SDR and the YO

#1
The Con-Dem coalition is about to alter how the UK projects its military influence around the globe with the SDR- with many predicting a seachange towards a force based primarily around naval/air assets and a reduction in the expeditionary nature of the Armed Forces as it currently stands.

With this in mind, what effect will these changes have on Ocdts and YOs who have either recently commisioned or are currently at RMAS and are finalising their choice of regiment?

For example, what if the SDR decides that there is no longer a requirment for 12 RAC regiments? Will this influence Ocdts choices? If there are cuts, what will become of the YO who has just joined a MBT/Recce regiment?

I may well have missed something and be jumping the gun to a certain extent but I am certainly thinking about longevity when choosing my prefered regiments/corps.

Anybody care to put my mind at ease or share their concerns?
 
#2
dirk_digler said:
The Con-Dem coalition is about to alter how the UK projects its military influence around the globe with the SDR- with many predicting a seachange towards a force based primarily around naval/air assets and a reduction in the expeditionary nature of the Armed Forces as it currently stands.

With this in mind, what effect will these changes have on Ocdts and YOs who have either recently commisioned or are currently at RMAS and are finalising their choice of regiment?

For example, what if the SDR decides that there is no longer a requirment for 12 RAC regiments? Will this influence Ocdts choices? If there are cuts, what will become of the YO who has just joined a MBT/Recce regiment?

I may well have missed something and be jumping the gun to a certain extent but I am certainly thinking about longevity when choosing my prefered regiments/corps.

Anybody care to put my mind at ease or share their concerns?
If you remember back to Options for change in 1990, what happened there was a sudden drying up of any extensions to Short Service commissions and a general culling of junior officers through wastage that way. Commissions were then rescaled to what units were left. Some Reg Cs were given out to those v lucky few that hit the quality line and that was it. Those that had gone for Reg C early sat there smug...I was one of them.

I dare say we will have the same approach again.
 
#3
Are you also predicting a cut in manpower of 18% like Options for Change? Not to put words in your mouth!

Where and how the inevitable changes/cuts will be made is for another thread and another day, but what I want to know is how will it affect the Ocdt who joins a regiment only for it to be amalgamated or dare I say disbanded?

In theory you could pass out of RMAS only to find yourself jobless. Is this the case?
 
#4
dirk_digler said:
Are you also predicting a cut in manpower of 18% like Options for Change? Not to put words in your mouth!

Where and how the inevitable changes/cuts will be made is for another thread and another day, but what I want to know is how will it affect the Ocdt who joins a regiment only for it to be amalgamated or dare I say disbanded?

In theory you could pass out of RMAS only to find yourself jobless. Is this the case?
A cut of that magnitude is certainly being spoken about. Read the press. I hope it doesn't come to that.

My regiment was to be amalgamated. The people that suffered had been in a few years. The newbies mainly had the time to survive beyond the cuts when the recruited numbers fell as well and the wastage/culling then meant there was room. The standard "I'll extend when I need to" mentality disappeared and those wanting longer worked hard to remain. One or too transferred to where there was space. Others sadly did the minimum time and moved on.

I don't know how the system will play it this time but it will be, IMO, a reduction in recruiting numbers paired with a downsize in the number allowed to progress their commission. Along with natural wastage the numbers will fluctuate down for a while until the system stabilises. May take a few years though, just as it did for both soldier and officer numbers in the 90s.

MoD will hopefully play it a bit better than last time when recruiting was hit v hard and Bn numbers (Scots Div for me) were hit dreadfully as the gate keepers turned off the wee Jocks to other trades because they saw no secure future for them and no career.
 
#5
Bleak forecast.
Surely there would be a shift towards maintaining more land forces than boosting the Air Force/Navy (taking into account the context of the war we are enaged in now)? Furthermore it seems unfair that the actual soldiers should bear the brunt of the cuts. In my simplistic view of this issue I would of thought that the MoD and its amry of burreaucrats would be were most if not all the trimming should take place.
Has there been anymore news as to why Sir Jock Stirrup will still be in charge of the SDR even though he is bound to leave a short time after?
 
#6
Two former army chiefs are the frontrunners to replace Sir Jock Stirrup (General Sir David Richards and General Sir Nick Houghton), I expect this will have a big affect on the SDR. I hope that the government, armed forces and MoD realise that the Army should be protected more than the RAF and the navy. In fact I would go one further and say the Army actually needs expanding (Infantry and AAC in particular). Future wars are going to rely on land forces and support for them.

I certainly hope it doesnt affect me at all really (hoping to go RMAS this coming May). My ACA hasn't seemed to mention anything about it, and a whole new 'range' of recruitment adverts have recently sprung up on the TV.
 
