Officers vs Common Soldiers... what exactly IS the difference...

And also because membership of the Offrs or Sgts mess is obligatory even if you never step foot inside the place. Not so Jnrs who "use" messing facilities and the NAAFI. The half-way house is the Cpl's Club which is usually just a separate area of the cookhouse and NAAFI to avoid feeding time at the zoo.

Which brings me to the other difference. Mess balls, cocktail parties and dinners. I lost count of the amount of times I'd end up having to subsidise the social habits of the middle-aged pads and their wives by having the costs of a ball or a dinner I didn't want to attend added to my mess bill whether I was there or not. Oh, and mess related secondary duties as "Silvers Member" having to waste your time counting out and then back in the knives, forks, spoons and candelabras after each event. The highlight of those shit dits being made a member of the "Wines Committee" by a joker of a PMC who knew I never touched the stuff. In reality all he wanted was a designated driver who could stay sober enough to stay on the road while he and his mates went on wine drinking jollies in the name of "buying" the shite in France. It never occurred to him that he didn't need to dick me for this, he could have just asked nicely and I might have done him a favour anyway in return for letting me off paying a fortune for the shit parties I never attended.
And then the was the "Mess Guests" item on the monthly Mess bill. Only a select number of officers were supposedly able to charge the costs of "hospitality" to MG, usually CO, 2i/c, PMC, Adjutant (it varied from Mess to Mess.) However, it was common for those rarified creatures to charge the costs of their own hooch to MG when hosting a guest.
 

B42T

LE
I'd take tea from a machine any day of the 1939 powdered elephant dung that was issued in the rat packs. Could never get the water hot enough in the mess tins for even a tea bag.
So saying the sachet of Nescafe was infinitely pref as post prandial beverage with the Player's No 6.
Chin chin.

Good God man, even the RAF wouldn't be seen dead with a No. 6.
 
Do they still extort 'barrack damages' from the living in troops? I always thought that was the biggest scam going. It always seemed to be the same amount each month paid in cash. No details of what had actually been damaged. Some places didn't seem to levy it at all. I always suspected it paid for the QM's department's Christmas party.
They did when I was younger I didn't see it to much after 2010

Paying for missing cutlery from the cookhouse was another good one as well.
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
What sort of sums are we talking about here? From the length of the redacted figures, if in GBP, looks a bit steep to me.

That's their army number!
 
Cheeses H Keerist, your mob was clearly mired in the Edwardian era!!

Give us a clue: county infantry, arty, cav/peeples regt of Track or one of the Corps?

O - and decade(s) in the latish mid-90s'
A large former RAF station in the "Fatherland", mid-late 90's.
 

Stibbon

Old-Salt
Officers don't get threatened with disciplinary action over PRI "voluntary" contributions

View attachment 552709
From FYB.

Not wanting to piss on anyone's chips here but AGAI action against any individual who had failed to pay PRI subscriptions would almost certainly fall flat on it's face.
PRI subscriptions are as you rightly say, a voluntary subscription. Unlike Mess bills which are set out as mandatory by dint of Queens Regulations, PRI subs can be charged to all unit members if there is the will to do it but they are by no means compulsory - for anybody, irrespective of rank. Most units have a PRI subs system in place, but each individual always has the option to opt out of payment if they so wish.
The reasons units prefer payment to be a "blanket" issue is for the obvious financial benefit to the fund of everybody paying in. Any individual that opted out of payment wouldn't be entitled to any subsidy for an event funded or part-funded by the PRI and their contribution (if they were taking part in the subsidised event) would have to be separately calculated which is obviously more of a headache for those doing the finances for it.
I'm assuming the individuals named on the attached Part One or sub-unit order have at some point, effectively signed something to say that they agree to pay a monthly or annual PRI subscription in which case they may be obligated (even though they can elect to opt out at any point after settlement) but if they haven't then whoever signed that "order" needs to have a serious word with themselves because AGAI action or the threat of it would be illegal ...
 
Not wanting to piss on anyone's chips here but AGAI action against any individual who had failed to pay PRI subscriptions would almost certainly fall flat on it's face.
PRI subscriptions are as you rightly say, a voluntary subscription. Unlike Mess bills which are set out as mandatory by dint of Queens Regulations, PRI subs can be charged to all unit members if there is the will to do it but they are by no means compulsory - for anybody, irrespective of rank. Most units have a PRI subs system in place, but each individual always has the option to opt out of payment if they so wish.
The reasons units prefer payment to be a "blanket" issue is for the obvious financial benefit to the fund of everybody paying in. Any individual that opted out of payment wouldn't be entitled to any subsidy for an event funded or part-funded by the PRI and their contribution (if they were taking part in the subsidised event) would have to be separately calculated which is obviously more of a headache for those doing the finances for it.
I'm assuming the individuals named on the attached Part One or sub-unit order have at some point, effectively signed something to say that they agree to pay a monthly or annual PRI subscription in which case they may be obligated (even though they can elect to opt out at any point after settlement) but if they haven't then whoever signed that "order" needs to have a serious word with themselves because AGAI action or the threat of it would be illegal ...
It would only fall flat on its face if it got pushed much higher.
None of my soldiers in my last unit signed anything to pay PRI, sqn or cpls (if eligible) mess bill. They were all threatened by the SSM at the time, backed by the CoC.
That happens in most units. (apart from the ones that ex officers on here served in, because that never happened when they were in charge, honest, guv)

Now I come to think of it I don't think I signed anything other than the ODPS in training.
 
