RLC LE Commissioning

#1
I was one of the unfortunates not to be selected this year for LE commission (lucky for me still have other opportunities). I was wondering whether any of the other unfortunates (past and present) where ever de-briefed as to their shortfalls in preparation for the following year. I believe that our illustrious colleagues in the REME do have a rigorous de-briefing programme so that they are in no doubt as to their defecits in relation to their application. I know the Big Boss scans this website as do others from DRLC, maybe they could shed some light.

I know that next year will see the introduction of additional processes for application but am not convinced that they are delivered early enough. Maybe this should be the ideal time to review all and suggest to some not to bother (I understand that I may be one of those myself - I would however, like to know to save myself any additional pain).

I am also in the dark as to what the Corps is looking for and believe that they do not know themselves what they want. Those in the know will understand trends.....Chefs 2005, Dvr 2006. Can anyone out there please enlighten me so that I can test and adjust for next year????
 
M

Mr_Logic

Guest
#2
RLCQMAN

Sorry for stating the obvious but have you spoken to your 1RO and 2RO? They would be where I would start in your position. After them, perhaps try the person who actually interviewed you and/or a desk officer in Glasgow. I think if you attend one of the selection events next year your questions as to criteria may well be answered.

As to what the RLC wants from LEs, I would imagine they want people who demonstrate the best potential for employment at RD and in staff appointments up to Maj level. We all know the debate over specialists and generalists and that the pendulum does swing depending on the whim of the current ASD. I think Glasgow also consider recent experiences of the relative success and versatility of LEs from different trade backgrounds. The current rumour is that chefs aren't much cop outside catering appointments, conversely drivers very versatile at RD.

If I were you I would keep my head down and do my research discreetly. If you really want to be selected for LE then stay focussed and go for it whole-heartedly. Lastly, do not forget that the process is meritocratic. To have been considered you have already achieved more than most soldiers achieve in 22 yrs. You may now have hit the stops, or perhaps just experienced a slight delay. You can only do you best. This year it seems that others were better on the day.

Good luck.
 
#3
Thanks Mr Logic, very sound advice. However, in respect of MCM Div have done the post apocalytic requests for info and they are very guarded with any response to the point of yes or no answers. I know the MCM environment and I don't belive they are the best people to speak with. I believe a chat with a board member may have been more beneficial to me and to all of those who failed this time around.

Whilst I understand that sometimes your aspirations do not match your abilities I believe it would be fairer (bearing in mind the seniority of the candidate base) and wiser to have a candid chat so that you could understand your failings!!!!

Most of us want the best for the Corps and if this means that some of us are delivered very honest critiques of our capabilities that persuade us not to re-apply this has to be regarded as a step forward. there are people out there with reporting officers who do not understand the Corps requirements or the individuals capabilities. This damages the image of the Corps and gives and individual false hope.
 
#4
Im still amazed that our Corps thinks that they have, and I quote "Enough quality WO1's in our Corps not to need to Commission WO2's".

Now what wories me is that if you look at the stats according to the MCM Div Roadshow. Sometime in the futrue the RLC LE officers will be mainly chefs, (1 in 8 Chance of getting to WO1). All the other Trades will see WO2's jumping ship to other Corps that do Commission WO2's, leaving our trade with very little experience in those trades that its either near impossible or very hard to get to the rank of WO1.

Put a Chef in errrmmm lets say a non Chef role, what good is that? I believe that LE Officers should be commissioned into the Corps for what they have to offer, not what they can learn! I know its slightly off your original topic but I just had to say that.

Good Luck for next year and I hope you get the guidance and advice you need!
 
#5
Marky,

You raise an interesting point although I cannot believe that the best RLC WO2s would even consider, 'jumping ship' to the few Corps that do offer a commission to WO2s.

You obviously have a problem with the Chef trade in particular and while I am not sticking up them I do not believe that they are any less able to perform the jobs on offer to LEs than others commissioned from any other trade. For example, I know a CO that moved one ex chef LE officer to RHQ to be his RCMO because he was the best LE officer in his regiment, the same guy also stood in for the Adjutant on several occasions rather than a DE officer. I have also met many other LE officers who were ex chefs in a variety of posts both at RD and Staff and they have done a fine job; there will always be those who are better employed in trade related posts but that goes for all the other LEs as well. I have also met several RLC LE officers from several trades who do not understand one end of the supply chain from the other let alone able to hold down a demanding staff job but presumably they are excellent in their own discipline but criticism cannot just be leveied at the just the chef trade.

