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Bless em all . . The Independent praises junior soldiers

If it's any consolation, the AFC at Harrogate appears to be a pretty sound organisation. My mate's youngest lad went through there about 18months ago and loved every minute of it. Dad (an ex-Infantry SNCO) was hugely impressed with it, especially the emphasis on such long-forgotten concepts as integrity, honesty, loyalty and courage, not to mention standards of civilian dress (they make 'em buy and wear suits!!! What about their "Yooman Rights????!!")
The boy himself is now in 1PARA and loving it, and having returned from a sandy place is hoping soon to go to a hilly place.

Christ!, don't you wish you were 18 with all your own hair and teeth again? :cry: :cry: :cry:
 
Asked what he now values in life, JC Campbell blurts out earnestly: "Discipline and integrity. And self-respect. But the only way you get respect is if you earn respect and respect others." At this, a flicker of a smile crosses the watching face of the officer in charge of his training. Without prompting, the teenager had just listed three of the six core values that are drummed into the junior soldiers at Harrogate. The other three are selfless commitment, loyalty and courage.

Deeply unfashionable values, especially in the context of "yoof culture"

If all second level education was done like that Britain would be a utopia.
 
msr said:
It has been done before...

Lits: Minty writes for the Grauniad.

msr

On pain of being laughed at, I must not confuse my journalists.
On pain of being laughed at, I must not confuse my journalists.
On pain of being laughed at, I must not confuse my journalists.
On pain of being laughed at, I must not confuse my journalists.
On pain of being laughed at, I must not confuse my journalists.
100x

:oops:
 
Jaeger said:
If it's any consolation, the AFC at Harrogate appears to be a pretty sound organisation. My mate's youngest lad went through there about 18months ago and loved every minute of it. Dad (an ex-Infantry SNCO) was hugely impressed with it, especially the emphasis on such long-forgotten concepts as integrity, honesty, loyalty and courage, not to mention standards of civilian dress (they make 'em buy and wear suits!!! What about their "Yooman Rights????!!")
The boy himself is now in 1PARA and loving it, and having returned from a sandy place is hoping soon to go to a hilly place.

Christ!, don't you wish you were 18 with all your own hair and teeth again? :cry: :cry: :cry:

That's good news. :clap: The AFC started up just before I left, and I haven't looked up much about it.
Suits for the yong 'uns. That's what I like to hear, some pride in non-military personal appearance.

Perhaps some production company will pick up on the story and do a documentary or something to highlight that recruiting isn't all about Deepcut and dumbing down.
 
From my own experience, and if i can find it I'll quote it...

THe Army Apprentices College Harrogate brochure from the late 80's early 90's clearly states that JLs made up something like 80% of RDs, and the ATs made up a similar figure of the Supervisor Trades within the Corps.

The Princess Marina College (REME) (IIRC) made similar claims.

It is STILL pretty much correct today, as of 2009 I seem to run in to RD after RD and Supervisor after Supvisor who passed off the square of Uniacke Barracks to the College Pipes, Drums and Band playing "Auld Lang Syne" before throwing their hats in the air. Chucking their rifle and bayonet at the Junior term and heading to the Cinema for prize giving, dinner and finally.... obtaining the SQMSs signature on the clearance chit in exchange for the Black Belts and buckles (sashes and sticks for those exulted Apprentice SNCOs, SSMs and RSM).

Remarkable number of LEs seem to have come through the College too.

Re when I got to my first unit... as a Class 3 Telegraphist I certainly was better prepared and better trained than many of my Catterick Cowboy peers.

Harking back to teh Apprentice NCOs... before they were 19, these lads would have been Room NCOs, section commanders, Troop SQMS Cpls, Apprentice Tp Sgts/Cpls, Plt Sgts, Sqn Staff Sergeants, SSMs and even an RSM.

Areas and block jobs were largely supervised by teh JL NCOs and AT NCOs... and finally

In front of his/her peers, their families, the College, the Commandant (Colonol) and the Reviewing Officer (1 or 2 star normally) the Apprentice Regimental Sergeant Major would march on to the square, and take the Graduation Parade. The (Adult) RSM would march the markers and guidons on, and yell "Army Apprentices' College, Harrogate, will march on parade.... Quick March". And on would come the 6 squads of Apprentices.... Led by the Band, and the RSM at the head, who would take the parade from then on in.

