Senior officers and resignation

#1
There was much debate about whether or not POD had resisted the politicians and his 'duty' to resign to draw attention to the problems.
It comes from a US lt Gen but here is Sanchez's comment on the question of senior officers resignation
Sanchez said he realized there were serious challenges to the U.S. military’s strategy in Iraq as soon as he became the top military commander in Iraq.

Asked why he did not speak out about his concerns, Sanchez said general officers take an oath to carry out the orders of the president while in uniform.

“The last thing that America wants, the last thing that you want, is for currently serving general officers to stand up against our political leadership,” he said.

However, general officers do have the option of stepping down if they disagree with the country’s leaders.

Sanchez said he felt he could not resign and go public with his reservations while he was in Iraq, because he feared that move could further jeopardize troops serving there.

“I think once you are retired, you have a responsibility to the nation, to your oath, to the country, to state your opinion,” he said.
 
#3
Bikkies - I understood that officer resigners kept pensions earned? I do OK on WOI and just over 22 years so a 4* with almost 40 should be OK for Labrador biscuits?
 
#4
It makes sense. If every serviceman , irrespective of rank, resigned/signed off every time the governmnet took a decision that affected them that they didn't like what sort of army would we have ?. We'd all be speaking German for a start. When you join up you swear an oath and you should be prepared to live by that oath.I remember an old CSM , who'd served during WWII, saying to me "You don't have to like it , you do have to do it".
 
#5
craftsmanx said:
It makes sense. If every serviceman , irrespective of rank, resigned/signed off every time the governmnet took a decision that affected them that they didn't like what sort of army would we have ?. We'd all be speaking German for a start. When you join up you swear an oath and you should be prepared to live by that oath.I remember an old CSM , who'd served during WWII, saying to me "You don't have to like it , you do have to do it".
what absolute nonsense, we expect our leaders and officers to be able to understand the difference between right and wrong, and more importantly act on that!

Or are you of the school of thought that says its better to start a war that was neither legitimate or achievable in its aims and that will cost billions, and result in the wasteful and pointless deaths and leave some so damaged that they will never have a decent normal life again.

Emperors new clothes anyone!
 
#6
The Rupert Classes are only interested in their pensions not there men/women.

How a 4* can sit and watch as an un-winnable war be perused by corrupt politicians and not have the balls to say so. Smacks of First World War Cannon Fodder were men and women service personnel were used as Cannon Fodder.

Failed political policies and wars by corrupt politicians needs to be aired by the Rupert Classes.

The politicians who visit the field and ask the troops a question, the soldier has the responsibility to let the politicians know exactly what they think.

The Rupert Classes may have the right to give you an order, but you have the right and must think for yourself.
 
#7
craftsmanx said:
It makes sense. If every serviceman , irrespective of rank, resigned/signed off every time the governmnet took a decision that affected them that they didn't like what sort of army would we have ?. We'd all be speaking German for a start. When you join up you swear an oath and you should be prepared to live by that oath.I remember an old CSM , who'd served during WWII, saying to me "You don't have to like it , you do have to do it".
There needs to exist a healthy separation between politicians and the military. Using another example from WWII, we all saw what happened when the German Army stopped questioning orders.
 
#8
ranger1640 said:
The Rupert Classes are only interested in their pensions not there men/women.

How a 4* can sit and watch as an un-winnable war be perused by corrupt politicians and not have the balls to say so. Smacks of First World War Cannon Fodder were men and women service personnel were used as Cannon Fodder.

Failed political policies and wars by corrupt politicians needs to be aired by the Rupert Classes.

The politicians who visit the field and ask the troops a question, the soldier has the responsibility to let the politicians know exactly what they think.

The Rupert Classes may have the right to give you an order, but you have the right and must think for yourself.
Clearly "thinking" isn't something you do a lot of pond life. Get that chip off your shoulder and grow up.
 
#9
ranger1640 said:
The Rupert Classes are only interested in their pensions not there men/women.

How a 4* can sit and watch as an un-winnable war be perused by corrupt politicians and not have the balls to say so. Smacks of First World War Cannon Fodder were men and women service personnel were used as Cannon Fodder.

Failed political policies and wars by corrupt politicians needs to be aired by the Rupert Classes.

The politicians who visit the field and ask the troops a question, the soldier has the responsibility to let the politicians know exactly what they think.

