Career Structures

Just for Barbs!

Starter for 10:

our form of "career management" is mired in an Cold War mindset and doesn't provide for the "contemporary operating environment" nor does it allow officers to gain expertise in an area without being shunted to one side as a "single issue fanatic".


[I'm trying to formulate an answer without going into a rant, which given my exposure to "career management" today is proving a little difficult....]

it's on DII, you can't download it from a internet computer


I love you dearly, but sometimes you toe the party line even closer than I do. I blame it on being in the Vaterland and the inherent atmosphere of fear instilled by making sure that your clean rubbish goes into the correctly coloured clean bin to be picked up by the suspiciously clean rubbish truck manned by smart, young, blue-eyed blondes.

The document is, I am afraid, another example of people taking "ENTIRETY in its entirety" to the extremes: publishing old thinking, under a new cover. It does not address the OP's premise. A few examples.

Command Primacy
The overriding need for the Army to succeed on operations is reflected in Command primacy – a practice whereby the unique need for formation/unit/sub-unit leadership takes precedence over continuity in staff appointments and, occasionally, individual career needs.
Do we deliver on this? Yes, in my personal experience. Officers are pulled from staff to fill command appointments which have been opened by injury and illness and (oops) postings. I think that in my Bde there were a large number of sub-unit commanders who took over/changed over mid-tour or during MST (3 in the BG AO I was working in, and 3 in my parent Bn) and at least 2 others that I know of who took over during PDT/MST. Not least the Bde COS changed over mid-tour!

Who manages the BCR list for these formation/unit/sub-unit commanders? It is not as if we don't need them. I met quite a few last summer who had never been told it was their role and they got a bit of a shock when they were told to report for duty in Helmand. Oh and by the way the unit which was set aside to provide BCRs did not provide the replacement unit or sub-unit commanders last summer.

What is APC's plan for replacing junior officers. Where is the list of YOs who are trained and ready to fill the boots of their WIA and KIA peers? They don't exist. Where is the increase in SOTR to reflect the need to train more YOs?

Arms and Services
A&SDs determine and set policy for career development and special to arm training within their parts of the Army. They are the subject matter experts for all soldier CEGs, owning the E1 liability and unit establishments. They also play a key role in providing special to arm advice to the APC with regards to manning and career progression. They have responsibility for managing the inflow of soldiers and officers into their Arm or Service and for directing adjustments to manning levels within units to meet FORM requirements and short term constraints placed on them by Army Manning Priorities. They advise career managers on the filling of E1 officer posts and, at the more senior levels, personally vet and recommend appointments to MS officer boards. In addition to running a wide range of officer and soldier boards on behalf of MS, A&SDs themselves are key individuals in the MS boarding process, providing subjectivity, in the form of Arms and Service specific insight, advice
and understanding.
The Arms and Service Directors are a problem in and of themselves. They are inherently selfish organisations who are angling for roles and profiles and column inches and (dare I say it, the opportunities for their soldiers to die and therefore their commanders to be honoured - oops there's the other elephant). They are divided and political. They are climbing over each other to demonstrate they are progressive and operationalizing their activities. They are in place to develop sinecures for 2nd rate Lt Cols to become 2nd rate E1 Colonels - take a look at your own capbadge and determine whether the number of E1 Colonel posts reflects their actual competence on an Army-wide basis (fewer E1 Col posts reflects a confidence that your men can gain the heights without a step up; greater numbers of E1 Col posts reflects a lack of that confidence, IMO).

Now before I say this, some of my best friends are RMP officers. Why has the RMP campaigned so vigorously to move from CSS to CS? I can't imagine it would be so that they could get more E1 posts in CS formations and for their senior officers to command a broader range of things. Am I cynical or realistic?
alfred_the_great said:

it's on DII, you can't download it from a internet computer

I know that, but if it is unclassified, I can ask for a copy to be emailed out :roll:

Armynet -> front page of the MS Web pages -> Career Management in the British Army.

any snags, let me know and I'll email you a copy.
Hey Barbs,

Don't shoot the messenger ;)

You are, of course, almost certainly correct. I thought it worth a read though. BCR policy has always baffled me. Is it an APC responsibility (I should probably know the answer)? I've been told BCRs are built into my MMS for the next tour, which is a surprise bearing in mind the numbers.

Bloody knackered at the moment, and having much fun on the prairie. Seeing as we can't influence CM that much, might as well have fun shootin, rootin, tootin. Anyone we know on the Pink List? I can't get a copy here...

Hope all's well,


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