The Senior Term would march off, led by the Apprentice RSM, at which point the Senior non senior term SNCO would march forward, and collapse teh parade.

Anyone else thinking that on the 22nd anniversary of the destruction of the Junior Army, the Army may suddenly think that we need to invent... I don't know some sort of circular, spoked creation.
 
A year @IJLB put me in good stead for the rest of my career. A few years earlier it had been 2 years but was binned when the school leaving age rose to 16. I'd like to see a return to the 2 year Jr trg programme for the following reasons:

a) Trainees would arrive @ their battalion old enough (18th birthday) & fit to fight.

b) Education (EPC Cpl to Sgt & EPCA Sgt to WO) could be reintroduced to their sylabus <it was there under the 2 year system>to prevent the bottleneck that can hold people back for 2-5 years.

c) Adventurous training (remember that?) should be included, indeed it should be mandatory that everyone has at least 1xAT skill <diving, parachuting, skiing or similar>that could benefit his CO & add to the morale of the troops when the days when overstretch finally come to an end and the blokes get the chance to swan off on exped again.

Rebuilding the Army is a bit like planning the future of a premier league team. You need to start with the youngsters & do such a good job of it that they never want to leave.
 

firemagi

Old-Salt
fingers_1661 said:
... the school leaving age rose to 16. I'd like to see a return to the 2 year Jr trg programme for the following reasons:

a) Trainees would arrive @ their battalion old enough (18th birthday) & fit to fight...

Being an Ex-Crab, I know I am probably leaving myself open to a whole load of incoming posting on this thread...

Picking up on what Fingers has said above.. Where will it leave things in approx 6-7(?) years time, when you get the first tranche of kids leaving school at 18, which has been introduced as the new compulsory leaving age.. My youngest (10) is not happy about having to stay on the extra 2 years while her big sis (15) leaves next year...

Possibly tie JL in with some sort of 'vocational' training, which they (read politicos/teachers) are all pushing for..? I work in a large secondary school (non-teaching role) and it is hard enough getting the kids to stay here till they are 16 let alone forcing many of them to keep going for another 2 years.. Where will that leave recruitment...??

Just a thought from a broken down ex-crab, without the knowledge of JL etc..

Edited for mong spelling
 

danny842003

War Hero
'Youngsters, some of whom had to be taught to wash when they arrived'

Sniggers to self about army 'pongo' stereotype.

Then laughs out loud.
 
danny842003 said:
'Youngsters, some of whom had to be taught to wash when they arrived'

Sniggers to self about army 'pongo' stereotype.

Then laughs out loud.

Yes, but it does ensure that we all wash in the army...........The RAF attitude of 'You are all adults and you should be doing this anyway' does not exact;y include the idea that you do all actually wash!
 

Whet

LE
Speedy said:
danny842003 said:
'Youngsters, some of whom had to be taught to wash when they arrived'

Sniggers to self about army 'pongo' stereotype.

Then laughs out loud.

Yes, but it does ensure that we all wash in the army...........The RAF attitude of 'You are all adults and you should be doing this anyway' does not exact;y include the idea that you do all actually wash!

I have it on good authority that it isn't just Army recruits that have lessons on using showers and how to shave. My mate who was in 45 Commando had the same lessons.
 
danny842003 said:
'Youngsters, some of whom had to be taught to wash when they arrived'

Sniggers to self about army 'pongo' stereotype.

Then laughs out loud.

The skills of "washing onesself" are inclusive in the Royal Marines, for both Officers and Other Ranks. IIRC they are conducted in teh first week.

The RN also have a period of training for such matters.

You may laugh... but you'd be surprised howmany may not know how to wash ones self efficiently, thoroughly and with the minimum of water.

Certainly in the first week of training I received instruction on how to shave of all things (I had naught but bum fluff that blew off with the speed that I jumped out of bed in the morning), showering, brushing ones teeth.

Not because I was a stinking civvie b4stard at this point, but because these skills would set me up for my career and keep me mank free in sh1tholes where there were mere centilitres dedicated to washing per day.

Don't know what the RAF do mind. But I'd imagine there was some sort of training also.

I would say , when I joined, that ALL services started at day 0 with an assumptin of NO prior knowledge.

