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Is the MoD the Armed Forces greatest enemy

#1
When you next visit the toilet for 5 - 10 minutes of peace, have a read of the British Army Review, Summer 2007 pages 14 - 15. It highlights a few salient points about the MoD:

1. The poor quality of its senior civil servants.
2. Too many senior officers messing around on parades, dinners etc rather than actually doing their job.
3. CDS should be a soldier as Admirals and Air marshals don't know enough about fighting on the ground and they are technically support (CS / CSS) elements anyway.
4. There are too many senior officers and they get in each others' way.
5. Greater military and civilian leadership and management is needed.
6. Too many senior personnel just seing through the week, wasting huge sums of money rather than creating a beter force - whilst expecting more from less.

Failure to address the above points, the article suggests, will create a less effective Armed Forces, especialy with a muppet in charge.
 
#2
Hmm... is your Army top heavy like ours is? For every colonel and above we have in a command position, there are three brewing coffee in the five sided wind tunnel (Pentagon.)

Fact is our senior officer manning is equivilant to what it was during WW-2 yet our forces are less than one fifth the size!
 
#3
I havent read the article. Does it point towards any rationalisation betweenthe services at all? It strikes me that the Army is not the worst offender.
 
#4
Deep swimmer said:
When you next visit the toilet for 5 - 10 minutes of peace, have a read of the British Army Review, Summer 2007 pages 14 - 15. It highlights a few salient points about the MoD:

1. The poor quality of its senior civil servants. IMHO it's the quality of the less senior civil servants that is the problem - but, if you pay peanuts: expect monkeys.
2. Too many senior officers messing around on parades, dinners etc rather than actually doing their job. Tend to disagree here, most of them work incredibly hard.
3. CDS should be a soldier as Admirals and Air marshals don't know enough about fighting on the ground and they are technically support (CS / CSS) elements anyway. And the falklands....?
4. There are too many senior officers and they get in each others' way. Too many senior officers who live, work and breathe within their own single Service silos.
5. Greater military and civilian leadership and management is needed. There are enough "managers" in the MOD to crew both the new carriers (when/if they ever arrive and we can decide what aircraft to put on them). What is sorely lacking are leaders who can make (the right) decision and see the job through to completion.
6. Too many senior personnel just seing through the week, wasting huge sums of money rather than creating a beter force - whilst expecting more from less. See 1 - 5 above, more a case of trying to create better forces with even less

Failure to address the above points, the article suggests, will create a less effective Armed Forces, especialy with a muppet in charge.
(Just sitting here - proud to be a member of "Team Defence"....)
 
#5
SB,

Under 2) don't confuse 'working hard' with 'producing useful results' ;)

mst
 
#7
msr said:
SB,

Under 2) don't confuse 'working hard' with 'producing useful results' ;)

mst
A most excellent point sir.
 
#8
Dragstrip said:
msr said:
SB,

Under 2) don't confuse 'working hard' with 'producing useful results' ;)

mst
A most excellent point sir.
Notwithstanding SB's excellent summary, there are far too many supernumerary 'senior officers' who produce nothing except reams of paperwork and silly questions*. The amount of paperwork produced will always exactly fill the amount of time available to produce it (3rd Law of MoD Workspace Dynamics).

*Op TELIC is a case in point, with over 100 'extra' SO1s and SO2s 'working' in 2 main HQs who sole purpose in life was to work incredibly long hours (all chasing MBEs, thrusting like mad and so forth) producing CONPLANS that the MoD's own POR admitted 'stood no chance of ever being employed'. Have things moved on since then?
 
#9
The MoD is certainly the BRITISH Armies worse enemy but what about over the pond in America?

Is the DoD the US Armies worse enemy cutting back on everything, expecting the troops to do more with less?
 
#10
Proximo said:
*Op TELIC is a case in point, with over 100 'extra' SO1s and SO2s 'working' in 2 main HQs who sole purpose in life was to work incredibly long hours (all chasing MBEs, thrusting like mad and so forth) producing CONPLANS that the MoD's own POR admitted 'stood no chance of ever being employed'. Have things moved on since then?
Interesting (I think), that in a perverse kind of way, the likelihood of any conplan being employed is proportunate of the performance of the principal plan and it's planners. So, I suppose that the MOD would say that, wouldn't it.
 
#11
Worth checking back over past editions of Lessons Learned (or identified) from Training, majority of which point to the increase of the size of our headquarters (at all levels) having an adverse effect on our decision making process. More staff = more tactical debate = more time taken to reach a decision = more chance of us reaching the wrong one too late. This doesn't just apply in the field.
Also means more CONPLANS just to keep all the additional staff busy and feeling valued.
Cynical enough?? :wink:
 
#12
I was absolutely flabbergasted to learn that in an Army of little more than 100,000, we still have over 500 full Colonel posts, add Brigadiers & Generals (all stars) and the plethora of senior civil servants, in my simplistic view on life, it seems a very “jobs for the boys” orientated pyramid.

As an aside, for some obscure reason, I was perusing the RLC appointments list recently. I was very shocked to see more Col posts than Subbie posts, kind of proves the above

With regard to the HQ planning thing, take the Feckin IT out of the Headquarters and instantly reduce the time spent on MS point scoring.

I am almost certain that 2nd Lt overstretched, trying to give his snap orders because everyone above has ignored the 2/3, 1/3 rule, doesn’t really care that the Op order was in Arial 11 Point, double space and justified.

Now is that Cynical enough
 
#13
Couldn't agree more - and more than cynical enough. Did you also know that we now have some 36 Brigades of various types, all with a 1* in charge, some of which only have 1 major unit under command........
 
#14
But some of them are in for a shock... Just ask 52 (Highland) Bde!

Hands up anyone who's even seen a Jock in this Bde (less for the Commander of course).

Can't wait for next summer and we haven't even deployed yet...
 
#15
I think you mean 52 Infantry Brigade....not to be confused with 51 (Scottish) Brigade who are Regional Forces (mind you, not many Jocks there either).
 

mysteron

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
It is really quite simple when you get down to Brass Tacks....

MoD - Trained and work under the principles of PRINCE2 methodology to conduct packets of work (a few principles as examples)

1) Centralisation.
2) Constant reporting and audit.
3) Decisions to be made by Project Manager and above (i.e. not at the tactical level) after scrutiny.
4) Individual performance quotas.

Army - Trained to consider Mission Command, the principles being:

1) Decentralisation.
2) Trust.
3) Unity of Effort.
4) Mutual Understanding
5) Time & effective decision making.

These aren't completely opposed to each other are they? Further, the MoD Civil servant rarely understands the beast that it supposedly serves - have a look at any large contract that has been ordered and paid for by MoD on behalf of any of the 3 services and you will see that what is asked for is not what the soldier/sailor/airman wants or needs.

I rest my case.

The day you have the MoD understanding what it is to serve (utopia) is the day that we will become more efficient. The Armed Forces needs the MoD for its commercial, financial, et al expertise - the soldier does not have those requisite skills. You will not reconcile the two. This problem has existed since before Wellington was in charge, does anyone think that it will change?
 
#17
CAARPS said:
As an aside, for some obscure reason, I was perusing the RLC appointments list recently. I was very shocked to see more Col posts than Subbie posts, kind of proves the above
I have heard that the RLC TA now has more Cols then 2Lts.
 
#18
Not forgetting the Regular Army has more Majors (OF3) than Captains (OF4...Thanks Cynical - this should read OF2 ) ...

No wonder there are so many Army SO2s in Main Building!

Source
 

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