The Rupert Classes may have the right to give you an order, but you have the right and must think for yourself.
Fantasy. Do you actually know any Officers? Guaranteed that "Ruperts" worry more about there soldiers than there pension. Let's not have another debate about how bad/good Officers are.
 
#10
halo_jones said:
craftsmanx said:
It makes sense. If every serviceman , irrespective of rank, resigned/signed off every time the governmnet took a decision that affected them that they didn't like what sort of army would we have ?. We'd all be speaking German for a start. When you join up you swear an oath and you should be prepared to live by that oath.I remember an old CSM , who'd served during WWII, saying to me "You don't have to like it , you do have to do it".
what absolute nonsense, we expect our leaders and officers to be able to understand the difference between right and wrong, and more importantly act on that!

Or are you of the school of thought that says its better to start a war that was neither legitimate or achievable in its aims and that will cost billions, and result in the wasteful and pointless deaths and leave some so damaged that they will never have a decent normal life again.

Emperors new clothes anyone!

Not at all , I'm saying that it's up to the government to decide policy and it's up to the Armed Services to do what they swore an oath to do. The ballot box is the place to tell the government what to do not the barrack square. If you're more interested in setting policy become a politician. Once the army starts running the country you have another Burma or Pakistan.
 
#11
craftsmanx said:
halo_jones said:
craftsmanx said:
It makes sense. If every serviceman , irrespective of rank, resigned/signed off every time the governmnet took a decision that affected them that they didn't like what sort of army would we have ?. We'd all be speaking German for a start. When you join up you swear an oath and you should be prepared to live by that oath.I remember an old CSM , who'd served during WWII, saying to me "You don't have to like it , you do have to do it".
what absolute nonsense, we expect our leaders and officers to be able to understand the difference between right and wrong, and more importantly act on that!

Or are you of the school of thought that says its better to start a war that was neither legitimate or achievable in its aims and that will cost billions, and result in the wasteful and pointless deaths and leave some so damaged that they will never have a decent normal life again.

Emperors new clothes anyone!

Not at all , I'm saying that it's up to the government to decide policy and it's up to the Armed Services to do what they swore an oath to do. The ballot box is the place to tell the government what to do not the barrack square. If you're more interested in setting policy become a politician. Once the army starts running the country you have another Burma or Pakistan.
what are you on about, i think you will be hard pushed to find any hint of encourageing a military revolt and junta. in my post it is about...

EXPLAINING to the government if or if not an aim is achievable.

EXPLAINING to the government if a mission is or is not within the rules of war.

EXPLAINING to the government the consequences of success and or failure

and more importantly if you think it is going to be a bag of tits and the wrong thing to do throw your hat in before not after with the big boys made me do it attitude.

:roll:
 
#12
ranger1640 said:
The Rupert Classes are only interested in their pensions not there men/women.

How a 4* can sit and watch as an un-winnable war be perused by corrupt politicians and not have the balls to say so. Smacks of First World War Cannon Fodder were men and women service personnel were used as Cannon Fodder.

Failed political policies and wars by corrupt politicians needs to be aired by the Rupert Classes.

The politicians who visit the field and ask the troops a question, the soldier has the responsibility to let the politicians know exactly what they think.

The Rupert Classes may have the right to give you an order, but you have the right and must think for yourself.
1. What is a Rupert class? Not a sarcastic question - I want to know what you think constitutes the Rupert class.

2. Have a look at the Casualty Lists of WW1 and WW2 - you will find that the highest death and casualty rates were among the junior Ruperts.

3. Many, including politicians, (such as Lord Halifax) were arguing as late as 1940 that the British should have made peace overtures to Hitler - and he was in Churchills' War Cabinet. It would have made sense - we keep the Empire and the Navy, Adolf gets Europe - jobs a good 'un. After all, a lot of people thought it was unwinnable so does that mean we should have just gone with the flow?

4. The Rupert Classes (and the NCO/WO classes) do have the right to give lawful commands and their subordinates do have to obey them. Oh and British military doctrine needs and requires Junior Commanders to think for themselves.

