Changing the army - how?

The unkind might say that this is already the case, from certain perspectives ;)

View attachment 612113

Of particular interest is the equivalence of RN Lt Cdr and RAF Sqn Ldr with Army Lt. Similarly, RN Cdr, RAF Wg Cdr equivalent to an Army Major. In the OR-isphere, RN POs are apparently equivalent to Corporals.

No smoke without fire, I suppose :D
In terms of personnel in hand, this makes sense (arguably you could equate CPO and Cpl in some areas). In terms of required expertise... perhaps not so much.
 

Mölders 1

War Hero
It’s a rehash of the 90s Bett Report from 1995 which was given a stiff ignoring. Only Bett went flatter still.

IIRC Bett recommended removing LCpl, SSgt, WO2, 2Lt, Col, Lt Gen and FM.
I seem to remember that Bett was shocked at the number of different levels of management within the Army.

It worked out that there is 10 Officer Ranks for 5 Levels of command......and there was @40,000 more people in Army back then.
 
So, challenge for today - how does the Army become more “scrappy” and less “ponderous”…?
 

Cynical

LE
Book Reviewer
I seem to remember that Bett was shocked at the number of different levels of management within the Army.

It worked out that there is 10 Officer Ranks for 5 Levels of command......and there was @40,000 more people in Army back then.
IIC Bett (like many in MOD including too many of those who wear green) didn't understand land warfare. With dispersed teams under fire it is crucial that people know who is in charge. This is not a problem for RN or for airborne bits of RAF.

IT's also worth noting that most other armies have similar array of ranks / experience.

For sure the Army has problems. Too many generals is possibly one of them, as is career deveopment post Lt Col Comd. Playing silly buggers with the rank structure doesn't address either. Suspect Drummond writing click bait while awaiting increased oreder for Boxer
 

Mölders 1

War Hero
IIC Bett (like many in MOD including too many of those who wear green) didn't understand land warfare. With dispersed teams under fire it is crucial that people know who is in charge. This is not a problem for RN or for airborne bits of RAF.

IT's also worth noting that most other armies have similar array of ranks / experience.

For sure the Army has problems. Too many generals is possibly one of them, as is career deveopment post Lt Col Comd. Playing silly buggers with the rank structure doesn't address either. Suspect Drummond writing click bait while awaiting increased oreder for Boxer

Wasn't Bett work as a "very high up" for B.T. before he wrote his report?
 
Did Bett give any indication of how this would work for the Infantry ?
I’ve no idea. I read it and from the viewpoint of a serving Sapper squadron commander.

IMHO Bett was fundamentally wrong about LCpl. To me, it is a vital stepping stone rank.

Above that, I’m not sure. Why does the CQMS need to be a rank higher than a platoon Sergeant? Would a Company be unable to operate if the CQMS was a Sgt?

And do we need two Warrant ranks; we differentiate within Warrant ranks by appointment, the RSM is senior to the RQ by appointment. In my Corp, an SSM is a second tour WO2 selected from amongst the QMSIs and senior to them.

Similarly, amongst officer ranks. Why do we need two Lieutenant ranks? And is there a big enough gap between a Lieutenant and Captain’s responsibility to warrant a separate rank?

Likewise Lt Col / Col, although that has changed a bit. When Bett reported, CS and CSS brigades were the norm. Now we’ve got Col commanded Groups.

To me, the advantage of removing ranks and flattening is that you remove the short term imperative to promote and hopefully get rid of some of the egregious behaviours. If course, none of us know if it would work.
 

Cynical

LE
Book Reviewer
To me, the advantage of removing ranks and flattening is that you remove the short term imperative to promote and hopefully get rid of some of the egregious behaviours. If course, none of us know if it would work.
PErhaps
But part of strength of Army (especially compared to civvy strasse) is that the overwhelming majority of people have badges on them that define what they can and can't do.
e.g. 2Lt = fresh from RMAS / STA training but short on experience. Lt = can command pl.

The CR / promotion problem is not the same.

The Army has am institutional failing. Tinkering at the edges will not alter it and will deflect attention and effort from addressing the core issues.

And I say again, most armies have similar structures. There's a reason for that.
 
I’ve no idea.

Fair one

From an Infantry only perspective

IMHO Bett was fundamentally wrong about LCpl. To me, it is a vital stepping stone rank.

Not too many would be able to make the step up from Pte to Sect Comd in one movement. In addition, LCpl is where you gain experience and get qualified before making the step up to Sect Comd - Therefore in agreement regarding LCpls.

Why does the CQMS need to be a rank higher than a platoon Sergeant? Would a Company be unable to operate if the CQMS was a Sgt?

Natural stepping stone between SNCO and WO - From somewhere in the fog of time. Something to do with being an account holder, which a Pl Sgt will not gain ( needed for further promotion.

Secondly

Although CQMS is a bit of a sh1t job ( in camp ) On Ops he should be one of the busiest men in the Company.

the RSM is senior to the RQ by appointment.

Hmmmm - Unless it has changed the RQ was a WO2 and the RSM a WO1. Senior by Rank and Appt.

Similarly, amongst officer ranks.

