The Armys deadliest enemy is at home

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Random_Task, Jan 22, 2006.

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  1. No supprise whatsoever. If Tony gets his way, Britain will have no armed forces.
  2. An outstanding piece of writing, written by someone who has our interests at heart. What a shame he is not in the government, or in a position to help. I applaud him
  3. It's going to take a damn sight more than this - well written, and well informed - article for the public to see us in a different light.

    Think back 10 - 15 years ago. We (serving soldiers) were frightened (or at least nervous) about admitting what we did for a living, because of the fear of Irish Terrorism. The fear now is that we will be ridiculed and spat on because of the public view of the war in Iraq. Most civilians do not understand that we do what we do because we are told to. OK, so we all joined up voluntarily, but our personal views of the situation 'over there' count for nothing. The Prime Minister tells the Generals that we're to go, the Generals tell our COs and we go. No argument, no "it's not our war" we go.

    The peaceniks out there seem to think that we can just turn round and refuse. Does anyone know of a serving regular soldier who refused to go? I doubt it (although I could be wrong).

    Yes, we have had bullies training our recruits, and the press have had a field day with them. My father works for a Call Centre and has exactly the same thing - managers/supervisors who think that there position gives them the power to bully. Is the press interested - no, of course not - they only want juicy stories that they then blow out of proportion. What about the endless stories of soldiers having affairs - does no one in civvy street ever have affairs? Of course they do, but what's that got to do with it, why let that stand in the way of a good story (even if it's not). The view outside the forces is that if one NCO is a bully, then they all are. If one soldier/officer plays away, then the whole Army is at it.

    I think that we have a hell of a job on our hands to improve our image, and for the life of me I can't figure out what it is we can do. We're loved when we step in for the Ambulance crews (anyone still remember that?), or Fire Service, or rescue brides from the floods every year, but apart from that, nothing good is ever reported (Pte Beharry VC excepted).

    So, what do we do - over to you lot...

    Apologies for the ramble, but I feel strongly about this, I just find it hard to explain how I feel - does that make sense? I want to be proud once more of the fact that I serve in the British Army - quick, someone give me a Union Flag (or is that not PC)
  4. In December 2003, I wrote the following on PPRuNe:

    The greatest threat to security is the misconception that no such threat exists.

    These were the opening words of a security lecture that I attended a few months ago. Just as the most important thing in (information) is being aware of the threat, lack of public awareness of defence issues is a major threat to the Armed Forces, because it makes them vulnerable of cutbacks, often by back door means. Even worse, common misconceptions mean that the defence community receives neither the support nor the recognition that they deserve from the public. Hence the above statement applies to national and international security.

    The reasons for this are not simple. Apathy, bad PR by the Services, poor journalism and the "Me me me" culture are all, in my opinion, partly to blame. But problems with support from the public are reflected at a political level, just look at how few MPs attend debates on defence issues. Yet defence affects us all - both directly and indirectly.

    See here.

    Don't know what the answer is, but we need to start presenting our case........
  5. Depessing, because I agreed with every word of the Telegraph article.
    I have long held the view that Blair and Brown are a bigger diect threat to the Services than Osama ever was. Unfortunately, the situation looks like getting a lot worse before it starts to get better.
  6. Maybe I am being cynical - but what about the possibility that Tony Bliar had his cronies brief against the military shortly after the war finished ? We were quite popular then, having done a good job but maybe we got too popular, overshadowing Dear Leader. All of a sudden theres incoming from the press everywhere...... people getting investigated and prosecuted for things that anyone with an ounce of sense would have thrown out. All of this helps put us in a bad light and makes it a damn sight easier to cut us back because lets face it, no one likes rascist bullies who hang people from fork lift trucks...
  7. I wonder if he does the same thing against the Spooks? There was a report on News 24 last night that MI5 had bugged the 'phones of the 7/7 bombers and had them on tape discussing waging a Jihad. But they took no action because they did not consider them a threat.
    When I heard this, I thought who the fcuk would leak something like this? The Spooks would want to keep it quiet. Does Blair want to set up a Homeland Security Department and is trying to make our existing Security Services look ineffectual?
    I know, pass the Tinfoil Hat...
  8. It might just be me, but whenever I see articles in the press about the British Army, I often have the feeling that they're written with some sort of malicious glee - as if the journo in question's using the opportunity to slag off the squaddies because he can't be one himself.
    There's a popular misconception among civvies that everybody joining the British Army is "well 'ard" (although this only really applies to Herrenbloke and Geordie_Berk) and as such is much higher on the "macho scale" than being a journo. It seems to be a case of "if I can't do it, I'll make sure you can't either".
    However, that observation does nothing to alter the perception of the British Army in the eyes of the public. I'm not really sure which steps can be taken to improve that, apart from many more open days at army camps, regular public information displays and recruiting drives in towns and cities, etc.
    In short, making the British Army more visible and accessible to ordinary people.

