The disconnect between the Front Line and our VSOs

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
The RN is profoundly anti-intellectual, which hte last 1SL (i.e. Z) has tried hard to break, but I am not sure the new one has the same belief in his Officers (or Ratings). The new 1SL told me to my face I wasn't clever enough to understand a piece of staffwork, because I was "a Lt Cdr"**, and we have an 'education strategy' that explicitly links rank to your ability to 'scale' Bloom's taxonomy. ACSC is linked solely to promotion to SO1, and there is no ability to take it earlier, nor some kind of intellectual assessment prior to arrival. Our attitude to this kind of stuff drives me up the wall, and it is probably the reason I will leave the RN.
It's refreshing to know that other services also suffer from career management nonsense. It's different nonsense to ours, but it's all still pure lunacy.

Where do you guys sit with overseas staff colleges that give you an early ACSC tick? Are they recognised/endorsed or do you not really send people away on those?
 
It's refreshing to know that other services also suffer from career management nonsense. It's different nonsense to ours, but it's all still pure lunacy.

Where do you guys sit with overseas staff colleges that give you an early ACSC tick? Are they recognised/endorsed or do you not really send people away on those?
Brutally - we don't send people we care about on overseas courses. And to the best of my knowledge, there are no 'early' courses that apply to us. The only one that springs to mind is the US Army SAMS one, and that isn't open to Dark Blue; the US Navy War College is a direct 1:1 for ACSC, with the same caveats etc.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Brutally - we don't send people we care about on overseas courses. And to the best of my knowledge, there are no 'early' courses that apply to us. The only one that springs to mind is the US Army SAMS one, and that isn't open to Dark Blue; the US Navy War College is a direct 1:1 for ACSC, with the same caveats etc.
Interesting. For us the overseas staff colleges are extremely competitive. Getting on to SAMS requires you to come off the beige list very highly indeed. In classic army fashion, there is an interesting discussion to be had about whether it slows your career down due to stepping away from the established path.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
There are huge swathes of the Army too - I am lucky in that I have been a student there twice...
Is Shrivenham compulsory for AR? Genuine question; I'm not sure how higher-level AR career structures work.
 
Interesting. For us the overseas staff colleges are extremely competitive. Getting on to SAMS requires you to come off the beige list very highly indeed. In classic army fashion, there is an interesting discussion to be had about whether it slows your career down due to stepping away from the established path.
For the Warfare Branch, there is only one real path, and you step off it at your utter peril. You'll note that the last 4 or 5 1SL have, standfast one job each, have only ever existed in a Dark Blue bubble and a pretty established "sea-sea-sea-sea-sea-Fleet HQ/Dark Blue MoD/Fleet HQ-1SL" pattern becomes apparent.
 
Is Shrivenham compulsory for AR? Genuine question; I'm not sure how higher-level AR career structures work.
Yes, it is if you are selected to be an OF-4; HCSC is no longer an option for AR OF-5s, instead they are meant to attend the full Regular ACSC on FTRS(HC). The thing is though, quite a lot of people are not interested in doing it and in both 2013 and 2014 the Army really struggled to fill up its 47 places.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
For the Warfare Branch, there is only one real path, and you step off it at your utter peril. You'll note that the last 4 or 5 1SL have, standfast one job each, have only ever existed in a Dark Blue bubble and a pretty established "sea-sea-sea-sea-sea-Fleet HQ/Dark Blue MoD/Fleet HQ-1SL" pattern becomes apparent.
That's very similar to the higher echelons of the army. There is an established path to glory through a small handful of jobs and the only way to bypass that is to go SF. A select few of the truly brilliant may be able to recover from doing SAMS or an in-service degree, but it's not easily done. JFC may change this patter somewhat, but I think in 10-15 years we'll find every COMJFC being ex SF.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Yes, it is if you are selected to be an OF-4; HCSC is no longer an option for AR OF-5s, instead they are meant to attend the full Regular ACSC on FTRS(HC). The thing is though, quite a lot of people are not interested in doing it and in both 2013 and 2014 the Army really struggled to fill up its 47 places.
People don't want to take the best part of a year away from their civilian jobs? You amaze me...
 
People don't want to take the best part of a year away from their civilian jobs? You amaze me...
People weren't prepared to spend two weeks away from their civilian jobs, let alone a year! In 2013, after the pre-course weekend, people actually walked off of the course and didn't go back...
 
Where did you step of?
I stepped on it about 8 years ago, and am currently in discussions with the Career Manager about the new and interesting ways I'm going to step off.

I'm making an "interesting" call, or series of calls, which may lead to glory, but more likely lead to my IPP...
 
JFC may change this patter somewhat, but I think in 10-15 years we'll find every COMJFC being ex SF.
I'm sure the RAF and RN may wish to discuss The Commander of Joint Forces Command solely being an Army SF assignment...
 
Yes, it is if you are selected to be an OF-4; HCSC is no longer an option for AR OF-5s, instead they are meant to attend the full Regular ACSC on FTRS(HC). The thing is though, quite a lot of people are not interested in doing it and in both 2013 and 2014 the Army really struggled to fill up its 47 places.
This is this narrowness of intellect within an organisational culture, that's failed the nation militarily at least twice in the last two decades, and is ensuring the failure of the AR through the diminished responsibility that's emerged. It is directly attributable to the ineffective leadership that's evolved through a career management process so divergent from modern business models and societal expectation that it's positively harmful.
 
... Our attitude to this kind of stuff drives me up the wall, and it is probably the reason I will leave the RN......
Brave man - I'm currently stuck doing a relatively menial field ops job for the logically challenged, that pays bloody well. So, what with my land based versions of Hull 1-3 setting my Maslow's threshold very low (or high maybe?), i'll stay in it as long as I can (or the batshit locals will allow...)

Edit to add: hear, hear for having good courage of convictions - i hope it lasts on landing in civ div
 

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