5. All of the people who bring this subject up on not agreeing with politicians would like to see HMF politicised - providing of course that said Forces agree with the point of view of people such as your good self. You probably wouldn't like it too much if said HMF came from another direction - perhaps saying that people such as yourself are deliberatley undermining the lawful authority of Commissioned Officers and that such an action constitues subversion, punishable by trial by Court Martial. Doesn't sound so good now does it? - try internet searching the Rule of the Major Generals - and get past wiki. Its why HMF doesn't do it and why they should not get into politics whilst in uniform.

Just a point but - you have never been in the military have you?
 
#13
Any recent cases of senior ranks resigning on principal - irrespective of whether the principal is right or not?

Given that Gen Jackson has had been critiqued on this, just wondering if it does happen? - admittedly, the book launch, the newspaper articles and paid public speaking events are bound to bring out the cynic in people!
 
#14
ranger1640 said:
The Rupert Classes are only interested in their pensions not there men/women.

How a 4* can sit and watch as an un-winnable war be perused by corrupt politicians and not have the balls to say so. Smacks of First World War Cannon Fodder were men and women service personnel were used as Cannon Fodder.

Failed political policies and wars by corrupt politicians needs to be aired by the Rupert Classes.

The politicians who visit the field and ask the troops a question, the soldier has the responsibility to let the politicians know exactly what they think.

The Rupert Classes may have the right to give you an order, but you have the right and must think for yourself.
Hello Norman (or are you just related?) What army have you served in?

So all those of the "Rupert Classes" (no prejudice there then) who have been killed/wounded in action and/or decorated for selfless bravery to date only did what they did to secure their disability or war widows' pensions, did they? Interesting thought.

I'd say that the Chief of the Defence Staff questioning the legality of invading Iraq conflict prior to the event was more than just sitting and watching. Once this was confirmed and our democratically elected Government gave the order to roll, there wasn't much option for any service personnel but to do his/her duty, no matter what their rank. Now, of course, we are in Iraq and Afghanistan at the request of their own governments, put in place by UN-overseen elections.

Every British soldier thinks for himself/herself; that's why we are the best. However, things would be a right potmess on the battlefield if every squaddie paused a few seconds to consider each and every order before obeying it. The last thing we need is a bunch of commissars deciding whether orders are politically correct before they are issued. Politics should be kept out of the Armed Forces; or would you prefer us to be like Burma?
 
#15
rickshaw-major said:
ranger1640 said:
The Rupert Classes are only interested in their pensions not there men/women.

How a 4* can sit and watch as an un-winnable war be perused by corrupt politicians and not have the balls to say so. Smacks of First World War Cannon Fodder were men and women service personnel were used as Cannon Fodder.

Failed political policies and wars by corrupt politicians needs to be aired by the Rupert Classes.

The politicians who visit the field and ask the troops a question, the soldier has the responsibility to let the politicians know exactly what they think.

The Rupert Classes may have the right to give you an order, but you have the right and must think for yourself.
1. What is a Rupert class? Not a sarcastic question - I want to know what you think constitutes the Rupert class.

2. Have a look at the Casualty Lists of WW1 and WW2 - you will find that the highest death and casualty rates were among the junior Ruperts.

3. Many, including politicians, (such as Lord Halifax) were arguing as late as 1940 that the British should have made peace overtures to Hitler - and he was in Churchills' War Cabinet. It would have made sense - we keep the Empire and the Navy, Adolf gets Europe - jobs a good 'un. After all, a lot of people thought it was unwinnable so does that mean we should have just gone with the flow?

4. The Rupert Classes (and the NCO/WO classes) do have the right to give lawful commands and their subordinates do have to obey them. Oh and British military doctrine needs and requires Junior Commanders to think for themselves.

5. All of the people who bring this subject up on not agreeing with politicians would like to see HMF politicised - providing of course that said Forces agree with the point of view of people such as your good self. You probably wouldn't like it too much if said HMF came from another direction - perhaps saying that people such as yourself are deliberatley undermining the lawful authority of Commissioned Officers and that such an action constitues subversion, punishable by trial by Court Martial. Doesn't sound so good now does it? - try internet searching the Rule of the Major Generals - and get past wiki. Its why HMF doesn't do it and why they should not get into politics whilst in uniform.

Just a point but - you have never been in the military have you?

Well said!
 
#16
Sanchez considered that his responsibility to his Army was greatest. Quite right; it is no part of a General's remit to question a political command, except where legality is concerned. He is not equipped to decide the issues. Resignation 'on principle' at that rank is by definition an indication that the individual is unable to meet the demands of his post.
 
