One of us is up for it, let's face it, it's you...

#1
First, we should not be losing any Infantry over the forseeable future.

Right,now that we are back in the real world, there's no easy way of saying this, so:

Anyone explain to me why it looks like only 1 Scottish Battalion is going (according to recent articles in the broadsheets) when they have the majority of the worst recruited (and predicted to continue in to the future) battalions within the Inf orbat?

We've already debated the Paras / Guards not being in the pot at length here (operational / ceremonial reasons, in case you missed CGS' reasoning).

But why all the faff about it being 'unfair' to axe 2 out of 6 battalions which cannot recruit now, nor do they look like they will in the future. Just how is possible to justify them as being more important than any of the better recruited regiments from south of the border (including Wales)?

Yes, of course there are traditional links to recruiting areas, but then so there are with everybody else. Yes, they have battle honours and have done magnificent things in the past (and present), but so has everybody else.

If this is a military decision (as our beloved leader keeps reminding us) then surely the answer is clear. Unless someone has been telling us porkies?

Before you start shaking your sporrans at me, all I want is a rational explanation.

....and box...
 
#2
If you thought STSR was a pain in the Arrse, believe me, you have seen nothing yet TCH. And I know you read this board.

...and that hoary old chestnut , it's the decision of the Army... Really?

OK, let's see what mealy mouthed doublespeak we get in the next few days.

Or threats for that matter.
 
#3
dogmonkey said:
Just how is possible to justify them as being more important than any of the better recruited regiments from south of the border (including Wales)?...all I want is a rational explanation.
<big flag for the hard of thinking - the following is light-hearted>

Simple. It's that cultural affinity for infantry work, and while the Scots are fewer, they're just better, and you don't lose your best battalions :twisted: :twisted:

Admit it, a Somerset accent just doesn't work on a Sch Inf instructor going for aggression..... roight moi laahhhhds, owver the tawwwwp!

Others may argue it's the Ali-G "Is it because I is Scots" chippy mentality? Either that, or we've maintained really good blackmail on ECAB against this eventuality.
 
#4
there are only 6 Scottish regiments, and what, 5 or 6 times as many "south of the border"? is even one less Scottish Bn proportionate to the whole?

"Recruiting" has been used as an argument to reduce Scottish Regiments since the 18th century.
 
#5
RCSignals said:
there are only 6 Scottish regiments, and what, 5 or 6 times as many "south of the border"? is even one less Scottish Bn proportionate to the whole?

"Recruiting" has been used as an argument to reduce Scottish Regiments since the 18th century.
You miss the point completely. It's not about how many Bns there are wherever. It is however about the ability to man / recruit for them.

The simple fact remains that if the Jock Bns go down to 5, they can still only man 4 1/3 of them.
 
#6
Couldn't agree more dogmonkey.

Fact: over the last 15 years, 4 of the 6 worst recruited Inf Bns are Scots Div. If we do this on demographics then 2 Scots Bns must go.

I however, do live in the real world and it is politics that have driven this and not pure military logic. As as result my own Bn may end up getting axed! :( :evil:
 

X-Inf

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#7
It is good to see our neighbours down south starting to make some noise. About time too.

I wish you success.
 
#8
Big_Al said:
Couldn't agree more dogmonkey.

Fact: over the last 15 years, 4 of the 6 worst recruited Inf Bns are Scots Div. If we do this on demographics then 2 Scots Bns must go.

I however, do live in the real world and it is politics that have driven this and not pure military logic. As as result my own Bn may end up getting axed! :( :evil:
Believe that we are in the same boat. And this is my point. It must be made clear to all (we are not allowed to write to our MPs, so someone else will have to) that far from being a 'military' decision, this is driven politically to save votes north of the border. An issue for any MP with a local regiment south of the border, and under threat, I would argue.

This is not what has been stated by Sec State, or the PM. Another case of the judicious use of the truth?
 
