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

That’s not much difference to recruitment into accountancy firms. When everyone has a degree, DofE, extra-curricular etc, you need something else to try and objectively assess your candidates, especially when they are all 21-ish.

It’s the only good thing about being a certain age, as your CV should speak for itself, but even then the last job I went for still involved a 15 minute presentation.
Indeed all the job interviews my daughter has had involved something similar, though most have been online which has introduced an altogether new set of challenges.

Many also required candidates to carry out tasks specific to the company and processes, which is a bit like asking candidates at AOSB to conduct a Pl attack.
 

Mr_Relaxed

War Hero
WRT LE commission:

Point 1 - Tick

Point 2 - I used to take immense pride in socialising most officers under the table (as a soldier & LE) :)

Point 3 - Tick
Out of curiosity, at what career point did you think that LE was an option? Sgt+?

I wonder if it’s a case that the Army need to persuade a soldier to go for officer at the Pte/LCpl stage, as after that, LE starts to look more viable?
 
Out of curiosity, at what career point did you think that LE was an option? Sgt+?

I wonder if it’s a case that the Army need to persuade a soldier to go for officer at the Pte/LCpl stage, as after that, LE starts to look more viable?

Not really sure, when I joined, lots of legend SNCO’s pensioning out at 22 inspired me. My first Tp Sgt ‘Woody’ totally inspired me and I wanted to emulate him.

No qualifications, completely wrong accent and officers came from another planet, I never even considered that it would be obtainable.

I wasn’t really aware of LE’s, they existed in scary places, to be avoided at all costs such as the QM’s Dept and RHQ. And Sappers could only enter RHQ by the side/back door anyway.

I suppose I became aware of LE’s as a junior Sgt, usually as AI’s in training establishments or supervising officers of the Sgts Mess getting their drinks for free at happy hours and functions. At that stage Warrant Office was the goal.

The RE only commissioned from WO1, so I suppose it become a realistic goal when selected for WO.

I am content that I was never going to be a DE, I am content that there are square peg jobs for both DE & LE and I had a fantastic second career as an LE in very much square peg jobs :)
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Not really sure, when I joined, lots of legend SNCO’s pensioning out at 22 inspired me. My first Tp Sgt ‘Woody’ totally inspired me and I wanted to emulate him.

No qualifications, completely wrong accent and officers came from another planet, I never even considered that it would be obtainable.

I wasn’t really aware of LE’s, they existed in scary places, to be avoided at all costs such as the QM’s Dept and RHQ. And Sappers could only enter RHQ by the side/back door anyway.

I suppose I became aware of LE’s as a junior Sgt, usually as AI’s in training establishments or supervising officers of the Sgts Mess getting their drinks for free at happy hours and functions. At that stage Warrant Office was the goal.

The RE only commissioned from WO1, so I suppose it become a realistic goal when selected for WO.

I am content that I was never going to be a DE, I am content that there are square peg jobs for both DE & LE and I had a fantastic second career as an LE in very much square peg jobs :)
Heresy....

You will burn for this!

But I shan’t be carrying the tinder.

FWIW most officers, if they were anything like me, thought when they were subbies that no advancement would be possible - too busy living in the day.

That’s how it was for me - until some bright spark said ‘he should go to Camberley’:x:roll:
 

mack_583

Swinger
It's awkward taking a narrow view of a single step in any process, rather than a wider view of the system.

The Cold War TA needed YOs by the bucketload, because a) strength of 60,000 and b) turnover of 30% per year. If it didn't commission several hundred 2Lts every single year, it couldn't fill its slots. Combine that with a dropout rate of 50% during initial officer training, and the mouth of the pipeline had to be quite wide. Remember this, as you head through the (too many?) paragraphs below...