#17
After over 20 year's commissioned service, I suppose I must be deemed "rupert class". That is despite coming from a single parent, proudly working class family with a good old fashioned comprehensive education. Hopefully with that stereo-type dispelled I can comment on the real issue without being dragged into a stupid class way rant.

The question is should senior officer resign on major issues. The question of the effect on pension is pretty irrelevant. Most senior officers' pensions will only be marginally reduced if they jack it in early and to be honest they could quickly recoup that with a few newspaper articles and speeches.

Like may others, I seriously questioned the morality and legality of the war on Iraq. I asked myself searching questions and discussed the issue with friends and family. I even spoke to some senior officers who I trusted and could rely on. At the end of the day, I considered resigning but chose not to. I believed and still believe the war was morally wrong, however when I swore my oath there was no opt out when I chose to serve queen and country. As to the legality, it was my duty to ensure that any orders I gave or followed were legal. The Armed Forces were assured by the government that the actions were legal - that was probably a lie and is the single most damnable failing by the government.

I was not in a position to influence political decisions. Senior officers were and should have advised politicians of some of the dangers in what we were undertaking. If their advice was ignored, then their duty was to make the best of a bad job and follow the orders of their political masters - they owe this to the soldiers under their command. Afterwards, they should have resigned and made their feelings public. Too many seem to have hung on in there, taken promotion and then only complained to boost book sales. I cannot believe that senior officers would have accepted their advice being comprehensively ignored, so I am left with the impression that they may not have been as robust as they should have been (and claimed to have been) or the quality of their advice was poor.

Leadership in this context is largely a matter of consistency and honesty (upwards and downwards). As a soldier if you disagree with an order you should get on with it and address the issue later. If it is a trivial issue - you will be best to soldier on. The senior officers we are talking about were not being paid to deal with trivia - someone should have made a stand.
 
#18
ranger1640 said:
The Rupert Classes are only interested in their pensions not there men/women.

How a 4* can sit and watch as an un-winnable war be perused by corrupt politicians and not have the balls to say so. Smacks of First World War Cannon Fodder were men and women service personnel were used as Cannon Fodder.

Failed political policies and wars by corrupt politicians needs to be aired by the Rupert Classes.

The politicians who visit the field and ask the troops a question, the soldier has the responsibility to let the politicians know exactly what they think.

The Rupert Classes may have the right to give you an order, but you have the right and must think for yourself.
"The Rupert Classes"? Extraordinary in any event but particularly so when referring to a US general. Hardly a "Rupert" is he?

Aren't the Ruperts supposed to be wealthy enough NOT to worry about their Army pensions anyway?

Yours, an ex-Rupert.
 
#19
John_Jorrocks said:
ranger1640 said:
The Rupert Classes are only interested in their pensions not there men/women.

How a 4* can sit and watch as an un-winnable war be perused by corrupt politicians and not have the balls to say so. Smacks of First World War Cannon Fodder were men and women service personnel were used as Cannon Fodder.

Failed political policies and wars by corrupt politicians needs to be aired by the Rupert Classes.

The politicians who visit the field and ask the troops a question, the soldier has the responsibility to let the politicians know exactly what they think.

The Rupert Classes may have the right to give you an order, but you have the right and must think for yourself.
"The Rupert Classes"? Extraordinary in any event but particularly so when referring to a US general. Hardly a "Rupert" is he?

Aren't the Ruperts supposed to be wealthy enough NOT to worry about their Army pensions anyway?

Yours, an ex-Rupert
.
Also an ex-Rupert!

And I can hardly move for dosh and silver spoons sticking out of my gob and arrse.

The sort of drivel written by people talking about Ruperts (and I don't mean the usual squaddie banter but class warriors) makes me laugh!

I was adopted (so probably was a barsteward), went to a catholic primary and secondary school, did the Army Cadets (not CCF) went to Sandhurst etc. My old man worked his guts out as did my mother and other relatives in foundaries, paper mills etc so I really don't need mealy-mouthed class warriors (Wedgie Benn types) telling me about the fecking Workers. :twisted:

And................pause!
 
#20
The Rupert category seems to have neen widened, when I was a young squaddie (Oh halcyon days) a Rupert was a junior officer in a Cavalry regiment not all officers and not all branches of the services.
 

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