OTC Raison D'Etre

Discussion in 'OTC and ACF' started by extrader, Feb 25, 2005.

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  1. I am a big believer in OTCs for a variety of reasons. However can I just get some input here. This commonly trotted out belief that if you give people a good time in the OTC when they become leaders of industry they will have a good opinion of the army. This would seem to suggest that these future leaders of industry are both easily influenced (bribed) and incredibly ill informed if this would be their only exposure and knowledge of the army (and how realistic is it). Finally when I was at UOTC the future senior partners of Goldman Sachs on my course were too busy getting first class degrees to do OTC. The OTC is well known as affecting degrees downwards as people spend too much time, ignoring their studies (and good for them). I got a low 21 and was regarded as some sort of Zanussi head as most people got thirds or ploughed in completely. Thoughts?
  2. Thanks for the above Army_of_1, it does cover some of the points of view.
  3. JB

    JB Clanker

    OTCs, gosh, where to start? I too am a 'believer' in the OTCs... upto a point. I had a cracking time at mine and so did a lot of other people - what does it all add up to though?
    Completely take your point, first up, about it being rather naive to think that we are truly getting the future cabinet ministers and directors of multinationals. Years ago, when there were fewer universities, fewer OTCs, and the Soviet menace lurked beyond the horizon it was easier to see how this could make sense. If you have a pretty intellectually elite group of people (as the small numbers of university graduates were in the 60s, 70s and 80s, and you are training on the basis that they will be the cadre for mass mobilisation when the Red hammer blow falls... And if they are capable of mobilising as a small battlegroup, complete with armoured cars, in 48hrs, as one Cold War regular officer suggested to me was his target when he was an OTC CO...then you have an obvious and immediate contribution to the bigger picture.
    Now that every man and his dog goes to university, and mass mobilisation of CIVPOP is just never going to happen, it's harder to see the role that the OTCs play. In the late 90s when the Balkans were kicking off, Sierra Leone was starting to look ugly and we were heading for serious overstretch, there were rumours flying about of cutting the regular Commissioning Course to 3months to get the numbers churned out. So far as I know, nobody put their hand up and said "but hang on, we could use the OTC bods". Slightly different situation, but you can see the point I'm trying to make - declining relevance and what have you.
    So the OTCs now constitute an expensive social club (1 OTC supposedly receives over 1/3 of the Entertainment budget for a certain Bde), which due to their RoE with the universities are explicitly not supposed to function as a recruiting organisation for the army. So you have the situation where the keen green types (who are going to join the Army anyway) come along for three years, gain experience, bit of a headstart, probably do Cambrian Patrol or something like that, get paid loads of money and then... join the Army anyway. The fat badly-dressed lower-class mongs come in in rag order for 3 years, get paid, piss it up against a wall in the Mess, shag the PSIs etc and generally earn the OTCs a very bad name from any one they meet. Result.
    OTCs could perform more of a function in recruiting for the TA but this happens very little at the moment, due in part to the frankly laughable superiority complex that much of the TA has with regard to the OTCs. You've also got the issue that now the TA is looking to a Direct Entry Officer scheme (because the TA has traditionally been very bad at generating Officers from within it's own ranks, for a wide variety of reasons), the OTC timeframe (university terms, 3 years max involvement, long stand-downs) may not allow so many promisiing types to get their pips.
    I don't know what the answer is, in truth; I do think in a way that the OTCs are a bit of a joke at the moment and they don't need to be. Other than that...
  4. A certain dinner that I recently attended concluded with speaches from CO host OTC, at pains to point out the doctrinally pure remit and mission of the OTC. Immediately followed by the very eminent senior guest responding to the tune that, 'That's all very well; but the real reason that the OTCs are important is that half of RMAS' regular intake are ex-OTC cadets or subalterns...'. Not many people, least of all the academic guests, noticed... :roll:
  5. To be fair the people who are just there to get drunk etc, dont actually get paid all that much, they often turn up in the bar after missing a training night and never go away on any weekend that sounds like its going to be tough so they miss out on signing on alot of the time resulting in less pay.

    the otc has certainly helped me to start thinking towards a military career, i joined on a whim having had absolutly no prior military exposure and it has incited my interest. Im doing a long course so i have another 4 years to think about if its the right thing for me but at the moment im swinging that way :)
  6. Good point Darkling which OTC has thus inspired you if u don't mind me asking.
  7. queens
  8. The OTC in my opinion does a great job at recruiting, and more importantly developing young people who are considering a career in the military. However it also does encourage a lot of wasters! Everyone who's been in the OTC knows of atleast two or three olympic wasters, usually the PMC's etc. Who after dropping out of Uni, practically work full time in the unit. It should also be noted that these are the ones who are encouraged by the hierarchy, through promotion etc. I think that training in the OTC should be a lot more military, a lot more inter-disciplinary, with a lot more rewards and opportunity. We should be training cadets to be the officers of tomorrow, more than being the leaders of industry. Most people who are there, and want to be there have an interest in the military. The rest is just dead wood. There should be a serious effort at removing the dead wood- starting at the top, and working down. A lot of the training staff, are old has been hangers on, who don't want to leave for fear of a 'proper' job in the TA, or mobilisation. Their idea of conflict is standing toe-to-toe with Ivor. The length of time in the OTC should be restricted to a maximum of four years, and should be subject to the same as other TA units, such as confidential reporting etc.

