Have just heard a rumour that the Sergeants course is being cut to just 9 days and most of that being based around paperwork.
Does anybody know how true this is and what is the general concensus of opinion?
this is due to kick in next April i am led to believe, although i havent heard much more about it, the last i heard was that it was reverting back to the management type course similar to the WO's course.
i think either way it shouldnt change, look at the turn out blandford are giving us, its disgusting, so if you can imagine the JNCO; SNCO within the next 5 - 10 years with soft NCO courses with army will be a nightmare!!
so what do you think about the Waiver system then? does that not let muppets through too or does it give the Army the chance to actually allow people that have been injured through their own training practices to advance in line with some of the real muppets who still manage to get through RSSC at the moment and go on to actually show that the Course as it stands doesnt really teach that much apart from how to mess people about?
Granted its changed a lot over the years but can you seriously explain why someone who holds every qualification that is taught on that course and comes from a Training wing to attend it, then has to be assessed by people who in quite a few cases over the years didnt really stand out as outstanding tradesmen
if the course was designed to teach a SNCO how to be a proper platoon SGT then we would have all been sent on a more worthy course like Senior Brecon
One of the selling points of the Sgts course is that it gives records a "level playing field" course report that all elegible for promotion to Ssgt must have. This is especially important for the RD's i would think and its a good arguement for leaving it as it is. Having done it quite recently, i would say that the length could probably be reduced a tad and the course content left unaffected, however it would make it quite intense.
As for the waiver system, i think records need to pay more attention to who they are waivering. Knowing that someone has received a waiver devalues the course for those who have attended it, and the waiver is used far too often.
you think the waiver system is used far too often? as far as i knew there were only 10 people to date that had been given a waiver and successfully been promoted but i may be wrong on that.
The Waiver system is however actually very stringent as far as medical terms go, to get a waiver you must first actually write a formal letter yourself to the CO requesting he applies for one for you, from there the Medical people from Manning and Records contact the hospital that is dealing with the person applying and find out if the Injury or illness is going to stop the individual from taking part of such a course, in which case the record of the individual and previous reports are taken into consideration and a decision made, i know quite a few that have been rejected through this system so it cant all be bad, however as always people do get through.
But no different than a W01 who is downgraded being given a bogus BFT pass (having not done one for nigh on 5 years) and then as a result being commissioned after it
on the waiver system, i know there is more than 10!!
it is a nightmare, but the people who have picked up injuries through years in the army cant be helped, i was downgraded for 3 years with a bad back as most soldiers, but un_like most who play on it, i done the rehab thing and done the best to help my back, which will never be better, but i learnt how to get off my ar**e and get back to p3 fit, the end of the day, most people play on it for a waiver cause they are scared, well maybe thats not the word, but just dónt want to go through it as we all have.
LPlate, like bencher i know that more than 10 waivers have been given. A figure of "no more than 10" per year was given by records at a briefing i attended, i think most of them were in that briefing!!
It is unfortunate for anyone to pick up an injury which prevents us from attending a career course, but we did all join knowing that our bodies may at some point let us down. Dont get me wrong, i dont think that blokes should be penalised for picking up injuries, just that the current system of waivers is wrong. If an individual can be waivered a course on the grounds of past reports/conduct etc, shouldnt everybody both injured and medically fit be given the same consideration? If an individual is waivered because he is never going to be medically fit enough to attend the course, surely that individual is never going to be medically fit enough to fully perform the duties of "being a soldier". After all, being a soldier and a SNCO is more than just driving a desk.
I dont know what the answer is, but i'm sure they will come up with something, probably whatever is the cheapest option!!!
i agree with what you say and for the most part i would agree that laziness is the key here because i too know of people that in reality would have no intentions of actually even attempting the course, what about people that have been on the course and been medex'd from the course though?
And surely in this age where they are thinking of extending the career to the 37 year limit there is ample scope for using the less abled people to actually drive certain desks whilst allowing fitter younger SNCO's to actually get on with their career?
