"Options for Change" 15 years ago.....

#2
Yes it was about then. I can remember being very cynical about the proposed strength of the Army - 116,000. This was meant to have been based upon a “thorough assessment of the UKs defence needs” I recall Tom King saying this. The strange thing was there was a thing called project MARLYN in the mid-80s, this was an acronym for Manning and Retention in the Lean Years of the Nineties. The Army as then just short of 160,000 strong and the looming ‘demographic trough’ meant that either the army would face massive cuts or some form of limited conscription may be required. A good friend of mine worked on MARLYN and I recall him telling me in 1987 that unless we significantly improved soldiers pay and conditions the MARLYN team had concluded the UK would not be able to maintain an army of greater than…. er 116,000…. In fact even to do this may cost more than the 160,000 then in uniform.
 
#4
Yeps... it certainly started to go wrong from there from my perspective

They wouldn't offer me cash to leave so I had to stay in...

Now that I didn't mind too much... but something else started going wrong... the fun... that's it... the fun kinda stopped.
 
#5
me n bee said:
Options for change and phase 1 & 2 redundancies - all went to rat s*** with that crap!
You are spot on there, I was the wrong trade for phase 1 and the wrong rank for phase 2 . So I had to stay in :(
 
#6
Yeah, I was a STAB then, and my unit was due to be scrapped. We got no redundancy or anything, just hand your kit in 'cos we don't need you any more, unless you want to be casual labour with no labour rights or pension provision.
 
#8
I don't know if thinge went wrong then but certainly the fun seemed to stop in 1991. A point to note, many soldiers I knew grabbed the opportunity to take the money and run with a positive attitude. Most of the officers I knew back then were shttiing themselves that this would be forced on them. Why was that?
:)
 
#12
That was the turning point. Even the fellas I know still serving and have seen a bit say that it ain't as much fun as it was before the early 90's.
With the low wages & sh1t kit of the early 90's, the 'fun factor' was a major retaining factor.
A lot of good soldiers and I mean men that relished raw soldiering took the money and went, a) simply for the money, b) the fun had gone. THEN, the Army found that they were vastly under manned and asked some of them back again??????? Loose, loose situation for the British Army & the Country!

That's in no way taking anything from the superb effort of our forces in recent years. But, the Government could have been more prepared.
"Luck favours those who prepare".
 
#13
Good old options for change,

The Plan: Reduce the army size by paying off the dead wood with redundency packages

The Reality: The "dead wood" were often too scared to leave even with reduncy and face the real world so fought like demons to stay in, meaning the plces were often taken up by on the ball experienced full screws who fell into the redundency bracket who had the self confidnece to go it alone. We lost a LOT of stars to Options for Change and kept a LOT of crap.

The other thing that happened is they disbanded my regt and reduced our specialist capability by half only to double it original amount (93 = 1 regt/4 btys, 1994 = 0 regt, 2 btys, 2006 = 2 regts/ 8 btys)

Oh yeah and rank frozen us for fecking years :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

Bitter ? twisted ? moi ?
 
#14
Yes, as a result of 'Options' we were told, we were all going to become 'smaller but better equipped'!

Anyone remember that slogan from the Ministry of Truth?
 
#15
BaldricksBullet said:
Yeps... it certainly started to go wrong from there from my perspective

They wouldn't offer me cash to leave so I had to stay in...

Now that I didn't mind too much... but something else started going wrong... the fun... that's it... the fun kinda stopped.
BB,

Spot on. The fun did stop. 70's probably too much fun, 80's about right, 90's, downhill rapidly, 00's kaput.

All those things that used to make military life fun have disappeared. In no particular order: exercises that used to stop for field piss ups; the dimunition of unit adv trg huts; the removal of MACA tasks such as grape picking in S Germany; the introduction of equality and diversity and other assorted nonsense; the endless initiatives to prove we have met pointless targets; and much much more.

Bright spot is that the nature of the man in the army hasn't really changed much. Wants/will have fun if given the opportunity to do so.

PAW
 
#16
I seem to remember it started to get a bit crap in 91/92 then I went to NI for a few years. Returned to the regular field army in 96 I think, realized what a bag of shite it had become and left in 97. Interestingly so did every other Sgt in my Sqn within 6 months!! They all made successful civi careers and are doing well..

Feel very sorry for those serving now, no money, no kit, no fun, no support from the government and all these shit holes to go on ops to…operational tempo must be killing an army of less than 100,000…. Damn that’s less than we allowed Germany after WW1 FFS!
 
#17
pombsen-armchair-warrior said:
....All those things that used to make military life fun have disappeared. In no particular order: exercises that used to stop for field urine ups; the dimunition of unit adv trg huts; the removal of MACA tasks such as grape picking in S Germany; the introduction of equality and diversity and other assorted nonsense; the endless initiatives to prove we have met pointless targets; and much much more.PAW
Those were the days! And 3-4 months in the ski hut at the top of the mountain.....I was so fit at the end of the season.....

And when did you last have a smoker?

Litotes
 
#19
Ahhh summer camps... Remember my first one at lake Chimsee 2 days after arriving in Germany as a sprog... I remember thinking I could get used to this :D
 
#20
Ord_Sgt said:
Ahhh summer camps... Remember my first one at lake Chimsee 2 days after arriving in Germany as a sprog... I remember thinking I could get used to this :D
OS,

Ditto. 43 (RP) Coy used to deploy every year down to Butzbach and live under canvas for 3 weeks. Field latrines, field water heaters, mojos to do the cookhouse duties, bit of hard work during the day and then everbody let loose at night.

Same thing with 28 AER. Used to move en masse with the rigs down south every year and park up somewhere on the Rhein. Same detail.

Common linkage was that officers/WO/SNCO didn't feel obliged to constantly supervise, entertain, and wipe the lads arses - how times have changed.

PAW