Sustaining cap badges

#1
Discuss: Should HM Armed Forces be structured and organised around the maintainance of 'cap badges' or effective 21st century combat formations?

What is the British military for: the defence of UK sovereignty; constabulary support for FCO or No.10 overseas initiatives; or, to provide a clear and structured professional career development opportunity to regular officers?

Sustaining cap badges

Addressing questions about specific unit reductions, Chief of the General Staff (CGS) General Sir Peter Wall KCB CBE ADC Gen, said the units to be lost from the Royal Armoured Corps were selected on the basis of armoured corps principles and to sustain as many cap badges as possible.
Of course, this notion of saving 'cap badges' runs beyond the RAC and is just as prevalent within the infantry.

Source: Army 2020 announcement - British Army Website

Have some sympathy with the thoughts expressed here: Cap badges and cuts – the UK army in 2020 | Kings of War
 
#2
Glad you turned up. If we give you an answer, are you going to quote us by name in your paper?
 
#3
Glad you turned up. If we give you an answer, are you going to quote us by name in your paper?
I've been called many things on ARRSE over the years, but never a journo. First time for everything I suppose.

Otherwise, do you have any other reason for not engaging in a serious and rather important discussion?
 
#5
I like my capbadge and i think the signals one looks quite bent. That tankie one with the skull looks fairly Nazi. That is all.
In what way does your cap badge make you a better soldier/sailor/airperson?

In what way does the cap badge you wear, as opposed to you wearing another design, enhance UK security and defence?
 
#8
I've been called many things on ARRSE over the years, but never a journo. First time for everything I suppose.

Otherwise, do you have any other reason for not engaging in a serious and rather important discussion?
Because this has been done to death on multiple threads on here. If there was a revolutionary concept behind your question then it'd be quite interesting to answer, but it's the same old same old. Go read Stonker's posts in toto for a flavour of the discussions that have been had.
 
#10
Discuss: Should HM Armed Forces be structured and organised around the maintainance of 'cap badges' or effective 21st century combat formations?

What is the British military for: the defence of UK sovereignty; constabulary support for FCO or No.10 overseas initiatives; or, to provide a clear and structured professional career development opportunity to regular officers?



Of course, this notion of saving 'cap badges' runs beyond the RAC and is just as prevalent within the infantry.

Source: Army 2020 announcement - British Army Website

Have some sympathy with the thoughts expressed here: Cap badges and cuts – the UK army in 2020 | Kings of War
There is nothing wrong with keeping capbadges, and having combat formations.

For example the Rifles, could even have individual capbadges for the area recuited from along the lines of the old LI units, so could various other units.
We run ops by battlegroups anyway ,which is made up of an all arms combined force of many different cap badges.
 
#11
Because this has been done to death on multiple threads on here. If there was a revolutionary concept behind your question then it'd be quite interesting to answer, but it's the same old same old. Go read Stonker's posts in toto for a flavour of the discussions that have been had.
And you will also read my posts on the subject in the same threads.

Now we have a 'new' structure announced and, more interestingly, a quote made openly by CGS as to a major part of the reasoning behind the 'solution'.

It seems a sensible time to revisit the question given these two points:-
The premise that preserving cap badge for the sake of tradition is now out in the open rather than just what some wanted to claim as being misdirection or worse. This means a discussion can be had without half the participants wailing that one side is basing its arguments upon a fallacy - as a justification to keep the status quo. And, that we now have a 'new' structure to consider viz effectiveness in defence/security provision and the effects that cap badge retention have on that effectiveness.
 
#12
Is this for an essay?
 
#13
And you will also read my posts on the subject in the same threads.

Now we have a 'new' structure announced and, more interestingly, a quote made openly by CGS as to a major part of the reasoning behind the 'solution'.

It seems a sensible time to revisit the question given these two points:-
The premise that preserving cap badge for the sake of tradition is now out in the open rather than just what some wanted to claim as being misdirection or worse. This means a discussion can be had without half the participants wailing that one side is basing its arguments upon a fallacy - as a justification to keep the status quo. And, that we now have a 'new' structure to consider viz effectiveness in defence/security provision and the effects that cap badge retention have on that effectiveness.
But this reasoning was driven by the PM, to avoid being accused of stabbing the army in the back, with the economic situation still being on the down slide. I cannot see FA2020 ever lasing beyond 2015 before more cuts force another round.
My regiment is already looking towards this, I posted the text below on another thread but I belive it is just as relevant here.

The Queen’s Div have not come out of this as bad as others (Despite the loss of 2 RRF). We now have 2x Bns in the Armored Infantry Roll in the Reactive force (1 PWRR and 1RRF), with the rest 2 PWRR, 1 and 2 R Ang rotating through Cyprus.

The stability of living in one place for your whole career may appeal to the pads, but the chance of foreign travel and diverse rolls will pay off when recruiting. There has always been cross posting amongst the Bns of the Queen’s Div and no doubt this will continue, as it gives better career diversity.

In the latest copy of “The Fusilier” (Journal of the RRF) Brigadier Paterson (colonel of the Regiment) talks of the pain of the loss of 2 RRF, but goes on to say.

“The next few years will be difficult and provide demanding challenges, but we will come through it. I remain convinced that the future for our officers and soldiers, and those of the Queen’s Division more widely, resides in the formation of a new large regiment of 5 battalions under a single unifying brand. Only by coming together will we provide the necessary career structure for the serving Regiment, secure our long term future and protect our past, and I will work hard towards achieving this goal.”

I think that keeping 5 Bns is a tad optimistic though!
 
