Battalion Commander Assessment Program: Documentary

Karamoja

War Hero
I remember talking to an ex-Canadian Air Force officer years ago, who told me they had peer review whilst training. He said the cadets quickly found out who the oxygen thieves were.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
And, to avoid toxic competition to conform to a new single brand of model commander, wouldn't employing several different selection processes reduce unintended consequences & enable greater heterogeneity?
This is what they're doing I think. They have an objective(ish) score based phase and a separate interview, then the results are aggregated with their boarding scores to produce the final order of merit.

That's essentially three forms of assessment feeding the final rankings. I'm struggling to find the article now, but on the trial run of this board, someone who started with a low score managed to come out top after the interview phase.

My favourite part is the fitness tests. I think we should introduce that as a pre-requisite for any command role.
 
I remember talking to an ex-Canadian Air Force officer years ago, who told me they had peer review whilst training. He said the cadets quickly found out who the oxygen thieves were.
peer review on a weekly basis and peer debrief a feature of Rowallan Company of blessed memory
 
This is what they're doing I think. They have an objective(ish) score based phase and a separate interview, then the results are aggregated with their boarding scores to produce the final order of merit.
The cynics will announce that the system will be binned as soon as "the right sort of chaps" don't come out top of the lists. After all, it must be flawed, they didn't pick X or Y!

I think transparency is going to end up being a key requirement of any such system - not "telling everyone", but certainly detailed feedback to prevent the process being seen as "black box". Anonymisation might help to achieve this (I like the blind interview aspect; it would be interesting to see what happened if they threw in voice-changers)

My favourite part is the fitness tests. I think we should introduce that as a pre-requisite for any command role.
So long as it's pass / fail. The US Army has a bad habit of occasional "fitness is the primary measurement of leadership effectiveness, what were the rest?". But yes, the idea of watching all the prospective COs doing their fitness tests without any... helpfulness from within the unit... does appeal :)

I did laugh when I saw a recent Twitter conversation on "US Army WTF Moments": young Company Commander makes a statements that would screw over the Jocks to make his figures look good, it gets published, Brigade Commander replies "I'll look into this"; six hours from "send stupid messages to MoW" to a top-down "don't be such an arrse" interview without virtual coffee...
 
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Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
But yes, the idea of watching all the prospective COs doing their fitness tests without any... helpfulness from within the unit... does appeal :)
Indeed. Next step is introducing it for VSOs. Watching General Wall or General Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and part-time beachball impersonator, running round a PFA circuit could be entertaining.
 
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Indeed. Next step is introducing it for VSOs. Watching General Wall or the General Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and part-time beachball impersonator, running round a PFA circuit could be entertaining.
A 1* of my acquaintance, who is as far removed from being a part-time beachball impersonator as you could imagine, has not completed a fitness test since 2013.
 

Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
The British Army would do well to incorporate the idea of peer and subordinate review. This could be done very simply by inducting each candidate as a new ARRSE member and, after a period of a month, seeing which forums they have mostly engaged with and their "like/SABC" quotient.
YOU STAND TO ATTENTION WHEN TYPING ON HERE.
Just incase The Hon Lt Col Bugsy of The First Nottinghamshire of Pants Regiment is reading your posts.
 
Right school, right parents, right horse, what is there to give any thought to?
When mush_lass was studying at University of (red) Essex just outside Colly, I warned her about the dangers of dating squaddies, but added that officers were probably OK providing that they were well bred if a little chinless. She asked how she could identify such well bred officers. I said just ask how many polo ponies they've got at the family manor, if they reply less than four then they're walting
 
The numbers in that are scary: as soon as they say "we're rerunning RCB", eight of them sack it. The amusing one is that the person in last place on the original list, scored highest in the blind assessment. Makes you wonder what their visible disadvantage was - were they truly, mind-blowingly, ugly? Scouse? Ginger? :cool:
Very good point, and one which I'm sure has much relevance in the past couple of decades; I was recruited by a telephone link to a very good job, by someone who sounded brilliant, but realised when I met the Boss that I couldn't work with him (multiplicity of reasons which didn't manifest themselves on the phone) and yet when I recruited a manager (by phone) I had terrible doubts which were very quickly squashed. Maybe that's why they have Psychology NCOs in the US army (which to me sounds like a peace-time augmentation if ever there was one).
 
The numbers in that are scary: as soon as they say "we're rerunning RCB", eight of them sack it. The amusing one is that the person in last place on the original list, scored highest in the blind assessment. Makes you wonder what their visible disadvantage was - were they truly, mind-blowingly, ugly? Scouse? Ginger? :cool:
I'm guessing personality clash with 1RO who then wrote the 2RO's words for his last 2 OJARs or OERs as they call them.
 
I like it as an idea and I'd welcome it's introduction in the UK. Not sure what the selection is like to be in charge of a boat, but selection for unit command in the army is just a normal-ish APC board based on your previous reports.

Fun fact: the US process is based, in part, on aspects of the Delta selection process.
Command selection is a three part process: two sets of exams, each culminating in a practical, then a board level sift. All of them need to be complete before being looked at for SO2 Command, which includes being a 2 i/c of an SO1 Commanded unit.

The first set is a fairly big cull, and it's not uncommon for people to fail two or three times before moving onto the next; the later practical has a more successful pass rate, but people still take two attempts to get through it. What is more interesting is the number of people who self-select out by not taking the dozen or so written exams required to get to the practicals.

We have a "dry roster" at SO2 Command level, so if you pass the exams etc, you will be looked at by the board. There is a high selection rate there, but there is a much lower selection rate for SO1 Command.
 

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