#7
It does look bleak ahead.

Rumour has it that it will be armour/heavy armour that will be hit the worst, and even heavy artillery. RAF seems to be the first one up for the chop.

But yes no idea really, will have to wait and see. Fingers crossed they make sensible decisions!
 
#8
Xoums said:
Bleak forecast.
Surely there would be a shift towards maintaining more land forces than boosting the Air Force/Navy (taking into account the context of the war we are enaged in now)? Furthermore it seems unfair that the actual soldiers should bear the brunt of the cuts. In my simplistic view of this issue I would of thought that the MoD and its amry of burreaucrats would be were most if not all the trimming should take place.
Has there been anymore news as to why Sir Jock Stirrup will still be in charge of the SDR even though he is bound to leave a short time after?
Because he is in post and will be a convenient fall guy, perhaps? :?
 
#9
Xoums said:
Surely there would be a shift towards maintaining more land forces than boosting the Air Force/Navy (taking into account the context of the war we are enaged in now)? quote]

I would like to agree, afterall I intend on joining the Army and not the Navy. However I can understand that force projection is much more important that being able to deploy an extra Brigade.

I think that if Britian is to project any land forces in the future it will need to be strongly justified, instead our allies should commit and use their manpower instead. Token efforts by UN members will not cut it any more.

Remember the SDR is not just about saving money, it is about reviewing Britains' military and political role in the world. Britain has been hitting well abover her wight for years.

If you wanted to project force in the future it would be better achieved with Naval and Air assets that can quickly turn kinetic as well as the usual blockade/deterrant role.

But I wanted to know where the YO stood if this is to happen, we can discuss where we think the cuts will take place until the cows come home!
 
#10
dirk_digler said:
Xoums said:
Surely there would be a shift towards maintaining more land forces than boosting the Air Force/Navy (taking into account the context of the war we are enaged in now)? quote]

I would like to agree, afterall I intend on joining the Army and not the Navy. However I can understand that 1. force projection is much more important that being able to deploy an extra Brigade.

I think that if Britian is to project any land forces in the future it will need to be strongly justified, instead our allies should commit and use their manpower instead. Token efforts by UN members will not cut it any more.

Remember the SDR is not just about saving money, it is about reviewing Britains' military and political role in the world. 2. Britain has been hitting well abover her wight for years.

3. If you wanted to project force in the future it would be better achieved with Naval and Air assets that can quickly turn kinetic as well as the usual blockade/deterrant role.

But I wanted to know where the YO stood if this is to happen, we can discuss where we think the cuts will take place until the cows come home!
1. Force projection is sending an extra brigade...... as is turning up with a frigate. It is all a matter of having a balanced capability.

2. Quite agree but then we also have a lot of history with most of the places we go to.

3. What usual blockage role?? Gun boat diplomacy, what! :D Please explain. Air assets need somewhere to work out off. Air assets need protection means troops. In the land battle, navy can do little; air is expensive and trust me, is f*** all help against a couple of muppets with an RPG in a landcruiser. Too scarce a resource to waste effort on a minor target. Know how expensive a jet is to fly for an hour? Foul.......

As you say force protection is important but just what force protection is required? In the battles that we choose to deal with and if you look closely, it has been a LAND battle for a generation now.
 
#11
1. Force projection to what end? Would a country like North Korea/Iran/China fear our deployable Brigades? We might be able to send 10,000 troops.
The vast numbers of troops these countries can pour into conventional warfare is completely one sided. I was refering more to GW1,GW2 when Naval and Air assets "shock and awe" prepared the way for our land forces.

2. Yes we have done rather well whilst hitting above our own weight!

3. And there in lies the problem. What use is an aircraft carrier in Afghanistan? But Dr Fox will not be planning 10+ years in Afghanistan and neither will the SDR. I didn't say scrapping soldiers but changing how we support conflicts in the future. Besides, if we had the Navy of today in 1982 then the Falkland Islands would probably be called the Marianas!
 
#12
dirk_digler said:
the Falkland Islands would probably be called the Marianas!
Islas Malvinas? The Marianas are in the Pacific.
Excusing my pettiness, this is an interesting topic and one which I imagine is playing on the minds of many of the current crop of POs

It's interesting to hear Dr. Fox state that the decisions will be made with "no sentimentality". Implies that blows could fall on those units which, whilst historically and symbolically important, are not presently useful. Draw conclusions as you will.
 
#13
dirk_digler said:
1. Force projection to what end? Would a country like North Korea/Iran/China fear our deployable Brigades? We might be able to send 10,000 troops.
The vast numbers of troops these countries can pour into conventional warfare is completely one sided. I was refering more to GW1,GW2 when Naval and Air assets "shock and awe" prepared the way for our land forces.

