Dedicated ICSC(L) Forum - Doors open to Course 4

#1
Latest News on the delivery of ICSC (L) has been published on AGWEB for Intranet users only

Remainder:

Intermediate Command and Staff Course (LAND) 3 (ICSC(L)3) 13 Apr 06

The ICSC(L) 3 Initial posts have been mapped into ICSC(L) Package A and B. The latest from the Defence Academy is that it cannot accommodate the same numbers on each course. As a result the Army Personnel Centre will attempt to maximise attendance on Package A and look to reduce slightly the numbers attending Package B. Planning figures are currently: 205 for package A and 175 for Package B (these numbers include Professionally Qualified and Late Entry Officers).

The sequencing for Career Stage 2 is more complex following the split of ICSC(L) into 2 packages. The full impact of this requires modelling, but to note that, in accordance with JSP 505, new policy allows the AR date for Beige List selected Capts to be moved to 31 Jul. The timing of the Initial Grade 2 Appointments Board in May 06 will cause a number of short notice moves, notably for those captains replacing officers attending Package 3A in Sep 06.
Does this mean they've only just thought about it?
 
#3
^Thanks D_D,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Bad CO has agreed to me caring for the ICSC(L) Board which is 'hidden'. If you wish to see it please pm me with your real name and I will give you the power of sight that you have been lacking. In return I will give you my real name, fair's fair. The reason I need actual names is clear - it's prime hunting ground for all sorts of nutters, walts, maniacs and everything in-between. This policy is in-place for the ACSC 9 and ICSC(L)2 board and it seems to work*.

I will authenticate your name against my special list of knowledge and then against the course nominal roll.

*Totally unadulterated plagiarism from D_D's work.

For those of you who are seeing this for the third time, you are very, very unlucky.

You're a great audience, I'm here until Friday, try the mixed grill in the Atlantic Lounge, and don't go changin'
 
#4
Brave Solon has taken this on; it is behoven on the rest of 'us' to get our views (and any rumour/scandal) in on this board.

How many of those who BL'd last December are currently on an Op tour, and now find themselves (and their current employers) wondering when they might be going back to Blighty? Very handy for trying to plan ahead; wheel out the morale cannon!
 
#5
Current membership:

...is now 20+ so I'm not going to list 'em all

Come on board fellas... the pain is best shared.

'Misery loves company'
 
#8
Realise that this post is likely to get a stiff ignoring, but thought it was worthwhile making the point all the same. Firstly I have to reveal that I am about to leave ICSC(L) after a 2 year tour as a DS (boo). I will have nothing to do with course 3, so this is a personal, not corporate observation. Having been through both ICSC(L) 1 & 2 I have a certain view about the effect a hidden board has on a course like this, and I don't think it's positive. Let's get this straight, I am not worried about being slagged off behind my back, don't give a s**t, that goes on anyway. What I think it does is ruin the atmosphere for you guys, the students. ICSC(L) 1 did not have a hidden board and the course atmosphere was a quantum leap better than the atmosphere on course 2. ICSC(L) 1 also had something the second course didn't, except for about 3 editions, which were a good effort by the way, and that was a course underground magazine that was there for all to see. It meant that course 1 developed a corporate sense of humour that was singularly missing from course 2. For example course 1 had a very, very funny review, course 2 couldn't be bothered, might not think that's important, but people from course 1 still talk about it. But what it also meant was that gripes, complaints and whinges, albeit in the form of very funny articles were exposed to the Staff and it had an impact. Best known example being that it directly led to a week of the course being binned and turned into leave, bargain. On course 2 much of that stuff went on the hidden board and never had the same impact. Enough of my preaching, this is just an observation, but get too locked into the hidden board and I don't think the course will develop in a way that allows a bit of fun to dull the pain. Comments, bring it on.
 
#9
Alright I'll have a go.

ICSC 1 was a small course - ICSC 2 was huge.

A&B Divs pretty much mashed together, as did C&D Divs, due to their geographic locations. I reckon the 'corporate humour' was just as developed in those groupings.

The newsletter (Owl Pie?) was put together by one bloke AFAIK - ICSC 1's consisted of a series of cartoons and according to students, wasn't actually as amazingly funny as you contend.