Pre-1986, the TA didn't go to Sandhurst. Rather, TA blokes didn't - TA women officers still had to do two weeks at Camberley on the flower-arranging course run by WRAC. Seriously, it involved "Gells! Ai'd laike yew to plan a dinner naight!" because this was still the expectation of employment, regardless that brighter young WRAC 2Lts were filling Tp Comd slots in RA/RCT and even Yeomanry units in the late 80s / early 90s. There were local Brigade cadres and the UOTCs doing the initial officer training (overseen by Regulars); the District Assessment Board doing the selection; but the selected "product" was then made a 2Lt (on probation) for a couple of years. During that probationary period, they were expected to do their YOs course (assessed by Regulars), an annual camp (assessed by the CO), and their time on the ground with the Jocks. At the end of their probation, it was either "congratulations, you're in" or "do f*** off, there's a good chap" - but essentially a three-year training and continuous assessment process, with a chunk of training on the job. Quality was variable, but there were often more subalterns than platoon/troop command slots; so as a CO/OC you could pick and choose.

The TA ran a greater number of lighter filters across a longer process - but the end result at the end of probation was possibly of similar quality to now. Yes, we had some utter choppers, but now they'd been passed by RMAS (I daresay that as Regulars, they'd have ended up writing letters about the importance of biscuits and coffee / the necessity to avoid sandwiches at your desk, abusing their staff car privileges, and cheating on their CEA).

Post-1986, "common standards" meant a two-week TA Commissioning Course at RMAS; the "on probation" aspect continued as a formality (because it's not how the Regulars do things). While TACC was supposed to be assessment, it started to subsume training - because umpty-nine districts and UOTCs might try to produce to a common syllabus, but they won't all succeed. After seven or eight years, TACC started to offer an optional, extra week of pre-training as "TAPCC"; because while the TA Gp.A had done a nine-day "battle camp" prior to arrival, the UOTCs hadn't, not really. The battle camp was better-resourced than any UOTC could manage; a week-long Easter camp administered by one of the district's TA inf bns.

Eventually, the extra week at Sandhurst became compulsory. Then (@cpunk might know when) the District Assessment Boards were centralised in Westbury, eventually as a common AOSB. Now the UOTCs are under the direct control of RMAS, and (from the outside) the individual units appear to be starting to be assimilated - resistance is futile.

Unfortunately, in the early 1990s, Comdt RMAS declared that he didn't want to waste resources on "CV building" (the accusation being that too many UOTC 2Lts provided little to no return return of service before leaving the TA). The seven or eight courses per year (Dettingen Company was scaled for four platoons; there were eighty on my TACC, 100 on the larger summer vacation courses) were scaled back, and UOTCs were told to only send "serious" applicants. Unfortunately, the UOTCs weren't very effective at choosing the correct "serious" applicants, because it's an impossible task*, and output dropped.

Another bright mid-90s money-saving scheme was to shut down the District TAPOC courses; Scotland, for instance, would take on 120+ candidates for two weeks of recruit training in September, followed by 8-10 training weekends, followed by a nine-day battle camp in March; by which point it normally had forty or fifty left to send to RMAS. "We can split that up across the UOTCs, they won't have to travel so far!" went the theory - forgetting that the UOTC students provided similar training across two or three years, not one. That one flopped quickly, then struggled to rebuild the "saved" TAPOC resources.

By the late 90s, the young officer pipeline had been mismanaged to destruction. At one point in the early 00s, the number of TA Commissions was in two figures per year.

* "Impossible task" because many UOTC 2Lt don't study close to home, or near their first job; for instance, Edinburgh UOTC rarely produced many 2Lts for local TA units, because the students mostly left Edinburgh after graduation. If they get to their first job and discover the breathing space to be a Tp/Pl Comd, great - but it's utterly unpredictable, quite apart from being hard to wander into the local TA unit when you know no-one there, then declare that you're 2Lt Muggins, you want a Platoon, please.
I did 4 years Aberdeen UOTC, and then TA4 1989, I suspect gravelbelly we may have crossed paths..........
That included MTC 1&2 (?) and then 2 weeks at Dettingen company and as you say there were several hundred commissioned a year. I then got a job in the South East, and got the phone book out and looked up local RE units, phoned them up and said gis'a'job. I did DAB at Redford, and all the assessing officers knew me and were more interested in that afternoons Scotland rugby score so the fact I had a walkman with a FM radio probably caused me to pass :)

The regiment I joined took half a dozen UOTC subbies every year across 4 squadrons for many years, but there were a number of more senior officers who has been purely commissioned on does the face fit and were fat useless f***s.

