Discussion in 'Staff College and Staff Officers' started by Stonker, Sep 3, 2015.
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Thanks. Para 21 is the one I was referring to. It's not an easy bedfellow with para 23.
Crap. The way forward is to have a system that recognises that not everyone should be an ops ninja, structures itself accordingly and values people for their contribution (whatever that may be).
But everyone starts off being trained to be an ops ninja which is unnecessary for a lot of jobs. Military personnel are also far more expensive than CS and move jobs more frequently. Rather than redefining every last military career structure, why not use CS who can be in post for longer, cost less and can have more appropriate training/education/qualifications?
See Para 25 ("Length of Orders") and 26 ("Timeliness") of the Storr report as linked by @mso - fairly damning of their competence, by any measure. In other words, when push came to shove, they failed at their day job.
And "but... but... we went to CAST!" isn't an excuse for incompetence. When was the most recent trip of those HQs through CAST, how much staff turnover had occurred in the intervening time, and what had the PXR from CAST actually said? Because if that PXR said "took up too much of the time before H-Hour with their own procedures, failed to meet the 1/3 - 2/3 rule"  then there's even less of an excuse.
 And let's be honest, how often does CAST produce a PXR that doesn't include those words?
So, if they're failing at their day job (which I suspect is probably true, and certainly true in the RN), why on earth are we even countenancing trying to expand people's portfolios into civvy based roles as well. We need to be better at our core output, not repeating mediocrity at every turn.
What about a 'foundation' period as a JO, getting to know the job, then those not destined as the 'chosen' then given the opportunity to vary their TCoS to suit the Business Need?
FTRS/reserve service costs less and allows for a more enduring time in post, but retains the ability to 'step back in' to reg service as reqd; the Bett Report (1995) envisioned what was described to me as a flexible '3 lane motorway' approach to mil careers; where an individual can move between flexible reserve and reg service to meet the Service (or individual) need. Indeed, Bett begat FTRS.
edited for tense.. and to include the fact that the RAF are significantly further down the road on this one...
They may do in your mob, which to my mind is yet another example of the Army's sub-optimal structures. The balance of regulars, FTRS and CS is a delicate one, and I grant you that some posts benefit greatly from continuity. But CS are never going to bring military experience to bear in the same way as a serviceman; the difference in interpretation of this between the services however is that the Army seem to only view teeth arms experience as valuable.
Can you name a military organisation that doesn't do this? The RAF certainly do. You have to train in an operational specialism before you end up as a procurement specialist learning PRINCE2.
I am reminded of a BATUS deployment when the Bde HQ, who shall remain unnumbered (ok, 1 Mech), ran the post orders rock drill as a wargame in which they changed their plan of attack and decided to redo their OpO as a result. Very shortly afterwards I found myself giving orders to my company on an all-informed net as we doubled several miles to the (new) LD while being shouted at on the BG net by the CO.
You've inadvertently quoted a great example of where we go wrong. PRINCE2 is a project management methodology which MoD follows slavishly, despite the fact that the original intent was to write a very rich process, out of which you would strip the elements you didn't want or need to deliver a lightweight PM methodology appropriate to your needs. As so often, though, the process becomes the end in itself, so attention shifts to the process rather than the end state to be achieved - see here also Quality and ISO9xxx et al - and people who love process gravitate towards it, colonise it, control it and impose it.
In one civilian role I needed to secure ISO9000 certification for the internal function I ran as part of the overall corporate need for the certification (some clients demanded it as part of pre-qual). I identified the smartest one around who hated process and put them in charge. Surprise, surprise, we ended up with a fit for purpose lightweight process harness which simultaneously saw us fly through certification, didn't cost an arm and a leg to implement, didn't slow things down too much and - unexpectedly - was actually of benefit.
Indeed, most service personnel (and quite a few civs) I have worked with seem to equate PRINCE2 with PM de-facto - failing to recognise that P2 is merely a PM methodology, like lemmings running off a PM cliff.... whereas all they need to do, is get their head around the fundamental principle of the Triple Constraint and brush up on the apm web-site.
Also works for "Health and Safety", although in that case I volunteered. I knocked off the risk assessments for our entire site (OK, it wasn't big - 40 engineers in an office block, two labs, a server room, and a kitchen area) in an afternoon - to the intense shock of the HR team in EMEA HQ.
Strangely, we ended up with a risk assessment bereft of "oh noes, we haz risk of death from slipping on wet floors and electrocution from computerz" stuff that would have required everyone to go round in high-viz and hard hats inside a normal office. God forbid we ended up with yet another retread of the "CO's Health and Safety Policy", nailed up and studiously unread in every unit everywhere...
It's read by the 2iC (once) just to make sure no-one has slipped in naughty words...
You miss my point, which was that we don't waste time training folk as ops ninjas when they don't need to be. I will grant you that engineering and administration are indeed specialisations, but we don't waste time trg people to be operators when they aren't; which by default means we are, IMO, far more collegiate and broader in consideration of issues.
Spellcheck can be very useful sometimes when the adjutant doesn't fully trust your update of Bn SOPs, but is short on time....
"In the absence of the Commanding Officer, the Adjutant may accept massages intended for him"
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