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Foreman of Signals

#1
As I am unfortunate enough to find myself one of their number I hope that I am wrong BUT I think that the writing is on the wall for the FofS as a roster. I think some points of view from this forum may ease my concern.

I think that their role will get marginalised by the burgening Supr IS roster until they become an anachronism, in the way that has happened to Supr Radio. The only thing that may keep them 'alive' is the fact that TOTs are still required and there must be a route for these somehow.

All that is but my humble opinion and is probably coloured by my narrow perspective and current location in this dire backwater swamp.

Comments please.
 
#2
thegeezer said:
As I am unfortunate enough to find myself one of their number I hope that I am wrong BUT I think that the writing is on the wall for the FofS as a roster. I think some points of view from this forum may ease my concern.

I think that their role will get marginalised by the burgening Supr IS roster until they become an anachronism, in the way that has happened to Supr Radio. The only thing that may keep them 'alive' is the fact that TOTs are still required and there must be a route for these somehow.

All that is but my humble opinion and is probably coloured by my narrow perspective and current location in this dire backwater swamp.

Comments please.
No way. The FofS is too highly prized by the R SIGNALS to be lost so easily, so if there is ever a single supervisory trade, it will be based on the FofS. My humble view is that we should let the REME do the equipment repair side of things and let the corps concentrate on systems engineering. That way perhaps a single supervisor MIGHT be able to handle the comms, but I dunno.
 
#3
PoisonDwarf said:
The FofS is too highly prized by the R SIGNALS to be lost so easily, so if there is ever a single supervisory trade, it will be based on the FofS.
Yep I think your correct but I think the original post also has points, the FofS as it is will take on more IS side effectively becoming the IS Sup, which of course will get binned.
I'm not even sure loosing equipment care to REME is a problem, hasn't this tech side of things already been lost to Civvie street.

The weakness in the current plan is that the corps does not follow civilian practice, at FofS levels they should split into two areas - applications/DBA and networks/hardware (with one feeder trade allowing 'techs' to find what they like). The YofS should be an equivalent of ICS Support Manager (loosing planning to the FofS). Actually I think the biggest fish out of water is the YofS, unable to see the bigger picture, unable to use experience of technology, weak technical knowledge, etc (thats not aimed at any YofS or Tfc, just an observation from prior experience).
 
#4
polar said:
PoisonDwarf said:
The FofS is too highly prized by the R SIGNALS to be lost so easily, so if there is ever a single supervisory trade, it will be based on the FofS.
Yep I think your correct but I think the original post also has points, the FofS as it is will take on more IS side effectively becoming the IS Sup, which of course will get binned.
I'm not even sure loosing equipment care to REME is a problem, hasn't this tech side of things already been lost to Civvie street.

The weakness in the current plan is that the corps does not follow civilian practice, at FofS levels they should split into two areas - applications/DBA and networks/hardware (with one feeder trade allowing 'techs' to find what they like). The YofS should be an equivalent of ICS Support Manager (loosing planning to the FofS). Actually I think the biggest fish out of water is the YofS, unable to see the bigger picture, unable to use experience of technology, weak technical knowledge, etc (thats not aimed at any YofS or Tfc, just an observation from prior experience).


Please enlighten me! Don't see the bigger picture!!?? Ever worked in a digitized brigade? YofS are integral to the Bde Comd's intent right from the word go, just ask the BG RSWO's!! :threaten:
 
#5
timebandit said:
Ever worked in a digitized brigade? YofS are integral to the Bde Comd's intent right from the word go, just ask the BG RSWO's!! :threaten:
Thats where the remark stemmed from, are you talking BOWMAN or modern technology (sic). I guess, I'm just a traitor.
 
#6
polar said:
timebandit said:
Ever worked in a digitized brigade? YofS are integral to the Bde Comd's intent right from the word go, just ask the BG RSWO's!! :threaten:
Thats where the remark stemmed from, are you talking BOWMAN or modern technology (sic). I guess, I'm just a traitor.
You said that like you make some form of distinction between the two.....

Guess you're not looking for a job with GD then? ;)
 
#7
timebandit said:
Please enlighten me! Don't see the bigger picture!!?? Ever worked in a digitized brigade? YofS are integral to the Bde Comd's intent right from the word go, just ask the BG RSWO's!! :threaten:
Hey it's alright, timebandit, we still love you. :blowkiss: Don't listen to the nasty man.
 