Fun fact: I once went out to dinner with several co-officers and friends, out of 5 of us I was the only one not named Sarah :cool:
 
until some bright spark said ‘he should go to Camberley’:x:roll:
Which only happened because some kindly Angleiron whispered in your shell-like, a few years earlier, that your infantry career would likely top out at Major, whereas other career paths were possible, for a bright grammar boy

Wild speculation, perhaps, but I'm acutely conscious how differently your original cap badge looked after its officers compared to my own.
 
And Sappers could only enter RHQ by the side/back door anyway.

That's the kind of utter bullshit that used to wind me up. RHQ is where the pay blokes sat, the tailor's shop was in there, etc etc. I'm not going in there for a fag and a brew with my bezzer the Badge. In fact, I know the Badge's office is round the corner, and I'm going nowhere near it. Do my business and GTFO before I get lemoned with something.

But what the FVCK is wrong with going into RHQ by the main door? Why would any organisation seek to make the very staff upon which it depends feel like second-class citizens? Why did RHQ have "Officers only" bogs? Is the Regt 2IC's shit so stinky that they don't want to contaminate the troops with it? No, of course not, it's quite the reverse. Yet we all put our socks on the same way.
 
I did 4 years Aberdeen UOTC, and then TA4 1989, I suspect gravelbelly we may have crossed paths..........
That included MTC 1&2 (?) and then 2 weeks at Dettingen company and as you say there were several hundred commissioned a year. I then got a job in the South East, and got the phone book out and looked up local RE units, phoned them up and said gis'a'job. I did DAB at Redford, and all the assessing officers knew me and were more interested in that afternoons Scotland rugby score so the fact I had a walkman with a FM radio probably caused me to pass :)

The regiment I joined took half a dozen UOTC subbies every year across 4 squadrons for many years, but there were a number of more senior officers who has been purely commissioned on does the face fit and were fat useless f***s.

Fun fact: I once went out to dinner with several co-officers and friends, out of 5 of us I was the only one not named Sarah :cool:

Very probably. I was on TA 3/89, but did my MTQ2 way back in 1986 at a mass session in Redford (I think it was the second year that they'd run it, it used to be called CMT1 and 2). A mate from the Pipes & Drums ended up in the same (Red!) syndicate at DAB in March? 1989, made interesting when she and I realised that one of our syndicate was the unfortunate who didn't realise his girlfriend was seeing someone in our mob...

If you met me, I was the scrawny / gobby piper from Edinburgh who kept being sent out on the end of planks, poles, and ropes during command tasks, because I was only just over ten stone dripping wet, hence easy to lift / balance...

...and I think we both know an AUOTC type who did a law degree and ran away to R SIGNALS(V).
 
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Why would any organisation seek to make the very staff upon which it depends feel like second-class citizens? Why did RHQ have "Officers only" bogs? Is the Regt 2IC's shit so stinky that they don't want to contaminate the troops with it?
W Edwards Deming, midwife to The Toyota Method,which gave the world it's most reliable and best-selling car, was very clear that the first principle of creating a world beating organization, is to break down barriers.

You gotta question the self-confidence and capability of "leaders" who don't know how to inspire, and instead need these things to impose their status on subordinates
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Which only happened because some kindly Angleiron whispered in your shell-like, a few years earlier, that your infantry career would likely top out at Major, whereas other career paths were possible, for a bright grammar boy

Wild speculation, perhaps, but I'm acutely conscious how differently your original cap badge looked after its officers compared to my own.
Erm, a year with the Pompadours undoubtedly helped but they never suggested that if I transferred I’d top out at Major - I worked it out for myself as the RCT were telling me ‘top 5%, must be an Adjt, special care etc’ and I could see I would always be ‘that Trog that transferred in’. That’s why (for the second time in my life) I chucked in the chance of climbing the order of precedence.

I think you may be right about your speculation but I can’t answer for your lot - the battalion I was with had it’s share of transfers in, losers and actually quite a lot of real stars - I loved my time there.

As for grammar school - I didn’t go to one, and neither did you!
 
