Its A Sinking Ship

#1
I have just been reading some of the posts that many people have written and have generally came up with the same conclusion. The Army is a sinking ship that is totally undermanned and overcommited. As a result of this, the recruitment and training process is very fast and of poor quality, retention in units is the main effort nowadays - with measures i have seen to keep the crappest Pte soldier 'interested' nothing short of begging, and the standard of bloke is diabolical.

The next time you find yourself in a realtime situation, take a look at the blokes that surround you and ask yourself this: 'Is this man capable of backing me up in combat if it hits the fan'. This is the question i asked myself around about this time last year. Now I am a civilian.
 
#3
yes but door bundle there is alot like him who have quit for the reasons he states. And there are more in the pending tray the army this year because of the gulf war has a full compliment of recruits hwo long they will stay is in the lap of the gods. But if things were looked at and changes implementated may be alot more.
Remember everyone is entitled to express an opinion we will lay down our lives to allow them to say it.
 
#4
DoorBundle said:
Recce-Commander said:
Now I am a civilian.
Therefore your opinion is worthless.

Not sure why you would say that Doorbundle. seems to me over the last few years that the question Recce-Commander asked , has been the most important question asked by people in the front line, I have several very close friends who have left simply because of the lack of support given to them in very dangerous situations, and even less thanks when the job is done.
Two particular close friends and ex colleques are now working in the private sector, as security consultants for insurance companies, mostly in the area of high profile kidnapping negotiations, they are making more financially than they ever could have dreamed of whilst in the military, but the bottom line is even with all the financial security and reward they get for there skills, they are still very unhappy and dissapointed at there own government because they are allowing people to leave and weakening the countries ability to properly defend itself.
 
#5
Good post, unlike my own flippant one. Totally agree with whats been said. Just a pity my own impending pension keeps me in for the final stretch.
 
#6
Common enough, and much sympathy, but things aren't as good as they used to be, and they never were. Our idle, useless soldiers seemed to do pretty well when it came to warfighting. I think my solders are excellent, and I have every faith they'd cut the mustard on a two way range - warts and all.
Recce Commander, I feel your idealism has outweighed your perspective...do you imagine the men in Borneo, Korea and Malaya were steely eyed Starship Troopers? No my friend, they were moaning, whinging Toms, who'd rather be drinking and shagging. God bless em. The bastards. Of course things are shit....it's the Army!
 
#7
and every generation of old sweats complain about the junior soldiers of today not being up to the job.
 
#8
This topic caught my eye and I have never heard such an inaccurate moan.

Recruiting is going well - too good and we may have to slow down the numbers of those who want to join.

Retention remains high - there is no downward trend as a result of the increased no of ops tours - this is for ORs and Offrs.

The calibre of men and women joining (young offrs at RMAS and soldier recruits) is higher than it has ever been.

Seems like a good story to me. Yes ... we may have problems as all armies have but when you see the others - we are in excellent shape as our operational record clearly shows.
 
#9
Ramilies......are you in the real Army then? Yes recruiting is up....they are flooding in from the commonwealth countries... Retention...........grab the bonus then sign off the next day....Calibre higher than it has ever been...Would that be because the required standards have been set lower than we could ever have wanted or because School qualifications are attendance only...or perhaps your suggesting that the rest of us are crap?
 
#10
Sorry, no. Recruiting is up with our own boys and girls. They are not, as is claimed, "flooding in from the Commonwealth."
The Treasury have put a freeze on recruiting because the Army's got too many coming in, and nowhere to put them. They couldn't afford to train some soldiers, because they hadn't expected that big a rise in recruiting.
 
#11
Oh Macks..................... :lol: there is a freeze on recruiting because Gordon has told Tony he cant have any more soldiers to play with this year :wink: I notice that you failed to reply to the other points too :D Does that nasty war mean more tax raises next year :?: um...........probably and incidently my Corps is losing Personnel hand over fist 8O
 
#12
Hmm... Well, we're obviously not going to agree on the matter of recruiting, so I don't think there's much point in bashing that one out. I still stand by my point though. :)
Your other points. Retention. Yes, I'd agree with that one. While not in a position to comment on it myself specifically, I would say that the Army needs to stop lying to potential recruits, so that they know what to expect when they come in, and don't leave three months (years if you're lucky) later whinging, "this isn't what I signed on for."
And actually, I'd agree with you on your point about standards. Fromy my point of view, it seems that I, along with the rest of my generation, am going to have it easier in comparison with the generation of soldiers above.
 