The DS made a huge song and dance about ARRSE on ICSC 1. Therefore ICSC 2 had a hidden board. ICSC 3 will have a hidden board. Etc.

Does it mean the DS get a ribbing 'behind closed doors'? Yes it does. Does that bother you? Yes - it very clearly does.

You can't have it both ways I'm afraid - wittering about the overt existence of ARRSE; then witter about its covert existence. The course is overly long, windy, stuffed full of nonsense about gearboxes and engines, and completely at the mercy of one's personal relationship with the DS. How about getting that sorted instead of burbling on on an anonymous website?
 
#10
OutgoingDS, you should not underestimate the effect of the doubling in course size between ICSC(L)1 and ICSC(L)2. This meant that students were never going to bond as closely across all 4 divisions. This was exacerbated by the split location of accommodation. Thus you were unlikely to have the same esprit de corps develop as the group was not so closely knit. A corporate sense of being is much diminished when you have a 10 minute walk to even get into the same bar! And then your supposedly universal personal cards don't work anyway! Don't underestimate the effect of this on creating a (even vicarious) course identity.

With this, and also the 'half course' nature of some of the modules, it should not be surprising that a 'corporate sense of humour' didn't develop. I do not think this was unduly influenced by any course rag-mag/internet forum issues. Indeed, the speed of posting and access coupled with the breadth of comment and threads on the forum probably allowed more balanced views to emerge, and also for advice to be given (rag-mags are not big on 'self help' articles). If something was such a big issue, it should still be able to be dealt with throught he chain of command. Indeed, could one say that it is a tacit admission of failure by the chain of command if it feels it needs to be informed of issues by a rag-mag?

Also, although still a largely unkown quantity, the course was not a completely new event, so the 'blitz spirit' was not so evident - you should have got the hang of the whole admin piece by course 2, so it just created irritation. And having had such appalling administration at the start of the course, it created both uncertainty and also more difficult circumstances for people to manage at the end of the course (eg MFO, quartering issues,et al) so it was only natural that people were focussed on trying to sort themselves out during the last week instead of the more traditional skit writing. If you want to see people majoring (if you'll pardon the pun) on the traditional activities, free them from shocking admin and they may have some remnants of a will to live left. Most were just sick of being messed around and couldn't be bothered trying to pretend that one big skit-fest would make it all OK.

As far as fun goes, if you try to have 'enforced fun' it will never work. I think of the sports and social clubs people worked hard at. These contributed to them having fun. Although not as obvious as laughing at a skit, many things posted on the forum created a spark of humour that was carried not only in syndicate rooms, but also as 'water cooler' chat. Some people are destined to always be the ones sat in their rooms staring at the walls. Those that are motivated to get out and do stuff did, and others benefitted as well.

Anyway, this has turned into a bit of a rant, so apologies for that. But I think that DS perceptions of how a course should take its enjoyment need to be tempered with a realisation that course 2 did have fun, just perhaps not in the contrived way that makes DS feel warm and cosy. I think it is a bit like sticking your finger in the dyke to suggest that a forum should be discouraged in favour of a rag-mag.

Ratfink

PS I find it slightly ironic that DS on a course that drums home the opportunities of NEC, change management, mission command and EBO should be against a network based effect in a new reality! :wink:
 
#11
Blitzspear said:
Alright I'll have a go.

ICSC 1 was a small course - ICSC 2 was huge.

A&B Divs pretty much mashed together, as did C&D Divs, due to their geographic locations. I reckon the 'corporate humour' was just as developed in those groupings.

The newsletter (Owl Pie?) was put together by one bloke AFAIK - ICSC 1's consisted of a series of cartoons and according to students, wasn't actually as amazingly funny as you contend.

The DS made a huge song and dance about ARRSE on ICSC 1. Therefore ICSC 2 had a hidden board. ICSC 3 will have a hidden board. Etc.

Does it mean the DS get a ribbing 'behind closed doors'? Yes it does. Does that bother you? Yes - it very clearly does.

