The best Majors.....

#1
I posted the following thread on the Officer's forum:

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?
I thought though I'd make it a bit more Corps specific; I'd say for us the best Lt Colonels and Majors leave as Captains.
 
#2
FP
Remember we're in a transitional phase!
Until now, all that you had to do to get your crown-up was stay in until your early 30s, laugh at the COs jokes and turn up to work.

There are a plethora of low-grade fd officers who have never done a proper staff job and have collected a crown straight on their way to the sub-unit comd board.

Coupled witht the atrociously random Staff Selected Board, essentially the 11-plus of Captains, there is a generation of Majs who would never cut it under LTOS. Essentially, if you joined late, or were commissioned from the ranks at say 25-26, a couple of yrs regt duty, AJD, a Capts job, then blag the SSB, its no wonder we're in the state we are in the RLCHEESE.

Remember, there's 2 types of officer - Those who selflessly serve to lead, and those that selflessly serve to enhance their own careers. We're here to serve the Tom's and society, not our placing on the next pink list etc!
 
#3
I have only come across 3 officers that fitted the second category and 2 of those were LEs. If you've been to Wilton recently then you will see a mass of officers who are drawing Tax payers money under false pretenses.

I had a glance through the jobs available for the new batch of Majors, what a farce. There are more jobs for the boys out there than anyone could possibly imagine. The job specs are blatantly made up using the usual vague and slightly confusing terms that no-one ever wants tto ask about because it may make them look foolish.
 
#5
Whether you are on LTOS or ATOS i think it is still fair to say that you will be promoted to major in the RLC as long as you dont kill anyone (negligently).

The people that i know that have left or have signed off recently have had a reality check and realised that they will either get shafted with yet another bone Sqn 2ic post or the yawning pit of drudgery that is the SO3 - SO2 and onwards papershuffle.

Most people joined to have a good job with responsibility and work with soldiers. Manning Counter Measures Div seem to be making a hash of what appears to be reasonably straight fwd job - rush postings, late notifications, op tour pass the parcel. Guys out there are just realising they can live in the same place for more than five minuits, and not get sent sandleside without any thanks, so they get out.
 
#6
eightyoh said:
Whether you are on LTOS or ATOS i think it is still fair to say that you will be promoted to major in the RLC as long as you dont kill anyone (negligently).
Hard to define what constitutes negligent killing in the Really Large Corps these days; presumably that would be killing someone whilst neglecting to make it look as though they did it themselves?
 
#7
goon_bde said:
FP
Remember, there's 2 types of officer - Those who selflessly serve to lead, and those that selflessly serve to enhance their own careers. We're here to serve the Tom's and society, not our placing on the next pink list etc!
There are two types of Officer -
1. Those that are officers because they command the respect of their troops, and
2. Those that demand the respect of their troops, because they are Officers.

Find a Rodney, Assess
 
#8
Good choice of name L2A2. Welcome aboard.
 
#9
(under breath) Saints preserve us from ATs.
OK, as I see it you're either one of two types.
A hunter or a farmer. My CO wants farmers. clever predictable types who he knows how they will react. Anyone who may be rogue is a threat.
By and large it seems the Logs want farmers not hunters, so the hunters go else where, and actually hunt
During a rather interesting converastion I had today with a brother officer I formed the opinion that for a lot of officers, commanding troops was not their main objective.
It strikes me that you can be a cr*p man manager but still do quite well.
The theory goes (and I am prepared to get a bit of flak over this)
You finally get your Sqn/coy comd. you are a bit of a selfish tube, dump your work on your sub-ordinates, spend your whole time sking etc, but do the "it's all about the soldiers" bit whenever the CO is in earshot/range. You can "manage" the business but have the personality of a potato and have all the inter personal skills of Pol Pot.
You go to your staff job (so2) you are actually very good on the staff despite being a crap leader, and get a couple of good OJARs. Cue promotion to Lt Col, and presto, now you are in charge of a Regt.
In fact it is possible (and I have seen it) to command a Regt, when your last command experince was acutally as a platoon comamnder, because you didn't command a Sqn/coy but was a Regt 2IC. scary.
But there is a service test that can be a applied here.
Look at your brother/sister officer and ask yourself:
if you where under attack/in a firefight/horrible situation and you needed some one to watch your back/trust with your life.....would you want it to be them?
 
#11
I am afraid that I totaly agree. I have seen far too many very good officers' leave at Capt or early Maj. The main reason being that they have good character, are good at their chosen skill and had the morale courage to stand up for their soldiers.

