CGS: British Army to get US style 'Commissioned Warrant Officers'?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by jim30, Jul 9, 2017.

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  1. I actually think that it is totally misguided to even consider trying to "manage" all these areas at high level.. inevitably whoever is in charge will bias the approach towards their comfort zone. What is needed is some form of dynamic balance where there is an informed peer debate between the functions that would permit sensible decisions to be made and foster cooperation between the areas..

    I remember in the very early days of data comms, trying to deal with the SO2 Comms Sy who was a retired Sigs officer, who no doubt could organise world wide data comms based on 5bit baudot (...and probably heliograph!) , but could not cope with 8bit ASCII and computers! This was the clown that wanted all classified computer printout to be security marked top and bottom, front and rear! I remember him going through theatre HQ just before a major NATO exercise pulling out plugs from the back of VDUs (they were all plugged back in again as he left!). He had done a 5 day computer security course "in the west country", knew all the cries, but did not have a scooby about what they meant! This at a time when both the Pay Corps and RAOC could (and did) build bespoke software systems from scratch (including machine code!).

    Is there not a need for officers to have an understanding and an appreciation of the strengths and weaknesses of the digital domain? It is not the preserve of one functional area or capbadge.. everyone is affected. Just as in the past, all officers were all expected to ride a horse and sketch! You were not expected to be a Monet or a Picasso or ride to Grand National levels, but absence of drawing ability or ignorance of horseflesh would not have gone down well. Times change, and knowledge needs to change with it. What really hacks me of is the way in which some individuals revel in their ignorance, and more importantly rubbish the skills and knowledge of those individuals who do have the ability and tenacity to follow a specialisation..

    At the end of the day, the staff command system is all about information.. collection, collation, presentation, analysis, decision, synthesis, direction and monitoring. This is all handled in the digital domain these days.. is it not therefore a bit important that we have the (in-house) capability to manage it?

    I am not in the least against bringing in niche ability or skill where it can be advantageous, but unless the core organisation has at least a working knowledge of the subject area, it has about as much logic as sending a barbeque expert to Alaska...
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  2. Yes, and it's not clear from CGS' remarks if this is entirely related to specialists or higher command with just the right background in skills.

    Yes, but you can get that capability in a stack of different ways

    Agreed, that working knowledge needs to be there but if I look at other uniformed services, namely the fire service and the police, they're bringing in senior officers (DE Superintendents for example) who have different organisational change backgrounds for instance. What I fear for these types of post is they're not streamed in anyway at least overtly. In a small force, a Superintendent will authorize and risk assess from serious stuff. You might have run a large scale change programme but should you really be authorizing detention extensions, covert surveillance and area wide search powers?

    At least the military stands a chance of streaming/setting people with these backgrounds. Policing I think will struggle, not least because when you are unable to progress because you're not being allowed to gain relevant experience the organisation leaves itself open to unfairness at work challenges.
  3. I think you need to be careful about comparing the functions of other uniformed services..

    At the most, the Police and the Fire service are dealing with incidents that the military would deal with at sub unit level. They are working generally within reasonably predictable legal and behavioral boundaries and against an opposition that may be capable and organised, but again is limited in size and scope..

    The military must be capable of operating in a "no holds barred" context.. perhaps not all of the time, however there is always the reality of having to fight a war of national survival and although I accept that this is not something they should or could do from a standing start, this need must never be lost sight of!

    We have always had the possibility of bringing in expertise if needed, however I think it is very dangerous to assume that we can therefore do without the need for inherent understanding and experience..
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  4. Perhaps that reinforces part of the point I was trying to make

    Even policing in this context will struggle to bring in non-domain specific experience into senior management, I used the authorizations example and for the military it's even more acute as you point out. However, at least in the military you can stream these people into finite functions. In policing you can't.

    And I agree entirely, inherent understanding and capability doesn't go away, but it may get augmented and supplemented.
  5. I think the point is the Army lacks inherent understanding and experience in many areas and can not grow it from within.
  6. ... I would suggest it needs to!
  7. Which is General Carter's point, as the Army just cant grow the skills internally it needs to source them from the open market.
  8. A case of Deja Vu - Professionally Qualified Warrant Officers were being considered for the British Army in 2004


  9. Noticed that CIMA accountants are considered a ranker's trade, yet Chartered are commissioned. Bears bugger all relation to the real world.(I'm Chartered btw)
  10. Purple_Flash

    Purple_Flash LE Moderator

    Actually saluting derives from the practice of removing your headdress in the presence of superiors, a leftover of which was doffing your hat to ladies until the 1950s. Ergo, no headdress, no need to pretend to remove it. Quite logical really.
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  11. the CWO thing is red herring , it;s more aobut expanding the scope of PQOs from the traditional selection of 'vicars and tarts ' , if you consider why PQO recruiting happens and what it brings

    in the case of Health Professionals and Lawyers it beings in people with experience in civilian practice at a levle relevant to their practice . in the case og chaplains it brings in chaplains with life and/or parish experience rather than trying to get the small numbers who enter curacy at the correct age for DE officer recruitment ...
  12. and arguably in terms of limited opportunities for roles outside a specialist track much in the way that LEs are limited at present.
  13. Indeed . . .


    Baden-Powell, Chief Scout of the World - A colourful career with the Army, followed by the founding of the Scouting movement...

    Sorry! :)
  14. The PQO system is largely about statutory regulation not experience in civilian roles. By law, you can't practice as a doctor, dentist lawyer, vet or sky pilot without specific, regulated vocational education and post-graduate certification. There are very few other professions for which that is there case, civil engineers being one (which the Army recruits, but not as PQOs).

    So a big challenge with "widening the PQO scheme" is what qualifications are you recognising? Many professionals in industry don't bother with any certification because it costs them and they don't see value. Employers hire in results, not paper.
  15. There was a period in the 80s/90s where they were muttering about Chartered status to sign off on safety-critical software; but like most efforts to create a Closed Shop, it came to naught (they decided to unify the professional engineering bodies instead).

    So, nearly for cyber.

    PS not aware that the requirements for sky-piloting were that strict or regulated. As witnessed by "Dr" Paisley, and those more tent-oriented types who talk in tongues / handle snakes.