Comments on article in March Crafty mag. REME and Honours.

Just read an article in Crafty mag about how some fella noticed that REME seem to get stiffed on Hounours and awards lists.

Guess hes forgotten that only Medics who patch people under fire, Bomb disposal types that blow up stuff, infantry who shoot/get shot at (and they all do it as thats their jobs) get medals. Reme go out, fix things have a go at shooting/shot at stuff/blow up stuff and patch people up etc but when finished just get asked what took so long and can they go on stag now.

Thats the cynical view.

My view is that our commanders tend to accept our peoples efforts herculean or not as standard and not worthy of reporting. That or they get browbeaten if they are part of an attatched unit, by the Co to shut up as the parent unit is trying to rack up their own medal count.

Have seen many instances where our guys and gals have done the same as those who get medals and such but their actions were not reported further up the chain by our command.

Anyone else feel we get stiffed in this area. I know theres other areas, such as we seem to be last when new kit issued but this is an area where our people should be recognised for what in many cases are remarkable achievements taken for granted.
OCs are jealous and want to grab a gong for themselves.
Fcku the troops.
No, dont agree with that. They dont get many either. I think they just dont bother doing the write ups. That or they are not involved with people on the ground so dont see what we do.
Manic_mechanic said:
No, dont agree with that. They dont get many either. I think they just dont bother doing the write ups. That or they are not involved with people on the ground so dont see what we do.
You're quite right there M_M however I seem to remember a REME Officer getting a commendation For "Courage and leadership" In the early 80s.
What actually happened was that the wksp OCs driver saw a landrover roll off an embankment during an exercise, he jammed the brakes on and jumped out he got to the landrover and pulled the driver and commander out before it torched. The driver was a Lcpl and got fukc all whilst the orificer who "co-ordinated" the subsequent rescue ( called the kraut emergency services) took the credit for saving the lives of 2 soldiers who had been soaked in petrol and extracted from a burning vehicle.
That’s life, its always been like that, I remember takeover a job in Belize, my interview on day one with the OC Wksp, he said, if you think you are going to get a BEM for doing this trip your mistaken.

P.s. everyone who did the job before me got a BEM, I was the first of the last (or did I just do a crap job? more so the latter!!!!!!!)
I have been long of the opinion that we are under-represented primarily because we don't right ourselves up (as a Corps). Those that I know with honours and awards have all been awarded them after being written up by parent units. I don't know anyone who got an award for being in a REME Bn.

Or you could spend £20,000 building a school, write a good Crafty piece and get an MBE!

Read the citations for some MBEs and it's about a quarter of the job spec of an Artificer...

Any comments, CO at Elmpt?
commando_caz said:
That's a bit throw-away. My OC is all over CRs like a rash, it's the biggest driver they have.

If you mean that the CR seems 'cut and paste', then it is up to the individual who's CR it is to point this out. An OC will always discuss a CR and give the individual a say.

Is someone expecting the REME to earn 100 MBEs a year?!
commando_caz said:
How true is that statement!....... my CR has been late on numerous occasions, I even had to badger the OC for one!
Ok, stop changing the topic. Start a new one on CR's. Mind if you do it will soon be filled and I'm sure someone has already got one running anyway.

In answer to one point, 100 MBE's would be a good start but no I dont think the point is quota, it's the general lack of recognition.

I wrote this post as I am lucky enough to have had my actions recognised in the past and was amazed at the reaction it got within the Corp. No it was not for taking out every other light bulb in the accomodation, the write up shows the CO would have struggled to meet the specifications of the job I did at the time.

I'd have preferred cash or promotion but hey ho. Still I was bloody lucky to have a good enough OC who was determined that what I had done was recognised. By the way I was serving in a REME Bn at the time. Just detatched to another unit.

I have seen others in our Corp do amazing things, brave, determined and beyond the job spec. Despite recomendations nothing came of those peoples efforts. Yet at the same time other regimental types have been awarded honours for actions that do not compare. The only difference, the reporting officer and those involved in the chain of command.

It's frustrating to know our people who do so much without recognition are ignored or taken for granted. I dislike the fact that due to our capbadge we come second in place all the time despite being clear winners. OC REME V OC Company, who wins every time. Even if we do get inculded in the bling and gong list, if it's attached personel they will get a minor award.

If you want a for instance, REME 513 crew recover 510. Reme fight and defeat superior no of ambushers. 510 crew including dismounts remain sat on arses in vehicle during battle. Reme get MiD. Same unit, same tour a few days later. Non Reme soldier returns to damaged 510 to rescue mission critical equipment whilst under fire. Equipment? his personal weapon and webbing as he'd forgotten it. Time taken? under a min. Mean while no mention of REME 513 hitching up to same 510 and recovering it while under fire. Time taken? 15 min, would have been quicker but I guess the crew were sort of distracted. Result? non REME got an MM.

