Army struggle to recruit!! Is this a result of A2020 draw down back to UK??

I watched a documentary years back about RM training. Don't remember the name of it but one section Cpl had blonde hair. The training team were in the Troop Cdr's office reviewing the recruits progress. This was just after an exercise and Commando week was approaching.

Blonde Cpl wasn't at all happy with one of his recruits, His admin in the field was bad; way below the expected standard for that stage of training. The Cpl if I remember rightly, was able to give examples of the recruits lack of progress up to and during the exercise. Clearly the exercise was an important stage of assessment and the Cpl was doing his job as he saw it.

He wanted the recruit binned or back trooped. The Tp Cdr said no. He said the forthcoming Commando week would decide the recruits future with a pass or fail, and it would be taken from there. Blonde Cpl was pissed as hell and was supported by the other Cpls. He said Commando week was not the only assessment criteria for passing out. Although the recruit had passed all objective standard tests to date he just wasn't at the Corps required standard, particularly in the field ie admin and I understood it also as his attitude, which was reflected in his field admin.

His was adamant the recruit should not be able to even progress onto Commando week as he wasn't ready yet. He claimed he would not want a Marine of this standard in his unit, and he would be letting down the Corps by allowing the recruit to do so, even if he had passed test week. The whole training team agreed.

The Tp Cdr still said no. He had been instructed from higher up to get as many through to test week as he could. The Cpls left the office pretty disillusioned and the blonde Cpl had a rant for the camera. They genuinely felt Corp standards were being eroded due to the need to fill spaces. They were also angry that part of their role had been stripped from them ie the ability to subjectively assess a recruits suitability and compatibility to serve in a Commando unit.

I would agree with the training team. Suitability and compatibility cannot be measured through objective testing. Private Pyle although fiction, (Full Metal Jacket) is a good example of a man who could eventually be trained to pass all the required minimum standard objective tests but was clearly unsuitable for life in any branch of the Armed Forces. Yet he would have been retained had he not blown his brains out. I saw rather a lot of people during the 80's who really shouldn't have been there, even if they were fit or a good shot etc.
 
The recruiting environment now is very different to the 80s. Back then, universities weren’t actively recruiting from the target group and drugs were far less pervasive.
Amazing, then, that while the number of officers joining with a degree has dropped so much (27% less in 2015 than 2005), the number joining without one has remained constant..
We stopped wasting recruits in the 90s.
Well there's nothing to worry about then. A zero % wastage rate since the 90's, coupled with the end of bad practices in training after the excesses of the 80's, must mean that recruiting's been going up since, along with retention. It's all roses after all.

...or just possibly a couple of people are talking bollox and the pass out rates at first attempt aren't that different after all and the average rates at ITCC from 2012 to 2017 are 37.0% (Paras), 53.1% (Guards), 64.6% (Line).
 
I saw rather a lot of people during the 80's who really shouldn't have been there, even if they were fit or a good shot etc.
Counter-productive to keep them, but that's increasingly the policy from the 80's on and a lot of good people have left because of it (and you were lucky if they were at least fit so didn't have to be carried).
 
These findings may have had an impact: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/british-army-held-back-lack-13043188

The Army has been “held back” after being starved of cash, according to research drawn up for top brass.
Those quizzed for a study spoke of “capability restrictions” thanks to being denied funds, according to a study which reveals the damage inflicted on the military by Tory cuts and a mounting recruitment crisis.

The results came from interviews carried out as part of a bungled re-branding exercise ordered by senior officers.
Sessions with serving soldiers, officers and the general public uncovered a bleak view of the Army, including over its handling of post-traumatic stress among battle-hardened veterans.

Outlining the misery triggered by lack of money, the study says: “Respondents ... thought that ‘they only have capability restrictions through funding....if they had more they’d be more capable’ and there was a belief that the Army ‘don’t have enough funding or the latest tech... they’re held back by what they’ve got’.
“Internal staff also thought that ‘we’re on a tight budget and everyone is having to pull their belts in’.”
Military chiefs ordered the study when they were planning to axe the Army’s Be the Best campaign and launch a new recruitment drive.

