"Courageous course"

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Plastic Yank, Aug 24, 2004.

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  1. Letter to the Torygraph editor today from FM Lord Bramall:

    generally the letter suports John "The Man" Keegan's excellent article last week. He does however seem to advocate General Jacko's re-organisation.

    The full letter is interesting, but main bit is as follows:

    Single battalion regiments can no longer be held to be economically, administratively and operationally viable, whereas the seven existing larger regiments, of at least two battalions, have provided, for those in them, greater stability, better manning, operational balance and availability, and just as much motivation, inspiration and esprit de corps, in our vital regimental system, as any of the older regiments would have done.

    The young soldiers want the large regiments as they like them, while for the "old and bold", the pain of parting can be greatly alleviated by the keeping alive of the memories and traditions of the older regiments in thriving regimental associations, clubs and reunions, and, indeed, in the histories and pedigree of the new ones.

    Admittedly, i am now just a civy and any comments i have on this will be tarred with the "old and bold" statement. Therefore, from youse guys serving - Comments??
  2. X-Inf

    X-Inf War Hero Book Reviewer

    Sorry, I am well past the Old and I don't think I was ever Bold but the young soldiers referred to now will be old soldiers in just a few years time.

    It may be nostalgia keeping things going but if everything changes what will the British Army look like in a few years time, and is there any guarantee that this is the last of the 'tinkering'? I don't think so. I make no apology for fighting the good fight.
  3. I can see both sides of this argument. It seems fairly clear to most that many of the single battalion regiments are struggling to recruit, retain etc etc. It is equally clear that those regiments who have 2 or more battalions are having less problems.

    Added to this, given the changes in society over the last 10 years or so, I think it is also broadly accepted that fixing large regiments into 2 or 3 roles and moving people as individuals between only 2 or 3 posts can only benefit the army in general and the families of those soldiers in particular.

    However against this, you have to question the governments motives in all of this. The more so when you combine the current governments well documented and widely accepted (not by the govt tho'!) efforts to destroy anything old or traditional, with their at times blatant efforts to move us further (and irreversably) into the EU. The proposed moves will undoubtedly make it that much easier to blend the British Army with any proposed (however publicly or not!) EU army.

    But at the end of the day (as all football managers are wont to say!), all this is just rhetoric. Regardless of any protest, no matter how public, big or well organised, these changes will come. One thing this govt does not lack is the will to carry out controversial policy. And we want to bring the public on side and even support budget increases, someone somewhere is going to have to start getting friendly with journalists. (How disgusting!)

    Speaking of budgets, does anyone know why so many senior RAF officers, who have not flown (operationally) for years and never will again, are being paid flying pay? Some big boys scam? Or is there actually a proper (and plausible!) reason for such an expensive and wasteful policy?
  4. Have to agree with you there El Gringo. There are problems and the solutions have been put on the table. Like it or not it's going to happen and it's only the detail that has to be sorted out.

    I feel that a lot of the shouts of foul are from regimental associations and soldiers that aren't even going to be in by the time things actually change. Even then it seems that in general everyone can see the big picture but nobody wants their battalion effected. A bit of 'not in my back yard'.

    That said...... nice controversial ending :wink:
  5. Interesting points from El Gringo and P-P, but i'd like to raise two further issues.

    1. Soldiers join the Army to get away from their home lives - all this sentimental crap about being posted near their homes is only relevant after about 5 years in. Remember quite vividly how p*ssed off the jocks were about coming back to Scotland after Berlin, while the old sweats were looking forward to getting home and seeing family. vicious cicle and senior officers make too much of this being based near home business.

    2. Why must we accept it? ok, i'm not advocating mutiny (but it is tempting admit it!!), but surely a protest from the Regiments would drive home the message. I'm sure X-Inf can enlighten us about the active protests in the Army over pay in the 70's (no i'm not accusing you of being that old). Can only assume that, as is now the case, for good or bad, senior officers are too afraid of being given the boot and loosing pensions, etc. I'm not condemning them for this, but perhaps they should at least admit it!

  6. I doubt that senior RAF Officers still get flying pay, I know that within the RN all SSP stops at about the rank of Capt. If yuo're really interested in it, check the Armed Forces Pay Review Reports, and the Senior Civil Service pay review report (as this SCS also fixes the pay of all 2* and above on a tri-service basis, and interesting enough advocates performanec related pay for senior Officers)

    I obviously have too much time on my hands, so I'm off to purve at the fit chick from the OC.....
  7. Doooh! Excuse me but Are the big Rgts that well recruited.?

    Does the Rgtl Colonel of these large and anonymous Rgts get the CO's in on a regular basis and b+llock the living daylights out of them for not being up to strength. And are the big Rgts up to strength.

    Do the Toms in the County Rgts clamour to be part of a bigger organisation?

    The LI and RGJ are up to strength (but they play very much on county) I dont know about the Fusileers, Anglians or The PWRR but they are now two Bn Rgts and I am old enough to remember them being four.

    This whole business is about control. Less people care about large Rgts so they are easier for the MOD CS to control.
  8. I can remember when Fusiliers had 5 :cry:
  9. On face value fair points, but if you look at the 'Large Infantry Regiment' idea you'll see it'll really be like the good old days but with fewer actual regiments.

    By that I mean in the good old days each regiment was made up of several battalions, one of which was based near home and provided the depot, training and a focus for local recruitment. That is sort of how it should look in the new system. A regiment will have a battalion in the UK (if not exactly at home) with one or two other battalions in either the light, medium or armourd role. Members of the regiment are trickle posted around the battalions depending on their desires or their abilities within the different rolls. On top of that as a way to prevent seeing the same old postings time after time, battalions from different regiments can be swapped from one location to another within the same role and not have to spend a year to retrain to a 'new' role (one of the major drawbacks with the Inf Arms Plot system).

    More of the old, bold and homesick can be posted to the home battalion while more of the young thrusting adventurers can get overseas or to the busy locations. Each regiment has much more of an option to put people where they want or where they can shine while giving everyone a better chance of an interesting career.

    It's a million to one shot...... but it might just work :wink:
  10. Others have said it better than I could, but it bears saying again.

    The purpose of this sort of tinkering on all UK institutions, including, as one example among many, the famous military regiments, is to obliterate all memory of all distinctively British culture, so as to allow easier assimilation into the Euro-zone.

    They are up to the same sort of subversive mischief over here.
  11. The logical extension of all of this big bn crap is:

    Get rid of the LI, RGJ, Fusileers and Para as now constituted as they have no regional base. Don't want to lose the Para but quite frankly why go through the expense of training them from the beginning with the resulting high fall out rate. Get everyone into a large regiment and then if they think they are good enough they can take a conversion course and transfer.

    Fix each Rgt in line with the euro regions and everyone should then be happy.
  12. Don't want to lose the Para but quite frankly why go through the expense of training them from the beginning with the resulting high fall out rate:

    Because they are guaranteed to clean more dishes than the average washing liquid, thus being of more value to the sensible housewife in the long term.

  13. I fear you are right (although I think that more localised, short termist issues to do with lack of money for vital services is also a problem too).