'Generation of Innovators appointed to run the military'

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
#41
Oi fish head (A2 Matelot) why the old? Touch a nerve did I? You dark blue sorts have been moaning that too many boats are being scrapped, boats are now counted as ships and the RFA has a greater fleet and does more active service than the Andrew. TACOS and retention are poor and you are borrowing sailors from other countries and trying to pinch our about to retire REME sorts. Yet you still have a fleet commander and more admirals than gray funnel line war canoes. Whats it to be one or the other?
Because it's tedious....

And because as usual the inaccuracies portrayed are boring and lack imagination (RFA more active service...really).

Commander Field Army - need that for a force that in Barrons words “has grown used to operating from safe bases in the middle of its operating area, against opponents who do not manoeuvre at scale, have no protected mobility, no air defence, no substantial artillery, no electronic warfare capability, nor — especially — an air force or recourse to conventional ballistic or cruise missiles.”

And where would the Army be without it's Commonwealth recruits? The Army that is consistently undershooting in recruitment and has rising PVR rates.

An Army with most of its MBT in sheds, we can go on and on. Equally tedious.
 
#42
Which is the part I'm interested in; aggressive combat recce, moving forward at speed, bypassing where necessary and innovative use of mass artillery. Facing them with a MBT teutonic knight equivalent is not ideal, rather develop a fires supported delaying screen, relying on mobility more than protection?
I hope by artillery you are thinking of guided long range munitions not just tons of explosive ploughing fields. Your scheme sounds interesting and certainly innovative. My suspicions are it would fail for the following reasons. a) you can't really use this once the enemy is ensconced in your territory in your buildings, in other words what he has he holds so as a defensive strategy it's poor unless you have the vast spaces of the Russian steppes to play with, so in Estonia it's a non starter [remember the Mongols spent their great years conquering others]. b) precision targeted indirect munitions are i) very expensive compared with direct fire rounds ii) require sophisticated, unjammable guidance systems, which, even if achievable, will again be very expensive. The MBT may be more expensive than the Strike vehicle but it is reusable expense where the expensive munition is not. Using cheap ammunition in an expensive vehicle is, I'm pretty sure, cheaper than using expensive ammunition in a cheap vehicle.
Finally I'll quote you Major John Semken who was in tanks from Al Alamein to the Siegfried line "A tank is a gun platform, neither your speed nor your armour will keep you alive, your gun will keep you alive by killing the enemy before he kills you". While this is a tactical concept I believe it translates to the higher levels, it doesn't matter where you are or how well protected you are in your situation; your ability to impact the enemy relies on your ability to engage him with firepower [I'm assuming we've both realised that the bayonet it a useful tool for opening cans and cutting a bit of local camouflage].
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#43
Because it's tedious....

And because as usual the inaccuracies portrayed are boring and lack imagination (RFA more active service...really).

Commander Field Army - need that for a force that in Barrons words “has grown used to operating from safe bases in the middle of its operating area, against opponents who do not manoeuvre at scale, have no protected mobility, no air defence, no substantial artillery, no electronic warfare capability, nor — especially — an air force or recourse to conventional ballistic or cruise missiles.”

And where would the Army be without it's Commonwealth recruits? The Army that is consistently undershooting in recruitment and has rising PVR rates.

An Army with most of its MBT in sheds, we can go on and on. Equally tedious.
I haven't excluded any service from my ire tedious or otherwise. Unless the defence chiefs start to look at what they are trying to do with an ever decreasing toy cupboard then they are frankly deluded and chasing that knighthood.
Innovators cant make blokes who are pissed off after spending months at sea not sign off, they cant even fill the fewer senior technical ranks. FFS the armed forces are a pyramid organisation and the folk should all be vying for the top places. The problem is this only seems to apply to officers.
This is across all of the services (note I didn't say 3 because despite as you claim the RFA is essentially over half of the RN's counted surface fleet and certainly spends more time at sea with better tacos) Edited to add, you come on the army rumour service and not expect to get shortcomings pointed out then clearly you are delusional.
 
#44
FFS the armed forces are a pyramid organisation and the folk should all be vying for the top places. The problem is this only seems to apply to officers.
1. Parts of the armed forces may be pyramidic in shape, but other parts more closely resemble the silhouette of a fat bird with big tits, a huge arse, and cankles.
2. It is certainly a school of thought that there should be a constant striving for promotion, but not everyone joined to become a Field Marshall. Read these two informative posts by @Archimedes. In the second, he mentions Air Chief Marshal (rtd) Sir John Allison KCB CBE. He is not the only person to retire as an Air Marshall only to immediately join the RAFVR as a junior Officer.
Up and out (unless their aeroplane is on fire, whereupon up and out via Martin Baker is eminently sensible...) doesn't really make sense for those who want to spend as much of their career as possible flying. It makes no sense for the RAF, either - they'd lose experienced aircrew hand over fist if up and out applied across the board; thus PAS (previously Special Aircrew) enables them to retain lots of experienced types who get to fly for most or all of the remainder of their career as long as they retain their medical status, and they can pass that experience on. For instance...

