Do 'flat cap' berets keep you awake at night?

#1
A friend told me about the ARRSE web site so i thought that i'd pay it a visit to see what all the fuss was about!
Being a member of the Royal Corps(of Signals!) i went straight to the sigs forum page. I couldn't quite believe my eyes when i saw how many 'grown men' had posted bitchy comments about the shape of the 216 and 264 lads' berets!
I've been at Blandford for a good few months now and have seen and heard of things that that begger belief! Cars being broken into on the shale hockey car park, cars being rallied around the shale hockey car park(resulting in several cars being written-off), endless counts of insubordination from phase 2 recruits, suicides, couples holding hands and kissing around camp(in and out of uniform), pads' children littering camp centre, vandalism, obese soldiers(of all ranks), soldiers with dyed hair and tongue studs, a friend of mine having a £1000 bike stolen from the block.....the list goes on and on!
Yet all these 'grown men' have time to do is complain about the shape of a few dedicated CPLS' berets!
These CPLS volounteer to be block NCOS, take part in phase 2 exercises, help train the lanyard/boxing teams and much more! They are good ambassadors and recruiters for the squadrons from which they came!
At some time in their career these men volounteered to do an arduous course (P-company/264 probation) and then went on to do the military parachute course....they are a different breed of man(in the sense that they had the balls to get off their backsides and attempt the course) so why not wear their beret differently?
I've only been in the army for 6 years but 90% of the airborne personnel that i've seen(parachute regiment, marines, airborne engineers, airborne...any cap badge!) wear their beret in the flat cap style!
The 216/264 lads at blandford are not the first and will most certainly not be the last to wear thear berets the way they do!
Boots, hair cuts and turn out etc is the responsibilty of the RSM. He's told these 'naughty boys' that he doesn't cry himself to sleep over the shape of their berets, so why do others, including Lt Cols and Cols? Surely they have bigger fish to fry! (the list of incidents mentioned above for example!)

Tell you what gents, why dont all the airborne lads on camp re-shape their berets to look like helicopter landing pads or other ridiculously shaped berets on camp? Then, and only then, you might be able to find peace and get a sound night's sleep!
 
#3
Must be a burning issue for yourself bringing this up as your first post!

No doubt this will drag on yet again.

Thanks for another Flat cap thread.
 
#4
snakesby said:
...Cars being broken into on the shale hockey car park, cars being rallied around the shale hockey car park(resulting in several cars being written-off), endless counts of insubordination from phase 2 recruits, suicides, couples holding hands and kissing around camp(in and out of uniform), pads' children littering camp centre, vandalism, obese soldiers(of all ranks), soldiers with dyed hair and tongue studs, a friend of mine having a £1000 bike stolen from the block...
Hanging's too good for them.
 
#5
Well said snakesby there are enough issues in the Corps at the moment and as another poster suggested lets hope this gets put to bed once and for all so we can actually cover off some reasonably appropriate and constructive subjects not trival dribble
 
#6
snakesby said:
A friend told me about the ARRSE web site so i thought that i'd pay it a visit to see what all the fuss was about!
Being a member of the Royal Corps(of Signals!) i went straight to the sigs forum page. I couldn't quite believe my eyes when i saw how many 'grown men' had posted bitchy comments about the shape of the 216 and 264 lads' berets!
I've been at Blandford for a good few months now and have seen and heard of things that that begger belief! Cars being broken into on the shale hockey car park, cars being rallied around the shale hockey car park(resulting in several cars being written-off), endless counts of insubordination from phase 2 recruits, suicides, couples holding hands and kissing around camp(in and out of uniform), pads' children littering camp centre, vandalism, obese soldiers(of all ranks), soldiers with dyed hair and tongue studs, a friend of mine having a £1000 bike stolen from the block.....the list goes on and on!
Yet all these 'grown men' have time to do is complain about the shape of a few dedicated CPLS' berets!
These CPLS volounteer to be block NCOS, take part in phase 2 exercises, help train the lanyard/boxing teams and much more! They are good ambassadors and recruiters for the squadrons from which they came!
At some time in their career these men volounteered to do an arduous course (P-company/264 probation) and then went on to do the military parachute course....they are a different breed of man(in the sense that they had the balls to get off their backsides and attempt the course) so why not wear their beret differently?
I've only been in the army for 6 years but 90% of the airborne personnel that i've seen(parachute regiment, marines, airborne engineers, airborne...any cap badge!) wear their beret in the flat cap style!
The 216/264 lads at blandford are not the first and will most certainly not be the last to wear thear berets the way they do!
Boots, hair cuts and turn out etc is the responsibilty of the RSM. He's told these 'naughty boys' that he doesn't cry himself to sleep over the shape of their berets, so why do others, including Lt Cols and Cols? Surely they have bigger fish to fry! (the list of incidents mentioned above for example!)

