should we be looking to shrink the regular army down below 50 000 troops?

ugly

LE
Moderator
#1
With service being less attractive to the current generation of ungrateful B'stards currently at the right age to join perhaps we should be more realistic with our aims and look to recruit a much smaller regular army, if necessary one that can form the cadre to mobilise the reserves and then train the follow ons from that? We dont have the BAOR commitment, we have pretty much withdrawn from Empire so do we really need such an army as the one we apparently cant recruit for at the moment? Can we make service a better option than potato picking post Brexit?
Can we look at some form of reserve commitment in return for writing off student loans? Can we ever make reserve commitment legally binding?
Or are we doomed to isolationism?
 
#2
Couldn’t we just outsource it to Sodexo and Capita? They could then provide international PMC/mercenaries like Blackwater as necessary in order to fight our battles for us.
 
#3
With service being less attractive to the current generation of ungrateful B'stards currently at the right age to join perhaps we should be more realistic with our aims and look to recruit a much smaller regular army, if necessary one that can form the cadre to mobilise the reserves and then train the follow ons from that? We dont have the BAOR commitment, we have pretty much withdrawn from Empire so do we really need such an army as the one we apparently cant recruit for at the moment? Can we make service a better option than potato picking post Brexit?
Can we look at some form of reserve commitment in return for writing off student loans? Can we ever make reserve commitment legally binding?
Or are we doomed to isolationism?
You can make the Reserves as attractive as you want to prospective Reservists but without employers being onboard, it's pointless.
Plus, the attitude of the Regs towards the AR needs to change.
 
#4
Dont worry the way things are going we will be down to 50.000 pretty soon anyway.

My Son is in the Infantry and he says people are signing off at an amazing rate, as they sign off more workload is put on those who remain which then causes morale to drop and they sign off and there you go a continuous circle. More work, crap pay and pension, more Tours and no incentive to remain In.
 
#5
With service being less attractive to the current generation of ungrateful B'stards currently at the right age to join perhaps we should be more realistic with our aims and look to recruit a much smaller regular army, if necessary one that can form the cadre to mobilise the reserves and then train the follow ons from that? We dont have the BAOR commitment, we have pretty much withdrawn from Empire so do we really need such an army as the one we apparently cant recruit for at the moment? Can we make service a better option than potato picking post Brexit?
Can we look at some form of reserve commitment in return for writing off student loans? Can we ever make reserve commitment legally binding?
Or are we doomed to isolationism?

Arguably, numbers are their own recruiting agent.

Large, wide-ranging armed forces were a compelling draw, back in the day.

However, if you have a small force thats been salami-sliced into irrelevance, then everyone can see that Service is a transient, dead-end and unappreciated career....
 

Auld-Yin

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#6
You can make the Reserves as attractive as you want to prospective Reservists but without employers being onboard, it's pointless.
Plus, the attitude of the Regs towards the AR needs to change.
That will not change until the Regulars are forced into it. There has always been the disdain of the 'professional' for the 'amateur' yet in both world wars it was the civilian army that finished off the job. Even the Korean War was fought by National Servicemen as were the Malayan and Kenyan operations.

In every case the professional officer cadre made sure they were top dog again once hostilities were over.
 
#7
Plus, the attitude of the Regs towards the AR needs to change.
Maybe when the attitude of the TA changes the regs might follow suit.
 
#8
With service being less attractive to the current generation of ungrateful B'stards currently at the right age to join perhaps we should be more realistic with our aims and look to recruit a much smaller regular army, if necessary one that can form the cadre to mobilise the reserves and then train the follow ons from that? We dont have the BAOR commitment, we have pretty much withdrawn from Empire so do we really need such an army as the one we apparently cant recruit for at the moment? Can we make service a better option than potato picking post Brexit?
Can we look at some form of reserve commitment in return for writing off student loans? Can we ever make reserve commitment legally binding?
Or are we doomed to isolationism?
If the hierarchy had any bollocks and binned the long term sick, admin and welfare problems we would be closer to 50k than 80k.
 
#9
Anecdotally, most kids now either begin work or begin uni at age 18. Within a couple of years they'll have visited most European countries thanks to cheap flights and accommodation being available. Many will have gone farther afield to the far East, Australia, the Gulf States or the USA, and come back better for it.

They can do all those things nowadays without having to enlist or to be conscripted, to visit places where the locals aren't, generally, actively trying to kill them, and are welcomed for bringing in tourist money.

Given that the army now appears to be located in such tempting locations as Catterick, Salisbury Plain or Essex, with occasional trips to some god forsaken hole in Africa or central Asia, I think I can see why nobody is attracted to an army career?
 
