Next Question: Top 10 Tips for Jointery!


Seeing as the last 2 threads were such crowd pleasers here, we have decided to tap into the ARRSE hivemind once more and tease out some nuggets.

If you had to create a 'Top 10 Tips' card to help members of the Royal Navy or Royal Air Force integrate with the Army, what would your advice be e.g. "An Army officer will always consider himself to be superior to a RAF officer. You are advised to act humbly, agree in a diffident manner with everything that is said, then do exactly as you please because no-one understands Air capability anyway."

That kind of thing.

As ever, responses can be as serious or moronic as you like.

Info: approximately 50 posts were quoted directly from the 'Army vs RAF' and 'Army vs Itself' threads in the presentation, so thanks once again for your interest and support. The presentation was - I understand - very well received and is being given again to a higher ranking audience.

Fire away! :D
OK, for starters.

A sailor won't respect you unless you can hold your alcohol.
A soldier won't respect you unless you unless you're comfortable living in the field.
An airman won't respect you unless you drive a flashier car than he does.
A para won't respect you if you're a hat :p

Seriously, Prox, it would be interesting to see your conclusions, if you're willing to share them.
I'm not sure that they are my conclusions to share, to be honest.

These questions are informing a seriously high level study (yes, really) about the whole issue of Jointery and so far it seems to be working.

I will ask further and see what can be released in this forum: I agree that it will certainly make interesting reading but you should be aware that this online effort is being backed up by an email deluge over DII as well, hence some of the responses we are getting are necessarily quite privileged. So far we have had over 600 responses in total across all 3 questions: highest rank responding so far is at 2* level: see my point?

We have deliberately engaged via ARRSE to attract a more rounded response: what troubles me is that the site is full of posts, yet nothing of real value seems to come in on the issues that really matter. Perhaps it's because ARRSE caters to walts, fantasists and hasbeens - and a few soldiers (regular and TA), here and there. I stand by to be corrected.

Thanks for your response.
You shouldn't be surprised Prox. There are going to be relatively few people on here who are both in a position to comment constructively on jointery and are prepared to do so in public. Plus, to be honest, your original question was fairly broad. I would suggest that if you're looking for answers to specific questions, you ask more focused questions.

I was only asking for the conclusion for my personal edification. I can quite understand if you don't want, or are not in a position, to release it.

PB (walt, fantasist and hasbeen)
Jointery is great until you have to fall back on the rules. A TRI service unit then becomes RAF or Army becuase we dont have a Joint minor discipline solution. If your in Army lead unit then AGAI 67 works, RAF straight to summary dealing.

Jointery is great until you have to promote ethos and standards. A parade in the Army is to start work, a communications platform for the CofC and a chance to enforce and check standards. A parade to the RAF involves a 3* a fly over and the RAF band.

Jointery is great until you have to use the CofC. The Army goes 1 up the small cogs work together. The RAF use a flat orbat, the RAF SAC deals direct with the Stn Cdr who then rains admin fall out all over the command structure.

Jointery is great until it comes to the Mess. The Army has a voting right as a paid member. The Mess is run by it members and is seen as extension of your role as a SNCO. The RAF want a SNCO drop in centre with casual bills. They have a small council who have full autonomy over everything regardless of what the mess membership want, they sit in post never gettign voted out so nothign changes, it is after all an RAF mess with Army members inside it!

A few to start you off!
The problem with asking any service about jointery is the lack of experience of it. The reason we have three services is because they do fundamentally different things and have developed over the years different ways of achieving their desired outputs, at both fundamental and trivial levels.

As an 'other rank' one rarely encounters the other and if they do it is only at certain points, either as customer or supplier, for example, the majority of Army soldiers and RAF personnel will only ever encounter each other when being moved into theatre, one clearly being a 'customer' of the other.

What is behind the question, why do we need to improve jointery?

Surely it is either a desire to improve the quality of outputs or be improve efficiency, makes perfect sense. To improve jointery simply look at the areas that have common inputs or outputs. I can't see any reason why we don't have common basic training, police, logistics, comms, intelligence etc Its not a slippery slope to a single defence force but until the high level process stuff is sorted out jointery is always going to run into the cultural differences that are so often raised here, officers v SNCO's flying UAV or helicopters etc
I agree with Meridian (up to a point), there are valid reasons, which still persist, as to why the different services do things differently. Although the RN and Army will and do interact in many joint projects and operations, conducting ASW (anti submarine warfare) in the mid Atlantic (or keeping tabs on an Iranian Kilo in the future) is very much dark blue and the skills required take years to develop, hence not all training can be rationalised or served up in a one size fits all.

