MOD PLANS ‘AMPUTEE BATTALION’ TO CUT COSTS.

#1
Dunno what to make of this,part of me say's it's a good idea as the injured lads will be able to remain (hopefully still under their badge) in the forces with a job & support.
The other half thinks the MoD are creating a 'leper Regiment' & the lads ther will be seen as not wanted.
Opinions Chaps?


http://express.co.uk/posts/view/147035/MoD-plans-amputee-battalion-to-cut-costs

SOLDIERS who suffer “life-changing” injuries in battle will be moved from their regiments to a special unit under cost-cutting proposals.

Last night serving personnel accused the Government of betrayal, claiming the plans would make it easier for cash-stxrapped Whitehall bean-counters to throw veterans “on the scrap heap”.

Others said it was “potentially disastrous” for morale.

Until now, amputee soldiers who had recovered from their wounds could stay with trusted comrades and were found assignments in the regiment. Rejoining their “family” is considered vital to emotional recovery.

The proposals, to be announced in the New Year, will see soldiers leave their regimental homes for ever and placed with strangers.

The new unit is intended to be a permanent home for personnel undergoing long-term rehabilitation for what the Ministry of Defence calls “life-changing injuries”. It is expected to be ready by April.

Soldiers currently complete treatment at Headley Court rehabilitation centre in Surrey and other hospitals.

The MoD has its sights on about 6,000 service personnel who are not combat fit but on the payroll as it faces a £36billion black hole in its budget.

Last night a senior officer, who could not be named, criticised the move. “This would be a massive blow to morale,” said the officer who assess­­es the career potential of amputees.

“All the serving men and women I deal with want to get back to their own units as quickly as possible. This is very important to them.

“This new unit will be nothing more than an amputee battalion – soldiers will feel singled out and will be much easier targets for forcible retirement by the MoD.

HOME > NEWS / SHOWBIZ > UK NEWS > MoD plans ‘amputee battalion’ to cut costs
UK NEWS
MOD PLANS ‘AMPUTEE BATTALION’ TO CUT COSTS
Story Image


Soldiers currently complete treatment at Headley Court rehabilitation centre

Sunday December 20,2009
By Marco Giannangeli

Comment Speech Bubble Have your say(11)

SOLDIERS who suffer “life-changing” injuries in battle will be moved from their regiments to a special unit under cost-cutting proposals.

Last night serving personnel accused the Government of betrayal, claiming the plans would make it easier for cash-stxrapped Whitehall bean-counters to throw veterans “on the scrap heap”.

Others said it was “potentially disastrous” for morale.

Until now, amputee soldiers who had recovered from their wounds could stay with trusted comrades and were found assignments in the regiment. Rejoining their “family” is considered vital to emotional recovery.

The proposals, to be announced in the New Year, will see soldiers leave their regimental homes for ever and placed with strangers.

The new unit is intended to be a permanent home for personnel undergoing long-term rehabilitation for what the Ministry of Defence calls “life-changing injuries”. It is expected to be ready by April.

Soldiers currently complete treatment at Headley Court rehabilitation centre in Surrey and other hospitals.

The MoD has its sights on about 6,000 service personnel who are not combat fit but on the payroll as it faces a £36billion black hole in its budget.

Last night a senior officer, who could not be named, criticised the move. “This would be a massive blow to morale,” said the officer who assess­­es the career potential of amputees.

“All the serving men and women I deal with want to get back to their own units as quickly as possible. This is very important to them.

“This new unit will be nothing more than an amputee battalion – soldiers will feel singled out and will be much easier targets for forcible retirement by the MoD.

SEARCH UK NEWS for:


“It will send the wrong message to those still fighting in Afghanistan.” The MoD said yesterday: “We are committed to providing excellent care for our injured personnel, and ensuring that individuals get the support that is most suitable for them.”

A soldier from 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment died yesterday in Afghanistan’s Helmand province when he stepped on a roadside bomb.
 
#2
If the alternative is civvy street then I'm all for it. You have to face facts, the Army is not a care home, blokes who will never get better do not belong in it however harsh that sounds.
 
#4
Whilst it's probably stemmed from a nice thought for injured servicemen, I can see it feeling like a GBFO biff wagon to some people.

I worry people put in such a unit would feel like they were being institutionalised - or backloaded into the Army's big 'spare part'.

Im not saying it would be like that in reality, but I feel like being in 1st Battalion Royal Amputees could be seen by some as just being reminded of their wounds, as if they didn't get reminded every day when they got up.
 
#6
The report has come from the Express... which says it all!!

If the story is even half true, it shows just how desperate the Treasury and the MOD have become to save money.

