PIRBRIGHT MAYHEM-stroppy stackers

We've all seen what's in the papers, but is anyone willing to give some inside info on what is going on at the RLC depot at Pirbright.

Talking to an RLC train driver the other day, (yes really, one of about 5) he said it was just shocking and that the loggys are so badly organised when it came to the depot.

Apparently, because of the number of different trades, recruits go on different training courses at different times which means that there are loads of young bucks just hanging around with nothing to do which leads to all the trouble.

Of course the seniors then become the masters of the swamp which ends up with an oppresive and negative start to anyone's career.

This does not bode well for the future of loggy effort which, all comlaints aside, is what we all rely on when the brown stuff hits the whirly thing.

Any stackers want to comment. What really is going on and what do you think should be done???


Don't know about this case, but can identify with the above.

As an AAC recruit in the mid '80's I was at Leconfield (then an RCT traing centre) and experienced the same feeling. Lots of people on different courses, a high percentage of recruits near the end of training. Loads of hanging around  - for enough people to make up course numbers, being held back so that you can form a troop for young officers to practice on (which was a laugh).  Apart from a very odd morning parade taken by a deranged welsh guardman, there was no cohension to the place, and you could easily get lost. I was straight out of juniors and really struggled with it.

As I say I don't know much about the above case but there has to be something going on and it needs sorting out.


Heard a rumour from SEME Bordon that recruits that had finished trade training were having to wait 6 - 12 months for a posting.
They have nearly a Coy worth of soldiers in Holding Platoon.


War Hero
Deepcut itself is now where Sup Con, Sup spec and Pioneer trades are taught and the recruits there are slotted in at leccy when available.

Drivers (and chefs) are held at St Omer brks and they basically wait there before leccy and wait there after leccy.  Whilst here they are at the mercy of the training team.  I'm sure theyd argue they do their best considering the DS to recruit ratio but I have heard quite the contrary from young lads left to stag-on and basically skive.  I beleive the potential to train is such that we could drastically improve the post- phase 2 product, if something creative forms of training were introduced to those in holding establishments.

At this point soldiers are at their most enthusiastic and most receptive its a shame this isnt capitalised on.
I know the OC of that Holding Platoon.

She says that the majority of the recruits are so disillusioned that they can't wait to leave (even before they've been posted to their first unit).

She spends most of her time sorting G1 issues especially court appearances.

Hardly a good start :-[


Then you would have to put them through Phase 2 Inf training, someone needs to get a grip of trade training units, they are a bloody shambles and have been for a long time, when I joined up and was told but my sect comd that my ten weeks basic was going to be the best time I had in the army I thought he was barking, he wasn't, he was right!

I don't claim to have the solution but the ammount of time wasted while troops waiting for courses is criminal. The Army claim to be investors in people (yes that little IIP symbol you proudly print on literature) but fail at it dismally.

If you want somewhere to start improving stop sub contracting training out, what do Vosper Thornicroft know about ES support and more importantly what concern is it to them if the Army is short of tradesmen??


I agree that it is criminal that so many youngsters are kept in training units doing nothing.  It appears that the biggest bottleneck is driver training, particularly HGV training.

Why can't Soldiers be posted and learn in Units?  Yes, this is technically a training defficiency which would probably mean a soldier is in his/her first posting without trade pay but surely this is a far better scenario than the soldier sitting on his/her a**e getting both Jiffed and dis-illusioned (also without trade pay).  Anyway, what is one more trade difficiency amongst all the rest that soldiers leave training units with anyway?

Retention problems ?  They appear to start at the very beginning of a soldiers career.  I believe that Vermin has got it spot on.  IIP is a complete joke.


There isn't only mayhem at Pirbright - there are 1000 (yes 1% of the Army) in a holding platoon being looked after by 3 Pl Comd's in SEME Borden (REME Phase 2 trg centre).

We really need these Craftsmen out in the real field army, yet Vosper Thorneycroft cannot get it right!! Somnething needs to be done urgently to remedy the situation - it's really sad to see so much potential go to waste.

:-[ :-[ :-[


Book Reviewer
One thousand at Bordon?  That's amazing, and very disturbing! Where do they put them all?  What do they do?

If this is the case in REME, what about the other Corps?  How many at Pirbright, Blandford, etc?  

If we could get enough data, a short letter to a few interested MPs (and the press) could have a very salutory effect - writing to MPs does actually do something, take it from me, especially if it gets into the tabloids!
I think  you'll find Old Snowy, that depends entirely on the rank of the correspondent.... :-[

I took that route to highlight a problem, as was my right.

Needless to say, the resultant sh1tstorm went all the way up, and I mean ALL (I was very reliably informed) and all the way down to little me again........

At one point , I really thought I was going to get CGS on the phone.

Various dire retributions threatened not just to me, but to my headsheds. All because we highlighted a decision, that had wider implications for Army, but of course, we didn't know that decisions had been made, long in advance of informing us, and there were some very powerful peoples interests at stake.

