Quality of Permanent Staff

Big Avo

Old-Salt
Hi everybody,

There is a huge difference in the quality of Permanent Staff Instructors.

Some are amazing and can't support you enough, want to help you to develop and get the most of reservists, and a few bad apples who seem to hate reservists, treat being a PSI as a holiday and just frag reservists.

The current PSI's we have are the latter and I've recently found out that they've been extended again. My training has plateaued and we seem to have turned our back on trade training. I enjoy the green stuff but it seems that it's all we do.

We recently did a MATT's weekend which was ridiculous. It was more like an infantry weekend than a MATT's weekend. We kept getting bumped so not much sleep (unless you were a driving back on the Sunday night) and we did the AFT on the Saturday afternoon after tabbing around stands and getting bumped.

We've already had quite a few leave or transfer out. I am sure that they're there to get the unit disbanded.

Who is responsible for the quality of PSI's?
Is there a course that they have to do to become a PSI or it just a case of turn up and wing it?
 
We recently did a MATT's weekend which was ridiculous. It was more like an infantry weekend than a MATT's weekend.
Sounds like fun but each to their own, I suppose.
 
Hi everybody,

There is a huge difference in the quality of Permanent Staff Instructors.

Some are amazing and can't support you enough, want to help you to develop and get the most of reservists, and a few bad apples who seem to hate reservists, treat being a PSI as a holiday and just frag reservists.

The current PSI's we have are the latter and I've recently found out that they've been extended again. My training has plateaued and we seem to have turned our back on trade training. I enjoy the green stuff but it seems that it's all we do.

We recently did a MATT's weekend which was ridiculous. It was more like an infantry weekend than a MATT's weekend. We kept getting bumped so not much sleep (unless you were a driving back on the Sunday night) and we did the AFT on the Saturday afternoon after tabbing around stands and getting bumped.

We've already had quite a few leave or transfer out. I am sure that they're there to get the unit disbanded.

Who is responsible for the quality of PSI's?
Is there a course that they have to do to become a PSI or it just a case of turn up and wing it?
You get the PSIs that your CO, XO (Trg Maj), QM, Adjt and RSM are prepared to tolerate. It is easy to blame the individual but the CoC need to do their job too.
 
Hi everybody,

There is a huge difference in the quality of Permanent Staff Instructors.

Some are amazing and can't support you enough, want to help you to develop and get the most of reservists, and a few bad apples who seem to hate reservists, treat being a PSI as a holiday and just frag reservists.
...
You get the PSIs that your CO, XO (Trg Maj), QM, Adjt and RSM are prepared to tolerate. It is easy to blame the individual but the CoC need to do their job too.
This.
They are just human beings, and come in a variety of attitudes and biases.
The ones who practice 'destructive consent' need to be RTUd for the good of all concerned, and this is a leadership issue.
The problems start when they find a kindred spirit in another SU, or worse, higher up the CoC. The most pernicious little cabal I had to deal with involved the RSM, so was particularly challenging to unfück as the dissent became very carefully disguised. But it can be done.
 
This.
They are just human beings, and come in a variety of attitudes and biases.
The ones who practice 'destructive consent' need to be RTUd for the good of all concerned, and this is a leadership issue.
The problems start when they find a kindred spirit in another SU, or worse, higher up the CoC. The most pernicious little cabal I had to deal with involved the RSM, so was particularly challenging to unfück as the dissent became very carefully disguised. But it can be done.
Out of interest, were you the CO at the time?
 
Unfortunately, many PSIs / PSAOs I encountered were jobsworths looking for an easy life. I'll never forget one who saw his job as serving the officers a three course meal each drill night, while engaging in rackets like using the blokes to collect & resell office clearance furniture. I went a year without pay, as did one of my blokes mobilised on Herrick.

Embarrassingly, the worst permanent staff were officers. As a rule they were generally looking for an easy posting and/or a civilian job. Faced with a looser environment they seemed to become arrogant & lazy. I suspect they were decent blokes who'd become accustomed to OJAR polishing & delegating to SNCOs at RD, and on posting to the TA felt self-help & bottom up organisation was too much hard work.

The best were good because the TA SNCOs & OC:

a. Took the time to mentor them & get to know them socially
b. Invested time & effort in finding out what the PSIs could & should do, and how
c. Were unafraid to hold them to account - including the OC being prepared to write a stinker of an SJAR if necessary

It takes a lot of effort to build a good relationship, especially when the regular can fall back on "who cares, I've got the ear of the RSM/CO" and the reservists think "whatever, we'll see you out".

The best reserve guys ( permanent & otherwise ) I came across were the ex-regular LEs/SNCOs who made a psychological leap to embark on a new military life, become huge champions of their new unit, & relished the autonomy the TA gave them.
 
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DTBA

War Hero
Ours is a top bloke and we are very lucky to have him, considering some of the horror stories I've heard from other units.
 
