DETAPOs generally - and in the HAC especially

#41
Glad you agree Mr Abacus, and by doing so have placed yourself in the 'Good' officer class.

A Good Officer earns the repect of their men and NCOs, by them knowing/ seeing that he has experienced the same challanges as the men - and excelled. They will have experienced the pointless commands of bad officers - and rescued the situation regardless. They will have endured the result of bad orders first hand. They will be known as a man that can be relied on in all circumstances. They will not pass the buck, and will take blame. They will be expected to have experience of most circumstances. They will not bulls**t. Their men know that he will lead from the front, and will never, ever, ask his men to do something that he is not willing to do himself.

A bad officer is the opposite of the above. We've all heard of the POs that barely pass the BFT at 'hurst. The ones that are powercrazed dispite their lack of experience. The ones that over-rule their more experienced NCOs. The ones that, when something goes wrong ensure that the s**t falls downwards.

Surely the only way to ensure that we get people in the first catagory is to abolish the DETAPO scheme, and like the SAS, HAC, and Chinese, promote from only among the ranks.
 
#42
Oh, and another thing Mr Abacus..

You mentioned that people can either love or hate an officer often for the same reason, and I agree. However I think you are confusing Like/Don't like with Respected/Not Respected - you don't have to be liked to get respect. Churchill's a fine example. Many people hated him, but all respected him.

Peace and Love
 
#43
C_H_II thats not strictly true there is at least 1if not 2 HAC officers still kicking around with FOO quals. One is at ULOTC the other I'm not sure about.
 
#44
Viper, what colour is the sky on your planet? Have you not been reading my posts? Have you not managed to glean the first inkling about what DETAPO training involves (or which organisations routinely encourage their own Potential Officers to attend? Clue: you mention one of them in your final sentence) Do you not think the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst is perfectly capable of deciding whether an individual is likely to make a good Officer or not? When was the last time anyone did a BFT on a Sandhurst TA course? When was the last time an experienced NCO let a trainee Rupert get the upper hand (unless he wanted to teach him a lesson and was playing a long game)? What experience do you have that enables you to make such sweeping statements about the way the Territorial Army has chosen to train its Officer Corps?

Those are all rhetorical questions, I neither expect, nor particularly wish you to answer (although I shan't be surprised if you grace us with your opinions again).

I do wish you would just go away, I was not seeking your approval, nor do I think you contribute anything to this thread.
 
#45
Every officer had their good and bad points. Be they from the Ranks, direct entry, OTC entry or Reg.

Why should the TA not emulate the Regular system of selecting its Officers from Civilians directly or drawing soliders from the ranks.

Are you suggesting Mr Viper that all regular Officers should do some times in the ranks before attending the Comissioning Course also?

'Surely the only way to ensure that we get people in the first catagory is to abolish the DETAPO scheme, and like the SAS, HAC, and Chinese, promote from only among the ranks.,
 
#46
steptoe said:
Every officer had their good and bad points. Be they from the Ranks, direct entry, OTC entry or Reg..
Nonsense, I was purr-fect in every way. :lol:
 
#47
Hey Abacus! I’m back!

Keep your hair on! Blimey!

Firstly – my humble apologies. No I haven’t trudged through all your turgid prose, I have better things to do.

Secondly I have very much managed to ascertain what DETAPO training involves – and even more sadly have witnessed the result of some of the ‘finished’ articles – oh dear!

Whilst RMAS is the finest organization of its type in the world, bad officers do exist, therefore it can’t get it right every time.

Regarding the phys at sandhurst I could point you to numerous posts on these very forums where the physical capabilities of numerous PO’s has been called Into question. Only a few, I'm sure you are a lean keen running machine.

Yes I have experienced a Officer over-ruling an NCO. (and others, to your credit, where the officer has had his head ripped off.)

By your rationale ALL officers would be good ones, but we all know this is not the case.

And the part I am adding to this post is that in my opinion, having experienced officers who have risen from the ranks, and officers that are DETAPO, the first, generally (only generally – don’t get het up) are the finer leaders of men.

Peace and Love.
 
