Equal Opportunities

Being a good SNCO I am now having to read about EO.  Now here is a simple one which came up in a discussion;  now the common view of non-Cav/Guards is the you can only become an Officer in the Cav/Guards  if your from the right background, ie, if your old man drove a bus and your mum was a dinner lady, then the Cav/Guards would not be for you as an Officer.  

Well if it is true, how do you get away with it?  Under EO, this could lead to some severe prosecution?  Or is it a dated rumour (the backround stuff)?

These days, by no means everyone in the Cav is well monied, or indeed aristocratic or landed.  In fact over the last 10 years (since amalgamations) the sort of chap the Cav is recruiting has changed dramatically. This may not be very apparent to the casual observer, as those who join now have a tendency to ape their forebears.  This is not to say that there are not 'upper class' men in the Cav, but that it is very muc easier to get in now.  As to whether it is right, or legal, to recruit people on the basis of their background, I think it is ok, and would be difficult to challenge in court.  
Like any army organisation, the Officers Mess is a tight nit group, whose young bachelor members spend a great deal of time together.  It has always been the case the officers are recruited into Regiments where they feel most comfortable, and where the officers feel the PO will fit in.  Having seen a number of attached arms come and go, and seen one officer who really did not fit in, I think the current system is best practice. My mess prides itself on being good hosts and good fun, but often people can feel uneasy in our company.  I don't know why this is.

At the risk of sounding like a snob, most people of the background you describe would not want to hang around in a group such as a Cav or guards mess.  It would probably drive them insane.  Most of the Cav officers I know, know each other well, from school, university and the vast majority have similar backgrounds.

I know that Cav have a bad name - mainly caused by the 'Cav Twat' element who are generally not of the background they pretend to be - This is a product of the last decade - almost anyone can join the Cav if you can lay your hands on some red trousers and speak with a posh voice - I have heard some pretty bad ones. As to the legality of of selection...I think it would not get far in court...although youre better off asking a lawyer.
A long answer - I hope it helps.

As an ex Army trying to become a civi type I have discovered that the same priniple applies in the wider world, the only difference is that it is harder to spot.

When any organisation is recruiting someone they are looking to see if they have the ability to do the job - that is what RCB establishes, and whether they are going to get on with the other people in the organisation - having the same values, similar background, interestes expectations etc all helps.

There are a much wider variety of officers in the cav and Guards now but ther is still a level of social cconformity.  I think to fight this on a basis of reverse snobbery or "class war" attitudes would be a big mistake and further reduce the morale and cohesion of excellent but overstretched units.
In my experiance it is all down to fitting in. Messes are like families, and work best when you are all coming from the same direction. as a reg I was attached to the 4/7 th DG and had a top time. The looked after me as a guest, and made me very welcome. Would I have joined? no, I could nt keep up in the spending stakes, fine as a guest, not good as part of the clan. As a member of the TA I am in the Yeomanry, which has as many faces as the rest of the Cav/ RTR, you can find where you fit in. I am very happy in my Squadron, but I will probably never be CO due to where I come from, however as a regt we are far less snooty than may others.

Personally I think that this is one of the strengths of the regimental system. We can all live with people who have a similar out look on life.

Long and the short of it the Cav / RTR is mo more snoby than the infantry, you get all sorts of regts, just dont join the borg
...thank you

What exactly do you mean by "where you come from", it could be read that they no not tend to promote those from certains areas or alternatley that they prefer officers who were brought up nearby. Which did you mean?
Also who, dare-i-ask, are the Borg?

I originally come from the midlands, went to a mixture of state and private schools, dad had a good job, nice ordinary house. For comparison my current OC is an old Etonian, and the CO is a good friend of the Queen.

I am most definately not part of the London set, as I dont have the back ground or connections. As I said before it is about common backgrounds and asspirations. When we choose an officer we look to see if he will fit in with the rest of us. As our little stint in the Gulf prooved you have to be able to live with people.

The same thing applies in the Infantry some regiments look for people from different backgrounds.

Go on an attatchment to your regiment of choice and see what you think. You have the KRH in Tidworth, 1 RTR and the RGJ in Warminster. Look at the History of each, talk to some of the officers and see what you think.

The Borg are the 9/12 and noone likes them.
Thanks, you've been a great help and i'm seeing an army-careers chap the day after tomorrow.

I don't never went to Eton but providing a can wrestle my enheritance off the lawyers i could at least be able to keep up with the spending.

I'll be writing to the different regiments this week and i shall try not to forget about the borg! :wink:

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