The uneducated graduate

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by Cardinal, Sep 27, 2006.

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  1. Every year I get my PAMPAS printout which is always wrong. In particular it has a section questioning the soldiers education. I fill in the details of my degree and Dip HE knowing they are going to be ignored, which sure enough they always are.

    I asked my unit why my degree isn't recognised and they said it was because only Officers HE qualifications are recognised, the only interest the army has in soldiers education being their EFP exam.

    Why? I go and attend a good University and gain a respectable BA in a proper subject which the army refuses to recognise (and a not so good university and gain a Dip HE) whilst an officer who has attended a jumped up Poly' and got a 3rd in sports Science or Pacage design is thought to be better qualified and more intelligent.

    Is it right and fair that HE qualifications are only recognised for officers and not soldiers? How can the army seek to justify this?

    It seems very much like the old 19th century class system at work! are we really still that bad?

  2. msr

    msr LE

    Didn't PAMPAS go out in 1988?

    No wonder your printout in wrong ;)

  3. Stupid question time - when you return your UNICOM print out, all filled in, do you give a copy of some official paperwork proving your educational qualifications? (Ona side note: You referred to the admin system as PAMPAS, so just how long have you been filling this in without result? :? )

    It'll be ignored for the most part if you haven't, as the Civil servant updating your records only has your word to go on.

    I would also say that within the TA, a degree or lack is of little interest - not to denigrate your achievements, but MoD don't trawl through TA records looking for degree qualifications, and you might find your Admin Staff showing the same lack of interest.

    It has a direct impact for Officers (both TA and Regular) in terms of seniority.
  4. Cardinal

    If you're feeling a bit chippy, why not go for a commission? The TA is crying out for officers.
  5. Data Protection Act anyone ?.

    I appreciate that the main theme is that information held should be accurate, and they'd say they're just not holding it. However, if your Pampas/Unicom printout says 'none' in the HE area then you've got them.

    Also, what if you wanted to go for promotion, or if they had a sudden need to increase the officer base?.

    Give 'em hell !.

    PS - recall being told by a former colleague of his time is some para unit. He was asked in to be told they wanted him to become an officer. "Why me, and only me?" ..... "you're the only one of 400 with an A level".
  6. Cardinal- same as you, I used to do this every year, now I don't bother. I did at one time provide my degree certificate (and by the way I am now doing a doctorate), but the army don't give a shite. :?

    My question really is why they care about an officers qualification if they don't a private soldier? Maybe it is because they are supposed to have more responsibility? Who knows.

    I guess if they don't know about my civi qualifications, then they can never put me up for a role on operations to use them. In that case, they can continue to pay me to do the same job as they would anyone else in my role and I will do it, without all the extra responsibilities that would go with the recognition of quals....... :roll:
  7. but lets not get off subject.

    I am old at 42 and in my Corps RAMC I dont think I would find a vacancy as an officer.

    Although my BA is in Histroy my Dip HE is in Nursing. I am not a nurse and my registration has lapsed, my choice since its not the career for me. However it does mean that the knowledge and experience gained whilst training to be a nurse help with my military employment. I think that is noteworthy at very least.

    The point is this a degree, or any HE qualification is a good indicator of educational achievement, intelligence and ability to complete a task. That is why Officers HE qualifications are recognised, it should also apply to soldiers.

    Its a funny thing but the army seems more class conscious, right wing and lacking in fairness now than it did way back in 1981 when I first joined the TA. When messing together officers now routinely push in in front of the soldiers which never happened in the past and younger officers are openly disparaging about the soldiers they command well within earshot of the SNCO's which again never used to happen. There is, in places, a real arrogance and air of superiority in many younger officers these days which is quite yobbish. Recognising the achievements of officers but not that of soldiers only supports this.

    Why do the army maintain soldiers records if it is not to paint a full, accurate and realistic pen picture of a soldier? Surely HE qualifications go some way to giving an accurate insight into a soldiers ability, and if not why then record officers HE qualifications?

    To give you an example I was in my office when two officers (both captains) came in, over a long discussion over work one (an infantryman) said jokingly that he was brighter than us because he was an officer and therefore better educated. At this the other officer (Signals) pointed out that the Foreman of Signals had an MSc and that I had both a BA and Dip HE so we were the best educated people in the room. The Infantry officer then retorted, no longer jokingly, that since the army only recognises a degree held by an officer we were both officially just as thick as any other soldier and our opinions counted for nothing.

    A degree is an achievement and a good indicator of ability so should be recognised for soldiers and officers alike.

  8. msr

    msr LE

    Have you tried?