The plan was scrapped in December after Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson found out.
But the Mirror has been handed further details behind the botched bid for a branding shake-up, estimated to have cost taxpayers £1.5million.
Documents include a 10-page “Overview of findings for Army branding phase 3 testing” and a 66-page report from researchers BMG.

The files, uncovered by campaigners using freedom of information rules, reveal how focus groups objected to a potential “Always Ready” slogan.
“Internal staff thought that underfunding meant that the Army simply was not ready, and questioned ‘have we got anything to meet these challenges with?’” the study says.
“They wondered ‘are we equipped? Are we clothed? Possibly not. Are we funded? Possibly not’ and thought that ‘if you’re in the Army, everyone knows it’s utter c**p’.”
While “on the whole, respondents thought the Army was brave and confident”, troops complained of wasted talent as minsters raced to farm out key services to the private sector.

In a damning indictment of privatisation’s effects on morale, the probe reveals: “Internal staff members believed that ‘a lot of jobs are outsourced when we have the trades in the Army, which they don’t use’, and ‘things are sold for short term financial gain, there’s a lack of foresight’.”

The report also unearthed fears about veterans’ treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.
It says: “Large numbers of external respondents expressed concerns about soldiers ‘not getting the help they need after the Army’; Army adverts were therefore seen to be dishonest because ‘I don’t think some of the adverts show the problems the Army causes, like the PTSD’.”

They also slammed the Army’s portrayal to would-be recruits, compared with the reality.
“There were worries, internally and externally, that recruitment made the Army ‘seem quite glamorous, but they don’t really show any of the brutality’ and there was a level of dishonesty in pitching the adverts ‘at young people who don’t know what they’re doing’,” reveals the investigation.

The public also feared young recruits were “bullied” and scandals covered-up.
“External participants worried that ‘a lot of people come out with PTSD’ and there was a belief that ‘they don’t get set up and supported when they come out’, according to the study.
“There were also concerns that ‘their emotional intelligence is poor... kids are bullied, people are made to do things, there’s cover ups’.”
Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith said: “The Tories’ deep cuts to the defence budget have had a profound effect on our Armed Forces and our defence capabilities.
“Our servicemen and women are at the heart of our nation’s defences.
“But the crisis in recruitment and retention means that morale is in free fall and the workload of personnel has grown substantially.

Nia Griffith urged ministers not to launch more cuts (Image: PA)
“It is important that the men and women who serve in the forces are able to be honest with the MoD about the concerns that they have.
“It is now time for Ministers to start listening to personnel instead of ploughing on regardless with any more short-sighted cuts.”
Researchers drew up groups of between seven and 10 people, with about 200 taking part sessions across the UK, including Cardiff, Glasgow and Sheffield in early 2016.
Soldiers and officers at Sandhurst and Harrogate training centres also gave their views.

An M0D spokesman said: “The survey’s findings showed that the majority of respondents felt that the Army is capable, with only six people disagreeing.

“The Army has the resources it needs to fulfil its tasks and we are investing billions of pounds in new equipment, including world-leading combat vehicles and cutting-edge weaponry.
“While rates of mental disorder are slightly lower in the military than in the general population, we’ve increased our spending on mental health to £22 million a year and have launched a 24/7 Military Mental Health Helpline for service personnel to call in times of crisis.”
 
These findings may have had an impact: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/british-army-held-back-lack-13043188

The Army has been “held back” after being starved of cash, according to research drawn up for top brass.
Those quizzed for a study spoke of “capability restrictions” thanks to being denied funds, according to a study which reveals the damage inflicted on the military by Tory cuts and a mounting recruitment crisis.

The results came from interviews carried out as part of a bungled re-branding exercise ordered by senior officers.
Sessions with serving soldiers, officers and the general public uncovered a bleak view of the Army, including over its handling of post-traumatic stress among battle-hardened veterans.