The only reason i found it strange was that i know of one person who sustained an injury due to a spot of negligence in the Gym, not from his part but from the legislation that was in place at the time that didnt have a requirement for "Crash mats" to be used under apparatus, the soldier injured his knee severely and it took the Army nearly 10 years to sort his knees out, in that time he got 3rd on his Det Commanders (whilst covering the injuries up for fear of stopping his career) he also got top soldier on numerous battle camps etc and even managed to pass "Special Duties" selection and training and also managed a B grade on his PTI's course too
However having attempted his Sgt's course in Jan 98 he knackered his knee yet again through to some nice Assault course work, the result is that only just now has he managed to get more operations on his knees and that has taken another 4 years to sort out, the Military medical system didnt get him an MRI scan and a Brigadier banned him from playing any form of sport but passed him P1 fit???
He had to get a second opinion through the system that diagnosed him with Arthiritis and the Civilian medical authorities now advise him to press for a civil law suit against the AMS because they recieved a letter from MRO asking if the injury was likely to be a career stopper or was he acting on it (not to mention the fact the MRI showed he had been walking on torn cartilage in both knees for at least 2 years)
I know for a fact that the soldier has turned down the chance of a waiver twice on the grounds that he would have been teaching at Blandford himself during his career if he got the chance and also having run an 8.30 BFT through most of his career felt that waivers were for fat slugs
In the time that he had been waiting for operations etc he has taken all his CFT's and BPFA's unnofficially and passed them all, and after getting to 15st 7lb then managed to lose weight back down to 12st 13lb in an effort to make the Army see sense and allow him to try the course, now of course the Army are frightened that they did nothing to sort this medical problem they have actually requested a waiver for him on the proviso that if he wants to go further than SSGT he can do the course later if the operations prove successful. The soldier isnt that bothered because he knows that he is going to be branded a slug by getting a back door pass even when he knows he is more qualified than half of the 11 Sigs instructors and can probably match them for physical training too.
The question is if the Army wont upgrade him because they are frightened of him getting injured and also of the resultant claim if he ended up getting Medically discharged through participation in a course that he had already attempted but was RTU'd from then how can that be such a bad thing from his perspective? especially if the guy was willing to do a course of some kind
I am not too sure what the outcome of the whole change in attitude towards training at this level will be, but make no mistake, the course has got easier over the years anyway, Colerne was a nightmare compared to Blandford much the same as Bergelen Det commanders course was always more of a beasting than Blandford too but do we brand them all slugs even when the Army and R Signals are actually requesting SNCO's who have through no fault of their own been injured, sometimes on Operations.
The question for me should be how can the waiver system be squared away so that only people with consistant grades throughout their career get looked at instead of "fat slugs" picking up because they have been looked after well by their CO
Lplate, the guy you mention in your post is unfortunate, he is obviously one of the people who is still producing the goods. Anyone who is injured on the course get another chance, and if you consistantly pick up injuries on the course (a guy on mine was on his 3rd attempt because of back problems) the its time to consider the waiver system, after all you have done your bit and got onto the course.
So is there any need for a physical aspect to the course? The phys at the moment takes the form of a section competition with different events earning points for champion section. If the course was reduced in length below about 4 weeks, i cant see the point in having a physical aspect to the course. The training benefit gained from the team building would be minimal and i dont believe the section DS would be able to form a fair oppinion of an individuals performance under physical stress in a shorter time.
So that leaves the exercise and leadership phases. Its my opinion that if you remove these you should bin the course. No one who is physically unfit can do these phases and it would be unfair to make a fit soldier do them and his medically unfit counterpart not do them.
So unless they come up with a completely classroom based course content which is the same for everyone no matter what their med cat, and bin the waiver system and make everyone do the same course, we'll probably still be discussing this in 10 years time!! And yes i agree, the course has got easier over the years - thank god
Lplate - the guy your talking about, with me being a very cynical has- been, is it a case of re-injury to the said knees as I suspect, or he is of extraordinary fitness. unless the dettys course and such are getting that soft these days
I have only 1 gammy knee, and i cannot do any impact exercise, and over the years have spoken to loads of people in the same situation ( normally at rehab or physio) as it bu**ers up very quickly indeed.
