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Not a good week for Generals of the Modern British Army

I suspect the correct word is adequate.

As I'm reasonably confident that the marginal successes we've managed to achieve in not having an absolute disaster in Iraq & Afghanistan have been more to do with the capability at the Company Minus level to make it work. Some of the Company + planning was frankly delusional. Trying to engage hostile forces wearing flip flops and dish-dashs whilst we're carrying everything and a kitchen sink was the height of insanity...
Hmmm...

Adequate = "satisfactory or acceptable in quality or quantity".

I suspect many senior officers meet that standard. I suspect that some exceed it (we all know some but putting their names up exposes them to a bit of 'tall poppy') and that some do not attain it (Jones apparently, Cowan definitely).

Tough job on the 5th Floor - competing for resources, not wanting to be the bloke remembered for axing the Army, RN, Crabs or, Heaven forbid, their own regiment. And I mean that seriously - senior officers will always fight to maintain the relevance of their cloth, it's only natural. I've seen first hand Marines, Paras and every other badge fight to go on ops in the planning stage.

That's why the political leadership is so important - and why a bit of experience (more than that **** Francois, mind) is important I feel.

I once worked for an RN 1* who had scrapped every ship he'd ever served on. He felt quite liberated by the experience and is possibly (definitely) the best officer I have ever worked for.
 
That’s a long-winded way of describing the cu nt.

To be fair, the senior individual making the analysis of the SAM did follow that up with something like 'or, to put it another way, he's a ****'. He then went on to analyse some of the SAM's later career in language which Phil Osborn might have found a tad strong. I don't think he was a fan (but was anybody?).
 
You've never met the Scottish Air Marshal, then...?

Once described (I'd best not say by whom) as 'an intelligent life form, whose exact origin is bound to be revealed in a forthcoming series of Star Trek'.
Which one? The Harrier or Strikemaster pilot?
 
Unless I am well wide of the mark, the Scottish Officer flew F-4s?

What was it about the F-4 fleet, they almost prided themselves in breeding c**ts.
 
To be fair, the senior individual making the analysis of the SAM did follow that up with something like 'or, to put it another way, he's a ****'. He then went on to analyse some of the SAM's later career in language which Phil Osborn might have found a tad strong. I don't think he was a fan (but was anybody?).
One of his worst moments was his outrage when the crew of the downed Herc were repatriated from Iraq - one of the chaps was an Aussie by birth, albeit serving in the RAF rather than the RAAF. His coffin was draped with the Australian flag during the ceremony at Basrah. Next thing we know, the SAM is yelling that QRs have been breached, since the only acceptable flag for a coffin is the Union Jack.

Twat. Utter, utter, twat.

And yes, air defender - Lightnings, then Phantoms.
 
One of his worst moments was his outrage when the crew of the downed Herc were repatriated from Iraq - one of the chaps was an Aussie by birth, albeit serving in the RAF rather than the RAAF. His coffin was draped with the Australian flag during the ceremony at Basrah. Next thing we know, the SAM is yelling that QRs have been breached, since the only acceptable flag for a coffin is the Union Jack.

Twat. Utter, utter, twat.

And yes, air defender - Lightnings, then Phantoms.

It's an AD thing. The worst I have ever met (c25yrs flying and just over 3700hrs airborne) have been F3 navigator QWIs. Brought up with an essence of poison. Thankfully never had to fly with any of the c**ts, as I delight in reminding them, most of my flying was operational, which kinda rules out the F3 Tornado.

Anyways, we're digressing. Has Jones signed out the Mess Webley yet? My Pol Roger in the fridge is getting a little too chilled................
 
Harsh.

But historically accurate.



I think you're allowed to mention them by name without incurring ruinously high bar bills for doing so.
Maybe......

Atha or Stirrup...

I actually found both quite decent despite the fact they were both aircrew.
 
@Solo Dave - feel free to disagree, many do I know. I only speak as I find.
 
