Changing the army - how?

Fair one

From an Infantry only perspective



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.



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.



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



I think it might be fair to say that the whole Officer Corp needs looking at
I remember the Bett report as being a well researched and argued piece. He did make it clear that it should be read in full, not just the recommendations and that the recommendations should not be cherry picked. Here we are 25 years later discussing my recollections of some of the recommendations so we’re doing exactly what he asked us not to do!

The services Bett saw had massive inertia that stopped getting things done. We were still in the days where people wrote memos to each other and put them in the infernal mail. There were loads of personal fiefdoms and precious little horizontal communication. Bett was proposing changes to ready the services for the digital age; whether the Army is any better at communicating now it is digital, I’ve no idea.

The Army for the most part gave Bett a stiff ignoring. Most people went straight to the recommendations and got hung up on the proposal to remove the rank of LCpl. But Bett wasn’t recommending the removal of the section 2ic role, he was recommending it being a paid appointment, not a rank. Similar with CQMS, RSM etc etc. The underlying principle was that, by removing the imperative to promote every 2-3 years and making some of the ranks paid appointments, you remove some of the toxicity and enable people to develop without what was then CR watching.

Bett had it’s merits. The problems he identified probably still exist. Whether his proposal was a valid solution is a moot point and it’s never been tested.

On your point about RQMS, the four Engineer Regiments I served in all had a WO1 RQM. In fact, they had at least 5 WO1s; RSM, RQMS, SMI, Staff Assistant (pre AGC) & ASM. Some also had at least one WO1 Clk Wks and MPF. I’m thinking 39 Engr Regt had around 10 WO1s in the late 80s. None of them would question that the RSM was the senior warrant officer.
 
On your point about RQMS, the four Engineer Regiments I served in all had a WO1 RQM. In fact, they had at least 5 WO1s; RSM, RQMS, SMI, Staff Assistant (pre AGC) & ASM. Some also had at least one WO1 Clk Wks and MPF. I’m thinking 39 Engr Regt had around 10 WO1s in the late 80s. None of them would question that the RSM was the senior warrant officer.

And perhaps that is where confusion reigns supreme in Army wide reviews - Perhaps they should be ( More ) tailored to individual parts of the Army.

Different Departments within the Army has different structures. ( And for very good reason )

The Infantry ( in my time anyway ) had 1 x WO1 - The RSM.

The only time I saw that change was when a new RSM was appointed and the old RSM kicked about for a few months waiting to be posted, ( and I can only recall that happening on one occasion ) for reasons not known to me he did not Commission.

( Fog of time clears slightly and I think that when we had Regimental Mil Bands, the Bandmaster might have been a WO1, but his role being confined to Mil Band stuff )

Perfectly possible for 2 x WO2's to pick up WO1 at the same time - One would be appointed RSM and the other posted. ( TA being a perfect example )

But Bett wasn’t recommending the removal of the section 2ic role, he was recommending it being a paid appointment, not a rank.

Personally - I do not think that would have worked for the Infantry

you remove some of the toxicity and enable people to develop without what was then CR watching.

TBF - I don't think too many LCpls could be deemed as CR watchers.

I also do not think that we had too many CR watchers across the board - Possibly as a result of having good RSM's that operated an unofficial RSM's plot - Whereby when you were pencilled onto said plot, the RSM would have a quiet word in your ear to tell you that you were pencilled in, and what was required to change that pencil mark into reality ( Particularly good man management of Cpl's trying to get that next promotion )
 
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.

You think that there might be a reason why the ' Army turned them loose ' ? ;) ;)

Turned them loose - Because the Army didn't want them either.

Things might have changed over the last 2 decades - But when I left there was employers left, right and centre that were looking ex- Forces personnel

Right - That's me off, the golf course awaits.
 
And perhaps that is where confusion reigns supreme in Army wide reviews - Perhaps they should be ( More ) tailored to individual parts of the Army.

Different Departments within the Army has different structures. ( And for very good reason )

The Infantry ( in my time anyway ) had 1 x WO1 - The RSM.

The only time I saw that change was when a new RSM was appointed and the old RSM kicked about for a few months waiting to be posted, ( and I can only recall that happening on one occasion ) for reasons not known to me he did not Commission.

