New Army recruitment campaign

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Somethings are much better than they were, in some places. There is still some horrendous accomodation, both single and married.

Travel allowances have been hit, incidental expenses have been hit, PAYD has lowered standards and in general increased individual costs, because it didn’t deliver to expectations/promises. We even struggle to fund the annual Christmas dinner for all junior ranks nowdays, because it was a ’perk’.

Support for Sport and AT have been hit, Team building, battlefield studies, welfare activities. In fact anything that looks like an ‘extra’ or a ‘jolly’ that those working alongside us don’t get?

The fact that those who didn’t get all these so called perks, never went on exercise for weeks on end, never deployed to sh*tholes for months on end, however, expect us to work exactly the same as them when they are in camp.

We even rely on charity money to rehabilitate those that we broke doing what we told them to do FFS.

I will give one example that has denied me personally £1000’s over the years. We used to have separation allowance, the rules evade me, but IICR, there was an annual qualification period (30 days I think) then you got paid for that and anything over.

We changed to LSA, a tired system which increases in line with number of days separated. Yet we all started on 0 days. Nearly 2 years of actuall separation wiped from the slate overnight, because the system was fairer.

I joined in 1983, I can safely say our (so called) ‘perks’ have been chipped away at constantly. Why, because those imposing the rules do so on the politics of jealousy (without comprehension) mainly :)
I would add that the majority of allowances that haven't been actively removed have been at the same fixed amount for over a decade now.
 
In an attempt to move away from the as him exchanges, I'll answer this.

I would move to free accom, free food (which will also make it higher quality as contractors can plan better) and free travel to and from home on leave. I'd also look at meals out allowance and the arrangements for travel to courses which at the moment aren't good for the soldier.

That's more aimed at retention than recruitment, which I think should be done using the salary argument. I can't help but notice that the salary doesn't get mentioned much in the adverts these days which seems strange.
Taking into account that no one in the general public gives a shit about our issues, how would you justify the additional expenditure? Or if you went for a zero sum game what would you cut?
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Or if you went for a zero sum game what would you cut?
Shit loads. I'd get rid of almost all Corps battalions, half the light infantry and at least two cavalry regiments. But then I don't believe in the policy of 'if you want to spend X you have to cut y'. I think we've salami sliced our army to the point where it no longer makes structural sense so we need to think about a complete restructure and a change in aspirations, with a real look at how we treat our blokes as part of that.
 
I'm getting worried. I'm dishing out 'likes' as if it's going out of style, even to @K44, and agreeing with 99%, but the disagreements are still going on!

I can't help thinking that most of the disagreement, even between @Bob and @Stacker, are down to looking at different situations.

If you're any combination of: in your 30's or 40's; based in the arrse end of nowhere; married; in particularly bad accommodation; with kids; have management / tech / trade experience and quals; have a particularly 'old school' CO / RSM; are in a unit that's undermanned but deployed regularly; are used to the 'old' allowances; etc, etc, etc ... then your TACOS package may be anything from fair to mediocre to downright poor.

... but if you're a potential recruit: 18 to early 20's; with little or no experience or qualifications; no kids or family ties; want at least a chance to get / keep fit and play some sport; are happy to take things as they come for a while; etc, etc, etc ... then your TACOS package may be anything from good to downright amazing. For a grad who can pass AOSB they've lost the differentials they had over non-grads, which is a bit of a kick-in -the-teeth as they've also lost three years, but it's still a pretty good offer in comparison to anything else around for a few years. For someone who left school with little or no qualifications who's only options are zero hours contracts flipping burgers and mopping floors, or getting on their bike for Deliveroo, the immediate offer's better than good. For someone with enough UCAS points for a commission but not a decent uni, as long as they can pass AOSB there's nothing offering anything like it, at least for a few years until they've got some marketable experience.

It all depends on where you fit in to the equation .....
 