#8
PoisonDwarf said:
No way. The FofS is too highly prized by the R SIGNALS to be lost so easily, so if there is ever a single supervisory trade, it will be based on the FofS. My humble view is that we should let the REME do the equipment repair side of things and let the corps concentrate on systems engineering. That way perhaps a single supervisor MIGHT be able to handle the comms, but I dunno.
I must disagree - at many units the FofS is simply the Eqpt Manager - a job a shaved monkey could do (no offence to monkeys, primates or other simians is intended).

In fact here's a quote from one of my OCs

"What course have you done to show your commitment to the Corps?"

Nice one.

The way I see it, at least at HQ units, there will soon be little that the IS Sup & YofS can't sort out between themselves leaving just the really difficult, sometimes insoluble, problems to the FofS.

It is, of course, up to current FofS (and TOTs) to show the continued worth of the roster.
 
#9
timebandit said:
polar said:
PoisonDwarf said:
The FofS is too highly prized by the R SIGNALS to be lost so easily, so if there is ever a single supervisory trade, it will be based on the FofS.
Yep I think your correct but I think the original post also has points, the FofS as it is will take on more IS side effectively becoming the IS Sup, which of course will get binned.
I'm not even sure loosing equipment care to REME is a problem, hasn't this tech side of things already been lost to Civvie street.

The weakness in the current plan is that the corps does not follow civilian practice, at FofS levels they should split into two areas - applications/DBA and networks/hardware (with one feeder trade allowing 'techs' to find what they like). The YofS should be an equivalent of ICS Support Manager (loosing planning to the FofS). Actually I think the biggest fish out of water is the YofS, unable to see the bigger picture, unable to use experience of technology, weak technical knowledge, etc (thats not aimed at any YofS or Tfc, just an observation from prior experience).


Please enlighten me! Don't see the bigger picture!!?? Ever worked in a digitized brigade? YofS are integral to the Bde Comd's intent right from the word go, just ask the BG RSWO's!! :threaten:
Timebandit the only thing you have been integral too is the local pie shop.

Hello pot, this is kettle over. :thumright:
 
#10
thegeezer said:
...here's a quote from one of my OCs

"What course have you done to show your commitment to the Corps?"
Rather cheeky of an OC to question the loyalty and value of a SNCO - particularly one who has spent a cumulative few years training at Blandford training. I wonder what your OC has done to show his commitment to the Corps?

So if we got rid of the Eqpt Manager role, do you think we could get away with a single supervisory appointment? Perhaps eqpt management means expanding the RQMS (T) scope, or a job for a Tech Sup Spec SNCO? Maybe a reason for the RQ Tech to be a storeman by trade?
 
#11
I beg to differ from the flow of this post but I have had first hand experience of numerous occasions where the IS Sup has not had a clue how to provide comms and highlighted that they only provide comms from Server down.

When confronted with providing to diffucult locations (from server to user) again came running to the FofS who suggested tunneling the IP over an SHF shot - got nothing but a blank look from the IS Sup !! - FofS got it in and working in the end!

The IS Sup are very good at what they do but this is only a very narrow field of expertise in the whole comms field (enter the FofS for the rest of the field)
 
#12
PoisonDwarf said:
thegeezer said:
...here's a quote from one of my OCs

"What course have you done to show your commitment to the Corps?"
.
As a survivor of FofS 50 - I would have a serious chat with any OC who said that - or has the course become so easy it has lost all credibility now ??
 
#13
RABC said:
As a survivor of FofS 50 - I would have a serious chat with any OC who said that - or has the course become so easy it has lost all credibility now ??
The post-comment chat is irrelevant, it is the comment itself and the fact it was uttered that is ominous for FofS

I can only comment on the course I attended; which was not difficult, just long. I don't think that there is any evidence to show that the course has gotten any easier (or difficult) over the (many) years and even if it had, how would any non-attendees know that this was the case?

Hopefully, it is an isolated opinion.
 
#15
Not saying they don't have experience in comms but they are a young trade still and do not have the long term specialist skills with the TECHNICAL experience!

