Temprementally Unsuited

Is it me or have we gone completely barking mad? Am I the only one experiencing the current exit means of choice of our dear, emaciated, home-sick, spineless urchins who refer themselves to the CPN, put their underpants on their head and 2 pencils up their nose and, between wibbles, convince the medical services that, despite a rigorous selection process, between 6 and 18 months basic and initial trade training, that within 6 months of reaching the unit, they are "Temprementally Unsuited to Army Life" and must be discharged under QRs 9.414!

I know the current mantra of train in, don't weed out is big in the ITG these days but surely we cannot be getting it sooo wrong. I estimate that between 4 - 10% of the little darlings attempt this route, the majority of whom are successful.

Any views?
It saddens me as well. I have been signing off 4 to 5 a week for discharge recently. What a waste of everyones time and effort.

There is no easy solution. What we do not want is someone who cannot be relied on and it is easier I suppose to get rid of them quickly rather than keep them on when they might do some real damage.

It is the psychiatrists they have to convince. Whether it is easy to convince them or not, I do not know. Psychiatrists may also be erring on the side of caution as well. Nevertheless, this high discharge rate is a real problem.

Perhaps we can get a medical view from someone on the board ?
Not so much as medical view but a ex medic and now civvy living in catterick view.
It seems to me that these kids are not briefed that well before they get to there training depots. We see kids come through ITC who still have the attitude they had when they were at school. Usally pretty bad. With the rulings that they cant be shouted at, made to feel like a prat, etc is it any wonder that when they get let out and start being obnoxious to ex regs and civillians, they feel a tad threatned when we retaliate. This then brings them down to earth with a bloody big bump, and waant to run home. Dont want to pay to get out so well spin the yarn to the psyche ward and get dismissed. I was talking to some recruits the other day and everyone of them was stressed and depressed. I felt like screaming. If you want stress come and have my life for a week, they have no financial worries, and they only have them to worry about.
I loved basic training, but that was WRAC. Our CSM was Freddy Kruger with a skirt on, however we were not molly coddled from the day we arrived and we learnt the respect from there. When we passed off she became a warm and sincere person with a sense of humour who had the upmost pride in us because we stuck it out and got there. There was hardly ever any psyche referrals if you wanted out you paid or got an MD or got pregnant.
Isnt it about time that when it comes to recruiting that as part of the medical they run some sort of psycological assesment to see a recruits suitability. I really dont think it is the fault of the instructors at the depots they do a very good and bloody hard job, certainly one i wouldnt envy.
All sound view points. I'm off to the Psychiatrist myself tomorrow to see if he can tell me what constitutes being temperamentally unsuitable for Army life....or perhaps I just get him to assess me!
I guess this is also a legacy of (despite the denials) of 'train in, not weed out'. If the Phase 1 training establishments viewed their raw material a little more critically, we might not have so many who discover that they cannot hack it later on after a considerrable amount of time, money and effort has been invested in the little dears.
You should check out the Navy sickbays the night before a ship sails!

Guaranteed to find a lovely but sniverly female rating with boy friend/girlfriend issues too much to drink and a gang of her mates convinced she's munched an industrial size box of paracetamol!

Admit and observe, ship sails 1 "able" rating down.

Maybe someone should point out at the recruiting place that there is a small chance, that some of these wasters may have to sod off to sea and do some work!

Maybe not

I am all for pussers mattresses as long as they are kept for morale purposes and given no discernable rank

Bring it on
Fair enough Up periscope

Its been seen, but the ladies are still ahead on points and with the male to female ratio in the navy as it is this leads me to believe they are generally the usual suspects.

This is only my POV rather than statistic.

Jack normally turns up at the sickbay sh*tbagged, with scuffed knuckles and escorted by reggy scum with nothing better to do of an evening than spoil the proper humans fun!

RangiRam said:
"Temprementally Unsuited to Army Life" and must be discharged under QRs 9.414!
Temprementally Unsuited to Army Life !!!- never heard so much PC b0llocks in in my born days

Perhaps the lads at MCTC should get some white coats on and entertain these wibbly headed numbskulls for a few months prior to discharge. It might put a few of them think twice about off putting their underpants on their heads and pencils up their noses.

Having said that I knew a bloke who swung this a few years ago said that every time he was on stag with live ammo he had voices in his head telling him to slot the CO. I don't know why he was kicked out - just about every one else had the same thing going on in their heads as well.
I'm not clued up on what happens these days before a recruit starts basic, but is there anything like Sutton Coalfield these days? This was my very first introduction to the Army, complete with shouting, running and a few tests, plus a very nice WO who told us that this was not a taste of things to come, as it would be 100 times harder and worse. That made the majority of us think twice about what we were about to contemplate. Surely there is some sort of pre-introduction?
Gunny it was called selection when i joined up. :? :? :?