That's the kind of utter bullshit that used to wind me up. RHQ is where the pay blokes sat, the tailor's shop was in there, etc etc. I'm not going in there for a fag and a brew with my bezzer the Badge. In fact, I know the Badge's office is round the corner, and I'm going nowhere near it. Do my business and GTFO before I get lemoned with something.

But what the FVCK is wrong with going into RHQ by the main door? Why would any organisation seek to make the very staff upon which it depends feel like second-class citizens? Why did RHQ have "Officers only" bogs? Is the Regt 2IC's shit so stinky that they don't want to contaminate the troops with it? No, of course not, it's quite the reverse. Yet we all put our socks on the same way.

To be honest, my giveafuckometer never even used to tremble.

I had an SSM who used to say what made a good soldier was (forget Sharpes 4 rounds a minute) non twisted laces and a G10 watch.

The more I experienced this type of stuff, the more I was determined to eradicate it in my minuscule sphere of influence for the microcosm of time I was there.

The more senior I got, the bigger my Petri Dish and hopefully the greater the growth of idea once I left.

I had 2 choices, leave the job I loved, moan from the outside and change nothing. Stay and plant ideas in those around me, that may stick and improve others lives further down the line.

That is assuming my ideas were the right ones of course :) :)
 
W Edwards Deming, midwife to The Toyota Method,which gave the world it's most reliable and best-selling car, was very clear that the first principle of creating a world beating organization, is to break down barriers.

You gotta question the self-confidence and capability of "leaders" who don't know how to inspire, and instead need these things to impose their status on subordinates
don't forget, the army rarely leads. It does however command, and occasionally manages.
 
Which only happened because some kindly Angleiron whispered in your shell-like, a few years earlier, that your infantry career would likely top out at Major, whereas other career paths were possible, for a bright grammar boy

Wild speculation, perhaps, but I'm acutely conscious how differently your original cap badge looked after its officers compared to my own.
change the cap-badge, but that was almost word-for-word the career advice that I got!
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
To be honest, my giveafuckometer never even used to tremble.

I had an SSM who used to say what made a good soldier was (forget Sharpes 4 rounds a minute) non twisted laces and a G10 watch.

The more I experienced this type of stuff, the more I was determined to eradicate it in my minuscule sphere of influence for the microcosm of time I was there.

The more senior I got, the bigger my Petri Dish and hopefully the greater the growth of idea once I left.

I had 2 choices, leave the job I loved, moan from the outside and change nothing. Stay and plant ideas in those around me, that may stick and improve others lives further down the line.

That is assuming my ideas were the right ones of course :) :)
You’ll be glad to hear that ‘different entrances’ applied to officers too in the early noughties HQ ARRC - 1* and above through the front door, the rest of us via the side entrance. As my German fallschirmjaeger boss used to say: ‘quatsch!’
 

Truxx

LE
To be honest, my giveafuckometer never even used to tremble.

I had an SSM who used to say what made a good soldier was (forget Sharpes 4 rounds a minute) non twisted laces and a G10 watch.

The more I experienced this type of stuff, the more I was determined to eradicate it in my minuscule sphere of influence for the microcosm of time I was there.

The more senior I got, the bigger my Petri Dish and hopefully the greater the growth of idea once I left.

I had 2 choices, leave the job I loved, moan from the outside and change nothing. Stay and plant ideas in those around me, that may stick and improve others lives further down the line.

That is assuming my ideas were the right ones of course :) :)
G10 watch.....

when I took over command I was being wheeled around the establishment. Not that I needed it as I had spent a number of years in the same place as Ops Officer.

but I was doing my thing, pressing the flesh and getting the brief on department after department.

in the TQMs I was exposed to a full on battering over lifting tackle inspections and the intricacies of the F88 (lifting tackle register). On completion I was invited to ask questions.

"As CO" I asked " am I entitled to a G10 watch? "

cue silence.

"Hang on a minute Sir" said the RSM, scudding out of the stores office to return 5 minutes later, complete with G10 watch, still sweaty from whichever wrist it had been wrestled from.

as he handed it over he gave the TQM the scowl that would have killed a civilian. ..
 
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