense (witness the "be The Best" on the bus off the bus debacle) and spend a fair amount of dosh on suits giving us what they want together with a large bill. I'd give a dozen good JNCOs an all expenses trip to somewhere fun (OK, OK the investment appraisal would be ten volumes long) and get them to talk about the Army whys and wherefores. I admit that you might need a suit to convert it into suitable advertising. Maybe even put them up on screen - the NCOs that is? I quite like the "made in the Navy" ads. But the perception of the great British Public is fickle.

Recruiting? Disaster. Two of my nephews gave up in utter frustration and I reckon one of them would have made a cracking soldier. How we have managed to dig ourselves into this without sacking Crapita is beyond me - although I suspect we signed up on a crap contract with severe get out clauses (would we ever be so silly??)

Young people are certainly different now and there is little doubt that they are less robust and have some pretty odd expectations. But I tell you what - they recently did pretty well in combat. It's interesting that recruiting was buoyant after the Falklands, during and after Afghanistan. I'm pretty sure I was a wet behind the ears numpty when I joined but I reckon I was more open to being moulded and just getting on with it than many of the recruits I trained.

I think we're still good enough to mould people but how to get them in? Dunno - hire a bloody consultant. Pass the Senatogen.
An industrial size box of werthers is on its way. Certa Cito.
 
#15
I have a nephew starting at Lypmstone end of this month.
His application started over 12 months ago.
The whole process has been riddled with delays I suspect caused by beaurocratic incompetance or understaffing.
No wonder potential recruits find other work while waiting for a start date.
 
#16
Part of it of course is the usual "young people aren't what they were in my day" nonsense that old farts smelling faintly of wee are prone to; but part I'm sure is the legacy of the retreat of the Army into a military bubble away from external influences and the prevalent toxic attitudes towards "bloody civvies". I wonder how long the Army can survive in its current form if it does not start caring about how it is perceived in British society. I see a yawnung gap between how the Army thinks it is perceived and how it is perceived.
The trouble is the Army is there to perform a role that a lot of the snivelling snowflakes would find horrifying, the Army of course needs to appeal to people to actually join it, but the kind of people it is currently trying to pander to are not the kind of people who will have shown an interest in joining up to begin with.

Maybe stop treating current soldiers like ********* for the sake of it and less people will leave.
 
#17
The Army can be as emotionally and physically supportive as it likes in barracks and in peacetime training.

What happens when the going gets horrendously hard in Norway at -30 or other areas or in combat operations and we haven’t built an emotionally or physically robust enough soldier that is SELF resilient and SELF confident.
 
#18
Top Brass ahead of the game (for once), nailing their colours to the mast ready for when Jezza is running the country. I believe it's called 'self preservation' or something like that.
 
#19
Top Brass ahead of the game (for once), nailing their colours to the mast ready for when Jezza is running the country. I believe it's called 'self preservation' or something like that.
Pointless effort, the People's Militia will not be formed from the Army, it'll be sourced from Momentum and the unions.
 
#20
I could never fully understand how it takes so long from initial application to the parade ground, why months? it took me one week, from signing on to Catterick, and the army was twice the size it was now. This was in 1972. I appreciate that checks have to be made, today its I suspect, computerised, not so in 72, so why does it take so long?..
It was "rumoured" that recruiting staff got a bounty for every enlistment. Pprobably an urban myth, but would explain the eagerness to get signatures(?)
 

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