2. Yes we have done rather well whilst hitting above our own weight!

3. And there in lies the problem. What use is an aircraft carrier in Afghanistan? But Dr Fox will not be planning 10+ years in Afghanistan and neither will the SDR. I didn't say scrapping soldiers but changing how we support conflicts in the future. Besides, if we had the Navy of today in 1982 then the Falkland Islands would probably be called the Marianas!
Then if your opinion is such, go and join one or either of these two fine organisations and stay away from the Army. Personally, I'd wait and see what the SDSR announces before you make up your mind. Might find out then what the UK PLC thinks it wants/prioritises in its armed forces structures.

One simple thing to remember, Air cannot hold ground. Neither can navy and both need to be targeted if their big weapons are to be used correctly. That needs intelligence and that largely, once you are into the fight means boots on the ground.
 

Bouillabaisse

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
We've had 2 major wars in the last 7 years, neither of which has been particularly popular with the general public, or many politicans. Both have been, primarily, because we need to support the USA in order to retain their military friendship. Perhaps the underlying agenda here is prevent a re-ocurrance without having to say "no." "We'd really like to support you on this one but unfortunately we don't have a lot of soldiers. How about a carrier battle group and some air cover?" Shows willing but is unlikely to be costly in lives
 
#15
Surely there won't be further cuts to infantry battlions? [rhetorical question I know...]

If this happens it will only be possible to send a strongly worded letter out to Helmand, as there'll be nothing left to deploy.
 
#16
Bouillabaisse said:
We've had 2 major wars in the last 7 years, neither of which has been particularly popular with the general public, or many politicans. Both have been, primarily, because we need to support the USA in order to retain their military friendship. Perhaps the underlying agenda here is prevent a re-ocurrance without having to say "no." "We'd really like to support you on this one but unfortunately we don't have a lot of soldiers. How about a carrier battle group and some air cover?" Shows willing but is unlikely to be costly in lives
Took the words right out of my mouth!
 
#17
dirk_digler said:
1. Force projection to what end? Would a country like North Korea/Iran/China fear our deployable Brigades? We might be able to send 10,000 troops.
The vast numbers of troops these countries can pour into conventional warfare is completely one sided. I was refering more to GW1,GW2 when Naval and Air assets "shock and awe" prepared the way for our land forces.

2. Yes we have done rather well whilst hitting above our own weight!

3. And there in lies the problem. What use is an aircraft carrier in Afghanistan? But Dr Fox will not be planning 10+ years in Afghanistan and neither will the SDR. I didn't say scrapping soldiers but changing how we support conflicts in the future. Besides, if we had the Navy of today in 1982 then the Falkland Islands would probably be called the Marianas!
My bold. A bit. 20-30% of air sorties over Afghanistan are made from Carriers.
 
#18
Shifty17 said:
dirk_digler said:
the Falkland Islands would probably be called the Marianas!
Islas Malvinas? The Marianas are in the Pacific.
Excusing my pettiness, this is an interesting topic and one which I imagine is playing on the minds of many of the current crop of POs

It's interesting to hear Dr. Fox state that the decisions will be made with "no sentimentality". Implies that blows could fall on those units which, whilst historically and symbolically important, are not presently useful. Draw conclusions as you will.
I knew that looked a bit dog toffee when I wrote it.
 
#19
Back on thread.....recruiting musn't be allowed to be stifled as it will create an irreplaceable hole that will pervade for years. The RAF made the mistake of stopping it a few years ago and it still causes problems. I can't imagine any cuts having immediate impact as these things will take time to implement. I would suggest that all of those at RMAS will have jobs on completion, although a small percentage may be encouraged to where there are gaps.
Slightly off thread........as suggested by some above the manning levers to control conversions are extremely likely and will surely include IRC as well as Reg C (for Late Entry officers also) conversions, what will be interesting is how the Reg C (passed-over) Majors and the older Lt Cols are encouraged to leave - CEA can't continue for long in its current state imo and significant reductions in that will probably get some to go.
 
#20
dirk_digler said:
Bouillabaisse said:
We've had 2 major wars in the last 7 years, neither of which has been particularly popular with the general public, or many politicans. Both have been, primarily, because we need to support the USA in order to retain their military friendship. Perhaps the underlying agenda here is prevent a re-ocurrance without having to say "no." "We'd really like to support you on this one but unfortunately we don't have a lot of soldiers. How about a carrier battle group and some air cover?" Shows willing but is unlikely to be costly in lives
Took the words right out of my mouth!
Fair point, however would you trust American ground intelligence to guide our bombers onto the right targets?
 
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