You can't have it both ways I'm afraid - wittering about the overt existence of ARRSE; then witter about its covert existence. The course is overly long, windy, stuffed full of nonsense about gearboxes and engines, and completely at the mercy of one's personal relationship with the DS. How about getting that sorted instead of burbling on on an anonymous website?
Thanks for that Blitzspear, a few points back. I knew someone would talk about the size issue, always seems to be important to some people. Don't buy it I am afraid, ACSC is nearly 400 people strong with 4 Divs, same as ICSC(L) 2. I have experience of both, and I can tell you that it is possible to generate a good atmosphere in a large group, isn't that what we do at unit level with 600+ people? On course 1 there was a very humorous and often very cutting rivalry between the two Divs, why couldn't that have happened on course 2? There was enough to beef about, different messes etc.

Owl Pie, you are correct, it was a good effort, but it never really got a chance to get going, mainly because by the time it came out everybody had their entrenched positions, these things only work when they are a group effort, and by that I mean the support of the readership as much as anything.

The magazine on the first course not being as funny as I said it was. Well having sat at the back of all but 5 of the lectures on course 1 and seen the reception every addition got as people read it many of them have a funny way of showing that they are not amused. Every time that mag came out, and by the end they were printing off about 100 copies it was snapped up. It was very good.

As for the DS making a huge song and dance about ARRSE on ICSC(L) 1 don't quite remember that, sure we read it, and we took notice. Don't forget we read this thing too, we enjoy it too. The trouble is just as in the same way children forget their parents were kids once too, students tend to forget that the DS were students once too.

As for me being bothered about having the p**s taken out of me you haven't read what I said. I don't give a stuff, what I did have a problem with on ICSC(L) 2 was some students taking the p**s, and more, out of each other on a closed site. It is just the type of divisive thing I am going on about, and more importantly if you have a problem with someone have the moral courage to say it to their face.

So, back to my point, ARRSE is a great thing I have been reading it for years. Just because I might have been a DS doesn't mean I stop. Is it a good forum for students on a course to air their views, yes, but if your views are worth anything why do you to hide them?

As for the content of the course, not what this is about, I have my own views having seen both courses and I bet they would chime with the views of many students. As for the bit about being at the complete mercy of your personal relationship with your DS don't tell me "I didn't do well as I had a character clash etc etc." Is their anything different in this position with being at the mercy of your personal relationship with the 1 and 2 RO on your OJAR. You have spent your whole career being assessed by individuals, why do people have a problem with this on a course? If you have a problem with your DS well tell them, most are the same rank as you and if they have anything about them they will listen. However, you would advocate that you go on line and beef about them, they are none the wiser, status quo maintained, but at least you can still claim it was a character clash.
 
#12
Ratfink said:
OutgoingDS, you should not underestimate the effect of the doubling in course size between ICSC(L)1 and ICSC(L)2. This meant that students were never going to bond as closely across all 4 divisions. This was exacerbated by the split location of accommodation. Thus you were unlikely to have the same esprit de corps develop as the group was not so closely knit. A corporate sense of being is much diminished when you have a 10 minute walk to even get into the same bar! And then your supposedly universal personal cards don't work anyway! Don't underestimate the effect of this on creating a (even vicarious) course identity.

With this, and also the 'half course' nature of some of the modules, it should not be surprising that a 'corporate sense of humour' didn't develop. I do not think this was unduly influenced by any course rag-mag/internet forum issues. Indeed, the speed of posting and access coupled with the breadth of comment and threads on the forum probably allowed more balanced views to emerge, and also for advice to be given (rag-mags are not big on 'self help' articles). If something was such a big issue, it should still be able to be dealt with throught he chain of command. Indeed, could one say that it is a tacit admission of failure by the chain of command if it feels it needs to be informed of issues by a rag-mag?

Also, although still a largely unkown quantity, the course was not a completely new event, so the 'blitz spirit' was not so evident - you should have got the hang of the whole admin piece by course 2, so it just created irritation. And having had such appalling administration at the start of the course, it created both uncertainty and also more difficult circumstances for people to manage at the end of the course (eg MFO, quartering issues,et al) so it was only natural that people were focussed on trying to sort themselves out during the last week instead of the more traditional skit writing. If you want to see people majoring (if you'll pardon the pun) on the traditional activities, free them from shocking admin and they may have some remnants of a will to live left. Most were just sick of being messed around and couldn't be bothered trying to pretend that one big skit-fest would make it all OK.

