How Posh are Cav Officers

#1
I've got a mate at Sandhurst who is doing really well. He is trying to get into the Cav - the only problem is he doen't have a public school background or loads of money........ is he being a dreamer to think that he will ever fit in to a cav officer's mess without being a true posher with loads of money for expensive uniforms etc??
 
#2
Personally, I am of the opinion that the 'Cavalwey Hossifer' type is something of an overplayed stereotype (I also think it's quite harmless). That it does actually exist cannot be denied, and that some deliberately play it up and overemphasise it is equally true. That said, in practical terms I would venture to suggest that few, if any, cavalry regiments will require that those being considered for admission should have eight quarterings of nobility on both sides of the family, a few thousand acres, proof of familial representation at Agincourt, and membership of Pop (however, as for the Houehold Cavalry... :) )

If your friend is set upon the cavalry then he should press his case and not go about with any sense of an inferiority complex.

"Ma horse Carruthers and don't forget to crate that champagne carefully and settle the hounds before shipment to Mesopotamia...egad, what?!" (stereotype courtesy of gallowglass)
 
#3
While there are many landed gentry types in the cav, they are often great blokes. In particular the QRH seem to be universally good blokes. There are two exceptions to the rule:

1. Some fools, who have aspirations to be chinless t*ts and behave accordingly, aping what they believe to be "true cav" behaviour.

2. The Troop Leaders Course (who are collectively ghastly).

I would say that he should expect to be very poor, as all his fellow subbies will be spending all their pay on champagne and probably don't have to support an extended family up north.

He could of course join the People's Cav (RTR), who seem to be good blokes too and pretty professional.
 
#4
The answer is to go on a visit and see if you like it.

All Regts are different, Cav, Blue Red Blue, or line Regts. The old advice is the best advice in that you have to find somewhere that feels like home and you want to be associated with for the rest of your life. If you feel like you don't fit in there is no point trying to avoid the Mess for the rest of your Army career.

If 'your friend' goes with an inferiority complex he certainly won't enjoy his visit. Go with an open mind (and wallet) true some people do have private income, but not all, and yes if you live in the mess you will spend all your money on your Mess bill, but that is probably the same of any teeth arm Regt (I'd like to think.)

You get chinless idiots where ever you go, but they are NOT the stereotype Cav Offr. The reality is the Cav or armour gives you a great understanding of all phases of war and operations - why do you think there are so many RAC Brigade Commanders at the minute?

The true 'Cav stereo type' if there is one is about style panache and elan - not anything else never discuss money it is vulgar.
 
#5
unless you have a private income don't expect your pay to cover your mess bills untill you are a Lt. Coronets pay does not cover all the extras like exta messing and polo club fees. I spent many years watching them stock up on the goodies from afternoon tea b'cos they didn't or couldn't afford the extra messing for dinner. Those who weren't related to the queen or owned a bank of course.
 
#6
Was once told by the CO of a Cav Regt (Chickens on a Stick), that officers in this regiment "on their military salary, can afford one of, and in this order, horse, car or woman". Didn't join them! But that was a LONG time ago.
 
#7
The days of snobbery in the officers mess, whilst not over, are drawing to a close. These days you get in on ability. Beware of the expense of kitting yourself out in officer's clobber however. It's like the Butler says. Cornets don't get paid that much so you'd be wise to have savings to cover the kit you need on posting. after that it should be plain sailing, especially as you don't have to play polo these days.
 
#8
Having been in what you would call a pretty upmarket cavalry regiment (and leave me alone this time 2RTR ?) I have been subjected to young officers and troop leaders who have come from the following types of background ;

1. Eton, Sandhurst, The Regiment and then on to the family business after 3 years leaving as subalterns.

2. Grammar School, University, Sandhurst, stay on for about 5 years, become Captains and then leave to pursue careers in the city or as solicitors etc......

In most of the 'poshest' cavalry regiments your mate, I'm assuming he is from normal working class background ?, will find it hard financially unless he has some form of private income (HCav officers mess life is outrageously expensive to keep up with).......... he will struggle.

Most Cavalry Ruperts have the expense of kitting themselves out with all manner of accroutments required for their regiments and that can be expensive. Some also have a pretty lavish lifestyle and mess bills have been known to outweigh their income (army income !) so, he has to be aware of that.

One thing I have to say is that having had somewhere in the region of, maybe, 7 or 8 young troop leaders, they were all 'top blokes' and only get serious when someone tells them they may well have a career ahead of them !! They then tend to turn into nobs, become Squadron 2ic's and hope to become adjutant ...........so, they then beleive they are the officers RSM and act accordingly towing the party line.

There are also certain etiquette rules and regulations peculiar to individual cavalry regiments, I cannot quote others but, for instance ............

