Interesting court martial on the horizon, General in the dock.

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
I would strongly echo @Bubbles_Barker 's view of MoD Commercial. They force companies and suppliers into behaviours which are decidely not to MoD advantage.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
I would strongly echo @Bubbles_Barker 's view of MoD Commercial. They force companies and suppliers into behaviours which are decidely not to MoD advantage.

It's interesting to compare with structures that have (a cynic might say) been set up to avoid that malign influence, and the attitudes, behaviours and results they've achieved...
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
It's interesting to compare with structures that have (a cynic might say) been set up to avoid that malign influence, and the attitudes, behaviours and results they've achieved...
I think we've both encountered both regimes. My own preference is strongly for a discrete bilateral arrangement which allows me to do good work, deliver real value, leave a happy customer and still generate a decent margin.
 
Perhaps MOD Commercial should be staffed by all these military mega business gurus that are wasting their time in various locations around the globe.
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
Perhaps MOD Commercial should be staffed by all these military mega business gurus that are wasting their time in various locations around the globe.

Now you're being obtuse. The DA/MA types aren't mega business gurus, they're military diplomats and information gatherers. One of their roles is to introduce and facilitate UK business into their host nation's market. The ones I've worked with have all quite cheerfully asserted they knew nothing about business - to my mind, they were selling themselves rather short, but the fact that they knew and trusted me meant that they were happy to pass me across to their contacts.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
I think we've both encountered both regimes. My own preference is strongly for a discrete bilateral arrangement which allows me to do good work, deliver real value, leave a happy customer and still generate a decent margin.
Amen to that.
 
Now you're being obtuse. The DA/MA types aren't mega business gurus, they're military diplomats and information gatherers. One of their roles is to introduce and facilitate UK business into their host nation's market. The ones I've worked with have all quite cheerfully asserted they knew nothing about business - to my mind, they were selling themselves rather short, but the fact that they knew and trusted me meant that they were happy to pass me across to their contacts.

Do they still get posted with the same timeframe as everyone else?

I'm just wondering how much real use anyone would be at being a diplomat/information gatherer for 2 - 2 and half years before moving on and having someone else take over.

Obviously if they say they are good at what they do, then clearly those positions must stay.
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
Do they still get posted with the same timeframe as everyone else?

I'm just wondering how much real use anyone would be at being a diplomat/information gatherer for 2 - 2 and half years before moving on and having someone else take over.

Obviously if they say they are good at what they do, then clearly those positions must stay.
I think the cycle is 2-3 years. Longer would mean the incumbent became disconnected from what the UK side of things is up to, there's a fine balance between maintaining currency in military affairs at home and building relationships abroad.

The host nation will also have constant churn going on as well, of course - which actually adds to the advantage, assuming relations have been good - the extended network of DA/MA-friendly host nation officers and officials, including those not in day-to-day contact - is very powerful.
 
Do they still get posted with the same timeframe as everyone else?

I'm just wondering how much real use anyone would be at being a diplomat/information gatherer for 2 - 2 and half years before moving on and having someone else take over.

Obviously if they say they are good at what they do, then clearly those positions must stay.
In my last job in MOD, I worked with DAs and their staff across the Middle East. Three-four years is typical, with up to 2 years training programme (language, security, ops, driving) beforehand. Quite a few ask to extend - especially support staff, who have a shorter pre-deployment training package. However, the Army saw it as a jolly and rarely recycled attaches and support staff (generally SPS) to other posts whereas the RAF and Navy were happy to post staff into other Defence Engagement roles. However, most DAs, because of the age and experience requirements, are at end of life postings and generally don't have the headroom for promotion or another assignment.

ETA: Some posts also had local staff college attached to the as well, so add up to another year to teh training programme.
 
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Yes, albeit in a different sense, since I see one three star whose father was, sorry, is dark blue five star, and one two star whose father was dark blue four star.

Jack

Bathurst was relatively easy; I'm drawing stumps on teh 4*/2* combo thought.
 
