Most soldiers unhappy with service life

#1
From the Grauniad:

Survey finds most soldiers unhappy with service life

Richard Norton-Taylor
Saturday November 5, 2005
The Guardian

Nearly three-quarters of soldiers feel undervalued and nearly two-thirds are dissatisfied with the standard of their accommodation, according to the latest survey on attitudes in the army.

Every year, more than half of all British soldiers spend £13m out of their own pockets on combat equipment, with officers spending £1.6m, the survey suggests.

The "continuous attitude" survey is based on 2,900 responses between December 2004 and April this year. A copy has been placed in the House of Commons library.

Only one in two soldiers said they were satisfied with their job and were confident in their fighting equipment.

A quarter said they had complained about unfair treatment and discrimination and 47% said they "often think of quitting", with more than 40% saying they would probably look for a new job in the coming year. Eighty-five per cent said they believed bullying existed in the army. Eight out of 10 were dissatisfied with the effects of army life on their families.

Four in 10 soldiers say army life is "worse or much worse than I expected it to be", according to the survey. Taking the army as a whole, that amounts to 32,000 soldiers.

Michael Moore, Liberal Democrat defence spokesman, who has seen the survey, said yesterday: "It is disgraceful that soldiers are forced to spend so much out of their own pockets on combat kit and clothing because they have no confidence in their standard issue."

He added: "It is equally disturbing that one in four have been subject to abusive or unfair treatment ...

"The consequences are all too clear: a staggering one in two soldiers often think of quitting. In truth, this is a wake-up call for ministers."

Mr Moore continued: "At a time when ministers are placing more and more demands on our forces - with impending deployment to Afghanistan, and with no trace of an exit strategy for Iraq - serious questions must be asked about Whitehall support for our troops in the field."

Pressures on the defence budget are delaying badly needed improvements to soldiers' accommodation and other facilities as well as equipment.

However, recruitment and retention is not being significantly hit yet, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Defence.

There is a shortfall of 1,900 in the number of soldiers the army requires to meet its new official target of 90,320, excluding officers, the figures say.

However, they relate to the year ending last April and look much better than they might have done because they take into account a significant cut in the total number of soldiers it says Britain needs.

Recently, senior army officers have been expressing much more concern about recruitment of both officers and soldiers, partly because of Iraq.
I think this is the first time I've seen such an in-depth assessment performed on CAS output in a purely civilian medium - well done to Richard N-T. :D
 
#2
That is a very close to the bone report, which the MOD should digest and act on for once.

I agree with the majority of what it says apart from job satisfaction. I must admit that I am one of the few who are enjoying their job(less the Chinese rocket attacks). Equipment wise, it hits it right on the head, we all know that the stuff we buy ourselves is for operations and issue kit is for exercise.
As for accommodation, that is a joke of the highest order. Mess and single soldier accommodation is being slowly sorted out and upgraded in a few places but the married quarters are beyond belief.
I know you should not harp on about personal circumstances but this takes the biscuit, I am out in Al-Amarah at the moment, and back in the UK my family is having to move house because it is unfit to live in (that’s the actual reason for moving by DHE) yet, they want a full house clean and carpets shampooed because that’s the rules. Even though the house has to be gutted once the family is out. Nice to know our families are being looked after when we are on OP tours. (NOT)
Someone somewhere has to make changes before all the disillusioned get out compounding the problem of manning. Even the people who are happy will leave eventually if nothing changes to fix the things that are known to be wrong.
 

Tango

War Hero
#3
Good to see, like you said Darth, but how much 'useful' notice will actually be paid to this?

There'll be some token visit by Bliar, or one of his cronies to some service establishment.
More than likely be HM Naval Base Clyde, where they've got lovely new shiny
accomodation. When the politician is there, they'll say something like,
'This new initiative shows that we take our soldier's welfare VERY seriously.. etc'

Then, the media appeased, they'll slink back to London, and enjoy a meal of
kitten livers and caviar.

Ok, so maybe I made the caviar bit up.
 
#4
bowman_guru said:
back in the UK my family is having to move house because it is unfit to live in (that’s the actual reason for moving by DHE) yet, they want a full house clean and carpets shampooed because that’s the rules. Even though the house has to be gutted once the family is out.
Tell me this isn't actually true?

msr
 
#5
I wish I could say that I was joking, but no, its gospel. I am livid about it but I am out here and cannot get hold of the right people on the dog and bone.