Being familiar with using a piece of kit does not mean you can fix it or figure out different ways of connecting them up - i.e. understand the protocols (outside of the IP world) - hell I have had IS ops that did not know about or understand simple RS232 !!

The IS Sups should wait till they have been around for a while and gained some experience before trying to take over the world!
 
#16
After having spoken to various members of my unit the general perspective is that when the amalgamation of techs and IS Engr occur the IS supervisor as a name will disappear and all those who complete the FofS course will be branded as FofS IS.
 
#17
Big_Kahoona said:
Is that for IS Eng or also form former techs?

Smoking_Sigs said:
When confronted with providing to difficult locations (from server to user) again came running to the FofS who suggested tunneling the IP over an SHF shot - got nothing but a blank look from the IS Sup !! - FofS got it in and working in the end!
Which echoes the point I made earlier, the FofS being more customer orientated and better placed to deliver comms plan.
 
#18
Smoking_Sigs said:
When confronted with providing to diffucult locations (from server to user) again came running to the FofS who suggested tunneling the IP over an SHF shot - got nothing but a blank look from the IS Sup !! - FofS got it in and working in the end!
I would suggest that the person of whom you speak either failed to exercise lateral thinking, or may have been from a specific background prior to becoming an IS Sup, not by any means a reflection of the entire tradegroup. To put the case into context, I bet anyone will struggle to find a similar example within 11 Sig Bde since it gained Cormorant. And I suspect that 11 Bde is the primary model that the Corps wants to follow for the trade merger, as they have seen that comms (not just applications) solutions CAN be designed and engineered by non-Foremen too. So I think that the example in case can, at least partly, be put down to the individual(s) concerned. It certainly wouldn't happen on THIS ship!

Smoking_Sigs said:
Not saying they don't have experience in comms but they are a young trade still and do not have the long term specialist skills with the TECHNICAL experience!

Being familiar with using a piece of kit does not mean you can fix it or figure out different ways of connecting them up - i.e. understand the protocols (outside of the IP world) - hell I have had IS ops that did not know about or understand simple RS232 !!
There's a lot of sense in what you say, and there still are those out there who lack appropriate rather than "technical" experience. I believe there is an important difference and we should avoid getting hung up on the term "technical", as it has connotations of the old Technician trade and the traditional skillsets. Those skillsets are rapidly disappearing now, as TDT have said for years. You say that you have had IS Ops (see - this suggests that it was some time ago!) who didn't understand RS232. Well, so have I, but I've also had plenty of techs that don't understand TCP/IP, including at T1 level. Some are quite good, but only if they've actually had some experience on modern systems.

So, what's your view, Smoking_Sigs, is a single engineer trade the most efficient solution, or do you believe that there are two distinct roles - one concentrating on Networks (up to layers 4 or 5) and one concentrating on presentation of Information. Furthermore, where does the YofS lie - does he tie the two together. Or do we go back to a few years ago and say that Information should come under the YofS? If the YofS carries on the role of Information Assurance authority (i.e. crypto custodian), then is the logical conclusion that he/she becomes the IT Security specialist? After all, tickertape will be gone sooner than we know and we'll be using IPSec, floppy disks, optical devices, biometrics and even quantum cryptography (aargh!).

I still think there's a teeny bit of schizophrenia in the IS roster. Some want to do nothing BUT network engineering (Cormorant types are a prime example) and then you get the ARRC guys (i.e. 16) who accept that all the Promina stuff is engineered by Techs and they concentrate on the operating systems and apps. At the Supvr level, people's views are dominated by which of those two environments they enjoyed the most!

I still think FofS have nothing to fear. We in the military love historic titles and there's no way that the Corps will get rid of the name FofS. There's no need to put "IS" in the title either as it's entirely superfluous. When the first of those CS Engrs gets to the FofS course start date it'll be about 10 years from now, so they'll all wonder, with bemusement, what all the fuss was about.
 
#20
RABC said:
I can only comment on the course I attended; which was not difficult, just long.
Mate, you are either extremely intelligent or extremely arrogant, or maybe both. I find it hard to believe that anyone has completed a FofS course, recently or in the more distant past, and not found any part of it hard. The process of just geting on the course is hard enough, as well as long winded so please qualify your statement, surely long and at times hard! Please, otherwise I will start feeling even less intelligent than I already do!!!
 

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