However if i had a £1 for every time i was told in basic "It will be different when you get to your unit" id be very rich. I can remember being on sick parade at 8sigs now ITC and the sister was rather worried she couldnt understand why she had so many lads with a temp, then it clicked if you went in with a cold she would come out armed with thermometers, and stick one in your mouth. The lads got wise to this and to ensure it looked like they were ill they would rub the thermometer on there trouser legs to make the mercury rise.Hence guaranteed bedding down. This little ruse lasted quite a while until sister clicked on, all hail the digital thermometer.
its just a new craze we had dodgy knees in the 80's drug taking in th 90's weve now got head sick the only way the armed forces is going to combat this craze is bring in sickness benifit like civvie street harsh i know as many a good person get seriously injured and is out of action no fault of thiers. however i bet the little buggers would stop doing it if their pay packet shrinked and every day on sick got added on to lengh of service like you get when in nick i bet they would wind there necks in and just slog it out
Now theres an idea, never thought of that. In civvy street you dont get Statutory Sick Pay for the first three days that your off.
when i did basic you avoided going sick because you did'nt want to get back squaded. Got a stinking cold one day suffered all day by about 7pm was having difficulty seeing. went to medical centre no one about some medic looked me up and down gave me some pills and a bottle of linctus sent me away got completely blasted on codiene linctus got around the ICFT in a drug induced haze :roll:
The business about not worrying because it won't be like this at the unit is still used...the unfortunate thing is that they are right, it's not the same. In Phase 1 the little seethearts have their lives organised for them from dawn til dusk. They are told what to do, where to go, what to wear...you remember all that, yeah?

Unfortunately, in Phase 2 they currently spend so long awaiting training of various descriptions, taking long weekends, playing Russian roulette on stag and generally poncing about the place forgetting what it was like in Phase 2, the structure to their day they experience when they get to their unit is completely alien to them and the poor luvvies get stressed out whilst missing their mum/girlfriend/boyfriend/life partner. Strangely enough, they also have trouble recalling the bit in the advert that says that they will spend most of their day painting wheel nuts on the vehicle park because theirs no money for track mileage or the CO's spent the lot on his recent round of entertaining.

Poor luvs. Perhaps we need to develop the concept of training simulators a bit more to fill their time. Wargaming simulators wired up to the TVs in their rooms perhaps? Bugger me! That'll be PS2!
Yes .. but the bottom line remains do we want soldiers in the Army that do not want to be in it ? My view is that we do not. We after all a volunteer Army.

What we need are properly motivated soldiers who want job satisfaction and if they are not getting it in todays Army - then we are doing something wrong. Of course soldiers have off days and I accept that there are ghastly courses including some training ones - but we should be motivating soldiers properly as intelligent beings rather then through punishment.

If ATRA recruits do not want to be part of it - then fine - they go. Far better to have 10 volunteers, maintain high standards than 100 who do not, and we waste time and resources dragging them along.

To return to the thread of the topic - are we exploring all angles of those who want to leave - how about changing Corps or Arms ? Is the soldiers immediate chain of command during every they can to get him/her into an enjoyable job in the Army so they can rebuild their self esteem rather then be treated as wasters ?

Views ?
Is the soldiers immediate chain of command during every they can to get him/her into an enjoyable job in the Army so they can rebuild their self esteem rather then be treated as wasters ?
To answer that question you would have to survey the recruits who leave and the staff who train them, and how likely are you to get honest answers to those questions?

Of course you could always get the recruiting offices to stop being targetted on sending people where there are the manning gaps and thus sending recruits to the regiments they don't want to go to. Obviously a "Johnny no-stars" is not going to make it to his life's dream of flying AH64 by his 21st birthday, but telling him he can do it if he mongs about in the Inf for a couple of years is going to leave him dissillusioned when he gets to ATRA finds he is joining an Inf Regt he has no interested in joining because a recruiting Sgt shafted him to meet his recruiting targets. In my view not enough time is spent finding out what the recruits actually want to do and more time is spent telling them what the army wants rather than listening to what they want and matching that. Of course they need to be given a realistic idea of what the army is all about, so why are we telling these kids that joining the Inf is going to be a life spent on a silaing boat in the Med and on a beach somewhere when the reality is likely to be 6 months stagging on in Boz followed by an immediate tour somewhere warm and sunny and a return to a hole of a block in Catterick or Aldershot. The army is 90% boredom, 9.9% bullsh*t and 0.1% sheer bloody terror. If all they see is the boredom then no wonder they get disillusioned when that's not what they are led to expect.

