Things to do instead of H14

#1
I've been taken off the list for H14. Not my choice.

I'm not alone.

So what useful things can we be doing till the next call goes up? I don't think I'll be the only one wondering this.....
 
#3
Clearly your dress standards weren't up to those required of a representative of HMF in view of foreign nationals. Spend a bit more time bulling your boots and starching your webbing and perhaps you'll be considered for H15.

Oh, and get a haircut. Brushing up on your drill wouldn't go amiss, either.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#5
I know you and I have crossed swords on this before, but here goes:

1. Find out why you were taken off the list. If it was a simple numbers cull, and your name was not drawn then there is little that can be done other than carry on jogging and hope for a better result next time. If it was because they chose someone else as more suitable for the task required (ie they wanted a rifle platoon Pte and your age/fitness counted against you) then accept what you cannot change, and address what you can.

2. Increase your chances of being picked next time by improving your employability. Don't focus on what you used to be able to do well in the '90s - focus on what you could do well now, and aim to increase your employability. Driving skills, medical skills, air skills (RM/LPC), storeman quals...there are quite a few options. These are skills that the receiving unit would be pleased to get, and would add real value to life in HQ/FOB locations. They also accept the reality that being a rifle platoon Tom on ops is unbelievably hard work, and trying to do it at 15 - 20 years older than the average Tom, carrying all of the accumulated injuries and sprains that come with age is not something that everyone can do.

3. Retrade to a CS or CSS role where you will be specifically employed for particular skill sets rather than trying to fight against the tide of demand for rifle platoon soldiers.

You may think that I am picking on you because of age, but the problem is not age it is age/role mismatch. We are of a similar age. 7 years ago I was a rifle platoon commander and was regularly blowing out of my arrse. Whilst I still have the knowledge and experience to do that job, I doubt I have the fitness. I have moved on, and will therefore be employed in a far more sedate role in a HQ. I would much rather be cutting around doing the good thing as a rifle platoon commander, but it is time to leave it to the next generation and get on whith what I am best suited to doing now. My rank and role match age and experience - yours (and most other rejoiners) don't.
 
#6
As someone mentioned depends why you where taken of the list.

Ask if another unit has a PID available. Which unit has taken you without your "permission" off the list?

You don't need to wait for the next call as trawls are going out all the time.
 
#7
Our unit has had the spaces limited so the cream has been put forward.

So unfortunatly the borderlines and those with past G1 issues have been stood down.
 
#9
I've been taken off the list for H14. Not my choice.

I'm not alone.

So what useful things can we be doing till the next call goes up? I don't think I'll be the only one wondering this.....
Get on courses that your regular battalion need. My battalion not only need rifleman they are in need of HGV drivers and Combat medics. You have a while to get things sorted for Herrick 15.

P.s I can understand if you were taken of due to age. I know who I would pick if you had to choose from a 40 year old who runs a pft in 14 minutes to a 21 year old sprog who can run it in 9 minutes.
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
Ex_Stab,

Bad luck old man. I know you had set yourself up for this and it must be a hell of a blow, but despite everything, there always seem to be more volunteers than slots to fill. Realistically, the best you can do is, as The Duke suggested above, focus on specialising in a sought-after niche role. CMTs (same-same RMA of old) are always popular and you can stay in the Infantry.

Support weapon trades vary in desirability. During my last tour, there was a push to put bods on Mortar cadres during PDT. The Bn replacing us initially requested Assault pioneers, though never employed them as such. Team medics however, seem to be a constant must.

To chime in again with The Duke, age does you no favours out there. Being a combat Infantryman in Hellmand is truly a young man's game and your body will suffer the more for every extra year you have. I say that as someone who has more grey hairs than I care for myself! Good luck with getting deployed in the future mate.
 
#11
I know you and I have crossed swords on this before, but here goes:

1. Find out why you were taken off the list. If it was a simple numbers cull, and your name was not drawn then there is little that can be done other than carry on jogging and hope for a better result next time. If it was because they chose someone else as more suitable for the task required (ie they wanted a rifle platoon Pte and your age/fitness counted against you) then accept what you cannot change, and address what you can.

