The best Generals...

Discussion in 'Officers' started by Ford_Prefect, Apr 15, 2005.

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  1. The best Generals leave as Captains. Discuss.

    I appreciate we all feel the pinch of overstretch and over ambitious hierarchy, however, as a Capt I must say I feel this particularly acutely.

    Having spoken to a lot of friends and contempories there seems to be a bit of an exodus happening / about to happen.

    I think the rank of Captain is unique in the fact that you get neat sh!t on a daily basis but unlike SNCOs aren't pensioned trapped or necessarily locked into a career.

    Without a horde of Seniors telling me to dry my eyes I was wondering if anyone else sees the writing on the wall across the rest of Army?
  2. Ford, it's a well known fact that the best officers leave early. Our best SNCOs stay in however, by and large, although there are clear exceptions.

    I was at a meeting (in a strictly bag-carrying, tea-making, holding-doors-open capacity) in Main Building some while back. The then AG looked around at his fellow Generals and said 'Looks like the all good guys have left'.

    Cue lots of horsey laughing and snickering - but you could see his words hit home.

    My humble view is that the Army has become even more political and bitchy of late (the last 10 years or so), strangely coinciding with the rise of Neu Arbiet and their policy of prostituting integrity for short term political gain. Look at Mike Jackson as an example of how a (fighting) leader in Kosovo - totally focussed on his blokes and capability - turned into another grey faceless bureaucrat once he got his feet under the CGS' desk. No more was heard about 'crap radios' and 'crap weapons' then - indeed, they were deemed suitable to fight a war with.

    The encroachment of 'political speak' into the Army is becoming more and more prevalent. We see it all the time - usually when some 'man from the Ministry' decends from his ivory tower to give some presentation to the peons in the F Ech - and he peppers his conversation with all sorts of one-liners from the 'Neu Arbeit Terribly-PC Handbook' - just look at the NEC website for a classic demonstration of this 'non-speak'. Is it any wonder that the leaders of the future (all officers I would say - in theory) see this civilianisation occurring above, and either decide to ally with the devil to further their careers - or preserve their integrity and sense of decency and leave, rather than become the one thing we all hate - a politician in a suit.

    We are men of action and deeds - not mealy-mouthed pencil-pushers. Perhaps some of the great men above us should stop talking about 'military capability' and actually some and speak to some people who actually do it for a living.

    IMHO. :D
  3. You bet your sweet arrse!

    We used to say back in 'Options' days that anyone with any 'get up and go' has got up and gone!

    I got up and went! Funnily enough, I was a Captain too, and clearly was going to zoom to the rank of General if I'd stayed. (Ho ho)

    It was the most extraordinary period. Once it was confirmed who was off, there was a real 'them & us' atmosphere. I was in an office with 3 others. Two of us took the bullet and spent nearly a year enjoying being demob happy and telling the grown-ups where to get off, on the basis that we couldn't exactly get sacked! For the first time in ten years I took all my leave and took Mondays & Fridays off to do 'resettlement'. And got a pay rise in the middle of it all as I passed another year in rank! For the last few months I got a job in Civvy Street too. Fantastic. The two 'lifers' looked as miserable as sin! Mind you, they had to fill the gaps and tow the party line and had another 15-20 years of crap to put up with.

    Looking at what was left behind after the three year exodus, I felt sorry for the boys who had to stag on with some fairly lacklustre types in the command chain who hadn't leapt, as they knew they'd never get a civvy job and that by simply just keeping below the parapet they'd get to Lt Col, not command unless it was TA, educate their kids at tax payers expense and get a largely undeserved pension!

    My advice is to leave now whilst you are still relatively upbeat and can look an interviewer in the eye and be positive about what you do, and aren't suckered in to staying with the school fees trap. Civvy Street will look kindly at you if you are on or around 30, and your military experience will be a huge benefit. Leave it too late and you're looked at like a freak. There is nothing sadder than an approach from a passed over Major/Lt Col wanting a position, thinking that can they play the 'old boy' card. Believe me, if you're a waster in the Army you can be damn sure you'll be smoked out out here in the real world! There ain't no place to hide. No cushy billets like shuffling paper in the School of Infantry, running a range, lurking in a TA Brigade HQ or something similar in G4 Drains etc.