With you but we have a serious problem if life is 90% boredom !

I agree with your view on explanations and true ones as well.

I just wonder how much the chain of command or low level leadership really tries to help these soldiers - - are we doing enough ? I feel in my bones we do not and we must do more.
MONICA said:
I loved basic training, but that was WRAC. Our CSM was Freddy Kruger with a skirt on

How did anyone let this little gem sneak past. I thought that was the criteria for getting in the WRAC. :lol: :lol:

Back on thread, like most who post here I went through the old Regimental depot system so always had a problem with the whole Phase 1 & 2 training thing and these fucked up ITC's.

Bring back DMS, puttees, **** off big PT shorts, beastings at 2 a.m, 15 mile heavy carries, adopt the position, SLR's and nylon socks. :wink:
In answer to Ramillies earlier question, yes, certainly in my Regiment we are doing enough to ensure that anyone who wants to be in the Army but is going through a bad patch has all the necessary info to make an informed choice about re-trading, a change of cap badge or whatever. I think the biggest gripe I have is with a system that allows individuals who really are not sure that they want to be there pass through the system 'at risk', only to find 6 months down the line that they have either gone AWOL or are placing pencils up their nose and putting their pants on the head.

I have a number of them tell me that they only joined to please their parent(s) and, despite trying to exit during Phase 1 or 2 that they were 'encouraged' to stay on because 'it will all get better at the unit'. This is frankly crap and needs to be addressed. I reiterate my earlier point - train in, not weed out may satisfy the ITG stats but costs us a mint in wastage once they get to us and find that they really don't like it!
RangiRam said:
I have a number of them tell me that they only joined to please their parent(s) and, despite trying to exit during Phase 1 or 2 that they were 'encouraged' to stay on because 'it will all get better at the unit'. This is frankly crap and needs to be addressed. I reiterate my earlier point - train in, not weed out may satisfy the ITG stats but costs us a mint in wastage once they get to us and find that they really don't like it!
I see a lot of these guys 'n' gals in my appointment, I have been seeing them for the last several years. And the bottom line seems to be that they have been systematically lied to or "force fed" into the system by NCO's from the time they stepped over the threshold of the recruiting office. I know of a Sgt who does their tests for them (yes, it happens) so that we get Pte X who cannot read - at all - (his mates read for him and have done so in my presence as if it was the most natural thing in the world; charming, comradely, but a damning indictment of Soldier Trg that he was allowed out unable to read his ROE card) - where does that leave us legally, I wonder? Cpls in trg establishments lie to the recruits all the time, the favourites being reported to me are such as, "Your sign-off window has just closed" when it hadn't and the classic "There's another sign-off window when you join your regiment, so you don't have to leave now, just tough it out for a bit longer." Now there's a whopper that even Burger King would marvel at!

If there is a root evil here, it is the demand to get out X number of trained soldiers no matter what. If you are allowed 10% wastage and numbers 80 to 90 out of a hundred still can't tie their shoe laces by themselves, they will be coming to a regiment near you very soon, whether you like it or not. There the unhappy will consume a vastly disproportionate amount of Chain of Command and Welfare time and resources, time that could be profitably spent making other people happier and the army more efficient. And they are virtually forced to go down the CPN/TU route because they have signed on the dotted line (or possibly made an 'X' in some cases). There are two solutions - either we constrict the flow at the beginning of the process and accept that we will have fewer troops with the pay that we are prepared to give them, or we widen the flow out at the other end by making it easier for people to leave if they are genuinely unsuited without making them go through the demeaning process of trying to prove that they are mentally unsuited.

I know that some will later regret leaving and will realise that the army could have been the making of them and for those who wish to, they should be allowed a 'fast-track' re-enlistment but with the stipulation that they cannot get out so easily the next time so that they do not continually come and go at will. Perhaps we could even institute a 'Gap of Service" contract for those who wish so that they can get out for say, 3, 6, 9 or 12 months with a guranteed re-enlistment and re-instatement of pension rights etc for those who want to come back. A sort of 'sabbatical' without pay so that they can see if the grass is greener on the other side, and if they come back and tell all their mates that it isn't all sunshine and roses in civvy street it can only help retention. In fact, I think that's a smashing idea... Can I have my MBE now , please? And if this becomes policy without attribution to yours truly, I will haunt the man who gets that gong in my stead!!

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