Infantry Retention and Private Military Companies

Discussion in 'Infantry' started by MODBloke, Apr 27, 2005.

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  1. Private Military Companies in Iraq and elsewhere are luring our infantry soldiers with promises of much cash and a better lifestyle. Usually there isn't much of problem with this sort of thing, the Army has always had to compete with the outside world particularly the Police and Fireservices.

    If you work for a security company or have a friend who does I would be interested in knowing why you left the Army and how much pay you are being offered. What could the Army have done to keep you in?

    This is a serious bit of research I am not a journo (Grown Ups Beware can vouch for me). If you don't want to publicly reply then I would welcome a PM.

    For those tempted to turn this into a NAAFI type forum of course I will be aware that pay, conditions, separation, family considerations and even (in some cases) boredom will play a part; but I am after actual cases as examples- no names no pack drill.
     
  2. Guys, be sensible or your post gets deleted.

    DM
     
  3. Is this official, sponsored by the MOD?
     
  4. Yes; whilst we will get a view from entries on PVR forms etc; it will be useful to know from those who are now out the circumstances of their leaving, whether they were paid as promised and whether the decision to leave (in retrospect) was the right one. The advantage of using ARRSE is that it can be done anonymously.
     
  5. Gents,
     
  6. More than grateful for your view.
     
  7. MOD Bloke,

    It will take a bit of time....guess I will recall things as I go on.

    When I worked with the Recruits.

    Ranges up North in 2002. Had a Para Recruit come up to me for a chat. Turns out he had walked into his careers office, told them he was a certified civvy welder and wanted to do it in the forces, and been "encouraged" to join The Paras. He had apparently been told by the recruiting staff that once he had done his basic he could then specialise in welding. I was truly amazed. If the guy wanted to be a welder in the Army he should have been encouraged to join the REME or RE. The people in the recruiting offices are just playing a numbers game to fill the posts. You should do more to encourage people in to the right positions according to their own desires or previous experience. Possibly that way they would be happier and stay longer.

    Similiar thing on the Ranges 2003. A Recruit undergoing training for the RGJ. He was of West African origin and had several high level management and clerical qualifications. So why had he been recruited into the RGJ ? Someone like that should have been guided towards the career of his choice, which was low and behold ...AGC. He had applied to transfer three times and was told that if he tried again he would be charged. What for I wonder? Yoiur Recruiting Officers are getting people in and directing them to the wrong choice of career. They get cheesed off and want out.

    If Army Recruiters really took into account what the individuals wishes were, those that join would more than likely stay in for longer. Stop playing a numbers game and give the guys the trades or careers they really want.

    More later.......
    The Doughnut.
     
  8. As previously stated there are other reasons but.....shouldn't you worry about some of your other trades? An infantryman is only effective if he is fit enough to do his job. Offered £200 a day for medic to a CP Team and you are running out of medics..........
     
  9. [quote="Letterwritingman
    As previously stated there are other reasons but.....shouldn't you worry about some of your other trades? An infantryman is only effective if he is fit enough to do his job. Offered £200 a day for medic to a CP Team and you are running out of medics..........[/quote]

    You are right, other arms and services have similar problems. Looking at the infantry is a start.
     
  10. Got offered a lot by Private Military Contactors (PMC) in Iraq to be Project Manager - not go on the ground or getiting shot at - in fact, shed loads of cash.

    However, money isn't everything. The fact that there was little or no "unit" cohesion, there was plenty of tension between the individuals in that company and the fact that I don't want to spend anymore time in those shit places made me think "the money is good, but I would need a lot more!"

    And they can really send you anywhere and the money is only good in the dangerous places (obviously!). Relatively benign plaes means you get less money than the army.

    And PMCs are full of wannabes. Walking around tooled up to f**k. However, in Basra on TELIC 4, they would only drive into the city with a mil escort. We were the ones that had to escort then. Bloody civvies! Poorly paid soldiers putting their lives at risk to protect well paid kn*bs! :evil:
     
  11. Is this normal? Why doesn't the Infantry train the Infantry anymore?

    No wonder the boys are leaving!
     
  12. I've been working for a very big Brit run contractor company in Iraq for the last year or so. I didn't leave the Army for this reason, though - I'd been out a year and had a job for another government agency. I took the position in Iraq partly for the pay and partly because I was headhunted by a fair few of my mates who already worked there and I wanted to see again - guess I must've missed the army more than i thought!

    Can't agree with the previous poster about our company being wannabees - everyone has years of experience and come from very similar backgrounds - everyone has got between 7 and 22 years military experience, we do regular training and there is good cohesion. However, I will say there are plenty of cowboy operators out there - seriously, I'd only ever work for a handful of the top boys and noone else. The cowboys will not equip you properly, take walter mittys and will get you killed.

    But I will agree on the fook around factor - exactly as in the army, you get a lot of on the bus and off the bus stuff - in this case rather than politicians messing you about, it all depends on financial contracts etc. But, you do get paid what you were promised for the time you are there, at least in my company.

    Money is approx 4 times the pay I was on when as left as a Sgt after 12 years, a year ago. Work 2 months on then a month off - obviously you don't get paid when off. That said, compared to the tours I did in the early 90's of Bosnia as a young lad, it got to a point when it was 6 months on, 6 off, the 6 off spent for getting ready to go back out again. So actually, 2 months on being paid 4 x as much, then one month off clear is actually not that bad.