Tell you what gents, why dont all the airborne lads on camp re-shape their berets to look like helicopter landing pads or other ridiculously shaped berets on camp? Then, and only then, you might be able to find peace and get a sound night's sleep!
Excellent Wah!
 
#7
Disco

Must be a burning issue for yourself bringing this up as your first post!
I doubt it Disco, more likely just a little peeved that all the seniors at Blandford seem to have little else to do than have a go at something which is trivial and also incorrect. Snakesby is just pointing this out.

A pity that they do not pay as much attention to the Phase 2 trainees. Then we might actually get a product we can use rather than have to re-train and re-educate.
 
#8
I doubt it Disco, more likely just a little peeved that all the seniors at Blandford seem to have little else to do than have a go at something which is trivial and also incorrect. Snakesby is just pointing this out.
I believe he was refering to our Corps forum.

In regard to your post though as an instructor at Blandford I did indeed used to make a point of correctly worn berets but only to the phase 2`s. As for phase 3 soldiers especially 216/264 basically if the badge lets them get away with it on parade then thats the precident set. Some RSM`s go to town on it some dont! But you rarely have discipline problems from these guys and I never saw any get treated less than adult by SNCO`s.

As for the blocks well they are wholey ill diciplined apart from said type of NCO but thats Blandfords "colledge campus" approach due to left wing, softly softly ATRA Duty of Care rubbish.

Anyway Snakesby, start digging in the Corps forums, there are some right gems here about Corps direction and technologies lets see your 2cents!
 
#10
Speaking as a 'hat, ever hear of the phrase 'if the cap fits, wear it' - I've had the doubious pleasure 8O of working with and for many of the 'Airborne Bretheren' in all their guises, in my experience (all 18yrs of it *sigh*) the ones that gripe about it are the jealous drill pig types who can barely bend over to tie their laces... let alone have the balls to have a crack at P Coy (or the equivalent). I chose to remain a 'hat because I wanted to be a good soldier rather than an average para, and so it came to pass.......... I like the Idea that the Ph2s get to see a little bit of 'elan' and pride in a unit and it gives them something to aspire to and lordy knows they do need inspiration! Carry on RSM! (gotta love that guys common sense!)
 
#13
Good first post...welcome to arrse.

how come the morals and discepline is so sh ite at blandford then and why dont some of you older boys go do some sunshine counciling?

never happened in my day and if it did it was sorted quickly.

is it all the chavs who now enlist and complain they are being bullied because they are shouted at and woken up at 0600?

0600 - lay in that is!

Rincewind
 
#14
I think Rincewind is probably correct with his comments about getting up before dinner time.

I was reading a news paper article the other day about Deepcut - it said something like the recruits were made to do PT at night, stand in the cold for what seemed like hours and were shouted at - now that's tough!

Although I don't think it is correct to bully in the true meaning of the word, I do think that training should be rough. Afterall, at school I got caned, slippered, spanked (wahay) but I wouldn't do the same thing twice. I would never have dream't of filling a teacher in because I had respect and also knew what to exspect when I joined the Army. What school did teach me was to work me knackers off to impress and earn the respect of my elders. I.E TP CPLs. SGTs etc.

The writing was on the wall when I did my class 1 in Catterick and saw kids walking hand-in-hand like LSP's (Love Sick Puppies) and snogging on the stairs. Say anything to any of em and you'd get accused of bullying...
 
#15
Jumping_Hat said:
I chose to remain a 'hat because I wanted to be a good soldier rather than an average para
So are you're saying that Good Soldier = Average Para? Following on, does that automatically make the average para-trained signaller a good Corps soldier?

SF/SD/SC/Para blokes (and SD/SC birds) are well motivated individuals and I agree that this counts for a lot, but we should caveat any blind assumption that yer average BBC wearer automatically equals a good R Signals soldier.

But I do prefer to work with well-motivated troops - it gives you something to sober up for. :)

PD
 
#16
heh heh I got pulled for my flat hat by the razzer first day in the regt I mentioned that I was posted inthat day and he commented that that had nothing to do with the shape of my beret.

Thing was though, it diverted his attention away from the Magnums and tropicals I was wearing on duty NCO (yes first frigging day) and the fact I wasn't wearing any rank
 
#17
Why tropicals?

were you off to the jungle?

your magnums would have fallen apart in a matter of days in the trees!

Do you not have a rank slide???

Do you find these questions tricky?