As far as fun goes, if you try to have 'enforced fun' it will never work. I think of the sports and social clubs people worked hard at. These contributed to them having fun. Although not as obvious as laughing at a skit, many things posted on the forum created a spark of humour that was carried not only in syndicate rooms, but also as 'water cooler' chat. Some people are destined to always be the ones sat in their rooms staring at the walls. Those that are motivated to get out and do stuff did, and others benefitted as well.

Anyway, this has turned into a bit of a rant, so apologies for that. But I think that DS perceptions of how a course should take its enjoyment need to be tempered with a realisation that course 2 did have fun, just perhaps not in the contrived way that makes DS feel warm and cosy. I think it is a bit like sticking your finger in the dyke to suggest that a forum should be discouraged in favour of a rag-mag.

Ratfink

PS I find it slightly ironic that DS on a course that drums home the opportunities of NEC, change management, mission command and EBO should be against a network based effect in a new reality! :wink:
Ratfink, a balanced response. We are all victims of our own experience, again I don't buy the size of course thing or the split locations etc. With risk of exposing too much about myself I did the last ACSC at Bracknell. My quarter was in Camberley and I and many others had to cycle 7 miles there and back every day whilst those living in the mess or who had their quarters in Bracknell did not. The course was nearly 400 strong, we even suffered the joys of a temporary lecture theatre, but things happened that never got off the ground on ICSC(L)2. Never thought I would hear myself say this but size doesn't matter!

You hint at my luddite tendencies, well you are right, computers etc scare the s**te out of me, but as you I say I do, truly see the need for things like this. I just feel that if they are closed it doesn’t' help the corporate whole. I personally am very saddened by the them and us attitude that seems to be the inference of much of what people think. The DS and students are in this together, for the good of the Army if you want me to be a bit blah, so why does anything need to be hidden. If you have a beef tell us, if only half the effort that went into the private posts was given over the inval process, well then we can move the course forward. Would love to have this conversation in about 4 years time when you turn up here as a new DS!

Don't see it all as a failure by the chain of command, again I think we should all be in this together. (Cant wait for comments about my naivety)

Nor do I think a rag mag is the answer to everything, but I just use it as an example of something that can bring a course together, more so than a closed board. The social interaction, face to face, is one of the main things about it, and far more likely to get you talking to someone in one of the other divs than doing this.

Also I do not have a contrived and comfy way about how I feel people should have fun, my observation was that some of those things that can happen that people talk about years after they left a course were missing, and I think the experience will be all the poorer for it.

More of a rant back, and again the admin side of life is again I feel a bit outside the point I am trying to make. However, if the whole Army used poor admin as an excuse for not doing anything.............
 
#13
What is the forum for?

Letting off steam?
Having a punt at people who can't defend themselves?
Trying to get things noticed and changed?
Honing stand up comedy skills?
Improving typing skills?
Offering help and advice?
What would be the effect of inviting the DS to be part of it?

No particular personal view - just wondering what the members intend it to be?
 
#14
Speaking as one of the fraternity from course 2 and a hidden forum user during it, instances of personal defamation were jumped on where it was uncalled for. Ribbing centred mainly on the one or two who 'deserved' it and who may not have taken kindly to a one on one; i cannot recall the number of students who did sign up and contribute but it was sizeable, so as a medium for controlled but honest chat it worked. The prime mover DD did it appear take genuine issues into a wider (staff) audience, as did others, once opinions had been sought and issues aired online, with good effect. Equally, the opinions given in the forum often reflected the wider student body so in a way it was an extension of the staffing process: many are consulted, few then take things forward after the point has been analysed further. I agree that the social/rag/review scene was hit and miss for reasons already mentioned, but in general people got by and benefitted from the stability the course afforded us. I also take the point about ACSC managing it. Maybe the student body was just a different beast.