Last edited:
Well, dearie dearie me . . . . . :-(
Given the camp had Avn, Log, Sig, RE, REME, RMP and various other "lodger" units, Station responsibilities sat with the Garrison HQ, and the CO looked a lot like Ronnie Corbitt. He was v keen that YO's played an active role in the life of the mess, which was code for "paid for the rump of mess activities they had no say in organising".

Then came a cohort that included our very own young and intrepid astronaught, "Ovlov the crab" who was so mental the RAF wanted nothing to do with him any more, and "Mick the Marine" amongst others who, whenever the keys for the Keller Bar got signed out, you knew it was going to get messy. In a matter of months the breakages bill went stratospheric which led to a very testy mess meeting in which views were "robustly aired and shared" about the way in which the spending of mess funds on social activities were skewed towards the interests of the "grown ups" with little on offer for the younger/jnr officers who made up about 60% of the membership given the number of units on camp which were seen as ideal first postings.
 

Stibbon

Old-Salt
It would only fall flat on its face if it got pushed much higher.
None of my soldiers in my last unit signed anything to pay PRI, sqn or cpls (if eligible) mess bill. They were all threatened by the SSM at the time, backed by the CoC.
That happens in most units. (apart from the ones that ex officers on here served in, because that never happened when they were in charge, honest, guv)

Now I come to think of it I don't think I signed anything other than the ODPS in training.

It's not really a case of it needing to be "pushed higher" mate.

It's simply about not paying it if you don't want to. If, as you say you haven't signed anything to say you agree to pay them, then you can't be made to - end of story.

As for the "threatened" AGAI action - all that would need to happen is for a soldier's AO to try to provide the relevant JSP or regulation that says service personnel are required to pay PRI subs (good luck with finding that!!) and the job's a good un.

I haven't paid PRI subs in over 15 years. ;)
 

Stibbon

Old-Salt
Now I come to think of it I don't think I signed anything other than the ODPS in training.

Most units I've worked for operate an "all in unless you opt out" policy. (Easier to maintain).

You should at the very least however, be given the option to forego PRI benefits (by opting out of the payment obligation) at some stage though.

The answer will most likely be within your unit's standing orders.

In any event, any unit member who may have missed or even not been given the option to dip out of the subscription, still has the right to do so before the start of any annual audit period.

Bottom line is, as with most things, if you let them get away with it (ie continuing to expect and demand payment) - they will. :cool:
 
It's not really a case of it needing to be "pushed higher" mate.

It's simply about not paying it if you don't want to. If, as you say you haven't signed anything to say you agree to pay them, then you can't be made to - end of story.

As for the "threatened" AGAI action - all that would need to happen is for a soldier's AO to try to provide the relevant JSP or regulation that says service personnel are required to pay PRI subs (good luck with finding that!!) and the job's a good un.

I haven't paid PRI subs in over 15 years. ;)
Its amazing how many people on ARRSE and FYB told the SSM/RSM/OC/CO they weren't going to pay.
There were the odd few in my time, but not as many as there are on these forums.
 

Stibbon

Old-Salt
Its amazing how many people on ARRSE and FYB told the SSM/RSM/OC/CO they weren't going to pay.
There were the odd few in my time, but not as many as there are on these forums.

Not really sure what you're driving at? (I assume you're just being sarcastic?).

I'm only offering advice based on my own knowledge and experience mate. Take it or leave it. :)
 
Most units I've worked for operate an "all in unless you opt out" policy. (Easier to maintain).

You should at the very least however, be given the option to forego PRI benefits (by opting out of the payment obligation) at some stage though.

The answer will most likely be within your unit's standing orders.

In any event, any unit member who may have missed or even not been given the option to dip out of the subscription, still has the right to do so before the start of any annual audit period.

Bottom line is, as with most things, if you let them get away with it (ie continuing to expect and demand payment) - they will. :cool:

I'm pretty sure automatically being opted in is a load of shit as well.

The answer is pay up or be fucked over.
Even when people complained in the soldier magazine (constantly) about various charges, in a fine show of leadership, some colonel or Brigadier would reply, that it is wrong but take it up with the unit CoC.
 

Latest Threads

Top