Regimental ethos, a question


I've been perusing theses boards for a while now, and one question keeps on coming back to me...

Will young men really not join the Army, as Infantry, if the regiment they intend to join are not the Blogshires (with the Blogshires being their local County regiment)?

If this is true, and the fact the merging of the single Battalion regiments will cause massive recruitment difficulties, then how do the Support Arms continue to recruit? In fact, how do the Paras and Royals continue to recruit so well, with a geographically disperse recruiting pool, if our young men are so keen only joining Regiments with local links?

To help explain my bewilderment, I should say that I'm a Naval Officer, and having served in a whole 5 Ships, I've never seen a lack of espirt d'corps or camaraderie with the Ship's Companies.

yours aye,

Various infantry units (Light Div spring to mind, the RGJ specifically) recruit nationally and don't have a problem - as long as they've got bases in the original counties for recruiting (LI have teams in the traditional LI county areas - Shropshire, Herefordshire, Cornwall etc) it doesn't seem to be a problem.


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Arfur said:
Various infantry units (Light Div spring to mind, the RGJ specifically) recruit nationally and don't have a problem - as long as they've got bases in the original counties for recruiting (LI have teams in the traditional LI county areas - Shropshire, Herefordshire, Cornwall etc) it doesn't seem to be a problem.
Tthe question remains if there were no connections to County areas, would they still recruit as well? I have a feeling that the teams are kept in the county areas for a very good reason.

A-t-G mentioned Paras and Royals (Marines is presume). While I accept that these recruit nationally they are really recruiting in the same way as the County Regts. The Paras & RM recruit to an ethos - once they have that they guard it jealously - not too many cross posting from para/RM, except the ones who want to go play SF games.
Corps and trades tend to recruit people who want to join the army to be trained in a trade or profession. Many imf unit recruit peple (IMHO) on the basis of family tradition, local pride and the fact that someone in that area will always know someone in their local battalion tgus recruiting through the 'Pals battalion' principal.
Infantrymen join to fight. There is no other reason for the Infantry. Many join the other arms to acquire a trade, an education or to escape their circumstances. But you don't join the Corps to kill the enemies of the Queen in a particularly personal way (I would add at this poinbt that our perfumed and poncelike cavalry colleagues also recruit locally)...

The strongest motivators among a warrior subculture (for that is what we are) are the bonds of mateship and loyalty to kith and kin. The German army maintained its phenomenal combat effectivesness in part by maintaining local ties to all its units up until the very end.

Different for you on a ship. At sea, all trades are equally prone to harm and all 'fight the ship'. There is less difference therefore between a PWO and a Logs Offr in the RN than there is between an Infantryman and an RLC officer, who with the best will in the world, are very different indeed. If any loggies disagree, then they should have joined the infantry (although they probably account for more casualties with their cooking, driving etc...)!

We are dealing with very deep rooted and basic psychological drivers here, with the need to ensure our forces are as lethal, robust and effective as possible. Those who tinker with it do so at their peril. Or more to the point, at ours.
My regiment is one of the smaller county regiments. Within its' recruiting area it has a very high profile which it takes great pains to further.

As a boy I passed two war memorials on my way to school, and indeed in the school library we had a memorial to the old boys. My grandfather and his brother served in the regiment before and during the last war. The old and bold used to meet in my drill hall and their sons and grandsons served in my TA unit.

County Regiments are part and parcel of the areas in which they recruit and exist, they are far more than the 1st Bn, they are a whole web of activity in support of that Bn.

You say you served on five commissions and never had any esprit de corps problems, just imagine anyone of those commissions going on for three hundred years.

It is not my place to criticise very Senior Officers (as a fifty year old TA major I don't give a toss about upsetting them, but I'm from an era when this simply wasn't done), however, it should be noted that neither of the two main players come from county Regiments. One is a corps type who transferred to the Para who have their own equivalence of county (try going on the North Sea Ferry just before airborne weekend) and the other is from one of the large regiments.

County is identity. Large Regiment is anonimity.

The MOD civil servants (oh how I wish they were either civil or indeed servants) don't like the county Regiments because they can't push them around the way they want to. There is always someone with a bit of influence prepared to stand up for County.
Why oh why do we have a gutless tw@t as our guvnor?? The infantry always get picked on by the b'stard politicians and ugly face lift Jacko wont do a thing to defend us (unless your a para) :twisted: :?

The yanks are trying to shift towards the regimental system as we know it (cos it makes sense) and our dumb mong children at the MOD think they can save a few quid on cap badges by doing away with it??? woh wants to be in the 1st Bn 307th Inf, what does that mean?????
Why are people so fond of slagging the 'MoD'?

Whilst there are a load of civies there, who often do not understand us, nor do they wish to, and hence, are part of the Axis of Weasel, which permeates our fine, soon to be ill-defended country, there are also a large number of mil personnel there too.

For anyone who has not worked there, poke it up your arrse if you think that the soldiers, sailors and airmen who work there do not do all they can for us. You are wrong if you think that they are prepared to sell anyone out. The cuts are forced upon us by a parsimonious Treasury ruled by 2IC WeaselBat, and he hates us. Our Minister is a goon who again, couldn't give a rats' about us, and is therefore not prepared to front up to 2IC weasels. Further that the uber-weasel-cheese-meister general fails to listen to his mil advisers (you'll be aware that CDS invoked his right to call on President Tone) and that he has a problem gripping 2IC weasels, and you start to get the picture.

Stop lumping those who work their balls off in town, (yes, I know they do not feel the heat of the desert, or have rain dripping down their necks like the boys in the field do) in with those who are happy to see harm come to us. Almost without exception, they would get back to their ships, trenches or aircraft if they could, but they cannot. We need mil representation in the MoD or things really will go to ratshit. Stop generalising, and pick your targets correctly.

End of rant.

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