Shortage of Capts/Majs - Sunday Telegraph 9 Mar 08

toady

Old-Salt
#1
From this morning's Sunday Telegraph: (Page one, lead story)

In a separate development, a Ministry of Defence document obtained by this newspaper discloses that the Army is being forced to "poach" soldiers from abroad to solve a shortage of numbers. The report shows that the Army has hundreds of "gaps" in staff posts caused by a chronic shortages [sic] of middle and junior ranking officers - majors and captains - and could be forced to delay officers' retirements and promote others beyond their abilities.

The document states that the troop shortages are "inevitably causing strain and some angst within the Officer Corps, as well as some concern within the General and Central Staff". It adds that the gaps are now "serious" and will get "very serious" by June this year when the Army could face a 22 per cent shortage of captains.
Worrying times - particularly as I am waiting for my PVR date to be confirmed... The grammatical error in the first paragraph is, however, not mine. Wonder if it was lifted directly from the leaked source document.

'Some angst' in the Officer Corps - there's an understatement!
 
#2
Promote more LEs if they are capable and worthy. These are only staff jobs, not at the sharp end with the boys.

Likewise selected WO1s should be able to do most of the capt jobs.

WO1s on Long career (or what ever the new title is) for SO3,

LEs for SO3/2 jobs.

In a similar way to the new Signals appointment, the intrade WO2, the LEs could be "Staff LE"s. They know before they commit they may not go beyond Maj, and may not be posted to a Regt.
 
#3
chocolate_frog said:
Promote more LEs if they are capable and worthy. These are only staff jobs, not at the sharp end with the boys.
And how do you expect "the boys" to get to "the sharp end" with the correct training and equipment without adequate staff?
 
#4
chocolate_frog said:
These are only staff jobs, not at the sharp end with the boys.
Which is of course where none of them have ever spent any time of course. Such condescension is frankly staggering!
 
#5
dogmonkey said:
chocolate_frog said:
These are only staff jobs, not at the sharp end with the boys.
Which is of course where none of them have ever spent any time of course. Such condescension is frankly staggering!
Not really meant that way dogmonkey. Sorry for any confusion.

I was heading off possiblity of their advanced years being brought out. I would not expect a LE Capt to run about the weeds, where as a DE Capt I would want them to. (with regard to developing the DE officer for later jobs as Brigadiers or Generals).

You are correct that LEs have probably been there, done that. SO now the they can bring their experience and knowledge in to their staff role.

Likewise, as a further point, it may even be possible to keep invalided officers/WOs in Staff jobs, which could keep valuable knowledge and experience here inside the forces, and again free up an officer for other duties.

Obviously all this would need to be balanced to allow through put.
 
#6
Point One - I would be interested to see them delay anyones PVR. Think of the publicity when that got out, shades of conscription.... The Army Retirements Board is an anachronism at best, it can't disagree to anything. If you want to go and have a firm offer of a job then 31 days later you are out.

Point Two - LEs and WOs can do staff jobs, but just like all DE offrs, not all LEs/WOs are suitable or capable of so doing. If you take the capable LEs/ WOs and put them in SO3 appointments who does the QM job, MTO etc? It's too easy to say promote more - currently the best are promoted if you widen the pool you do not necessarily get enough people of the right quality to do the jobs that need filling.

Point Three - It is all very well filling the SO3 appts with LEs and WOs, but the fact remains that the future red tabs need to get their experience somewhere - and need to stay in the Army. Patching up holes with people at the end of their careers is ignoring the critical issue.

Point Four - The system as it is designed works well. It is not designed to cope with the current outflow. I agree that we waste way too many very capable WOs and LEs, but the two issues need more thought rather than the panic measure of conflating them.

The grown ups at AG/ MS/LAND need to address the pivotal issue of officer outflow otherwise they are just 'rearranging the deck chairs......'
 
#7
Hard_vark said:
Point One - I would be interested to see them delay anyones PVR. Think of the publicity when that got out, shades of conscription.... The Army Retirements Board is an anachronism at best, it can't disagree to anything. If you want to go and have a firm offer of a job then 31 days later you are out.

Point Two - LEs and WOs can do staff jobs, but just like all DE offrs, not all LEs/WOs are suitable or capable of so doing. If you take the capable LEs/ WOs and put them in SO3 appointments who does the QM job, MTO etc? It's too easy to say promote more - currently the best are promoted if you widen the pool you do not necessarily get enough people of the right quality to do the jobs that need filling.

