Half of all British servicemen say they want to quit

#1
Britain’s ability to sustain campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan was called into question last night as it emerged that almost half of all military personnel are ready to quit.

The first survey to assess attitudes across the Army, Navy and RAF reveals unprecedented levels of concern over equipment, morale and pay.

The research was conducted by the Ministry of Defence and involved more than 24,000 military personnel. It found that the sense of overcommitment means that 47 per cent of soldiers and army officers think regularly of handing in their resignations.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article4305464.ece

Didn't think it would be long before someone analysed the 50 pages of stats...

msr
 
#2
msr said:
Britain’s ability to sustain campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan was called into question last night as it emerged that almost half of all military personnel are ready to quit.

The first survey to assess attitudes across the Army, Navy and RAF reveals unprecedented levels of concern over equipment, morale and pay.

The research was conducted by the Ministry of Defence and involved more than 24,000 military personnel. It found that the sense of overcommitment means that 47 per cent of soldiers and army officers think regularly of handing in their resignations.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article4305464.ece

Didn't think it would be long before someone analysed the 50 pages of stats...

msr
And the other half think of handing in their resignations on a part time basis...

Sorry, I couldn't help myself!

Hat! Coat! Taxi!
 
#4
http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/D...ss/FirstTriserviceAttitudeSurveyPublished.htm

Feck me some right gems in there...

The survey was conducted between July and October 2007. Since then, a number of the issues raised in the survey have already been addressed with the introduction of measures such as this year's 2.6 per cent pay rise,
Armed Forces personnel also have high levels of job satisfaction: 73 per cent of Army officers and 57 per cent of soldiers, 71 per cent of Royal Marine officers and 50 per cent of other ranks, 70 per cent of RAF officers and 50 per cent of other ranks, and 64 per cent of Royal Navy officers and 48 per cent of other ranks...
not that high then :roll:
 
#5
If they think it's bad now, just wait 'til Iran kicks off... :twisted:
 
#6
The government arent stupid enough to put us in there aswell, if they keep pushing then the army will just have no choice but to say no!
Israel will have to lead on iran im afraid, much to the displeasure of the arab world!
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#7
Top brass and junior ranks are united in believing that poor conditions, repeated tours of duty and low pay are scant compensation for the servicemen and women who risk their lives for their country.

Last month Brigadier Ed Butler, a former SAS commander, left the Army amid reports of frustration with equipment shortages and budget cuts. He praised his soldiers' “ability to continually deliver operational success, within the well-known constraints and restraints”. Last year Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart Tootal, commanding officer of 3 Para, resigned after reportedly complaining of shoddy treatment of injured troops and appalling housing conditions.

Websites such as Army Rumour Service have become important means of articulating their discontent anonymously.

“If a police officer is asked to go on-call for three months in a hostile environment, thousands of miles away from home, where lots of people are mortaring him/her and shooting at him/her day and night for weeks on end ... how much do you think he/she will get in overtime payments and other benefits?” asks one poster.

“We need a union not to strike but to stand up for us. I really do wonder how many civis are aware of how much a serving member of the armed forces doesn't get paid?” asks one soldier.

Accommodation, some of which is notoriously poor, is another source of complaint. “Given up complaining, moss growing on walls. bathroom floor that moves with water underneath it.”

The tone is one of mystified anger, summed up by the comment “how the hell the Army get such a bad deal in comparison is totally beyond me!”.

The Times
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#8
How much longer can the Armed Forces go on fighting two wars at the same time? The Government faces a dilemma. For political reasons it is impossible for ministers to revert to the original plan to reduce the troops in Iraq from 4,000 to 2,500 this year; and in Afghanistan the figures have been rising steadily, from 3,300 in 2006 to 7,800 today and more than 8,000 by the end of the year.

Gordon Brown is due to make a statement to the Commons on Iraq before the parliamentary summer recess but there will be no promises on troop cuts.

The sense of foreboding within the Armed Forces is spreading. As one senior defence source told The Times, the bottom line is that “if these two campaigns continue on this scale, it could break the Army”.

The source, who was intimately involved in planning the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, added: “The original design was to draw down in Iraq in order to build up in Afghanistan. This was at the heart of the strategy but it simply hasn't happened, which is why the Forces are overstretched, not so much on the bayonets [combat troops] side but in all the support areas, such as engineers and signals and logistics.”

The latest influential figure to cast doubt on the ability of the Services to carry on as they are in Iraq and Afghanistan was Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, the Chief of the Defence Staff, who warned the Government last month: “We are not structured or resourced to do two of these things on this scale on an enduring basis but we have been doing it on an enduring basis for years. Until we get to the stage when one of them comes down to small-scale, we will be stretched beyond the capabilities we have.”

In December 2006, in an interview with The Times, Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, also admitted that the Armed Forces were not configured or resourced for maintaining two medium-scale operations over a long period. He even suggested that the Army might have to increase in size. Yesterday officials close to Mr Browne insisted that he still felt that the two operations were “do-able”, while acknowledging that the Services were stretched.

Britain has been at war in some form, including the long-running counter-insurgency campaign in Northern Ireland, every year for the past 39 years. However, the intensity of the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns, running simultaneously, has created unique pressures for the Armed Forces, especially at a time when all three Services have been significantly reduced in size.

So how much longer can this tempo of operations continue? The officials said they believed that “within the next 12 months” there would be a real difference in the size of the British force in Iraq. However, the last time the Prime Minister tried to cut the troop numbers by about half, to 2,500, force of circumstances compelled him to change his mind.

