Discrimination in training?

feygan

Swinger
I'm hoping some policy or JSP guru can offer in for this one.

Like all reserve units, ours was stood down and is currently so due to corvid. Talk has been mentioned of using zoom to conduct training in the future (the reasons for and details of material are a totally different can of cluster****). There have been questions raised over security issues of a non military nature, simply put individuals are stating they do not feel comfortable with some random app on their phone, and it is a perfectly good argument considering it is their personal device not military issued kit.

The current scene is that training will go ahead, and those who do not wish to have this app on their devices are free not to attend training. I have raised the following point and now wonder if I am being a complete mong on this issue.

A reservist is expected to ensure they are physically and mentally capable of completing any training they are tasked to perform, and also ensure they are able to complete a reasonable quantity of training to ensure they are job role suitable at all times.

In return the Army will provide training suitable and safe (as per JPS's) for the job roles of the troops, in addition if any specialised equipment is required it will be provided at no expense to the troops. So we now have a number of troops who are keen to train and asking to take part, but are quite rightly refusing to pay money to buy equipment to conduct that training (they do not want their personal devices exposed, and so would have to buy a new phone/tablet/laptop just for this task). It sounds like a classic case of "you have to have a stable belt because I wear one, go and buy one".

I get the point that we are all in a unique situation that hasn't happened before in anyones lifetime with regards to training and such, also that things are going to have to change for a considerable time ahead of now. But that isn't the fault or problem of the troops, surely we can't just bin off all the standard policy just because it makes life difficult now and we suddenly have to actually think outside the box for once instead of offloading the crap to the troops at the bottom as normal?
 
Sounds like your unit needs to take a look at the discussions and guidance on Defence Connect.

We’ve been doing online drill nights using Zoom (and now teams since the army chose it) since week 1 of lockdown. We achieved this by creating a formal programme of lessons and presentations that can be delivered via videoconferencing, tracking phys via Strava, and doing online MATTs and WIP lessons on DLE.

Edited to add: The army has mandated the use of MS Teams which they believe to be acceptably secure. I understand some training and support is available, and because it can be received via a web link there is no need to download an app.
 

feygan

Swinger
Sounds like your unit needs to take a look at the discussions and guidance on Defence Connect.

We’ve been doing online drill nights using Zoom (and now teams since the army chose it) since week 1 of lockdown. We achieved this by creating a formal programme of lessons and presentations that can be delivered via videoconferencing, tracking phys via Strava, and doing online MATTs and WIP lessons on DLE.

Edited to add: The army has mandated the use of MS Teams which they believe to be acceptably secure. I understand some training and support is available, and because it can be received via a web link there is no need to download an app.
The guidelines part is a seperate issue no doubt about it and one I wasn't going to enter here as it's ajust a big can of worms.

But have I gone full turbo mong in my understanding of how they are preventing some troops from training, if a soldier refuses to put software on their personal non issued device, or visit potentially insecure websites via their personal non issued device. Then they are unable to take an active role in the unit training schedule, is this not a clear cut case of discrimination or segregation etc? Just to confirm in addition there has been no other provision at this time to enable these troops to later view a recording of the training, it is a simple case of "you do it this way with your own kit or you don't do it".
 
Nobody should be being asked to use ‘insecure’ sites for official business. There is official direction on what to use.
 
What app are they proposing to use, that is so insecure?
 
To me it reads more like everyone is being given the option to carry out some form.of training.in these rather unusual times, those who decide not to use a (free?) app won't be able to do it.
What's your alternative?
Have the MOD buy everyone a phone?
 

feygan

Swinger
Nobody should be being asked to use ‘insecure’ sites for official business. There is official direction on what to use.
Again though that is a seperate issue, I am all for challenging this directly on account of the "forcing troops to buy kit" argument, but was looking at an outsiders view point to check I'm not being a mong in my assessment of this action.

I made the argument that this is no different from demanding that a soldier must purchase and wear a particular brand of boots or they will not be able to attend a drill night. I can't see a difference as if there is one of the troops who currently has no way of accessing zoom their only option is to buy a phone to use or loose out?
 
MoD has brought 100's of Zoom licences. They can be driven only (I think) from a MODNET machine. Your own device merely piggy-backs on that MoD licence.

I understand that you may feel use of your own digital device for army (other services are available) training is not cricket. To put it into to perspective, however, I suspect that you drive to your unit on a normal drill night? In your own car? At a mileage rate that is 50% of what HMRC considers a brake even rate?

Meanwhile the reservist is sat on his/her/other sofa being paid.
Come on, give them a break.
 
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I fail to see any discrimination. If I understand correctly, you've been offered a remote means of training and, should you choose not to use it, you won't be punished.

Perhaps that's my view coming from a nationally-recruited background where it would be another 3 months before the first training of the year so I recognise that it's perfectly feasible to go 5 months without any training and still retain the ability to pass MATTs.

Worry when you run out of year in which to complete bounty-earning attendance.
 
Online drill nights on Zoom? ****... I feel old.
 
Why not just use the app?
After all, it's more than likely that you have some, if not all of these apps on your phone already.
Facebook
LinkedIn
WhatsApp
Snapchat
Amazon
Audible
Google maps
Microsoft pages
and many more that I can't be bothered to list.
All of the above already constantly store data about you in a more intrusive manner than zoom.

So it would appear that you are desperate to find a way to bitch and use your extensive barrack room lawyer training.

Either do it or don't. Stop being a dick and trying to find an issue where there isn't one.
 
It's almost like they've thought this through:

The Zoom web client allows joining a Zoom meeting or webinar without downloading any plugins or software. ... Through your settings, you can control if the Join From Browser link appears automatically or if it only appears once the participants attempt to download the Zoom client.

 
I agree on the issue with being asked to put apps on your privately owned phone.

On the other hand, using these apps is going to mean that you get paid.

As such, buying a cheap smartphone for your training is probably a good idea.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
It isn’t discrimination stop looking for drama where it doesn’t exist
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
It isn't discrimination. No one is forcing you to buy anything. They appear to be offering some training, using the tools available. If your tinfoil hat prevents you from using those tools on the devices you already own, you are free to chose between buying a new device or not training.

Or you could just remove the tinfoil hat. The whole world is currently using Zoom, Teams and other similar platforms to do far more important things than run through the section battle drills on a Tuesday night.
 
You mean 'forced' like being having to use your own transport to attend a physical drill night?
 

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