Just the way it should be.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
fingers_1661 said:
A year @IJLB put me in good stead for the rest of my career. A few years earlier it had been 2 years but was binned when the school leaving age rose to 16. I'd like to see a return to the 2 year Jr trg programme for the following reasons:

a) Trainees would arrive @ their battalion old enough (18th birthday) & fit to fight.

b) Education (EPC Cpl to Sgt & EPCA Sgt to WO) could be reintroduced to their sylabus <it was there under the 2 year system>to prevent the bottleneck that can hold people back for 2-5 years.

c) Adventurous training (remember that?) should be included, indeed it should be mandatory that everyone has at least 1xAT skill <diving, parachuting, skiing or similar>that could benefit his CO & add to the morale of the troops when the days when overstretch finally come to an end and the blokes get the chance to swan off on exped again.

Rebuilding the Army is a bit like planning the future of a premier league team. You need to start with the youngsters & do such a good job of it that they never want to leave.

Fingers.

I was one of the 2 year Bleeders and did mine at Oswestry.

The first year was very heavily dedicated to education and getting the Army Certificate of Education, preferably at Grade 1 which meant that you did not have to do education again (until they changed the system :( ) At the same time it was turning the JL into a soldier and this year also had a lot of drill, some minor fieldcraft training, lots of map reading and adventure training. (Did I mention a lot of drill 8) )

Year 2 was military training with instructing being the major focus of the last term and 1/2 which meant when we left we could take lessons ranging from drill, weapon handling, fieldcraft and signals along with any odd n sod idea that came to the training wing mind.

When we left Oswestry after 2 years we were highly trained and capable junior instructors with feck all experience :D That soon came in the Battalion.

In my very humble opinion, the closing down of the JL system has cost the army expotentially more than was ever saved.
 
The Met police had its own "junior leaders" the cadet school at Hendon.

It closed just before I joined but it's graduates were very fit, switched on (if a little instituionalised) and, (being younger than me,) all seem to be reaching the higher ranks before me :-(


I think it was a great idea and when we threw it away we lost something we will never regain.

Trotsky
 

danny842003

War Hero
Whet said:
Speedy said:
danny842003 said:
'Youngsters, some of whom had to be taught to wash when they arrived'

Sniggers to self about army 'pongo' stereotype.

Then laughs out loud.

Yes, but it does ensure that we all wash in the army...........The RAF attitude of 'You are all adults and you should be doing this anyway' does not exact;y include the idea that you do all actually wash!

I have it on good authority that it isn't just Army recruits that have lessons on using showers and how to shave. My mate who was in 45 Commando had the same lessons.

Yeah the marines do have lessons but they seem to use what they are taught. After sharing tier 2 accommodation with the REME in afghan recently it would appear that between Harrogate and the field army they forget about personal hygiene. The navy don't teach it specifically but if you don't learn before you join a ship. You would learn the hard way very quickly in a 39 man mess.
 
Auld-Yin said:
fingers_1661 said:
A year @IJLB put me in good stead for the rest of my career. A few years earlier it had been 2 years but was binned when the school leaving age rose to 16. I'd like to see a return to the 2 year Jr trg programme for the following reasons:

a) Trainees would arrive @ their battalion old enough (18th birthday) & fit to fight.

b) Education (EPC Cpl to Sgt & EPCA Sgt to WO) could be reintroduced to their sylabus <it was there under the 2 year system>to prevent the bottleneck that can hold people back for 2-5 years.

c) Adventurous training (remember that?) should be included, indeed it should be mandatory that everyone has at least 1xAT skill <diving, parachuting, skiing or similar>that could benefit his CO & add to the morale of the troops when the days when overstretch finally come to an end and the blokes get the chance to swan off on exped again.

Rebuilding the Army is a bit like planning the future of a premier league team. You need to start with the youngsters & do such a good job of it that they never want to leave.

Fingers.

I was one of the 2 year Bleeders and did mine at Oswestry.

The first year was very heavily dedicated to education and getting the Army Certificate of Education, preferably at Grade 1 which meant that you did not have to do education again (until they changed the system :( ) At the same time it was turning the JL into a soldier and this year also had a lot of drill, some minor fieldcraft training, lots of map reading and adventure training. (Did I mention a lot of drill 8) )

Year 2 was military training with instructing being the major focus of the last term and 1/2 which meant when we left we could take lessons ranging from drill, weapon handling, fieldcraft and signals along with any odd n sod idea that came to the training wing mind.

