Refusing to Soldier

#1
What are the rules relating to a serviceman "Refusing to Soldier", I've heard plenty of anecdotal dits on this, but wondered What someone had to do (or not do) to constitute refusing to soldier, What response they would realistically be met with in this day and age and what the consequences are?
 

Bowmore_Assassin

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#2
Suggest you go and ask your Adjt, RSM and SSA. And, no, this is not a flippant answer. There are ways and means of dealing with this. Bottom line is the system will always win.
 

Bowmore_Assassin

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#5
martin7606 said:
I'm out mate, it's not soemthing I'm thinking of! Just something I've always wondered about and was never sure of.
Fair enough. I was not implying you were about to attempt it ! However, you asked what it constitiutes if someone 'refuses to soldier.' In simple terms it means a soldier refuses to obey any order. Eventually he/she will be asked if they are 'refusing to soldier.' If the answer is yes, there are some fairly robust and legal measures which can be taken in the short term (including jail). Obviously, being charged with an offence would follow...with ensuing punishment.
 
#6
martin7606 said:
What are the rules relating to a serviceman "Refusing to Soldier", I've heard plenty of anecdotal dits on this, but wondered What someone had to do (or not do) to constitute refusing to soldier, What response they would realistically be met with in this day and age and what the consequences are?
In 1983 I remember they stripped a guy - who refused to soldier - naked and threw him in the Bn nick with a blanket. But that was when the CO could jail naughty boys for 60 days...
 
#7
I remember years ago when I was guard commander in Germany. On taking over I signed for one live body in the cells. I went to have a word with him and found that I knew him and had been of a few benders with him. He told me that he had been sentenced to 21 days nick for parking outside the NAAFI and was really pi$$ed of about it. He had been in the army a couple of years and had been an excellent soldier. It turns out that his OC had been told by the CO to make an example of him as he was fed up with people parking outside the NAAFI. Anyway he told me he was going to refuse to soldier. I could understand why but asked him to wait until I had finished by stint as guard commander - he agreed. For the next week or so I remember the RSM & Provost Sgt and his staff trying to sort him out but he stuck to his guns and quietly left the unit. The story went round that he was discharged and the most of the regiment were on his side. I have not met anyone who could confirm where he went but there were also rumours of disturbed in the COs back garden.
 

Bowmore_Assassin

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#8
Canader said:
martin7606 said:
What are the rules relating to a serviceman "Refusing to Soldier", I've heard plenty of anecdotal dits on this, but wondered What someone had to do (or not do) to constitute refusing to soldier, What response they would realistically be met with in this day and age and what the consequences are?
In 1983 I remember they stripped a guy - who refused to soldier - naked and threw him in the Bn nick with a blanket. But that was when the CO could jail naughty boys for 60 days...
A CO can apply for extended powers and jail someone for up to 60 days now. However, Armed Forces Act 06 is about to be intro'd and replace AA 1955. Lots of other powers being given to COs, but I think the jail time will still be 60 days max.
 
#9
A lad I'm serving with out here at the moment mentioned that obeying any "order", regardless of how minor would then catagorise a prisoner as agreeing to soldier (for want of a better phrase), hence his peiord of "refusing to soldier" would start again from that obeyed order. The example he used was a guard commander informing a detainee that he was about to be discharged as a result of his refusals, and cunningly telling him to get back into his cell while it was being sorted. The Soldier happily went back to his cell, unwittingly complying with an instruction.

As with many stories you hear...it doesnt ring quite true.
 

Bowmore_Assassin

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#10
martin7606 said:
A lad I'm serving with out here at the moment mentioned that obeying any "order", regardless of how minor would then catagorise a prisoner as agreeing to soldier (for want of a better phrase), hence his peiord of "refusing to soldier" would start again from that obeyed order. The example he used was a guard commander informing a detainee that he was about to be discharged as a result of his refusals, and cunningly telling him to get back into his cell while it was being sorted. The Soldier happily went back to his cell, unwittingly complying with an instruction.

As with many stories you hear...it doesnt ring quite true.
Technically true, but reality is the CO could decide to discharge the solder (SNLR) anyway. Bottom line is the system wins - soldier either sees sense and cracks on doing as he/she is told, or, gets discharged.
 
#11
I witnessed an example of this quite closely when it happened to one of our lads way back in the early 1980's.

It's long story so I won't bother going into detail, but my recollection is that it was quite a shock to everybody, this was compounded by the swiftness of the reaction from above.

