Officer Training Corps faces the axe

#1
From The Sunday Times
January 24, 2010
Officer Training Corps faces the axe
Jonathan Oliver and Michael Smith
3 COMMENTS
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British Marines of 40 Commando Royal Marine during a military exercise near Limassol, Cyprus
THE Ministry of Defence is drawing up emergency cuts including the scrapping of the Officer Training Corps (OTC) and the withdrawal of troops from Cyprus.

The dire state of the defence budget also means that new Nimrod spy planes, costing £3.6 billion and due to come into service next week, will be parked in their hangars.

Other cuts, expected to be unveiled in the next two months, include:

- Closing up to three airbases
More
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6999920.ece
 
#3
Wellll. If we don't make cuts somewhere how will we finance Indias Nuclear Arsenal and Manned Space Program with Foreign Aid.
Come on.
Be reasonable!
 
#4
It looks like someone has seen a copy of the PR09 / PR10 "summary of options list" which will show a lot of options that appear hugely awful (such as scrapping XYZ) - this does not mean that they are taken, it means they have been costed to show how much could be saved if they were taken.
As soon as the costing is done, 99% of them get switched off for wider reasons - however its a great document to leak to get support for one cause or another!
 

Bowmore_Assassin

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#6
Except about 40% of the Sandhurst intake comes form OTCs. Close it down and we have a recruiting problem for new officers...

Cause and effect...
 
#7
Bowmore_Assassin said:
Except about 40% of the Sandhurst intake comes form OTCs. Close it down and we have a recruiting problem for new officers...

Cause and effect...

They'd probably come anyway.

As the article notes, most members of the OTC's have nothing to do with the armed forced after they leave Uni so it begs the obvious question, are they just MOD subsidized big boys clubs?
 

Bowmore_Assassin

MIA
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#8
Semper_Flexibilis said:
Bowmore_Assassin said:
Except about 40% of the Sandhurst intake comes form OTCs. Close it down and we have a recruiting problem for new officers...

Cause and effect...

They'd probably come anyway.

As the article notes, most members of the OTC's have nothing to do with the armed forced after they leave Uni so it begs the obvious question, are they just MOD subsidized big boys clubs?
I am not convinced they would "probably come anyway" but clearly I cannot prove this.

I take your point regarding many of ex-OTC not having anything to do with the Army after Uni, but the reality is these individuals head into civvi street with a background knowledge of what the Army is about and a favourable attitude to the forces in general. In a society which is generally lacking in knowledge about life in the military (despite media coverage of afghanistan and Wooten Bassett), anyone we have out there with some experience is important IMHO.

I am not ex-OTC but have met many people in it and ex-OTC. They all enjoy/enjoyed it and look at it as a positive experience. Alongside ACF and CCF, this is a good thing and cutting OTC and/or aCF/CCFs to save money would be short-sighted and unhelpful. A short while ago, the PM was saying membership og ACFs/CCFs should be expended as it would be good for society (I don't agree with much he syays but on this one, I think he is right)...by extension, OTCs should be seen as the same. The fact MOD then cut funding to cadets is almost laughable if it was not so sad and shortsighted.
 
#9
Nail.Hit Head.

The OTC is ACF for students, but...

The OTC is not just about graduate recruitment, but to foster an understanding of the Army to those who will be civvy managers and business leaders in the future.

It costs £82m a year, roughly the same as all the cadet forces combined. You couldn't buy much positive PR for that any other way, especially for such an odd fish as the Army.

I say the same to all my cadets heading off for Uni, regardless of their career aspirations, go for UOTC or URNU or even UAS*. As its Cadets for Students, cheap beer, and they pay you for it!

*Although, I think you have to convince them you intend to join the RAF after your course
 
#10
armadillo said:
OTC to go, bout bloody time.
I think that OTC's are a good thing. Even if the students dont go on the join up, it teaches people that will maybe end up in the city or high fliers a little about the Military and its workings; it helps with understanding and respect.

Yes, its also a feed in to Sandhurst, but more importantly teaches military ethics and team building.

I have been a guest at Bristol OTC quite a few times, they are a good bunch; it would be a sad loss i feel.
 