( Fog of time clears slightly and I think that when we had Regimental Mil Bands, the Bandmaster might have been a WO1, but his role being confined to Mil Band stuff )

Perfectly possible for 2 x WO2's to pick up WO1 at the same time - One would be appointed RSM and the other posted. ( TA being a perfect example )



Personally - I do not think that would have worked for the Infantry



TBF - I don't think too many LCpls could be deemed as CR watchers.

I also do not think that we had too many CR watchers across the board - Possibly as a result of having good RSM's that operated an unofficial RSM's plot - Whereby when you were pencilled onto said plot, the RSM would have a quiet word in your ear to tell you that you were pencilled in, and what was required to change that pencil mark into reality ( Particularly good man management of Cpl's trying to get that next promotion )
There’s a significant difference between the way the Infantry appoint their RSMs and the way the Corps do.

In the Corps, WO1 and SSM appointments are made by a dedicated senior selection board. All other WO & SNCO postings are made by the MCM Div.

To make RSM, a soldier has to promote at first look or at worst second look at every rank on the way. Every report counts and there can be some pretty egregious behaviours as a result.

And yes, the LCpls who promote quickly can be very report conscious.
 
There’s a significant difference between the way the Infantry appoint their RSMs and the way the Corps do.

In the Corps, WO1 and SSM appointments are made by a dedicated senior selection board. All other WO & SNCO postings are made by the MCM Div.

To make RSM, a soldier has to promote at first look or at worst second look at every rank on the way. Every report counts and there can be some pretty egregious behaviours as a result.

And yes, the LCpls who promote quickly can be very report conscious.
Which is pointless as the RSM has little to no input into the operational output of a unit, at least in my experience. They do have plenty of capacity for things that could be considered outside of the operational output, like parades and the Mess.
 

Fat POM

War Hero
Which is pointless as the RSM has little to no input into the operational output of a unit, at least in my experience. They do have plenty of capacity for things that could be considered outside of the operational output, like parades and the Mess.
In an Engineer Regiment the RSM (and the SSMs) were the senior technical experts, with a careers worth of practical military engineering experience, and could impact on the operational output. May have changed now but I doubt it.
 
In an Engineer Regiment the RSM (and the SSMs) were the senior technical experts, with a careers worth of practical military engineering experience, and could impact on the operational output. May have changed now but I doubt it.
I thought the technical experts were the Clerk of Works?
 
There’s a significant difference between the way the Infantry appoint their RSMs and the way the Corps do.

Yes, exactly.

There are many differences across the wider Army umbrella.

Hence my comment that perhaps Army wide reviews might not be the best way to carry out a review and targeted reviews might be a better way of doing things.

To make RSM, a soldier has to promote at first look or at worst second look at every rank on the way. Every report counts and there can be some pretty egregious behaviours as a result.

Would it be fair to say then, that there is also a lot of behaviour that is not egregrious ?

And yes, the LCpls who promote quickly can be very report conscious.

The mainstream Infantry route from LCpl to Cpl was fairly straightforward. ( Probably / possibly changed )

1. A period of above average / excellent performance as a LCpl Sect 2i/c
2. A solid course report from SCBC
3. Await a vacancy for a Cpl in the Unit or at a Training Establishment.

There really wasn't a lot of scope for being overly report conscious as a LCpl.
 
Yes, exactly.

There are many differences across the wider Army umbrella.

Hence my comment that perhaps Army wide reviews might not be the best way to carry out a review and targeted reviews might be a better way of doing things.



Would it be fair to say then, that there is also a lot of behaviour that is not egregrious ?



The mainstream Infantry route from LCpl to Cpl was fairly straightforward. ( Probably / possibly changed )

1. A period of above average / excellent performance as a LCpl Sect 2i/c
2. A solid course report from SCBC
3. Await a vacancy for a Cpl in the Unit or at a Training Establishment.

There really wasn't a lot of scope for being overly report conscious as a LCpl.
I’ve no axe to grind on Bett; I simply raised it in response to the post about the Wavell Room article. The article would have been a lot more credible if it had acknowledged Bett.