    I will say that the PMC's cannot replace the military. That is not the role, it is more supplementary. Back to your questions, what could the army have done to keep me in - nothing in my case as explained above. But in other cases, the answer is obvious: You need to get with the times and follow the civvi corporate model of performance related pay and bonuses.

    It is grossly unfair that you send soldiers off to warzones, and think you can pay them the same as the remfs who always manage to duck deployments. As everyone knows, some people get more deployments than others - do you not think they should be compensated and rewarded for this? It would improve attitudes as well. Pay the guys who are actually doing the work "Ops" pay to coin a phrase. Don't come back with LSSA, X factor etc - that won't cut it. Have a look at what other countries are doing, the UK system is by comparison shameful and always has been. Witholding UN pay - no tax breaks, no "per diem" pay, no ops pay.

    Second - Quality time off for the above mentioned workers is needed. Those 2 things, I feel, will help you out immensely. I am well aware of overstretch etc - it needs fixing, and the organisation needs modernising as described above.

    Hope that helps :)
     
  13. ditto above

    The Brit PMC’s in Basra were okay… but often let down by poor corporate leadership or bad soldiering by non-brits….

    You always got a few Walts with the gold plated Makarovs – and there seemed more PMCs on Telic Three, than Telic Two? (Maybe I just imagined it)

    Most came along with the big construction firms (Especially Seimans)…. and a few with the NGO’s from the US.

    They had some really bizarre skills….and often seed to be making things up as they went along (the vehicle contact drills were either superb (read: professional) or utterly pointless – read: Uncle Spam)

    I saw one mob in Al’Amara using kids whistles to communicate!? (One blast for go, two for stop….the ******* morons got zapped on the way to Nasyria by a daisy chain).

    Loads of our fellas got out after T2 and turned up on T3 with Bectel or Olive…a few even worked for the US Army as ‘civilian contractors’
     
  14. With you there. Luckily my team at the minute in Baghdad is all Brit, we all largely know each other from times past and all learnt and practised the vehicle drills during service so as you can imagine its done properly and off the same song sheet. Fcuk knows what some of the spam vehicle drills are about - I had a couple of fellas for a bit but had to let them go....think they went to Blackwater in the end who I wouldn't touch with a bargepole.

    The corporate leadership problem is often due to whimsical ex Rodneys who have sadly not lost the holier than thou attitude gained in the military - remember, everyone was in the military and the attitude prevails throughout the PMC. But that is preferable to largely US run companies, the leadership (and individual skills) of which is frightening as a whole. That said, we have on some teams got some ex Seals and Delta fellas working for us and they are usually very good - but I'd like to think largely recruited because they knew some of our guys from previous. Same with Eastern Europeans, they too range from the good to the confused. It is an odd world indeed, and it's only temporary. I've done it for a year or so, will continue for a bit more, then hang up my boots again.

    Thats where the army scores better - you can continue on. If MOD bloke takes heed of my points in my previous post, hopefully it'll be better for everyone.
     
  15. Dear MOD Bloke,

    Here are a few more for you,

    Light Role Infantry UK 1999.

    A large number of the HQ element were living in the Officers Mess Annexe while Block 64 in the main camp was being renovated.

    Somehow a CCTV camera on top of the Officers mess was damaged. There was no way of proving who or indeed what damaged it.

    Some Sergeant Major threw a wobbly. Everyone living in the annexe had to parade outside the Guardroom....Chefs, Clerks, REME and MT (Regt Guys).

    We were given a mega bollocking and Gated until 10 every night. We were to do block jobs at 7 every morning with an inspection at 8 and again at night at 6 with an inspection at 8 by the block senior. This punishment was to carry on until such time as someone owned up to smashing the camera.

    Incidentally there was no way a human could reach this CCTv Camera without scaffolding. This went on for over a month. No body on that parade or in that block was on ROP's or any other form of punishment.

    No one had been on any form of discipliniary orders to justify giving out that kind of punishment.

    It was institutionalised bullying and harassment...and an illegal order to boot. Sanctioned by some very SNCO's in the Regt.
    .........................................................................................................

    Same Light Role Infantry Unit, same location, 2000.

    The Regt, was on overtime , the classic 7 till 6 thing in prep for handover to a new CO and a move to BFG. We got out of the 6o'clock parade thing by saying we were working late and handed the keys in at half past. So the HQ element got round that by calling a parade at lunchtime. This was a Wednesday.

    The CSM came out and said...
    "As for this weekend, forget it ...write it off...you are all working. All those living in Block 64 will parade at 6 o'clock and chip in £2 towards the cost of paint and go and paint the inside of block 56. Cpl XXXXXXXXXXX you will sort that out"

    Block 64 contained all the HQ element again....yes attached arms but also Regt guys.....PTI's and MT.

    Those living in Block 56 had moved to BFG some days earlier. The Paint should have been bought by the Army and the painting completed by work services.

    Why were we....and some of the Inf guys asked to buy the paint? This was another example of an illegal order, institutionalised bullying and harassment perpetrated by the senior management of the Inf Regt in quetsion. No one on that parade had been subject to any kind of discipliniary action.

    Another example of why your infantry guys leave early. Institutionalised bullying and harassment on a large scale ...repetetive incidents in the same Regt. Illegal orders sanctioned by the Senior Management.

    If that is the way you treat your own men no wonder they leave! Get your act together. I bet you would like to know which Regt I am talking about then you could carry out an asessment as to PVR trends after such incidents?