Officers And Their Men

#1
Hello

Just wondering as i intend to join the infantry as an officer, what is the relationship like between officers and the men under their command for example if the lads are going on a night out would the lieutenant of the platoon generally go with his boys or with fellow officers? Are officers just seen as a boss by the NCOs and not really a friend? Obviously there's great camaraderie in the British armed forces but how far does it extend between the ranks? (no homo jokes please)

thanks
 
#2
You will not go out drinking with your Platoon except on special occasions. You are there to command and inspire your men, not be their bestest buddy. Leave that to the NCOs. You have to be capable of running with the wolves without being a pack member.
 
#5
Hello

Just wondering as i intend to join the infantry as an officer, what is the relationship like between officers and the men under their command for example if the lads are going on a night out would the lieutenant of the platoon generally go with his boys or with fellow officers? Are officers just seen as a boss by the NCOs and not really a friend? Obviously there's great camaraderie in the British armed forces but how far does it extend between the ranks? (no homo jokes please)

thanks
Be Fair, Be Firm, Lead by Example but dont be a knob or a two way range could soon turn into a three way range if your out on Ops
 
#6
You have to be capable of running with the wolves without being a pack member.
Yeah i like that analogy, but officers still need their own buddies, we're all just people at the end of it

It's good form for the lads to invite the Troopie. It's bad form for the Troopie to accept all the time. The lads needs to be able to have a whinge and bitch amongst themselves. It might be about football, the RSM, the Sqn OC, you, (if you're perceived badly), whatever. On the other hand, a good Troopie will go out with the lads occasionally and get the beers in. Not pay for the night, but certainly stand his corner. Leave the rank in the Mess if you do this. But don't do it often.

Ultimately, you need to be able to order the blokes to attack an enemy position. Some of them might not come back. It's bit difficult to do that if you're all pally with the lads. But then, it's also difficult to do that if you're perceived by the lads as a ******.

Like most things, it's a judgement call. The "official" line is maintain separation between officers and ORs. Life isn't always that simple though. Good luck.
Interesting opinion i'll bear that all in mind, i wouldn't want to think that the formality of rank and hierarchy extends so far outside the job, at the end of the day you still need the social side of things, i guess it's difficult to get the right balance, so that you're respected without being feared or hated

Be Fair, Be Firm, Lead by Example but dont be a knob or a two way range could soon turn into a three way range if your out on Ops
Haha i'll do my best cheers
 
#7
Hello

Just wondering as i intend to join the infantry as an officer, what is the relationship like between officers and the men under their command for example if the lads are going on a night out would the lieutenant of the platoon generally go with his boys or with fellow officers? Are officers just seen as a boss by the NCOs and not really a friend? Obviously there's great camaraderie in the British armed forces but how far does it extend between the ranks? (no homo jokes please)

thanks
All the serious advice on this thread has been good.

That said, some cap badges (in my experience) are more exercised than others about maintaining a social gulf between soldiers and officers.

So - whichever Regiment you wind up in, make sure you have fully understood the unwritten rules of the Officers Mess before you commit yourself to a week of nights on the lash with the lads from your Platoon.

Alternatively, if you wind up in a Battalion where a week of nights on the lash with the lads is seen as the norm for subbies, you might want to ask if it is enhancing or damaging to professional performance across the board.

I've seen all sorts: in general, though, best get past being a complete Red-Arse before you chance your arm in that game.
 
#8
I'm just about to take up my first post and don't think I can add to some of the good advice given here. There's a divide for a reason and our job is not to be best muckers. Saying that, I can honestly say that I haven't had the experience yet so the advice above, the same advice rammed into us, is what I'm going to follow. Be approachable, but it's not bezzers.
 
#10
Generally you should socialise with your peers (ie other junior officers).
I would hardly call 'your peers' , their men' which is the point of the thread and the origional question. . I think the OP refers to the men under command with whom you shouldn't socialise with on a bezzer basis.
 
#11
Much of the advice is sound. Generally, the lads won't mind you rocking up occasionally and getting a round in - be sure and come across them when they're already out and leave before they do and don't make a regular habit of it. You're their boss, not their mate. They won't want to see an awful lot of you off-duty - and vice versa - so a little goes a long way.
 
