Little Red Book

#1
Left a month ago and I know that I , and several others who left within the last 6 months never got our red books. I saw my draft 108, complete cra-p as it is all in mil spk and a civvi employer would never understand it, but I would like one more out of austerity than anything else. With this new super JPA and my unit swearing blind all was done, who can I contact to to get this and therefore fulfill the right of passage to civ st?

Did anybody else get there's recently - has it changed within the last 40 years!?

thanks
 
#3
i did 22yrs and spoke to a couple of others (also 22 yrs'ers) and none of us got one - maybe the saying of 'once you drive out of those camp gates....' is really true!!!!
 
#5
There was a thread on this a few months ago, cant locate it at mo but lots of people who have got out said it varied betwen a few months and 18 months but they still got them.
 
#6
but the red book is supposed to be your reference, the thing to take to your future employee. Mine draft was full of mil speak which only an ex serviceman would comprehend, but still, I want it more for a laught than anything else.
 
#7
Bullshit

It took 4 months for mine to come and yes it was as good as useless - I have never used nor have I asked those that come for interview for their copy.

What you will find when you do get it - is nothing more than inaccurate ravings and "not worth the paper it was written on"

Suggestion

Use your CR's as a reference should you be applying for jobs - they give a good picture of you :)
 
#9
Some amployers and trade bodies who understand the "old" ways of the Army will expext you to have a red book.

If they are going to stop doing them, they ought to put a post up on an official website and perhaps consider how they are going to fill the gap.

Perhaps they are not bothered that:

a. Blokes could be getting sold short.
b. Walts being given a licence to print alibis.
 
#10
GP3_Bunny said:
Bullshit

It took 4 months for mine to come and yes it was as good as useless - I have never used nor have I asked those that come for interview for their copy.

What you will find when you do get it - is nothing more than inaccurate ravings and "not worth the paper it was written on"
That pretty much echoes my thoughts on it too.

It is pretty much next to useless really.
 
#11
Left in 94 phase 3 redundancies. I got to see the draft copy of my red book and was even given the opportunity to reword some of the mil speak.
Left the barracks with it in my briefcase. (NAAFI carrier bag.)
I have had lots of opportunities to show it over the years and it never fails to impress employers who know what it means.
 
#12
I have never had an employer who asked to see my red book or even knew what one was.

When I left the army they appeared to be written according to a few simple formulas and did not in any way reflect people's abilities, interests or talents. One of the most switched on and capable guys I ever met left with a reference which stated that he was suitable for employment in a factory or as a manual labourer. He now runs a sucessful business.

There was a popular perception at the time that if you left the Bn against the wishes of the CO (they were exerting considerable pressure on blokes to stay in at that time) you would be rewarded with a second rate reference. Probably squaddy paranoia - but then again...

The Red Books always used to be isssued from a barracks somewhere near York - possibly Imphal - but don't quote me on that.

My experience of job interviews is that you are better minimising all reference to military service or couching it in civilian terms. It should be a selling point when you apply for a job but:

A - They don't understand what you're talking about.
B - They don't care.
C - They wonder if you're a psycho.
D - They want a minimum of five years experience in whatever you are applying for and consider it irrelevant that by virtue of your military service you could do the job standing on your head even if it was three times more stressful and demanding.

A Red Book is a nice souvenir to look over occasionally but has no inherent value - unless your soliciter quotes from it to the stern looking magistrate who is not amused by what the arresting officer just said about your recent exploits.....
 
#13
I never got one jus got cert of service and a pen picture , which was 10 lines long (one line per year) and it was all wrong saying that my wife helped me gave me support even tho i got divorced 2 years earlier! Load of sh1t but cert of service could be handy
 
#14
The "Red Book is issued straight from MCM Div (Glasgow) to your home address. Before I left the Army I wrote my own (as requested by my SO1)
in civi speak. Anyhow someone lost the draft and the one I got was a selection of quotes from previous CR's, which had obviously been put together at RLC MCM. One of the paras says "robust field soldier and runs a very able G1098" I have never been asked for it, just make sure you have a CV with all the Military jargon removed/modified.

Top tip: never assume the person interviewing you is unwise to the ways of the military, try to give work based examples to back up your answers (it does not matter if it's a military example as long as you cut out jargon), if you do not know the answer say something like "I've never come across that situation before, but I think X might be a solution/way to deal with it. Be prepared to be asked "You have told us about your strengths, but what are your weaknesses?", it's a fair question, but damn hard to answer!
 
#15
bobferal said:
doesnt michael aspel give you the red book ?
No they're talking of the other red book- given by Chairman Mao.
 
#16
Part of the problem is that the red book testimonial is delegated down to the platoon commander to write. he or she has had no training in what it is about and just sees it as a chore. So they bang out the usual, stock phrases: "x" can always be relied on to carry out simple tasks etc.

