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Retention of wounded soldiers

#1
I was at a talk last night by a RAMC Major (TA + NHS Anethnatist) who was not long back from Bastion.

He give an interesting talk about day to day life out there for the medics etc but something he said disturbed me a little. He said that currently the British Army "unfortunately" have around 5000 troops on the books who are registered as disabled and that because of this the Army could not recruit "fit and healthy replacements" for the front line due to strict maximum numbers.

Now, I know there are a few amputees back in uniform and working in Bastion and even more back in the UK in admin/training roles, plus quite a few with hearing difficulties, but does it truely matter? Does it stop fresh troops on the ground from being recruited?

I am sure the Majors phrase was not meant to be insulting to those who have been injured and are "back at work" and I have every respect for the work he and his fellow doctors and nurses did/will be doing out there. It just seemed a very strange thing to say?
 
#2
I was at a talk last night by a RAMC Major (TA + NHS Anethnatist) who was not long back from Bastion.

He give an interesting talk about day to day life out there for the medics etc but something he said disturbed me a little. He said that currently the British Army "unfortunately" have around 5000 troops on the books who are registered as disabled and that because of this the Army could not recruit "fit and healthy replacements" for the front line due to strict maximum numbers.

Now, I know there are a few amputees back in uniform and working in Bastion and even more back in the UK in admin/training roles, plus quite a few with hearing difficulties, but does it truely matter? Does it stop fresh troops on the ground from being recruited?

I am sure the Majors phrase was not meant to be insulting to those who have been injured and are "back at work" and I have every respect for the work he and his fellow doctors and nurses did/will be doing out there. It just seemed a very strange thing to say?

Was he talking about those injured in combat or biffs in general.
 
#4
The figure 5000 is not just those injured on Ops, the amount of people on the sick injured on ops is about 5% of the total sickness figures for the Army, 5000 is about the figure that are currently on the sick and graded P0 in old money.
 
B

bokkatankie

Guest
#6
No such thing as registered disabled
There is in SA, but more to the point no reason why the sick, lame and lazy cannot fulfill out of op roles thus releasing recruits onto the battlefield, the lazy should be proud of allowing their role to be fulfilled in such a manner.

As to amputees on Ops; (I am one but not on Ops, long ago med dis) frankly I applaud their courage but question the higher ups for allowing it. Latest figure this year to date is 55 major amputation injuries in AFG (more than any other year; Herrick and Telic combined), thank god for BLESMA and Headley Court and a more enlightened prosthetic culture, that, I have to say, I have also benefited from this year.
 
#7
The Major was right. The Army has tightly limited manning figures which it cannot exceed, there is no money for the extra wages. For many years this was not especially important as the Army was under-manned. Now that recruiting is going so well, the Army will find it is bumping against this ceiling. Regrettably this means that Manning Control Points will have to be used for longer serving soldiers and deserving but injured soldiers may well have to leave in order to create the vacancies for new recruits. This is a shame of course. In the old days, these soldiers may well have been found a job at the Regimental Depot. Nowadays alot of those jobs have been civilianised.
This doesn't mean that all will be affected and, of course, modern rehab is superb. I would also hope that units will do their best for each individual case, but you can see the pressures that come into play.
 
#8
Regrettably this means that Manning Control Points will have to be used for longer serving soldiers and deserving but injured soldiers may well have to leave in order to create the vacancies for new recruits.
If they target the fat idle bastards first those geniunely injured might not have to leave any time soon.
 
#9
Surely a large number of amputees are from the teeth arms? They would have to transfer from say The Rifles in order to allow someone to be recruited into their place? If the biffs are in ohh, to pick one from the top of my head, the RLC, then getting rid of them just opens up PIDs in the RLC?

Correct me if I'm talking shite.
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#10
This one is high on the minds of the Top Knobs, and a lot of work is already being done - it's why everyone was subjected to that most informative lecture earlier this year.

Problems abound. In many - probably most - cases it's not possible to move Soldiers from say the Inf to the RLC. What if they cannot drive/cook/whatever? What if they don't want to? If you join as a Gung Ho Infantryman, you may not want to become f Combat Caterer, after all. What if you are not 'suited' to the role? What if you cannot pass the exams? What if they are full already?

It will, I'm afraid, end up with many wounded/injured/disabled Soldiersbeing discharged, I'm afraid. And that nettle has already been firmly grasped.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#11
It will, I'm afraid, end up with many wounded/injured/disabled Soldiersbeing discharged, I'm afraid. And that nettle has already been firmly grasped.
And whilst it may leave a bitter taste in the mouth, if carried out with proper support it may be better for many of the soldiers.

