Discussion in 'Royal Signals' started by snotrag, Jun 30, 2006.

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  1. It was interesting to see on a recent deployment a really worrying trend.

    Whilst the J6 along with Yeoman and Foreman were involved in planning future CIS installations and maintenance of present ones there was no IS Supvr present.

    Why was this? Because he was being employed as an IS Engr (LANMAN role)

    It was pretty comical to see a Sgt IS Engr looking for constructive planning for future ops from G6 whilst the WO2 IS Supvr was busy trying to keep the backups going.

    I hope this isnt a new trend. If we cant get it right at ARRC level then what chance do the Brigades have.


  2. This is not unique to the current deployment - the IS 'SUPERVISORS' always seem to be doing hands on and not supervising!

    If they were true 'SUPERVISORS' you would'nt need the huge quantity of 'SUPERVISORS' that are in your Sqn !!
  3. I read a recent Corps thingy (yes that's a technical term) that seemed to reflect the same questions. Some of the questions regarding the creation of the unified Engineering trade were aimed specifically at the feasibility of a single engineering supervisory roster. Reading between the lines I think there's a valid concern that far too many Supvr (IS) are still at the coalface, for whatever reason and that may hold up the merger many people would like to see. There are a couple of reasons why this might be the case.

    There are still a lot of mafiosi out there who can't bear to see the success of the IS roster and try their damnedest to block any attempt to merge into ops. This is a very personality-driven thing of course, I have a seen a lot of positive change over the past year and, in my environment, we are all starting to get a slightly more mature approach to working to each other's stengths rather than nay-saying on principle.

    Perhaps, on a far more crude level, some people lack the confidence and discipline to step back and manage. The thing is, it's a lot of fun playing with some of the newer technology, however that's not what that person is paid to do. He or she is paid to know that stuff inside out already and entrust execution of tasks to the Class 1 practitioners. It's not easy of course, for a new trade, but hey who said life was easy. (Lionel Richie I think).

    A quote I heard from a Supvr IS in one of the 11 Sig Bde units was along the lines of "when the unit has the FofS stagging on the TALON det then I'll start adminstering user accounts on JOCS". I think that's a fair comment, however I hold the IS roster rather dear to my heart and I'd welcome other sensible thoughts.

  4. "when the unit has the FofS stagging on the TALON det then I'll start adminstering user accounts on JOCS"

    And when you stick the Yeoman on radio watch, i'll start doing the backups!!!

    So what does the roster need? In my humble, and somewhat underqualified experience -

    1. Postings from the course should be outside previous experience - The Corps shouldnt give a rats how good a programmer/cisco god/linux guru/blah blah you were - everone should step outside their own box from a long course. However valuable that individule was to an organisation, they would have lost them eventually, better sooner than later.

    2. For the love of god, include the IS Supvr in IS planning. If you dont, theres no hope.

    3. If you expect your IS Supvr to be an expert in your latest fad, expect to stump up a training budget.

    4. Remember that your IS Supvr has done a few years, and is also a man manager.

    5. Dont post anyone to an IPT/Agency unless they really, really, really want to be there.

    6. And for the love of god, have the difference between Information Technology and Information Systems worked out before you go into a selection interview.

    I've probably got more, i'll post tomorrow
  5. LOL - it was funny to see the last lot on selection trying to predict what grilling OC IS Gp would deal out!
  6. Interesting thread.
    I must agree (somewhat uncharacteristically(f7) ) with the sentiments voiced.
    In particular, the exclusion of the IS Fraternity from any "OPS" environment. I have witnessed this many times, and cannot pretend to be unconcerned. I do not believe that this exclusion from the planning stages is down to any fear of being upstaged OR a desire to keep digits firmly wedged into assorted pastry products. I am of the opinion that there is no great conspiracy to deliberately disparage the IS Engineer by way of professional exclusion, however there is a tendancy for the Y and F to work their mammaries off to ensure communications, taking for granted that the IS side will sort itself out - which they invariably do.
    I reckon the IS guys still have a lot to bring to the party, in areas that the Y and F may not have the necessary knowledge, ie. Systemic idiosyncracies of equipment and software concerned, and their inclusion in the planning stages would assist to iron out isues before they arise.
    I also agree with the school of thought that states that when the Y is doing a radio stag, then the Supvr will do backups, or play with accounts - to an extent.
    When there are no toms to do the job, then you,regardless of rank or appointment are the tom. The backups are not going to sort themselves out.
    In a perfect world of course, this would never happen. BUT In a perfect world we would never go on ops, and we would probably not have an army at all, so it looks like we're stuck with the sh1tty world for a while.
  7. Your right of course Jimmy. This can be a problem, however the problem will not improve while it is the accepted norm in an organisation for the IS Supvr to work at the coal face. If you have a responsibility for the delivery of a capability, but have no part to play in the planning of that delivery, i'd suggest that your on a bit of a loser. Maybe, in the scenario you describe, its time to revisit the manning of your IS assets and have a rethink about how important they are within your orbat.