I was in a Support Company Platoon and it seems, blessed that the quality of our PSI’s was excellent and very much helped make the character of the unit as good as it was.

The regular SNCO’s of the Bn had that ethos too. It was obvious that it was a whole new world to them when they came in but to their credit they got stuck in right away. I can imagine bad PSI’s would make you want to jack as the good ones were part of why you kept going.
 
Hi everybody,

There is a huge difference in the quality of Permanent Staff Instructors.

Some are amazing and can't support you enough, want to help you to develop and get the most of reservists, and a few bad apples who seem to hate reservists, treat being a PSI as a holiday and just frag reservists.

The current PSI's we have are the latter and I've recently found out that they've been extended again. My training has plateaued and we seem to have turned our back on trade training. I enjoy the green stuff but it seems that it's all we do.

We recently did a MATT's weekend which was ridiculous. It was more like an infantry weekend than a MATT's weekend. We kept getting bumped so not much sleep (unless you were a driving back on the Sunday night) and we did the AFT on the Saturday afternoon after tabbing around stands and getting bumped.

We've already had quite a few leave or transfer out. I am sure that they're there to get the unit disbanded.

Who is responsible for the quality of PSI's?
Is there a course that they have to do to become a PSI or it just a case of turn up and wing it?
That sounds like an awesome way of doing MATTs, under actual conditions with an element of realism. Also, if you cant pass an 8 miler after a bit of bimbling around a field then that's a personal fitness failing, not a failure of the CoC.

There is a huge difference in the quality of PSI's, but shit ones dont usually go out of their way to plan Matt's weekends and infantry weekends like that, which probably take more planning than the average TA weekend pissing it up in the bar.

If you feel that strongly, why not offer to teach a trade related lesson on a drill night, or if you're in a 19 day unit a lesson on a weekend? Training is far more productive when reservist led with buy in from the blokes, instead of people bleating about having to walk 9 miles in a day rather than the 8 that they had planned to do.

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However.....

PSAO's.....WTF is the point of appointing someone marking time until/topping up their pension to do what is essentially a Chief Clerks job, d in civvy street would be done by relatively junior middle management?

I've served under five PSAO's now, and four of them have been lazy twats who spent more time out of the office than in it, including one who basically became an Army sponsored golf player with the amount of time he spent on the course when he was supposed to be working.

Another point on PSIs, make their life easy and theyll work for you. It only takes one bellend to ask for a camp and all their Matt's for the training year on March 1st to ruin it for all!

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infantry weekends like that, which probably take more planning than the average TA weekend pissing it up in the bar.
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Hmm I must have missed out because I don’t remember any weekends or evenings like that.
 
However.....

PSAO's.....WTF is the point of appointing someone marking time until/topping up their pension to do what is essentially a Chief Clerks job, d in civvy street would be done by relatively junior middle management?

I've served under five PSAO's now, and four of them have been lazy twats who spent more time out of the office than in it, including one who basically became an Army sponsored golf player with the amount of time he spent on the course when he was supposed to be working.

Another point on PSIs, make their life easy and theyll work for you. It only takes one bellend to ask for a camp and all their Matt's for the training year on March 1st to ruin it for all!

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The PSAO at my old unit hated me. I don't know why to this day.
When I had an issue with my ex wife kicking me out, and finding myself literally homeless, he couldn't of given a toss.
Compare him to the PSi that the unit had at that time. I would literally have followed that bloke in to hell.
 
Ah, the good old days.

Was a PSI for dems 4 RGJ .. 2 years of bliss.

Back in the day, we had 3 Reg Bns, who used to take it in turn to provide PSI's which then included WOII & Csjt (CQMS) per Coy plus Recce, Assault Pioneers, Mortars, Anti Tnks, Sigs Pl , along with the CO, Adj, RSM and other Regs posted in for domestic or welfare reasons e.g maybe a Rfn or Cpl whose family member was receiving long term treatment or dealing with another drama.

As many of us were Londoners, it was a to55 up who got what company i.e one Csjt was from Fulham , a Chelsea supporters too, so he went off to B Coy who by some weird fecking miracle was based at Putney!

Others may have been based with a Coy who were near a main line station for ease of travel home.

All paid a reasonable lodging allowance for local digs - or sleep in the drill hall unofficially and pocket it...allegedly.

Many of us were warned by our own RSM's, particularly the Csjts, that a good TA Tour meant WOII on return to Bn.

PSI's also had to occasionally support Londist bunfights , usually some bollox idea that took place bang in the middle of block leave.

How many PSI's didn't GAF?.. only one that I'm aware of, his time ended once he did his TA Stint ..plus he was a Londoner , had more than his fair share of NI Tours , so fair play to him. He did enough, signed the paperwork and was happy to the let the TA CSM and OC do their thing...it was their gang, they were still here when he went back or left, so why not?

