Recruits - train them all or select the best ones?

Should we go back to the old training system of weeding out the weakest soldiers during training, ra

  • Yes - weed em out and chuck em out. The All Girls Corps will always need typists.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No - we youngsters need longer to assimilate knowledge, cos our brains have been f*cked by years of

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Dont know - I was w@nkered throughout trade training and woke up one day in a green beret!

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0
#1
In the olden days (swing...) the training process used to involve a large element of selection. 75% of my original squad failed to make it as far as the passing out parade; some were unsuited for Army life and left during Basic; others were unable to make the grade during trade training, and were given the option of re-allocating to another capbadge. (some decided to make a new career in Sy Ply :D).

Those who made it through 8 months in Ashford, getting as far as the passing out parade, felt as if they had achieved something - partly because so many were found unsuitable and fell by the wayside.

Now as i understand it, the modern system places certain demands upon training instructors. The onus is on training as many as possible to get through the course, rather than weeding out those who are clearly struggling to make the grade. In basic for instance, i have heard such figures as 95% of recruits who turn up for phase 1 training being required to make it through to pass-off. This means that instructors are pressured into ensuring that even the really weak recruits are "trained" (in the non-Few Good Men way ;)) and get through to passout, however much extra work, extra chances and backsquadding this may take...

I have no idea if such a quota system / guideline exists for trade training at quicksands as well...

I completely understand the financial motivation behind ensuring that as many as possible of those young innocents who turn up on day one get churned out at the other end of the training process. however, i feel that over the last few years, i have seen juniors who would never have made it through the training / selection process "in my day" :(. people whose trade skills are just not up to scratch. they have clearly been allowed to slip through the net, with the assumption that they will "catch up" when they get to their unit. some do; some should never have been allowed to become lance corporals in the intelligence corps.

do others feel that this modern attitude to "training", with very little or no element of "selecting" those suitable, has led to a dilution in the standard of some JNCOs coming into the Corps at the end of their A3?
 
#2
When I was at the ATR there certainly wasnt any rule about a minimum number required to make it to trade training. Yes some recruits did need extra "encouragement" to make the grade but I think that has always been the case.

One problem that comes with "time in" is that the days of training seem to vanish in the mists. When you are SNCO / LE officer your peer group are all exceptional people who have shown the capability, drive and desire to progress. The tosspots who should never have been allowed to breathe all left as soon as their 3 years (4 now) were up.

I remember in my first few postings there were hordes of LCpls who genuinely had reached their limit as far as the corps was going - yet had passed their A3 (some were even A2). After a few D confidentials (One scottish darksider got an E if memory serves) they eventually see the light and leave (or improve). However, without them the corps (and the army) is in poo-poo. If we only allowed the cream who had potential to make RSM join, how could the good ones shine?

Also remember when you have X years service, experience etc the poor brew boy who has been in less time than your insoles is still trying to learn... I am fairly sure every generation of soldier has posed this exact line of thought.

In my first unit (signals :( ) I remember hearing how all newly trained solders were dross and it wasnt "like that in my day" - two years later as I was posted, I remember hearing it said about the poor new guys and I was now an "upstanding soldier" running a detachment.

On to the question - I think the "train in" aprroach is much more suitable (and sustainable) than a "selection" process. No matter what process is used there will always be good and bad soldiers. If you had a requirement for 95% test scores (for example) some would get 100% and some would get 95% - creeping excellence would then debate how the 95%ers were dogpoo.

Interested to hear other opinions though.

(and baby lance jacks are the scum of the earth who need to be used and abused......... :lol: )
 
#3
I'm currently going through TA recruit training, out of the last of recruits only about 25% actually passed out at the end of R6, and they still have CIC. I would expect to be binned if I am shite, standards to keep to etc.
 
#4
spindler said:
On to the question - I think the "train in" aprroach is much more suitable (and sustainable) than a "selection" process. No matter what process is used there will always be good and bad soldiers. If you had a requirement for 95% test scores (for example) some would get 100% and some would get 95% - creeping excellence would then debate how the 95%ers were dogpoo.
yeah, i understand that. the issue i have is that the standards appear to have crept in the wrong direction! so either our standards USED to be too high, or they are now too low and some are slipping through the net who would be better suited to a less... erm... cerebral capbadge.
 