#9
Big_Al said:
Fact: over the last 15 years, 4 of the 6 worst recruited Inf Bns are Scots Div. If we do this on demographics then 2 Scots Bns must go.
Not quite as clear-cut as that. Remember that under Options, RS and KOSB were due to merge; but were reprieved at the last minute. At that time, ISTR Scottish Division were only 3 under strength.....

Unfortunately, Army Manning had already swung into action with the brown envelopes and posting orders, in view of putting two Bns worth of NCOs/officers into one Bn. A chunk of good people went as a result, IIRC. Didn't help that straight after the original announcement, KINGS had to ask RS for a platoon of reinforcements for their next NI tour :(

Now, if you chop away at the NCO structure of a single battalion regiment, you affect its ability to recruit and retain; and that hole in the manning can affect things for a decade at least. I'd be interested to see whether the other reprieved battalions suffered in a similar way. After all, this is the same 1RS that went to GRANBY fully manned to PE in the AI role, claiming that if it had called back extra-regimental personnel it could meet WFE....

Remember also that amalgamating two battalions is a good way to end up with an undermanned single battalion; happened with HLDRS, happened with the TA inf battalions. By and large, you don't suddenly switch loyalties from one regiment to another one. After all, when we had seven Scottish regiments, we certainly didn't only have 5 battalions of manpower, not even with a demographic trough.

There used to be six battalions of TA infantry in Scotland; you'd be hard-pushed to call the remaining two "fully manned".
 
E

error_unknown

Guest
#10
Gravelbelly said:
Big_Al said:
Fact: over the last 15 years, 4 of the 6 worst recruited Inf Bns are Scots Div. If we do this on demographics then 2 Scots Bns must go.
Not quite as clear-cut as that. Remember that under Options, RS and KOSB were due to merge; but were reprieved at the last minute. At that time, ISTR Scottish Division were only 3 under strength.....
were not CHESHIRES and STAFFORDS in the same boat? Whats their recruiting and retention like?
 
#11
dogmonkey said:
RCSignals said:
there are only 6 Scottish regiments, and what, 5 or 6 times as many "south of the border"? is even one less Scottish Bn proportionate to the whole?

"Recruiting" has been used as an argument to reduce Scottish Regiments since the 18th century.
You miss the point completely. It's not about how many Bns there are wherever. It is however about the ability to man / recruit for them.

The simple fact remains that if the Jock Bns go down to 5, they can still only man 4 1/3 of them.
I don't think I am. You are looking at a very small, overly simplistic, window only.

Your objective should not be to complain that only one Scottish Regiment is now "for the chop" and cry politics, it should be that NO Bns should be cut.
 
#12
RC Signals. To paraphrase Dogmonkey stated in his fisrt post that there should be no axe at all, but if it is to be how should the losers be selected.

Personally I think the whole thing is a total cluster fukc by our pollies and PoD. Sure it is logical but only if you chose not to consider:

1. The World situation.
2. Commitments and deployments
3. Availability of reserves to cope with unforseen events, right now. (How much warning did we get on The Ivory Coast and what is happening in the Ukraine)
4. Budget cuts when being asked to do more.


All recruiting is hard when recruiting budgets are cut and a freeze is placed on recruiting. We also get this constant bullsh*t that cuts now will lead to fuller better equipped Bns immediately. LIARS. All that happens is the treasury sniff more savings and within 6 months all remaining units are back to the same position but with more over-stretch.

We are doing our masters foreign policy bidding and in reward we are being shafted. It is a disgrace that our masters abuse our trust, honour and loyalty. They will not stop until they weaken the morale of the greatest Army in the world and humiliate the Nation.
 
#13
The Scotsman again, claiming
(1) the cost of so-called "surplus officers" is more than enough to pay for one battalion.
(2) Larger regiments including POD's Parachute Regt are more reliant on Commonwealth personnel than are the combined Scottish regiments.

But restricted army papers reveal even more puzzling anomalies. General Sir Mike Jackson, Britain’s most senior soldier, has argued that Scotland cannot recruit enough soldiers to man its existing six regiments. "If these regiments are so precious, why are not more young Scotsmen signing up? Why are the Royal Scots having to recruit Fijians?" he said in a recent interview.