I think it might be fair to say that the whole Officer Corp needs looking at
 

Yokel

LE
Nick's been having ideas again o_O


Really don't get some of his reasoning, first Field Marshall is an Honorary rank, only given to Royals and retirees, neither retaining that rank nor abolishing achieves anything militarily, he's got a whole load of mess going on there around Lieutenant, that seems to little more than create new titles so he can feel special. So he drops 1 Honorary Rank, 2 Officer Ranks Brigadier (Lt Col), and merges two ORs. I can see something maybe with remove Lt Col & Brigadier, and the merger of CSM & CS but I'm not convinced.

Maybe I'm just getting hung with the Lieutenant-Captain idea seems to achieve bugger all

Full Blogpost here


The Lt Capt is supposed to be equivalent to a RN Lt Cdr, who is currently equivalent to Major. A Lt Cdr and a Major tend to have similar levels of responsibility - Head of Department or Company Commander, second in command, or command of a small unit.

What's the NSN for pitchforks? We could do with a few extra.

A 1* HQ with a high number of OF5 and OF4 has reduced the pitchfork holding, and has appointed SO1 Pitchfork to take control of pitchfork use. SO1 Crayons will deal with subordinates not deemed to deserve death by pitchfork. To pay for all these staff position the numbers of junior personnel have been cut, despite the protests of the parent service.
 

QRK2

LE
PErhaps
But part of strength of Army (especially compared to civvy strasse) is that the overwhelming majority of people have badges on them that define what they can and can't do.
e.g. 2Lt = fresh from RMAS / STA training but short on experience. Lt = can command pl.

The CR / promotion problem is not the same.

The Army has am institutional failing. Tinkering at the edges will not alter it and will deflect attention and effort from addressing the core issues.

And I say again, most armies have similar structures. There's a reason for that.

Alternately part of the weakness of the army is to define what people can and can't do on the basis of what (rank) badges they have on.

A great strength of 'civvy strasse' is that specifications when looking for a person tend to define the skills and experience needed rather than starting with a 'rank' or grade.
 
A great strength of 'civvy strasse' is that specifications when looking for a person tend to define the skills and experience needed rather than starting with a 'rank' or grade.

That might have merit if the Army recruited direct from ' civvy strasse ' into Ranks / Appts.

I don't envision that approach would be much good for the Army.
 

Cynical

LE
Book Reviewer
A great strength of 'civvy strasse' is that specifications when looking for a person tend to define the skills and experience needed rather than starting with a 'rank' or grade.
Not sure about that. For example the number of people with director in their title who have not signed a form 288 and indeed lack the breath of vision, ability and experience to direct a company is shocking. (One could also say the same about the number of people described as engineers who do not have a degree in engineering and are in fact fitters - itself a noble calling).

However the real point is that the armed forces sign up for the unlimited liability clause in pursuit of their profession, which is not the case in the commercial world. This seriously constrains the ability of those from outside the armed forces to make useful observations on structures.

Moreover, a Cpl may command a tank (with about as much firepower as an infantry company, or a light gun, or an infantry section plus countless support roles where his/her rank is more about experience and knowledge that the ability to command. Hence the many badges that one needs to understand and differentiate between tasks.

And, returning to the thread topic, messing about with the rank structure is exceptionally unlikely to solve the Army's manifest problems. It's a distraction (although possibly a lucrative and interesting one for some consultants).
 

Cynical

LE
Book Reviewer
It's not great for civvy st either, when the army turns people loose who have convinced themselves that management consists of shouting at people and polishing things.
Ex Army are generally sought after applicants by most commercial organisations. Can't believe I'm dignifying this drivel by replying to it.

ETA Far from your best post. If its digging at something form @Portree Kid I wouldn't know as I have deployed ignore on him/her.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
And, returning to the thread topic, messing about with the rank structure is exceptionally unlikely to solve the Army's manifest problems. It's a distraction (although possibly a lucrative and interesting one for some consultants).
It has a definite feel of this sort of situation....

cart-before-horse-slice-scaled500.jpg

Rewriting the rank structure is probably a comfortably enjoyable displacement activity, and about as useful as carefully sorting, cleaning and re-aligning the deckchairs on the White Star Line's newest and biggest liner on her maiden voyage... after the unfortunate dispute over whether the ship or the iceberg were the 'stand-on' vessel.

Would it not be better to make some efforts at addressing the structural problems, and then see if the rank structure requires revision to better fit the new, improved Army?
 

QRK2

LE
It's not great for civvy st either, when the army turns people loose who have convinced themselves that management consists of shouting at people and polishing things.

Or the ones like the ex-officer who joined a firm that, as is the widespread custom these days, had a hot desk policy who thought he could tell someone of a lower grade to vacate the desk that he preferred to use. He didn't last long, re-joined I think.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
It has a definite feel of this sort of situation....

cart-before-horse-slice-scaled500.jpg

Rewriting the rank structure is probably a comfortably enjoyable displacement activity, and about as useful as carefully sorting, cleaning and re-aligning the deckchairs on the White Star Line's newest and biggest liner on her maiden voyage... after the unfortunate dispute over whether the ship or the iceberg were the 'stand-on' vessel.

Would it not be better to make some efforts at addressing the structural problems, and then see if the rank structure requires revision to better fit the new, improved Army?

Exactly this, my grump, beside the clunkiness of his Lt-Capt title, is that it's little more than rerranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
 

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