I keep seeing reference here to " 18 year olds without qualifications or skills".
I suggest that such rare creatures are not what the army wants or needs.
Most kids, not all, admittedly, will have a pile of GCSEs at 16. From 16 to 18 they're either in college, doing some form of apprenticeship, working, or in prison.
From 16, most will have at least one part time job, just for spending money if nothing else.
Sometimes, that job may be illegal, like selling drugs.
18 and over, they're working or at uni, either way having to earn money to pay for their lifestyle.

Even the drug dealers and prison inmates will have skills, possibly skills the military can put to use, but does the army want them?
 
... in the same vein as my last post, the same applies to the bullshit / feck the blokes around issues.

There are very good reasons for OCs and pl/tp comds going around their lines and checking their tps' accommodation, from checking hygiene, cleanliness and safety to checking if damage and repairs have been reported and actioned, if there are issues with heating and hot water or washing and cooking facilities, that need actioning, keeping an eye out for any bullying.

On the other hand there are very, very few reasons if any to ever have a 'stand by your beds' formal inspection. It's a pointless and unnecessary embeggarance, and everybody involved should have far better things to do. I was far from impressed to learn that RMAS is doing more such inspections now than it did 40 years ago.

There are always commitments and all too often they can't be planned for, but that's all the more reason why those that aren't necessary, either for training or ops, aren't done at all and that the rest are planned for and minimised. At the same time we need to think about what's actually needed and serves a purpose and what's just done for the sake of it. I don't want to raise the spectre of the CC and RMAS, particularly as someone doesn't seem to know when to quit after all and I don't believe it affects recruiting in anyway, but after checking the CC numbers I checked some course progs and couldn't believe that Cadets are doing more drill now than they did 40 years ago. WTF?? WTF for?? There's more time spent slow marching than digging trenches, FFS! I'm not a fan of trench digging, but as a learning tool for leadership when you and your tps are tired, cold and wet it's got a hell of a lot more going for it than slow marching round the pde square.

The Army needs to take a long, hard look at itself.
 
I'm getting worried. I'm dishing out 'likes' as if it's going out of style, even to @K44, and agreeing with 99%, but the disagreements are still going on!

I can't help thinking that most of the disagreement, even between @Bob and @Stacker, are down to looking at different situations.

If you're any combination of: in your 30's or 40's; based in the arrse end of nowhere; married; in particularly bad accommodation; with kids; have management / tech / trade experience and quals; have a particularly 'old school' CO / RSM; are in a unit that's undermanned but deployed regularly; are used to the 'old' allowances; etc, etc, etc ... then your TACOS package may be anything from fair to mediocre to downright poor.

... but if you're a potential recruit: 18 to early 20's; with little or no experience or qualifications; no kids or family ties; want at least a chance to get / keep fit and play some sport; are happy to take things as they come for a while; etc, etc, etc ... then your TACOS package may be anything from good to downright amazing. For a grad who can pass AOSB they've lost the differentials they had over non-grads, which is a bit of a kick-in -the-teeth as they've also lost three years, but it's still a pretty good offer in comparison to anything else around for a few years. For someone who left school with little or no qualifications who's only options are zero hours contracts flipping burgers and mopping floors, or getting on their bike for Deliveroo, the immediate offer's better than good. For someone with enough UCAS points for a commission but not a decent uni, as long as they can pass AOSB there's nothing offering anything like it, at least for a few years until they've got some marketable experience.

It all depends on where you fit in to the equation .....
I would say that if you lack direction the Army is excellent. However there are fewer trades left where joining the Army would be a more attractive route. I’d be interested to know if the rot that set in in Scotland (unable to recruit for the Infantry) has move south?
 
I keep seeing reference here to " 18 year olds without qualifications or skills".
I suggest that such rare creatures are not what the army wants or needs.
Most kids, not all, admittedly, will have a pile of GCSEs at 16. From 16 to 18 they're either in college, doing some form of apprenticeship, working, or in prison.
From 16, most will have at least one part time job, just for spending money if nothing else.
Sometimes, that job may be illegal, like selling drugs.
18 and over, they're working or at uni, either way having to earn money to pay for their lifestyle.