In March the Iraqi Prime Minister decided off his own bat to take on the Shia militia in Basra and sent Iraqi soldiers backed by about 900 US combat troops to do the job, largely ignoring the British contingent. As a result, Mr Brown called off the troop-reduction plan and British troops went back into Basra city for the first time since they withdrew in September last year. The state of play today is that although relative calm has returned to the city, security is still reliant on having armed troops on guard at key points.

A Ministry of Defence official admitted that it was going to be difficult for the foreseeable future for Mr Brown to contemplate announcing troop cuts in Iraq to ease the strain on the Army. President Bush made the same point in a different way when he spoke to the Prime Minister in 10 Downing Street last month.

Under the Government's strategy for the Armed Forces, the maximum operational commitment is supposed to be one medium-scale “enduring” campaign and one small-scale enduring operation, to run concurrently, or one medium long-term mission with one medium short-term one.

“What we've got is two medium-scale enduring operations, and that was not planned for when the MoD drew up its strategy for the Forces,” a defence source said.

Looking at the arithmetic, General Sir Mike Jackson, the former head of the Army, said that in order for regiments to have 24 months in between operational tours - the aim of the MoD under so-called “harmony guidelines” - there needed to be 60,000 deployable troops to sustain the 12,000 serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

However, according to figures given to Patrick Mercer, Tory MP for Newark and former commanding officer of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters, more than 10,000 soldiers are classed as unfit for frontline duty, reducing the number of deployable troops from the British field army to about 50,000. There is also a deficit of about 5,000 regular soldiers because of a manning crisis.

This, Mr Mercer says, makes a tipping point for the Army likely within the next two or three operational cycles. As those stretched to breaking point by the cycle of tours of duty will not need telling, this translates as a crisis looming in as little as a year to 18 months.
The Times

Nothing new, but it keeps banging home the message. Problem is, is anyone listening?
 
#9
Those of us with with several years service under our belts could see what was coming when Tom King & his successors swung the axe at the end of the cold war. It was a standing joke in the 80's that you only went home to fill up your flask.........& all we had to worry about was tours in NI & chasing lesbians around Greenham Common!
 
#10
survey is one thing, doing is another. Whitehall well known for sticking their head in the sand and denying that there is a problem.

IF they do go through as the survey says, what will Whitehall do ?, they will have to admit there is problem, but by then the damage is done.
 
#14
The thing is, let's say the Government thinks "sh!t, we've messed up abit here" and decides to boost the Regular Army up to say, 250,000 troops and pours funds into recruitment etc. (We're working from the realm of fantasy here by the way)

Could this be done? Even with RRTs bombaring every every school and college in the UK with literature and presentations would this be possible?

Recently there seems to be less and less appetite amongst the younger generation to serve in the forces, what was so different in the 70s and 80s? Is it because the threat of all out war was right on the doorstep? Is it because you were more likely to know someone that is or was in the forces back then compared to now? Or is it to do with how society has changed now?

Just trying to get some discussion going!


W-60
 
#15
The numbers are alarming , but there will never be a "breaking point", will there. Could you ever see a commanding officer refuse to deploy his unit ? Surely tours will just get longer and longer. Short of a full scale mutiny, what in reality is the real point of no return ??
 
#16
"Nothing new, but it keeps banging home the message. Problem is, is anyone listening?

Only if the c.200,000 personnel in the Armed Forces were concentrated in a number of important constituencies and could be convinced to vote in favour of people who support them..........
 
#17
Given you hypothetical situation Whiskey, I agree the biggest problem would be recruitment then of course retention. I know of one lad, interested in joining, who went to his local Army careers office (or whatever they're called these days) to make some enquiries. He received all the glossy brochures / DVDs etc but when he asked about operations to sandy places (as that's pretty much all that's on the news, militarily related) the recruiter glossed over it and brushed it aside as if it wasn't really an issue. I believe this is wrong, tell a bloke the truth and he / she at least knows what they're getting in to and what they signed up for. Gloss over the nasty / boring bits that make up a fair proportion of anyone's military life these days and the nig is very likely in short order to do one as it wasn't what they signed on to do.
The other problem with recruitment is of course there are too many fat, lazy b*stards out there :p
 
#18
Whiskey_60 said:
Recently there seems to be less and less appetite amongst the younger generation to serve in the forces, what was so different in the 70s and 80s? Is it because the threat of all out war was right on the doorstep? Is it because you were more likely to know someone that is or was in the forces back then compared to now? Or is it to do with how society has changed now?

Just trying to get some discussion going!


W-60
I think there are a number of factors that deter potential recruits.

The incompetence of the government to provide adequate kit.

The bad publicity regarding accommodation

The poor wages in comparison to jobs in Civ Div

First hand tales by mates who have been on ops

The short period of respite between ever increasing operational tours, and the obvious time away from friends and family.

The feeling that only a handful of us are really committed to Afghanistan
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#19
semper said:
survey is one thing, doing is another. Whitehall well known for sticking their head in the sand and denying that there is a problem.

IF they do go through as the survey says, what will Whitehall do ?, they will have to admit there is problem, but by then the damage is done.
And none of us here on this site or in indeed in the wider Army, were actually aware of any of that. Thanks. How f*cking enlightening.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#20
The big thing here is the 24 months between operational deployments. What, you ask, will the gobment do to try and make things work its way?

Will it increase recruitment?

Will it increase the overall size of the army?

Will it increase wages to improve retention?

Will it provide funding for more and better kit?

Will it improve housing, pensions or family perks?

. . . . . . . . or will it change the 'harmony guidelines' to reduce the sit-down period between depolyments to say . . . . 12 months, or increase the length of deployments citing the US Army example?
 

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