The I and Y Generation

Discussion in 'Seniors' started by Moosaca, Jul 23, 2007.

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  1. I feel compelled to fire this one over the Middle Management field. I have returned to work after a weekend of mayhem and bedlum within this small garrison. The occurance book is overflowing with discipline and I just feel like throwing in the towel.

    We are responsible for a group (with few exceptions) of 'I' and 'Y' individuals. They are only interested in the individuals needs and question any form of authority, probably nutured from an early age.

    This, in my opinion is the root cause of the low retention, OK the back to Back Ops etc play their part as well. I believe we need a purge of the ones who know they have no future and are in self destruct mode. The book says how to do it, but few have the b@lls to actually apply it. Maybe more of the good guys/girls would stay if we could reduce the number of trogs who are still drawing a wage whilst awaiting a long list of charges/AGAIs etc.

    When will the top brass allow commanders to exercise their right to boot these individuals out instead of having manning figures hung infront of them.

    How many of us actually apply the Values and Standards or the Army Test?
  2. In the last couple of years we've applied for several discharges but Bde always knock them back. I've only had one go through out of five. Our end works great, it's the higher pay scales that screw it up!!!!
  3. Cow

    Cow LE

    Few Regt I was at in the R Signals used it for guys, worked for them. I don't know what their failure rate was though as there was alot of dead wood to get rid of
  4. We can all look back with rose tinted glasses at the way earlier generations of soldiers acted and compare them with the current crop (quite well put as the, I and Y individuals). Yet if you examined how we had to manage the guys in the past we had the same problems just presented in a different way.

    50 years ago we had basically a conscript army, many who didn’t want to be in the service and many who wouldn’t have made the cut it physically or mentally these days. 20 years after that we had the problems with Northern Ireland and the way society changed in the 60’s and 70’s gave a generation of soldiers who their pre-war predecessors wouldn’t have recognised, as the concept of service before self slowly disappeared.

    Even in the past 20 years the Army has changed from a strong regimental tradition to a more loose alliance. This has been accelerated by the use of the personal car to get away from camp (and your mates) at weekends and the lack of real investment in core services like career training, housing and welfare support (if any one wants to argue the point on this issue, compare our garrisons with the Americans and how they look after their service men). The Government hasn’t helped with continual amalgamations and defence reviews which never get to be seen through to the end.

    I also believe some of the current initiatives will critically damage the military ethos even further. Ending the tour plot and moving to super garrisons will essentially make the military a local employer. We will then have to compete in an ever diminishing employment pool with very little to offer. Poor initial salaries, crap housing (however much they try to be upbeat about accommodation) and less of “seeing the world” to “guarding the worst bits”.

    I do think that we could change the Army for the better. Heavily target the 16 to 18 group with a better package and career would be a start. But once we have them in, change the way they are trained and retained in the first 2 years. This could be done by a range of measures.

    1. Reintroduce the concept of the Regimental System and true Corps Values. Dont pay lip service to this idea.

    2. Make basic training longer with more to offer, ie A driving licence for all.

    3. Once in, don’t let them go home. At 8 weeks give their parents or friends a warrant to visit them on camp for the weekend (or at any stage, let their friends come to them, by making it free). At the end of phase 1 training send them for 2 weeks adventure training together, somewhere exciting (basically a controlled holiday)

    4. Lengthen Phase 2 training and include a 4/6 week package at the end, of work experience in their future unit to get an insight into real work. During this time they should be shaped into tighter units by having sections of guys who will move on together to regiments creating close personal ties from the beginning of their career. This is key, keep them together to build the bond.

    5. During this second period of training offer a cheap pre-arranged holiday. Where they all go away together supervised by their instructors (if required) to further break the home connection.

    6. Move straight to trade training if possible.

    7. Once in, improve Garrison facilities to the point where you don’t need to leave the Garrison to get most things. If you need to get the idea, have a look at Ramstine.

    8. Finally, Officers and SNCO’s should start taking responsibility for their men. That what we get paid to do. If the men aren’t up to the job its only one persons fault. Their immediate supervisor. Also, start taking the fight to your boss, that what they are paid to do.