    Don't get me wrong - I had a largely wonderful 10 years of soldiering. Some brilliant friends and incredible memories. But, there comes a time....

    Green brained thrusters: at the happy civvy to your front - fire at will!
  4. Good stuff Queens bloke - but I'm a green-brained thruster and I have already made my deal with the devil.

    Even had stuff published - and no I'm not going to post it here! :D
  5. Now take a look at it from a Tom-Full Screw point of view. The same reasoning could be used there. Why put up with the petty nit picking schitt for 12 years when all you want to do is be a Good soldier\Tradesman. Good soldiers get threaders with schitt and leaves. Bad soldier stays gets promoted becomes poor leader dumps schitt down the chain, good soldier gets threaders and leaves etc etc.

  6. Look around you, mate. Isn't it happening?
  7. I left 1 1\2 years ago after ten years as a full screw. I left a happy soldier and left before I became to bitter & twisted with spineless SNCO and Junior Officers. Would of liked to of done more, but left to move to Norway. The only way to get me back in now would to go on holiday to Zimbabwe.

    For those JNCOs and Junior Officers that do want to get on and do a good job. I wish you the best of luck in a world of schitt.

  8. Seniors tell me I should stay in and change the system from the inside. Canonisation, however, is for John Paul, not for me.
  9. That's the rather limp excuse/reason people like TBLiar uses for staying in the EU.

    If you know it stinks- bale out!
  10. I agree with Queensman, anyone approaching 30 and not happy with the current system should take a look at how happy they want to be and make the leap to civ-div. If you've done your 12 and got the half pension then you can start again and proberbly make far more out of a civillian career that most graduates. You know it make sense.
  11. You would not believe how timely this post is. I am with Ford on this. And I like Calypso's comments.
    I am not an toadying, arse licker, or face waving self promotor. I do not sh1t on my comtemporaries to get on. And today I now know I have no future with this outfit.
    I strangely still believe in things like honour, integrity and moral values. It used to be called chivalry. You may scoff at my slightly romantic view, but thats what I hoped Iwould find in my officer brethrin when I joined up.
    And there a number who also feel like this and also beleive in these values. However it is the other 85% or arrseholes, at all ranks that are spoiling it.
    I have done ten, the pension is about 3 postings and an ICSC away. But after today, you can ram it up your arse. I am so disappointed with all this it's not true.
    And I'll tell you this, we are headed for a disaster. We are training for wars we will never fight with kit that will failand we are going to lose one. We have got away with it so many times now, we are going to go up against some bastards soon who will have spotted our weakneses and we are going to get a somalia style stuffing. It will probably be the CSS elements that get it and people are going to die. And quite frankly, no thanks.

    It used to be that we [the british army] were looked at as the experts in leadership and management and were at the cutting edge, in both terms of people and kit.
    True our training is very good, but the whole man-management bit seems to get forgotten above the rank of Capt.
    General Jack Deverall said in an interview Leadership is working with people as they are, not how you wish they were
    Just because all your officers are not minature generals doesn't mean they are sh1t. Why are COs so surprised when you tell them that you don't really care about commanding a regiment or being pink listed as you intend to piss off at the 16 year point. I can't even be arsed getting to that bit.
    We are falling behind civvy street. As for kit. I cannot believe how excited people are getting about DII etc. Most civvy companies have had networked capability for years. It taken 10 for me to get my own computer and printer. I refuse to buy a laptop and use it for work. (its against IS rules anyway) Why are we so slow to change.
    I work in such a closeting enviroment. You can develop and grow and a leader in the Army but only within a tightly defined arc.
    I can't stand it, there is so much more I feel I could achieve. Stay in and change the sytem from within? wake up!
    And for a really good laugh look at out log capability. A quick note for the dorks at DLO, etc. Asset tracking is using GPS to pin point the truck with your item on it. Not, its between bicester and the SPOD or it in the ISO farm in a container. which one? as there are 2500 of the b*stards to choose from!!
    I've had enough of dragging my family around all over the place, getting put in harms way, getting shat on and used, for what. A pension and an indifferent public.
    harrumph. A country that doesn't respect its armed forces, soon learns to respect someone elses.
  12. You've just about summed it all up there KoR. There is a very similar sentiment in the WOs & Sgts Mess, but most of us are in the pension trap and are therefore stuck, particularly those of us with families.

