In the mid nineties options for change combined with redundancies shut down units and lost all the experience. since then everyone has been scratching their heads and trying to botch the kit together with whatever knowledge and kit they can, things have just about cought up now but the damage is done! The lack of manpower in the late 90's combined with a shed load of operational tours put an extra stain on those that were left, having to cover one guy is ok but one man doing the work of 4 it is enough to make anyone sign off!! Back to back tours and crap pay will not keep soldiers in the job nomatter how "proud" they are. The advertisements are good but the pay is a turn off. The day the government wakes up to this and ups everyones pay by 5k a year is the day that the army will resolve its undermanning issue. I remember reading an ode somewhere along these lines... "Being in the army is comparable to putting your hand in a bucket of water, whilst your hand is in the water the water fits around it perfectly, yet when you take the hand out there is no hole where your hand was, for the rest of the water just pulls together as if you were never there" This was arguably quite correct in the 70's and 80's but then it would seem that the level of water in the bucket has evaporated somewhat since then! any comments?