Ridding the Army of Biffs and wasters?

#1
Right Arrsers: With reference to the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT IMMINENT thread;

It seems that every man and his dog wishes to rid the British Armed Forces of "Biffs and wasters".

My question to you is; how do you define "Biffs and wasters"?

I am a biff, im a big enough man to admit that. I tore my crucia ligament on Herrick 7, I had a right leg ACL reconstruction, I then tore my hamstring, then got a post op infection and now im currently waiting for an op to remove damaged cartiledge from the same knee.

Im not an amputee and I wouldnt dare compare myself to one but, i am never going to be able to run properly and I will struggle to do a CFT and carry weight.

So, in your opinion should I be kicked out? The last time I did unit PT was September 2008. I do my job very well and my SJAR's show this with no reference to my injury.

So what do you reckon? After 14 years of service with an injury caused by rigours of service am I a Biff/Waster?
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#2
Biff/Waster? No. Of limited use for the remainder of your service? Probably.

The question is how many people of "limited use" can the services support before the impact is felt across the deploying elements?
 

Command_doh

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
No offence, but if someone is deemed 'irreparable' in a minimum fitness standard context, is it too much to see that - with a bankrupt country - the 'employer' will seek to replace that person (suitable package offered, obviously) with a fully functional replacement?
 
#4
Command_doh said:
No offence, but if someone is deemed 'irreparable' in a minimum fitness standard context, is it too much to see that - with a bankrupt country - the 'employer' will seek to replace that person (suitable package offered, obviously) with a fully functional replacement?
No offence taken. The point I am trying to make (Badly) is, sometimes soldiers get injured, and it’s not their fault. We lead a rigorous life and damage occurs to knees/backs etc so by using the term biff or waster it causes more problems with soldiers trying to get back to full fitness. I am an example of this; I rushed my recovery and consequently set my self back by months. If soldiers with health problems see the ranks being culled then they will be terrified to go sick with anything!

Is it fair that my career should be cut short due to an injury caused by my service? I signed a contract so I should be able to complete my full career with no issues.

Thankfully so far its not an issue . The opinions on ARRSE just suprise me, no one is ever fat, no one has ever had an injury and been downgraded and everyone wants an Army of 6 footers with perfect healthy bodies.
 
#5
There will always be 'in the rear with the gear' type jobs to be done, and I'd rather see them done by a biff who wants to serve and does so to a high standard than a waster looking for an easy life.
 
#6
No - provided said employer provides suitable compensation to said 'irreparable' person for damage/injury received during employment and subsequent loss of employment, prior to getting rid.

CW

Quis Separabit
Vestigia Nulla Retrorsum
 
#7
This is a very difficult subject.
From one point of view, you are correct in saying that if you receive an injury while serving you should be allowed to serve out your contract.
However if you were a brickie on a building site and you lost a hand due to the nature of your work there is no way you would be retained.
So does it boil down to the moral equivalence of how the injury occurred? Service to country equals good injury and should not affect your livelihood, service to a building company equals bad injury and you're out on your ear.
Fall down the mess steps when pissed and do your ACL in, good or bad injury?
Not sure I have an answer. I would like to think as an ex serviceman that the military will take care of its own, but how many and at what expense that is the real difficulty?
 
#8
Capitalism - just like socialism and pregnancy...i.e. you can't be a little of any of them and expect it to work out for you!
 
#9
Well if we are to believe the figures 25% of the army is unfit for deployment,

But they are carrying out required rear echelon jobs. So let the cull begin and where does the 20,000 troops come from to replace them in these essential roles, even in these record recruitment times that would be hard pressed to achieve. With it lets do as we did for Options for Change get rid of some of the most experienced guys and girls we have cause they aren’t needed and spend the next 10 years re-learning skills that we lose.

People are missing the point here the army has been decreased under successive governments since the fall of the wall, now with the requirements on OP’s they are trying to cut it further this wont be a good thing, remember they very rarely do anything that does not benefit them and them alone! with every pay rise food and accommodation goes up, “rob Peter to pay Paul” it would be good to remember that we are Peter and Paul
 
#10
This is a difficult one.

We're in a recession, the Forces will probably be undergoing some form of Cull in the near future & we need fit guys to do the Business.

Agreed that there are many REMF type jobs, that need to be done & could be done by some of the keener guys, regardless of their injuries.

How do we choose who can stay & who gets the bullet?

Para Regt do look after some of their more seriously wounded & have done for many years. Those cases are well documented.

There has to be a limit though. We can't keep every swinging dick,or flapping fanny, who's damaged his or her kneecap, when we can replace them with someone fitter.

Glad it's not me that has to make the decision.
 
#11
Sounds like perfect candidates for Unit tailors or Equipment repairers. There's courses run in the Course of Instruction Pam. We employ civvies to do tailoring, but only 2 or 3, for an entire garrison. Also if everytime i broke a buckle on my webbing, it got repaired locally, instead of being binned for a new one. How much money would be saved on stuff overall? (for Biffs and Wasters, read lazy cnuts who got fat being idle not injured, and use bluff injuries to cover up for the fact). How about re-training injured soldiers to RAMC or QARANC, and start building up the military medical facilities again, as the NHS isn't coping
 
#12
Such a grey and contencious area.