2. Increase your chances of being picked next time by improving your employability. Don't focus on what you used to be able to do well in the '90s - focus on what you could do well now, and aim to increase your employability. Driving skills, medical skills, air skills (RM/LPC), storeman quals...there are quite a few options. These are skills that the receiving unit would be pleased to get, and would add real value to life in HQ/FOB locations. They also accept the reality that being a rifle platoon Tom on ops is unbelievably hard work, and trying to do it at 15 - 20 years older than the average Tom, carrying all of the accumulated injuries and sprains that come with age is not something that everyone can do.

3. Retrade to a CS or CSS role where you will be specifically employed for particular skill sets rather than trying to fight against the tide of demand for rifle platoon soldiers.

You may think that I am picking on you because of age, but the problem is not age it is age/role mismatch. We are of a similar age. 7 years ago I was a rifle platoon commander and was regularly blowing out of my arrse. Whilst I still have the knowledge and experience to do that job, I doubt I have the fitness. I have moved on, and will therefore be employed in a far more sedate role in a HQ. I would much rather be cutting around doing the good thing as a rifle platoon commander, but it is time to leave it to the next generation and get on whith what I am best suited to doing now. My rank and role match age and experience - yours (and most other rejoiners) don't.
That's the most positive thing you've said to me on here for a long while and I thank you for it.
 
#13
I'd expected to get slated on here but felt I had to state what was happening. Thanks for the generous and kind replies.

I'm (painfully) aware of my age and I'm certainly not a racing snake. That said, I never was and I do take the view that a CFT is more of a measure of practical fitness than a PFT. Some of you may have clocked my recent comments on OFTs. We did a couple of these on camp, on OFT 1 (which we ran with the weights specified PLUS weapon) I was outside the pass time but so was practically everyone else who did it. There were younger blokes behind me and one older bloke (of my rank) who IS going so I wasn't dropped simply for fitness. The other OFT we did I had no problems with.

I missed one of the "ticks in a box" as I was carrying an injury at the time and was told not to do it. It was a CFT, not something I'd expect to have a problem with. I was taken off the list as a result. Only found this out some weeks later. If the injury had improved I might have got back on the list but it hasn't done and is unlikely to do so in the next couple of weeks so I have to accept that this is how things are this time around.

I think this will give me some breathing space to get myself mended, build my fitness back up and do some career courses. If I end up going out on a future Mobilisation and it's as a driver, storeman, GD man or whatever then I'm not so far up myself as to think that those roles are beneath me. I'm not the obvious choice as Grenadier in 1 Section, 1 Platoon, A Coy 1st Loamshires although I think it would be fair to say I have a good deal to offer.

Reckon I best start concentrating on being ready for the next one. Thanks again for the support.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#14
It is just a more politely worded version of what I have been saying for some time. Toms in their late 30's/40' (and beyond) have very limited utility. It is the rare exception who meets the fitness levels of the regular Pte soldier in their late teens/early 20s which is the standard they need to be able to meet if they expect to deply as such.

Fit for role, not fit for their age. Anything else is good enough for stores/admin jobs, and the regular Bns have lots of downgraded soldiers of their own to do that. What they need/want is fit bodies to fill gaps in the platoons - if you can't offer that, you need to find something else to offer that they really need.

Ex=STAB,

You have had a run of injuries from your "ex-stab rehab" days. Sadly, it comes with age. Unfortunately, it would make you a liability on patrol when you are working far, far harder than a CFT or OFT day in, day out for 6 months.
 
#15
No, it is just a more politely worded version of what I have been saying for some time. Toms in their late 30's/40' (and beyond) have very limited utility. It is the rare exception who meets the fitness levels of the regular Pte soldier in their late teens/early 20s which is the standard they need to be able to meet if they expect to deply as such.

Fit for role, not fit for their age. Anything else is good enough for stores/admin jobs, and the regular Bns have lots of downgraded soldiers of their own to do that. What they need/want is fit bodies to fill gaps in the platoons - if you can't offer that, you need to find something else to offer that they really need.
Politeness goes a long way. :)

If you think back on things we've discussed, I doubt that you'll find me arguing AGAINST the idea that people need to be fit for role regardless of age. I would say though, that looking around bods in my Bn that you have youngsters who have speed but no stamina and oldies who have stamina but no speed. A match of stamina and speed is required I think and it's easy to look at the failings of the oldies and not see the failings of the youngsters. A big difference is how quickly people recover from injury and that certainly favours the young.

