Army Recruitment and Popular Opinion

What a truly excellent post. I have rarely seen the Service vs Social Contract so well explained. I wish that our MPs bought into it as much as they do into falling over themselves to praise NHS and teaching personnel. Obviously, they do deserve praise, but they have not given up so much of their freedoms to protect that same freedom.
I see obvious parallels with Nursing and the Police and Paramedic/Fire/Rescue Services (the role of which could be enhanced and combined into a civil defence force).
 
Possibly the Army is different, but the RN/RM selection process should filter out the bulk of those unsuitable (it's cheaper).

The aim of training is usually focussed on success rather than getting rid of the duffers.

Thanks for the explanation. As an outsider to the forces I understand what the adverts are trying to do.

As an example if a gay guy is thinking of joining up it's reassuring to know that he won't be treated differently to anyone else.

It's all very well for the folks on here who are already in the forces to say that he won't but as a civvie with no previous experience of the army/navy whatever/he doesn't know that.

Whether the target audience that the ads are aimed at is large enough to make them worthwhile is another matter.
 
Never mind that anyone joining up after those ads is going to worry that people think they signed up because they want special attention. I finally have the opportunity to sign up as a reservist and now those ads have got everyone up in arms about women, snowflakes and minorities. I’m female and I’ve always wanted to go into the forces. I don’t want special treatment, I don’t want to join the Royal Marines or be in the frontline, but I do want to be treated the same way as any other person with a desire to serve and a useful skill set. Ironically, ads that target minority groups make it harder for those groups to be taken seriously.
 
Never mind that anyone joining up after those ads is going to worry that people think they signed up because they want special attention. I finally have the opportunity to sign up as a reservist and now those ads have got everyone up in arms about women, snowflakes and minorities. I’m female and I’ve always wanted to go into the forces. I don’t want special treatment, I don’t want to join the Royal Marines or be in the frontline, but I do want to be treated the same way as any other person with a desire to serve and a useful skill set. Ironically, ads that target minority groups make it harder for those groups to be taken seriously by and large by silly old farts who left a long time ago.
amazingly, people in the forces today have the ability to discriminate between an advert and reality.
 
amazingly, people in the forces today have the ability to discriminate between an advert and reality.
Do they. Are they significantly different to the rest of the population
 
Never mind that anyone joining up after those ads is going to worry that people think they signed up because they want special attention. I finally have the opportunity to sign up as a reservist and now those ads have got everyone up in arms about women, snowflakes and minorities. I’m female and I’ve always wanted to go into the forces. I don’t want special treatment, I don’t want to join the Royal Marines or be in the frontline, but I do want to be treated the same way as any other person with a desire to serve and a useful skill set. Ironically, ads that target minority groups make it harder for those groups to be taken seriously.
Why do you think it becomes harder? If people are ' up in arms' it has just tapped into an existing prejudice. But that is just on the forums and exposure to debate is healthy. I don't think it reflects the attitudes in the forces particularly. Pockets of it maybe. Generally, there is so much that as an organisation they can be proud of in terms of trying hard to meet modern standards of equality employment. The problem with social media is that sometimes what is actually happening gets lost in outrage on both sides. But one advertising campaign is not going to cause you any problems you wouldn't have faced before!
 
Seriously, if HMG wants a competent, balanced, effective and fit for purpose armed forces it needs to define what the purpose is and all of the subsidiary tasks and component parts and then fund their manning and equpment adequately. If the sums don't add up, then something has to give.

If one puts aside the purpose and equipment parts for the moment and considers personnel, it doesn't really matter what the other parts of the equation are or the numbers, whatever is decided there need to be certain things that are guaranteed.

Serving as a member of the armed forces needs to be acknowledged as not just another job.
The clue is in the wording of the sentence above - it is "service". It is different from "employment" or "work". It entails considerably more demands on the person than what is expected from a civilian.
This service and the potential sacrifices it entails needs to be properly defined to the potential recruit.
The terms and conditions of this service must adequately reflect the service and reward it.
The rewards cannot be solely financial but must be in the form of a social contract between the server and the served (in this case HMG).

The service person needs to feel valued and appreciated. If the organisation to which he belongs treats him just like any person in any other job, the underlying impression will be that they are being conned. In addition the service person needs to know that a certain task-relevant standard is required and that everyone must meet that standard. Some people will not be able to make it. The standard must not be lowered for them as they will not be as effective as the others that do make it. In turn when pressure is applied, it is they that are more likely to fail and thus contribute to weakening the overall organisation that they belong to. Each member of the organisation must be able to have absolute certainty that the others are just as capable as themselves. If they cannot have that certainty, trust in the organisation is eroded.

Each service person needs to know that in the organisation they belong to, their self-worth is enhanced by being a close part of the collective and that the unit they belong to is in effect what it is called - a unit, not a collection of individuals with their own interests at heart.

In the U.K. over the last thirty years or so the following has been eroded away:
The ability to recognise that the armed forces are not just another job;
The fact that service personnel should be treated differently to civilians;
The acknowledgement that they need an adequate supportive network dedicated solely to them;
That service personnel are required to suppress certain perceived rights and individual attributes for the good of the collective whole and the proper functioning of the organisation;
The recognition that to compensate for the extra onus that is put on them and the extra sacrifices that are expected from them, in addition to competitive salaries, they need their direct perks and subsidies, indirect concessions and benefits that make the collective life of a service person more rewarding.

