The youth of today......vs the Army

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by TrueTaff, Feb 13, 2006.

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  1. There's lots of info about how materialistic, selfish, self orientated, fat and unfit young people are.
    The Government is pushing us to 'reflect the society that we are drawn from' (SDR). Something has to give....either the Army is changing the new recruits or they are changing the Army!
    I am doing a study to find out which.
    Any views or ideas would be much appreciated. I am a Serviceman.
  2. Out of interest, at what level is this study?
  3. Its personal not service and will form part of an academic submission.
  4. The army IS a reflection of society (a microcosm). Look at the state the forces are in, gays, lezzies, trans-sexual, now part of the norm. Fitness standards are dropping because a lot of recruits cannot spell a mile let alone run one. Illiteracy, repeated back-squading, lower standards of trade training. Drugs, drink, fighting, unfair discplining. TA are suffering recruiting problems, mobilisation etc.

    One wonders why so many good, honest and hard-working soldiers leave to go back into the deteriorating quagmire of society. I honestly fear for the state of this country that my kids are growing up in.
  5. msr

    msr LE


    So what are you doing about it? Other than expending electrons on arrse?


  6. Maybe thats when we started to go wrong. Perhaps the army should be a selection from society , but not a microcosm of all of it. Do we have to accept that because there are illiterate, drug taking, law breaking , violent people in civvy street that the army has to reflect all aspects of it. I dont think that should be the case. I,m sure Col Tim Collins said something tio that effect. Are we here to reflect society or to defend our country (and its political will, whether we like it or not)
  7. Guess what, my father said the same thing, as did his father etc.........
    Every generation will say "The youth of today" and "It was harder in my day" etc. Infact my grandfather said something pretty similar on my pass out parade in 19..
    I think we just have to accept that society changes, and as the Army is drawn from society then we must change with it.

    Rabc you will find that these people have swelled the ranks for at least the last 100 years.
  8. I agree - I'm all for evolution, just not follwing trends because they are now the norm in civvy street.

    Agree about what Grandad said about his time in the army, my Dad said the same thing. I cant wait until my son enlists, so I can tell him how soft its become

    :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D
  9. The problem is the red tape and political correctness that everyone hides behind.
    I didnt join in the 'good old days' but the training is now far to soft and easy, the generations may have changed but conflict and wars have not, so why are we churning out crows that should beable (in theory) in go straight on tour into a multiple and work to the minimum standard, when now I wouldnt trust them to wipe their own arse.
    I would rather 1 switched on crow than 10 muppets.....surely!!
  10. You also have to consider that maybe Jo Civi-bloggs can't get a job in Tesco, so he joins the army. Thereby lowering the bar from the outset.
  11. When I studied African history, there were accounts from the northen countries which swayed between islam and coptic christianity of how in society life would be hard, the people would fight to make it better, expand their spheres of influence etc etc, part of that was always a strong & well led army. Then once things settled and trade and commerce flourished people would gradually get softer and within 4 generations the country/tribe would be on its knees unable to defend itself from stronger neighbours. The cycle would then start again.

    How true that is I don't know, its something I read in a book I can't remember but it seems relevant somehow. I believe the essence of it was that once an army is not needed it tends to rot and is no longer seen as a useful resource. If that army then no longer has to fight wars people begin to wonder what the point is. When I talk to friends who have no military connections they tend to take the view point of;

    "Well our armed forces are a bit pointless aren't they. We only help the Americans and if there was a big war the nukes would end it in minutes, so why bother?"

    The military need to maintain standards otherwise it WILL start losing wars and not in the way the US lost Vietnam. A change in training methods is not a bad thing if it accomodates the week to make them strong. If basic training has to last twice as long to produce the end result then so be it, the government/population just has to be prepared to pay for it.

    The US Civil war illustrates how a hardier type of person (southern) triumphed over the more decandent and less healthy city types several times before the Union army ajusted training techniques and developed officers with tactical experience. Fortunantly for the north they had the resources to do this, had they posesed the same man power as the South they would have lost.
  12. you forgot to drone on about "in my day...." etc etc :)
  13. Again, dante, you seem to forget that a few hundred years ago, it was a choice of go to gaol or join up, so you still got the "dross" of society. We will always say that "back in my day" etc but i tend to think that the standard of recruit is on the up. All of us "old and bold" have a part to play in shaping the future generation of soldier, so that in twenty years time we are not reading a thread that starts - Youth of today!!
  14. I think this is on the money D_S. History repeats itself.

    Until the middle of the 19th Century, the Army was, in contrast to the Navy, highly unpopular and at best tolerated as a necessary evil. Partially this dated back to Cromwell and the military government of the Commonwealth. The rich saw the Army as a tax burden, as well as a competitor for surplus (and thus cheap) labour. The poor viewed it as an instrument of oppression.

    "Among the labouring classes the Army, with its poor pay, unsavoury conditions, long service requirements and traditions of suppressing domestic revolt, was simply not considered an honourable or worthwhile alternative to poverty at home."

    Britain's Forgotten Wars: Colonial campaigns of the 19th Century (Hernon, I. 2002 Sutton Books)

    This changed to some extent following the rise of the Empire, mass literacy and mass circulation papers. (Sorry chaps, but journalists can be good news sometimes- e.g. Crimea). Soldiers became folk heroes and soldiering took on the mantle of a patriotic duty (although it was always an ambigious relationship- see Kipling on Thomas Atkins). This was kept going through two world wars and even into the Cold War.

    I wonder now if we are returning to pre-mid 19th Century thinking. The mass armies that threatened us are gone, or at least not obvious yet. The terrorist is as likely to be battled by a policeman or airport security person as he or she is by a soldier.

    Has soldiering and the military life generally gone out of fashion? Are we slipping back into a place where recruiters are forced to follow the example of their 19th Century predecessors and pursue "the foolish, the drunken, the ungodly and the despairing" (Hernon 2002)?
  15. I have just read with somewhat mixed feelings on this subject. When I was a young lad and still at school my only ambition in life was to join the Army. Not for reasons of national pride or wanting to give something in return for all my country has given me because that is bullocks. I joined because my dad said it was the best thing he had ever done and as a child playing war with my mates around the pads I thought yeah thats what I want to do.
    As a teenager I must confess to being a bit of a sh1t, but who in all honesty wasn't, but I did try to keep my nose clean and at least have some respect for the area in which I lived and those who lived there. Still wanting to join the Army I made no illusions of an easy life and I kind of realised that a small amount of phys would be involved. With this in mind I took it upon myself to get the miles in and start working on the buns and thighs, if you know what I mean.
    Now as for being from a cross section of society if I was to apply for a job as, lets say a physio then you would quite rightly expect me to at least be qualified, but if I was looking at becoming an apprentice then the people taking me through my training would at least make sure I was able to comprehend what was required and that I could in fact learn the subject. This is, in my opinion what the system is lacking, dropping the standards for the sake of a few more recruits is just wrong, granted it may look good on paper, but as we all know it is down to the rest of us who make the effort and keep on top of our game to carry these people for the rest of their time in the Army.
    The old and bold need to sit up and listen too as you all know 'when i was a tom' dosn't wash any more and you need to get out of the habit of looking down your noses at what is now a more expecting youth. Joining the Army for many of the youth of today is not the only option available to them, and as for shaping them, no that is not the way it should be done, they should be made to meet the physical and mental requirements and the training should be made long enough to change their mindset. I realise what I have just said may sound like I am contridicting myself but I know what I mean.

    Raise the stakes and make the rewards match the extra standards.