    This will not be cheap, but if you want a Military that can perform at the tempo and expertise currently required, the present and successive governments will have to put its hand in its pocket. Also its about time CDS, CGS, AG and countless other generals and politicians started to get out on the ground with the Men (and I mean properly, in the front line). Take it from me, paperwork can wait (particularly memo’s) Note: A good CO and RSM should know the name of every man in his Regiment. CDS and CGS should know every battalion CO and RSM personally. That’s how to “pull together” to improve things, something we are not doing at this point.

    In summary don’t blame the lads, look inward, grow a set and make a difference.
  5. Good post 'WFG'

    With no8 being the root core of why the system has failed ... while i got out in 2000 one of the reasons was the failure of many of those above to impliment Values and standards ..... when a Tom or Tomesse see those above not bothering why will they!

    They look too the Cheifs of Defence Staff and the Government to not only show concern but make an effort to get Operational and Training equipment online and working too ensure accommodation and facilities improved and maintained.

    The I and Y generation is a 'you reap what you sow' and didnt just happen !!
  6. When I joined in the 70s there was a system in place whereby you could have an interest free loan on full completion of service to help you buy a house. Not that I was interestd in this at 19yo but when the house prices rocketed in the 80's they stopped advertising this facility. I was fortunate enough to get on the ladder early and this has stood me in good stead.
    Why not re-introduce this in a limited way ie so much for 3yrs, 6yrs and so on. Everybody today is aware of the housing crisis and face it most soldiers are hardly the thriftiest of individuals.
    This will cost money and lots of it but please ask:
    How much does it cost to keep a trained soldier?
    How much does it cost to train a replacement?
    There is a substantial difference.
    As for Withfindergenerals comments relating to "keeping soldiers in the garrison at weekends", I seem to remember a well practised system during the 80s loosely called "put all the singlies on duty at the weekend so that the pads can be with their wives"
  7. TB. I am not advocating locking the guys up at weekends, the point is you have to break the bond between the old civiy life and the old home life. However, its interesting to note that out of every 10 guys discharged through CDT only 1 took drugs on camp.

    We have to improve the garrisons, accommodation both SLA and SFA and the services on the garrisons to match and exceed what available to the guys at home. That’s retention positive. (Remember a lot of people who join up have a fairly average or substandard home life, the upper class good ideas brigade need to grasp this reality)

    The changing aspirations of the young also needs to be satisfied. Its no longer good enough to supply a Squadron Bar or a Naafi. You need, state of the art Sports Centres, Entertainment hubs which could include bars, family restaurants + fast food outlet’s and cinemas. Shops and banks. All on station. We need to be positive about this and expect to subsidise some services. But more for the guys is definitely needed.

    Also pay and conditions need to improve. We need to steer away from the present course of looking at the forces as a “cash cow”, putting up accommodation charge by more than inflation, pay as you dine and cutting back on admin services and replacing it with things like JPA are all retention negative.
  9. WfG no offence was meant. howevr from my memory on a downward scale here was the activities of a soldier at weekends when not on duty.
    Sport either individual or Army sponsored
    Away with steady girlfriend/fiance.
    Trip off to the seaside resort or large city as an oragnised group to chase splitties
    Back to home town to see old "mates"
    Going down the local town in order to get drunk and chase splitties
    Hang around camp getting drunk and chase splitties
    Lie in bed and watch tv.
    Anyone care to put a percentage to these, I don't know what garrison life is like since 1992.
  10. GrumpyGit

    Watch this space, Pay as you dine will go one of two ways, the cost will go up and up as greedy contractors seek to rip off the troops. Or in an effort to make more money out of the contract the standard of what’s being supplied will decrease to a service not worth bothering with. This is the reality of a capped contract, which the present contractors have bid for. There is little scope to improve the service and make money. As always the Troops will be stiffed.

    JPA is fine in theory. However the lack of terminals to process your pay and problems, the removal of HR staff and the overwhelming move to you having to manage your own admin will place a heavy burden on many of the new entry’s and existing “lets say” technology challenged guys. Until we all have immediate access and understand quite a difficult system, problems will appear and grow.

    Both of these areas have the potential to seriously effect guys finically, unless they are incredibly well managed the scope for them to be retention negative is clear.

    IMHO take it or leave it.
  11. I have to say WFG has a lot of valid points the one with the way the American garrisons are set up is a good one with all the amenities and services they offer which when you look at tidworth main camp with its two singlie naafi'spar shops is pretty disgusting one of them being a portacabin i believe.

