British Army armoured brigade faces the chop

@Caecilius youre slightly missing my point. Nobody can't recruit all their Battalions entirely from the top third (which almost every arm as well as capbadge is trying to attract) and weighted-average talent wise they're more on a par with the Guards than the Paras.

But I don't think the Mercians, Lancs, Queens Div or the remainder of their peers can either say they're bagging the top third officer wise or matching the Rifles for recruitment and retention across the ranks.

So why chop The Rifles when there are more deserving targets? Unlike the SNP I doubt MPs for Stafford, Manchester or Maidstone will be leading protest rallies in the streets.
 
Whilst the PARAs might excel at attracting junior Officers, they're haemorrhaging their Majors.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
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@Caecilius youre slightly missing my point. Nobody can't recruit all their Battalions entirely from the top third (which almost every arm as well as capbadge is trying to attract) and weighted-average talent wise they're more on a par with the Guards than the Paras.

But I don't think the Mercians, Lancs, Queens Div or the remainder of their peers can either say they're bagging the top third officer wise or matching the Rifles for recruitment and retention across the ranks.

So why chop The Rifles when there are more deserving targets? Unlike the SNP I doubt MPs for Stafford, Manchester or Maidstone will be leading protest rallies in the streets.
Oh, don't get me wrong. The Rifles are one of the competitive infantry Regiments and they sit way above the others in terms of the quality they attract, but I think their weakness is that they have five homogenous battalions. It's therefore going to be much easier politically to get rid of them than it is to bin off the last battalion of Royal Welsh or another battalion of Mexicans.
 
Whilst the PARAs might excel at attracting junior Officers, they're haemorrhaging their Majors.
Decent switched on blokes jumping a sinking ship isn’t really exclusive to Para Reg. You are def correct in that recently a number of them have pushed on but according to a brief this week the Regiment is pretty flush with Majors, well over the required number and I think more so percentage-wise then any other rank.

Doesn’t mean it’s not shite in the Reg too mind...
 
Whilst the PARAs might excel at attracting junior Officers, they're haemorrhaging their Majors.
Probably true, but probably not terminal. I love this kind of dit - its one of the two major kinds of pessimistic glee which typifies the Army.

Since joining up I've witnessed ( and recounted ) the following:

- Eyeorish Gloom. The Army is always going to break within five years due to:
  • SDR - then SDSR emasculating it
  • Telic - then running Telic and Herrick simultaneously,
  • The lack of UORs and an Op ENTIRETY - then their introduction
  • The poor funding of the TA - then over-reliance on the AR.
  • The end of expeditionary Ops leaving the Army little to do - then STTTs and various other minor tasks overwhelming it

- Disastrous Manning.
  • From 1997 to 2004ish the Army was shit because of poor manning. Regiments were thrashing the few blokes they had due to over commitment and unwillingness to cut capbadges, everyone was bored of crap tours to NI and Bosnia, and Germany was no longer fun. Suddenly every regiment in my division had a shit load of Jocks with ancient clan names like Lokovula. I took over a platoon of 15 blokes by the way. 6 were sick or in black economy posts so I only saw 9 of them. An influx of 3 Fijians brought us to multiple strength for NI commitments.
  • From 2004 to 2010 everyone - including the entire SF and Parachute Regiment - had signed off to do 2 years as a Private Contractor and retire to spend the rest of their lives sniffing coke from the tits of a minor girl-band singer while in the back of a Chauffeur driven Mercedes.
  • From 2005 to 2015 everyone was signing off - either because they were being threaders with back to back tours to dusty sh.tholes or couldn't face area cleaning/ a staff job now that they'd blatted off some rounds in anger. When a mate visited you'd dig out your passing out or commissioning photo and run your finger along the rows of faces, concluding with the words "I mean... who's actually left?"
  • Until 2007 regiments couldn't recruit as anyone with a brain could earn more elsewhere. Every mess had three or four blokes gleefully saying how they were going to become a financial headhunter, buy a flat in Putney and go skiing twice a year. My Jocks left telling me they would earn mega-bucks as plumbers.
  • After 2007 everyone in the regular Army told each other that it was so insanely shit that finding employment during a major recession could hardly be worse. I was variously told that the Coldstream Guards' mess was now 30% re-badged Royal Signals and REME officers, 63% of all RE Capt/Majors had signed off, that 80% of the HCR had gone, that MCM had confided to an SO2 that if the current sign off rate continued Clothing Storemen would be given Brevet-Major rank and be filling SO3 jobs in Andover, paraplegics were being given paper passes at PCBC....
Somehow the Army is still around and - I hope - reasonably effective (due in no small part to my departure - where the fck is my MBE for Services to Defence?), despite being manned entirely by drudges and brown-nosers, taking ever worse recruits, conducting ever poorer exercises, inflicting itself with ever more paperwork & ever lower training standards and with entire manning cohorts perpetually about to depart en masse... somehow life goes on.

