Thought I'd throw in a few thoughts about the current Cap Badge / Arms plot system. There're obviously 2 different issues here, but they are inextricably linked so I'll merge them and consider whether the future is the RCI and static units (1 (Armd) Bn RCI etc). I'll mainly talk about problems and possible changes. I'm not a staff officer who's studied this and this is not meant to be an exhaustive analysis, but a simplified conversation starter. 1. The Arms plot. Regt is unusable for at least 2 months for admin (prep, HO/TO, establishment, leave) and much longer for re training (over a year for armour). Enormous financial cost: movement of mil kit, personal kit, families, retraining costs, loss of benefit of previous training etc etc. Disruption for both singlies and pads. Retention, divorce rates etc. This is probably my biggest issue with the whole thing. 2. The Capbadge. Regimental 'integrity' is, increasingly, a myth. Troops train together (except the lucky few - paras and Household Div). Non capbadge COs and OCs are common. A unit is almost certainly below peacetime manning, so any op deployment invloves very large nos of other capbadge reinforcements (makes a nonsense of the strong unit identity required for fighting thing?). Enormously limits choice of postings. Detrimental effect on retention and career. Means that troops are forced in to a role to which they may not be suited (fat armoured knackers in to the LI role? Strong NCOs without the speed of thought / spacial awareness (??) to be good Warrior Comds?). The current competitive tribal recruiting (in which success requires black market teams) is an appalling waste of resources and is terrible practice in terms of presenting an approachable common image, getting the right recruit to the right job blah blah. 3. The Future. A move to fixed role / fixed location RCI units. Could we cure the retention problem in one go by trickle posting? I think so and up to strength units would certainly outweigh any loss of united spirit in operational capability terms. Interestingly the Corps often use specialist badges to breed unit pride (para / cdo / ATO). The inf do it to a certain extent with things like Warrior gunnery badges, but this system could be extended to unclude arctic, jungle inf units (this specialist unit thing is currently a myth I know). I think mech Bns might suffer a bit here, although some people might love a badge sporting a stylised Saxon, you never know. (On the other hand, while anyone from a Corps whould claim that their units have just as much Regimental / family identity as an Inf Bn (RHA particularly keen on this claim), it is utter b o l l o c k s. Ask someone from the AGC who has served with both). Cpl X would now have the option of requesting a move from 5 (Armd) RCI, Germany to 3 (Mech) RCI, Catterick. He is not doing well in the Armd role and this allow him to save his marriage. Cpl Y is from 5 (Armd) RCI's Cambrian Patrol team and feels that he wants to be LI in a Para Bn. They're currently getting a lot of deployements, but he's single and clearly well suited. Cpl Z of 9 (Jungle) RCI has minor, but ongoing tendonitis which is limiting his ability to go exercise and, ultimately, his career. He is to be posted to 5 (Armd) RCI. And so on. All of HM's Inf Bns are manned and ready to fight on varying degrees of notice. OK maybe I've gone too far now! That'll do for the moment I think. I'll be interested to read the official / studied version.