We used to have a manning margin where soldiers who were not fit could be "carried" without any impact on unit strengths. That was removed some years ago in the interests of efficiency. We also used to have training battalions in the Field Army where injured soldiers could be held - but the formation of ATRA put paid to all that.

In my opinion, injured soldiers should be employed, wherever possible, in their original battalions/units. That might not always be possible but should be the aspiration.

The appearance of long-term injured personnel in the Services appears to have come as a complete surprise to the CoC, the MOD and the Government.

Litotes
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#7
The article seems to suggest that all sorts of sick, lame and lazy may also get bundled up with those with combat injuries - sounds like a real morale winner......

Injured guys should be found a position in their units appropriate to their capabilities if they wish it, they have earned that right.
 
#8
I personally agree with keeping in the maximum injured personnel possible within the forces as there are many Job Specs that do not require the individual to be FE but personnel are still capable of carrying out there role (even when deployed), some in Inf Bns but more so in the Corps.

However, at the current rate of attrition it would not take long for these posts to be filled and then you have a problem.

Moving injured personnel from their Bn's is inevitable as manning control does not allow for surplus personnel, and for the more seriously injured I would venture there are few jobs available.

But this proposal would enable individuals to have their rehab controlled and overviewed by the military which can only be a good thing

Better than the previous plan though;

http://www.arrse.co.uk/Forums/viewtopic/t=133111.html

The thread covers much the same subject.
 

mysteron

LE
Book Reviewer
#9
Keeping the outrage bus firmly in the MT Hangar.

This is a Bulls!t idea. The Regimental / Corp system means that the tribe a soldier joins is the one that they will want to remain with and be rehabilitated with in terms of their psychological needs.

The Royal Marines are fortunate in that the Commando Brigade has generated a single ethos, much harder to do with the Army or RAF.

Whilst I appreciate that that it is very, very hard for the boys that get injured and if they are put on the sh!tty jobs detail (and permament Rear Party) because they can't deploy that will may take a toll on their morale - unless it managed correctly.

Let's face it - if we give permanent jobs to the boys that are hurt in the stores or as Coy / Sqn Clerks etc, pretty soon there will not be enough jobs nor career prospects for them. This sort of thing needs to be a "halfway house".

The answer lies in a phased release into the Civvy world (perhaps Civil Service roles??) where retraining, balanced with rehabilitation is required. Forming up the Amputees Bn is not the answer as a halfway house although I can see the attarction of mutual and shared hardship and shared experience in overcoming their situation.

The grim reality is that we simply can't keep these people on the books but we do have a duty to get them ready and set up for their next chapter - and then to continue to support them thereafter. That is pretty tough to say to a guy that has lost both his legs and an arm in an IED in Helmand - but we owe these people the truth and our unswerving support from the moment of strike to the moment they say that they do not want and can demonstrate to themselves and us that support is no longer required. That is something both individual and the organisation must agree on.
 
#10
Litotes said:
In my opinion, injured soldiers should be employed, wherever possible, in their original battalions/units. That might not always be possible but should be the aspiration.
To be honest, the Army has plenty of people who are less likely to pass a CFT than a lot of amputees, but can't be arrsed with the job either. You know the type I'm on about, every unit has some.

At least our physically disabled types want to be there doing the job, even if it is chairborne.

I think a lot more work would get done if we put physically disabled but motivated people into 'less phyiscal' jobs than able-bodied (but biff all the same), unmotivated people at them.
 
#14
It would be much better to move them to an 'administrative' unit, but let them keep as many as possible within their units.

There are lots of positions they could fill, if good enough, such as DDI and DDEs, Recruiters, etc.

Retrades to the AGC or similarly desk bound jobs could be used also.

Eventually ALL of us will leave the Armed Forces, we need a sufficient and competent organisation to deal with any problems when this happens. Whether that be with two legs, none or a crippling mental problem.
 
#15
Cameron Spence in his book Sabre Squadron talks about the SAS having a number of troopers minus legs and arms etc. Even if they are wounded on operations because they have SF training they can still pass that knowledge onto other troopers so they remain badged and carry on as one of 'them'.

I think it will be beneficial to the armed forces keeping wounded soldiers in to help pass on the knowledge they have but not by putting them in a separate battalion, simply down grade them don't remove them.
 
#16
However dedicated re-hab and a role that positively influences the Army could be seen as a benifit. There is a life outside the Army and seeing out the remainder of your time in an environment of relative equals could make the transition from disabled serviceman to disabled ex-serviceman easier and maybe make the mental impact easier. Im not looking to offend anybody its just another way of thinking.
 
#17
I'm going to throw the contentious comment in here.

Can we cope with the number of amputees, downgraded deaf and alike within regular Bns? Can we afford to keep them on within the Forces?