#48
Dear Mr Steptoe,

"Are you suggesting Mr Viper that all regular Officers should do some times in the ranks before attending the Comissioning Course also?"

Yes.

Keep up all the good work.

Peace and Love.
 
#49
The thread is be dragged off topic, and will probably be more so by this post. However I feel that the DETAPO scheme has been pretty thoroughly dicussed and that, since the thread has widened, I could add some thoughts. Having limited experience of the TA I won't claim to know the detailed issues but I'd like to confront some of The_Vipers points.

Firstly - Your posts seem to smack of the traditional "NCOs v. Subalterns" gripe - an rarely profitable one mostly persued by people on both sides embittered by abnormal personal experiences. Your posts trade on the customary caricature of grizzled sergeants and green pimply 2lts. There is some truth in this, just as there is some in the caricatures of LEs (aggressive growling subaltern eaters), Adjutants (priggish disciplinarians forever picking up dirty buttons and stained spats) etc etc. However you, and I, and everyone have known poor Sergeants - although not many. Can it be legitimate for a relatively new officer to confront or contradict them? yes - provided that it is done in private with tact and consideration. Experience doesn't always stop otherwise admirable NCOs from, in my experience, bullying, illegal punishments, taking money or promoting their career at the expense of the Jocks. Some 2Lts are extremely competent, some are not. The same is true of Sgts. What matters is the content of their character - not always their time served, medals worn or what stereotype you think they should conform to. The two roles are complemantary - not adversarial.

As for the SAS. Yes they are extremely effective. But what works for a small, extremely selective group of high calibre SF troops does not necessarily hold true for the remainder of the Army. In addition things are not perfect for them - a year or so ago their was high level criticism at ECAB level of "undue NCO influence" (I'm paraphrasing) over the formal CoC.

Secondly - "All officers should spend time in the ranks". In principle I agree- but we must leaven that with a great degree of pragmatism. Generally, in my experience, Jocks and JNCOs think this also, some very strongly. They see officers generally from good areas, good schools, university and then what they commonly think is a 12 month finishing school with a mildly arduous CCF turn up at their unit unaware of "what life is really like for the soldiers." They have a point. I've no doubt that life for them is arduous, tedious and sometimes violent in the field and barracks.

But - sending all potential officers to ATRs, indentifying their potential and then sending them to RMAS after 6 months in the ranks would not be the answer. Few young ambitious graduates who aren't military shits would not want to go through it - hence fewer officers to choose the best from. A friend of mine served 2 years as a Jock in the HLDRS before commissioning into them and he viewed his experience as a very mixed blessing. The answer is for young officers to devote the majority of their time towards their troops and make that leap to understand their problems, their aspirations and what motivates them. This is aided by thorough training and close mentoring by their Sgt, their CSM, their peers and their OC.

Most importantly - you can't "cherry pick" aspects of other armies and expect a similar result. The effectiveness of an army is based upon the culmulative effect of many aspects. "The British Way Of Warfare" is based upon the regimental system, manouvreist warfare, and professional volunteer soldiers. That doesn't mean that the Israelis should abandon conscription, dish out hackles and kilts etc.
The Chinese Army also promotes on the basis of party loyalty. Can't imagine any fans of that in the UK. And do we really look up to the Chinese Army?

If the British Army were demonstrably failing then it would be very wise to look very hard at armies we could emulate to greater success. However as Gen Rupert Smith pointed out - aside from the Dutch Marines, French Chasseurs and Foreign Legion and a couple of other units the British Army is the only proper army in Europe. We do rather well. Our faults are more attributable to overstretch, lack of resources and the undermining of long term committment as a result.

So what? The answers are more mundane - the highest possible standards of officer selection, training and mentoring. The average TA unit is not comparable to the HAC, the SAS or the Chinese.

Serving in the ranks is beneficial for a prospective officer - however it is not vital. If numbers dictate that to get more TA officers they should be fast-tracked then we should ensure that their selection, training and mentoring are as a good as possible. That also means that we shouldn't be afraid to bin the ones who don't cut it. In the event of shortages having more SNCOs in Pl/Tp command slots sounds like a fine idea to me.
 