In the long term is it better for them to remain in the clothing store (for example) and always feeling slightly out of it because they were not out there doing the business or for them to retrain and start their life afresh in a new direction?

Every case will have its own issues to address, but a decent start to the next phase in their life will probably be the better answer for many than just hanging around for their pension.
 
#12
Surely a large number of amputees are from the teeth arms? They would have to transfer from say The Rifles in order to allow someone to be recruited into their place? If the biffs are in ohh, to pick one from the top of my head, the RLC, then getting rid of them just opens up PIDs in the RLC?

Correct me if I'm talking shite.
Whatever makes you think the RLC has a vast amount of lazy bastards?

However should they have one or two biffers, thats one of two recruits unable to get in. (to the RLC).
As OldSnowy said not all injured Inf could tranfer, although some could. I think the injured should be discharged but in the absence of that I'd rather work with someone who is downgraded for a military reason than a fat pie eater.
 
#13
Unfortunately if a doctor puts someone on the biff, regardless of what we may think, they are classed exactly as those injured on ops.

Fortunately there is a good system in place in the form of the PRUs.
 
#14
Hmm... maybe it's time for some league tables of sorts. ie. for every soldier wounded in action who can stil serve on in some capacity we remove a soldier who has been an admin / criminal / discipline liability? I was amazed at the amount of servicemen with multiple criminal convictions against other servicemen and are still in. Start at the worst offenders and work our way down the list as we need to find a spot.

And no.. these are definitely not the 'oh but he / she is great on ops types'. Interestingly enough for the most part they weren't teeth arms as you might suspect in my experience, mostly combat support / CSS scrotes who if they weren't lucky enough to be in the Army would be on ASBOs / in prison anyway (I say this comparing an Armoured Bde and a Log Bde for instance).

Lets start making room by getting rid of these individuals first. We will definitely be able to create some serious headspace. Even if we went to a three strikes rule we could cut a lot of individuals right now. We win both ways, we retain great soldiers who have been wounded in action and ditch criminals who left in will only create more victims.

Re-trading isn't that tough. There are plenty of jobs in the Army we can retrain a willing young lad or lass to do. If they don't want to re-trade I'm sure we can put together a package that will assist transition back to civilian life. It would be tragic to kick a decent soldier who happened to be wounded when we leave in dross that shouldn't have made it this far....
 
#15
I agree entirely with the above post (can't quote for some reason) but my point was: I was chatting to an infantier a while ago, he was injured in Iraq and now can't run in boots (not the shop), he has been told that he can stay in but due to his grading he will do a desk job or some such. His exact words "I joined the infantry for a reason and now I can't do the job I trained for, I don't want to count stores for the next 15 years". So he opted for med discharge.

Teeth arms soldiers don't necessarily want to do the jobs that would be freed up by getting rid of the pie munchers.
 
#17
Dinger, firstly, wouldn't even begin to pretend to know the complexities involved in these issues in the detail that you do. How do you reckon it might best work?
 
B

bokkatankie

Guest
#18
Dinger, firstly, wouldn't even begin to pretend to know the complexities involved in these issues in the detail that you do. How do you reckon it might best work?
My reponse to Dinger is that it is not hard to imagine he has the finest ideas on any subject. I assume he enjoys being a wonderful and clearly more clued up bloke than me and he has that right, we live in a free and just society afterall.
 
#19
Personally if there is a potental job for someone injuried in the course of their duties IMHO it should be give to injuried personal (provided they are capable of the job with the skills, training & disability).

For example, a lot of clerks, QMs etc jobs could be done by injuried personnel (but you may run out of jobs quickly), however as you have learnt in Iraq and Afghanistan there are no front lines any more, so unless there are stay at home parties the places in the deployable units should be kept for the fittest people.

For example, if an amputee has a problem with a prosetic limb in an infantry battalion will the skills be in theatre to fix it?
 
#20
If the system in place is as good as I have been hearing then it is a step in the right direction.

Even the most commited soldier (I was that man) changes his outlook upon the loss of limbs.

Many injured are in a dilemma - Accept an MD and pension is tax free plus you receive guaranteed income payment (GIP). if allowed to continue serving, the right to a tax free pension is lost, yet you could be hoofed at anytime after during the yearly med review.

A soldier could essentially work for nothing. i.e soldier offered MD with immediate pension of £12500 and GIP of £30000 - £42,500 tax free. Soldier on and he receives £42,500 taxed wage. Plus you fall outside the rehab/recovery system.

If they really want to help injured soldiers, then the MoD should get around the industries with which they have links and plug our value, even as being disabled. Ease that transition to civilian life.
 

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