    We all know what's happened and it is a regular topic of conversation, but no one is addressing it. Is it because those who are in a position to do so, would rather not, as thier own careers are more important?

    Stop LE Commissioning for a while, get WOs to act like WOs and not spend most of thier time grooming thier careers, this may go some way to refurbishing attitudes of the Sgts Mess. Give the JNCOs some WOs and SNCOs to respect and perhaps we won't lose so many of them. Stop some of the Corps' from commissioning from SSgt. It is in this bracket that the 'career' LE is at his most dangerous. They have little or no respect for Warrant Officers in many cases (not all). LE Commissions should be limited and those selected should be WO1s or high quality WO2s.

    There's nothing wrong with your 'romanticised' idea of how it should be. Many of us hold those values even today and it is those who sneer at them and refer to them as 'old school' values who are the biggest danger to the Army and should be shunned, as, when they proceed through the ranks, be they commissioned or otherwise, they destroy our integrity in thier pursuit of thier own greatness and breed a similar attitude amongst thier followers.

    Would a change in Governemnt aid our plight?
  13. I have read the posts here and was about to go into rant mode, about the Forces being the backbone of our nation etc and how it was up to us to preserve the values and standards. That the only way to do this was being part of the system and being for the system, making it work for the greater good, other wise we are all individuals just like the directors of Rover, lets get what we can while we can and don't worry about tomorrow as I will be all right :wink:

    Then I realised that, as a TA soldier, my views may well be different, I still have a belief in integrity and honour. I do think I can make a difference and even though I shake my head when I see what the Forces have become I will contimue to try and make a difference. I also realise that my pension is not subject to my service. But, if you think its any different in civi street think again. I work for a company that employs more people than the Army and believe me the crap about IT and career protection rings true here as well. At least within the Forces we are a force (small) for good in a world that seems more and more dangerous. When I talk to my childrens teachers or thier friends, parents etc all they want to know about is the TA and the Army :oops: , they don't give 2 hoots about my day job, they all think that the Forces are the last " Few good men" in this country, don't let them down.
  14. I hate to p*** on your fire my dear rodney, but all the best guys left the army years ago. The army now a days is full of whimps and wingers. Unfit, undiciplined, lacking in training and taught from day one that the army is as soft as the girl guides. I say this because whilst my son was on selection, he had a mate sent home after his medical for a blister!!! I very nearly fell off my seat and crack 7 ribs laughing. Is this the new generation of 'the best army in the world' ???
  15. woopert

    woopert LE Moderator

    In a word, no I don't think it would.

    Go back a number of years and in any given middle-class aspiring family, son no 1 went into the church (of England), no 2 went into the army, no 3 went into law. Each of those professions was seen as a vocation, a higher calling to service, and that's what it was, service. With that service came certain priveleges, the mess, the tie, the old comrades assoc, the club, all of those things that looked out for each other after that period of service was over.

    Society as a whole now looks for immediate gratification. "I want it, I want it all, and I want it now because it's my eartly right to have it, and if it affects you, so what?" Changing the government won't re-introduce a sense of service to the forces, or an element of vocation rather than a career ladder to be climbed because it's engrained in society. Even changing the criteria at RCB to select only those who can evidence a desire for a vocational approach to their career would certainly weed out the back-stabbing politicians, but it would be a lonely parade square infront of Old College as only a dozen or so of you graduate each CCC.