I wouldn't comment on injuries from current ops, but I can from my last German posting. We had three guys who were so down-graded it was a miracle they could put a uniform on and make it into work. In summary there were:

Soldier 1
Skinny, twat, ashmatic to hell. Had 3 inhalers, rattled like a Tic-tac delivery via a square wheeled bike due to medication and coughed and sputtered like a tramp. Strangely, he still made it to the NAAFI bar every Friday lunchtime whilst we did a CO's run, smoked 30 tabs a day and threw a 16lb bowling ball like it wasn't there.

Soldier 2
Huge black lad, not in a muscular way. :wink: Had every ailment you could have extracted from the 'Diseases for Afro-Carribeans' book, Couldn't shave, couldn't sweat, couldn't fecking wash, couldn't wear a respirator etc. Didn't do any duties either as the prolonged uniform wearing would bring him out. :x

Soldier 3
A Cpl so morbidly obese he had to have nearly all his unifrom specially made. All he ever did was walk (not far), talk and eat. By feck, he ate.

These sort of people should be discharged, as nothing in their predicament was caused by the forces, they can't be cured and they milk the system for they can. I expect every unit has at least one type of waster above.
 
#13
How about all permanently down graded/failing to pass fitness tests going? That way you could have cleaned the forces in one foul swoop. This should be for all ranks but I bet the officers won't be as badly affected as the troops will as there will be a clause somewhere!!!
 
#14
wrinkles said:
This should be for all ranks but I bet the officers won't be as badly affected as the troops will as there will be a clause somewhere!!!
Easy there fella - I would suggest that less officers would go due to a higher level of fitness on average.

Now, and I await incoming on this, in general officers:

a) get put under more pressure from the CoC - one I know who failed a BPFA was bullied horrendously by the the whole mess, CO down, until he bucked up his ideas.

b) have a couple of biscuits at 1000 coffee, not a couple of ginsters at NAAFI break like a lot of soldiers I know.
 
#15
wrinkles said:
How about all permanently down graded/failing to pass fitness tests going? That way you could have cleaned the forces in one foul swoop. This should be for all ranks but I bet the officers won't be as badly affected as the troops will as there will be a clause somewhere!!!
And lets hope you never get an injury due to service reasons

There but for the grace of god……………

Some permanently down graded lads have and do deploy where as there are a selection of perfectly fit admin/welfare cases who pull the admin/welfare card every time they are tasked to go on a driving detail never mind Ops

That’s OK though because they pull a 9 min PFT
 

mysteron

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
OK,

So, this has nothing to do with recession. It is a question of suitability for role.

TACOS will demand that a minimum level of capability in terms of skills and fitness is to be maintained from the plumpest military chef to the steely eyed dealer of death - it does not mater who you are. This is the contract we sign up to. We perform and have to demonstrate the ability to perform a variety of tasks that makes the investment (pay, rations, etc) made in us a fair return.

If you are injured in the course of your work (service - but I am deliberately using civvy speak) then you are entitled to whatever appropriate level of compensation or rehabilitation is commensurate with your ailment. Take an example - knackered ACL, irreparable, injury sustained on ops. Sorry chum, it is MD for you with proper compensation as the needs of the business require a fully fit person to fill that LSN. Those are the TACOS we agree to - the deal is meant (note the stress on meant) to be that the Gov't fufills its side of the bargain.

If you are lazy, or routinely sick in a way that has a tangible effect on the operational effectiveness of a unit, then the appropriate administrative action & workflow needs to be put in place to either discharge (again if the illnesses are associated with work and you are unable to meet the TACOS minimum standards - you get compo) or re-assignment to a role (if available) where you will no longer have an adverse effect on operational effectiveness.

Harsh? Not really. It is running the business - we must always be as lean, efficient and achieve maximum return on investment on everything we do. That has not changed since the time of Wellington. We just don't consider it.

The truth is that this is a highly unpalatable subject as it goes against the grain of the true military ethos that we pull together, never leave a man behind and all of the other cliches that are true about the collective psyche.

Bottom Line: It is the Bottom Line that counts, we must achieve maximum effectiveness and return on investment. We must strive to fill every LSN with people that can demonstrate that they can fill that role and meet the basic TACOS we sign up to. If an individual cannot - then they must be replaced, but in a robust but ethical way.
 
R

Reversionary_Modes

Guest
#17
I was originally reading this thread without having logged in, and by the time I had done so, Mysteron had posted his astute take on this emotive matter, but it does reflect what I was hoping to say. This is just my opinion rather than an attempt to present anything factual, but it would appear that if you can continue to demonstrate value, then you are unlikely to be sidelined and binned as a result of a debilitating injury. Alas, however, you may well have to accept that there will be limitations imposed on your career path which will not be similarly imposed on a fully fit soldier.
 