Even the drug dealers and prison inmates will have skills, possibly skills the military can put to use, but does the army want them?
The Infantry might, the Signals won’t. There’s a problem here with Army recruiting soldiers when all of the Arms requirements are different. We’ve been saying for years that we need reliable overweight geeks to Cyber it up, ARTD (?) doesn’t appear to be listening. There is no one size fits all but doesn’t seem to be what is portrayed in the ads.
 
I keep seeing reference here to " 18 year olds without qualifications or skills".
I suggest that such rare creatures are not what the army wants or needs.
Most kids, not all, admittedly, will have a pile of GCSEs at 16. From 16 to 18 they're either in college, doing some form of apprenticeship, working, or in prison.
From 16, most will have at least one part time job, just for spending money if nothing else.
Sometimes, that job may be illegal, like selling drugs.
18 and over, they're working or at uni, either way having to earn money to pay for their lifestyle.

Even the drug dealers and prison inmates will have skills, possibly skills the military can put to use, but does the army want them?
Not from me! I deliberately said "18 to early 20's".

As for quals, if everyone's got them, wheher it's GCSEs or degrees, then they're neither particularly marketable nor worth having - as the surplus of those with pointless degrees is currently proving. Maybe I should have said "marketable qualifications" if they're of any particular use in getting a job.

Ditto, really, for experience. If it's not marketable or transferable it's worthless.

Ex-inmates? Actually they did, thirteen years ago, although the study and its comments on 'yoof' could have been written yesterday. After my time, although the author and I were subbies together, but I believe it was well received by the mikitary but not by the powers that be. Well worth reading.
 
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What would be a good idea is a published minimum standard, as objective and fair as possible. Something for one to hand over to a future spouse?
Don't need a published standard.

clean and tidy. That's all I wanted.

I'd it was grungy, stand by. If it was messy stand by.

block screws didn't screw the nut at first. So a show parade for a member of their block saw them also at said reinspection. They got the hint.

in return for their Stirling service a few buckshee days off went their way and their rooms were never inspected except when unavoidable - redeployment or h&s.
 
I would say that if you lack direction the Army is excellent. However there are fewer trades left where joining the Army would be a more attractive route. I’d be interested to know if the rot that set in in Scotland (unable to recruit for the Infantry) has move south?
As was pointed out before (not by me!) you may have been isolated in your own little world for too long.

What "route", trade or job would you suggest would be more attractive for the sort of person most of the Army are looking for (which isn't "overweight geeks" except for a very, very few)?

... and if you look at the numbers, there's far from any "rot" in Scotland. England has ten times the population, but only four times the number of inf bns: Scotland has 5 inf bns (inc Scots Gds) and England has 21 (inc all the Para bns). Wales and NI are very roughly on a par with Scotland population / inf bns / recruiting-wise (doing twice as well as England).

The recruiting problem's very much an English one, for what I would have thought were obvious problems of demographics and employment.

Have an 'SABC' instead of a 'like' for this one!
 
The Infantry might, the Signals won’t. There’s a problem here with Army recruiting soldiers when all of the Arms requirements are different. We’ve been saying for years that we need reliable overweight geeks to Cyber it up, ARTD (?) doesn’t appear to be listening. There is no one size fits all but doesn’t seem to be what is portrayed in the ads.
I've suggested signals recruit on technical requirements. We can train a person to be fitter over a period of time. Start lower, train longer. We can't beast someone into being a Boolean ninja.

the ex RD LE didn't get it.
 
As was pointed out before (not by me!) you may have been isolated in your own little world for too long.

What "route", trade or job would you suggest would be more attractive for the sort of person most of the Army are looking for (which isn't "overweight geeks" except for a very, very few)?
Have an 'SABC' instead of a 'like' for this one!
How would you know, you haven’t been on the shop floor to understand what is needed beyond the Infantry?
 
Not from me! I deliberately said "18 to early 20's".

As for quals, if everyone's got them, wheher it's GCSEs or degrees, then they're neither particularly marketable nor worth having - as the surplus of those with pointless degrees is currently proving. Maybe I should have said "marketable qualifications" if they're of any particular use in getting a job.