Why no reward for the REME? Because they and those in command took it as part of doing the job. The soldier who got the award was equaly suprised at being told he was in for an award. The parent unit activly looked for reasons to reward their people, we (me included as I was there and saw the event) the REME did not even think about it.

The article in the soldier or was it the Craftie mag, reminded me of the event above and it set my artisan moan meter running.
I know where your coming from Manic and have seen similar things but as REME we just get on with the job and dont complain. Look at the ammount of Rhinos and 513's crews that have been up the shitty end but it will always be the MBT's and 510,511's that are in the public eye. There has been a number of recy Mechs over the last few years who have had their valiant efforts noted i believe ive seen.
Hey, at least the article's brought this to light. Just need BEMEs and the like to present the various acts of heroism to the Bde Comd, who also contributes to the write ups. If he sees lots of Parent Regt Own Commendations, and no REME, sooner or later he'll get the hint. I'll happily agree with the fact that not enough REME OCs and COs write their own people up that well, so we're not entirely blamesless.

Well done on such a good topic. You are right to keep it on track and not go down the CR rabbit hole. In fear of raising my head above the parapet may I add a little to the argument?

I was recently in a job where I read many of the Formation’s nominations for honours and awards. They were from all Arms and Corps and REME were well represented. For information every citation goes to a board and is scored on its merits. At Formation Level the Bde Comd and GOC sit on this board, it is very fair.

Recently the tasks that some of our teeth arms have been doing have been supported by strong citations that have gained more points when they have been considered by the Board (the Board sits at many levels Bde, Div, LAND, MoD etc). Many of the successful citations were written in a 'Boys Own' style and got the hairs on the back of your neck standing up.

By comparison the citations from some of our REME Commanders were not that punchy. They were honest reflections of the work done by the soldier but, due to the nature of some of the tasks we do, did not attract as many points as an Infantry JNCO who had extracted his Section from a hostile environment whilst under fire etc.

I am confident that where a REME soldier has conducted an act of bravery and this act is supported by a strong citation, he will be considered for the appropriate award without any cap badge prejudice; we have had a few gallantry awards in the past.

To have quotas for honours and awards would devalue them.

Thanks for the comments Oldish_Soldier. It's good to hear we do get represented on the awards boards. I had a suspicion it might be down to style of writing. Given who must have written the boys citations on our last tour I can see where the problem may be. Her CR writting is bland and factual. I can well imagine "boys own" style of creative writing would beat a standard write up.

I fully agree with you about quotas. Although I do remember two senior officers chatting in Bosnia, comments ran along the lines of "We really must find two more sutable candidates for recomendations for citations, see what you can dig up". Not exactly a quota but they were activly looking to find a reason to award people. Oh they were Staffords by the way.

Next time one of my boys decides to be daft enough to do something brave or above the call of duty I'll ensure I prose the writing style more effectivly.
Whilst there are some lazy-arrsed OCs out there, I'd like to think that the majority have the welfare of their blokes in mind and would write someone up for an appropriate award if it was merited. Remember, however, that not all REME OCs (indeed I'll extend that to all cap-badges) can write expressively or with the imagination required to attract the attention of the big wigs making such decisions (and it was interesting to read oldish_soldier's notes on what happens). The same problem exists with CRs - some officers cannot write well. It's not through lack of trying - teeth arm officers are graduates in English, History, etc but REME officers are engineers and scientists. Consequently they are well practised at writing entertaining ditties and REME officers are not.
Yank reporter on Brits in Basra
Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 2:50 pm


Heres a link from another thread thats worth a read, this is the guy we need to write up our lads CR's and operational notes, also the kind of journo we need in the UK aswell. Unfortunately what were expected to doing other corps is classed as exceptional. Agree with a lot of the comments so far and good to see up to date info oldish_soldier.
This could be another reason why we have a problem with awards etc.
While on a marathon recovery job during op grapple 3 , on a hillside, out in the sticks, past Travnic. we were visited late at night by the local Mujahaden, tense stand-off / threats / and pointing and cocking of get the idea.
ANYWAY after the tour our LAD clerk (the infamous quick hands Jamison) told me that our OC had put me in for a mention in dipatches......but the CO of the regiment had knocked it back because, WE SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN IN THAT SITUATION WITHOUT INFANTRY COVER . Yes, HIS infantry cover that HE did not supply.SOUNDS LIKE A COVER-UP JOB TO ME!

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