Point Three - It is all very well filling the SO3 appts with LEs and WOs, but the fact remains that the future red tabs need to get their experience somewhere - and need to stay in the Army. Patching up holes with people at the end of their careers is ignoring the critical issue.

Point Four - The system as it is designed works well. It is not designed to cope with the current outflow. I agree that we waste way too many very capable WOs and LEs, but the two issues need more thought rather than the panic measure of conflating them.

The grown ups at AG/ MS/LAND need to address the pivotal issue of officer outflow otherwise they are just 'rearranging the deck chairs......'
...or even feckin' want to!!!
 
#11
If the problem is an outflow of ruperts in certain ranks then maybe the army should review their terms and conditions?
Maybe make them more favourable so that captains and majors might think that staying in the army is a good idea?

Just an idea.
 
#12
Chibber said:
If the problem is an outflow of ruperts in certain ranks then maybe the army should review their terms and conditions?
Maybe make them more favourable so that captains and majors might think that staying in the army is a good idea?

Just an idea.
Then that should apply to the majority of the army then we are not just short of officers.
 
#13
Chibber said:
If the problem is an outflow of ruperts in certain ranks then maybe the army should review their terms and conditions?
Maybe make them more favourable so that captains and majors might think that staying in the army is a good idea?

Just an idea.
Give that man a cigar and make him AG!

(No disaggreement from me that ORs need an improvement in pay and conditions as well).
 
#14
How is it that....Arrser's

1) Dislike the press when it suits ?

&

2) Believe everything the press writes when it suits ?

Surely by now you would have realized that journo's are paid to write stories that draw attention to "their" newspaper.

Is this story backed up by actual facts, distorted facts or possible facts claimed by "sources". ?
 
#16
Busta-Gut said:
How is it that....Arrser's

1) Dislike the press when it suits ?

&

2) Believe everything the press writes when it suits ?

Surely by now you would have realized that journo's are paid to write stories that draw attention to "their" newspaper.

Is this story backed up by actual facts, distorted facts or possible facts claimed by "sources". ?
Mainly because most arrsers can spot an accurate leak from documents they have been reading on official distribution recently.
 
#17
stacker1 said:
Chibber said:
If the problem is an outflow of ruperts in certain ranks then maybe the army should review their terms and conditions?
Maybe make them more favourable so that captains and majors might think that staying in the army is a good idea?

Just an idea.
Then that should apply to the majority of the army then we are not just short of officers.
Good point. Milkybars for everyone!!!! (I think that's about as far as the MOD budget will stretch)
 
#18
Chibber said:
stacker1 said:
Chibber said:
If the problem is an outflow of ruperts in certain ranks then maybe the army should review their terms and conditions?
Maybe make them more favourable so that captains and majors might think that staying in the army is a good idea?

Just an idea.
Then that should apply to the majority of the army then we are not just short of officers.
Good point. Milkybars for everyone!!!! (I think that's about as far as the MOD budget will stretch)
It is not just about the tangibles of pay and conditions, although that does matter. It is also about sensible and pragmatic career structures that can cope with the expectations of a generation of soldiers who have more experience than their seniors and need better management after exposure to the high level of combat and adrenalin. The basic MS plan takes no account of today: officers and soldiers go on ops, they live on the edge, they come back to mind numbing G1 dreariness, RAAT from hell and more change programmes than any sensible human being would ever devise at once, resource constraints and of course the ever friendly and helpful DHE to thank them for their time. They are told that they now have to do 'x' job, to ensure promotion/command/ compete with blogs who didn't deploy and has the rounded profile etc. They then leave.

Surprised? They shouldn't be.
 
#19
Chibber said:
Good point. Milkybars for everyone!!!! (I think that's about as far as the MOD budget will stretch)
Theres more than enough money to retain most troops it just gets spunked up the wall on quality systems like JPA.
 
#20
Busta-Gut said:
How is it that....Arrser's

1) Dislike the press when it suits ?

&

2) Believe everything the press writes when it suits ?

Surely by now you would have realized that journo's are paid to write stories that draw attention to "their" newspaper.

Is this story backed up by actual facts, distorted facts or possible facts claimed by "sources". ?
It's true - I've seen the latest No5 Board and it's frightening how many posts will be gapped this summer.
 

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