I am also interested in your theory that in the future RLC LE officers will be mainly chefs because as I recall only one chef was commissioned this year - or perhaps you believe there is some kind of quota system?
 
M

Mr_Logic

Guest
#6
m2mSolutions said:
Marky,

You raise an interesting point although I cannot believe that the best RLC WO2s would even consider, 'jumping ship' to the few Corps that do offer a commission to WO2s.

m2mSolutions

I can't help but jump in on that point. I personally think that the RLC rule of only looking at RLC WO1s for LE commission is deeply flawed. There are many extremely capable WO2s who the RLC will not consider, irrespective of intellect, education, leadership, potential, achievement, etc. I know a former RLC WO2 who commissioned into another Corps and is doing very well. I would imagine that he is earning more as an LE Major than many of his contemporaries are as civvies. Do you suggest that he should have saved face by not have jumping ship! He would have left with a WO2 pension, he will now get a Majors pension. Think about it!

So, you think that quality WO2s should rather take it on the chin, do their 22 yrs and get out rather than applying, through open competition, for an LE place in a Corps less restrictive than the RLC? Question, and this is for uncle Jeff too, do we select for WO1 promotion and LE comissioning using the same criteria? If so, all well and good. Let us exclude those who do not make WO1. Alternately, let us use the internal market of all Warrant Officers. If the rules change, we may find to our horror that there are WO2s who select for LE commission over and above WO1s. That would sort of support my point wouldn't it! The current rules are too restrictive. Get them changed.

If we assume that only WO1 are fit for LE slots, it seems logical to me that we are linking WO1 selection criteria and LE selection criteria. Maybe not across the board but at least partially. Lets take a risk and widen the criteria. So what if a few red tabs have to do some more work. They get paid enough.
 
#7
m2mSolutions said:
You raise an interesting point although I cannot believe that the best RLC WO2s would even consider, 'jumping ship' to the few Corps that do offer a commission to WO2s.
I will also come in on this if I may, I know of a WO2 who obtained a distance learning degree and transferred to the AGC to be an educator - I know it is an isolated example, but I am sure that it is not the first time that something like this has occured, and I doubt whether he could be considered not one of the "best RLC WO2's" considering his committment to personal development etc.

Additionally, we had a SSgt who recently signed off, as he was not eligibile for a commission, neither in the RLC or any other corps. Again, he had obtained a masters degree (he was already a graduate). I also know that he has enrolled on an MBA programme to further his managerial skill set.

I must admit to being in complete agreement with Mr Logic here, we will continue to lose high quality motivated individuals who, because of some restrictive practice are inhibited in their desire for progression. We will of course be able to keep "tatoo corner" fully stocked with ex-WO1s who are clinging to the army on the basis that they either have no house, no money, no qulaifications or are too scared to leave the army.
 
#8
m2mSolutions said:
Marky,

You raise an interesting point although I cannot believe that the best RLC WO2s would even consider, 'jumping ship' to the few Corps that do offer a commission to WO2s.

You obviously have a problem with the Chef trade in particular and while I am not sticking up them I do not believe that they are any less able to perform the jobs on offer to LEs than others commissioned from any other trade. For example, I know a CO that moved one ex chef LE officer to RHQ to be his RCMO because he was the best LE officer in his regiment, the same guy also stood in for the Adjutant on several occasions rather than a DE officer. I have also met many other LE officers who were ex chefs in a variety of posts both at RD and Staff and they have done a fine job; there will always be those who are better employed in trade related posts but that goes for all the other LEs as well. I have also met several RLC LE officers from several trades who do not understand one end of the supply chain from the other let alone able to hold down a demanding staff job but presumably they are excellent in their own discipline but criticism cannot just be leveied at the just the chef trade.

I am also interested in your theory that in the future RLC LE officers will be mainly chefs because as I recall only one chef was commissioned this year - or perhaps you believe there is some kind of quota system?
M2M,

Hiya, I apologise if you thought my outburst was a direct snipe at the chef trade. It was'nt, it was just the best example I could come up with.