I can't wait til I'm old enough to get the required new build for my knee, but unfortunately unless absolutley neccessary will not happen for at least another 10 years, as apparently technology dictates that a new knee will only last approx 15 years, and cannot be re-done!!
As for civilian medical authorities, i do not hold them in much regard, all the boards i have been on in the last 5 years are filled with what appears to me as old GP's who got the job as it is easier to do than in a normal surgery. they say i am not capable of work, yet i am not "disabled" enough to claim disability pension.
right i'll stop now i am beginning to whinge and feel sorry for myself..
8esar - don't doubt the mentality side of things, but it is no good having a will to win, if you can't function physically, especially in a military environment. ( or used to).
As I said i am very cynical, as to the severity of the injury if it lasted 10 years to sort out and he was not downgraded, or whatever it is called these days.
I have been out for a few years now and all things change, but if he attended all these courses including SF, I would have thought they done pre-course meds,a nd if he was that severerly injured, i have difficulty believing he could have got on the courses, never mind passing them.
As for 8.30 BFT's, not bad at all, but maybe that is where the re-injury part comes in with your view " the will to win" but it seems he now suffers from Arthritus, could it be the fact he never gave the knee time to recover properly, and tried to do too much work on the damaged parts ? and now will/may suffer for the rest of his life.
i can only answer with the experience I have gained/suffered from my injury and do not profess to being a doctor or phsychaitrist. and of always it is just 1 persons view.
all the courses he did were in between injuries to be honest, he initially had cartilage removed from both knees in 1989 and 1991 and specifically asked to be upgraded as he felt he was coping with the pain well enough.
As far as extraordinary fitness goes i wouldnt have said that to be honest, he is one of the sort of guys that is naturally fit and doesnt like to miss out on stuff to be honest, i wouldnt say its the case that he over trained on it either without giving it proper time to rest.
If i was to be perfectly honest i imagine that motivation to achieve to continue to try to lead as normal and active career as before is probably the underlying factor.
However the fact still remains that for the Army medical services to have not taken what indeed the normal route for a civilian is (by that i mean X-Ray, MRI and then surgery) is all a bit ridiculous in my opinion and just shows how badly the Military can and are looked after on the whole.
By RSSC, do you all mean what some people refer as 'their detties course'?
Surely, a massively reduced course, revolving around duties of a SNCO, is more relevant than being marched all over Blandford and treated like an idiot for 4 weeks, is more practical for today's 'caring sharing Army'?
My fiancee is R Sigs, so I know this is a massive bone of contention at the moment. I also understand that the 'waiver' will only actually apply to a very small group of people, regardless of what the shop floor believe.
PS I went to Blandford last summer - I couldn't believe how unbelievably cushty it was for the nigs - and it's going to get easier??????
I did min back in 96 and to be honest learned very little. It was just a big fcuk about with no real value. What does the course actually consist of? A CFT which you do every year anyway. Two BFTs which you do every year anyway. Refreshers on NBC and so on. ITDs cover most of that each year. Lots of PT beastings. All that never made me a better SNCO. It got me a little fitter but that is about all.
Some people seem to think it is a right of passage that requires fcuking people around for 5 weeks. Why? MOST SNCOs have worked hard for many years to gain the rank in the first place. I learned things on my detties. EPC was useful. Nothing I did on RSSC ever helped me do my job.
This is the problem with RSIGNALS they are trying to be all things to all men. It is not the infantry and there is no real need to be messing SNCOs about for 5 weeks pretending they are. So much more could be gained from teaching management subjects or something relevant to what a SNCO does on a daily basis. Lets face it that is what a SNCO in the corps is, a manager.
As I said at the start it did little more than make me a bit fitter and waste 5 weeks of my life. Whole thing should be scrapped, would save a fair amount of money too which could be spent on something more worthwhile. Out of curiosity what is the cost of sending one SNCO on this course?