    Also i have to say in my experience since the early 90's that the fun and socialising part [squadron, platoon, section do's with allowances for late start everynow and again etc.] does not seem to be looked on as having much importance anymore and work, training and more work seems to be the main agenda.
    Which though only a small part in the big picture i do believe that if people in unit interacted more often outside of being in actual work it might help in the relations between seniors and juniors as such as they might actually relate to each other and as everyone knows most people do tend to open up when on the urine and it doesnt always lead to fighting but a lot of problems may be resolved and the young lads may get some advice that may help or pointed in the right direction that wouldnt otherwise happen until it was too late as happens when you see some of the young lads and girls coming into the office nowdays etc. We used to have whinge sessions in the bar once a month with my first ASM and never any problems and lads could talk frankly with no repurcussions to the seniors as long as they were not being a complete cnut!
  12. Never a truer word spoken 'SS'
    Sqn parade in the bar on a friday was the norm in the 80's and lingered into the 90's until Options for Chaos caused the biggest defeat the British Army has ever endured. "Right you lot. All you full-screws and staffies with a brain and something to offer, step forward and take a massive pay-off" Sh*t! Where did all the good guys go?
    In one fell swoop, the good left, the crap got promoted, the unlucky ('protected' trades that couldn't get redundancy) were left with a load of idiots promoted to a level of incompetance and the the chods in HQ were turned into nervous Yes men or badge collectors wishing to form their own 'P' company . . . not very apt in the Corps!
    Suddenly, being 'a character' in your CR came to mean you were a no-hope waster that the badge was leaning on rather than the backbone of the unit most likely to lead by a mixture of example, fear and not a little fable.
    The only rules in our Sqn bar on a friday were:
    1. Be there
    2. No uniform after 6
    3. Within very wide parameters, say what you think, but expect a few home truths in return
    4. Leave it in the bar
    and most importantly:
    5. Don't forget the badge was an ex-boxer!

    The Sqn was tight because we stuck together. The sprogs straight out of the factory had something to aim to be a part of and a bit of 'FD' ensured they went about it the right way! Christ, half of todays lippy twats would have definately 'been beaten with the soggy end'.
    Sure, those days are long gone and good riddance to some of it but I think a few more bosses being prepared to actually manage their troops instead of their careers would close the gap between them that is naturally inherited from civvy street and re-focus on the ONE key binding force - Military ethos (that and a shared distain for crab air!)
    I also think the old way of going straight to a field unit before your initial trade training was a much better idea as most of these young soldiers these days are full time 'students' for almost 2 years, much of which is spent in the hands of civvy instructors employed by the lowest bidder! Get them in the field, doing some serious green stuff (or just sweeping something!) so they get the bond quicker. In training, especially Phase 2, it is a breeding ground for discontent and a lack of direction that is hard to shake in the field. (The 'this-is-doing-my-'kin-head-in' syndrome)

    "RE-cycled since 2004"

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  13. Stop fcuking them around might be a start.

    Yes things have changed and I am lucky being in Germany where it is harder for my Toms to get away at weekends - but the difference now and when I was hear in 92-5 was that they pretty much all went away or spunked their cash on tax-free cars and didn't want to do tours.

    Now - I can't believe it but I have only one singly young shaver in my unit (albeit a tiny one) who has a motor and he is incidentally the only one who wants to go to the UK (has a bird there). But when he can't afford to go home he is the first one in the bar on a Friday and all of my blokes are mad keen bonkers for tours.

    I think this is great in comparison to the mong generation of 92-5 in the same place in Germany and long may it continue. Take the rose specs off - accept that people are different - encourage esprit de corps or stop fcuking them around and you'll be surprised how today's soldier can be like the soldier you were (less 58 webbing, 12 man rooms etc).
  14. I got rid of 3 lads from my previous unit using the AGAI system.

    Worse case senario I know, but when used properly it is very affective.

    Note, the look on toms faces when they realise that at 1700hrs on that very same day they leave the camp gates as Mr.
  15. There you have it. To make it more difficult for the lads to "get away" at weekends would, in your mind be fcuking them about? However that is the main reason why it is easier to get "esprit de corps" where you are....