Social class - do officers need it ?

Discussion in 'Officers' started by Softcentre, Dec 14, 2007.

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  1. Last night a very good friend mentioned that her son had decided to join HM Forces, post university, as a commissoned officer. He had attended an interview with a certain 'Brigadier' who is responsible for university recruitment in the south west of England.
    At the interview it was suggested by the Brigadier that the candidate may not be happy joining Guards/ Cavalry etc because since he had not attended private or public school, he may not feel quite comfortable. The suggestion was that maybe joining his local Yorkshire regiment could be the answer. I am naturally bloody furious at this, since I believed that such boxxocks had been driven from the culture years ago --- or am I wrong?
  2. In all areas of the army officers are partially selected for their ability to fit in. This can mean many many different things, however for the cavalry and the guards this can mean that they may select you partially based upon where you went to school, how much money you have, your social graces, etc. I'm not saying this is right and I'm not saying that you can't get into into these regiments either but a fam visit would be worth a try to gauge how comfortable your friend would be in that social grouping. I hasten to add I am in none of the above regiments.

  3. You don't need to have any social connections to join any regiment, but I think what the Brigadier is saying, is that he might feel a tiny bit "out of place" amongst people who did go to a public school. Not saying he won't get along, just saying he would fit in better with people who may not have gone to a public school, so in this case join a local regiment where he would have more in common with the other officers...hope this makes sense.

    There is nothing that says you can't join a specific regiment, but what is highly recommended is that you join a regiment where you have something in common with the other officers.

    Hope this answers your question.

  4. Possibly the Brigadier phrased it unwisely. Any Officer Cadet can apply to join any regiment.
    At the advisory stage the issues are (1) Is he likely to be accepted (2) If he does - will it turn out alright.

    It may seem harsh but people do not say these things without a good reason. And getting people into slots which are right for them and the Army is a big part of recruitment for all ranks. This may be very good advice with an important message within.
  5. Anything wrong with "his local Yorkshire regiment"?
  6. mysteron

    mysteron LE Book Reviewer

    Isn't the local Yorkshire Regiment one of those that used / is still called the Yorkshire Guards? Exactly becauseof its reputation against social eligibility and status. The Regiment used to be called by a name that sounded like Frankie How Hard? .

    Perhaps, the said Brigadier was little under the weather when he said it, or maybe he was suggesting in a polite, gentlemanly way that your man might not be up to the task, in his informed opinion. Just a thought.....
  7. Was the Brigadier wearing a flat cap and did he have a couple of whippets outside in his Transit van?
  8. Off we go again...

    ... Do officers need social class? No. The ability to lead - impartially judged at AOSB and developed at Sandhurst is enough.

    A regularly recurring topic, and pretty well covered here -


    Edited to ask "The Yorkshire Guards"? What? Never heard that! :D

    Pretty unpretentious, sound bunch in my experience...

    Did have some good banter about their name though - one of my Corporals had the recruits chanting "How hard? GREEN HOW-ARD! How mental? REGIMENTAL!" as they marched around camp.
  9. Sounds like the aforementioned recruting officer has either been misquoted and/or his meaning misunderstood.

    In short, as has already been pointed out it is all about putting the proverbial round pegs in round holes and square pegs in square holes. Ultimately you don't have to have gone to public school to join either the Foot Guards or the Cavalry. However you do need to be the sort of person that will get on with and compliment the other officers, both professionally and on a social basis. People (in this case regimental officers) tend to get on best if they share the same values, normally born from common exprience. As regiments and potential officers choose each other (it is far from a one way system) officers tend to come from similar backgrounds in terms of education (but not always).

    It is worth noting that there are regiments and corps that recruit almost exclusively state or grammer school educated officers.

    There are both cavalry and guards officers who were educated in state and grammer schools and they, together with their public school brother officers, were selected (and chose) to serve in those regiments due to professional ability/potential and the ability to get on well with the other officers.

    I don't know why any potential officers get hung up on what school they went to when it is far more important to go to a regiment you feel comfortable in the company of the other officers and excel at the job in hand.
  10. It's not snobbery but I couldn't possibly serve with someone who couldn't spell Grammar.
  11. These questions are some of the most difficult questions concerning the Army to answer satisfactorily. It is virtually impossible to capture the requisite tone, and factual info, whilst doing justice to the question. I would think though that when an Officer of the Guard cuts into Buckingham Palace on a question of protocol - they do not expect to see some poxy, gum chewing chav scumbag off a council estate, with no manners, little diction, a poor education and a flash uniform. That might seem harsh but the same people are unlikely to advance in many other professions either. In short - The Guards are not the Royal Air Force - thank God.
  12. Got by without, thank the dear! Used common decency, professionalism and general OLQs to replace "Floreat Etonia" and "my daddy was a Brigadier" in my campaign to climb to top of greasy pole!
  13. I wouldn’t say I have no class, more a case of a class of my own. I have been described in equal measure as a free spirit/loveable rogue and a loose cannon/hand grenade. TBH none of that was because I was uncouth or lacked social class (well I did but anyway) it was merely because I was different and it surprises people. I have been the token misfit (who seems to fit in) everywhere I have served and along side all manner of cap badges.

    The issue of class is wrongly put, it is more a case of serving where you fit the role, and compliment your brethren. In the early days of commissioned service it is about settling into your role surrounded by people who can seem pompous (if you have never experienced it before) but once you get over your own personal hang ups, really one mess is much like any other in terms of acceptance.

    It is important to find your home especially in the early days where a wrong decision may colour your view on service completely.
  14. Nehustan

    Nehustan On ROPs

    Doesn't the yearly mess bill for the guards and associated uniforms come to more that a freshly commisioned officer's wage? Private income required?
  15. ok, the bottom line is this...

    ...i was born in to a council estate in the 70s, single mother et al....i did ok at school and went on to uni, the first in my family and estate. Was awarded an army bursary, a first for my school etc etc. you will see from my previous i joined the TA very early as a prelude to my reg career and loved the army from day 1...

    for a variety of reasons i ended up in a corps and am happy here...

    a few years ago i ended up attached to a very formal 'blue-red-blue' unit...

    ...i loved every minute of, got on very well with the rest of the mess, never had a single problem ref class, school, family, finance, sport, culture etc.

    It was the best posting i've ever had, infact i'm going to the unit xmas ball this yr despite having been only attached for one tour...

    my philosophy is this...if you want it go for it, but do it for the right reasons...

    don't try to be something you're not (see billy connoly dits)...

    ...and if you want to portray a different persona decide this....

    is it because you don't want to appear a complete knob?????


    because you need to appear better than you are??????