#18
commzmeanzbombz said:
Command_doh said:
No offence, but if someone is deemed 'irreparable' in a minimum fitness standard context, is it too much to see that - with a bankrupt country - the 'employer' will seek to replace that person (suitable package offered, obviously) with a fully functional replacement?
No offence taken. The point I am trying to make (Badly) is, sometimes soldiers get injured, and it’s not their fault. We lead a rigorous life and damage occurs to knees/backs etc so by using the term biff or waster it causes more problems with soldiers trying to get back to full fitness. I am an example of this; I rushed my recovery and consequently set my self back by months. If soldiers with health problems see the ranks being culled then they will be terrified to go sick with anything!

Is it fair that my career should be cut short due to an injury caused by my service? I signed a contract so I should be able to complete my full career with no issues.

Thankfully so far its not an issue . The opinions on ARRSE just suprise me, no one is ever fat, no one has ever had an injury and been downgraded and everyone wants an Army of 6 footers with perfect healthy bodies.
I think you have made some valid points which are very well summed up and as a few have highlighted thats its going to have to take big b*lls to work out the criterias if its true. I think Afghan has narrowed down the RENF jobs now as a Taliban bullet/IED doesnt just head to combat troops anymore as the many troops injured in convoys etc have proved. Ive seen a vast ammount of VM's, Drivers,AAC and all trade groups being trawled to go as Infantry soldiers now especially with 16Bde so the good old soldier first motto is definately here to stay. If these lads and lasses then go and get a serious injury thats going to affect their careers are we then going to throw them in Civvie Strasses gutter???? On the other hand as said the financial pinch is hitting hard and I know lads who are on their 7th + Op tour and being hammered because there are less FE soldiers to go on Ops. I also agree with Fat-Cav that their are some total waste of spaces who spend their lives finding ways of missing every exercise, tour and PT session.
The officer quote made me laugh though as most units I have been at as a Senior you will find that the old and bold or the officers on the whole are fitter than the 18-25 year old, Ive been at a number of units where if you are running over 9.45 as a senior you are AGAId or given extras even though theyve come in ahead of most the youngsters over ten years younger (thats when most of us get given a leave pass to get round)

I do feel for both sides of the arguement but will have to sit on the fence at this time as an injured person should get full support and be able to carry on the career he signed up for but we also need more fully deployable troops. Anyway dont be disheartened this news might be that Labours going to throw the MOD a lifeline and fund an extra 50,000 troops to cover all the Ops and injuries.
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#19
commzmeanzbombz said:
Command_doh said:
No offence, but if someone is deemed 'irreparable' in a minimum fitness standard context, is it too much to see that - with a bankrupt country - the 'employer' will seek to replace that person (suitable package offered, obviously) with a fully functional replacement?
No offence taken. The point I am trying to make (Badly) is, sometimes soldiers get injured, and it’s not their fault. We lead a rigorous life and damage occurs to knees/backs etc so by using the term biff or waster it causes more problems with soldiers trying to get back to full fitness. I am an example of this; I rushed my recovery and consequently set my self back by months. If soldiers with health problems see the ranks being culled then they will be terrified to go sick with anything!

Is it fair that my career should be cut short due to an injury caused by my service? I signed a contract so I should be able to complete my full career with no issues.

Thankfully so far its not an issue . The opinions on ARRSE just suprise me, no one is ever fat, no one has ever had an injury and been downgraded and everyone wants an Army of 6 footers with perfect healthy bodies.
Just an observation which may be wide of the mark.

You are clearly a motivated guy, I'm guessing early 30's, with a job but no career or very limited career prospects?
You basically going nowhere and are concerned whether you can mark time for anything up to 8 years, always pulling a static pay packet?

Why postpone the inevitable? If I were you I would start planning for a second career, and as already mentioned, ensure you are correctly compensated both for your permanent injury (caused on active duty), and your remaining work contract. This will anyway take a couple of years at least.

You should find yourself in a much better situation at 40 than if you wait it out.
 
#20
I think the key is in the distinction between "Biff" and "Waster" - certainly until we reach that utopia when we have so many olympic athletes in the ranks that we can have a 100% P2 Army.

Biff - Well, there are categories of "Biff". All bar 1 of my MT platoon were P3 to some degree, most were deployable and did a great job on Ops. we have a mass of jobs that a P3 body can do effectively. There are a range of jobs that a P7 body could do as well. One caveat would be that the "hard" jobs then fall more disproportionetly on the fit - On the other hand they tend to move faster up the promotion ladder.

That said, there comes a point where common sense needs to prevail, there are only so many "rear party", training wing etc posts, there are degrees of injury which preclude further useful service. An honourable Medical Discharge, with appropriate compensation ( "generous" would be better) must be an option for many.

Waster - Not actually medically related at all, though many do use some ancient incident as an excuse for dodging phiz. We could have a cull of real wasters. It would take a change of mind-set in producing SJAR/OJAR so that real performance was recorded and SNLR to follow....

Getting the balance right will be key, both for efficiency and morale. Both would probably benefit if the cull included a high proportion of "wasters", irrespective of medical category. I can provide a list if it would help :D
 

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