News story: WO1 Glenn Haughton OBE has been appointed as the first Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chiefs of Staff Committee (SEAC)

Differently, is the word you're(He's) looking for.

I used to work in a joint unit that was Army, RAF and CS. Our boss, a full colonel, reckoned that we all had different approaches to things. If he told us to go and get to the top of that there hill. the army guys would run to their lockers, grab their bergans and practically run up it causing damage and chaos, overcoming difficulties as they were encountered. The RAF would set up a project team, arrange a photo-recce flyover, develop a project plan with risk register and TOR's, then make their way up the hill, tidying as they went, arriving in good form two days later than the army who by now were starving as they'd forgotten to bring food. The CS would step outside the building, look up at said hill and say, "Sorry Colonel, that's not in our job description and we'll have to speak to the union."

The two services do indeed do things differently. One small example; MT fleets. At BZZ, I was surprised to see a few (3 or 4) civilian Land Rovers around the camp, and even on the pan; they had the name of the local 4x4 rental firm on them, “SH 4x4” rings a bell. I asked about this; the answer was that if MT had a LR that was dues out for a part, or one that had been backloaded and the replacement hadn’t yet been provided, then authority would be sought to rent one in its place.

In the Army, we would just do without that LR. Other LRs would do double duty, and/or the task would be reduced/deferred/chinned off. I can just imagine the frosty response from the QM to the MTWO who’s just asked to rent a Land Rover.

I suppose both approaches are valid in their own ways, but the two approaches are indeed different!
 
Really? Aghast? I'll tell you about aghast. In one of my jobs I had a bunch of RAF working for me. RAF Plod and dog stranglers, a chef and a driver. The RAFP consisted of a sgt, a substantive cpl and about 10 or so acting cpls, which was the normal set up. One of the acting cpls went over to Wildenrath to do some admin and asked about his re-engagement(?) papers. Apparently, they have to re-enlist at the end of each engagement rather than just remain by default unless they choose to leave. The clerk checked his file and told him there were none. In this split second, this young fella became aware that his services were no longer required and he had better start making his plans for the future. There had been no interview, no warning letter, no indication at all. Just, no re-engagement papers in his file.

That is what I call appalling and we army guys were definitely aghast at that, even though all the RAF guys assured us it was perfectly normal.
I have to say that this story is a bit odd. There was a well-worn path of re-engagement (or notification of termination of engagement) letters that went through the command chain and through his manning desk at PMC Innsworth, as was. Prior to re-engagement or termination, the Manning Sgt or WO would have had a chat with the individual as well. And given that you are mentioning Wildenrath, you are talking of 25 years ago? I was a Flt Cdr of RAF Police and RAF Regt at about the same time and I honestly can't recall anything like that happening - although we were losing a lot of people through redundancy and 'manning levers' in the 1990s, it was never out of the blue as you describe.
 

clanky

War Hero
......... and this digression all started with a boast about thieving cutlery from the RAF.

and an incorrect assumption.

Keep going, the thread is entertaining and instructive.
It was instructive that a unit can take pride in the fact that
a:They can't supply simple essentials like cutlery to the troops.
b: Stealing MOD stores is OK.
 
You must have missed the 40,000+ Scale Z rooms built for the Army by the PFIs, PPPs, Army Basing Plan, Catterick Development Plan and SLAM over the last 25 years.

Or maybe you missed that the “cookhouse” was called the ORs Restaurant in the 1980s and that the term “cookhouse” is just an old, dated anachronistic military slang.

Or perhaps you missed that the RAF’s much vaunted accommodation was often crap too. Pre-SLAM, Brize had airmen living in near derelict on-station quarters, in old 4-man blocks that were divided with plywood walls into single man rabbit hutches and it routinely put airmen up in Gateway because it’s accomodation was falling apart. I doubt it ever had a single winter when it kept every block heated; they were all originally on district heating with pipes and calorifiers that were failing. Or they had internal distribution pipe work that was shagged.
The Army has invested a lot over the last two decades - but it had to. I visited ITC Catterick almost 20 years ago - the new JR Mess had opened but the Sandhurst Blocks were dire after decades of neglect; visitng the sit eon an unrelated matter, I recall being shown two soil pipes on one block that were shattered and every time the toilets were flushed, sewage spewed out on the ground - and clearly had done for quite some time. Levels of investment varied across the RAF (driven until 1995 by each Command) and many of the 'temporary' RAF stations that survived into the 1990s were not well-found (loads of SECO huts etc), unlike those who had attracted NSIP funding and were hardened like Leeming. But generally RAF stations were better maintained - after all, that is where the service was going to fight from. Gateway was improved but was only ever transit accommodation and sadly was regularly trashed by outbound and drunken RIPs. The equivalent hotel at Lyneham (sadly, I cant recall the name) used to provide TVs in the rooms, soap and towels so that troops could have a shower and not have to open up their luggage and then carry a wet and smelly towel. However, so many TVs were trashed or 'borrowed' along with a shocking percentage of towels, the practice was soon stopped. Recovery action was largely pointless.
 