I worked with DAs and their staff across the Middle East. Three-four years is typical, with up to 2 years training programme (language, security, ops, driving) beforehand. However, the Army saw it as a jolly and rarely recycled attaches to other posts whereas the RAF and Navy were happy to post staff into other Defence Engagement roles. However, most DAs, because of the age and experience requirements, are at end of life postings and generally don't have the headroom for promotion or another assignment.
Sorry I have totally different perspective. Normally 3 years for the Army and they did some Sterling work. Most not at the end of their careers and most went on to other DA jobs. However language training does take up a lot of time.
 
I worked with DAs and their staff across the Middle East. Three-four years is typical, with up to 2 years training programme (language, security, ops, driving) beforehand. However, the Army saw it as a jolly and rarely recycled attaches to other posts whereas the RAF and Navy were happy to post staff into other Defence Engagement roles. However, most DAs, because of the age and experience requirements, are at end of life postings and generally don't have the headroom for promotion or another assignment.

There is some pretty clear direction these days that your first DA assignment is no longer to be your last assignment in Service.

But that's relatively new, and undoubtedly there are some still to work through the system.
 
I think the cycle is 2-3 years. Longer would mean the incumbent became disconnected from what the UK side of things is up to, there's a fine balance between maintaining currency in military affairs at home and building relationships abroad.

The host nation will also have constant churn going on as well, of course - which actually adds to the advantage, assuming relations have been good - the extended network of DA/MA-friendly host nation officers and officials, including those not in day-to-day contact - is very powerful.
Minimum of three years, with the exception of high threat posts such as Iraq and Afghanistan - and these are generally 2+1. They have the respective sS international staffs to support them on matters of currency. In my experience, those in the Middle East needed at least a year to gain the trust (and access) of the decision-makers.
 
In my last job in MOD, I worked with DAs and their staff across the Middle East. Three-four years is typical, with up to 2 years training programme (language, security, ops, driving) beforehand. However, the Army saw it as a jolly and rarely recycled attaches and support staff (generally SPS) to other posts whereas the RAF and Navy were happy to post staff into other Defence Engagement roles. However, most DAs, because of the age and experience requirements, are at end of life postings and generally don't have the headroom for promotion or another assignment.
The Embassy in Rome had a Crab Sgt and F/Sgt if I remember correctly. The F/Sgt was on his second embassy tour (can't remember where his first one was thought).
 
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There is some pretty clear direction these days that your first DA assignment is no longer to be your last assignment in Service.

But that's relatively new, and undoubtedly there are some still to work through the system.
Yep, I am a couple of years out of date now. The RAF and RN had that as a direction to their CM staff for quite some time.
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
Sorry I have totally different perspective. Normally 3 years for the Army and they did some Sterling work. Most not at the end of their careers and most went on to other DA jobs. However language training does take up a lot of time.
I came across a number who did MA as an OF-4 and then a DA job as OF-5 or one-star. Very professional diplomats, worked well with the, um, non-mainstream FCO types in the missions.
 

Union Jack

Old-Salt
In my last job in MOD, I worked with DAs and their staff across the Middle East. Three-four years is typical, with up to 2 years training programme (language, security, ops, driving) beforehand. Quite a few ask to extend - especially support staff, who have a shorter pre-deployment training package. However, the Army saw it as a jolly and rarely recycled attaches and support staff (generally SPS) to other posts whereas the RAF and Navy were happy to post staff into other Defence Engagement roles. However, most DAs, because of the age and experience requirements, are at end of life postings and generally don't have the headroom for promotion or another assignment.
Interesting since I recall a former Captain of mine telling me that the only reason he was given command of a carrier after being NA Paris was because the French complained that the appointment seemed to be considered an "end of life posting". Since he did, however, go on to be CBNS Washington and subsequently to three stars, the French should have felt very proud.....:cool:

Jack
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
There is a perception - certainly inside the Army - that the good folk tagged for Loan Service or the MA/DA circuit are not necessarily the top third, or even, to judge by some of the Loan Service types I've run into, middle third.

Is it a bit like SF used to be, a career-killer, to find oneself in one of these slots and appointment to one of them being the Black Spot?
 

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