The Times - How a text message can wreck your Army career

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by DangerMouse, Jan 2, 2013.

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  1. DangerMouse

    DangerMouse Old-Salt Moderator


    IN MARCH 2013 THE ARMY UNRESERVEDLY APOLOGISED FOR ITS TREATMENT OF THE OFFICER AT THE CENTRE OF THIS STORY, AND ACCEPTED THAT HE WAS COMPLETELY INNOCENT. DIRECTOR GENERAL PERSONNEL, ARMY HQ, DIRECTED THAT THE OFFICER BE GRANTED A THREE YEAR EXTENSION OF HIS COMMISSION, AND A SUITABLE POSTING, TO ATTEMPT TO MITIGATE THE DAMAGE INFLICTED BY THE ARMY'S INCOMPETENCE. SENIOR OFFICERS RESPONSIBLE, INCLUDING A LIEUTENANT COLONEL, A BRIGADIER, AND A GENERAL, ARE NOW THE SUBJECTS OF AN INVESTIGATION.

    PLEASE NOTE THAT LEGAL PROCEEDINGS ARE CURRENTLY IN PROSPECT, AND THEREFORE COMMENTING ON THIS SPECIFIC CASE IS NOT RECOMMENDED - INTERNET IDENTITIES ARE NOT ANONYMOUS, AND IP ADDRESSES CAN BE TRACED BACK TO USERS.



    Flashbacks to the Blackadder Court Martial scene (removed from Youtube by the BBC, but carefully preserved in perpetuity here: http://j.mp/generalmelchett.

    BLACKADDER COURT MARTIAL SCENE (Script, and History)

    My other favourite example of senior Army officer's mentality is Colonel Jessup, from A Few Good Men...

    YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH - Colonel Jessup's rant to cover up his murder of a marine.

    When an Army refuses to answer questions, and covers-up the means because outsiders may not understand or appreciate the Army's methods or motives, it is a pretty sure warning sign things might be going wrong...


    Basil Liddell-Hart also warned that many Army officers are so hyper-sensitive to criticism, and react so aggressively to it that they could be described as neurotic:

    The implications of Liddell-Hart’s analysis for cases in which senior officers, or logically any military superiors, are accused of misconduct are obvious: they may react viscerally badly, to the detriment of the complainant.

    Chaplain (Colonel) K D Johnson, US Army, writing Ethical Issues of Military Leadership in 1974, quotes Liddell Hart’s observations about ambitious officers in sight of promotion bottling up their thoughts and ideas for the sake of their ambition, only for those thoughts to evaporate, and draws a clear link between such officers’ thoughts and ideas and their ethics. Colonel Johnson warns that:

    The late Professor (Brigadier) Richard Holmes CBE TD JP, military historian and Territorial Army officer, articulated what he called the ‘Ten Diseases of Military Leadership’ in the British Army. Three are particularly common place, First: ‘Do not bother me with facts - I've made up my mind’, Second (and often experienced by junior ranks and TA personnel): ‘Quality of advice is directly related to the status of the advisor’, and last but not least: ‘Lack of moral courage’ senior Army officers rarely, if ever, concede any mistakes, second thoughts, or inclination towards objective analysis. Indeed, why should they? - there is no independent body to criticise them.

    In the current Service Complaints system which relies on investigation of the Army, by the Army, for the Army, safeguards are completely absent. The quintessentially military psychoses articulated above are condoned, and indeed encouraged to flourish. Army - Be the Best?
     
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  2. Has the Times hijacked MOD RSS?
     
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  3. He was adding this bit:
    I suspect he was posting from the ARRSE Mobile app (iOS or Android) and therefore unable to edit his previous post.
     
  4. What a pile of unmitigated poo. If it really was just a few text messages then why does anyone even care? I think the Army has more important things to worry about at the moment.
     
  5. The problem with balance of probabilities is the army will use it when it knows it can't get something past reasonable doubt. My TA career was cut short because I was accused of racism. (By a civilian police officer)

    He chose to use the military system which lead to balance of probabilities and me being shafted.

    I appealed through the Service Complaints Commissioner and the best we managed to chase down was an RMP colonel who has already been under flack telling me I can resign now or she can open an investigation on balance of probabilities and ill be discharged. I regret walking away from the TA that day, But the damage a discharge under that cloud would have done to my life outside of the Army I was forced down the path.

    The army does have the position to misuse it's systems and people with a bit of knowledge know how to get the best.

    perhaps it's the same with this chap? Not liked by his seniors and a piece of string pulled for long enough to grasp something to get him in bother with.

    I believe the Army should be able to control its own discipline, That said The Balance of Probabilities should never be used when the repercussions are life changing. Especially if they are choosing the Army system over the Criminal Courts.

    With this chap I assume they are using "Breach of a position of trust" or Similar. Which is a criminal offence if I am not mistaken. Why are they not progressing down that line? Not that it would be good for him as the writing appears to be on the Facebook Wall.

    Posted from the ARRSE Mobile app (iOS or Android)
     
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  6. msr

    msr LE

    There does seem to be a diminishing sense of humour in today's army.

    Although I did like the response from MSUOTC on hearing that their traditional underwear party had been cancelled, decided to hold a beachwear party instead
     
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  7. AGAI 67, a complete load of total rubbish. It's a system that gets twisted every which way by weak willed people without the force of personality to bollock someone. A system where the "accused" will very rarely be successful because deciding officers act like Judge Dredd!
     
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  8. Forastero

    Forastero LE Moderator

    I'd be interested to know what was in those messages and why would 'friends' go to so much trouble to report them and insist they happened despite protests from the perps that they didn't? I'd love to know the full story.
     
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  9. msr

    msr LE

    Was the commission extended or did the letter of censure see to that?
     
  10. Balance of probabilities is, in my experience, a load of bovine excrement.

    All it takes is someone above you in the CoC with a grudge to accuse you of doing something and you're guilty.
     
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  11. Likewise. Investigation seems reasonable to me under the circumstances. I note the article does not explore in any detail on what basis the original letter of censure was applied. Sounds like they're trying to be selective with the facts in the report.