These types of people are trodden on by their CO and contempories for having such traits as they are disjointed from their troops, crap at their job and full of their own self importance. You only have to look at the levels of respect given to these good officers and the quality of the work that their soldiers produce because of it. Inversely; soldiers under the command of a f*ckwit produce shite results, and quite often paint targets on thier back on Ops.
Unfortunately this trait is now to be seen at the SNCO level. Any body caught having any form of character, morale or a smile on their face is immediatly quashed.

Until the Lt Cols' and above recognise the fact that they need to drag themselves up to the 21st centary and keep these good blokes this will never change.

I also find it hard to accept that any fu*ker can get to Maj without even trying hard. It is such a dangerous rank to be in, especially in this age of recurring Ops.
 
#12
Unfortunately this trait is now to be seen at the SNCO level.
Duly noted, when did we start assessing Warrant Officers on Officer Criteria? I don't want a SSM who is a Skier or a face waver or does good staff work etc I want the hardest man in the Company who the blokes both love and fear..........but maybe that’s another thread.
 
#13
What a depressing post. Surely there are SOME good JOs out there who are good leaders, are respected by their troops and deserve promotion?
 
#14
Fullwit said:
What a depressing post. Surely there are SOME good JOs out there who are good leaders, are respected by their troops and deserve promotion?
That's the whole point. There are some good YO's (Capts' & below) that deserve the comment above. However they are downtrodden all too often, so leave to a civi job where the respect and qualities are rewarded.

I for one can't blame them. But it starting to make us more and more like the US Army, who end up recruiting/retaining the dross of society.
 
#15
Fully agree Dibble.

I've seen at least four Captains resign in as many years because they enjoy being Captains. All due to the pressure from those above.

If they are good Captains, leave them to be good Captains. At least promote them to OC's and let the "thrusters" climb up the red tab ladder.

I would have thought that any CO would give his first born for decent Captains, rather than the wishy washy dross who seem to abound in the Corps.

Same as OR's, not everyone can be RSM.
 
#16
Cuddles said:
Hard to define what constitutes negligent killing in the Really Large Corps these days; presumably that would be killing someone whilst neglecting to make it look as though they did it themselves?
No not really, the RLC and the rest of the army is a dangerous place to work, especially on ops, and i meant that you would literally have to kill someone to stop your promotion to field rank in due turn.

Dibble said:
I also find it hard to accept that any fu*ker can get to Maj without even trying hard. It is such a dangerous rank to be in, especially in this age of recurring Ops.
How many fu*kers have you seen beige and thought why are they there? never ever had that thought Dibble?

Whether you are a hunter or a farmer or good bloke or desk jockey or whatever is unfortunatly irrelevant to manning counter measures as they have to promote and fill slots and this corps is losing captains in droves. What we need to do is provide more incentive for the right people to stay in rather than get out. What that incentive is i dont know and it applies to all ranks.

I also think it is fair to say that there are a fair percentage of the dross leaving as well and the nobbers at Maj and above are far outweighed by the real deal. The problem is that by the time good blokes get to a rank where they can change things for the better they are often trying to change a problem that is ten years out of date or has moved on since they saw it at their level. That is the army system and unfortunatly i dont think it will be able to change very fast.
 
B

Biscuits_AB

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#17
Ford_Prefect said:
Unfortunately this trait is now to be seen at the SNCO level.
Duly noted, when did we start assessing Warrant Officers on Officer Criteria? I don't want a SSM who is a Skier or a face waver or does good staff work etc I want the hardest man in the Company who the blokes both love and fear..........but maybe that’s another thread.
And a good thread it would be.
 
#18
Melchy, how about moving it? Could you start a thread reminiscing about a time when WOs weren't all digging out for LE commissions and actually represented the Toms.
 
#19
The attributes and age, of a good Captain are what industry is looking for. The Army needs to be smarter to keep hold of them.
 
#20
L2A2FzdL25A4 said:
goon_bde said:
FP
Remember, there's 2 types of officer - Those who selflessly serve to lead, and those that selflessly serve to enhance their own careers. We're here to serve the Tom's and society, not our placing on the next pink list etc!
There are two types of Officer -
1. Those that are officers because they command the respect of their troops, and
2. Those that demand the respect of their troops, because they are Officers.

Find a Rodney, Assess
Heh! Reminds me of a troop do many moons ago when a slightly drunk friend of mine confronted our less than inspiring troopy and came out with the following class lines...
'Boss? I've figured out why you joined the army and become an officer. Some do it because they want a career. Some do it because they want to lead soldiers. You did it because its the only way you can get to tell people to do things without getting your face punched in'.
The strange thing was, he was right. The man was a self serving jellyfish.
 

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