  9. I think you are a little deluded there. I would not of thought for one minute that a fleet street professional, with the lifestyle that comes with it, would be envious of a squaddie earning around 20 odd grand a year. I chose the Army as a career because it appealed to me and it was fun, not because I needed reassurance of my manliness. Although I do agree that the Army need to show people that members of the forces are a pretty good sample of the society soliders are recruited from.
  10. While I agree with and admire Max Hastings on most things his quotes about Army trg are completely wrong, when he says:

    "Those who administer the Infantry Training Centre at Catterick are scarcely allowed to impose discipline on new recruits, lest they quit or sue. Many line battalions have to run their own training programmes for alleged trained soldiers from the ITC, to render them fit to serve." he is reinforcing a myth.

    All the teeth arm commanders from Telic commented on how good the product delivered by the ATRA was. Young soldiers delivered from ITC to the PWRR were in contact before they had even reached the Btn base location and acquitted themselves well. The Para’s in Sierra Leone also had their full quota of young soldiers who performed admirably.

    Lets get it straight, the ATRA produces an excellent product "within time and budget constraints" you could have little SAS troopers if the money and time was their,

    2 things strike me about those who slag trg and recruits off:

    1 They forget the ******* they trained with who got out and therefore are overly critical of the young soldiers when they compare them with their (the critics) peer group. You especially see this in Sgts Messes 200 men saying “well the youngsters aren’t as good as us!” well no shit Sherlock

    2 They wear rose tinted specs about their own trg regime, after 22 years I can honestly say that the trg delivered now is better than it ever has been, previous regimes may have been tough but to what end? And how many good soldiers left because their DS was a ******?

    As a last point for the regular serving members of ARRSE, when you moan about recruits or new soldiers you forget that you have and have always had a responsibility to carry on the trg of soldiers. Basic trg is exactly that "basic trg" good NCOs SNCOs and Officers carry on trg their soldiers every day.
  11. A really excellent article from Max Hastings - politicians should take heed.
  12. The public appear to think that soldiers are ...ignorant, pudding thick, beer guzzling, sex mad, wife beating, psychotic, bullying, macho, blood thirsty, rapists. This opinion being fuelled by the media because as often said before, the media loves gossip and scandal and what better target than the armed forces? Tell a nice story about a good deed of the army and its met with something like ' What were they doing driving down the high st anyway?' ( if you rescued a stranded bride) 'Aint they nothing better to do?' ( if rescuing a stranded dog) However, when theres a riot its a case of 'should send the army in with water cannons!' hero of the hour and all the good citizens can sleep safely in their beds knowing that the ignorant, pudding thick, beer guzzling, sex mad, wife beating, adulterous, psychotic, bullying, macho, blood thirsty, rapists are out their protecting them, their property and their loved ones!! Can the rot be stopped? Its highly unlikely because however hard you try, there will always be the bigots ready to slap you down. A man strangles his missus to death and the headlines screams ' soldier strangles wife in a fit of temper' The 'soldier' in question did a 6 week initial training course with the catering corps back in 1972...34 yrs ago!!!! since then he has been a hairy arrsed builder! However, the soldier label sells the papers, after all who really cares that a hairy arrsed builder throttled his missus before burying her under the patio? The public will always adopt an 'holier than thou' stance whatever you do.
  13. No delusion at all, amazing__lobster, and I thank you for your comments.
    However, you yourself may be labouring under a misapprehension. The "Fleet Street lifestyle" is nowhere near as cushy as you describe (with a few notable exceptions, of course).
    Notwithstanding that, a perceived inferiority has nothing to do with lifestyle or earnings. It's about how one person feels they measure up to another. I stand by my statements.

  14. I've lived in New York for 5 years and noticed that one of the biggest differences between the US military and the that in Britain is simply that of visibility.

    They never had the IRA or come to that mainland terrorism until 9/11 and so there seem to be no rules about being in green kit in public. You don't just see soldiers at checkpoints on the bridges and tunnels of manhatten but also on subway platforms, train stations, in the street etc...

    The public get to see their troops and it humanises them. I've frequently seen uniformed soldiers getting discounts in shops and people talking to them about their experiences.

    In Britain we only ever see the occasional landrover with a 'please call this number to complain about me'. British soldiers are hidden away and only get recognition when something goes wrong, be that in Iraq or some 'scandal'. Don't blame jounalists who have never met a squaddie and get their stories from the associated press. I know there are security reasons but the army should be proud of its uniform and proud of what it does. All people ever see of the army right now is off the news and unsurprisingly, news tends to be bad news.