Outlining the misery triggered by lack of money, the study says: “Respondents ... thought that ‘they only have capability restrictions through funding....if they had more they’d be more capable’ and there was a belief that the Army ‘don’t have enough funding or the latest tech... they’re held back by what they’ve got’.
“Internal staff also thought that ‘we’re on a tight budget and everyone is having to pull their belts in’.”
Military chiefs ordered the study when they were planning to axe the Army’s Be the Best campaign and launch a new recruitment drive.

The plan was scrapped in December after Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson found out.
But the Mirror has been handed further details behind the botched bid for a branding shake-up, estimated to have cost taxpayers £1.5million.
Documents include a 10-page “Overview of findings for Army branding phase 3 testing” and a 66-page report from researchers BMG.

The files, uncovered by campaigners using freedom of information rules, reveal how focus groups objected to a potential “Always Ready” slogan.
“Internal staff thought that underfunding meant that the Army simply was not ready, and questioned ‘have we got anything to meet these challenges with?’” the study says.
“They wondered ‘are we equipped? Are we clothed? Possibly not. Are we funded? Possibly not’ and thought that ‘if you’re in the Army, everyone knows it’s utter c**p’.”
While “on the whole, respondents thought the Army was brave and confident”, troops complained of wasted talent as minsters raced to farm out key services to the private sector.

In a damning indictment of privatisation’s effects on morale, the probe reveals: “Internal staff members believed that ‘a lot of jobs are outsourced when we have the trades in the Army, which they don’t use’, and ‘things are sold for short term financial gain, there’s a lack of foresight’.”

The report also unearthed fears about veterans’ treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.
It says: “Large numbers of external respondents expressed concerns about soldiers ‘not getting the help they need after the Army’; Army adverts were therefore seen to be dishonest because ‘I don’t think some of the adverts show the problems the Army causes, like the PTSD’.”

They also slammed the Army’s portrayal to would-be recruits, compared with the reality.
“There were worries, internally and externally, that recruitment made the Army ‘seem quite glamorous, but they don’t really show any of the brutality’ and there was a level of dishonesty in pitching the adverts ‘at young people who don’t know what they’re doing’,” reveals the investigation.

The public also feared young recruits were “bullied” and scandals covered-up.
“External participants worried that ‘a lot of people come out with PTSD’ and there was a belief that ‘they don’t get set up and supported when they come out’, according to the study.
“There were also concerns that ‘their emotional intelligence is poor... kids are bullied, people are made to do things, there’s cover ups’.”
Shadow Defence Secretary Nia Griffith said: “The Tories’ deep cuts to the defence budget have had a profound effect on our Armed Forces and our defence capabilities.
“Our servicemen and women are at the heart of our nation’s defences.
“But the crisis in recruitment and retention means that morale is in free fall and the workload of personnel has grown substantially.

Nia Griffith urged ministers not to launch more cuts (Image: PA)
“It is important that the men and women who serve in the forces are able to be honest with the MoD about the concerns that they have.
“It is now time for Ministers to start listening to personnel instead of ploughing on regardless with any more short-sighted cuts.”
Researchers drew up groups of between seven and 10 people, with about 200 taking part sessions across the UK, including Cardiff, Glasgow and Sheffield in early 2016.
Soldiers and officers at Sandhurst and Harrogate training centres also gave their views.

An M0D spokesman said: “The survey’s findings showed that the majority of respondents felt that the Army is capable, with only six people disagreeing.

“The Army has the resources it needs to fulfil its tasks and we are investing billions of pounds in new equipment, including world-leading combat vehicles and cutting-edge weaponry.
“While rates of mental disorder are slightly lower in the military than in the general population, we’ve increased our spending on mental health to £22 million a year and have launched a 24/7 Military Mental Health Helpline for service personnel to call in times of crisis.”
Lies, damned lies, and the MoD.