#10
.
Plus, the attitude of the Regs towards the AR needs to change.
How much of this is a generational thing? Over my operational experience (1995 - 2008) I saw the attitude towards reservists change immeasurably from one of 'let's give them the sh!t job's to' hey, this guy/girl has some really useful experience and has spent three months hard yakka coming up to speed to be here'.
 
#11
Maybe when the attitude of the TA changes the regs might follow suit.
Stacker. The TA is far from perfect mate. I believe that you yourself was a PSI, so apart from the ever issue of fitness within it, what were your biggest gripes about the rank and file within the TA?
 
#12
How much of this is a generational thing? Over my operational experience (1995 - 2008) I saw the attitude towards reservists change immeasurably from one of 'let's give them the sh!t job's to' hey, this guy/girl has some really useful experience and has spent three months hard yakka coming up to speed to be here'.
It's a shame that more Regs don't share your opinion then mate.
 
#13
I am talking about the RAF, and the tailored-for-purpose RAF Reserves (RAuxAF, RAFR etc). Clearly teh Army is a different beast.
 
#14
Stacker. The TA is far from perfect mate. I believe that you yourself was a PSI, so apart from the ever issue of fitness within it, what were your biggest gripes about the rank and file within the TA?
Never was a PSI. Just plenty of experience with the TA, there were some people who took it seriously and there was quite a few more whom is it was a hobby/drinking club/Walts paradise.

I had a lcpl posted in from the TA. He's a badmin case who is dyslexic. How the **** did TA let him have his first banana?
There was always a rush of TA volunteers for Tosca that didnt match the numbers for Herrick.

Enablers get right on my tits, the ******* fat bastards.
 
#15
Reserves should be a reserve - not a cheap, self-funded replacement for a credible standing army.

It matters not whether reserves are high or low quality, or their relations with regulars; reserve service that entails frequent use is incompatible with civilian life, family and careers. There are not enough high-quality, unemployed/self-employed, single and rash soldiers around to backfill an understrength regular army.
 
#16
Anecdotally, most kids now either begin work or begin uni at age 18. Within a couple of years they'll have visited most European countries thanks to cheap flights and accommodation being available. Many will have gone farther afield to the far East, Australia, the Gulf States or the USA, and come back better for it.
Maybe for the middle class. The working class lads usually go as far as Blackpool.
 
#17
I am talking about the RAF, and the tailored-for-purpose RAF Reserves (RAuxAF, RAFR etc). Clearly teh Army is a different beast.
Mate, the more 'technical' corps generally treat their Reservists better than say the Infantry do, because said Reservists usually bring a decent skill set to the table.
RAMC Reservists being the most prominent example, but, as I stated in my initial post, until the employers are on board, the MoD is always going to have problems recruiting more blokes.
 
#18
It's a young mans job that young men don't seem to want to do any more, you only have to look at all the 'glad I signed off' and 'seven clicks' comments from people who look barely into their 20's following any post on Fill Your Boots to see it.
I'm only a STAB but I enjoy what I do with the army which most other reservists seem to as well, but then again I get to go home on a night and don't have the plugs cut off my appliances or my stuff launched out of the window for not having smiley face socks...
 

MrBane

LE
Moderator
Kit Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#19
It's a young mans job that young men don't seem to want to do any more, you only have to look at all the 'glad I signed off' and 'seven clicks' comments from people who look barely into their 20's following any post on Fill Your Boots to see it.
I'm only a STAB but I enjoy what I do with the army which most other reservists seem to as well, but then again I get to go home on a night and don't have the plugs cut off my appliances or my stuff launched out of the window for not having smiley face socks...
Answers in your question there mate..if they follow FYB then as we saw by his dire performance on here, they're probably cnuts too. :D

We could slash numbers some more, but it would only work if we got rid of the lame, sick and stupid.

As for TA, it could never be wide scale engagement and uptake because even if an employee is totally on side, what does he do when ten folk on his staff say they're off for AT or have been called up?

Employers are reticent for a reason to support TA - it ultimately can impact on their overall performance as a business.
 
#20
In every case the professional officer cadre made sure they were top dog again once hostilities were over.
A little bit sweeping perhaps?

First, if true, I would expect all the 'professional' cadre, irrespective of rank, would want/expect to be top dog again. I can't see career SNCOs+ who actually survived a war, wanting to share battalion soldiering perks with people who got to the same rank in 6 years or less, based on casualties.

To claim it was just an officer think sounds a bit bolshevik to me.

Second, it doesn't take into account those of the 'non-professional' NS cadre who couldn't wait for demob to come around, to shed the brown hairy fighting jackets, get their suits back on, and start coining it in civvy street again.
 

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