If the army is to show a proper respect for those who have served in its ranks, it should train those who will be called on to write a red book reference, in terms of what it is, what it is for, who will read it and why, and useful phrases to use and to avoid.

As for those who want to gain employment in civvy street, many civvy employers will take kindly to a cv and a reference. You can write your own cv and choose your own referee. Whoever you are, if you have served then you have what are known as "transferable skills". The key is to working out what they are, and how to present them to a potential employer.
 
#17
EXMD said:
The "Red Book is issued straight from MCM Div (Glasgow) to your home address. Before I left the Army I wrote my own (as requested by my SO1)
in civi speak. Anyhow someone lost the draft and the one I got was a selection of quotes from previous CR's, which had obviously been put together at RLC MCM. One of the paras says "robust field soldier and runs a very able G1098" I have never been asked for it, just make sure you have a CV with all the Military jargon removed/modified.

Top tip: never assume the person interviewing you is unwise to the ways of the military, try to give work based examples to back up your answers (it does not matter if it's a military example as long as you cut out jargon), if you do not know the answer say something like "I've never come across that situation before, but I think X might be a solution/way to deal with it. Be prepared to be asked "You have told us about your strengths, but what are your weaknesses?", it's a fair question, but damn hard to answer![/quote]

My bold.

I was asked that one by a panel. With hardly a pause I came out with "I don´t tolerate fools". Cue 3 laughing in their coffee, one shocked chick and one look of pure disgust. Well, they wanted weaknesses didn´t they ? :roll:
 
#18
Alright then - this is a bit shocking, but only a bit - poor man management seems to be a common theme on ARRSE. Either it is the norm in the Army and all of my postings have been an exception to the rule, or ARRSE posters are all bitter and twisted. Or 50/50.

Having just spent a fair amount of time (took 3 days on my Troop Sergeant's) on my last 2 108s for soldiers leaving service soon, I am disappointed that so many of you feel that theirs was crappy.

I am not "trained" to write 108s (your testimonial/reference), but I know what it is for and therefore write it accordingly. Stating that someone is a BOWMAN expert will mean shag all to anyone, but stating that someone has vast experience using complicated communications and IT equipment does mean something. Similarly I am not trained to write CRs either, but you know what to say and there are guides to assist.

If so many of you have had duff 108s that MUST be down to poor management at particular units - mine went from me to the RCMO, jigged a bit and then to the CO for signing off before onwards to MCM Div. The individuals saw my version, the RCMOs version and see the version to go to MCM. Any changed could be made at any stage.

As I said, disappointed that so many feel let down by the system and that there may be a feeling that the Chain of Command doesn't give a rats ARRSE for those soldiers moving on to pastures new. I am losing 2 of my most capable NCOs but why would I write them a shite reference? How does that improve my position?
 
#19
Fair comment, I used to write them as a WO2 for the guys in my PL, and used to take time to get it right and discuss it with the individual. I suppose I was narked that after writing my own, someone lost it. I have seen drafts for 108's sent back to the author to be redone. Quote "to be completed with a view to civil emplyment", sadly some writers fail to see that bit.
 
#20
Certa_Cito said:
EXMD said:
The "Red Book is issued straight from MCM Div (Glasgow) to your home address. Before I left the Army I wrote my own (as requested by my SO1)
in civi speak. Anyhow someone lost the draft and the one I got was a selection of quotes from previous CR's, which had obviously been put together at RLC MCM. One of the paras says "robust field soldier and runs a very able G1098" I have never been asked for it, just make sure you have a CV with all the Military jargon removed/modified.

Top tip: never assume the person interviewing you is unwise to the ways of the military, try to give work based examples to back up your answers (it does not matter if it's a military example as long as you cut out jargon), if you do not know the answer say something like "I've never come across that situation before, but I think X might be a solution/way to deal with it. Be prepared to be asked "You have told us about your strengths, but what are your weaknesses?", it's a fair question, but damn hard to answer![/quote]

My bold.

I was asked that one by a panel. With hardly a pause I came out with "I don´t tolerate fools". Cue 3 laughing in their coffee, one shocked chick and one look of pure disgust. Well, they wanted weaknesses didn´t they ? :roll:
:D Brilliant, I have only said it once and the reaction was great apart from the HR chick who looked a bit horrified. She later asked me "Can you tell me a bit about the Army HR department and how it deals with problems? :roll:

I explained the Army "HR" system to her and she then asked for examples of staff problems I had dealt with. I replied debt, wife/husband beating, assault, GBH, theft, deception, drinking and driving, attempted suicide, death, mental health issues and time keeping. She was nearly in tears!

By the way, did you get the job?
 
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