Niff-naff: Colours of ink and grades of seniority.

#1
A colleague of mine has just sent out an e-mail in a green font which prompted me to recall that, in my early life as an MoD civil servant, my Assistant Secretary used green ink. This was part of an old established principle that different grades used different coloured inks. Myself, as a lowly Exec. Officer, could only use blue! Sounds a bit Victorian but not a bad system in a paper based office. Can anyone remember all the colours and grades; did it apply in the Army?
 
B

Badwookie24

Guest
#3
I use a lot of red pen when checking my soldiers work in casefiles. And commanders use blue for any direction needed. Not too sure if this is policy or "ism".
 
#4
As I can remember it was:

green - Assistant Secretary
brown - Senior Executive Officer
black - Higher Executive Officer
blue - Executive Officer

System was dying out when I joined in the '80s but my AS (one star level) still used green and you certainly read his comment first!
 
#5
In the RN only the CO uses red pen, I was told, after using a red pen...
 
I

In_my_day

Guest
#6
In the RN only the CO uses red pen, I was told, after using a red pen...
and the CoS (Exec) uses green. At least that's as I remember it when 3* Sir Rob wrote "I want to see the author of this at 0900", in red, and the CoS wrote "My office 0830", in green, on a letter I had drafted!!

IMD
 
#7
We only had one pen in my regiment and we all had to share it - I think the CO had it on Tuesdays until lunch time. That wasn´t too bad because not many of us could write properly. I can´t remember what colour ink it had. Most of us made do with crayons as I am doing now. Bye bye
 
#10
and the CoS (Exec) uses green. At least that's as I remember it when 3* Sir Rob wrote "I want to see the author of this at 0900", in red, and the CoS wrote "My office 0830", in green, on a letter I had drafted!!

IMD
What did you write?
 
#11
"Only generals may use green ink". I've been using it, guerilla-styley ever since I read that - seditious moi?
 
I

In_my_day

Guest
#16
A belated response but it was a snotagram to the Capt, RNAS Culdrose, ref Sy and the p*ss poor attitude of the "Works Liason Officer", a rtd 21/2 gunner IIRC. I have to say that after a nervous trip to the command corridor of MW to explain myself off it went!

As an aside,when Newman wanted to see the 2 pilots seen "wrestling" onboard during a TV seried he didn't use ink, my understanding is that he wanted "that pair of c^&ts in my office at 0800".

IMD
 
#17
A colleague of mine has just sent out an e-mail in a green font which prompted me to recall that, in my early life as an MoD civil servant, my Assistant Secretary used green ink. This was part of an old established principle that different grades used different coloured inks. Myself, as a lowly Exec. Officer, could only use blue! Sounds a bit Victorian but not a bad system in a paper based office. Can anyone remember all the colours and grades; did it apply in the Army?
System was instituted by Monty, on his way up through the Staff (or p'rpas he inherited it from one of his erstwhile WW1 bosses).

Green Ink - to be used ONLY by the Commander
Red Ink - to be used ONLY by the Chief Of Staff

I first came across the practice as an SO3 under Gen Tony Jeapes - thought it was odd for a bloke with his background to be affecting 'airs and graces', so I researched it till I understood its origins/intent.

Presumably so you can ignore the intelligent commentary of the lesser mortals, and cut straight to the wisdom of the two great men, when a Staff Paper is in circulation.
 

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