#11
Bowmore_Assassin said:
Semper_Flexibilis said:
Bowmore_Assassin said:
Except about 40% of the Sandhurst intake comes form OTCs. Close it down and we have a recruiting problem for new officers...

Cause and effect...

They'd probably come anyway.

As the article notes, most members of the OTC's have nothing to do with the armed forced after they leave Uni so it begs the obvious question, are they just MOD subsidized big boys clubs?
I am not convinced they would "probably come anyway" but clearly I cannot prove this.

I take your point regarding many of ex-OTC not having anything to do with the Army after Uni, but the reality is these individuals head into civvi street with a background knowledge of what the Army is about and a favourable attitude to the forces in general. In a society which is generally lacking in knowledge about life in the military (despite media coverage of afghanistan and Wooten Bassett), anyone we have out there with some experience is important IMHO.
yet 60% seem to make it to RMAS sans OTC help....

And the bit about colouring the views of civvies with a green tint is (IMHO) B0110x.
 
A

armadillo

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#12
chocolate_frog said:
Bowmore_Assassin said:
Semper_Flexibilis said:
Bowmore_Assassin said:
Except about 40% of the Sandhurst intake comes form OTCs. Close it down and we have a recruiting problem for new officers...

Cause and effect...

They'd probably come anyway.

As the article notes, most members of the OTC's have nothing to do with the armed forced after they leave Uni so it begs the obvious question, are they just MOD subsidized big boys clubs?
I am not convinced they would "probably come anyway" but clearly I cannot prove this.

I take your point regarding many of ex-OTC not having anything to do with the Army after Uni, but the reality is these individuals head into civvi street with a background knowledge of what the Army is about and a favourable attitude to the forces in general. In a society which is generally lacking in knowledge about life in the military (despite media coverage of afghanistan and Wooten Bassett), anyone we have out there with some experience is important IMHO.
yet 60% seem to make it to RMAS sans OTC help....

And the bit about colouring the views of civvies with a green tint is (IMHO) B0110x.
CF I completely agree, its tiered to people who are more affluent financially. The students that are from a background with no money would not be able to afford or take part in the OTC. I met with a group of OTC. Everyone was from a background of daddys money. It is an expensive drinking club in uniforms.
 
#13
Bowmore_Assassin said:
[I take your point regarding many of ex-OTC not having anything to do with the Army after Uni, but the reality is these individuals head into civvi street with a background knowledge of what the Army is about and a favourable attitude to the forces in general. In a society which is generally lacking in knowledge about life in the military (despite media coverage of afghanistan and Wooten Bassett), anyone we have out there with some experience is important IMHO.
I've got to take issue with this one. The OTC attracts people who've either a) a pre-existing interest in the Army, the best of whom would go for it anyway and b) fancy doing something a bit different in their down time while at Uni; only very few of these latter would be converted to go reg or TA after graduation.

As to the importance of getting military-friendly people into the business community, take a look on the TA forum about the difficulties reservists have getting and keeping jobs when their employers know they're liable for call-up. The OTCs have been around for a long time - where's the payoff in that respect?

I'd argue that in my time the respect for and interest in the armed forces only arose because of the interest the general public showed in current ops and would have come about with or without the OTCs. The resistance from employers hasn't noticeably diminished, despite their presence.
 
#15
Transfer the budget to the TA. Any students interested could join TA, do the training and be exempt compulsory call-up for Ops for initial 3/4 years whilst they are studying. Of course, on completion of their degrees they will still be eligible for call-up in an emegency unlike majority of OTC types who walk away saying "cheers easy".

It would still give an avenue and admin cover for those at Uni on Bursaries/cadetships.
 
#16
Herrumph said:
Transfer the budget to the TA. Any students interested could join TA, do the training and be exempt compulsory call-up for Ops for initial 3/4 years whilst they are studying. Of course, on completion of their degrees they will still be eligible for call-up in an emegency unlike majority of OTC types who walk away saying "cheers easy".

It would still give an avenue and admin cover for those at Uni on Bursaries/cadetships.
And would give those 'future leaders of the business world' a far more realistic notion of the Army than an OTC can ever provide.
 
