'New Model Army'? The case for direct entry at SO1 level...

#1
The US military is advocating moving to direct entry for pinchpoint roles at up to 1* level to bring talent in quickly. Controversial but potentially huge wins if it can be made to work.

Is it time for the UK military to look to replenish gaps in the talent / gene pool at SO1 level by bringing in PQ / SQEP types to fill slots rather than muddling through and soldiering on?

The Pinstripedline blog has a long article here - Thin Pinstriped Line: Towards a New Model Army? The Benefit of Direct Entry Senior Officers. on this very issue.
 

Brotherton Lad

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#2
I understand it's already happening in specialised areas such as cyber. Though I couldn't possibly comment on the rank aspect.
 

Auld-Yin

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#3
It has been done before. Sir Fabian Ware, founder of the Imperial (now Commonwealth) Graves Commission was brought from the Red Cross, made a Major General to run the grave registration schemes.

There was at least another General, can't remember his name, but was a railway executive who was brought in, given Major General rank to run the railways right up to the Front.

It has been done, in extremis when the expertise of a civilian role needed to be brought in with clout to run this as an army role.
 

_Chimurenga_

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#4
During World War Two, 44 year old Hollywood director Frank Capra was commissioned directly into the US Army Signal Corps as a colonel to produce and direct training films for the forces and war information for our allies.
 
#5
It has been done before. Sir Fabian Ware, founder of the Imperial (now Commonwealth) Graves Commission was brought from the Red Cross, made a Major General to run the grave registration schemes.

There was at least another General, can't remember his name, but was a railway executive who was brought in, given Major General rank to run the railways right up to the Front.

It has been done, in extremis when the expertise of a civilian role needed to be brought in with clout to run this as an army role.
That would be General Admiral Sir Eric Geddes. The only man to hold both ranks (excluding royalty) despite not being a professional military man.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
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#6
During World War Two, 44 year old Hollywood director Frank Capra was commissioned directly into the US Army Signal Corps as a colonel to produce and direct training films for the forces and war information for our allies.
This. WWII set a precedent for any things. Then we went back to peacetime pomposity.
 
#7
#8
During World War Two, 44 year old Hollywood director Frank Capra was commissioned directly into the US Army Signal Corps as a colonel to produce and direct training films for the forces and war information for our allies.
Group Captain Stagg, the meteorologist at SHAEF who advised Eisenhower to go on 6 June 1944 was a civilian a year or so before.

Technical specialist who given a rank to reflect the gravity of his post and the ranks of those who he was advising
 
#9
The US military is advocating moving to direct entry for pinchpoint roles at up to 1* level to bring talent in quickly. Controversial but potentially huge wins if it can be made to work.


Is it time for the UK military to look to replenish gaps in the talent / gene pool at SO1 level by bringing in PQ / SQEP types to fill slots rather than muddling through and soldiering on?

The Pinstripedline blog has a long article here - Thin Pinstriped Line: Towards a New Model Army? The Benefit of Direct Entry Senior Officers. on this very issue.
It would be interesting, and possibly advantageous, if the Army recognised the need for the really deep/broad skillsets without which it is nigh-on impossible to efficiently effect change that is beneficial in the long-term.

If you had a small army of Ninjas in that field, motivated by success rather than by profit, employed (at least in part) to educate, support and facilitate ongoing change, then you'd be in business. Wouldn't actually require much in the way of ,military knowledge. Would require humungous people skills, and a willingness to work for substantially less than the market rates which commercial organisations will pay for people of such calibre.

Without reading the blog, but with the benefit[?] of 30 years paid military service, together with a decade[+] as an independent consultant/contractor operating in the arena of strategic business change in a number of public sector organisations (from Depts of State like MoD and Home Office, through arms-length agencies like Environment and UKBF to local government and Police) I'll opine that while the proposition may have the potential to revolutionise the way the military machine is managed, it contains an embedded risk that - since the military bubble environment doesn't exactly breed in soldiers or civil servants, a deep understanding of the challenges of managing change - you'd wind up in a state where the tail wags the dog even more effectively than has been the case to date.
 
#11
Certainly not a new idea, it's pretty much routine in certain medical specs. Sometimes a bit of radical, non-military indoctrinated management can be a good thing.

Oddly, in the cut-throat world of private enterprise, the odds are it will deliver a more ruthless leader to get the job done than a compassionate one, I imagine.

Bye bye, horsies & Red Arrows.
 

_Chimurenga_

LE
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#12
Certainly not a new idea, it's pretty much routine in certain medical specs. Sometimes a bit of radical, non-military indoctrinated management can be a good thing.

Oddly, in the cut-throat world of private enterprise, the odds are it will deliver a more ruthless leader to get the job done than a compassionate one, I imagine.

Bye bye, horsies & Red Arrows.
And Hello to... 1st Bn The Foot Guards, 2nd Bn The Foot Guards ?
 

_Chimurenga_

LE
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#17
I'm not advocating it, nor another SDSR, just pondering the potential implications of a purely businesslike approach of effective higher management, unfettered by sentimentality,, driven by combat effectiveness.
Or tradition?

I'd like to have two armies: one for display with lovely guns, tanks, little soldiers, staffs, distinguished and doddering Generals, and dear little regimental officers who would be deeply concerned over their General's bowel movements or their Colonel's piles, an army that would be shown for a modest fee on every fairground in the country. The other would be the real one, composed entirely of young enthusiasts in camouflage uniforms, who would not be put on display, but from whom impossible efforts would be demanded and to whom all sorts of tricks would be taught. That's the army in which I should like to fight.
Jean Lartéguy
 

Auld-Yin

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#18
I'm not advocating it, nor another SDSR, just pondering the potential implications of a purely businesslike approach of effective higher management, unfettered by sentimentality,, driven by combat effectiveness.
now you are just being silly! When has the army been interested in combat effectiveness?
 

greyfergie

MIA
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#19
I'm not advocating it, nor another SDSR, just pondering the potential implications of a purely businesslike approach of effective higher management, unfettered by sentimentality,, driven by combat effectiveness.
I'll stick with a meritocracy thank you very much - you feckers started that
 
#20
And Hello to... 1st Bn The Foot Guards, 2nd Bn The Foot Guards ?
No bad thing, if the result is an Army capable of coping with the present-day threats to our security.

We shure as shiite need a more aware Army than the one we seem to have inherited: it selects for it 'Where Talent Endures' cadre, officers who believe we could've transformed Iraq/Afghanistan . . . . . if only we'd committed a few more resources for a bit more time :roll:
 

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