Legitimacy of Officers after 2014?

#1
I was wondering about how this works out...

Obviously, there will be new Officers that will come to lead people after 2014 passes and we leave Afghanistan. However, those people will have no combat experience, whilst the men they lead will have probably done a few tours. The SNCOs they command could have done 5+ tours. I'm wondering...is there a "legitimacy" problem with this and how do YOs go about overcoming it? Is it a case that the Officer is very much "on trial" until they themselves have done a tour?

This is not meant to be a "bone" thread...I am genuinely curious about how this works out. The main the point of the army is go on combat tours...how can you go about leading men if you yourself have not proved yourself at this? I know that obviously the point of Officers is not to be the most experienced, they blatantly aren't, but surely having no combat experience at all doesn't help their authority/ability to lead?
 
#2
Obviously, there will be new Officers that will come to lead people after 2014 passes and we leave Afghanistan. However, those people will have no combat experience, whilst the men they lead will have probably done a few tours. The SNCOs they command could have done 5+ tours.
You mean exactly like a young officer leaving Sandhurst and arriving at his first unit now?
 
#3
Exactly the same way as the army contracted in size post 1919/21 then 1946/47. With fresh blood to avoid going stale......
 
#4
There are quite a few YOs around now who haven't done (and probably won't do) an Op tour in Afghanistan. There are also quite a few more senior officers who haven't done Afghan or Iraq.

Being a decent commander isn't all about combt experience (though it does sometimes help). I doubt very much the soldiers will have an issue with a troopy who hasn't done an op tour. Unless he/she is a knob; in which case they could have all the op exeperience in the world, their soldiers will still think they're a knob!

Why do you ask anyway?
 
#6
So how did it work in the 50s when young officers were probably leading men who'd gone through several campaigns in WW2? It'll probably be the same in 5 or 6 years time. The newbies listening to the boring war stories from the old sweats. The "When I was in ...." tales and so on.
 
#8
I was wondering about how this works out...

Obviously, there will be new Officers that will come to lead people after 2014 passes and we leave Afghanistan. However, those people will have no combat experience, whilst the men they lead will have probably done a few tours. The SNCOs they command could have done 5+ tours. I'm wondering...is there a "legitimacy" problem with this and how do YOs go about overcoming it? Is it a case that the Officer is very much "on trial" until they themselves have done a tour?

This is not meant to be a "bone" thread...I am genuinely curious about how this works out. The main the point of the army is go on combat tours...how can you go about leading men if you yourself have not proved yourself at this? I know that obviously the point of Officers is not to be the most experienced, they blatantly aren't, but surely having no combat experience at all doesn't help their authority/ability to lead?
OK then Flash, what's the alternative? Stop recruiting new officers and simply make the ones who have managed to fit in a tour in Afghanistan stay in until they die of old age?

The main the point of the army is go on combat tours
Is it really? Have you read the National Security Strategy or SDSR - do you even know what they are?

Have you seen this diagram?





This is not meant to be a "bone" thread
Well, once again true to form for you, it is one. Remind me again when did you pass AOSB? Oh that's right you haven't yet have you? I'm sure that your forthright, well considered and researched opinions will stand you in good stead during the group discussion exercises.
 
#10
The Army has had illegitimate officers serving in it for centuries. Some have been excellent, many did well and a few were just bastards.
 
#12
Is "legitimacy" the same as legitimacy? Perhaps the use of inverted commas mean that you are a bit cleverer than the rest of us. I don't think that there is a legitimacy issue. Or a credibility one, for that matter, for the reasons given by previous posters. If you are going to be an officer, don't worry about it. If you are an officer without tour experience, don't worry about it. If you are neither, why are you asking?
 
#13
Combat ops in Afghanistan finish end 2014, not ops full stop. There will still be an overwatch requirement and no doubt some sort of training/mentor component.

Also heard recently from someone fairly senior, that he didn't expect a pull out of Afghanistan to mean an end of UK Ops - there would doubtless be other pots on the boil, in need of liited intervention.

So, officers deciding to rock up post 2014 wouldn't necessarily be inexperienced crow bags for long - they could go out on other tours, more interesting than HERRICK.

BUT, as pointed out, this is a cycle - when I joined, there wasn't much going on, Iraq Pt1 had happened, Afghan was limited, Iraq Pt2 happened and then trickled on. It was possible to not serve in one of those areas until around 2005/6 I reckon, when the churn through HERRICK meant it would be unusual not to.

Returning to contingency, an unlucky officer might not go anywhere, but then if they stick around, 2020 will be upon us and the politicians will be itching to use us, in our shiny new structure, fit for purpose etc.

Also, don't forget that the blokes will not all be hardened combat veterans, many will have moved up/on/out.
 
#14
There must have been a fair few ruperts who joined in 46/7 and had soldiers under them who had two world wars under their belts, plus a bit of empire policing. They seemed to manage.

We've all got to start somewhere; I can imagine some officers with several tours still being bellthronks, and others fresh from Sandhurst being damn good at their job. Most junior ranks can tell the difference.
 
#15
"The main point of the army is to go on combat tours"...f*** me, I've come across some daft statements but that one takes the biscuit! (In the original post)
 
#17
It's been all go, go, go since 1991 and it'll be quite nice when things calm down and the army can get back to proper soldiering.
'Get rid of those infernal tank things, and the jumped up chaffeurs that run them, get some proper horses, and do some real soldiering!! Herumphh.'

Rustles copy of The Thunderer and settles back in leather armchair.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
To the OP, don't worry about it. One of the purposes of Sandhurst is to help holders of a regular commission understand the absurdity of suggesting that a more junior rank could possibly know more about anything than they do themselves. ;)
 
#19
"The main point of the army is to go on combat tours"...f*** me, I've come across some daft statements but that one takes the biscuit! (In the original post)
To be fair, he probably meant "the main point of JOINING THE army is to go on combat tours" which seems pretty reasonable to me.
 
#20
Not to go windmilling in on the OP's behalf, but however much everyone's launching at him because he hasn't been to RMAS yet, he's got a point. Legitimacy probably isn't the right word, but I think we're kidding ourselves if we think there won't be a credibility gap.

Excelling in training and being an all round good egg as a YO is one thing, but you have to admit that adding experience on ops adds a certain je ne sais quoi, surely? Otherwise why do we bother sending OPTAG staff out to theatre to learn how things are actually done, or specifically mention where the Bde Comd has served on ops in that little laminated bio on the wall which always finishes, '...and plays the occasional round of golf, WITH MORE ENTHUSIASM THAN SKILL, AHAHAHAHAA! I'M REALLY VERY HUMAN!'

I can definitely foresee a few thousand conversations on trg areas across the UK in the next few years between gushingly enthusiastic YOs, and baleful faced SNCOS about how to do the next serial, with the latter pausing only to absentmindedly scratch at the stain on his MTP that was his last Pl Comd on HERRICK, before he twists the knife in his young friend's soul with the measured words, 'Er, that wasn't how we did it on ops, boss'. Now eventually of course they'll come to an agreement, and it'll all be fine, but it's still going to be the elephant in the room. Someone said that the post WWII army managed; of course they 'managed', but I bet it was an issue then as well.

And as for the poster who decried the idea that the point of the army is 'combat tours'. Well, arguably not, but what's your best guess - you were certainly horrified enough at the idea that it's scrapping.
 

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