Gen Jackson has argued that larger regiments - the so-called super-regiments - suffer fewer recruiting problems, but the army’s own figures tell a different story.

His own Parachute Regiment - a model for the new army structure - is at present more reliant on foreign and Commonwealth soldiers than the combined Scottish regiments, using on average 37 such soldiers in a battalion compared to 35 in the Scottish regiments.

The Paras are not over-recruited either: 3 Para is short of 30, the same shortfall as the Black Watch.

However, it is when the figures for foreign and Commonwealth soldiers are stripped out of the existing super-regiments that the full scale of their problems is revealed. The Royal Green Jackets, with two battalions, use a total of 191 such soldiers. The Princess of Wales Royal Regiment, also with two battalions, uses 207. The entire Scottish Division, with six regiments, uses just 208.
As we have seen recently The Scotsman is as capable as other "qualities" of misinterpreting the facts. I can't say whether they have got it riight this time, or not. All credit to them for taking a sustained interest in these issues, which should concern us all, whether or not you support the infantry cuts and the "PoD reforms".

full story on http://news.scotsman.com/politics.cfm?id=1363362004
 
#14
Good post Birdie.

and yes, I realise that Dogmonkey begins the first post stating there should be no cuts. It's what he follows with that is his point. He seems to be resigned that there will be cuts, and harangues about the "politics" of there now only being one Scottish Bn to be cut.

By Dand!
 
#15
Unfortunately RC, that's because the Bns are going to be cut. Fact.

The only debate now is which ones. The ones which should go, are the ones which do not meet the criteria, wheresoever they originate. My gripe is that the critrion of recruiting, which appears to be the key driver, is not being applied equally so as not to offend sensibilities in the north. If this were the case anywhere else it would be just as unfair. but to simply bow down to tartan pressure bacause of a fear of losing votes is neither equitable, nor is it a military decision. Which was the point I made.
 
#16
what it needs is to cut the infantry recruiting role from any demographic area and have it as a Corps.

that way you could have all the skills required. if a regiment is short of a few peeps just take them from somewhere else without the hassle of having mixed capbadges.. :wink:

it seems to me that theGCS and politicians are heading for a simple defence force scenario one badge for all 3 services..which will fail of course IMHO as has been proven in lots countries already...
 
#17
Hmmm,

Name a country where it has worked.

Canada? Dont' think so.
US - moves towards the Regimental system.

Corps of Inf? Bad idea, but is being introdued by stealth. We are already on the slope with trickle posting.
 
#18
hackle said:
The Scotsman again, claiming
(1) the cost of so-called "surplus officers" is more than enough to pay for one battalion.
(2) Larger regiments including POD's Parachute Regt are more reliant on Commonwealth personnel than are the combined Scottish regiments.
1. It's not the money that's the problem, it's the lack of soliders

2. A few years ago there were 2,000 Fijians in UK service*. ISTR that the Scottish battalions had the bulk, with ~90 per battalion, 1 Highlanders being even worse off with a whole company of ~120 Gurkhas as well.

The PWRR went through a recruiting dip around 2000, with the effects of the amalgamation of 4 Bns into 2 working through. It meant that the Bns were over 150% strength and so stopped recruiting, dipping under for a short while (and taking Fijians) before recruiting in the Home Counties pushed numbers back up.

(Before anyone asks, the Royal Scottish Regiment will be moving from 6 understrength to 5 still understrength battalions, so won't suffer this overstrength "problem").

The RGJ has a particular connection with the white Commonwealth, and a lot of Canadians, Australians and Kiwis join it. They are not actively recruited, unlike Fijians and Tongans.

Thw whole point is that if 3 PARA is 30 under and is deploying, it is easy to get a draft from 1, 2 or 4 PARA to make the numbers up, something which isn't as easy with single battalion regiments.

The Scotsmans is perhaps being deliberate obtuse, or perhaps plain ignorant, in the posted article.

On the one hand they're comparing Scottish battalions with long term recruiting problems, being propped up by drafts of Fijians, Tongans, Gurkhas and English (as indeed are 1 Royal Irish), with two cases where English battalions ended up with a number of Commonwealth citizens in their ranks.

