Royal Navy - Ranks 32nd on the world stage.

....a poster isn’t held on with 4 bits of blue tack
Aah yes, but if a 2000kg sea-skimming missile came through the ship's side, we'd all be fcuked if the blu tac didn't prevent a nasty paper cut. They really sting, they do.

Seriously though, I genuinely think we don't look after our people well enough and it doesn't matter how fast we recruit if people are leaving disillusioned and telling their mates it was crap. I went to a recruiting management meeting recently where it was lamented that after £10M investment, our recruiting figures were flatlining.

The management solution? Tell the recruiters you're not working hard enough, despite the fcuk-up in accepting an inadequate software system that seriously buggered-up everything. Problem solved. Next....
 
This applies to Omani and Bahraini navy also:

Briefed to "go easy" on them so they can "save face". At briefings, not uncommon for their officers to be deferential to some of their lower ranks-depending on which family they are connected to.
If they simply can't be arsed to do something- they simply won't do it.

Their whole method of operation is the equivalent of someone driving off a cliff because the satnav said to do so-then blaming the cliff for being there.

That was my experience anyway. I'm sure there are people on here with more current anecdotes though.
I've come into this thread late.

When I came outside, I worked at Warship Trials Group in Vosper Thorneycroft, taking the canoes for Oman, Bahrain and (whisper it) Sau*i Arab*a to sea for trials etc. Arzzholes all. Especially the 3 mine hunters for the land of Kashoggi. Lazy, hypocritical, disengenious doesn't even come into it! Drunken Saudis? Sheep slaughtering in Scotland? Never happened Guv.

Rant over - sorry for the slight thread drift.

RN manpower solutions? Make Ninja the Secretary of Defence!
 
This applies to Omani and Bahraini navy also:

Briefed to "go easy" on them so they can "save face". At briefings, not uncommon for their officers to be deferential to some of their lower ranks-depending on which family they are connected to.
If they simply can't be arsed to do something- they simply won't do it.

Their whole method of operation is the equivalent of someone driving off a cliff because the satnav said to do so-then blaming the cliff for being there.

That was my experience anyway. I'm sure there are people on here with more current anecdotes though.
I've come into this thread late.

When I came outside, I worked at Warship Trials Group in Vosper Thorneycroft, taking the canoes for Oman, Bahrain and (whisper it) Sau*i Arab*a to sea for trials etc. Arzzholes all. Especially the 3 mine hunters for the land of Kashoggi. Lazy, hypocritical, disengenious doesn't even come into it! Drunken Saudis? Sheep slaughtering in Scotland? Never happened Guv.

Rant over - sorry for the slight thread drift.

RN manpower solutions? Make Ninja the Secretary of Defence!
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
We dont entirely depend upon seaborne commerce.
95% of all goods by weight entering and leaving the UK are moved by sea (British Chamber of Shipping),
and every year Britain imports goods worth £524 billion. (British Chamber of Shipping),

More than 90% of the UK’s food imports arrive by sea (DEFRA), of the 50% we do not self generate (GOV.UK) and our ability to self-generate reduces annually.

Our net import of energy (principally oils (POL) and gas) continues to rise, we are now a net importer (ONS)

I'd say we have a pretty strong reliance upon seaborne commerce. Want to guess at how long we can rock and roll without food and fuel coming into the UK? Air-Freight can mitigate for a small period at a disproportionate cost. Even small variations, far away, have significant economic implications in the UK as our Somali chums demonstrated which spiked UK fuel prices.
 
...Also what nation doesn't trade globally or rely on seaborne commerce. We dont entirely depend upon seaborne commerce.
A single ship can carry 18,000 containers and several arrive and depart UK ports each day. How many air transport loads or lorries/trains transiting the Channel tunnel bottleneck do you think that equates to?
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
Seriously though, I genuinely think we don't look after our people well enough
In what ways? I ask as I was asked by a relative what sort of package her daughter could expect and it made me think of how much we invest in people: The Divisional system (which I think has improved lots), decent pay (still can't quite get over the new tiff pay), decent allowances, decent pension, good education, decent leave package.

Could it be better, absolutely, could we afford it probably not unless there was a compensating reduction or an uplift (porcine pilots..).

The dockyard run about and how some areas seem to misemploy people needs to be addressed (in engineering it's starting to happen) and I'm sure are more rub points.
 

Guns

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
Irrelevant to my point, maybe however they like to defend their substantial coastlines.
Also what nation doesn't trade globally or rely on seaborne commerce. We dont entirely depend upon seaborne commerce.
There is a reason that the Royal Navy had to go a fight pirates before ships got to the Suez. It was don't to the fact the insurance companies where about to pull the plug and it would have added days to the shipping as vessels had to go south around Africa. The briefing to the PM was that the UK could cope for 2 days before the Four Horseman would stride across the land. Just in Time logistics is just that.

Here in Canada it is said that 50% of the stock of Canadian Tire is afloat on its way to Canada.
 
There is a reason that the Royal Navy had to go a fight pirates before ships got to the Suez. It was don't to the fact the insurance companies where about to pull the plug and it would have added days to the shipping as vessels had to go south around Africa.
Gong round South Africa in the late 70s (with the oil crisis meaning slow steaming - 9 knots) took 58 days each way.
 
In what ways? I ask as I was asked by a relative what sort of package her daughter could expect and it made me think of how much we invest in people: The Divisional system (which I think has improved lots), decent pay (still can't quite get over the new tiff pay), decent allowances, decent pension, good education, decent leave package.

Could it be better, absolutely, could we afford it probably not unless there was a compensating reduction or an uplift (porcine pilots..).