Thought the wife was joking when she told me, I actually chuckled and went " Yer - Right". Whats even better, they were going to replace the carpets BEFORE I moved in, but said not to as I have a pet.

It’s a joke, but the DHE will not be laughing when I get back. As if being on tour is not stressful enough!
 
#6
msr said:
bowman_guru said:
back in the UK my family is having to move house because it is unfit to live in (that’s the actual reason for moving by DHE) yet, they want a full house clean and carpets shampooed because that’s the rules. Even though the house has to be gutted once the family is out.
Tell me this isn't actually true?

msr

Are you joking? It has always been so. I remember my WO in BAOR being charged for a small scratch on the surface of a table shortly before the table was thrown onto a heap of old wood which was then burned. Aldershot: charges for burns in carpets which had been charged for on every marchout over the past ten years.... You can't make this sort of thing up, believe me. Unfortunately, the sort of people in charge (sorry about that word) of these organisations are the sort who should be put in command of a traffic barrier, with strict instructions to follow the written orders and not to make any decisions.
 
#7
its about time some actually took notice of what we say instead of just palming us off with a new set of bio/fungus free set of underwear.The accom situation has been a farce for years, SLA being some of the worse. our lot have Z type all singing all dancing, but there is no "common" room where all the lads can get together and have a piss up. All the new lads just lock themsleves in thier rooms and plug in to a playstation till first parade. we try and get them out but they are happy doing that.

As for the quarters, i cna well belive some of the things said on here. the Quarter handback is bad enough with out some ex failed hitler youth lording it over you. The DHE and the army should at least move into the 21st century,you should be able to walk out of your house /flat leaving clean and tidy with the DHE sending in a team of cleaners to sort any problems out. There would still be a handover of sorts but nt a stand by your beds one this would be helpful if husnabds/wives are away on tour.

I bet if we were all black lesbian single vegitarian mums, they would br throwing money at us, or am i just being to cynical again.
 
#8
Soldiers today, don't know they're born. When I joined up it was tough-

Oh no! I've become... me Dad!
 
#9
msr said:
bowman_guru said:
back in the UK my family is having to move house because it is unfit to live in (that’s the actual reason for moving by DHE) yet, they want a full house clean and carpets shampooed because that’s the rules. Even though the house has to be gutted once the family is out.
Tell me this isn't actually true?

msr
Ummm...it's actually far worse.

Some ARRSErs may have heard of Lydd Village. They may also be aware that the structures were part of an old married patch. However, with the wholesale transfer of the Defence Housing Estate to Annington Homes (to create a slush fund for Portillo - but that's a different story), the MoD are now in the invidious position of having to restore Lydd Village back to its original state i.e. before it was used by a generation of soldiers for NITAT training before they can hand it over to Annington Homes.

Even more galling is that Annington have already said they are going to knock the whole place flat and start again.

Joined-up government, eh? :D
 
#10
Bowman_guru, get on the phone direct to your welfare officer and tell him to sort it out. He can deal direct with the local head of DHE, your missis and you dont need this. Or mention it to your OC. That is what the bloke is on rear party for...
 
#11
probably yet another reason why recruitment down, it is possible ex squaddies go out and tell their friends and families about it, its human nature to moan over a pint, if asked by a potential squaddies they may get the full monty.

i have spoken to a few squaddies and ex squaddies, they have said things along those lines.
 

Ventress

LE
Moderator
#12
Have we forgotten the MoD have to be effected by these findings.

The will behave as they have for 300 years-

A MoD spokesman replied, "BOTHERED!"
 
#13
Here is the link to the actual CAS report (Part 2) which lists the responses of those who took part.

Of particular interest are those facts pertaining to prior TA or Cadet service, and those metrics discussing subjective opinions of various aspects of life in the workplace.
 
#14
Darth_Doctrinus said:
Of particular interest are those facts pertaining to prior TA or Cadet service, and those metrics discussing subjective opinions of various aspects of life in the workplace.
DD,

That's a staggering percentage coming from the TA. Can these figures be extrapolated across the entire army?

msr
 

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