Next they'll be pointing out how many non-Commonwealth citizens serve in the Royal Irish.




* I'll point out the following from Hansard:

Armed Forces Personnel (Overseas)

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many personnel from other countries are serving in the (a) Army, (b) Royal Navy and (c) Royal Air Force; and from which countries they come. [156134]

Mr. Caplin: The number of foreign nationals serving in the Army at 1 January 2004 is 5,540. The following table gives a more detailed breakdown.

Nationality Officers Soldiers
Irish Republican 25 175
Australian 35 40
Barbadian (16)— 5
British Commonwealth 5 10
Cameroon 0 10
Canadian 20 45
Dominican 0 10
Fijian (16)— 1,720
Gambian 0 55
Ghanaian (16)— 395
Grenadian 0 45
Guyanese 0 10
Indian 10 25
Jamaican (16)— 870
Kenyan 5 60
Malawi 0 55
Maltese (16)— 5
Mauritian 0 15
New Zealander 25 45
Nigerian (16)— 45
Pakistani (16)— 5
Seychellois 0 5
Sierra Leone (16)— 20
South African 35 445
Sri Lankan (16)— 10
St. Lucia (16)— 215
St. Vincent 0 285
Tongan 0 5
Trinidadian (16)— 60
Ugandan 0 20
Zambian (16)— 10
Zimbabwean 25 485
St. Helenian 0 25
Nepalese 10 (16)—
Not known/stateless 35 (16)—

(16) Denotes less than five

The following nationalities have less than five officers and/or less than five soldiers:

Antiguan
Bangalee
Belizean
Botswana
Cypriot
Malaysian
Namibian (formally South West African)
Papuan
Singaporean
St. Kitts
Swazi
Tanzanian
West Indian
Falkland Islander
Gibraltarian
Montserrat Islander
American

11 Mar 2004 : Column 1654W

German West
Iranian
Iraqi
Pacific Islander
Rhodesian
Swiss
For the Naval Service and RAF some information on 'not British' personnel is held but data are not accurate enough to provide a reliable estimate.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmhansrd/vo040311/text/40311w08.htm

Armed Forces: Fijian Recruits

Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts asked Her Majesty's Government:


How many Fijian nationals have been recruited by the armed forces in each year since 1995.[HL3801]


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Bach): Records of the numbers of Fijians who have joined the Army are available only since 1998. There are no records of any Fijians having joined the Royal Navy or the Royal Air Force in that time. The information requested is as follows: Calendar year Officer and soldier intake of those with a recorded nationality of Fijian
1998 17
1999 53
2000 472
2001 364

Total 906

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200102/ldhansrd/vo020429/text/20429w02.htm#column_WA67
 
#19
dogmonkey said:
Unfortunately RC, that's because the Bns are going to be cut. Fact.

The only debate now is which ones. The ones which should go, are the ones which do not meet the criteria, wheresoever they originate. My gripe is that the critrion of recruiting, which appears to be the key driver, is not being applied equally so as not to offend sensibilities in the north. If this were the case anywhere else it would be just as unfair. but to simply bow down to tartan pressure bacause of a fear of losing votes is neither equitable, nor is it a military decision. Which was the point I made.
It will be FACT as long as all roll over as you seam to already have.

Apathy reigns supreme

These moves by the Government are not new, to try to produce 'generic' units, especially against Scottish Regiments. The excuse of 'recruiting' is also not new, and goes back, as I already said, to the 18th century.

These sorts of efforts have never been successful, and normally end up with a Return to individually identifiable Regiments. The 'North British' Bns no longer exist :wink:
 
#20
The reason we are in this position is because we are are unable to retain our soldiers! The pay gets messed up, because the agc are in s... the op tours come quick and we cannot, due to constraints, whether governental or military continue the pace of ops that we r at the moment
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
B The Intelligence Cell 35
PartTimePongo Current Affairs, News and Analysis 4
C RLC 73

Similar threads

Top