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Sunday Times: 'War heroes to be axed in army cull'

#1
Lead story in today's Sunday Times.

Subscription required, but this will give the idea:

BAFF said:
Rumours have been circulating that the Army would start sending out the first of a couple of hundred Manning Control Point letters about now. In an astonishing related development, the lead story in today's Sunday Times claims that the Ministry of Defence is planning to renege on a previous promise not to use Manning Control to discharge personnel who had been wounded on operations.
The Sunday Times story has several quotes from what it says is a leaked document entitled Management of Army Personnel who are Medically Unfit for Service, written by a senior civil servant at HQ Land Forces at Wilton. The document says that while "only a proportion of those discharged are likely to have been injured on operations ... this number is likely to grow as operations in Afghanistan continue".
According to the paper, the weakest 1,500 soldiers will be discharged first, with another 750 going each year ...
Return of the brown envelope part 2: 'War heroes to be axed in army cull' - British Armed Forces Federation
 
#2
It probably sounds a bit harsh, but can the Army really keep soldiers on strength who are permanently unfit to deploy? How they're treated when they leave the service is obviously something that needs close scrutiny but it's also a separate matter.

Blank files in a deployed Battalion don't do anyone a service.
 

Auld-Yin

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#3
I have to agree with Smarts on this. If they are no longer able to serve due to injuries sustained during their service then would that not be reflected in their compensation?

It does not stop the government from setting up a system to ensure that these guys are looked after properly after their service (other than through charities)

And I do note that not all of those selected for the 'brown envelope' will have been injured on ops.
 
#4
I agree with Smarts, they have served their country proud but you cannot justify keeping those guys if they are P7 in this current climate. It shows that even the SF aren't out of range, and they are def fit for the job!!
 
A

armadillo

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#5
I too agree with Auld-yin, however why does the government defer to charities by default as a means to help our wounded and most vulnerable. The civil servants have probably been plotting service amendments to AGAI/Medical discharge/Manning control points for the last year so that they can minimize the payouts. In my case I cannot claim for compensation for injuries recieved in Bosnia and Iraq as my medical docs have suddenly dissappeared. I am currently FE at the moment, and the massive amount of training it took to get me there has probably saved my job. However those who training to get FE from injury have no time to do so. This means that soldiers wont do Adv trg nor sports just in case they get injured as a brown letter will be on its way. For those guys on ops, the risk factor wont be getting injured it will be getting fired. Morale has sunk to a low. The supposed military covenant has sunk to an absolute low.

Does anyone think that it is ironic that it is called a brown letter, cos it that one eyed bastards fault.
 
#6
"The civil servants have probably been plotting service amendments to AGAI/Medical discharge/Manning control points for the last year so that they can minimize the payouts. "

I agree this is an emotive issue, and sadly in a smaller army we probably can't justify keeping those who can't deploy - but don't blame the CS entirely though. This sort of move would have been sanctioned by the military hierachy - seniors in uniform would have been presented options, and chosen to sanction this move. Military leadership have to accept responsibility for this too and not seek to present it as a 'nasty civil service plot' - if they disagreed with it, they should have rejected the options put to them and told army manning to find another solution.
 
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armadillo

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#7
"The civil servants have probably been plotting service amendments to AGAI/Medical discharge/Manning control points for the last year so that they can minimize the payouts. "

I agree this is an emotive issue, and sadly in a smaller army we probably can't justify keeping those who can't deploy - but don't blame the CS entirely though. This sort of move would have been sanctioned by the military hierachy - seniors in uniform would have been presented options, and chosen to sanction this move. Military leadership have to accept responsibility for this too and not seek to present it as a 'nasty civil service plot' - if they disagreed with it, they should have rejected the options put to them and told army manning to find another solution.
Jim, my bad writing may have led to believe there is a CS plot against the services. I did not mean it that way. I wholeheartedly agree that the Hiearchy have played there part. But as seen in the past a lot of soldiers will be lost and fobbed off by redtape from the financial assistance that there service has earned. Charities like BAFF will end up fighting for the next couple of years trying to recover that money.

Ultimately it always one person fighting against a legion, odds that are not in that persons favour, this I see as morally and ethically wrong.
 

BiscuitsAB

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#8
Funny as an employer in the past I haven't been able to lay people off because they were on the sick. Bet you, your life that the Civil service don't lay people off who are on long term sick.
 