#17
Firstly, I was in the OTC and top fun it was – playing Armies, excellent p*ss-ups and a raft of lurve action. I wasn’t from a moneyed background; assertions that it was for such sorts is tripe. I earned a good whack from it and that, combined with my bursary, ensured that whilst not overly rich I wasn’t in dire financial straits.

However, I am now alas in a job which deals with budgets (not solely – I’m not yet that utterly REMF) and in particular the Regional Forces, of which the OTC is part.

Here are a few painful truths:

1 – Defence is skint. That’s because the country is skint. Therefore the “but it’s a good thing” justification holds no water. In the current climate show value or die.

2 – This idea that we influence the business leaders of the future is tripe. When 10% of the population – and the intellectual and social elite at that – went to Uni this was valid. Now 50% of the population do and they read Fabric Design at the University of the South in Slough and then go on to be unemployed. We are hardly influencing the captains of industry. If that’s our aim there are more focussed Community Engagement and Employer Support initiatives to better focus the money to achieve effect.

3 – The recruiting argument is flawed. Connection does not equal causality. So 40% went to OTC? Well for starters, that could also be seen as proving that the majority of Sandhurst Cadets did not go to OTC. Since the bulk of Offr Cadets at Sandhurst are Graduates that means that they had the opportunity, but didn’t go. Of those that did, I’d argue that the majority were intent on joining the Army anyway. I know I was, as were all of my peers who went on to join the regular Army. Also, not 40% of OTC cadets go on to join the regular Army; the majority don’t. So; the majority of OTC Cadets don’t join the Army and the majority of Graduates intent on joining the Army don’t attend the OTC. Doesn’t look so good now, does it? We would appear to be spending an awful lot of money teaching the Combat Estimate and marksmanship skills to future Phones4You deputy managers. Make the OTC much smaller, only for those intent on joining the Army and maybe even with a degree of future commitment. But then, if they were intent on joining anyway why do they need to do OTC? They’ll learn it all at Sandhurst and without bad habits.

4 – If it breads more responsible citizens then this may well be a good thing, but it isn’t the responsibility of Defence. Land is having to prioritise and until BUOTC is on the Operational Commitment Plot they aren’t going to be at the top of anyones list of things to fund from limited means.

I’d be surprised if the OTCs disappear. But I’d be equally surprised if they continue in the same vein. Remember, the Regular Army is undergoing huge restructuring; why should the TA or OTC be any different?
 
#18
CF I completely agree, its tiered to people who are more affluent financially. The students that are from a background with no money would not be able to afford or take part in the OTC. I met with a group of OTC. Everyone was from a background of daddys money. It is an expensive drinking club in uniforms.
What a load of fcuking bollocks. Ignorance is bliss.

How is it an expensive drinking club? The beer in the mess is cheap and students get paid. I dont see how that fosters a need to be loaded to join the OTC.

Secondly, i was a member of the OTC throughout my time at university, i don't come from money, my dad is currently on a three day week through no choice of his own. Most of my friends from the OTC days are pretty average citizens as well. Of course it does attract a large degree of public schoolboys and hooray henrys, but then again so does the 'real' Army's Officer Corps. Whats wrong with public schoolboys?

Your own prejudices shining through there, not anchored in reality.
 
#19
armadillo said:
Maybe able to free up, vehicles, ammo, fuel,clothing, PSI, for the army, Brilliant.
As far as I'm aware OTCs are no longer scaled for green fleet, and the vehicles I've seen being utilised are from the pool and are usually old defenders and 4 tonners. Unless of course the regular army wants the mini bus aswell! as for ammo I don't think one or two range weekends a year is going to dent the army's stockpile. As for the PSI? career opportunities for promotion are getting even scarcer. Moving to an OTC allowed my promotion. It also allows a SNCO in his last 2 years a posting, perhaps nearer home.
 
#20
How about taking OTC to a whole new place.

Make it a literal Senior ACF/CCF. No pay, just lots of opurtunity to grow in oneself and similar.

During the holidays they could put on Exercise Student Stretch and Executive Stretch. That way to keep the interest of students, and ES would be aimed specifically at the CURRENT business capitans.