[Whimsical reminiscence]

Probably about 10 years ago now, but I found myself teaching a JOCC (the previous Flt Lt's course) alongside a Sqn Ldr nav with a stereotypically large 'tache, who was posted for his last two tours to be a DS on that course (I forget if he'd been medically downgraded or had chosen the posting with an eye on what he was going to do after retirement and - being a nav on Sea Kings - didn't fancy living anywhere around where the SAR force was based, but liked the idea of Oxfordshire/Wiltshire). He was an avuncular sort of chap; quiet, getting used to reading glasses, usually to be found in the coffee bar doing a crossword or two between teaching sessions.

Anyway, one of the syndicate discussions got onto the Black Buck raids. One of the youngsters - who'd been reading his Sharkey Ward, I'm sorry to say - offered an opinion about them. I offered a different view; he felt I was wrong. Whereupon Andy (we'll call him that since that's his name) quietly and politely demolished the youngster's point of view.

'How do you know all that stuff, Andy?' asked one of the students, 'You must read a lot of history'

'No,' said Andy, 'I know that because I was part of one of the reserve crews for Black Buck.'*

Cue silence as the students realise that 40% of the syndicate weren't alive when this happened and the eldest of them was in reception at school... [\Whimsical reminiscence]

(*Andy had moved to the SAR force after the Vulcan went from service and the students failed to appreciate that he might have flown something a bit more punchy than a Sea King in his earlier days; one of the female Flt Lts on a different course was reduced to tears when nice, avuncular uncle Andy explained how, in his youth, he'd been quite prepared to go unquestioningly on a one-way trip eastwards to irradiate several hundred thousand Russians had he been ordered to do so...)
If you mean aircrew generally - rather than those who determine to go down the PAS route - it depends.

Most (in my experience) are pretty sanguine about the prospects of operational flying once they reach Wg Cdr, since unless they get a squadron command, or Ops Officer or similar-type post, then they're not going to fly again.

You do find some Group Captains and (IIRC) even Air rank officers who fly operational types and who have maintained sufficient currency to be able to do (say) QRA. Most, though, do their flying through volunteering for Air Experience Flights and the like....

...for example. There is a story about how the newly-appointed and slightly nervous about it station commander at RAF Newton (I think it was) wandered into the crewroom one morning, whereupon all the young officers holding on the AEF before going off to an OCU/TWU stood up politely and said 'Good morning, sir'.

A silver-haired Flt Lt remained seated, looked up from his newspaper, muttered 'morning', and carried on reading for a few moments before getting up and heading for the coffee machine. 'Coffee?' he inquires.

The staish says, 'Yes, please. White, none,' and wanders over in the direction of the Flt Lt. He takes the coffee and says quietly, so that the JOs don't hear, 'Look, I really don't want to make a fuss, but er... well, I am a Group Captain and you're a Flight Lieutenant, and when I came in... ahhh, well, you didn't stand up, didn't call me 'sir' when you first spoke to me and, ummm, well, I did rather think it set a bad example to the younger officers.'

The Flt Lt looks at him, uncomprehending, for a moment and says 'My dear cha.. sorry, sir - you're quite right. But you'll have to forgive me. I'm still getting used to all of this - you see, until last Friday, I was AOC-in-C Strike Command...'

(I'm pleased to report that the staish and Air Chief Marshal (rtd)/Flt Lt (RAFVR) Sir John Allison KCB CBE got along famously and this unfortunate first meeting didn't spoil things...)
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#45
1. Parts of the armed forces may be pyramidic in shape, but other parts more closely resemble the silhouette of a fat bird with big tits, a huge arse, and cankles.
2. It is certainly a school of thought that there should be a constant striving for promotion, but not everyone joined to become a Field Marshall. Read these two informative posts by @Archimedes. In the second, he mentions Air Chief Marshal (rtd) Sir John Allison KCB CBE. He is not the only person to retire as an Air Marshall only to immediately join the RAFVR as a junior Officer.
1. Parts of the armed forces may be pyramidic in shape, but other parts more closely resemble the silhouette of a fat bird with big tits, a huge arse, and cankles.
2. It is certainly a school of thought that there should be a constant striving for promotion, but not everyone joined to become a Field Marshall. Read these two informative posts by @Archimedes. In the second, he mentions Air Chief Marshal (rtd) Sir John Allison KCB CBE. He is not the only person to retire as an Air Marshall only to immediately join the RAFVR as a junior Officer.
The crab are indeed odd but thats what all that flying does to you, I still stand by the assertion that its a pyramid. There is only one top soldier as in a Bn there is one RSM and one CO!
Nothing else changes, one wonders why we have so many seniors without worthy appointments or commands. Is it because SO2 paper clips pays a salary that being a retired Lt Col on a pension?
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
#46
I haven't excluded any service from my ire tedious or otherwise. Unless the defence chiefs start to look at what they are trying to do with an ever decreasing toy cupboard then they are frankly deluded and chasing that knighthood.
Which makes the assumption they are not.

