BBC Article on politicians with a military background

#1
In both the US and UK, civilian leaders have the upper hand over the military - but the two countries have very different attitudes to veterans reaching the top, says David Cannadine in his Point of View column.

The recent decision by President Barack Obama to accept the resignation of General Stanley McChrystal and to replace him with General David Petraeus caused a predictable media storm on both sides of the Atlantic.

But taking the long view of American history, there's nothing particularly unusual about the president, as commander in chief of the US military, asserting his authority over the armed forces in this way.
BBC News - Far from uniform


A rather interesting article I tohught, particually about how our last senior officer PM was in 1838!
 
#2
The last PM to hold senior rank was Winston S Churchill, who had held the rank of Colonel of the Fourth Queens Own Hussars in his old regiment for a period during the First World War in 1917.

On 4 April 1939, Churchill was made an Honorary Air Commodore of No. 615 (County of Surrey) Squadron {"Churchill's Own"} in the Auxiliary Air Force[9]. In March 1943, the Air Council awarded Churchill honorary wings. These were the uniforms and ranks he wore during WW2.

He was the Colonel in Chief of the 4th Queen's Own Hussars (his old regiment) and after its amalgamation, the first Colonel in Chief of the Queen's Royal Irish Hussars which he held until his death in 1965 and was known as the "Greatest Hussar of all time". He was also Colonel in Chief of the Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars


.Chruchill also held the rank of Honory
 
#5
Ted Heath was a Lt Col in the Royal Artillery.

Winston Churchill also used to wear the uniform of a Colonel in the Cinque Ports Regiment during his visits to the front in WW2 - possibly Honorary Colonel-in-Chief?
 
#6
Ted Heath was a Lt Col in the Royal Artillery.

Winston Churchill also used to wear the uniform of a Colonel in the Cinque Ports Regiment during his visits to the front in WW2 - possibly Honorary Colonel-in-Chief?

Cinque Ports Regiment eh?. I got about a bit during my nine years with the mob but I never ran into that lot.

Sounds as though they may have been on a skive somewhere....good on 'em.



Off topic I know, but everyday the site is a little easier. Well done to the blokes that organised it, your blood's woth bottling.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#8
Cinque ports regt was 5th Bn the Royal Sussex if I recall correctly.
I had thought 4th but the link put me right.
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#10
Clement attlee - Major, not that Senior perhaps, but he certainly did his share of fighting in WW1, including Gallipoli, Iraq, and the Western Front.

Slightly off-thread, but I would guess that the current intake of MPs includes more with a Military background - or at least some experience of wearing a uniform, at least - than any since the '70s.



And as for Ted Heath - the man was a complete ****. I was very pleased to hear that the museum that he set up in his house in Salisbury, so that people could come to pay homage to his memory, has closed due to lack of interest.
 
#11
PMs Captain Harold Macmillan (GREN GDS), wounded 3 times; Captain (acting Major) Anthony Eden MC (KRRC), youngest Brigade Major in the British Army; Lt James Callaghan RNVR; also of interest, Captain (acting Major) Peter Carington MC (GREN GDS), Brigadier John Enoch Powell (late R WARWICKS), a Brigadier at 31 or 32.
 
#12
Sir John Nott of the Royal Scots and Gurkhas. Descended from General Sir William Nott of Kandahar.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#13
One major difference between us and the yanks is that you dont have to be a party member or even leader to stand for the presidency whereas over here its the lleader of the most successful, least mistrusted party that gets invited to form a govt provided of course the incumbents chuck in the towel.
Any fool with enough money could disruspt the US presidential process enough to force a party hand into inviting them to represent that party!
 
#14
The US President is Commander in Chief of the US Military so it would make sense that more men with a military background would aspire to that post. In theory we don't have that direct link to the Prime Minister although it's there in practise. Whereas it would be nice to have more politicians with a first hand knowledge of the Armed Forces, we tend to be slightly less interventionist than the US and have a much smaller standing Army, our needs are probably greatest in the socio-economic sectors.
Could you imagine ever serving under an officer like Blair? The US had a great expression, now what was it? Ah yes, fragging.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#16
The military is only a small part of society at times of peace or no conscription. Having a cabinet with military experience might be handy but not an exclusively military experienced one. I would rather we had a cabinet with experience in working at real jobs rather than those who have climbed the greasy pole of political assistants posts, interns for Cabinet members and Union parachuters.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#17
Wiki agrees with Auld Yin, 2 GR in Malaysia, direct entry!
 
#19
At least the current government has some ex-Army Officers in its ranks:

Ian Duncan-Smith -Scots Guards
Ben Wallace - Scots Guards
Adam Holloway - Grenadier Guards
Andrew Robathan - Coldstream Guards and SAS
Hugo Swire - Grenadier Guards
David Trendenick - Grenadier Guards
Richard Drax - Coldstream Guards
 
#20
At least the current government has some ex-Army Officers in its ranks:

Ian Duncan-Smith -Scots Guards
Ben Wallace - Scots Guards
Adam Holloway - Grenadier Guards
Andrew Robathan - Coldstream Guards and SAS
Hugo Swire - Grenadier Guards
David Trendenick - Grenadier Guards
Richard Drax - Coldstream Guards
Plus Hugh Robertson - Life Guards

An awful lot of Blue Red Blue?

As an aside, Hugo Swire is John Nott´s son in law.
 

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