Changing the army - how?

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Except that both the RN and RAF manage to retain global significance, respect and ability.
That the current army is a shadow of its former self is entirely its own fault.
Going back donkey's years, and viewing military life from the bottom up, it was clear that the essence of the army was institutional arrogance and complacency.

I view the army as something akin to an aging heavyweight boxer:

In November1918 it was the undisputed heavyweight world champion.

In 1945 it was not the champion, but was a respected contender that could draw a crowd and put on a show.

From 45 - 82 it fought a succession of minor fights against seriously outmatched local pugs. It walked away from these fights with a certain amount of arrogance and overestimated their importance.

In 1982, as light heavyweight, it came out of its corner and rapidly demolished a presumptuous challenger with a devastating combination of blows. It subsequently threw it's chest out and condescended to other fighters for an entire decade.

In 1991 it took part in a team effort to put down a village bully. Not much more than an exhibition bout, but one that exposed some weaknesses (for those with eyes to see).

In Iraq and Afghanistan, it was badly managed as a welterweight, poorly prepared and visibly feeling the strain. Both fights dragged on beyond the early rounds resulting in a humiliating TKO in one bout and a loss on points in the other.

Now it's glossing over the defeats, planning its comeback, and trying to convince an increasingly skeptical world that it's a serious contender as a featherweight.
 
So they'll have extensive top-level military experience and have no particular axe to grind which suggests a foreign former VVSO or foreign Defence Minister or CS.
You might want to add to the list that they'll need really top notch understanding of strategic goal-setting, and successful leadership of beneficial organisational and cultural change in very large organisations.

Sadly, that hurdle would pretty much eliminate any ret'd army VVSO of my working lifetime.

Maybe Inge, if he's still alive and kicking, but I'm not sure even about him.
 

Cynical

LE
Book Reviewer
You might want to add to the list that they'll need really top notch understanding of strategic goal-setting, and successful leadership of beneficial organisational and cultural change in very large organisations.

Sadly, that hurdle would pretty much eliminate any ret'd army VVSO of my working lifetime.

Maybe Inge, if he's still alive and kicking, but I'm not sure even about him.
There are an almost limitless number of ex Capt/Maj/ Lt Col who, having transferred to Civvy Strasse, have a very wide understanding of both commerce and strategy and - like I suspect all (many, not @PhotEx for a start )of us here on Arrse - remember the reality of life where the rubber hits the road and the bayonet gets fixed.

I'm available!
 
First task should be to bin the outcome of the Integrated review and take a realistic view of what we have and what we might be able to do with it. Once we have identified the immediate priorities we need to shape the Army to meet the needs of 2022 not 2032 and beyond.
I could agree less with this snip. The Army is already shaped for 2022, whether or not it meets its needs. There’s bugger all of significance that can be done to change it in that time frame.

What IS vitally needed is a genuine vision of what the Army of 2032 will look like (the ends) a route to getting there (the ways) and a coherent structure to secure the resources (the means). In fact, it’s already too late to be talking about 2032. It’s taken both the Navy and RAF over 20 years to get near to the 98 SDR ends.

It desperately needs some younger blood at the top. People who have skin in the game and aren’t looking to retire to the Lords. People who get and embrace the implications 4th Industrial Revolution.
 
It desperately needs some younger blood at the top. People who have skin in the game and aren’t looking to retire to the Lords. People who get and embrace the implications 4th Industrial Revolution.
A-fvcking-men to that

But let's not gloss over the fact that there's more young blood in the army that is smugly invested in the current status quo (and associated promotion prospects) than there is - for want of better words - creative/ capable/ constructive dissenters.​
The latter are (almost by definition) being sidelined (in favour of the former) as we exchange bits'n'bytes on here.​
 
A-fvcking-men to that

But let's not gloss over the fact that there's more young blood in the army that is smugly invested in the current status quo (and associated promotion prospects) than there is - for want of better words - creative/ capable/ constructive dissenters.​
The latter are (almost by definition) being sidelined (in favour of the former) as we exchange bits'n'bytes on here.​
It has always struck me as strange that any organisation would trust its long term future to people who are towards the end of their working life.