I strongly beleive, (as has been highlighted above) that we, as a Corps are loosing top quality men to other Corps because of the restrictive rules.

Take the Rad Op trade for instance. We have 1 WO1 posistion. The experience of the current WO2's will soon be lost either to civvy street or to other Corps. My trade now has the possibilty of becoming very inexperienced at the top because of this.

If, say for instance, Rad Op WO2's could commission, why not as a first post give them RSO jobs thus enabling them to pass on their knowledge to the men they lead?

Now I am only using the Rad Op trade as an example because I know this to be fact! Im sure other trades would benefit from this approach too.
 
#9
I know a former RLC WO2 who commissioned into another Corps and is doing very well. I would imagine that he is earning more as an LE Major than many of his contemporaries are as civvies. Do you suggest that he should have saved face by not have jumping ship! He would have left with a WO2 pension, he will now get a Majors pension. Think about it!
Sammy,

Thinking about it, I also know of a few warrant officers who have 'jumped ship' either becauase they were overlooked or cannot be considered for a commission into the RLC. In one case he is now an educator with the AGC (putting his degree to good use) and the other is a Capt in the RAMC, in both these cases it was an absolute travesity and the Corps has lost out on quality individuals; however, does that mean the RLC commissioned the 'wrong' people or mean that they should now revisit (again) the policy for commissioning warrant officers? I firmly believe that warrant officers should concentrate on being warrant officers and not immediately look to be commissioned when they have been in the rank 5 minutes - easy for me to say i know.

Question, and this is for uncle Jeff too, do we select for WO1 promotion and LE comissioning using the same criteria? If so, all well and good. Let us exclude those who do not make WO1. Alternately, let us use the internal market of all Warrant Officers. If the rules change, we may find to our horror that there are WO2s who select for LE commission over and above WO1s. That would sort of support my point wouldn't it! The current rules are too restrictive. Get them changed.
Good question and I do not have the answer but presumably WO2s are selected for promtion because it is envsaged they will make good WO1s and not whether they will make an excellent LE officer comment will obviously be made to their suitability. Allowing WO2s to be considered for commissioning would, IMHO, only rape the Sgts Mess of even more experience when they haven't even began to make their mark as warrant officers and help shape the SNCOs of the future.

Take the Rad Op trade for instance. We have 1 WO1 posistion. The experience of the current WO2's will soon be lost either to civvy street or to other Corps. My trade now has the possibilty of becoming very inexperienced at the top because of this.
Marky,

Take your point and it does appear that some specialized trades do not have the same opportunity to promote to WO1 as some of the other trades; therefore, these individuals will not have the chance to commission but could make the grade in certain posts and your ex Rad Op to RSO example is well made.

That said I am against opening up the commissioning rules to consider WO2s for the reasons I have made already although I concede that some may have to look elsewhere if they wish to be commissioned.
 
#10
m2mSolutions said:
I firmly believe that warrant officers should concentrate on being warrant officers and not immediately look to be commissioned when they have been in the rank 5 minutes - easy for me to say i know.
This may be your view, and indeed the view of a number of warrant officers who had long decided that they would take their money and run. However for a long term career soldier/potential LE then it only makes sense to apply for a commission at the first available opportunity. Why should they not commission after only 5 minutes in rank, when the opportunities awaiting them will only dimuinish in value the longer they wait - and by that I mean money in the bank. I concede that it is not exactly a million pound pay rise - but money is money, and the older soldier may have priorities that are not exactly consistent with the army's view that they should flog themselves to death for the pride of the corps.

m2mSolutions said:
That said I am against opening up the commissioning rules to consider WO2s for the reasons I have made already although I concede that some may have to look elsewhere if they wish to be commissioned.
And they will continue to do so - like I said previously we have lost 2 graduate level educated WOs, now whilst their academic ability is not the be all and end all and no guarantee that they will make a good officer, the chances are that they probably would have done as they had demonstrated the commitment to succeed, nothwithstanding that, we have also lost their valuable trade experience that could have otherwise been put to good use within their own corps, as opposed to going somewhere else where that knowledge will be scarcely relavent.
 