Innovators cant make blokes who are pissed off after spending months at sea not sign off, they cant even fill the fewer senior technical ranks.
I would disagree - they can alter how and why people spend time away and when they are away in what conditions and doing what. Which is hugely important. What they can't address are wider societal issues which all Services face whereby people increasingly see the Services as a less appealing employer and in particular don't want the separation from family and friends.

I'm not sure where you conjure up "fewer technical ranks" from? The engineering issues aren't straight forward and are being addressed, whilst gapping is an issue its far less than it that's not to say its resolved but manning recovery has had a lot of effort applied to it and TACOS adjusted for engineers to address that.

FFS the armed forces are a pyramid organisation and the folk should all be vying for the top places. The problem is this only seems to apply to officers.
Why? Promotion is not all.

This is across all of the services (note I didn't say 3 because despite as you claim the RFA is essentially over half of the RN's counted surface fleet and certainly spends more time at sea with better tacos
It's not - check your maths and no it doesn't, TACOS yes.

you come on the army rumour service and not expect to get shortcomings pointed out then clearly you are delusional.
Didn't see shortcomings, just Daily Mail rhetoric
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
#47
The crab are indeed odd but thats what all that flying does to you, I still stand by the assertion that its a pyramid. There is only one top soldier as in a Bn there is one RSM and one CO!
Nothing else changes, one wonders why we have so many seniors without worthy appointments or commands. Is it because SO2 paper clips pays a salary that being a retired Lt Col on a pension?
Utterly irrelevant. Out of curiosity when did you retire?
 
#49
There's potential for an inappropriate joke about having to pass through several hoops to get there, I suspect...

<Did I just think that out loud?>
That made me laugh so much that I had problems trying to hit the funny button.
 
#50
he mentions Air Chief Marshal (rtd) Sir John Allison KCB CBE. He is not the only person to retire as an Air Marshall only to immediately join the RAFVR as a junior Officer.
Not quite the same but the vein is similar. Late 70s the then CO of RAF Shawbury retired and immediately rejoined the RAFVR(T) as a Pilot Officer. The only junior officer in the Mess who was addressed as Sir by the senior officers.
 

chimera

LE
Moderator
#51
Not quite the same but the vein is similar. Late 70s the then CO of RAF Shawbury retired and immediately rejoined the RAFVR(T) as a Pilot Officer. The only junior officer in the Mess who was addressed as Sir by the senior officers.
One of the Army Regional HQs currently has an Army Reserve officer on its UK Ops staff that left the Regular Army as a 1* and transferred straight into Reserve as a captain. I think he has now been promoted to major, but is still around.
 
#52
One of the Army Regional HQs currently has an Army Reserve officer on its UK Ops staff that left the Regular Army as a 1* and transferred straight into Reserve as a captain. I think he has now been promoted to major, but is still around.
I was in the audience in a TAC centre in London when the Sapper WO who was giving a lecture spotted his old Sqn 2ic in the audience, now sporting Cpl's stripes. "Good evening Sir. I see you've found your level" Used to happen a lot in that unit.
 
#53
It is certainly a school of thought that there should be a constant striving for promotion, but not everyone joined to become a Field Marshall. Read these two informative posts by @Archimedes. In the second, he mentions Air Chief Marshal (rtd) Sir John Allison KCB CBE. He is not the only person to retire as an Air Marshall only to immediately join the RAFVR as a junior Officer.
That's a completely different issue, and not in the slightest related.
 
#54
That's a completely different issue, and not in the slightest related.
It's entirely related to the comment @ugly made:-
FFS the armed forces are a pyramid organisation and the folk should all be vying for the top places.
It is also related to the pool of manpower available to fill the top places, as that pool is made up of people who have subscribed entirely to the idea that vying for the top places is the thing to do. An interesting comparison would be with industry, where the top places tend to be filled with people with a background in accountancy and admin, not the actual core business. If we were to emulate industry, very few of our Generals would be from teeth arms.
 