One concern with increasing jointery is the way it is perceived in some quarters as a bid by the largest service to subsume the others. Now, I know that I am going to run the risk of being viewed as over-emotional (and I admit to a bit of chest swelling when "Hearts of Oak" is played) and out of touch (etc...), but it really doesn't help when, if working in a joint environment, one has to take off a Naval uniform and don an army one. The counter argument is that this increases the feelings of "jointedness" but not so; no matter how many pretty little badges with the RN logo (TM) on it one decorates the uniform with, the DPM pattern, understandably, reeks of the Army and, trust me on this one, provides absolutely no camoflague qualities against a steel grey background or behind a wooden desk.

Ok the above is a little flippant (and, arguably, a minor point) but more importantly, I think, the reasons for jointery and the benefits it brings (in the specific sphere in which it is being encouraged and not in a general "joint good, separate bad", "four legs good, two legs bad" sort of manner) must be explained otherwise people will, rightly or worngly, think it is just a cost cutting exercise imposed from above (as surely they all are, I suppose) with little or no thought of the effect on output; thus making it harder to have your people on side.

Edited once for gash spelling and to apologise for not answering the exam question!
Proximo said:
If you had to create a 'Top 10 Tips' card to help members of the Royal Navy or Royal Air Force integrate with the Army, what would your advice be
an oldie-but-a-goodie... "On a good day, a teeth arms officer can see as far as Regimental HQ". Then hand them a copy of "The General Danced at Dawn" (GMF, peace be unto him) and tell them to read it.

Experience from a multi-capbadge battalion: you can be proud as hell of your own Regiment/Service. It doesn't mean that you shouldn't be proud of the other blokes' Regiment/Service too.

G (hasbeen. Or neverwas, depending on who you listen to).

PS A suggestion: trawl TA-who-have-done-Ops / FTRS, it's a similar transition.
From my limited experience of jointery:

Tip 1: Take the time to understand the cultural differences. Regimental custom meets Service ethos. Captains calling Majors by their first name is difficult to read across where Flt Lts call Sqn Ldrs "Sir". Guards officers refusing to call anyone who hasn't commanded a Guards Battalion "Sir".

Tip 2: Jointery includes the Civil Service. On ops and at home. All of one team.

Tip 3: All of one team means all of one team.

Tip 4: Do not discount the value of information given to you based on the status of the provider (acknowledgement to Richard Holmes's "10 Diseases of Leadership").

Tip 5: Understand that Mission Command means different things to the different Services.

Tip 6: Loyalty to the joint chain of command. Single-service silliness does no-one any favours.

Tip 7: Be cautious of the difference between Single-Service "custom" and Joint "habit".
I consider myself fortunate to have worked with the other services and in Joint HQs. I have spent 5 years with the Navy (RM), completed joint staff training, done an op tour in a J staff post, presented on Joint courses and worked with Joint HQs. For what they are worth my tips would be

1. Never forget we are on the same side.
2. Understand the concept and implications of supported and supporting commanders.
3 Jointery becomes increasingly important, necessary and complex as you move from tactical to operational and strategic levels.
4 At the tactical level be a master of your own environment and have an understanding of how the other components can help you and conversely what you can do to support them.
5 At the operational level component commands will be competing for resources. Argue your corner but remember points 1 and 2.
6. At the higher operational level (JFHQ) and strategic level operations will be joint and are likely to be prosecuted with a coalition. Campaign and Operational Plans must be holistic and developed in consultation with component commanders and UK based HQs.
7. There are differences between the services and different organisational cultures. Within each service there are further sub divisions. Exploit this diversity and remember that we are united by a common call to serve and are all volunteers.
8. Be loyal and proud of you service, but avoid openly berating the other services. There is a fine line between ‘banter’ and causing offence.
9. To be effective as a team you need to get to know each other. In a joint team you need to work harder to get to really know each other as you culture and backgrounds will be more disparate.
10. Don’t commit to email your thoughts on the inadequacies of the other services.

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