Generals who have never fought are crippling Army

#1
The Times October 12, 2005

Generals who have never fought are crippling Army, says Colonel
By Lewis Smith

HIGH-RANKING officers who had never seen action were damaging the Army’s fighting abilities, The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival was told yesterday.
Colonel Tim Collins, whose speech on the eve of the invasion of Iraq inspired the world, said that British forces in Afghanistan and Iraq were being put at risk by a cohort of officers more interested in their careers than fighting.

john
 
#2
#4
Anyone know who he's referring to?

delete general insert Col or above, then take you pick.....starting with such fine organisations as DLO.
Place is full of amateur politicians and career men who seem to have forgotten "Serve to Lead"......"Serve to Save" is perhaps more apt????
 
#5
KGB_resident said:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1821638,00.html

“One particular little red, fat general has never been in a fight in a playground. He’s a civilian soldier in the true sense of never letting anything happen,” Colonel Collins said.
Btw, general Casey hasn't combatant experience too.

Have we had any high ranking officer in Iraq with real combat experience?
 
#6
Radical_Dreamer said:
KGB_resident said:
http//www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1821638,00.html

“One particular little red, fat general has never been in a fight in a playground. He’s a civilian soldier in the true sense of never letting anything happen,” Colonel Collins said.
Btw, general Casey hasn't combatant experience too.

Have we had any high ranking officer in Iraq with real combat experience?
Yes. Think about the backgrounds of some of the Bde and Div Comds. Not going to name anyone on here though for obvious reasons. I think I know who Collins was referring to though... short, plump, very high ranking...
 
#7
Radical_Dreamer said:
KGB_resident said:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1821638,00.html

“One particular little red, fat general has never been in a fight in a playground. He’s a civilian soldier in the true sense of never letting anything happen,” Colonel Collins said.
Btw, general Casey hasn't combatant experience too.

Have we had any high ranking officer in Iraq with real combat experience?
Yes Gen Brims who commanded 1 Div during the invasion had commanded the air assault brigade during the fighting around Sarajevo. Lest we forget there was quite a bit of fighting during that period with substantial arty and air assets being used.

Gen Riley who later commanded MND(SE) won a DSO in Bosnia as CO RWF.

I am sure there are plenty of others. In my tri Service experience our senior officers tend to have a bit more operational experience than the other Services (goes with the territory).
 
#8
Right, yes. We've had quite a few with combat experience..

Gen Brims is going to be replaced by Gen Nick Houghton this week, right? Or was it last week?
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#9
Not to mention that almost all Senior Army Commanders have extensive operational experience in Ulster. Perhaps not full-on warfare, but quite enough to get the 'pucker factor' going, and to involve making decisions that put men's lives on the line.

Gen Riley - wasn't he originally a Queen's Regiment Officer? Absolutely Top Bloke, if it's the same one :)
 
#10
There are two problems with Col Collins comments. One is that if you haven't war experience you cannot be a good senior commander. The second is the assumption that having had previous war experience makes you a good senior commander. Both suggestions are ridiculous.

Certainly there has been increased opportunity for ops other than NI in recent years however there will be many who because of timing and postings may have missed out. The fat red faced git he refers to. Would he be any better leader if he'd done a stint as a Coy Comd in the Balkans? If the guy's a arrsehole now then he always has been.

Experience under fire is important but I wouldn't exclude men from command positions just because they lacked it.
 
#11
Col Collins is a godsend at the moment, unlike many senior officers who get out Collins is still passionate about the Army and speaks out against what he sees as our failings. It does not matter if you like him or agree with him he is making a noise and questioning the current situation which is a good thing as he is one of us and not an academic or politician. The cancer of Labour and weak civilian values are begining to show across the forces, we are now more and more expected to work to civilian standards how long before we start working to social workers standards?

Good work Collins
 
#12
Birdie_Numnums said:
There are two problems with Col Collins comments. One is that if you haven't war experience you cannot be a good senior commander. The second is the assumption that having had previous war experience makes you a good senior commander. Both suggestions are ridiculous.
Certainly there has been increased opportunity for ops other than NI in recent years however there will be many who because of timing and postings may have missed out. The fat red faced git he refers to. Would he be any better leader if he'd done a stint as a Coy Comd in the Balkans? If the guy's a arrsehole now then he always has been.

Experience under fire is important but I wouldn't exclude men from command positions just because they lacked it.
Good point, I dont think Collins is saying that, I think he is saying that many of our Senior Officers are more politicians than Soldiers. Soldiering and preserving the things that make UK forces great are being eroded by the very people at the top who should be both embracing new practices to improve our capability and preserving what makes us a better proper FIGHTING force than our European neighbours. I think there are few on this site who support where the Forces are going and many who feel that our strengths are being eroded by those who would rather not face the facts of what the military should be, not what it is in an Islington social workers world.