Despite the brisk initial reaction, the entire thing took some time to sort out and it soured the atmosphere in the unit for a while, but in the end the bloke in question was MD'd so it didn't turn out as badly as expected. Previously rumours had it that he was going to Colly for a long time.

It was a frightening and slightly disturbing thing to witness but I felt that it was handled very efficiently, and I do think the Army reaction was justifiable.

I don't know if the reaction would be the same today.
 

Pararegtom

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#13
I saw this in Berlin with one of our Lcpl.s a really good soldier, just woke up and jacked one morning, He got beasted to bits in the Bn Nick , done 28 days in Collie then went to them. ended up as SNCO. Hard as nails JH where are you now?
 
#14
Bowmore_Assassin said:
I can tell you any such incident would be dealt with legally, quickly and efficiently.

Edited to add, ...and quite right too.
Refusing to Soldier was regarded as the 'Holy of Holies' of things not to do when I was in. Much, much worse than AWOL for instance.

Everybody knew the consequences were horrid and would always lead to being given the boot.

Not a good way to leave the Army.
 
#15
If you wanted out so badly surely cutting round camp smoking a spliff would get the desired result without going to the extremes of refusing to soldier. Im still not sure exactly what constitutes it though, is it just refusing to do anything or carry out any order? Just staying in your pit and telling the badge to "Fcuk off" kind of thing?
 
#16
martin7606 said:
If you wanted out so badly surely cutting round camp smoking a spliff would get the desired result without going to the extremes of refusing to soldier. Im still not sure exactly what constitutes it though, is it just refusing to do anything or carry out any order? Just staying in your pit and telling the badge to "Fcuk off" kind of thing?
Exactly.

Even years ago there were quite a few ways of getting out of the Army quickly and if you really wanted to go then you would go.

I only ever witnessed this once during my time in and I can remember it vividly, only a complete idiot would ever use it as a 'Quick' way out.

As to your last question. It's basically saying 'Sod off' to anything you are either required to do or told to do as a Soldier.

Eventually (and quite quickly) you will find yourself in the CSM/BSM/SSM's office and when you refuse to 'Soldier On' to him then the system goes ballistic.

All sorts of horridness happens, usually accompanied by lots of shouting.
 
#17
Looking at it logically, what could they do?

If a person doesn't do as they are told, what could happen? You could ultimately be placed in a cell and guarded. That's about it. No one can force you to march, do push ups, run or any other nasty thing. You wouldn't need to be rude, you could simply do nothing. You would still be fed and watered, you would have to have clothing and you'd have a bed to sleep on.

You would not be physically abused or assaulted - that would end in tears for the army. I think the army would have a quick attempt at getting you to comply, then start proceedings to discharge you.

If you were on operations, then I think a flight back to UK with a short spell in MCTC may be the option.
 
#18
Nige said:
You would not be physically abused or assaulted - that would end in tears for the army. I think the army would have a quick attempt at getting you to comply, then start proceedings to discharge you.

If you were on operations, then I think a flight back to UK with a short spell in MCTC may be the option.
Is there any option for the Army to locally discharge somebody, eg, front door at Bastion?
 
#19
Canader said:
In 1983 I remember they stripped a guy - who refused to soldier - naked and threw him in the Bn nick with a blanket. But that was when the CO could jail naughty boys for 60 days...
Those were the rumours that were flying round Colly when I was a guest there. The rumours and I do say rumours included being (repeatedly) hosed down and even beatings. I take it they turned the hose off first as I'm sure any self respecting beater wouldn't want to get wet.

I must admit I never had any ambitions to find out if the rumours were true (or not). I'm sure nowadays what with the world and its dog having 'Human Rights' (including SUS), that any punitive measures wouldn't now be so extreme.
 

B_AND_T

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#20
Bowmore_Assassin said:
Canader said:
martin7606 said:
What are the rules relating to a serviceman "Refusing to Soldier", I've heard plenty of anecdotal dits on this, but wondered What someone had to do (or not do) to constitute refusing to soldier, What response they would realistically be met with in this day and age and what the consequences are?
In 1983 I remember they stripped a guy - who refused to soldier - naked and threw him in the Bn nick with a blanket. But that was when the CO could jail naughty boys for 60 days...
A CO can apply for extended powers and jail someone for up to 60 days now. However, Armed Forces Act 06 is about to be intro'd and replace AA 1955. Lots of other powers being given to COs, but I think the jail time will still be 60 days max.
Under the Armed Forces Act the CO can get extended powers up to 90 days. He can also deal with people upto 2 ranks below him, so Captains and below watch out.
 

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