A pity there's no more detail on the study, but it's still pretty amazing how, despite all the points raised, the MoD still managed to ignore them and spin the report as a positive.

Sorry, but I couldn't help wondering how much the study spent to work out that "..if they had more they’d be more capable’ .
 
Lies, damned lies, and the MoD.

A pity there's no more detail on the study, but it's still pretty amazing how, despite all the points raised, the MoD still managed to ignore them and spin the report as a positive.

Sorry, but I couldn't help wondering how much the study spent to work out that "..if they had more they’d be more capable’ .
A bit more

https://assets.publishing.service.g...ds/attachment_data/file/713850/2018-01277.pdf

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/requ...5 79963 FOI01626 Raffal Army Branding SOR.pdf
 
., and all to discover "that ‘if you’re in the Army, everyone knows it’s utter c**p’.”

Oh dear.

The troops questioned couldn't have learnt their lines properly ...... or maybe they'd been drop kicked by the pl bully ... but that doesn't happen any more, of course, because they've all gone to uni.
 
If your output tests don't match their suitability for the Field Army are they the right ones?

My own experience in Ph1 trg is a few years old and was for officers, but at the time I remember similar complaints from the DS about cadets who weren't up to it and being allowed to graduate. When you asked them for supporting evidence it usually amounted to little more than a subjective view that they either didn't like them or thought they were a bit shit. Surprisingly, in the absence of a decent case for the 'prosecution', the Review Board usually found in favour of the 'defendant'. I likened it Admin Discharge for a serving airman, produce an objective, logical, procedurally correct case and the facts speak for themselves.
As an aside: an old friend of mine (we've been mates since SMC 5 in 1974) stopped in to RMAS a coupla years ago out of curiosity, when he was at a loose end. He asked if he could see the end of course report compiled on him by his Pl Comd at the time. He was somewhat surprised to find it comprised a single sheet of foolscap with a few handwritten notes.

I hope things have moved on a little bit, in the intervening decades . . . .
 
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As an aside: an old friend of mine (we've been mates since SMC 5 in 1974) stopped in to RMAS a coupla years ago out of curiosity, when he was at a loose end. He asked if he could see the end of course report compiled on him by his Pl Comd at the time. He was somewhat surprised to find it comprised a single sheet of foolscap with a few handwritten notes.

I hope things have moved on a little bit, in the intervening decades . . . .
Somehow none of this rings true, from some guy in his 60's / 70's poling up to RMAS and asking for and being shown his course report to it consisting of "a few handwritten notes".

From what I was told by RMAS pl sgts and pl comds, the full course reports were extensive, including reports after each ex and lengthy reports on comd appts, and the final report was very similar to an old CR in format. While parts were 'handwritten', by coy and college commanders (little more than an initialling in most cases except for those at the top or bottom), the pl sgts' and pl comds' parts were extensive and typed - their own CRs depended on it.

Even reports on Ph 1 and 2 recruits were more extensive than as reported, and typewritten, FFS.

As for Juniors being back-termed because of their regional accent, it's a similar story. While I'm sure some managed to convince themselves (and their parents) that they'd been discriminated against unfairly, the reality was that DS had better things to do than waste training time unnecessarily and written, objectively substantiated cases had to be put forward at every level.

Makes for good stories in the bar, though ....
 
As an aside: an old friend of mine (we've been mates since SMC 5 in 1974) stopped in to RMAS a coupla years ago out of curiosity, when he was at a loose end. He asked if he could see the end of course report compiled on him by his Pl Comd at the time
Really? I was on the DS of DIOT for over two years and never got anywhere near mine. Forgive me if I find this a bit hard to believe.
 
Feel free to believe what you like.

It's what he told me, and I've no reason to think him a liar or a fantasist.
Except it's simply not credible from start to finish, from format and content to the security and confidentiality issues. Reading some of the stories posted here (and elsewhere, referred to here) I'm beginning to wonder if having 'memory issues' is an occupational hazard for some ex-Army officers.