    There should be more of an effort at providing substantial military training to develop young competent officers, rather than providing 3 week holidays in South America, and a social club with cheap drink. Here endeth.
  9. What you're suggesting Taff, is a return to the OTC's "real" purpose (i.e. the one that's down on paper about being a pool of officers to go to Sandbags, then war, etc. if the sh*t hits the fan).
    But, one question. When you talk about maximum length of service, CRs, and the like, are you talking about this being applied to O/Cdts. or to the staff?
  10. So; if you want "more military" OTCs, how exactly are you going to go about it, given that students are at University to get a degree first and foremost. They spend maybe thirty weeks of the year living at University, and of those perhaps six or eight aren't much cop for training because all of the students are revising for their exams.

    Also, if the OTCs run all that officer training, what are Sandhurst going to do? Conversely, if Sandhurst are going to insist on teaching it anyway, why shouldn't the OTC take some time for the leaders of industry?

    Awww, and there was me thinking that I saw the job at the OTC advertised; and got posted to an OTC for a fixed-term tour. And as for those CRs and then OJARs that I got, well they must have been imagination.

    You obviously haven't got a clue, but have got a massive chip on your shoulder.

    I reckon you're one of the other OTC stereotypes, namely the obsessive loudmouthed twat who thinks that they're God's gift to G3 skills and the infantry sub-unit, and can't see beyond the blinkers of their own little obsession.

    I enjoy the thought of you trying to impress your first Platoon Sergeant with your boxing and drinking skills, assuming you pass TACC.........
  11. On the TCB Assessors Course many years ago,we had some OTC types along to "play enemy".They were told it did not count towards the "real" TCB but "would be good experience".We finished late on the first day and went to slake our thirsts in the foul pit that is the Westbury Mess where you could have 2 cans of Ace lager and an exciting game of scrabble.This would not do :evil: We decamped en mass to sample the delights of Westbury and found a rather convivial hostelry which dispensed Bitburger Pils and had a relaxed attitude to closing time.It was there we encountered "The Enemy".One of the chaps was in the "Taffyorkie" mode and lectured us elderly types about his views on leadership,commissions and what must be done to improve the TA-revalidation of commissions every year,more stringent tests of leadership etc,etc,etc.We heard him out politely and eventually stumbled back to our pits to wake vengeful and hung over the next morning when we had to carry out a TCB on the helpful students who had turned up to assist "just for the experience-no bearing on the real TCB"
    We totally and maliciously destroyed this young mans hopes and dreams purely as an exercise in correctly executed TCB assessment so much so that the DS did not suspect there was any malice attached and the Board President had a word with him telling him not to bother ever turning up for the"real thing" as he was unlikely to make the grade.

    I was laughing all the long way home :twisted:
  12. Really, i thought that in today's day in age, one was entitled to an opinion, not a personal attack. The foundation of my opinion is based wholely upon my own personal experience which on the whole was good, and probably a lot more current than yours. As for who has a chip on the shoulder, maybe too close to the truth???

    As for time, students are off for at least eight weeks in the summer. Most Ocdt's are spending 2 weeks at annual camp, some are then spending a further 3 weeks on adventure training, which should be seen as a privilege, not a right. As for weekend training, when I was in the OTC I was lucky to get one weekend a month. That was usually spent in a bivvy bag. I'm not saying they should axe all the fun stuff, i'm saying there's a lot more to the Army than digging shell scrapes, and doing section attacks. Time should be spent showing cadets what the army can offer, giving them skills that can be used in civy street, and the Army. Weekends like 'Brief Encounter' and 'Ubique' are excellent ways of showing what a unit has to offer.

    A further point. I'm not syaing that the OTC takes over from Sandhurst, I'm saying that they better prepare candidates for the TACC.

    As for CR's and OJARS, I don't remember signing any whilst I was there???

    As for being a t**t, you're probably right. But then again I can form an opinion, without being abusive. I think you also proved the point as to who the obsessive loudmouth is. Here Endeth.
  13. I'll take it you were only group B TA then?
    All group A's MUST be reported on each year be it CR or OJAR. It's a requirement and you won't get promoted without a reccomendation on your CR\OJAR. And as for previous comments on mobilisation dodging.... When I was an O\Cdt one of our group A YO's did two tours, one CSM did a tour aged 54 and two of our soldiers (driver and storeman) did tours as well. All of these guys requested to be mobilised. Now i'm back assisting with the instruction and there are still staff within this OTC requesting tours. So tour dodging my www.arrse.co.uk
  14. Commissioned officers/Permanent Staff/Admin Element are the only ones who get reported on.They reckon its not worth it for such ephemeral creatures as OCDTS