Carter is 63. Carlton-Smith is 57. A strategic vision for the future of the forces has to look forward 20 years, by which time they’ll be 83 and 77 respectively. Whatever vision they enunciate, they will never have any responsibility for implementing it let alone have a stake in its fruition.
 
What IS vitally needed is a genuine vision of what the Army of 2032 will look like (the ends) a route to getting there (the ways) and a coherent structure to secure the resources (the means).

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

A f***ing vision ?

This is what we think 2032 will look like - So this is what we will do ( Sounds like a plan :rolleyes: :rolleyes: )

If Ben Wallace gets his way - We will be b@ll deep in Somalia in 2032.

If you want to shape the future of the British Army - You dictate the terms now *.

Visions, hope & prayers ain't a feasible plan.

* Starting with a clearly defined role - With current manning levels, that clearly defined role is very easy to define.
 
Whatever vision they enunciate, they will never have any responsibility
They have prospered throughout their service careers by virtue of that self-same absence of accountability for, and personal investment in the consequences of their decisions, along with pretty much all their predecessors.

Hence the discussion on this thread.
 
I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

A f***ing vision ?

This is what we think 2032 will look like - So this is what we will do ( Sounds like a plan :rolleyes: :rolleyes: )

If Ben Wallace gets his way - We will be b@ll deep in Somalia in 2032.

If you want to shape the future of the British Army - You dictate the terms now *.

Visions, hope & prayers ain't a feasible plan.

* Starting with a clearly defined role - With current manning levels, that clearly defined role is very easy to define.

You can’t plan to change anything without having a vision of what the end state is going to be. EnWays and Means. The vision is the end. The plan is the way. The means are the resources.

The last 20 years has been packed with ideas. Light / Medium / Heavy? Strike? Ranger brigade? And multiple other undelivered fantasies. None have been pulled together into a cohesive vision for what the Army should look like.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
You can’t plan to change anything without having a vision of what the end state is going to be. EnWays and Means. The vision is the end. The plan is the way. The means are the resources.

The last 20 years has been packed with ideas. Light / Medium / Heavy? Strike? Ranger brigade? And multiple other undelivered fantasies. None have been pulled together into a cohesive vision for what the Army should look like.
Because whats ‘needed’ has changed every five minutes.
 
I think that’s because it doesn’t believe in itself. Thus it moves with every passing fad, and in line with the cap badge of every passing VSO.
 
You can’t plan to change anything without having a vision of what the end state is going to be.

Bingo

Define end state - If we are going to be kiddy on world policemen - You cannot define end state ( Because it is out of your hands ) and you end up where we are now, pretty clueless and looking for soundbites to help us out.

The last 20 years has been packed with ideas. Light / Medium / Heavy? Strike? Ranger brigade? And multiple other undelivered fantasies. None have been pulled together into a cohesive vision for what the Army should look like.

:D :D :D

The very definition of being clueless and chasing your tail for the sake of trying to do something

Which takes me right back to one of my 1st comments on this thread - Clearly define the role of the British Army - Because until we can do that, we are wasting time, energy, resources and money chasing a f***ing pipe dream.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Bingo

Define end state - If we are going to be kiddy on world policemen - You cannot define end state ( Because it is out of your hands ) and you end up where we are now, pretty clueless and looking for soundbites to help us out.



:D :D :D

The very definition of being clueless and chasing your tail for the sake of trying to do something

Which takes me right back to one of my 1st comments on this thread - Clearly define the role of the British Army - Because until we can do that, we are wasting time, energy, resources and money chasing a f***ing pipe dream.
Another way of looking at that is the apparently overwhelming need to Do Something.

Frankly, in some instances it's rather better to do nothing, in that 'It is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought an idiot than open it and remove all doubt' way.

The most recent review was an embarrassment and laid bare our paucity of... talent is the only word I can think of.
 

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