#12
i wouldn't want to think that the formality of rank and hierarchy extends so far outside the job, at the end of the day you still need the social side of things, i guess it's difficult to get the right balance, so that you're respected without being feared or hated
From my personal experience as an OR, NCO and then an officer, your demeanor, performance and integrity (it is worth looking up the definition of the word) as an officer does indeed extend to every aspect of your life--not merely when "on duty."

Your subordinates will always be watching you (on and off duty) and at times will even be trying to cajole or otherwise get you to cross the line. Once you do, it is extremely difficult to go back--at least until you or they get transferred. Your troops deserve the very best from you and to that end, you need to perform at 110% for them and the mission.

To accomplish this, you need to know your craft well and prepare yourself physically, mentally and emotionally to lead before you ever step in front of your men for the first time. This applies in peacetime, on ops and especially in combat.

In my experience in the latter situations, if you have earned their respect as you should have previously, they will invariably look to you for those orders that will as much as possible keep them safe and accomplish the mission.

I never ever went "socializing" (in or out of the field) with my subordinates (remember they are never your inferiors--it is they you depend on to accomplish your missions) and any social connection you have with them should be limited to "formal" invitations to the Sergeants Mess or perhaps a "bosses night" type function and at those you make your appearance, share a drink and LEAVE.
 
C

cloudbuster

Guest
#13
.............any social connection you have with them should be limited to "formal" invitations to the Sergeants Mess or perhaps a "bosses night" type function and at those you make your appearance, share a drink and LEAVE.
Unless you're in an aviation unit. Then all bets are off.
 
C

cloudbuster

Guest
#17
That begs the question if they were any good (in in the context of my previous post).
Once you'd weened them off their rather poor choice of beer, they were ace. Not so hot with radio comms; tried to get one to call-up an airfield in England called "Gloucester". Took a while. :)
 
#18
If your a bird and quite fit, be carefull lads buying you drinks you could end up on some photo's back in the block with said lads hanging out of you .....although its a new army so if your a bloke and quite fi......
 
#19
From my personal experience as an OR, NCO and then an officer, your demeanor, performance and integrity (it is worth looking up the definition of the word) as an officer does indeed extend to every aspect of your life--not merely when "on duty."

Your subordinates will always be watching you (on and off duty) and at times will even be trying to cajole or otherwise get you to cross the line. Once you do, it is extremely difficult to go back--at least until you or they get transferred. Your troops deserve the very best from you and to that end, you need to perform at 110% for them and the mission.

To accomplish this, you need to know your craft well and prepare yourself physically, mentally and emotionally to lead before you ever step in front of your men for the first time. This applies in peacetime, on ops and especially in combat.

In my experience in the latter situations, if you have earned their respect as you should have previously, they will invariably look to you for those orders that will as much as possible keep them safe and accomplish the mission.

I never ever went "socializing" (in or out of the field) with my subordinates (remember they are never your inferiors--it is they you depend on to accomplish your missions) and any social connection you have with them should be limited to "formal" invitations to the Sergeants Mess or perhaps a "bosses night" type function and at those you make your appearance, share a drink and LEAVE.
I have been on American bases (none of them USMC, I hasten to add) where 'All Ranks' clubs/bars operate. Such a concept is entirely unthinkable in the Brit military world view (rooted as it is in a tradition of strict division of society into social castes), so I'm curious as to whether american Army/Navy/Air Force guidelines are as unequivocal.
 
#20
Hello

Just wondering as i intend to join the infantry as an officer, what is the relationship like between officers and the men under their command for example if the lads are going on a night out would the lieutenant of the platoon generally go with his boys or with fellow officers? Are officers just seen as a boss by the NCOs and not really a friend? Obviously there's great camaraderie in the British armed forces but how far does it extend between the ranks? (no homo jokes please)

thanks
At a company function one of the troopies was telling me to call him Julian - aint going to happen no matter how often he called me by my first name - and only the RMO regularly got away with that during working hours

I used to knock around the mess waiting on, running the bar or on plaster patrol for Tarquin junior's pony party for ED pay, launch skeets/clays for them and generally take the piss out of anyone with 2 or less pips as long as the colonel wasn't around , but there is a limit
 

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