#50
Dear Mr Cong,

Fantastic post. Convincing and articulate points, well put out. And yes we are moving off topic rather...

Just a couple of quibbles; Yes the britsh army IS the best, and no we should really model ourselves on the Chinese, but I think saying that making POs serve in the ranks would 'put them off' is wrong. As I said previously a good officer won't expect his men to do something he is not willing to do himself.

Also whilst RMAS is very testing and obviously exposes the candidate to a wide variety of scenarios, it cannot by definition expose the candidate to years of difficult circumstances that military life entails.

My revised view, after reading your superb post Mr Cong, would still be to scrap DETAPO and have every one join at the same level, but on assesment, and after a year or so, give those numerate and literate enough a chance to declare their hand if they wish to go for a commision. I.e in a similar way to the police force, where you know that even the Chief Constable has served time on the beat.

Thanks again for an excellent post

Peace and Love.
 
#51
The_Viper said:
My revised view, after reading your superb post Mr Cong, would still be to scrap DETAPO and have every one join at the same level, but on assesment, and after a year or so, give those numerate and literate enough a chance to declare their hand if they wish to go for a commision. I.e in a similar way to the police force, where you know that even the Chief Constable has served time on the beat.
Two points;

Firstly, even if you assume that having to spend a year as a soldier won't put motivated officers off the idea of Sandhurst, it will still reduce the amount of officers in the system; because they will either all have to sign on for an extra year, or the army will end up with year less of "trained officer" and a year more of "trained soldier". One year out of three years (or even ten) is still a significant reduction.

The good candidates won't benefit from the year of soldier time (they already understand the lessons), the bad candidates won't benefit from the soldier time (they will never learn anyway), and the borderline are better off with a "Leadership Development" course. With the bonus that you can generally tell which is which after a week at Westbury, and so save yourself a year better spent.

Secondly, I wouldn't hold up the police force as an outstanding example of how having everyone do time on the beat makes for wonderful leaders, as it plainly doesn't. That applies double for the Fire Service. I've been underwhelmed by the quality comparison between Chief Constables and General Officers, although Vegetius would be much better informed on such matters.
 
#52
orificecadet said:
C_H_II thats not strictly true there is at least 1if not 2 HAC officers still kicking around with FOO quals. One is at ULOTC the other I'm not sure about.

Well you have just answered your own post!!!

If he is kicking around at ULOTC then he ISNT at the HAC is he??? Doesnt matter what capbadge he happens to wear, if he aint there to be counted then he aint there full fekkin stop!!!

And as for the gent in question, he is better off there!

He is of the old school Gun Troop, and would not like the L Troop as it is now, I know the chap fairly well, and he would last about 10 mins.

As for the other lad, IIRC he is detached as well somewhere. Again, not serving with the Regt. So therefore.........

I will say again, that there are no more FOO Qualified orrificors at the HAC.


I'll get off me soapbox now! :lol:
 
#53
Vegetius said:
Why do TA units that do not deploy as full formations actually need TA officers?
Because:

There are some units that deploy as companys and need the full complement of officers.
There are some units that are short of Troop commanders and Coy 2ics.
Bde headquarters have an insatiable appetite for S03/S02 bods to answer the telephone and write things down.
 
#54
Thanks for all the answers re. TA officers and the lack of flames thereof.

Firstly, we all know that the SAS is run by their NCO's, and that officers there are made and broken by them. Officers first have to pass the same tests as the men, and then go on officers week where they are judged by the NCO's and senior officers. Ulimately if the experienced people - the NCOs - don't like them they are out. They earn their place. It's a good system and hasn't done them any harm.
I would say the problem with this is that selection might become self-perpetuating and if the selecting cadre becomes in anyway compromised then the people they select become so too. I've seen so-called "elite" squads in the police service become a club, not an effective operational unit, because of this ethos. There's a balance to be had, and an element of independence in any selection process seems to me to be a good thing. If you let all the NCOs in the British army form a committee to choose their officers they might just choose a load of malleable people who also remind them of themselves. Which isn't how it should work

which leads me onto this:

Secondly, I wouldn't hold up the police force as an outstanding example of how having everyone do time on the beat makes for wonderful leaders, as it plainly doesn't. That applies double for the Fire Service. I've been underwhelmed by the quality comparison between Chief Constables and General Officers, although Vegetius would be much better informed on such matters.
I've long been of the view that the time has come for direct-entry into the inspecting ranks (roughly equivalent to Capt/ Maj) in my Job. In any case, we have a variety of rapid-promotion mechanisms that make a mockery of any real operational experience that person is required to do. The hierarchy are positing the view that people should be allowed to join the Job at Superintendent rank (Lt.Col/ Col) which to me is totally arse-about-face). However, overall, the point is well-made that only because we expect all policemen and women to spend two years "at the coalface" seems to have little direct bearing on the outcomes at senior management level.

Sorry to take this off-topic slightly, but the concept of selecting leaders does seem relevant to the original point. A bit.

Cheers!
V!
 
#55
Carlos_Hathcock_II said:
Doesnt matter what capbadge he happens to wear, if he aint there to be counted then he aint there full fekkin stop!!!
I'm sure RSM LONDIST would see it that way, too... ( top bloke, BTW )
 
#56
The_Viper said:
Hey Abacus! I’m back!


Secondly I have very much managed to ascertain what DETAPO training involves – and even more sadly have witnessed the result of some of the ‘finished’ articles – oh dear!


Peace and Love.

I am not sure a DETAPO has been commissioned yet from London, the scheme hasn't been going long enough.
 
#57
Bravo_Bravo said:
Carlos_Hathcock_II said:
Doesnt matter what capbadge he happens to wear, if he aint there to be counted then he aint there full fekkin stop!!!
I'm sure RSM LONDIST would see it that way, too... ( top bloke, BTW )
I assume you mean RSM LDSTT, in which case I'm sure his old patrol course mate CHII wouldn't change his position.

He is however factually incorrect as there are at least two officers (a Zimbabwean and a Scot) who are FOO qulified at the HAC (albeit not HAC badged) and a someone in CHII's Squadron who I'm pretty certain was a FOO - not sure what happens to the qualification when you revert to Trooper though.
 
#59
Bailey said:
Bravo_Bravo said:
Carlos_Hathcock_II said:
Doesnt matter what capbadge he happens to wear, if he aint there to be counted then he aint there full fekkin stop!!!
I'm sure RSM LONDIST would see it that way, too... ( top bloke, BTW )
I assume you mean RSM LDSTT, in which case I'm sure his old patrol course mate CHII wouldn't change his position.

He is however factually incorrect as there are at least two officers (a Zimbabwean and a Scot) who are FOO qulified at the HAC (albeit not HAC badged) and a someone in CHII's Squadron who I'm pretty certain was a FOO - not sure what happens to the qualification when you revert to Trooper though.
Bravo-Bravo,

RSM LDSTT is in a grey area. The HAC does NOT have WO1's, our WO1's come from the Gren Guards, so the gent in question may have a HAC capbadge on, but he is not the HAC RSM, and never will be because of that and another small fact. He was the last BSM that we had and then moved on, otherwise he would have been, like so many others we have had, been forced to resign his warrent and revert to CSgt. Luckily enough he found this posting and is there now. I have no idea if it is a 2 year post or a 'in till yer drop!' type thing. Either way he will prob end up gettin an LE commission. If he then returns to the HAC is up to him. Either way, he aint here!

Bailey,

Not true matey.
The two guys you have mentioned are regular officers from the RA, NOT HAC officers and as such have jobs running the Regt and nothing to do with FOOing. And when mobilisastions happend they werent sent out with the boys as FOO's. The lad in my Sqn, well, not only did he revert to a Trooper he also got his qual with another Army, which we have found out isnt valid! (Go figure huh!?!)

So, there are no FOO qualified orrificers at the HAC (with HAC capbadge!) :roll:

So, with no guns, no FOO's, nothing what so ever to do with the Arty, why are we Arty??? :?
 
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