This accumulative erosion has in turn eroded the social contract between the State and the personnel in its armed forces. This is eminently visible to the sort of people that would otherwise be willing to accept the onus of service life and be willing to make the sacrifices that it entails. These sort of people are not reflective of society, they never will be. What they will be is exceptional service personnel who will loyally serve and do their duty in a way no civilian can comprehend.

You cannot have effective armed forces if you do not understand what it takes to make motivated, dedicated, effective armed forces SERVICE personnel.
How does the FFL cope with being a peace time armed service? Or are they always off somewhere? Because that seems to me to be part of the problem for our services. Lack of a visible role in peace time .
 
@bubblequack nobody would look at you and think 'she only joined because of an advert. However, the adverts go a little bit of the way to 'normalising' groups other than the perceived white male stereotype. In reality, any issue you have as a serving female, will usually be as a result of a white male. That's not to say that every white male is a sexist b@stard it's just that, statistically, it's unlikely to be any other demographic...Which is why it's important to try and get a bit more of a mix (I'm pretty sure there's some sort of paradox in there!).

Anyway, good luck. Don't overthink it and just work to the best of your abilities. It matters not what other people are doing, or what your age, gender, sexuality or religion is, as long as you're doing the best you can.
 
@bubblequack nobody would look at you and think 'she only joined because of an advert. However, the adverts go a little bit of the way to 'normalising' groups other than the perceived white male stereotype. In reality, any issue you have as a serving female, will usually be as a result of a white male. That's not to say that every white male is a sexist b@stard it's just that, statistically, it's unlikely to be any other demographic...Which is why it's important to try and get a bit more of a mix (I'm pretty sure there's some sort of paradox in there!).

Anyway, good luck. Don't overthink it and just work to the best of your abilities. It matters not what other people are doing, or what your age, gender, sexuality or religion is, as long as you're doing the best you can.
 
How does the FFL cope with being a peace time armed service? Or are they always off somewhere? Because that seems to me to be part of the problem for our services. Lack of a visible role in peace time .
Legion combat units are very busy. Operational and rotational garrisoning deployments abroad with their concomitant periods of long-term leave tend to take up a significant part of each year. Internal security operations in France take up more time. Training in all of its forms (including lots of daily phys) takes up much of the rest and then normal garrison duties fills in the blanks. Oh, and as a sprog in your first year you get all the bullshit thrown at you as well :) "Le cafard" is not a problem any more in today's Legion.

Edited to add...... oh and I almost forgot, one has to have some time to follow the traditional soldierly recreational pursuits of boozeing with the lads and fornicating with the ladies when one can. Calvi, where I served was an excellent place for this with lots of bars, wall-to-wall fanny in the Summer tourist season and plenty of recreational establishments for the winter months ;-) .
 
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Calvi, where I served was an excellent place for this with lots of bars, wall-to-wall fanny in the Summer tourist season and plenty of recreational establishments for the winter months ;-) .
When I visited Calvi I found it most agreeable.

Although I did get a bit worried about the psychotic looking Regi Police in the citadel.

Bearing in mind we were a group of 4 soldiers on holibobs, one gave our group a glance that was slightly longer than comfortable.
 
Thanks for the explanation. As an outsider to the forces I understand what the adverts are trying to do.

As an example if a gay guy is thinking of joining up it's reassuring to know that he won't be treated differently to anyone else.

It's all very well for the folks on here who are already in the forces to say that he won't but as a civvie with no previous experience of the army/navy whatever/he doesn't know that.

Whether the target audience that the ads are aimed at is large enough to make them worthwhile is another matter.
Until 2005 gay individuals were discriminated against in the Armed forces, imprisoned & shamefully kicked outside, likewise pregnant females (except the imprisonment bit). It wasn't until 2016 that an "act of homosexuality" was no longer a military offence that could still result in being kicked out.

We still get female students in schools asking if "girls can join the Army" (whilst stood amongst a backdrop of mahoosive pictures of warships emblazoned with the words Royal Navy).

Equally, we had a Merlin helicopter plastered in RN logos, metre tall letters proclaiming ROYAL NAVY for the hard of hearing & whatnot, land in a secondary school playground in inner city Liverpool. All the kids came out, climbed all over it, broke bits off, usual drills. Then, after it took off weighing less, blowing kids across the grass like tumbleweed, it did a low circuit with it's headlights on full beam and buggered-off noisily. A young lad came up to me, totally enthused and said "That was boss dat, mate! How do you join the RAF?".

I guess we still need to state the obvious, but as you say, the armed forces need to be advertised to all in equal measure.
 
but I do want to be treated the same way as any other person with a desire to serve and a useful skill set. Ironically, ads that target minority groups make it harder for those groups to be taken seriously.
Contrary to popular belief there is generally only one metric that is truly valued in the forces.

I wouldn't let a news furore sway your decision.
 
[In reality, any issue you have as a serving female, will usually be as a result of a white male. That's not to say that every white male is a sexist b@stard it's just that, statistically, it's unlikely to be any other demographic...
Can you share the published statistics behind these assertions?

After all, who'd have guessed that 20% of child sex offenders would be women?

Up to 64,000 women in UK 'are child-sex offenders'
 

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