DCLF says 'it's a sign of the times'!

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by Purple_Emperor, Apr 9, 2013.

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  1. The latest video interview with General Munro. Personally, I like his style. It's not a very 'army' thing to do, allowing yourself to be asked these types of questions, particularly in this tone, which makes it very refreshing.

    Does anyone get the impression he has been reading these threads?

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  2. msr

    msr LE

    "Test the temperature" the new SofTT?

    We need to get these videos clips delivered to every TAC.
  3. I like the cut of the general’s jib and I applaud his efforts to communicate what is going on not just to the STAB community via ArmyNet but to the general population. However there are a few things that do not really chime with me. I apologise for slightly paraphrasing his comments below for brevity.

    “Right now we have not crossed the line of departure” – Well, the FR2020 paper was published in July 2011, people will question why almost 2 years later we have not even crossed the start line for such an important transformation programme. In the business world we would have expected to have delivered the original intent and be onto the next change programme by now. So far we have been issued a new uniform and seen a couple of (very mixed) recruiting campaigns but I do not yet see the required uplift needed to sustain and deliver the increased training pipeline required. Indeed from the shop floor little has changed to date.

    “People join the TA for collective training not to act as individual reinforcements” – Really? Many of the more successful cap badges over the last decade have exploited this model very effectively, e.g. 4 PARA, there is no doubt that from my perspective TELIC and HERRICK were excellent recruiting sergeants that we are going to lose if we have not already – those joining now will in all likelihood never set foot in Afghan.

    “Why will we be successful (in recruiting up to 30,000 trained strength by 2018)? Because the Army has a mission to do so” – Forgive me if I am not inspired by this comment. Our mission in Afghanistan has changed significantly over the last 10 years and as reflected by the Defence Select Committee’s report this morning, the Army has repeatedly failed to meet each of the missions set. This seems to be along the lines of regular officer speak i.e. crack on and everything will be OK.

    Again I applaud the sentiment here but for me the jury on FR2020 is still very much out.
  4. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator


    For your 3 points:

    1. Agreed, but I am not sure how much of that can be laid at the feet of DCLF.

    2. I can't view the original clip on here, but if we change the paraphrasing on your quote to “People will join the TA for collective training not to act as individual reinforcements” then I think that it is a pretty accurate projection of the future for the vast majority of the TA.

    3. DCLF has already gone on record as saying that he doesn't believe the 30,000 target will be hit in the initial timeline given. His position is that as long as the move is in the right direction, and the target will be hit within a reasonable timeframe (even if not the one originally projected) then that is a good result given the circumstances.

    FR2020? I certainly have my doubts, but I will take this DCLF over his incompetent predecessor any day of the week.
  5. Agree with Purple Emperor, some really good internal comms going on, just need to get it wider.

    TA Live - hmmm, don't think it was particularly 'live' - unless Afghanistan is 6 hours behind the UK when they show an ad in UK evening-time and it's daylight in the ad.

    Agree with Duke on DCLF, even if Duke is cap-badge biased, DCLF has always been a thoroughly nice bloke, though can't remember if it was his (or another from 10 Para) which my platoon once beat on Courage Trophy in the distant past ;)
  6. A reasonable opinion, except that in order for your analogy to work the demands for change must be singular and sequential. It is worth noting that FR20 was not (and still is not) the only show in town. At the same point that SDSR delivered the FR20 imperative, it also triggered A2020 which was a much bigger machine in which FR20 would be but one cog. At the same time as the structural changes were being demanded, the Army was told that it must get out of Afghanistan and find its share of the £38Bn savings demanded by the Treasury (which triggered 'big muscle moves' like getting out of Germany). These are but a few of the change programmes that are running side by side. Planning wise, these were (and still are) happening in parallel. Navigating the resulting complexity is a bit like crossing the Weddell Sea by hopping between ever-shifting icebergs. Add to that the fact that it perhaps isn't wise to be making final and binding decisions about the shape and capability of your reserves until the masonry and dust has stopped falling from your regular force adjustments.

    I've probably been guilty of using them in the past too, but 'In civvy street...' arguments should perhaps be used with care. One look at the banking and manufacturing sectors tells me that big business isn't exactly deaf to Emperor Mong.

    On a separate note, I find it interesting how the 'Establishment' (and this interview is no exception) is painting the manning picture ("growing the TA to 30,000 while the Regular Army is being cut..." was the quote, I think). In reality the TA is being cut from a liability of 36,000 to 30,000.

    I was also struck by the fact that there doesn't seem to be a consensus of how big this recruiting problem is. Some graphs I've seen have the TA at 15,000 Phase 2 trained, others at slightly north of 20,000. One thing that the grown-ups do seem to agree on is that an 'in training' pool of 8,000 will not be adequate to support a force of 30,000 Ph 2 at 'normal jogging'. But I suppose that's what happens when the figures and dates recommended by the FR20 Review (which cannot have had much in the way of 'science' to support them) become a 'manning mantra'.

    Just a thought (or three). :grin:
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  7. Perhaps I have come across as a little critical of DCLF - not my intent. I am impressed with him, he clearly understands the TA soldier and the requirement to balance family, career and time in uniform - something he needs to get across to his regular colleagues, who I sometimes imagine that we all stack shelves in Tesco or work as plumbers. This situation is not of his making.

    One thing I liked from the video, was the comment that this is a marathon and not a sprint, and any changes will take time to implement. This management of expectations has been missing up to now, I think, and will reassure a lot of TA soldiers and officers who have heard little about the impact of the proposed changes beyond the press spin, and ambitious plans of expansion from the CoC. The question of "What does this mean to me?" has not really been addressed, and I understand this is for good reason, but does not stop talk in the locker room about whether (for example) any of us will still be able to remain in the TA next year once the new TACOS are released. I understand that our regular colleagues face similar uncertainty and in many cases with far graver consequences but more needs to be done to manage expectations, and I am glad this is being tackled from the top.
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