It would be interesting to hear Darth's take on this, or that of the other hidden forum big-hitters; equally, the views of the 2 (seemingly polar opposite) Directors on course camaraderie, would be interesting! I don't subscribe to the view that we must stick to the age-old methods of enjoying ourselves such as rags, but a mix of opportunities for feedback cannot do harm; I certainly didn't feel there was a them-and-us attitude between forum members and non-members and it didn't stop me enjoying the company of those who didn't.

OutgoingDS, i can understand you not piping up while you were in the mix, but are your views personal or a consensus from those who so ably steered us through the last year? Is the corporate view of the forum a clear furrowing of eyebrows?!
 
#16
Von-Ryan said:
What is the forum for?

Letting off steam?
Having a punt at people who can't defend themselves?
Trying to get things noticed and changed?
Honing stand up comedy skills?
Improving typing skills?
Offering help and advice?
What would be the effect of inviting the DS to be part of it?

No particular personal view - just wondering what the members intend it to be?
Von-Ryan,

A very interesting set of questions, allow me...

Letting off steam? Probably, but not yet.

Having a punt at people who can't defend themselves? No.

Trying to get things noticed and changed? Noticed, sharing advice to deal with it, working out who is best placed to pass it to the course staff discretely and delicately.

Honing stand up comedy skills? So far, there is no evidence that any of the members have the potential for this...

Improving typing skills? Not intentional but the spooling and grammer is good.

Offering help and advice? Yes.

What would be the effect of inviting the DS to be part of it? There are already people other than ICSC(L) students on board, but what the effect would be remains unclear. Here are a list of subjects under discussion:

Various admin points like PPPs and car passes (dull aren't I?)
Morale
How to get hold of the books on the Comdt's reading list for less than £150
MK2
MK2
MK2
Modular Masters Programme (deficiency of planning to take into account ICSC(L) 3B)
Idiots' Guide to ICSC(L) offered by the glorious alumni
Sharing info on parties, sports, games etc.,

My view is to provide what the members want. Some will lurk, some will contribute gems, some will drone on, some will get it wrong. Here are my stated aims:

Ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to the ICSC(L) Board - your board. Although there isn't a vision I'd like this to be as civil as the Officers' Mess (the NAAFI is just around the corner). Rules are for the blind obedience of fools and the guidance of wise men so, please, pay heed to the guidelines:

1. No Student Names (anonymity is essential if we are to play nicely in the real world);

2. All messages UNCLASS;

3. Civility towards all!

I don't intend to be a 'MOD' in the classic role, I will tidy up after you and generally be the Mess CSgt for both courses. My main role will be recruiting new members, and I may ask you to help from time to time. I hope to get about 30% of the course on board by the halfway point

There will be some wider-ICSC(L) community people here who may be of some help in the long run
 
#17
Solon_of_Athens said:
Honing stand up comedy skills? So far, there is no evidence that any of the members have the potential for this...
What's the difference between a duck? One of its legs are both the same.


Boom boom!

I'll get my coat.

Vive la resistance!
 
#18
All very interesting stuff and I can't wait to get started on 2nd Jan on 3b. Deep deep joy.

If your sad and you want to get the reading list for less than £150,have a birthday before you start, alternatively have a christmas. Am I going to get the time to read these books on top of the other reading.

Heard several stories about how understanding some DS are NOT!!

Any useful info for a stinking pad who intends to move up there?
 
#19
Winchester said:
All very interesting stuff and I can't wait to get started on 2nd Jan on 3b. Deep deep joy.

If your sad and you want to get the reading list for less than £150,have a birthday before you start, alternatively have a christmas. Am I going to get the time to read these books on top of the other reading.

Heard several stories about how understanding some DS are NOT!!

Any useful info for a stinking pad who intends to move up there?
If you pm me with your details I will give you access to the board. There is quite a bit of info available. You might also want to try the electronic JIs, if you haven't seen 'em.
 
#20
Those that enjoyed the closed board found it hysterically funny - there was a level of course-wide banter that would never have happened were it not for the board. For example, during the exceptionally boring final exercise it was the only thing that prevented mass suicide.

Surely the finger of annoyance for lack of team spirit should be pointed at those that didn't do the board, or the mag, or in fact anything?
 

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