#6
RustyBayonet said:
Like for example mine, an infantry regiment?
depends on the individual mate :) i have seen some who would make excellent infanteers, good soldiers but fell down when it came to all the report writing, briefing and analysis under pressure required by the corps.
 
#7
maybe better selection during the interview process would help. if things havent changed too much in recent years, the pass rate in trade training for transferees was far higher than that of direct entrants. largely i would think due to the emphasis on SELECTING the right people for the job (although perhaps the transferees are more highly motivated too?). in my ashford era, i cant remember a single transferee failing trade training.
 
#8
CRmeansCeilingReached said:
yeah, i understand that. the issue i have is that the standards appear to have crept in the wrong direction! so either our standards USED to be too high, or they are now too low and some are slipping through the net who would be better suited to a less... erm... cerebral capbadge.
I am not sure it has slipped. I just think after you have been in a while you expect more from the poor retards the factory produce. Some of the lance jacks I abuse, I mean supervise, are fantastic. Some are total retards. When I was a lance jack I remember some of my peers were total wasters and it amazed me they passed out. Now the ones who are left in were all the good ones (pity I managed to survive then..... bet they are cursing me for stealing a promotion slot!).

Looking back its easy to think everyone was born hard and knew how to soldier/analyse/ report/map mark etc before they could crawl. However the truth is, many years ago some old sweat was pulling his hair out cursing everything until improvements happened.
 
#9
It wasn't that long ago that Squads were working into the dim hours during CCS to produce the hated (IMO!) country report; now apparently all that is produced is a brief. I can't see how this has done anything other than make it easier. The same go's for the apparently abolished "pinks".

I don't think anyone is saying that some complete t*ssers haven't got through over the years... there were probably even some in Squad 001, but the cynic in me says that this is simply a method for reaching the manning levels needed for the FAS.

It's fairly obvious looking at all the Squad photos in Templer that something "interesting" is happening, in that the squad sizes have grown significantly, and although I'd love to put that down to improved selection and training techniques I can't help but wonder.
 
#10
Phisy said:
It's fairly obvious looking at all the Squad photos in Templer that something "interesting" is happening, in that the squad sizes have grown significantly, and although I'd love to put that down to improved selection and training techniques I can't help but wonder.
hear hear. there just doesnt seem to be the same "fear"nowadays... when we went through, if you were shite, you were gone. it was that simple. there was seldom anybody who got through that you thought "they really shouldnt have made it". i honestly cant think of one from my course who shouldnt have been passed.

maybe a more interesting question would be... how many people got binned in those days, who perhaps should have been given more of a chance to get through? cos i can think of a couple. bet they cant say THAT nowadays.
 
#11
RustyBayonet said:
I'm currently going through TA recruit training, out of the last of recruits only about 25% actually passed out at the end of R6...
you complete training after R6... not sure what that means. is it phonetic, as in Hour 6? :lol:
 
#12
Are we stuck in a numbers game here?

Society is changing around us, potential recruits have different expectations today than they did when I joined. As unpalitable as it is, the rest of the army has had to come to terms with this. So less people want to join up then in previous generations.

The Corps has seldom been able to hold it's ground when faced with new challenges. We always expect to have to do more with less. Some equipment programmes are placing demands on the Corps to produce more bodies to fill slots. Perhaps more bodies than we can deliver?

I have been astounded at the capacity of some of the JNCO's that come out of the factory today; equally I have sometimes been horrified as well. On reflection, who is to say that the Warrant Officers and grumpy LEs didn't feel the same when I was a lad?

As distasteful as it may be, we are stuck with the numbers game and will probably have to stag on.

What do you think the worst problem is though:

Standards in Templer, or standards in transferee officers??
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#13
This is a perennial moan which will not change. [Swings lantern] Back in the mid 80s when I was training recruits in Training Wing at Ashford we were certainly under pressure to get as many as possible through, but this did not translate into pressure to get individual numpties past the training. It isn't always crystal clear to their fellow recruits who is good and who isn't and my experience was that the DS would often spot qualities in recruits which weren't always obvious to those who weren't taking such a close interest. As I recall, we did manage to bin all the real spazzers, and we let a few through with the benefit of the doubt: but at the end of the day, it was our decision.
 
