More Generals Than Ships!

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by smallbrownprivates, Dec 29, 2017.

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  1. Jesus. A whale omelette doesn't even begin to describe the denseness you are showing here. The statement was quite specific, contradicts your interpretation, and post-dates the link you gave.
  2. When I'm wrong, I acknowledge it and move on.
    It's actually you who are guilty of this. It's like you're on a Magic Roundabout, and the world is revolving around you.

  3. Back on thread (ish).

    I suspect sarcasm was at 11 on that last comment...

    Looking not so far away across the Channel at the Frogs, whilst we may be trying to emulate their medium/wheeled capability via the medium of Strike*, we seem to have a long way to go to catch up in the "magnificant losers" stakes and in subsidarité

    Ed to add, since I've overheard a pretty competent and respected general poo poo the French approach put forward in this WR article, i suspect it is not any VSO to do list...

    The paragraph below comes from a link** in a comment about this Wavell room Post

    The French intervention in Mali: A lesson in Mission Command

    The French Army’s culture helps it excel at expeditionary operations, particularly in austere environments. French officers revel in roughing it. It also lends itself to what is known as subsidarité, or what the U.S. military calls mission command. This is the practice of communicating general objectives — an intent — to subordinate officers and leaving them to use their own wits and initiative to figure out how to achieve those objectives. In the colonial units, mission command was a basic requirement. Today, while it is not exclusive to the French, they take it farther than most, farther even than the U.S. Army, according to the French officers I’ve talked to. French doctrine on leadership speaks at length on how to command and how to give orders, explaining that mission command “rests on the initiative accorded to subordinates, their intellectual discipline, and their responsiveness to attain the goal fixed by the superior echelon.” A separate field manual describes mission command as enabling officers to seize opportunities as they present themselves: “It is audacity encouraged by subsidarité that permits seizing opportunities.”

    not dance, though that could be very effective***

    **What a 1963 Novel Tells Us About the French Army, Mission Command, and the Romance of the Indochina War

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  4. Caecilius

    Caecilius LE Book Reviewer Kit Reviewer

    I've never worked with the French so I can't comment but I do love this comparison. It's like saying 'wetter even than the Sahara desert' or 'uglier even than Natalie Portman'.

    Whatever their doctrine says, the US doesn't do mission command.
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  5. I'll have you know its snowed there this week - for the 4th time in 40 years....
    How to visit the Sahara’s snow-capped sand dunes
  6. @Kromeriz asked me to post this a couple of days ago, taken from The Times of Thursday 11th January:

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  7. It is easy to see why the new SofS pushed back against this and why the 'Defence' element of the latest SDSR is now being pushed back several months. There are no good options, although I suspect that we will end up with Option 2.5; either way, I reckon that we will only ever see one Strike Bde.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
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  8. Interesting - the three options read as though they are designed around different budgets (so presumably in line with guidance from HMT to show what cuts of X% Y% and Z% look like).

    The politics of all this are interesting. Very clearly the leak comes from the top of MB, and is of a piece with Williamson's positioning as tough on defence etc. Secondly, No10 has not intervened to kill the leaks or bollock MOD.

    There's a strain of thought that No10 is positioning Williamson as the Mayite heir apparent: Nick Timothy, a propped up PM and the weird plot to make Gavin Williamson Tory leader - Reaction

    More importantly, the defence budget is a stick to beat Philip Hammond with on a subject that is dear to Tory hearts. So it gives No10 leverage to do a deal with Hammond over his opposition on Brexit issues...

    Anyway. Fun and Games.
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  9. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    It does make sense to retain senior ranks over junior ranks, it is a difficult choice but when we are in a similar situation to the late 1920's and early 30's finance wise we should be sensible about the investment already made in the senior ranks and the fact that TEWTs can take place with minimal boots on the ground apart from Token units to represent the time lag involved in moves and deployments etc. It takes 18 to 24 weeks to train an infantryman but 10 to 15 years to train senior ranks.
    Perhaps more short term contracts in less skilled roles are needed to ensure that there are just enough to maintain the knowledge prior to expansion in times of national danger.
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  10. And the problem with that is by cutting Jnr Ranks in preference to Snrs you minimise the gene pool that produces those excellent NCO's that go on to become very good Snrs whilst the Snrs that escape the cuts fade into old age having no-one to manage (the same applies within the Offr ranks).

    Why maintain Snrs when they have few personnel to manage? It also affects Offrs by giving them less people to lead, it may not lessen their Admin work by much but it does give them good experience for the future, if they go on to become SO's or even VSO's.

    Much better to cut evenly across the whole spectrum to maintain a balance and provide ample opportunity for people to carve out careers for themselves as long as they continue to produce the goods.

    Snrs are more expensive than Jnrs so I can see the bean counters cutting more of them anyway just to get more of an instant win, completely missing the point that the Army will promote Jnrs to fill any gaps they have and thereby creating Snrs that don't necessarily have the requisite experience needed.
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  11. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    No you miss my point, you actually improve the gene pool by only offering short term contracts, perform and be promoted or face transfer to the reserves!
    You then need to reform the way that reserves are mobilised and the TACOS for these.
  12. It would help if people knew what Mayism was actually about. Im not sure Theresa herself knows....
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  13. So in effect you bin off all those who someone doesn't think worthy of promotion? An arrse kissers paradise.

    I'm not sure what length of service people sign up for in todays Army but in my youth it was 3, 6, 9 etc and Open Engagement. That seems like a good enough opportunity to spot those who will unlikely promote. You will always have those who are late starters or those who fall foul of a boss. I didn't get promoted to LCpl until the 5 year point (then Cpl in another 2) whilst a lot of my contempories promoted at 3 yrs in, and most of them were gone by the 6 and 9 year points while I went on to be an ASM and serve past 30 years.

    Also, anyone being punted from the Regular Army into the Reserves because they aren't good enough is going to be welcomed with open arms and fanfares aren't they? It wouldn't fill me with much confidence and willingness to pull out all the stops.

    I take your point about being more robust about who you allow to keep serving, I really do, but the Army in particular needs those who may never promote for at least 6 years to give them every chance and because you'd never get anywhere near the numbers you need to fill PIDs, even if we went down to 50k.

    I agree with you about reforming the deployability of the Reserves and, without wanting to reopen that debate, you would need to do much more reforming than just tinkering with TACOS of the Reserves if those deployed were not guaranteed to have jobs when they return home, again a recipe for having no Reserves.
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  14. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Something needs to change if we are to get on with a smaller army, that or we bin the NHS, international aid and welfare and buy more tanks
  15. Reference sacking those who will not promote REME policy used to be if a soldier wasn't qualified and recommended for promotion to Sergeant at the 9 year point they were discharged at 12 years.
    I ran what was called Senior Military Certificate for a while and there were a fair number of Corporals being put on the course by the then REME Records as they were approaching the 9 year point and they needed to pass the course to qualify for Sergeant.. Sadly they were never going to pass the course and they were taking up course slots that could more usefully have been taken by others who would pass.
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