#55
It's entirely related to the comment @ugly made:-
It is also related to the pool of manpower available to fill the top places, as that pool is made up of people who have subscribed entirely to the idea that vying for the top places is the thing to do. An interesting comparison would be with industry, where the top places tend to be filled with people with a background in accountancy and admin, not the actual core business. If we were to emulate industry, very few of our Generals would be from teeth arms.
It isn't. A retired air chief marshal (who has already achieved the highest rank possible) flying air cadets at the weekend whilst serving as a JO in the Reserve is an entirely different issue to people in a pyramid vying for promotion. You can see that, surely?
 
#56
Oi fish head (A2 Matelot) why the old? Touch a nerve did I? You dark blue sorts have been moaning that too many boats are being scrapped, boats are now counted as ships and the RFA has a greater fleet and does more active service than the Andrew. TACOS and retention are poor and you are borrowing sailors from other countries and trying to pinch our about to retire REME sorts. Yet you still have a fleet commander and more admirals than gray funnel line war canoes. Whats it to be one or the other?

Dark Blue have the same issues re retention and TACOS as the old man, a 25 year Chief had in 1982 when he jacked. You mention the RFA - He was thouroghly disgruntled at the much better terms I got in the MN/RFA than he did. My decidedly nice tax arrangements in particular were a bone of contention. And with ever more RN serving on RFAs the differences get more obvious.
Still, they were claiming in 82 they had nothing to learn from us, ‘were different’ still the same claim.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#57
Utterly irrelevant. Out of curiosity when did you retire?
I haven't unless you mean the army, as a tax payer I have a vested interest in the way its spent or rather in the case of defence frittered away on projects and plans by all of the services. I didn't retire from the army I was MD'd from my a few years after I had given up and left.
Asking questions designed to make you look more modern, up to date, in the loop etc doesn't show any particular skill or talent other than to come across as a sneering know it all. You are inside a bubble, a career of pyramid climbing which doesn't necessarily let you see the whole picture. Perhaps thats why the bosses are career civilians who allegedly take advice from the defence chiefs.
Those same defence chiefs who get regularly pasted by their own in these pages.
You can cut the sneering contemptuous approach and answer the questions regarding defence chiefs as innovators (more for less etc) or join the ignore list (little chance actually as pointing out the emperors new clothes is quite enjoyable). Lets be radical, rather than defend the indefensible just be honest, yes the RN has serious retention issues as does all of the services and in fact doing the same with less is difficult. The RN has never had the PR guff surrounding it that the RAF has and really it doesn't need it.
The Army has real issues, no replacement MBT or AFV that is even half as good as what it replaces, retention issues and a serious lack of will to make training realistic thanks to the clowns in the SASC.
The only service which seems to do as it is asked day in day out are the RFA.
Perhaps we should look at how the RFA works and model our remaining services along its lines. One thing that would help is putting an end to the pretence that we are a world policeman and get on with securing our borders and trade. If the US wants us to sail ships with them around Taiwan then perhaps they could contribute? Until then the Govt chiefs (yes those civilians) need to be told that we cant do certain things until they pony up the cash to make it happen. Who will tell them? Certainly not the generation of innovators who really seem to be more interested in a knighthood and elevation.
Right thats me explained, you were saying?
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#58
Why? Promotion is not all.
Promotion isn't all but when you get the top man as a yes man who has been ruthless in getting to the top is hardly interested in solving HR issues, he can always get the head of HR sacked. Thats what the big bad bosses do.
This is why a pyramid organisation gets a civilian outside boss to control the budget and the choice to ignore the advice. Yes its difficult, a good boss can always resign, do we know of many or even any that haven't waited until they are elevated before spilling the beans?
I struggle to think of a decent MoD and Tom King is the only one I can really think of kindly! The rest are only compared against what went immediately before them they are that bad.
There is nothing that you or I can do about it, unless of course you are the 1SL and in which case man the feck up and start doing your job Sir!
 
#59
Surely if an organisation is a pyramid with everyone fighting for promotion, then you end up with nothing but yes men with people reluctant to tell the truth to superiors?

How much sway do you think Admirals/Generals/Air Marshals have over politicians with their own ideas, a belief that they know best, and little attention to detail? Example - SDSR 10 and the ignoring the advice of Admiral Stanhope - First Sea Lord and former carrier Captain.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#60
Surely if an organisation is a pyramid with everyone fighting for promotion, then you end up with nothing but yes men with people reluctant to tell the truth to superiors?
Correct
How much sway do you think Admirals/Generals/Air Marshals have over politicians with their own ideas, a belief that they know best, and little attention to detail? Example - SDSR 10 and the ignoring the advice of Admiral Stanhope - First Sea Lord and former carrier Captain.
I dont think that they have any
It seems that you are agreeing with me!
 

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