When we left Oswestry after 2 years we were highly trained and capable junior instructors with feck all experience :D That soon came in the Battalion.

In my very humble opinion, the closing down of the JL system has cost the army expotentially more than was ever saved.

My stint was at Bovington, a fine place.

We did all the above and, like AY, more drill than I could throw a shitty stick at. In the second & third terms we even had a drill comp where a Guards Major and WO would come down from London and judge it. They were always impressed by our high standard.

We also did all the education stuff and as we were all just straight from school anyway there was no reluctance to learn some more. In fact as it was either trade relevant or interesting we relished it. I'm sure at times the DS must have run out of things to teach us. We seemed to have a new subject every other week.

The DS were prety much all on-the-ball. There were a few tossers but on the whole most were good NCO/SNCO's. Most weren't seasoned instructors but knew they're craft because they wanted to. I was lucky enough to have a Ex RAC Para Sqn Troop Sgt who had a huge wealth of experience in both Inf and RAC roles (He was even attached to the US 82nd airbourne for two years).

AT was a hoot. Canoeing down the River Severn in Herefordshire. Potholing, trekking and other things on Dartmoor. Any Ex Bovvy old-boy will tell you of the Bridge Jump.

It was a long year but I would never have missed it for the world. It made me the dysfunctional, extrovert and alcohol dependant man I am today (but not whilst I was in!)
 
Fat_cav, Auld_yin; The only caveat I would add to my initial comments is that the staff should be selected as per Sandhurst & they need to be married/in stable relationships. Single blokes or knackers tend to bully when given a bit of power & that would be a disaster with the media being what it is today.

Disclaimer: No rants please, my suggestions are preventative measures to avoid further own goals.
 
fingers_1661 said:
Fat_cav, Auld_yin; The only caveat I would add to my initial comments is that the staff should be selected as per Sandhurst & they need to be married/in stable relationships.

The fact that the instructors are married or single is no guarantee of his ability as an instructor. My DS in Juniors was a 30 year old married guy who'd routinely come into the accomodation in the early hours, in mess dress, reeking of ale and conduct changing parades.When he wasn't right-hooking us in our 16 year old kidneys, he'd break pace sticks over our heads. Strangely enough, I still have fond memories of the Junior Leader's training regime.
 
FiveAlpha said:
fingers_1661 said:
Fat_cav, Auld_yin; The only caveat I would add to my initial comments is that the staff should be selected as per Sandhurst & they need to be married/in stable relationships.

The fact that the instructors are married or single is no guarantee of his ability as an instructor. My DS in Juniors was a 30 year old married guy who'd routinely come into the accomodation in the early hours, in mess dress, reeking of ale and conduct changing parades.When he wasn't right-hooking us in our 16 year old kidneys, he'd break pace sticks over our heads. Strangely enough, I still have fond memories of the Junior Leader's training regime.

My proposal if taken seriously would identify & remove this type on day one.
 
I'm pretty much with Fingers 1661 on this, selection of the Instructional staff is all important. When I was at IJLB Oswestry in the early 70's all the instuctors were Infantry Sergeants and I believe all had achieved at least a C+ grading at Warminster or Netheravon. We had two adult Platoon Sergants per platoon as well as a Juniour Sergeant and two Junior Corporals per room, the platoons were large, about 40 or so and made up of mixed terms. The standard of instruction was superb in all departments and I had no idea how much I'd learned until I got to my Battalion and realised I knew more about weapons and platoon tactics tham most of the J/NCO's in my company, this was before Junior Brecon began you understand. Apart from their instructional ability they also imparted maturity and standards in a way you only tend to get from older and more mature men. In my time at IJLB I never saw an incident such as described above though I know such incidents were common in my Regiment's Junior Soldiers company at the Depot where Corporals ruled the roost. When IJLB moved to Shorncliffe they changed the orbat and had Corporal instructors. I remember an article in Soldier from about 1985 saying it was done because it made more sense to the Juniors as it would match the Platoon Orbats in their Bns when they arrived, what a load of boll*cks!!
A couple of Cpls.from my own Bn went there and I have to say they were not the most impressive of people. I actually debriefed the IJLB CO on the matter when I was visiting my oppo.(a Sgt. on the Weapon Training Wing) there one weekend, for all the good it did.
No, Sandhurst should be the template, proven, mature SNCO's are what is required to turn out tomorrows leaders.
 

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