The collapse may yet happen. Maybe in a year or two the Parachute Regiment will be taking 2Lts straight from P Company and giving them a CSM. But I doubt it. Either way the rumour mill will still be spinning.
 
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Again, is that a result of bickering about badges or a result of being located in the same city as interesting units like 21, HAC and 4 Para? What's the Rifles TA recruiting like in terms of numbers for London?

I have to say it would be a bit of a surprise to find that broader identities were more popular than smaller ones. That'd be different to my experience, as I've seen soldiers tending to take pride in squadron identities even when the Regiment has a strong 'brand'.
It's a city with a population of over 8 million, despite immigration and cultural issues all units inside the M25 should be at full manning, any that are struggling should be taking a long hard look at themselves......
 
Again, is that a result of bickering about badges or a result of being located in the same city as interesting units like 21, HAC and 4 Para? What's the Rifles TA recruiting like in terms of numbers for London?

I have to say it would be a bit of a surprise to find that broader identities were more popular than smaller ones. That'd be different to my experience, as I've seen soldiers tending to take pride in squadron identities even when the Regiment has a strong 'brand'.

No I would say that the last year of in fighting has been the death of the regiment, the two best manned companies (Queen’s Div ) have now left to re join their parent cap badges. A company of the Rifles has been posted in to them (Well at the end of this month) and the New “G”(Guards) company, Is yet to stand up.

I was told an interesting anecdote this week end, about their camp. As so many of the Bn’s troops had exercised in Australia/Canada and the US this year they spent the camp, running a JNCO carder, All ten of the students failed the ACFT, but were all given passes. So will probably be promoted.

Very much reminds me of a post on FB today where the, CGS is quoted, as saying “ I do not want to talk about maintaining standards, as Maintaining standards is what the army does”. Seeing as these will be the new leaders in the regiment. It is not hard to see why any new recruit worth his salt, would not want to try for another unit. Of which ( as you point out), London has many.
 
Funny when I was leaving there seemed to be veritable log jam of them. Many of the young Captains that I worked with were becoming very tired of the plague of thrusting majors.
IIRC, the last No.5 Board only filled 27 per cent of the Regular posts being boarded. It wasn't much better with the Reserve posts...
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
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Funny when I was leaving there seemed to be veritable log jam of them. Many of the young Captains that I worked with were becoming very tired of the plague of thrusting majors.
Right. No lack of Majors. Just like there were no Captains leaving ~5 years ago. Who are directly unrelated to all the Majors who can't be leaving now because they aren't there. I mean are there.

Give it a decade and it will work all the way up the chain, until there are no Generals or CGS any more. Then @stacker1 can take over and it will all get sorted.

Or, stacked.
 
Right. No lack of Majors. Just like there were no Captains leaving ~5 years ago. Who are directly unrelated to all the Majors who can't be leaving now because they aren't there. I mean are there.

Give it a decade and it will work all the way up the chain, until there are no Generals or CGS any more. Then @stacker1 can take over and it will all get sorted.

Or, stacked.
Sold on e-bay more like.
 
IIRC, the last No.5 Board only filled 27 per cent of the Regular posts being boarded. It wasn't much better with the Reserve posts...
The like is an "agree" not a "content with the situation". I believe the situation this year is even worse with approx 50% of Must fills ending up gapped and none of the could/should being filled.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
IIRC, the last No.5 Board only filled 27 per cent of the Regular posts being boarded. It wasn't much better with the Reserve posts...
Shame it doesn't work that way in my neck of the woods... even if I actually wanted to be an OF3 there's pretty much zero chance it could happen. (And yet I';m in one of the areas meant to be a shortage pinch point...) Fortunately for me I like what I do, where I am - if I got promoted I'd have to do less interesting fun stuff and more boring admin :)
 
Oh, don't get me wrong. The Rifles are one of the competitive infantry Regiments and they sit way above the others in terms of the quality they attract, but I think their weakness is that they have five homogenous battalions. It's therefore going to be much easier politically to get rid of them than it is to bin off the last battalion of Royal Welsh or another battalion of Mexicans.
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