The dockyard run about and how some areas seem to misemploy people needs to be addressed (in engineering it's starting to happen) and I'm sure are more rub points.
Accelerated Apprentices join as acting Leading Rates, hence the starting pay of £31k. Besides the academic requirements, we have around 4 x the number of applicants per places available. They need solid evidence of leadership experience and even though they may pass preliminary selection, after being offered a provisional entry date, 75% are informed they have not made the cut, just eight weeks before joining and told "You can still join as a standard technical rating on half the pay".

Ratings nowadays can expect to serve back to back seagoing drafts because all the shoreside billets are "civilianised". You won't get a shore draft until undertaking promotional qualifying courses and in many cases there aren't any shore billets until you reach senior rate.

Meanwhile, about 1 in 4 Naval personnel are now joining as Commissioned Officers. With the exception of Warfare Officers, most can expect 2 years sea, 4 to 6 years shore.

Treat people like shit, they walk.
 
To add to the above on a positive note, RN/RM recruiting figures are improving. It is a good package for those in for the long haul to SNCO or SO1 but for short term joiners, the early years are the ones where you are going to spend a lot of time away and the manpower is at full stretch at present.

It maybe too early to tell, but generally military recruiting is most buoyant when there's a jobs shortage. At present, there isn't but I do wonder whether people are getting the jitters in the private sector employment market due to Brexit and going for secure jobs in the public sector.

The other big thing from the RN/RM perspective, since relaxing the residency requirement for Commonwealth citizens on November 5th we've had around 2000 applications for 300 posts.
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
Accelerated Apprentices join as acting Leading Rates, hence the starting pay of £31k. Besides the academic requirements, we have around 4 x the number of applicants per places available. They need solid evidence of leadership experience and even though they may pass preliminary selection, after being offered a provisional entry date, 75% are informed they have not made the cut, just eight weeks before joining and told "You can still join as a standard technical rating on half the pay".
If the competition and demands are made clear that doesn't seem too unreasonable. 8 weeks is short but long enough to make a decision if we forewarn them.

Ninja_Stoker said:
Ratings nowadays can expect to serve back to back seagoing drafts because all the shoreside billets are "civilianised". You won't get a shore draft until undertaking promotional qualifying courses and in many cases there aren't any shore billets until you reach senior rate.
We've raised this before here and on RR in various threads; Flagship started the reduction of shoreside posts that's continued into the dockyards. Hence why I've said a number of times we need more fat in the system. My own personal view is that HMT, who really do control the strings, don't want any of the Services to have fat - they don't understand particularly why we are different (highlighted yesterday in a tangential discussion in MoD where I pointed out just how differently we work and I could see (Army/RAF) Seniors look surprised).

That aside, the bulk of work for JR/SR is at sea and rightly or wrongly we've altered the balance of skill/management - thats just the balance of how it is and how we man ships. Until we start to automate more (?) I can't really see that changing, except if we can find more shore opportunity (I started some of that for WE/CIS in my last post, small numbers but a start and it is really hard).

Ninja_Stoker said:
Meanwhile, about 1 in 4 Naval personnel are now joining as Commissioned Officers. With the exception of Warfare Officers, most can expect 2 years sea, 4 to 6 years shore.
Some do more and some do more in Op Tours and PJHQ/SJFHQ/Battlestaff posts, but again thats the difference in roles.

If the grist is Officer/Rating differences I suspect we'll never alter that; if it's the back to back sea jobs, which I agree is not ideal, I know in many areas thats being looked at, but you'll know as well as I do the catch-22 of needing SQEP at sea to get the ships doing the jobs we're needed for and having so many gaps to fill. As we've said before not many easy answers, but people are working on options/solutions.

One thing I know we need to sort quickly is this ridiculous idea that WO1 engineers get shoved back to sea as SO3 or in made up positions. Thats just creating a conveyor belt outside.
 
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A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
It maybe too early to tell, but generally military recruiting is most buoyant when there's a jobs shortage. At present, there isn't but I do wonder whether people are getting the jitters in the private sector employment market due to Brexit and going for secure jobs in the public sector.
Was always thus; I joined for a short spell in such a lull (partly because I wanted to and partly because my No1 job fell through) but a vast number of my peers joined because it was the safest, or for some, only option.
 
Strange but true - Joined RAF first as Pilot!
I will never mention that again...ever! ;)

However, I admire your honesty!

Regards,
MM
 
Was always thus; I joined for a short spell in such a lull (partly because I wanted to and partly because my No1 job fell through) but a vast number of my peers joined because it was the safest, or for some, only option.
Agreed & ditto.

I've no doubt in Navy Recruiting, the Marketing department will try to claim the glory for increased recruiting figures on the back of a downturn in the UK economy. Likewise the success of the award winning "Made in the Royal Navy" adverts was due to giving the job to a civilian advertising agency who knew what they were doing, but let's not allow that detail to get in the way of self-induced back-slapping ;)

On the Commissioned/Ratings ratio, and not a pop at the wardroom, it does make me wonder whether all the shore billets need to be service personnel.

I'm thinking Engineering/Logistics/Training. Clearly you do not need to be a Doctor to manage a hospital and similarly, 10% of seagoing billets are filled by Commissioned Ranks against 25% of Naval manpower being expensive Commissioned Ranks which could be better (more cheaply) filled by RO's, Civil Servants and private sector graduates.
 

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
I will never mention that again...ever! ;)

However, I admire your honesty!
It's one for over a beer. I pulled a fast one, it worked for a while, then when it didn't I was offered FC but a life as a Gollums body double in Boulmer compared to a life swilling G&T after whizzing about in my shiny Tonka made me realise I needed another career option.......
 

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