Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by Styron, Dec 5, 2005.

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  1. 5 December 2005
    By Chris Hughes


    DAVID Brent's sidekick Gareth Keenan is damaging the image of the Territorial Army and hitting recruitment, military chiefs claim.

    Now top brass are using the bumbling character from hit TV show The Office in MoD briefings as an example of how volunteers should not behave.

    Millions of TV fans have squirmed while watching anorak Gareth (played by Mackenzie Crook) recount exaggerated tales of bravery and close combat as a weekend soldier.

    But officials say the portrayal is putting people off joining - along with the risk of getting shot or blown up in Iraq. Membership is at its lowest level since 1999, with 5,400 places unfilled.

    An Army insider said: "It's not going to have as major an effect on recruitment as Iraq and the prospect of getting killed but it doesn't help.

    "Of course the TA has always been a vital part of the team and they are very good and reliable.

    "But you wonder whether there are a few, and the Gareth image isn't far off the mark, who go back to their girlfriends after a TA weekend and talk about it as if they'd done two years in 'Nam."

    The MoD said yesterday: "The Gareth character from The Office has featured in an internal presentation for officials as an example of public perceptions of the TA."
  2. So, nothing do with the prospect of spending 2006-200x in Iraq getting shot at covering the yanks' inevitable retreat, losing your job, not getting your pay, kit, campaign medals, or pension entitlement then? It's all Gaz's fault?

    Presumably they employed the latest management information and business process analysis best practice to identify a quantitative measure-of-effectiveness in "Keenan units" before carrying out exhaustive statistical analysis in order to determine this...or did they just go "Feck...fecked up....must find someone to blame who can't sue.."?

    That "army insider" wants a good kicking, too. God, the peril he must daily encounter at Corporate Communications.

    I'm not re-joining the TA at the moment despite actively considering it. I also served in the TA for six years before and endured all the "Dad's Army" jokes last time around, it didn't bother me then either. So, as well as some military experience I've also got relevant civilian professional experience that would probably benefit the army.

    "Gareth Off The Office" is not putting me off. Conversely, neither is the prospect of an ops tour, despite my reservations about HMG foreign policy.

    It's simply this: I've seen too much evidence that the TA is in the field as part of the first XI but is being treated on a pastoral level as if it were well in the the second or third. If I get injured or am away the support my family will get seems negligible and a bit of a lottery. The support I'll get will apparently be second-rate, I'll get bounced back to my GP. I'll also lose money. Lastly, the patrotism card is being selectively played by a government that treats it as a dirty word the rest of the time.

    So, stop worrying about Gareth and start worrying about a decent welfare package and integrate TA soldiers properly into the family. Unless, like other recruiting sergeants down the years, you are only interested in bums on seats and attracting young fellas who haven't thought it through. A bit like Gareth, I supose.

    You need to get into people like me who would join and probably stay for at least two ops tours. We are older, we have families but we also bring more to the party. And at the moment the carrot is much, much smaller than the stick.

    Toodle pip!

  4. Well said, Veg.
  5. Which 'Top Brass'? Which particular 'Military Chief'?

    If any of the MoD's PR spinners - all of whom I understand are now politically-appointed failed journalists and not military types - were to be laid end to end, would they reach Afghanistan, or perhaps Iraq? Would they admit that they're scratching around for an easy excuse which their gross and evil bosses can use to lay the blame for the TA's sad recruitment and retention figures on factors other than the cynical personal and political abuse of the Territorials?

    We should be told.
  6. That's it down to the nitties, Whiskybreath. Well said! :D :D :D