I dont think Collins believes for a minute that senior officers should be blooded before they are any good or are capable of command
 
#13
Col (Retd) Collins certainly has one big chip on his shoulder. He obviously had a huge clash of personalities and/or opinions with some of the top brass and is now looking for every opportunity to take a cheap shot at the establishment. Just because some generals have not had the opportunity to fight in a conflict does not make them uncaring or incapable of doing their job. Some people would dearly love to have "their" war but circumstance dictates that they miss out. Whether you take part in a firefight or battle is often pure luck or bad luck whichever way you look at it.

Col (Retd) Collins seems to want to direct his ire against political generals as a whole. Sorry fella, but that is the nature of the beast. No-one can now make it to 1* level unless they have a firm grasp of how to play the political game. Good or bad, it is the way of the world and jumping about doing his "Rambo" warrior bit makes him look like a silly little child. If he lacked the tact and diplomacy to go much further then tough. The way he continually whinges now makes me sure that the bloke would have been a liability in one of the top jobs.
 
#14
MODBloke said:
Radical_Dreamer said:
KGB_resident said:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1821638,00.html

“One particular little red, fat general has never been in a fight in a playground. He’s a civilian soldier in the true sense of never letting anything happen,” Colonel Collins said.
Btw, general Casey hasn't combatant experience too.

Have we had any high ranking officer in Iraq with real combat experience?
Yes Gen Brims who commanded 1 Div during the invasion had commanded the air assault brigade during the fighting around Sarajevo. Lest we forget there was quite a bit of fighting during that period with substantial arty and air assets being used.

Gen Riley who later commanded MND(SE) won a DSO in Bosnia as CO RWF.

I am sure there are plenty of others. In my tri Service experience our senior officers tend to have a bit more operational experience than the other Services (goes with the territory).
Brig Binns who commanded 7 Bde during TELIC 1 won an MC as a coy comd with 1 PWO in Bosnia.

There is also a 2* about to go to Iraq who won a DSO as CO of his battalion...
 
#15
barbs said:
MODBloke said:
Radical_Dreamer said:
KGB_resident said:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1821638,00.html

“One particular little red, fat general has never been in a fight in a playground. He’s a civilian soldier in the true sense of never letting anything happen,” Colonel Collins said.
Btw, general Casey hasn't combatant experience too.

Have we had any high ranking officer in Iraq with real combat experience?
Yes Gen Brims who commanded 1 Div during the invasion had commanded the air assault brigade during the fighting around Sarajevo. Lest we forget there was quite a bit of fighting during that period with substantial arty and air assets being used.

Gen Riley who later commanded MND(SE) won a DSO in Bosnia as CO RWF.

I am sure there are plenty of others. In my tri Service experience our senior officers tend to have a bit more operational experience than the other Services (goes with the territory).

Brig Binns who commanded 7 Bde during TELIC 1 won an MC as a coy comd with 1 PWO in Bosnia.

There is also a 2* about to go to Iraq who won a DSO as CO of his battalion...
Fcuk it here goes:

General Kiszely - MC as coy comd Op COPORATE
General Dannatt - MC
Maj Gen Lamb - DSO
Lt Gen Richards - DSO
Brig Santa-Ollalla - DSO as CO, MC as coy comd
Maj Gen Duncan - DSO as CO
Lt Gen McColl - DSO

CJO (RAF bloke who runs all ops in Iraq) won a DSO as a bomber sqn commander in Op GRANBY

Clearly we are being led idiots when the CGS, CINC LAND and ACGS have all been decorated for operational leadership!
 
#16
Oh dear! Idle Adjt is a bit prickly today. Perhaps Col Collins (no "Retd" required unless working in an RO post - check your Debrett's you muppet) has touched a raw nerve here? He is, of course, absolutely and unequivocally correct. I wouldn't deny that many senior officers have been decorated, and some quite impressively too, but we should all be aware that there are "operational" and "political" awards. One would have to stufy the individual citations to get a true sense of value. But the time-servers and yes-men who are currently directing the Army fall pretty well into Collins' description. They are spineless and with little backbone, and let's not pretend it's otherwise.
 
#17
OldSnowy said:
Not to mention that almost all Senior Army Commanders have extensive operational experience in Ulster. Perhaps not full-on warfare, but quite enough to get the 'pucker factor' going, and to involve making decisions that put men's lives on the line.

Gen Riley - wasn't he originally a Queen's Regiment Officer? Absolutely Top Bloke, if it's the same one :)
Yes he was...move to command RWF ....very good Officer...
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#18
Gunny Highway said:
One particular little red, fat general has never been in a fight in a playground. He’s a civilian soldier in the true sense of never letting anything happen,” Colonel Collins said.
Anyone know who he's referring to?
making a pretty fair guess.....but unless the bookies have got it all wrong, since he'll be working for British Aeroscrape by this time next year - tant pis !

Le Chevre
 
#20
Greyman - what an appropriate nickname! Where have you been, you muppet? Collins' book was in the best-sellers top three for weeks. It's done and dusted now. Is is just possible that he has both the intellect and balls to speak out where others are too frightened? You're not a time-server and yes-man yourself, by any chance? I think we should be told!
 

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