The Sun Page 2

It has been decided that the Army is too hard on its recruits and instead of extra Press ups and drill square beastings recruits will be given personal mentors and quiet rooms for relaxation :mad:

I've heard it all, anyone else read the rag. Tell me its lies from the Sun :-/

Thats it then, in three years we will have troop Sgts like Graham Norton and Julian Clary


Come on boys, cant be true, you know what its like they probably just needed to fill some space.

If it is - that is a frightening prospect, it wont appen


The story in full from the Times:

February 11, 2003

Army's bark loses its bite for new era of recruits
By Michael Evans, Defence Editor

NEW recruits to the Armed Forces are to be given a gentler welcome to allow them to grow accustomed to military life, the Ministry of Defence said yesterday.
After the alarm over the deaths of four army trainees at Deepcut barracks, 64 recommendations have been made to ensure that young recruits are better looked after.

Non-commissioned officers who have the job of turning the young civilians into potential warriors are also to receive new orders to stop them barking at the new recruits.

The recommendations include setting up “non-alcohol cafés” and internet facilities at barracks — paid for out of the MoD budget — and a four-meals-a-day regime to ensure that recruits get enough food.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Anthony Bagnall, Vice-Chief of Defence Staff, who was in overall charge of a three-month investigation into improving life for recruits, said that he wanted every barracks to introduce “best practice”, which would include having condom machines installed.

He said: “When you get young red-blooded boys and girls together they tend to form relationships. If recruit A goes to location A and there’s a condom machine available, but recruit B goes to location B and there’s no condom machine, what is the best practice in this?” Lieutenant-General Anthony Palmer, Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Personnel), said that the aim of the report published yesterday into recruit training was to stop those interested in a military career from going home to their parents after being shouted at.

“Young people are different today. They come to us with little deference and if a corporal shouts at them, they may say, ‘stuff this’, get on their mobile and ask their Mum to come and pick them up,” he said.

General Palmer said that out of 100 young people who applied for a possible military career, only 25 were taken up. The rest were considered unsuitable or were discouraged when they learnt what the life would be like.

Adam Ingram, Armed Forces Minister, who ordered the investigation into recruit training last October, said that it was not related directly to the Deepcut deaths. A separate investigation by Surrey Police is still under way into the deaths of Privates James Collinson, 17, Cheryl James, 18, Sean Benton, 20, and Geoff Gray, 17. Three inquests have been held so far: Private Benton’s death was ruled to be suicide, while open verdicts were recorded on Privates James and Gray.

However, as part of a reorganisation of Army training centres, Deepcut is going to be closed. This was announced at the end of last year.

Mr Ingram said that 23,000 individuals passed through the initial eight-week training system every year at a cost of £4.2 billion and their instructors were “professional people with a strong sense of duty and purpose”.

However, he said: “We must continue to ensure that our young people are properly managed, that they are treated fairly and given appropriate levels of professional and personal support at all stages.”

Air Chief Marshal Bagnall said this did not mean that the Services were now going to turn out “namby pambies”. But he said “punishment” was no longer an appropriate method for dealing with recruits.

One MoD official said that no recruit would be expected to clean the floor with a toothbrush, as was often depicted in films or on television.

One worrying aspect of the MoD investigation was that 8 per cent of 2,450 recruits asked to fill in a questionnaire claimed they had been bullied.

Although Mr Ingram said that the questionnaire did not represent a scientific survey, the figure was higher than known cases of alleged bullying throughout the three Services. The latest annual figures are 35 in the Army, 25 in the RAF and 17 in the Royal Navy.

General Palmer said: “We have to ram home to NCOs that bullying, whether it’s physical or mental, is completely out.”

Marching orders: the changes

Among the 64 recommendations for change made in the report on recruit training published yesterday were:

The establishment of a training “covenant” to spell out exactly what is expected of both recruit and instructor
A new set of disciplinary guidelines for NCOs to ensure total clarity about “what is appropriate in training establishments”
Every recruit to have “absolute and guaranteed” confidential access to an officer in order to talk about welfare issues
The monitoring of changes and fashions among young people to help with the recruiting process
Instructors to spend time at initial training establishments before taking up postings with recruits
All records of incidents or offences involving bullying and harassment to be “specifically annotated” in order to track possible trends
A better balance of male and female NCO instructors
The establishment of an “assurance authority” outside the Service chains of command in order to monitor the training process

Do barking RSMs and square-bashing have a place in the modern Army?