  9. Only through my TA unit, I was told informally that my Corps, the RAMC, does not promote TA SNCO CMT's as Medical Services Officers though they might for a suitably qualified ex regular WO. Comissions could only be gained as a nurse or allied medical profession, Pharmacist or similar, for which I am not qualified.

    I worked on the staff of an OTC whilst at University and was told then (I graduated in 2001) that I would be too old for a comission in any Regiment or Corps.

  10. Cardinal

    I might be wrong, but I suspect that what has changed most since 1981 is not the attitude of young officers to you/their soldiers, but your attitude to them. As you have gained experience, the comparative lack of experience of young officers (and the fact they are set above you in certain ways) has started to grate more and more. You have then started to become more sensitive to their bad points. Young officers have always been arrogant to an extent - they call it self confidence at Sandhurst - however I doubt this is getting worse across the board. In terms of political views etc, I would hope that society as a whole is a bit more tolerant of various things than in 1981 (eg race/gender/class etc). As for the bad manners, I have no excuses - but can only suggest that, as a clearly experienced SNCO, you have a quiet word where it counts.

    I am not up on UNICOM/records so cannot comment on the requirements here but, having seen Cpls regularly brief 1* on operations, I don't think the Army is as bad as you feel it is.
  11. Valid points I supose that as I have become more experienced and held more responsibility I have also become more observant. I also hope I didn't give the impression that I thought the army bad in general terms, comapred to most civillian employers its very good indeed and I still want to be a part of it.

    But that said it could be better and I feel should be. There are too many "them and us" areas in the army TA vs regular, OR's vs Officer etc.

    Just as the TA offers a huge pool of potential manpower and skill to the regular army, which even now isn't fully recognised, OR's are often as well educated and qualified as officers even if that education might hvae come later in life.

    All that education, qualifications and experience is good for the whole army and should, in my view, be recognised.

  12. I have a cert in humanities, a diploma in mathematics (god knows how) and they never appear - who cares....the army doesn't.
  13. msr

    msr LE

    So a couple of people have told you that you can't, and you are resigned to that?

    Hardly the stuff of great leadership. I think you need a bit of grip.

  14. Some very valid points there about over sensitivity in age, I'll throw another in there, I have seen this increase in "self confidence" but I would also attribute a failing in many SNCO's abilities to "advise" the younger officer, call it lack of moral courage or whatever. This BTW coincided with "Options for Change" where (my unit in particular) lost a lot of strong full screws and Sgts and were left with a lot of chaff in the top end. I do hope that it has changed but I felt a decline in the Senior Rank in my regt afterwards, it seemed that they were more concerned in looking after there own rank, job and promotion than be the lynchpin in the unit

    By the end of it, I got out in 99, I did see a difference in opinion about rank, when I joined rank was something of purpose, of dedication and, most importantly, of self sacrifice, in later years I saw many look at promotion as a way of skiving (Marching Relief is better than on the gate, ROS is easier than Gd Commander) and when you get to the dizzy heights of Sgt it was like carte blanche for many to slope around camp, not go to lessons and spend all day in the troop office drinking coffee whilst waiting for the mess to open. Higher rank should mean more responsibility not easier life. I was appalled to hear the line about Officers pushing to the front of a mess queue, in my day (swings lamp) officers and SNCO's would hold back (if sharing the same mess) till the men had eaten before seeing to themselves, in civi life I conduct a lot of training and we have meals for the students, I never eat before them.

    I know this is wildly off topic on the original thread, but such things will rub off on young officers as they are learning themselves, I had a case were a shiney new 2nd Lt called refered to everyone by their last name, irrespective of rank, they did this in front of the Troop Sgt and he didn't bat an eyelid, it ltook a quiet word from myself later and they were very apologetic and diodn't make the same mistake again, but were was the person who should of dealt with this ? Do we still have WO's with the balls to stick sublterns on stag for punishment for falling asleep on ex ? I hope so. The relationship between Rupert and Tom is a delicate one

    Please note these are personal experiences and I (after 6 years of civiness) have the bitterness of not being X, Y or Z knocked out of me
  15. for a comission doesn't change the fact you are too old and knowing one's OC has asked the relevant questions of MCM Div does not mean you can change the answer just because you dont like the one you recieved.

    It is not a case of getting a grip.

    As for lazy SNCO's unwilling to give advice to junior officers, I know I do not come under that heading since at least two of my CR's note my willingness to advise or question when I feel they are wrong. Both of these notations are in a positive tone rather than a negative one.

    There is a noticable lack of respect from junior officers, in certain areas, towards SNCO's who might have a lower rank but are significantly more experienced. From my observations at UOTC level they are being brought up that way now.