#13
But the generational whinge is timeless - when the Colonel of my Regiment joined as a young feller, they used to march twenty miles a day for a fortnight in clumpy hobnail boots, wearing barathea battledress, with a rubberised anti-gas cape as the only form of waterproof, and a rolled blanket for shelter at night. They'd dig in to stage 3 as a matter of course several times on an exercise, and that was what they did.
Are we weaker? I don't think so. If we had to function in that kit and nothing else - we would. But better kit saves time and energy for concentrating on how to plan and fight best to avoid our casualties and inflict maximum impact on the enemy. General X also never had to worry about a news crew popping up after one of his blokes had been shot, nor consider legal implications of his decisions (beyond a general knowledge of the Geneva Convention). Health and Safety and employment law would have been a foreign language. His personal kit would have been little different from that of WW2 - or indeed WW1. Batteries, Air bottles, TI sights, Kiplings etc never a factor. Equally, imperial policing allowed for greater anonymity and more robust solutions than today, where a tactical action can achieve an unintended strategic consequence.
The lads (and birds) of today are well up to carrying the mantle of their forebears. They've proven it forever - the British soldier has never been found wanting, and they deserve the support of the chain of command. I might make the point that this chain begins at LCpl and ends at CDS. Todays people are different. If they're less inherently deferential, it means shouting at them will piss them off, but explaining - forcefully if required - why things must function as they must, and what they've done wrong when they have, will achieve the result. If you're complaining about the lads - you're part of the problem. Get in there and organise some interesting, robust, realistic training that turns them into better soldiers. (But don't - as I once did- arrange a bayonet assault course before a weekend...lots of dramas on Monday morning after practicing their recently practiced aggression on a saturday night...faaaackin 'ell....)!
Plenty of problems - but qualitys not one of them.
 
#14
Recce-Commander said:
I have just been reading some of the posts that many people have written and have generally came up with the same conclusion. The Army is a sinking ship that is totally undermanned and overcommited. As a result of this, the recruitment and training process is very fast and of poor quality, retention in units is the main effort nowadays - with measures i have seen to keep the crappest Pte soldier 'interested' nothing short of begging, and the standard of bloke is diabolical.

The next time you find yourself in a realtime situation, take a look at the blokes that surround you and ask yourself this: 'Is this man capable of backing me up in combat if it hits the fan'. This is the question i asked myself around about this time last year. Now I am a civilian.
Now matter how you feel about the army as it currently is, and we all know it isn't perfect, do you think it's responsible to post sentiments like the ones you express above on a website which has many many potential soldiers and officers on it? Even if the army has lost you, it still has to recruit, and no matter how unhappy you were with it while you were in, don't discourage others from joining.
 

chimera

LE
Moderator
#15
Ramilles and macks are right. PVR rates are the lowest they have been since the mid 90s.

Surely the issue here is that if you don't like the quality of the blokes around you, then do something about it and get out and train them rather than going for the cut and run option.
 
#16
A_Team_Lewis - wake up and smell the coffee. As far as the Army's
potential recruiting problems are concerned, Recce-Commander's post is the least of our worries. I think more people will be discouraged by the thought of being left out to dry by the govt with no CBA or 20 rounds a man than they will be by one man's opinion of falling standards.

Also, give these potential soldiers and officers a bit more credit - we can't con people into joining up; most who commission have their eyes wide open anyway (can't with an easy conscience say the same of some of the dross who pitch up at ATRs), and much as they would no doubt appreciate your efforts at sparing them some harsh truths, I think they have the right to make a fully informed decision. In my opinion the pros to being a soldier still far outweight the cons. I'd still join again, even though I am fully aware that some things are not as they should be.

Save the flag-waving for when you're in the mob, fella.
 
#17
Thank for all replies and good to see that in the main - we all agree. Yes there are problems - but we have a lot going for us. We have much work at sorting the problems - but it is possible.

I would say that the Army needs to stop lying to potential recruits, so that they know what to expect when they come in,
Very much agree this - I sign off on average 5 - 10 discharges (edited as corrected to discharges re post below) per month as temprementally unsuitable and I continually ask - why - this must be wrong - what a waste of the money as well as the Army and the soldier's time ?

It is a combination of factors - but it grieves me that soldiers leave under this guise as they lose self esteem and probably end on the state welfare. The Army and the individual have failed. Therefore - I am all for telling recruits what life is really like and in the main - I think they do realise.
 
#18
So Ram what your saying is that a 15 % Annual turnover of junior ranks is acceptable..Then you take into account natural wastage.... I took your figures and gave em an average of 7.5% that is 90 trained soldiers lost because there was something wrong. Incidentally dont use the term PVR unless it applies............only we old and bold had the right to PVR.youngsters now merely have to complete 3/4's of their 4 yr contract then sit happily in the knowledge that they will be out in 12 months having signed their forms.
 
#20
what your saying is that a 15 % Annual turnover of junior ranks is acceptable
Not sure what you are saying here. My point is that it is sad that so many are leaving because they are unsuitable. Anything we can do to reduce this should be done as it is waste of everyone's time and money.

That said and to return to the original thread - we are not part of a sinking ship - rather one that is going from strength to strength as our operational record shows. We have much to be proud of ! :D
 

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