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Sword of honour = career fail?

#1
On the "Has Sandhurst got it right?" thread, the subject of the correlation between blades and generals has come up. The theory is that winners at RMAS do not good generals make.

Does anybody know of a "household name" general who was a blade? Or what is the highest ranking SOH or Queens Medal winner you have personally experienced.

Alternatively do you know of any Sword of Honour winners who having peaked early, crashed and burned? No names, no packdrill obviously but anecdotes that are almost true will be accepted in the spirit of Arrse.

A special award will be presented to the first person to post that old chestnut "the best generals left the regular army as captains". This may be a lie. Almost certainly. :D
 
#3
"Nothing is as good for the morale of the troops as to ocasionally see a dead General"

Field Marshall Williiam Joseph "Bill" Slim.

I like the way he never specified wether it was an enemy General or not!
 
#5
I knew two, both despised by the Corps of failures that they joined. One was hounded out and the other made redundant. Both superb blokes who have done very well for themselves on the outside.
 
#6
Well that is interesting for a first trawl of responses - one makes general, two "our computer said uh-uhs" and the kindly thought that dead generals are good for morale... :D

(Try reading "Bloody Red Tabs" sometime Ilech, if you haven't already.)
 
#7
In my experience the SoH went to the biggest thruster and DS watcher at RMAS - not the best OCdt... perhaps they should introduce a OCdts' Medal which they have at Phase One - i.e. Best Recruit / SoH goes to the guy the DS thinks is the best and the Soldiers Medal / (new OCdts Medal) goes to the Recruit / OCdt that his/her fellow recruits / OCdts think was the best.

Slim went from Pte (up the ranks) to Field Marshall if I remember rightly....?

Most of the top brass these days usually dive from Regt to Corps and back again in a bid to find a job / slot that enables them to promote to the higher echelons (Lt Gen K..... Int Corps - ex-inf, Brig M..... AGC - ex-Inf, Lt Gen V.... ex-AG to AGC (SPS) ex-RA etc etc).

The Armed Forces has always failed to acknowledge that just because someone is good in training it doesn't mean they will be good in the Field Army... I know several 'top third' OCdts and 'Brecon Bino Winners' pile in at their first units... a variety of reasons... thrusting can not be maintained for prolonged periods, the bum-lickers / brown-nosers and back-stabbers always get found out (either by their blokes who despise them and aid in their downfall or by their fellow officers outing them as c*nts)...

The main reason is that the Army makes cynics of us all, the doe-eyed, thrusting, crusaders that we all are when we leave RMAS get ground down by unit/Army politics and bullsh*t and we end up hating the job, hating the system and get out at Capt/Maj... only the die hard play the true political game and reach the higher ranks... usually by stepping on a shed load of people on the way up....

of course there are some people who are just brilliant (of which i am not one)
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#9
Indeed, I won the best recruit trophy in my phase 1, and now I am possibly the gashest, laziest specimen of a soldier ever to have graced this fine Army.
 
#10
I was having a discussion with my mate the other day on this so I did a bit of re-search.

It seems to me a lot of soldiers who make general (mike jackson exempt) don't seem to have come from infantry regiments, certainley at the moment there seems to be a lot of artillery or cavalry types in high command. Those who win the sword of honour tend to be infantry regiment bound (of course none of this is in red but it seems to agree with the averages) because of the way the Sandhurst course is set. So why is it that in general the top infantry commanders often don't make general?

It's not in fact because all the best generals leave at Captain, it's because they all run off and join "Them" :) kidding
 
#11
DrunkenIrish said:
Slim started as a UOTC officer and got his regular commission after being wounded in Turkey.
Not quite, while he may have done his Cert A (or B? Whatever) with Birmingham UTC, he was actually commissioned into the ERO with the Warwicks. He was however as you say commissioned into the West India Regiment on a Regular Commission in 1916, after being wounded at Jolly-polly. He then continued to service with the Warwicks up until his transfer to the Indian Army.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#14
Cuddles said:
Ravers - I too peaked at 18! Nice tankard mind...big mistake giving me a drinking vessel as positive re-inforcement I feel...
I got a shitty knife mounted on a plaque which I had to give back after having my piccy taken with it shaking hands with someone important. :(
 

udipur

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
The blade in our intake was the professional ultimate DS watcher. Went on to try for the Air Corps and might have failed - haven't a clue. Real God botherer to boot - refused to play rugby on a Sunday and when the commissioning service was on, his parents (who really did walk with Hayzoos) were waving their hands around like them wiv the tongues, like.

Most un orficer like behaviours, doncha know.

We also had a golden child at Warminster who managed to get a few of us significantly lost on patrol one night (why would we bother with all that map reading malarkey when we were not in comd appts?) who went on to join his regiment which seemed to pick him out for all the glory jobs. Until he fundamentally bottled it in Bos and was invalided back from the front and swapped to the AGC.

I, on the other hand, consistently set low standards, failed to achieve them all, bugged out after less than five years thinking that there has to be more to life than NI tours, only to watch Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Iraq etc race over the horizon. I'm sure I could have supervised some storemen in all those spots.
 
#17
HiHoJo said:
Those who win the sword of honour tend to be infantry regiment bound (of course none of this is in red but it seems to agree with the averages) because of the way the Sandhurst course is set.
..or perhaps it is the fact that the corps of infantry is bigger than anything else.
 
#18
Dragstrip said:
HiHoJo said:
Those who win the sword of honour tend to be infantry regiment bound (of course none of this is in red but it seems to agree with the averages) because of the way the Sandhurst course is set.
..or perhaps it is the fact that the corps of infantry is bigger than anything else.
could be, but surely following that logic most in higher command should be infantry?
 
#20
HiHoJo said:
Dragstrip said:
HiHoJo said:
Those who win the sword of honour tend to be infantry regiment bound (of course none of this is in red but it seems to agree with the averages) because of the way the Sandhurst course is set.
..or perhaps it is the fact that the corps of infantry is bigger than anything else.
could be, but surely following that logic most in higher command should be infantry?
CGS of the last 20 years
Richards: RHA
Dannatt: Green Howards
Jackson: PARA
Walker: Royal Anglians
Wheeler: R Irish
Guthrie: Welsh Guards
Inge: Green Howards
Chapple: Gurkhas

Am I missing something or are you talking rubbish?
 

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