An observation the Air Ministry shoved up the noses of the War Office when they complained about the 'generous accommodation' on new RAF stations.

Did RAF personnel have to pay more for this better living environment than other services?
 
Did RAF personnel have to pay more for this better living environment than other services?
Probably not until the various scales of accommodation were introduced. The RAF was expanding rapidly in the 1930s so the new camps were built to the standards of the day, whereas the Army was still in mostly Victorian era barracks built to the standards of that time.
 
The two services do indeed do things differently. One small example; MT fleets. At BZZ, I was surprised to see a few (3 or 4) civilian Land Rovers around the camp, and even on the pan; they had the name of the local 4x4 rental firm on them, “SH 4x4” rings a bell. I asked about this; the answer was that if MT had a LR that was dues out for a part, or one that had been backloaded and the replacement hadn’t yet been provided, then authority would be sought to rent one in its place.

In the Army, we would just do without that LR. Other LRs would do double duty, and/or the task would be reduced/deferred/chinned off. I can just imagine the frosty response from the QM to the MTWO who’s just asked to rent a Land Rover.

I suppose both approaches are valid in their own ways, but the two approaches are indeed different!

This. To my simple mind, the RAF have always been a process driven organisation, whereas the Army has always been a results driven organisation.

I had a similar MT experience. I was posted to a Joint Unit, commanded by an RAF OF 4 but administrated by a local Army Unit. We were scaled for a small amount of MT and when the vehicles got dirty, the RAF CO simply ordered a local car valeting company to visit our location and clean the vehicles once a fortnight, paid by GPC.

Come audit time, the local Army G1 staff had kittens at this obviously profligate use of Public Money and threatened to haul the CO over the coals in a series of very excitedly written emails.

The CO very calmly wrote back, explaining that as per JSP 800 (Defence Movement and Transport Regulations), there was a sound, legal requirement for vehicles to be clean and roadworthy, and under JSP 315 (Defence Building Standards) there was a requirement for a Vehicle Wash Down Point to be built to enable people to meet that standard. As we did not have such a wash down point, could one be provided at a cost of XXXXX thousand pounds?

The audit was quietly dropped and a month later, a bucket and sponge was provided for use of Army personnel only.
 

Alamo

LE
Really? Aghast? I'll tell you about aghast. In one of my jobs I had a bunch of RAF working for me. RAF Plod and dog stranglers, a chef and a driver. The RAFP consisted of a sgt, a substantive cpl and about 10 or so acting cpls, which was the normal set up. One of the acting cpls went over to Wildenrath to do some admin and asked about his re-engagement(?) papers. Apparently, they have to re-enlist at the end of each engagement rather than just remain by default unless they choose to leave. The clerk checked his file and told him there were none. In this split second, this young fella became aware that his services were no longer required and he had better start making his plans for the future. There had been no interview, no warning letter, no indication at all. Just, no re-engagement papers in his file.

That is what I call appalling and we army guys were definitely aghast at that, even though all the RAF guys assured us it was perfectly normal.
What a load of cobblers. Not accusing you of making it up, but it’s crap; and if you bought it you’ve been sold a story
 
I have to say that this story is a bit odd. There was a well-worn path of re-engagement (or notification of termination of engagement) letters that went through the command chain and through his manning desk at PMC Innsworth, as was. Prior to re-engagement or termination, the Manning Sgt or WO would have had a chat with the individual as well. And given that you are mentioning Wildenrath, you are talking of 25 years ago? I was a Flt Cdr of RAF Police and RAF Regt at about the same time and I honestly can't recall anything like that happening - although we were losing a lot of people through redundancy and 'manning levers' in the 1990s, it was never out of the blue as you describe.
I bow to your superior knowledge, but it is definitely true as written, I absolutely promise you. It would have been 91/92. It is/was one of those things that is so bizarre it sticks in the memory.
 

Alamo

LE
I bow to your superior knowledge, but it is definitely true as written, I absolutely promise you. It would have been 91/92. It is/was one of those things that is so bizarre it sticks in the memory.
Sorry but it’s crap. You’re recollection of what you were, or think you were, told may be accurate, but it’s utter BS.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
A Station Board of Officers would grade accommodation against JSP 315 standards and accommodation charges were levied accordingly. This was a standard SLJ for a JO and subject to a Command Audit annually. I suppose these days it's set by DIO.

"Yes, you're staying in the Chechen Village. But hey, it's so bad it's free!"
 

Alamo

LE
Go on then. Explain why.
Because no airman in the RAF, in at least the last 37 years, had been employed on a tour by tour basis. Neither had there ever been any automatic re-engagement. There may be offers based on meeting certain rank gates, but you are still (and always have been) required to go and sign to say you accept it. In terms of leaving at the end of your current contract the resettlement process kicks in at at least D-12 months. No one is surprised at having to leave.
 

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