    If the IS Supvr roster isnt allowed to develop, taking on some of the traditional roles from the Yeoman and Foreman and carving out a niche for themselves, the roster will end up as a few plush posts in forward thinking units and a scattering of netman posts in the rest of the Corps. This will be totally counter productive, if posts dont hold sufficient value it will see promotion slowing. If records, at CR time, see 10 IS Engr SSgt and 10 SSgt IS Supvr reports and they read exactly the same - wheres the value in the IS Supvr posts? Also, if the roster gains a reputation for stagnancy or lack of quality jobs, it may start to discourage the right people from attempting selection.

    But your right jimmy, it doesnt hurt occasionaly to step up to the keyboard. It keeps your skills up and shows that you got where you are because you had something about you.
  8. What the IS roster also lacks is any credibility. How can someone fail YofS selection and even the YofS cse and be deemed good enough to be an IS Supv?? Beats me enough said I think....incoming awaited and expected but hey ho
  9. Wasn't a certain IS Supervisor under training, failed by course staff due to his limited supervisory skills, reinstated by the SOinC with the arguement that:

    "IS Supervisors don't need to be supervisors in the same way YofS and FofS do as their work is mainly (at the coal face) behind closed doors"

    Not pouring petrol here just widening the debate.

    Edited for atrocious spelling.
  10. Well we are all placed under the same"umbrella" and classed as supervisory but not all posts are required to be supervisory, but everyone who passes a supervisory course should be at the required standard imho
  11. Everyone can be mis-employed on Ops to a certain extent. Two sugars for me you stinking geek.
  12. However, a couple of years back, a qualified Supvr Radio was told not to come back for selection to the Supvr IS course after his second attempt as he was "Not Supvr material".

    What did that say?
  13. That sounds wrong, my experience has shown that I should know about old outdated message handling processes and what they need to achieve but also understand how mail servers should work. We shouldn't be adopting ACP 127 proceedures to MS Outlook.

    I'm not even sure Tfc IS officers are worth it, blah blah blah ..... me: its only f'ing MS Access.

    I reckon I may even stick my head above the parapet and say regular Techincal Officers are needed within the corps. As a TA soldier I should be able to talk to someone and hopefully they should understand me. Or an officer should be able to see what his soldiers are trying to achieve and then be able to come a decision OR THE SUPERVISORS should be able to.....

    p.s. don't say the YofS get IS training, cause I've seen part of it and it took the piss...
  14. timebandit,

    I think you may have taken that slightly out of context..... but "hey ho!"


    "outdated message handling processes" are occasionally required... believe it or not, dets still deploy using traditional TG circuits as their primary method of formal messaging. Just because static locations have been able to employ CIS solutions to traditional problems, it would be naive to assume that this would instantly replace all other potential solutions.

    As for your remark about Tfc IS, you appear to be under the misapprehension that a Tfc IS would be managing a db - reference back to boney_m et al posts previously indicate that this is precisely the mis-employment referred to. A Tfc Officer, irrespective of branch, is a senior manager.... who should most certainly NOT be sat in front of a database doing a full screw's job. (Oh, and more often than not, you'll find it is Oracle or SQL, not MS Access) ;) ;)

    In my opinion, the Supvr IS should already be an integral part of any management team - anywhere that this is not already happening is wasting a valuable resource.

  15. GR,

    We were dealing with emails saying 'can you forward this onto xyz', it would have been better to add contact lists to MS Exchange. For units without access to email, they could have had addresses created with the actual email address pointing to a responsible COMMCEN.
    We were also forwarding on emails because dets didn't know how to find exercise email addresses, but thats a different problem. Staff weren't using priority features of outlook and again indicating it within the text of messages. (We were also handling formal messages but they were only coming from RSigs dets - which again indicated our proceedures were outdated)

    Yes it does back up your comments about lack of IS Sup or maybe other supervisors should understand the mechanics of IS?

    p.s. I know it was access, I recognised the output format and I'd worked at interfacing it in the past with other systems.

    p.p.s. The COMMCEN's were being blamed for the slow delivery of the MS Access output files by MS Exchange (by a Tfc IS). Yeah right, but blame the TA always works.