I can say hand on heart the following .....

We knew that some of these would go to our own Bn's on S Types so we did our best in order not to get ragged to feck by our pals back in Bn..... conversely, we'd send a few Doughbags for a laugh .

You have to remember that we'd had S types with us on NI Tours since the 70's and often asked them to sign on after it.

BFT's/CFT'S, APWT's and all other things what was called Bounty tests/MATTS, were strictly adhered to including attendance at camp or careers course, 4 out of 6 starred weekends , etc.

Yes, there were fiddles and scandals by some PSI's, taking back handers for signing bods in, yes there were some things done that were dodgy but to balance it out , the blokes were generally fit, keen, intelligent in the main, and it was pretty good in my opinion as we were all part of the RGJ Brotherhood.

Some of the companies were shit hot IMHO and it was a pleasure as a lot thrived on being on the weekends or camps in the worst locations with with the worst weather and their were always jollies such as Lion Sun, or a 2 week play around with a yank National Guard Unit, good adventure training including skiing , battlefield tours and a good PSI could get keen bods onto most Army courses , obviously we never sent *********.

PSAO's were either very good , who smiled and enjoyed their post and could pull a few strings with their contacts to get some good numbers of weekends organised .... or were utter c*nts .... Many were from our Mob but some weren't .... say no more .

Has a mate who was 1 RGJ , JB, and had spent 2 year as an Csjt Infantry adviser at RMCTC. He told me that when he was a PSI, with the City Coy, and as part of the SA80 Conversion, he got all the TA NCO's down there for a weekend to be taught the conversion by the RM Instructors ...who then beasted them over the full obstacle course, including the tunnels , as you do

It changed in the mid 90's/Option for change? Support Pl PSI's were binned and i'm sure we cut it down to just one PSI per Rifle Coy by then? Also Coy locations and support roles changed per location ...we had TA blokes that had started as Rfn, then Mortars then as the roles of the Coy in that location changed, became AP's or SF Pl.

Meh, enough from me.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
We recently did a MATT's weekend which was ridiculous. It was more like an infantry weekend than a MATT's weekend. We kept getting bumped so not much sleep (unless you were a driving back on the Sunday night) and we did the AFT on the Saturday afternoon after tabbing around stands and getting bumped.
******* eh?

Imagine having PSIs that actually make you do soldiering?
 

morsk

LE
Exactly. I have never heard it done like that in the Regs and we have set weekends for solely doing infantry skills.
Good luck trying to get me on a MATTs weekend mate. Monday - Thursday, game on. Anything after 1100 on Friday...... Well you can guess where that one ends up.
 

morsk

LE
Hi everybody,

There is a huge difference in the quality of Permanent Staff Instructors.

Some are amazing and can't support you enough, want to help you to develop and get the most of reservists, and a few bad apples who seem to hate reservists, treat being a PSI as a holiday and just frag reservists.

The current PSI's we have are the latter and I've recently found out that they've been extended again. My training has plateaued and we seem to have turned our back on trade training. I enjoy the green stuff but it seems that it's all we do.

We recently did a MATT's weekend which was ridiculous. It was more like an infantry weekend than a MATT's weekend. We kept getting bumped so not much sleep (unless you were a driving back on the Sunday night) and we did the AFT on the Saturday afternoon after tabbing around stands and getting bumped.

We've already had quite a few leave or transfer out. I am sure that they're there to get the unit disbanded.

Who is responsible for the quality of PSI's?
Is there a course that they have to do to become a PSI or it just a case of turn up and wing it?
Anyone I know who has gone to be a PSI are normally on their last posting, so you kind of get what youre given I suppose. They arent ALL doing that of course, some do it for promotion. These are usually lazy knowing that they will get a good write up. Again, not always the case. Its pretty much a luck dip to be honest. As for fragging you all weekend, well, when are they supposed to test your limits? Push you to snapping point? On your 2 week camp, which could just as easily be a course somewhere? No. I think its right you rifted. You only do 27 days a year mate, so you need to fit a years worth of stuff in. Good and bad.
 
However.....

PSAO's.....WTF is the point of appointing someone marking time until/topping up their pension to do what is essentially a Chief Clerks job, d in civvy street would be done by relatively junior middle management?

I've served under five PSAO's now, and four of them have been lazy twats who spent more time out of the office than in it, including one who basically became an Army sponsored golf player with the amount of time he spent on the course when he was supposed to be working.

Another point on PSIs, make their life easy and theyll work for you. It only takes one bellend to ask for a camp and all their Matt's for the training year on March 1st to ruin it for all!

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
I've known some brilliant PSAOs and some absolute belters too; 5 (QOOH) Sig Sqn had a particularly grumpy (now deceased) PSAO, who fell out spectacularly with two OCs. When I was an OC, I was very well served by my PSAO (ex-LD), who was one of those long-serving loyalists on whom the Army depends.
 

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