I suspect that your view gets currency mainly because it's the knobs like Cowan and Jones that get the column inches. There's no publicity in being a good senior officer - and there are a lot out there.
Indeed there are. In fact it does make a change to talk about the good eggs, which I like to think are in the majority.

I had really rather hoped Bashall was going to get to the top, CGS and maybe even CDS. I found him to be a really genuine person; always struck me a 'good bloke' and would give you his time. Certainly 100x better than Carter.
Barons was another I thought would make a brilliant CGS, I really liked him.
Poffley is another ( a loggie so that ruled out CGS, etc), one of those deep thinking types. He always made me think of Gen Slim.

I've also worked with a number COs across the arms, good ones that stick in my mind, Lyndsay MacDuff (BW), John Donnely (Ches), Greville Bibby (Gren) to name but a few.

Perhaps the good guys see the light and get out? Or maybe they have to compromise their principles to much and decide its not worth it?

So rather than who would we like to see fail next, who would like to succeed? Who do we think should be at the top, who would make the changes for the better and set the example for others to aspire too?
 

Alamo

LE
Maybe......

Atha or Stirrup...

I actually found both quite decent despite the fact they were both aircrew.
I’d agree with that, both could be prickly but in essence well intentioned. We lost a bloke in Afg a couple of months before you arrived, when Stu A was the 1*. He came and spent the day with us and was absolutely brilliant with the blokes. I could recall that 8 years later when getting the “gobstopper” treatment!
The SAM was altogether different. He was my Stn Cdr for a short while and I was an ADC when my man and he were 2*. I found him to be nothing but aloof and condescending. In my whole career he is the one VSO from my own Service that I think was the most unpleasant.
 

Mr_Relaxed

War Hero
So rather than who would we like to see fail next, who would like to succeed? Who do we think should be at the top, who would make the changes for the better and set the example for others to aspire too?

It's a question of time. They don't get enough of it to make a difference, that is incapable of being undone by their successor. What I find interesting here is that by the stage you're at that rarefied atmosphere, it's a relatively small cohort of individuals, so is there much to choose from in terms of personality?
 
It's a question of time. They don't get enough of it to make a difference, that is incapable of being undone by their successor. What I find interesting here is that by the stage you're at that rarefied atmosphere, it's a relatively small cohort of individuals, so is there much to choose from in terms of personality?

I think within a relatively narrow band, yes.

For example, the Fleet Cdr and Second Sea Lord are very different personalities.
 
Unless I am well wide of the mark, the Scottish Officer flew F-4s?

What was it about the F-4 fleet, they almost prided themselves in breeding c**ts.

From my experience, with a couple of excellent exceptions, the Bucc crews did a pretty good job in that department. Fortunately, it seems that few of them made Air rank.
 

Bob65

War Hero
I agree fully, I suspect that the issue is that great leaders (of which the Army has many) do not progress as well as their more 'politically astute' brother officers.
It is the same in many environments, the best salesman/ mechanic or whatever rarely gets promoted to run the office/ workshop. Such a promotion requires totally different skillsets.

It's not just a problem for the Army but for society in general and it's one for which there is no easy or obvious solution: how do you put people in positions of authority within organisations without them using that authority for their own personal advantage rather than the interests of the organisation as a whole? The commercial and public sectors are rampant with it. Perhaps it was always thus, to a certain extent, but it seems to me that it was never quite this bad, a few decades ago there was probably more of a sense of "duty" amongst senior officers and senior managers alike, organisations were more "paternalistic" would be the modern term.

But basically, getting promoted in any competitive setting is a race to the bottom in terms of ethics. If being a sleazy backstabber gives anyone any advantage at all, then everyone has to play that game, whether they want to or not (or forego the opportunity of promotion altogether) and once you've done it once, it seems easy and natural to do it again to ascend the next rung, and the next, and here we are today.
 

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