As far as I'm concerned I'll see what prospects there are for me deploying in some useful capacity and take it from there. Suggestions gratefully received though. :)
 
#16
See if there are any driver vaccancies with RMP CP teams I am old and fat and knackered and I did the drivers course at longmoor (bloody brilliant course too) they have a fitness test on it (its a bit different) but if you can pass a pft you will have no problems and being a trained infantryman would be a good grounding there were alsorts of ages and ranks on the course I did from lots of different capbadges from TA Yorkshire Regt, Guards TA RLC and Gunners
 
#17
Judging by some of the posts I'm assuming you're quite possibly the same unit, I could be wrong.

The fact with regards to the OFT1 in particular was the fact the PTIs didn't have the full info or miss read the instruction on it, they also ended up doing a 6 mile boot run instead of a four, but that's TA PTIs for you.

The problem is not with age it's deployability, due to the lack of places the ones judged likely to go the full course have filled these slots.

Not sure your rank or trade qualification but simply if you weren't fit enough you ended up in the maybes pile, there being another selection possible weekend then passing the OFT and CFT will show your fit to be considered.

Forget CMT unless your civvie paramedic or a medical qualified person as currently there is a big issue with this TA qualification and being deployed.

If your of the rank and experience then get looking for a job OMLT or training the officers in Kandahar or similar, you will be boarded along side regulars so a couple of good reports and a bit of luck you'll get the job you want.

Unfortunately if your a 40 year old private then the only way is the be fit and shine.
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
A big difference is how quickly people recover from injury and that certainly favours the young.
I think that's the key here. The physical robustness required is not so much being able to do a gruelling CFT, but being able to do another one the next day and again the day after that, etc. It's here where older bones feel the strain before younger ones.

That being said, it's a big old Army and you don't have to limit yourself to the Infantry. Other Arms often cobble together Force Protection units which often trawl for volunteers. A bloke like yourself would be a real catch for them and it could give you a chance to do some light patrolling outside the wire. Again, all the best with it.
 
#20
Ex-STAB - this may not be what you want to hear, but I do know of an area which might be suitable.

The Officer Candidate School in KMTC is non-warry, and - to my knowlege - undermanned. Each mentoring team responsible for an Afghan training Kandak has a Captain, SNCO and a couple of bods, usually with a Pte / LCpl as a driver. In reality everyone mucks in regardless of rank. While I was there a fair few of the Brits were elderly reservists / TA. Some brought a good deal to the party, others didn't but fitness was not an issue in either group.

On the negative side, its a fishbowl life living largely exclusively in a small camp and on the training area - I was very glad to get away in that respect. Some periodically get the opportunity to go to Brigade AOs to do NCO training, but these posts go to young fit keen types with previous Iraq / Herrick experience. Its also frustrating working with the ANA, and you are - unless the Taliban mount some kind of Tet offensive - not going to get any rounds down. You are as low in the pecking order of war-stories as the slop-jockeys in Bastion.

Nevertheless... it is a tour, and you are contributing to one of the most vital aspects of the campaign out there, albeit in a very rear-based way. You have banter with the Brits, Yanks and Afghans, sunshine, safety and tonnes of ice cream and bagels courtesy of the US DFAC. Mentoring the ANA is difficult rewarding and worthwhile if you bring a positive and pragmatic attitude - in this respect your life experience probably makes you more suitable than a 22 year old. You won't get any adrenalin rushes or major achievements to point to but a slow burning satisfaction of turning a bunch of scally illiterates into something like leaders of men.

Have a good think about it - I doubt that you would have to wait too long for a posting if your CoC were happy to approve an application to MCM. You may choose to hold out for something more sexy, but I'd caution against it personally.

You do have something to offer, it just isn't what you'd like to offer - I for one would far prefer all the CMTs, drivers etc in the field to be as fit and young as the Riflemen.

Good luck and give me a shout via PM if you have any questions about Kabul

Charlie
 
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