Bett was a tri-service study and report, not just Army wide. It started by looking at the passage of instructions, information and reports through a wide sample of units. The research was thorough and the recommendations we’ll argued. My point is more that it was given a stiff ignoring / trashed because it was confronting. It’s probably worth a dust off now.

Route to promotion from LCpl to Cpl anywhere else but the personal fiefdoms of the infantry was; two consecutive reports with an outright recommendation and the necessary course qualifications, you go on front of the board. Board scores across the Corps, sets a quality line and selects. Promotion occurs when the soldier is posted in to a vacancy.
 
Route to promotion from LCpl to Cpl anywhere else but the personal fiefdoms of the infantry was; two consecutive reports with an outright recommendation and the necessary course qualifications, you go on front of the board. Board scores across the Corps, sets a quality line and selects. Promotion occurs when the soldier is posted in to a vacancy.

And this highlights the vast differences across the Army.

The personal fiefdoms of the Infantry that you allude to above - Rather than personal fiefdoms, it was more a case of cross Bn postings did not occur ( stand fast Infantry Bn's that had more than 1 Bn ) there was no Corps to be posted across. Mainstream was either promoted to Cpl as a Sect Comd within the Bn or being posted to a Training Establishment.

Postings opened up further on promotion to Sgt.

That stovepipe that you keep referring to was really small for single Bn Infantry Regiments.
 
I’ve just read the Bett report: it stands the test of time well, and you can see the strands that have been implemented.

Notwithstanding that, there remains many outstanding points the body made that could be implemented now.

I’d suggest you actually read what was written and reflect on it.
 
Notwithstanding that, there remains many outstanding points the body made that could be implemented now.

In the context of the thread - Which relates to the Army and how to change it.

I'm sure there is many points that could have been implemented at the time, implemented at any time between publication and now.

The question is - If they are such good recommendations, why haven't they been implemented ?

Far be it for me to suggest an outdated Officer model that have fought long and hard to resist anything that is going to upset the applecart for said Officer Corp.

I’d suggest you actually read what was written and reflect on it.

If that was aimed at me - I'm a Civvie and have been for 20 years, why would I want to reflect on it ?

I have made my views well known on this thread about where the Army is heading and reports by Bett or anyone else is not going to change that direction.

An Army :D :D - Can 60,000 really be classed as an Army ?
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
There's a major difference between the Engineers and the Signals, right there - Signals SSMs and RSMs come from the RD roster, which is populated with tarmac mechanics and bull enthusiasts, who were either in trades with no supervisory qualification, or who failed to be selected for same and had to drop off the trade roster.
 
There's a major difference between the Engineers and the Signals, right there - Signals SSMs and RSMs come from the RD roster, which is populated with tarmac mechanics and bull enthusiasts, who were either in trades with no supervisory qualification, or who failed to be selected for same and had to drop off the trade roster.
I’ve heard it said before that supervisors didn’t have the mettle to make it on the RD roster.
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
I’ve heard it said before that supervisors didn’t have the mettle to make it on the RD roster.
True enough, they just had to console themselves with the faster promotion and better salaries, poor sods, not even the consolation of a pace stick or a ruler to write on.
 
True enough, they just had to console themselves with the faster promotion and better salaries, poor sods, not even the consolation of a pace stick or a ruler to write on.
I’d argue that neither pay or promotion is different, or at least it hasn’t been for years. Nowt wrong with straight lines either.
 
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Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
I guess the proof of the pudding comes when there's a massive operational problem in the 6 shop. Does the call go out "for the love of God, comms are down and the network's crashed, won't someone, please, fetch me a smart man with a pace stick to shout at it?".

So RD types now get promoted at the same rate as technical trades and earn the same salaries? Goodness, it's hard to imagine why so many juniors bang out.
 
I’ve just read the Bett report: it stands the test of time well, and you can see the strands that have been implemented.

Notwithstanding that, there remains many outstanding points the body made that could be implemented now.

I’d suggest you actually read what was written and reflect on it.
I’ve been trying and have failed to find an open source version to post a link to since I first mentioned it. I can’t.

IIRC very few of the strands were implemented as a result of Bett. Some may well have occurred naturally over time or been forced on the services, but few were actually implemented at the time.

In any event, the guiding principle behind Bett’s work was that for it to be effective it should be implemented in full, not cherry picked.
 

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