How difficult is it to wear issue uniform?

do you not have any?

surely you could borrow some off a friend?

Do you have any friends???
 
#18
http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn/index.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=164887&highlight=#164887

sandypandy said:
Evening all, it's my first post so be gentle.....
Am presently at Blandford fm 264, and the "shape of berets" argument has continued to be an issue that draws fire from all kinds of places, including Lt Col rank.....

1. Some people simply don't like the shape [flat cap], find it irritating, un-uniformal, and unprofessional.
2. Some folks think that the airborne and SF blokes large it outrageously.

My responses to these (fairly reasonable thoughts) are as follows:

  • 1. I don't like the dead budgie thing the Fusiliers wear, but realise that they (rightly) wear it as a unit badge of honour that distinguishes them from their infantry brethren, from whom they would otherwise be no different. All infantry units have their individual traditions, and their esprit-de-corps is all the better for it. My opinion on their headgear is irrelevant - I don't work there, nor do I command them. If the fusiliers is a better place for having a flock of dead budgies, then great. All power to them. Time spent contemplating the shape of the airborne beret might be better spent getting other signals personnel to the same standards as the 264/216 lads who are usually around the top at phys, trade, and military knowledge.

    Because rest of the Corps simply doesn't have the calibre of men to pass the two courses in anything like sufficient numbers, both units have a large percentage of similarly dressed signallers who are not qualified to be there. Thus the (maybe un-liked) beret shape is the only way to tell a 264 Special Forces Communicator from some bloke who's just been posted in to answer the phone at Hereford. No one's knocking the posted lads - I'm glad they're there, it means we can get on with our primary task. But I trained for a year and a bit, followed by a 6 month course and a 6 month probationary period, to work with a sabre sqd. Therefore I wear the relevant beret shape. Even if it looks daft. I've earned the right to.

    2. We are fairly guilty of the larging it to a point. Some senior Corps individuals have probably identified that wearing the alley beret and smocks / Lowa boots acts as a kind of mobile middle-finger-up at the rest of the corps. There is without a doubt an element of truth about this. It should be remembered that this serves two vital purposes :
    It UNDOUBTABLY aids 264 and 216 recruitment. Not everyone wants to parachute or tab, but EVERYBODY who serves in the army has at some point or other thought "I fu@::{g hate this place. I'd love to go someplace I can do something else where the place/people I work for/with don't get me down...." At which point a group of airborne lads, smiling and not letting life get to them, go past. The poor sod from 3 Div thinks, "Right, screw this, I'm gonna do that."

    Everyone can relate to giving the middle finger to the corps, because we've all wanted to do it at some point really, really badly. I'm aware this isn't a popular fact, understandably, but as an aid to getting people motivated to prepare hard enough to pass the courses it serves a purpose, and as long as the guys don't over-do the larging it this should probably be left alone.

    3. It aids 216 and 264 esprit-de-corps. Having worked hard to get people there, we also want to keep people there. Part of being a team involves (unfortunately) having people outside the group as well as inside. That's part of the definition of a team - there are people who don't get to join in because they aren't good enough. Sad, elitist maybe, but necessary to form strong bonds. Who's going to work hard to join a team any fool can get into ? The only sign of being on the team at those units is the alley beret. It is a visible "badge" of being part of a group that others can aspire to. I have yet to met anyone who said "I really want to wear a small plane on my arm/ charging rhino/number one". Certainly never met anyone who was so proud to be there that they tatooed the damn thing on their body! Wings, on the other hand....
    Daft maybe. But it works.
Thus in conclusion I would say this. If the Corps Command element, clearly based at Blandford, left the Beret shape alone, it would quickly find the lads from Hereford towing the line on other issues such as sideburns and boots. If it allowed 264 / 216 blokes posted to Blandford as instructors to retain their beret's (as is done at all other trg establishments) they would find a higher quality of instructor applying to work there, which would have positive knock-on effects at Blandford.

Whilst Blandford continues to give the beret (which whilst as daft as a dead budgie clearly has a decent reason behind it) a hard time whilst simultaneously having fat unprofessional instructors and RP staff who clearly don't want to work there, then the fit, motivated, and knowledgeable lads from 216 and Hereford will continue to think the place hypocritical - and act accordingly. Which is a shame, since Blandford could actually be a great place to work.

Sorry it was long, as the bishop said to the actress. Thanks for reading.
 
#19
Flat Cap berets seem to keep you awake Snakesby.

You have a set of wings, your beret is a different colour, we ALL KNOW YOU ARE AIRBORNE!!! Well done for doing a very hard course (Whichever any of you have done) but just reshape your beret for the next few months and change it back when you leave this hole.
 

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