Ditto, really, for experience. If it's not marketable or transferable it's worthless.

Exi-nmates? Actually they did, thirteen years ago, although the study and its comments on 'yoof' could have been written yesterday. After my time, although the author and I were subbies together, but I believe it was well received by the mikitary but not by the powers that be. Well worth reading.
Complaining about the young is hardly new.

195. Socrates (469-399 B.C.). Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989
 
As was pointed out before (not by me!) you may have been isolated in your own little world for too long.

What "route", trade or job would you suggest would be more attractive for the sort of person most of the Army are looking for (which isn't "overweight geeks" except for a very, very few)?

... and if you look at the numbers, there's far from any "rot" in Scotland. England has ten times the population, but only four times the number of inf bns: Scotland has 5 inf bns (inc Scots Gds) and England has 21 (inc all the Para bns). Wales and NI are very roughly on a par with Scotland population / inf bns / recruiting-wise (doing twice as well as England).

The recruiting problem's very much an English one, for what I would have thought were obvious problems of demographics and employment.

Have an 'SABC' instead of a 'like' for this one!
John, seeing as you haven't got a clue about some of people, and skills needed, we need for 21st century operations...

as for Scotland. The Scots guards recruit from England too. Many are English.

we'll out aside the Fijian recruits.

A small reason for the downturn is the amalgamation to the RRS. Vets didn't like it and aren't shy about telling folk the new regiment/battalion is sh*t. Would you join a regiment that you've been told isn't as good as it s predecessor?
 
I've suggested signals recruit on technical requirements. We can train a person to be fitter over a period of time. Start lower, train longer. We can't beast someone into being a Boolean ninja.

the ex RD LE didn't get it.
This is an interesting argument. However I saw many individuals recruited into a technical trade in the signals only to be completely disheartened with the reality of de-rusting tentpegs, building tents or first parading rovers set in. Most got out at the earliest opportunity.

I get your point though - it’s tough to recruit people into technical trades when in reality most of them will spends time mooching in camp not doing their trade.
 
This is an interesting argument. However I saw many individuals recruited into a technical trade in the signals only to be completely disheartened with the reality of de-rusting tentpegs, building tents or first parading rovers set in. Most got out at the earliest opportunity.

I get your point though - it’s tough to recruit people into technical trades when in reality most of them will spends time mooching in camp not doing their trade.
we're(were) moving away from that.

my last unit was running Cisco courses (and qualifying folk) and similar.

Mundane tasks were done on end-ex and done to a standard where pointless repetition was unnecessary.

some stuff is necessary. Ie building tents to work in.
 
we're(were) moving away from that.

my last unit was running Cisco courses (and qualifying folk) and similar.

Mundane tasks were done on end-ex and done to a standard where pointless repetition was unnecessary.

some stuff is necessary. Ie building tents to work in.
As much as possible granted - but a vehicle fleet needs to be maintained daily (allegedly), troop commanders inspections still happen regularly all of which entail bone jobs which begs the question from the crows of “why did I spend 12 months in phase 2 to come here and de-rust this Rover every day”

Good to hear they’ve started running decent courses though.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
The Infantry might, the Signals won’t. There’s a problem here with Army recruiting soldiers when all of the Arms requirements are different. We’ve been saying for years that we need reliable overweight geeks to Cyber it up, ARTD (?) doesn’t appear to be listening. There is no one size fits all but doesn’t seem to be what is portrayed in the ads.
This is a signals problem not an ARTD problem. JCU(R) has shown that we can create specialist groups if needed. That the R Sigs don't want to create a cyber specialist cadre is on them.
 
As much as possible granted - but a vehicle fleet needs to be maintained daily (allegedly), troop commanders inspections still happen regularly all of which entail bone jobs which begs the question from the crows of “why did I spend 12 months in phase 2 to come here and de-rust this Rover every day”

Good to hear they’ve started running decent courses though.
Inspections aren't as regular as they once were.
 

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