As a young subaltern currently attached to a royal irish hs bn, I have been amazed by the difference between their troops and those of my own battalion. Their soldiers are older, maturer and more reliable. Some of this is due to the fact that they are always on ops, which not only makes the job more interesting, but avoids the 9-5, 5 days a week bore that you can experience on the mainland. The rest is due to the fact that they get paid a decent wage. A private soldier can be paid, within 1 year of joining his bn 1600 pounds a month( bank payment, and i have seen the payslip). This is due to not only the usual NI pay, but also RPOD. The effect of this is that private soldiers can afford nice cars, a house and don't have to penny pinch as much. The result of this is seen in the soldiers. You get 18 year Lance Jacks in rifle platoons, 15 year privates with the majority in a platoon being 25-30 years old. The standards they have are good and, better still, when a new recruit arrives from depot, they accept these standards as a personal norm, and not something which is done when your Cpl tells you. The choice you have for promotions again is excellent, as the quality is better to pick from as they see a decent future in the army. What I am trying to show is that a better paid soldier is a happier, keener and more mature soldier. If the soldiers we have in gs bn's now had a marked pay rise, then we would not have a retention problem or a recruiting problem and we may even be able to pick the recruits we want, instead of accepting what comes our way. I know all those boring majors with psc behind their names will pick holes in what i have written, but the basis i strongly believe to be true. To raise standards in the army and solve the recruiting and retention problem we need to pay soldiers more. What soldiers are expected to be able to do and know is similar to the police, who are paid far more. It is unjust. We expect a lot from our soldiers, yet they are paid worse than security guards. Someone should sort it out.