#11
I have just scanned through the last WO1 board (yes its xmas day, sad I know) and have concluded that are quite a few individuals that have at least 5-6 years risidual service left. Is the RLC MCM div banking on these guys going for commission in 2-3 years time, or are they hoping to slow down the promotion of those lower down the chain?
 
#12
Marky5503 said:
Take the Rad Op trade for instance. We have 1 WO1 posistion. The experience of the current WO2's will soon be lost either to civvy street or to other Corps. My trade now has the possibilty of becoming very inexperienced at the top because of this.

If, say for instance, Rad Op WO2's could commission, why not as a first post give them RSO jobs thus enabling them to pass on their knowledge to the men they lead?

Now I am only using the Rad Op trade as an example because I know this to be fact! Im sure other trades would benefit from this approach too.
But you also have to consider that a number of WO2 RadOps make WO1 on the Driver and Master Driver roll.

I agree that such a narrow WO1 focus is unhelpful, when you are trying to persuade JNCOs that Rad Op as a career has opportunities, especially when you look at the number of WO1 posts in other trades.
 
#13
Q Man

I'll just through a few points into the ring if I may:

The RLC is not seeking to commission either good, excellent, or outstanding WOs. They are looking for those who have/are developing leadership potential and reach.

So what.

The interviewing officer and subsequently the Board will not care less about your technical proficiency. They want to see a well-rounded individual, with a good sense of humour, an easy manner and a balanced view of the world. Whatever you do, don't come across as a serious single issue zealot with a mission to change the world.

You should have a general, but not detailed, knowledge of current and future matters of Corps interest and influence, and for next year I would recommend that you look at current ops, digitisation (esp BOWMAN), the impact of RLC FAS, PAYD, PFI builds, Defence Partnering, and some key DLTP programmes such as JPA.

Your trade may not necessarily impact on your commissioning potential, as you are not being selected for your knowledge at trade. As far as employability goes, all trades, regardless of previous experience, can operate at RD as RCMO, Fam Offr, 2IC etc; certain trades such as Sup Con will have gained more experience as a WO than others with working at staff and are therefore more likely to get SO3 appts, but this is not guaranteed.

Finally, if you do get commissioned think ahead immediately. Are you content with reaching Maj or do you aspire to go higher? If you are under 37 on commissioning seriously consider converting to DE. If you intend to have a full career as an LE look at getting on ICSC - although this is not currently significant I believe that most of the future LE Lt Cols posts will be filled by those who have successfully attended this course.

Good luck for next year.

PAW

PS. Are you aware of how you come across at interview. If not those who run the 'Selection Interviewing' courses are always looking for candidates to be interviewed - get on one or more of these interviews and get some valuable feedback.
 
M

Mr_Logic

Guest
#14
All aspiring LE candidates should take what PAW wrote as the 98% DS answer and use it as a guide to preparation for next year's board. That is superbly clear, succinct and could have been written in green or purple ink.

PAW, I think you meant throw, not through in your first sentence. Are you DRLC?

Mr_Logic
 
#15
Mr_Logic said:
All aspiring LE candidates should take what PAW wrote as the 98% DS answer and use it as a guide to preparation for next year's board. That is superbly clear, succinct and could have been written in green or purple ink.

PAW, I think you meant throw, not through in your first sentence. Are you DRLC?

Mr_Logic
Mr L,

Thanks for your kind comments, and well spotted with regard to my lack of staff checks. I'll now go and sit on the naughty step for a couple of mins.

PAW

PS. Am I DRLC? No, just a lowly workhorse.
 
#16
It's probably just me, but have you ever noticed how many of those promoted have surnames in the first half of the alphabet.

I was an observer on the RLC promotion board a few years back. Loads of CR's were read and passed around the board for scoring.

It all started very positive and thorough, board members were up for it and CR's were scored in alphabetical order. After the first hour or so the will to live was slowly draining out of the board members. Coffee breaks pepped them up again but I certainly got the impression that anyone in the second half of the alphabet ie the second half of the day may not have got the same attention as those at the outset. I couldn't help thinking that names should have been jumbled to make it a bit fairer.

As I say it's probably just me, but have a look at the list next time.
 
#17
fishfingers said:
It's probably just me, but have you ever noticed how many of those promoted have surnames in the first half of the alphabet.

I was an observer on the RLC promotion board a few years back. Loads of CR's were read and passed around the board for scoring.