#14
You're having a laugh. When you joined the Army, this exact same conversation was going on. Guaranteed. We've always had good soldiers, we've always had average soldiers and we've always had poor soldiers. We've always had selection standards and they continually change. There won't be many people who would admit that the training delivered now is as tough or as demanding as the training they went through.

Accept the product of the training system and then do your best to mould them into more effective people using your skills and knowledge. Everyone knows that the real training is on the job ... don't they?
 
#16
Signals_Rugby_Dog said:
Everyone knows that the real training is on the job ... don't they?
There's an apt saying which sprang to mind with a particularly useless, hopeless individual a couple of years ago.

"You can't polish a turd."


Relying on units to make up a deficiency that can not be overcome in training is shortsighted. If they can't attain the BASIC level of competence that the A3 provides, fairly and squarely, then they are forever going to be a burden to their unit.

Passing someone on the basis that they "take a bit longer" to catch on than normal, and will no doubt get up to speed once they've been in the job for a while is.... in my opinion... wrong. And a wee bit galling / insulting to those who genuinely make the grade.
 
#17
I think it would be interesting to have a think about all the people in each rank. Is the percentage of tossers at WO1 (for example) matched by the percentage of tossers at LCpl?
 
#18
spindler said:
I think it would be interesting to have a think about all the people in each rank. Is the percentage of tossers at WO1 (for example) matched by the percentage of tossers at LCpl?
an interesting tangent for us to pursue for a while... do we mean toss at their job or just tossers full stop? :?

would postulate that (hopefully) most who are toss at the job wouldnt make WO1...

*sits back and waits for laughter to subside* :lol:
 
#19
:lol:

Without going to any details, there have been some tossers and people who were, shall we say not brilliant, at their jobs who have progressed from LCpl, to WO1 and comissioned. (Not implying that any of our current Warrant Officers or LE officers are tossbags here...)

The small minority of, ahem, different, individuals who have made it (SNCO even) while still being arrse at their jobs actually make a significant impact percentage-wise. When you reverse this back to the LCpls the tossers dont seem so out of place. If you imagine we have (for example here, not naming any names) five d*ckhead WO1s out of (say) 40 - that means 16.5% of LCpls should be knobbers as well. This doesnt even account for all the dross that leaves at the end of colour service.
 
#20
'You cant polish a turd' - nice, ill have to remember that one.

One, I agree with the broad sentiments so far, ie that things have changed, got 'easier' for want of a better word, and that its a shame etc. However, my point is that it appears to me that less is being asked of our young LCpls these days, in general terms.

Particularly with those postings most concerned with map marking, really how good does someone have to be if they are simply moving stickies to where they are told to move them? Now I know we all have anecdotes of youngsters briefing generals etc, but really, how often does this actually happen? (and when it does how often is it because their line manager knows they up to the task and has allowed it to happen anyway?)

Sadly, (in my experience of the last 5 odd years anyway), LCpls don’t actually NEED to be that good any more; as they aren’t trusted with that much anyway. Indeed, micro management style tactics even on SNCOs and WO’s seem to be becoming quite trendy too.

In my days as a LCpl, I have to admit I don’t ever recall being particularly challenged by my job, so I cant honestly say that one of the weaker soldiers in my squad who was pinked thrice and ejected wouldnt have been able to do it instead of me anyway. Personally, I found training more professionally demanding than the real thing, and it was something of a depressing anti climax on posting.

On the ratio of a**holes to good eggs out there, Id say the proportions are fairly even, but that’s a different topic, tis a shame though when you see good future managment get out following an encounter with one of the a**hole percentage that’s made it to the upper echelons. All the more reason to promote wisely eh?

All that said though, we still we have the best NCO’s in the army by a long shot, and that applies to both the brand new guys and the old, so something must have been going right then, and going right now.
 

Latest Threads

Top