NAO Reporting Military readiness:"Excellent Minister!"

In a sleepy Army training establishment, the single mother of an 18-month-old infant. Out ofthe blu

  • Tell her to stag on, that’s what she joined up for and 2 weeks is more than enough to do OPTAG, pa

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Tell her that there has probably been a mistake by the commitments staff, and seek a delay or deferm

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Quietly brief up G1 infrastructure staff at Bde and Div that there needs to be a defensive line prep

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Tell her that the chain of command have abandoned her, in fact no one gives an fcuk, the readiness c

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Tell her to get her mum and dad to ring the RV advertiser immediately

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
According thoese sweeties at the NAO:
The Department has a good system for reporting the readiness of its Armed Forces
so what chance of a hypothetical case such as the one below ever happening for real?? Interested to know what all you G1 types think about it.

At a recent Trust off-site IIP management workshop the training facilitator, brought in by Human Capital Management, presents a case to my syndicate that is rather topical, considering the recent NAO report.

We chat over lunch and it transpires that, like me, she also has some Regualr Army Reserve liability. It also transpires that her hypothetical case has been well researched.

In a sleepy Army training establishment, the single mother of an 18-month-old infant is 3 months into a new posting. Like all her other colleagues, she is on no formal readiness to move. Out of the blue, she receives two weeks notice to move to the sandbox.

Although emotionally torn at the prospect of being separated from her infant child, she has a strong sense of duty and does not want to feel that concessions are being made for her. She has relatively young and supportive grandparents who are prepared to look after the child. But living in a “Royston Vaisey” environment, it is unlikely that the Grandparents are going to keep this from outsiders for long.

a few options are presented above, but V interested to her what you all think


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One of the 'joys' of service life is that you can get quick moves. It may seem that you are just a number in the cog (to mix my metaphores) but the reality is that is exactly what a serviceman/woman is.

It is obvious from the short case history that the girl in question realises this and accepts it. Also if she has an 18 month old ankle biter then the chances are that she is not that long back from maternity leave and is due her shot at the next op tour.

I hope that the Royston Vasey gladrag, if it does pick up on this is as supportive to service personnel as it can be (though I doubt it). It could come across as servicewoman does her bit supported by loving grandparents but will probably come out as grandparents have kid dumped on them because Army/Navy/RAF are heartless.
I've come across a few cases of this sort both directly and indirectly and I'm yet to find one where there isn't at least a couple of weeks' flex in the system if the CoC is prepared to make the effort to go into bat on the individual's behalf.

It usually occurs in cases where a current imcumbent has been sent home at short notice for welfare/personal/medical/psychological reasons and if the theatre CoC is offered the choice of covering the gap for 2 weeks or facing the likely prospect of a fresh welfare issue, plus bad PR, they generally take the 2 weeks stretch. Even when that isn't possible (not often), I've either been able to dig a bit deeper to find an alternative:

1. Send a TA volunteer for a month. There are somtimes TA personnel who've completed OPTAG and PDT only to be dumped at the last moment for health reasons that nevertheless get cleared up in a couple of weeks (dental is classic). These can potentially be a pool of willing volunteers.

2. Send a Regular volunteer for a month. Long enough to get a medal, and they don't have to worry about mobilization issues.

3. Send the short-notice nominee, but cut the deployment time in half and send someone else for the second half.

There's a prevailing attitude of "if you sign up, you take the cr*p", but this just isn't conducive to long-term retention or morale. No one becomes a single parent just to avoid deployments (no one we can't do without, anyway) so people in this unenviable situation deserve a bit more effort from the CoC to support their situation.

Thank goodness our hypothetical example had supportive family. There are many in the same situation, but without the fall-back of parents or grandparents who can help out. Should people be forced out of the Armed Forces just because they lack family support?


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