Aussies look for more British soldiers

From The Grauniad:

Australia recruits British squaddies while army remains short-staffed

Andrew Clark in Sydney
Tuesday July 19, 2005
The Guardian

British squaddies are being offered a new life as Australian "diggers" under a recruitment drive aimed at tackling a shortage of young soldiers in the Antipodes. The Australian army wants to lure up to 300 British recruits each year to inject youthful vigour into its ranks, which have an average age of 30.

Squaddies will be expected to swap their berets for traditional Australian "slouch hats": floppy headgear made from khaki felt with the sides turned up. But they will still serve the same ultimate boss - the Queen.

Successful applicants will be required to apply for Australian citizenship, allowing them to permanently leave Britain's garrison towns for destinations such as Sydney, Melbourne or Queensland's Gold Coast.

The Australians sent a team of officers to London this month to vet potential recruits. The package on offer for applicants includes free flights for the family, accommodation in Australia and relocation expenses for those prepared to sign up for at least four years.

Colonel Mike Milford, the Australian army's director of personnel, told Australian media that he had already received scores of written inquiries from British personnel keen to emigrate.

He said he was particularly interested in servicemen with experience in special forces, aviation or technical trades. "We have trades we consider we are short in," Col Milford said. "It's the basic soldier experience we are looking for."

A spokesman for the Australian defence department in Canberra said the British army had been informed of the initiative and had no objection.

However, the initiative is likely to prompt raised eyebrows, given Britain's difficulty in persuading its own youngsters to commit to a life of fighting for their country.

The British armed forces are 3,120 short of their required manpower of 191,090. The shortfall is largely among trained, full-time soldiers where the army is 2,280 below its target of 100,770 staff.

British army chiefs have invested heavily in glossy advertising to convince potential recruits that there is more to military life than cold showers, long marches and bad food.

A MoD spokesman said any soldiers joining the Australian army had completed their required service in Britain.

"Both the British and Australian army have a long history of recruiting soldiers who have previously served in the other's armed forces," he said.

But the present campaign is likely to be on a scale not seen before.

Australian squaddies earn more, in standard of living terms, than their British counterparts.
Sounds tempting on the face of it, doesn't it? :D

However, I am staying right here....

The story is here.
Where do I sign?

Have had a few conversations over the years with Aussie Aviation Maintainer mate of mine, and on balance, it seems that they look after their troops a lot better. Initiatives like allowing them taking leave for a few years, whilst either maintaining a reserve committment (max 100 days per year), or indeed going "bush", and only having to take the annual phys test sound like fairly commonsense ideas.

Also, they get a lot more in terms of housing allowances, to encourage them to buy their own homes, and compensate them for selling when they are posted from A to B.

And if you have property in the UK which you sell when you emmigrate, you can get yourself something pretty good over there. (Obviously not in all areas).

Quite tempting though.
The reason I would elect to stay is that we do loads of tours (they don't), have stacks of credibility (they aren't the first Army on my speed dialler) and our whole approach to operations and our unique heritage.

Good people though!
True, but still am of the opinion that the Army is not the best of employers at present, and that there is more to life than being banged on ops every 18 months - cos the new CO needs his tick in the box.

Besides, Aussies did the Timor thing for quite a long time, and there are some cheeky little tours going on around the world that they get into, and we don't.
Spanner said:
...there is more to life than being banged on ops every 18 months - cos the new CO needs his tick in the box.]
Granted - but it's not the CO who decides when he goes on tour...

Spanner said:
Besides, Aussies did the Timor thing for quite a long time, and there are some cheeky little tours going on around the world that they get into, and we don't.
Again true - but by 'cheeky' I think you really mean 'well remunerated UN-type' yours, don't you? :D
Yes, to a certain extent, but funnily enough (the regiment thought it was hilarious), my last CO was dead pleased at the fact he had convinced the 1* to send the regiment on ops, when it wasn't on the orbat at all. (We were due a little breather having done quite a bit over the last few years).

Yes, certainly meant "well remunerated" when I wrote "cheeky"!

I do understand that we have to do ops to be relevant, and to retain our "sponsorship". However, our quality of life is constantly being eroded. Now I still believe in our professional ethos, and still promote the ethic that we are more than just employees, but this is all predicated on the fact that you are well looked after.
Regarding pay and conditions: Yes the ADF will look after you (and also your defacto which they recognise unlike the British Army) including private medical care and cheaper mortgages (even after you have left) pay wise I wouldnt agree they get more (whilst in aus) but when they do tours overseas that are greater than 90 days they dont pay tax!!!! also the cost of living in aus is less than the UK

Tours: unless you join a specialist unit you are unlikely to see many deployments overseas but who knows that may change in the near future

My ten cents worth as someone who has served in both is. do it later on in your career as its a great stepping stone to imigration into aus and a bucket load cheaper than doing it as a civvy but thats just my ten cents...

If anyone wants any more info on the adf then just PM me and i ll find out what I can
Hi all,

just wondering if anyone knew any good links, you know, the kind that cut through all the partyline rubbish, tailored at the recruitment of British Army soldiers to the Oz Army.

Ive tried the standard ones, even emailed them and still had no joy!!

Line Grunt isn't having an easy time of it trying to join the Aus Reserves
Darth_Doctrinus said:
.................................. unique heritage.
FAS/FIS is taking care of that
Have given the idea up - Have had enough of dealing with blinkered and idiotic recruiting staff, who despite giving them the print offs from the ADF site insist that i redo basic training...they can all go get f**ked
I know a few people who are either 'into' this', or have been through. One was accepted, but then after being accepted, was promoted in the British Army and changed his mind. I know of 2 others who were recently accepted and are joining next year. And I know one guy who is currently trying to get in.

All of these stories share a common theme - time. It is a long process, purely in time terms. This is partly (I am told) because of the Aussie attitude towards admin in general. They are in no rush. It is made worse by poor communications from them to potential candidates about what they require. All the people I know who have gone down or are trying to have commented on how some advance information would be very useful, as some of the documentation the Aussies require is not easy to get at this end.

However, of those who I know to have gone, none have complained about it yet and all are planning to stay. I guess that tells its own story.

So, how many of you are thinking of going out there then?
El Gringo said:
So, how many of you are thinking of going out there then?
I'm aware of a few scaleys going that way within the next year or so. I would jump at the chance, but I've got nearly 5 yrs left. By the time I leave it'll have dried up, along with the civvy job market knowing my luck!
Speak to someone with direct experience before you go near this, and examine your reasons. If you're happy marking time, waiting for your 16 year point, and hoping for more time with the kids and on the golf course, then its definitely a quality of life issue.

However, great lads though they are (and the anglophonic countries all count as 'friends' rather than mere 'allies'), they are not a 'grown-up' army in the way we still 'just' manage to be, with swept up manoeuvre brigades, real gritty warfighting capability et al. In ways they have the edge, but because they are so small, and can focus on niche capability. That said, they want to be world players, and stand up for their interests in the south pacific.

A friend of mine was a UK exchange instructor at their infantry battle school at canungra (sp?). He was deeply unimpressed by their general robustness, admin and quality of offr and SNCO when compared with a UK county infantry regiment (namely mine!)

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