It all started very positive and thorough, board members were up for it and CR's were scored in alphabetical order. After the first hour or so the will to live was slowly draining out of the board members. Coffee breaks pepped them up again but I certainly got the impression that anyone in the second half of the alphabet ie the second half of the day may not have got the same attention as those at the outset. I couldn't help thinking that names should have been jumbled to make it a bit fairer.

As I say it's probably just me, but have a look at the list next time.
No it's not you - I have notice this myself.

Signed
Lt Gen Albert Alfred Ashman of Ashford
 
#18
Mr_Logic said:
All aspiring LE candidates should take what PAW wrote as the 98% DS answer and use it as a guide to preparation for next year's board. That is superbly clear, succinct and could have been written in green or purple ink.

PAW, I think you meant throw, not through in your first sentence. Are you DRLC?

Mr_Logic
I will join you, Mr Logic, in congratulating PAW for his summary. About as good as it gets! I would also emphasise that a newly commissioned LE bod cannot rest on his/her laurels. They have to make an impression quickly if they want to promote beyond Major - and that now means attending ICSC(L) - and doing well!

The earlier comments in the thread about commissioning from WO2 were enlightening but, the sad fact is that, pulling WO2s from the Sgts' Mess in the past has meant a diminuition of the skills and expertise available to COs at that level. It is argued, and I can see the point, that there are sufficient strong WO1 commissioning candidates to justify fishing only in that pool - leaving the WO2s alone. If they are any good, they will pick up WO1 within 12-18 months anyway.

I hadn't noticed the alphabetical business..... and will check next time I am invited to a long party in Glasgow!

Litotes
 
#19
As I know him well I asked Col MCM Div for a direct quote on this thread and he gave me the following to post:

As a 'paid enough' Col RLC MCM Div I can only give PAW 93%.

Let us be clear the Sep 06 interviews were to help us understand the reports we later read. They were not part of the selection process itself but did give us ideas about a re-vamp for 07 that the Regt Col is working on. WO1s written up by senior officers should not get a better crack of the whip than those written up by Majs and Lt Cols and simply speaking to many of you brought the pages of your CR book to life.

It also needs to be understood that not being selected does not mean you are not good enough. We had plenty (actually most) above the quality line but not enough vacancies for all. We ended up with a merit list of which only the top slice gets published. The DE/LE gap in terms of employment is also closing. Plenty of LEs acquire an education in the Cpls & Sgts Messes that if they had received as a Pte might have seen them go the Sandhurst route. Chefs tend to be helped by their trade to both acquire and demonstrate 'officer-like' attributes and produce a big field because of their trade structure but trade, by itself, is immaterial in the commissioning process. It is undeniably more of an issue for selection to RSM where Regimental rather than technical trades tend to throw up more people who have demonstrated the desired attributes. But being an RSM is not an automatic leg up for a commission either….. but it is another selection process that further refines the field.

We also cannot wade through hundreds of potential WO2 applications as it makes the process too big, potentially lifts out future RSMs prematurely and generally denudes the quality of the WOs and Sgts Mess. And, yes, if we have people on the same score we will take the one running out of chances over the one who will almost certainly improve over the coming year. But, we are looking for officers not warrant officers (100% here PAW). We have looked repeatedly at WO2s commissioning elsewhere. They are not lost to the Army. Just how parochial should the RLC be? There is scope for movement but there is more than one way to skin a cat having more WO1 RSOs might be one for the Dvr/Rad Ops to increase their chances of WO1 and commissioing.

Finally, the alphabet. Check the 06 Commissioning List list and you will find that of the 25 selections there were 12 in the A-M bracket and 13 in the N-Z bracket!. Can somebody not count? Now pick up a telephone directory (preferably for any area without too many Polish immigrants) and you will find most British names start in the first half of the alphabet. In Glasgow we do not prefer Armstrongs, Campbells and Camerons to Macfarlanes, Ogilvies and Taggarts. Sourcing your information from that small cubicle wall does not make it true! The Global Warming Lobby point to the disappearing snows of Kilimanjaro as 'evidence'. Anyone told you about arid air because of local deforestation? Cause and effect are not always quite what they seem and you need to grasp the right problem or you will make a mess of the solution.
 
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