Auld-Yin

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#10
Funny as an employer in the past I haven't been able to lay people off because they were on the sick. Bet you, your life that the Civil service don't lay people off who are on long term sick.
If someone is off sick and the chances of them returning are nil or look like being nil then employers can, and CS do, dismiss employees. While employers can't discriminate against people who are sick, those who are not likely to recover may be dismissed and their place recruited to. Obviously, how this is done is up to the employer and hoepfully is sympathetic to the issues. Unfortunately that is not always the case.
 
#11
There is a mild irony how we lambast the Gov't (of whichever hue) about how they are wasteful in so many areas, yet as soon as it comes to a specific involving us, we demand the greatest level of governmental involvement. The idealogically pure option for many tories is that the charity/"third" sector is best placed to respond to the needs of "their market", and that central involvement will always incur overheads and waste.
 
#13
I've just e mailed a mate of mine who's been quoted in that article. Don't know if he evens knows about it as he never said anything to me. Probably baffled that he's made the broadsheets.
 
#14
Why do we assume that someone who is physically unable to deploy is therefore unable to be of use to the services? does having your hand blown off stop your brain working?

There are more than enough jobs currently being performed by civil servants, external contractors and civvies that could and should be filled by people with military knowledge and experience that they could impart on the newbies, think of all those instructors, think of the analysts, think of the blokes repairing/servicing vehicles, radios and weapons systems that have never deployed and never will!

What we need to do is look how we utilise and retrain blokes who are no longer able to go to the front line, through no fault of their own - why throw an injured infantryman on the scrap pile when you could retrain and retain him as a pay clerk?
 

Auld-Yin

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#15
Labrat - I fully agree with you. However, the army needs to be full of people who can deploy, pay clerks as well. To train and retain in the way you describe would require them to become civil servants.

I totally agree about the experience potentially being lost - that is where some inspirational thinking needs to come in, both to work out how to use these guys effectively and give them a career (they won't want to be a Gd 4 pay clerk all their days) and also to find the money to do this.
 
#16
Labrat,
It's not a question of using your brain. If the SDR is looking at cutting fully fit units/individuals:
23/21 SAS
Gurkas
Aviation
Etc

Do you really think they should be keeping non-deployable soldiers on the pay role when numbers are tight?
 
#17
Labrat - why not recruit physically disabled people from the off. Accept they're never going to deploy, and then employ them as pay clerks. If the argument is to be made that all members of the Armed Forces are to be physically capable of deploying to a war zone, then we must retain that consistency.

Moreover, what does is say to the proportion of the army that are CSS: that we consider their jobs something to be done by people who aren't good enough to be Infantry any more? Whilst I appreciate a good bit of G3 snobbery, the Chain of Command exists for all those who wear the uniform, not those at the pointy end of the stick.
 
#18
It probably sounds a bit harsh, but can the Army really keep soldiers on strength who are permanently unfit to deploy? How they're treated when they leave the service is obviously something that needs close scrutiny but it's also a separate matter.

Blank files in a deployed Battalion don't do anyone a service.
Whilst I can see the need to end the service of some none-deployable people, I don't think using MCPs is fair. If someone is injured on ops to the extent that they are undeployable, they should be invalided out, get a full pension and any other help needed.
 
#19
I doubt Headley Court will close in two years, there has been millions invested in it of late. There are ARCs coming in that will help rehabilitation of soldiers so they don't have to travel all the way to Headley.

All soldiers wounded and under rehabilitation will continue to be employed until that rehabilitation is complete. Many, like myself are P0, we will not be upgraded from this and will normally be MD, however COs can elect to employ any P0 soldiers.

Hopefully the brown letters will concentrate on those shirkers that have had a bad back and can't deploy, for the last god knows how long.
 
#20
Whilst I can see the need to end the service of some none-deployable people, I don't think using MCPs is fair. If someone is injured on ops to the extent that they are undeployable, they should be invalided out, get a full pension and any other help needed.

Hear Hear.

I have said this until I'm blue in the face. Manning Control is open to abuse! The soldier has no voice in the matter and can only redress after the decision to terminate has been made by his C of C. By that time, its to late, the dead is done.
The only reason MCP is being used at the 12 and 15 year point is that its close to the golden number. As admitted in the final lines of the article "The MOD confirmed. This is a cost cutting measure to prevent a soldier clocking up a 22 year service which entitles him to an immediate pension"

Why not use the three or six year point. Better still, why not use QR 9.414 at any time for those who are not cutting the mustard or playing the system. Its there to be used when needed and has never gone away. unlike MCP back in April 2002 when it was stopped in its tracks.
MCP is a pension cull so the Treasury does not have to pay redundancies. Will CS get them and will senior Officers get them. Yes. so why not the rest?
 

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