#14
There is nothing wrong with keeping capbadges, and having combat formations.

For example the Rifles, could even have individual capbadges for the area recuited from along the lines of the old LI units, so could various other units.
Indeed they could. So why the need for the retention of battalion/level single cap-badged formations?

We run ops by battlegroups anyway ,which is made up of an all arms combined force of many different cap badges.
Precisely. Would it not be better for UK defence (viz cohesion, training etc etc) for battlegroups to be the permanent peacetime structure of choice rather than single-branch formations that then get divvied for operational training prior to deployment?

Is it effective to have multiple (and redundant operationally) discrete single-arms units instead of a smaller number of permanently configured all-arms battlegroups? The old argument that economies of scale are created by grouping like equipment together was always tenuous. It is now utterly counter-productive when you consider that the entire 'reaction' armoured force is grouped around a single location: SPTA.
 
#15
Why not bin all of it. Cap badges, Corps, Service etc. Generally we're shrinking everywhere. So lets bin the RAF and RN ~ amalgamate everyone into a USMC type organisation [although obviously not as big!] Lets bin hundreds of years of tradition/family/esprit de corp etc............. while we're at it shall we?
 
#16
Nope.

My bad for thinking that a sensible discussion could be had on ARRSE about the future of HM Armed Forces without posters assuming the worse: trawling journo or spotty, ignorant student.
 
#17
But this reasoning was driven by the PM, to avoid being accused of stabbing the army in the back, with the economic situation still being on the down slide.
Genuine questions. Do you think the PM gives a toss about cap badges? Do you think his 'drive' is based upon senior military officer influence?


I cannot see FA2020 ever lasing beyond 2015 before more cuts force another round.
I can see the structure outlined in FA2020 remaining in place. It is a structure that corrects the fatal flaw in the existing (SDR98 with tinkering) structure still in existance.

However, you mat be right in the respect of further draw-down reduce the numbers and posts within that structure.


My regiment is already looking towards this, I posted the text below on another thread but I belive it is just as relevant here.

The Queen’s Div have not come out of this as bad as others (Despite the loss of 2 RRF). We now have 2x Bns in the Armored Infantry Roll in the Reactive force (1 PWRR and 1RRF), with the rest 2 PWRR, 1 and 2 R Ang rotating through Cyprus.

The stability of living in one place for your whole career may appeal to the pads, but the chance of foreign travel and diverse rolls will pay off when recruiting. There has always been cross posting amongst the Bns of the Queen’s Div and no doubt this will continue, as it gives better career diversity.

In the latest copy of “The Fusilier” (Journal of the RRF) Brigadier Paterson (colonel of the Regiment) talks of the pain of the loss of 2 RRF, but goes on to say.

“The next few years will be difficult and provide demanding challenges, but we will come through it. I remain convinced that the future for our officers and soldiers, and those of the Queen’s Division more widely, resides in the formation of a new large regiment of 5 battalions under a single unifying brand. Only by coming together will we provide the necessary career structure for the serving Regiment, secure our long term future and protect our past, and I will work hard towards achieving this goal.”

I think that keeping 5 Bns is a tad optimistic though!
Personally, I have no problem with cap-badges per se. I believe the 'cap badge argument' is a smokescreen to cover the retention of ineffective and inefficient structures whose purpose is merely to retain as many promotion slots for certain quarters of the professional military officer corps.
 
#18
Indeed they could. So why the need for the retention of battalion/level single cap-badged formations?



Precisely. Would it not be better for UK defence (viz cohesion, training etc etc) for battlegroups to be the permanent peacetime structure of choice rather than single-branch formations that then get divvied for operational training prior to deployment?

Is it effective to have multiple (and redundant operationally) discrete single-arms units instead of a smaller number of permanently configured all-arms battlegroups? The old argument that economies of scale are created by grouping like equipment together was always tenuous. It is now utterly counter-productive when you consider that the entire 'reaction' armoured force is grouped around a single location: SPTA.
I have served in composite Gunner units with organic CS, AD, Met and Locating in the early 90s and there were issues of economy of scale. Grouping discipline sub-units into single role regiments did improve professionalisation (training, doctrine, career streams), capability development and equipment care as well as esprit de corps and improved geographical stability. Capability champions at the specialist bde level were able to provide SME advice and proponency that does not exist when specialist cpabilities are pennypacketed.

There is also inherent flexibility in terms of task org and resubordination when you battlegroup from discrete donor units which allows you to optimally tailor atts and dets to the task in hand.

uqfegd

pp
 
#19
Nope.

My bad for thinking that a sensible discussion could be had on ARRSE about the future of HM Armed Forces without posters assuming the worse: trawling journo or spotty, ignorant student.
Then the question should be:

Can the British Armed Forces actually conduct change management given the incentives in place to maintain the current structure?

There is nothing to benefit an individual within the Armed Forces who is in a position of power (discuss!) to implement a radical change to their organisation.
 
#20
Could always capbadge the Brigade, trade/branch specialisms could be indicated by (say) the left collar dog on 2s and some sort of badging system similar the matelots.

Within the Bdes the specialisms would still be groups ie Inf, Arty and what not.

Capbadges could become similar to todays RAPTC/SASC. ie a Gunner would wear a Brigade capbadge, but a gun as a symbol of his gunnerness. On reaching Supervisory role (ie SMIG) they'd wear the Arty capbadge.

Group the Bdes in to home recruitin areas for family stability and Roberta's your aunty.

Gives a local feel to the unit, allows movement around the brigade (similar to 3 Cdo), even to the point of a common basic training, but specialisms would still be recruited pan-Army/Armed Forces.
 

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