1. Officers in my regiment were not, under any circumstances, to own a yellow car.
2. They were not to be seen travelling on buses.
3. They were not permitted to wear a cravat (RTR please note) as this may make them look like bank clerks on a whitsun weekend.

There were more, and this is a totally true recollection of mandatory rules for the officers mess.

Now then, what was the original question ?
 
#10
Gdav..........yes, your right on that one except for the ex-rankers who manage to get in the mess. Another laughable one from my lot was that on no account was tomato ketchup ever to be seen within the officers mess dining areas, as it was considered to be vulgar.
 
#11
No Irish Hussar officer would have been allowed a moustache - ex RSM or not.
 
#13
I would have thought it would be the adjutant who would have dealt with that. It wouldn't have happened in our lot.
 
#14
The_Dragoon said:
Gdav..........yes, your right on that one except for the ex-rankers who manage to get in the mess. Another laughable one from my lot was that on no account was tomato ketchup ever to be seen within the officers mess dining areas, as it was considered to be vulgar.
Do you mean the "gentlemens' tomato relish", perchance............seemed more acceptable when called such and was proferred in a silver bowl.......
 
#15
I preferred what was dished out in the silver cups to the duty trumpeter after 'officers dress for dinner' ;)
 
#16
At a dinner night recently Mrs Goon told a cav officers wife that she's flogged a load of old junk on eBay to clear the house out ,
"we got £300 for it in the end," says she, to whit the reply was..."What's eBay"

spare me...enforced ignorance in an attempt to posh-yourself-up rarely works, it only serves to make you look a right royal cnut!

That said, i'm an oik of the highest order, i spent a tour in a household divison mess - after the initial awkwardness, i found them to be thoroughly good blokes with high levels of mutual respect enjoy by all.

The junior officers, as stated above, can be little feckers, but that's largely in an attempt to play the part and when they've grown up they turn out ok!
 
#17
GDav said:
I would have thought it would be the adjutant who would have dealt with that. It wouldn't have happened in our lot.
One of our Adjutants was always off Parachuting or playing an extra in war films like ´A bridge too far´.His brother officers turned up at the Hohne SKC in evening dress and bottles of Champers for the Premier´!

Once after a boisterous night with the rugby club in the Astra bar,just across the road from the camp,the Monkeys lined up a group of QDG´s and told them to report to the Adjutant,`What the Fcuk are you laughing at!`referring to a grinning delinquent,`Well actually,I am the Adjutant`,end of conversation.

A really great guy,troughed any preconcieved ideas of snobby Cav officers and looking back I can´t remember any who were really snobs,how could they be, at times they shared our scoff and sleeping quarters and knew that if they really pissed you off you´d put them straight,there´s not much room in a tank to throw a pansy attack!

And looking at some old photos I notice lots of officers sported huge ´biggles´type ´tashes,.................tradition I suppose!
 
#18
midnight said:
GDav said:
I would have thought it would be the adjutant who would have dealt with that. It wouldn't have happened in our lot.
One of our Adjutants was always off Parachuting or playing an extra in war films like ´A bridge too far´.His brother officers turned up at the Hohne SKC in evening dress and bottles of Champers for the Premier´!

Once after a boisterous night with the rugby club in the Astra bar,just across the road from the camp,the Monkeys lined up a group of QDG´s and told them to report to the Adjutant,`What the Fcuk are you laughing at!`referring to a grinning delinquent,`Well actually,I am the Adjutant`,end of conversation.

A really great guy,troughed any preconcieved ideas of snobby Cav officers and looking back I can´t remember any who were really snobs,how could they be, at times they shared our scoff and sleeping quarters and knew that if they really pissed you off you´d put them straight,there´s not much room in a tank to throw a pansy attack!

And looking at some old photos I notice lots of officers sported huge ´biggles´type ´tashes,.................tradition I suppose!
Yes I heard that story 30 years ago - along with the one where there was a fight and the RSM was in the thick of it.

Facial hair was de rigeur until after the Crimea when it was discovered that lice etc could live in it. That's when beards for OR's started to disappear and I would say that was the beginning of the end of officer's moutaches too.
 
#19
I´m afraid the story from the Astra bar is true,put your battle bowler on and expect rather a lot of incoming,I promise not to PM any of those involved,though Taff-Cav was probably in the line-up as well,and another trooper who now has/had a commision in the PTI´s................................start digging in! :twisted: :mrgreen:
 
#20
rickshaw said:
The_Dragoon said:
Gdav..........yes, your right on that one except for the ex-rankers who manage to get in the mess. Another laughable one from my lot was that on no account was tomato ketchup ever to be seen within the officers mess dining areas, as it was considered to be vulgar.
Do you mean the "gentlemens' tomato relish", perchance............seemed more acceptable when called such and was proferred in a silver bowl.......
Same went for custard.....

All the nice people referred to it as 'sauce anglaise'. FFS.
 

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