E-mail your views to
The sun puts it accross in not quite so many paragraphs

Not so many long words and a big piccy of Windsor Davies.

The message is the same though, were going to have an army full of hippy nonces who will want argue and winge and debate instead of sticking a bayonet into a Dago!
What a load of  C R A P

Why not keep the standards as they were, maybe improve them a little so the British Army can become World respected again

Shrink the size of the Army, get rid of the Biff chits, whiners and Toilets

To compensate for this reduce the worldwide, tony crusades and commitments and tend to the needs at home, IE Policing Airports & Channel Tunnel and other potential terrorist targets.

I would much rather see a smaller but more effective Army than something like the Dutch or French have.

Lets throw in the Capbadge system and all wear Baseball caps and earrings, instead of Weapon training they could have a karoake competition. Instead of Bashering up in the cold and damp lets stay in camp and have a bonfire and sing hymns.
I'm lost at the mentality of this.  

What happens when said recruit is led by the hand through basic training which includes no shouting, the internet cafe, quiet room, condom machine, etc, and then they are posted to their first unit?  Won't that be a culture shock?  Or is this going to be Army wide and not just confined to ATR's?  Surely all RSM's will have to be briefed that new arrivals from ATR are to be treated 'differently'?
We'll be changing the rank structure next

Out with RSM in with councilling warrant officer

Out with Block NCO in with bloke with open arms & cuddlesman

Out with SQMS in with issuer of all things fluffy


So they are going to toughen up the RAF training by the the way I read it!

Typical dilution of the system we know and love, come the Big Push the old CGS will saying maybe we should have kept in Bed Blocks and Boots for PT!

You dont make soldiers by giving them a cuddle- they need a clout now and again! I was at Pirbright in the early 80s and what I saw there would have been described as atrocities during the War. But the few that passed out as Guardsmen, said they wouldn't have it any other way. As they knew what the bloke next to him the trench had been through and he could trust him with his life.

How can you push a recruit to the limit, so he knows what it feels like and you know he can handle it. If hes sat in an Internet Cafe getting a cuddle off the Padre, how does he learn to fight in -25 degrees, biting the throats out of the enemy?

You might as well make the recruit course correspondance, just get a note from their doctor to say they are fit and can run 400m.

You need aggresive traing to produce aggressive soldiers- and with all the H&S now stifling the field training; they will be shouting "BANG" soon!

Saddam must be chuckling in Bagdad...... ???


Times change and I personally think that this sort of realisation at the top of the Army is extremely welcome.

The Army has a real public image problem - just look at the picture of Windsor Davies in the Sun. People think that all Sergeant Majors are like him (and I know a few who model themselves on him!).

Here's a quote from one of my soldiers who has written a personal account of his time in the TA:

"I found that most people were very friendly and welcoming, it wasn’t the stereotype of being shouted and bawled at."

There needs to be a more gradual ramp to the training, rather than being thrown in to an alien culture.

The aspirations and experiences of young people are very different today than even a few years ago and the army has faced up to a difficult choice: adapt or become increasingly under-recruited.
Quite right Qman but don't shout bang too loud incase it hurts there ears

Good point about the Army training being a correspondance course, then they won't have to leave thier PCs

I am truly disgusted with the suggestions and proposals put forward on that Document from MOD.

Lets hope the Army never have to go anywhere where thay might have to do anything more strenuous than play Uckers and dominoes.

Perhaps this is why Saddam is prepared to put up a fight, knowing that we are only going to bombard him with cupcakes and invites to the Wives club

Surley an undermanned but effective unit with less commitments is better than an overfilled team of whining tarts that you can't trust and whose comittment you doubt


Are they getting compulsary slippers to wear in the hotel, and can mum tuck them in at night? and if they don't have timberland Fleeces' its not worth joining, next they will have the choice of a 40 or 48 hrs wekk for extra milk tokens...


admittedly some things do need to change in the army especialy the bullying and secrecy culture  :mad:, but find it quite amazing that all recruits are going to be pampered   :eek:.... well in the battlefield there is no such thing  :mad:so the training had to be realistic as i cant see the iraqis buggering you in a "nice " way with vaseline thrown because it wont "hurt" you too much , well sorry sometime the enemy can be barbaric and cruel and you better get used to tough training in the army cos you are going to need it