Sometimes, you end up with the feeling, that variuos elements treat the Army, like it's the early 19th century... :mad:
The idea that we should train recuits to drive "in units" is dreadful.  If only all (or even half) the recruits arriving in my Armoured Inf Bn could drive the Battalion's life would be made 20% easier.  I spend my life juggling drivers to task and trying by hook and crook to get some more trained.  The end result is that the few drivers we have get worked to death and bored (simultaneously) and sign off.  A soldier who can't drive is bugger all use to anyone.  Train them up before they get here!



To answer one of your points - the Soldiers Awaiting Trade Training (SATTs!) at Blandford were many about a year ago. 'Many' ranged from between a few to a good few hundred at some points dependent on when course were going to start. It fluctuated daily.

I often wondered why this was sooooooo difficult to organise as surely we all know when people are going to come out of Phase 1 and need Phase 2.

Ever heard of course programming ??

...but then someone high ranking (AG, OC ATRA, 2IC ATRA ?? etc) switched their brains on and thought about  'how much of their budget etc was being wasted by this pool of sitting manpower doing nothing'.

We all know how keen ATRA is to shift the blame, sorry, financial responsibility onto units as soon as possible - eg training deficiencies and income generation.

It took a money issue, as ever, to make the headshed think of a better way of doing things and life has improved for the Phase 2 guy/girl in Blandford.

Another fine example of the way the ATRA system seems to work is as follows.

R SIGNALS offrs used to do a short attachment prior to their YOs course and then get posted. ATRA goes 'oops - too much fat here - let's farm the 2Lts out to units straight from RMAS and then they can be on the strength of the said unit and, therefore, on their budget and not ATRA's straight away.' Hooray - cost saving !!

...but 2Lts now:

1. come on the course having taken over a Tp already
2. with a pile of CRs to write whilst on the course
3. with a constant string of messages to phone units
4. with a stream of summonses from OCs/COs ( tends to be COs more than OCs) to attend the Freedom of Loamshire Parade which, after all, is only a 700 mile round trip from Blandford)

...but this is the best bit..

5. and the guys from Germany/Cyprus get residual LOA and all the others get LSSA/GYH(P) etc

So a nice little swerve by ATRA to save money, ie from their budget, means that the overall wages bill of the Army goes up !!! ???

Me ? I've got a CV to write (which will include no more ATRA units for the rest of my time )  ;)


War Hero
Accept the Residual LOA, but don't you have to have served for two years to get LSSA or GYH(D) in which case they don't get this cash.  However isn't this worse?  I mean would you want to be parted from your creature comforts for 5 months?  I suggest that because they are not posted to Blandford, that they are probably not entitled to MFO!! Arrse!!


True Bow - the cases I was thinking of in particular involved commissioned soldiers....And there was an issue of MFO because, as you correctly said, the course in Blandford was just that and not a posting.

So hump all of your exercise kit over (because Blandford won't issue it to you), all of your uniform ( because you need Mess Kit, Service Dress, Black Tie, CS95), a computer if you have one because you'll need something or other to do the fine Management Certificate work on in addition to everything else....and then hump the whole lot back..plus all of your precis.  

But I think my main point remains - the overall Army wage bill is higher because someone thought they'd shuffle off some 2Lts straight onto units.

This is my final point on this - the fact that the 2Lts are sent straight to units means they are not allowed to mess up or have as good as laugh on attachment as perhaps as some of their forebearers did. They are thrown straight in at the deep end. It's all a bit too serious too early on.....

Me ? I've got a CV to write !!



o.k. fair point, having to train soldiers to drive (or make up any of the huge mass of training defficiencies) in unit is an admin nightmare for Tp / Pl Comds / Unit Chain of command.  Yes, a Soldier leaving Phase 2 training should be the "complete item" but as this thread describes, this just is not happening.

But I still believe that a Soldier should still be in unit getting used to real Army life and not sat in a holding Tp/Pl in a training establishment.  

To show that I actually agree with you, I shall describe an experience I had to endure on many occasions whilst working in a TA Unit.

On a Tuesday Drill night, I could place a HGV driver in every vehicle I needed to deploy but come the wet and windy Friday night deployment, less than half the manpower turns up and the entire detachment manning has to be reshuffled (and more often than not trucks had to be left behind) in approx. 1.5 hours.  This also led to problems in Regt Ops who invariably had to restructure the whole exercise.  Good for learning "crisis management", but a massive pain in the ARRSE.  Oh for all soldiers TA and Regular being able to drive HGV !!!
Boys, everything u say is true.

what are the good old RCT doing about it?

Well. they are now taking control of all wheeled dvr trg and conversion trg and making it really hard to get anyone trained at all - across the army.

please ring up RLC Trg and give them a good bollocking & huge demands for their poxy DST courses and show them that they have c~~ked up good and proper.

This is a stab at world domination, which we all try in our own ways, but the truckers are about to stop the army from going anywhere.

How much is the taxi fare for a Bn from Yorkshire to SPTA anyone?


As the debate opens up again.......


Follow the above link and you can see two of the statements given by those on duty at the time, one being the Guard 2i/c.

It is being reported that previously the Civ Pol accepted the Army opinion on these deaths as suicide...surley there must have been a civilian investigation??

What are your thoughts??

Is someone else involved??

Can you shoot yourself more than once? (In the head)