The feeling I have is that we cannot and that we have been putting off a v difficult decision on how to deal with them for far too long.

Now before people start on me about loyalty and all the rest, let me outline a few rather unpleasant facts.

Rumour has it the numbers just of hearing down-gradings, (leaving people unable to deploy) is running somewhere between the 10-15% in the Infantry.

Add on serious injuries that the Bn will try and keep.

Add on amputees which pretty much every Bn has now.

Add on the fat, lame and lazy.


What does that do to the fighting capability of the Bn the next time the Bn deploys? Numbers down by 25+%? Easily, I think.

Does it require to be backfilled by another Bn for deployments. Answer - with deployments coming think and fast - definitely.

On to the next Bn, same again. Continual back filling required. And the impact on that on Bn morale, and cohesiveness.

Ultimately, Army strength of sick and undeployable continues to go grow, crucially within the Bns........

It is a horrible fact but the the welfare strain is growing on our Bns and how we are going to deal with it needs to be decided soon. Hence, I suppose, the talk about this unit.

I don't like the name Amputee Bn. However, I see the merits of having a unit where amputees can interact with each other and see that life does not need to end because of their affliction. But rather than being a permanent posting, the unit needs to be seen as a transitioning point to civilian life and those that go to it after serious injury, need to know that.

I have heard that there are a couple of civilian companies that are actively working with MoD, looking at employing medically downgraded persons, disabled or otherwise. Virgin, I think I heard was one.

I agree that we have an obligation to those that have been injured within the Services to help them fulfil as useful a life as they can. That is also, as far as I am concerned not just a Service function but a society obligation and that does not mean that all injured should be hidden or kept on in the Service.

To that then, I think there requires more effort going in to help medically discharged service leavers find meaningful employment. What needs to be done is for HMG to work a lot harder at ensuring more firms are granted incentives or, I go as far as, required, to provide.

Perhaps one thing to remember is that in WW2, folks that got injured were discharged. The burden then fell on the Bn Regimental Associations and charities to look after them.

I don't want to go back to that and am suggesting a middle way. This Bn is a starting point
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
Alsacien said:
The article seems to suggest that all sorts of sick, lame and lazy may also get bundled up with those with combat injuries - sounds like a real morale winner......

Injured guys should be found a position in their units appropriate to their capabilities if they wish it, they have earned that right.
Completely agree.
 

mysteron

LE
Book Reviewer
#19
chocolate_frog said:
It would be much better to move them to an 'administrative' unit, but let them keep as many as possible within their units.

There are lots of positions they could fill, if good enough, such as DDI and DDEs, Recruiters, etc.

Retrades to the AGC or similarly desk bound jobs could be used also.

Eventually ALL of us will leave the Armed Forces, we need a sufficient and competent organisation to deal with any problems when this happens. Whether that be with two legs, none or a crippling mental problem.
C-F - I would like to challenge on two points here:

Firstly, by having a single unit - we still have the issue that career prospects for these guys is still very limited, which will inevitably have longer term consequences that we do not want to achieve. We will in effect be killing with kindness.

Secondly, by having a recruiter with a leg or an arm missing is hardly a way to induce people to sign up. Yes it is a risk that we all run whilst serving, but don't you remember it was pictures of Frank on his windsurfer, with cash in his pocket and his mates around him. We still have to "sell" the Army. It is hardly fair to have a guy recruiting when he was injured in his duty and face the chavs and scum that will make that journey harder.

As said above - we need to be truthful and pragmatic. It would be nice if we could keep everyone in the Regiment on jobs for life. But with no real career prospects, the inevitable envy of watching your mates go into the Cpls' then Sgts' Mess whilst you get left behind will have its own damaging consequences.

We need to pick these guys up, get them walking again (figuratively and physically), get them ready for the next chapter and help them move on. What we must not do is forget them. That is the real key.
 
#20
For those that are talking about keeping people on, I'd ask this.

What is disabled?

Particially deaf?

Missing a limb/two limbs?

Blind in one eye/loss of 75+% vision.

Arthritic?

How disabled do we keep them within? What happens when one does want to stay and another doesn't? Who makes the call on who can and can't stay? Done centrally, regimentally, divisionally?

No matter how badly people are injured, people have not earned the right for a job for life.

The unpleasant reason we have all the rules we have about downgrading and the requirement for medical discharge is that the rules have to be written in stone to stop all that is going on now.

I have huge sympathy for those injured in the current conflicts but I have sympathy to those doing ops as well. I know that we are endangering those still capable of fighting by not ensuring we are able to provide a full fighting force to them. We are. It is that simply.

How long are we able to carry the risk for them and who is going to sign that off?
 

Latest Threads

New Posts