Edit: Googling to see if there was any suggestion this was possible, I saw (different subject) that from 1972 -1982 11.4% of those on SMC at RMAS were back-termed, with an overall wastage rate of 8.75%. Surprisingly low, but had back-terming not been possible the wastage rate would have more than doubled to 19.5%.
 
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Except it's simply not credible from start to finish, from format and content to the security and confidentiality issues. Reading some of the stories posted here (and elsewhere, referred to here) I'm beginning to wonder if having 'memory issues' is an occupational hazard for some ex-Army officers.

Edit: Googling to see if there was any suggestion this was possible, I saw (different subject) that from 1972 -1982 11.4% of those on SMC at RMAS were back-termed, with an overall wastage rate of 8.75%. Surprisingly low, but had back-terming not been possible the wastage rate would have more than doubled to 19.5%.
It also probably doesn't take account of those binned from Rowallan, which was closer to 50%.
 
Really? I was on the DS of DIOT for over two years and never got anywhere near mine. Forgive me if I find this a bit hard to believe.
I know of several people who have related similar. Plus I have a vague recollection of there being some kind of instruction about how officers could access their RMAS reports (20 years ago?).

If the reports exist, the subject would presumably have a right to access them under the Data Protection Act. Similarly, if they were archived in period, the authority would not have a right to destroy them with the subject’s permission.
 
It also probably doesn't take account of those binned from Rowallan, which was closer to 50%.
Correct - SMC only. As far as I can see from other sources, although they're not so specific, wastage rates apart from Rowallan have been around that level on the SGC and now combined course, even without Rowallan and with "risk" passes from AOSB.
 
I know of several people who have related similar. Plus I have a vague recollection of there being some kind of instruction about how officers could access their RMAS reports (20 years ago?).

If the reports exist, the subject would presumably have a right to access them under the Data Protection Act. Similarly, if they were archived in period, the authority would not have a right to destroy them with the subject’s permission.
Of course the reports exist - they're held in the Sandhurst archive, dating back intermittently to 1790.

The point being made is that just poling up to the gate and asking to see a course report from 40 years ago sounds unlikely, to put it mildly, and it contradicts not just what the DS said about course reports but even how recruit course reports were done which were at least typed and included paras for Sect Comd, Pl Comd and Coy Comd, all of which needed to be completed (and were, as they were sent on to units - as a pl comd I recall being given them by my OC when doing initial interviews when new recruits were posted in, and doing the same as an OC, just as recall filling them out as a recruit coy OC).

Somehow I can't see RMAS course reports being taken less seriously than those for recruits at the time.

Edit: if you click on the link, all reports and information held is readily accessible, down to term reports and riding exam results (!), but so far very little has been digitised.
 
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He asked if he could see the end of course report compiled on him by his Pl Comd at the time. He was somewhat surprised to find it comprised a single sheet of foolscap with a few handwritten notes.
On reading this again, it raises even more doubts.

Like recruits' reports, OCdts' end of course reports are only "compiled" in part by the pl comd. If this had been an end of course report it would have also contained a para by the coy comd and been at least initialled by the college comd and had his comments if the OCdt was particularly good or bad.

If this was indeed only "handwritten notes" that's probably exactly what they were - notes for the final, formal course report which stonker's friend may or may not have asked to see. That doesn't mean he's a "liar or a fantasist", although there are plenty of those around, just that he asked for the wrong information and he was, correctly, only shown the information he asked for.
 
Two thoughts @John G.

Any handwritten notes held in the Sandhurst archive would be available to the subject under data protection laws.

It’s quite likely that notes and quite possibly reports were hand written back then as there would not have been the clerical support to type them.

As for soldier reports, we were archiving hand written stuff on recruits as late as 1996. And 2066s were the only report on a private soldier in the late 80s and were hand written.

I think it’s perfectly possible that RMAS reports were hand written 40 years ago.

Edited to add I’ve just read your last post again and I think we are agreeing!
 

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