Time for an Army Federation?

Time for an Army Federation?

I believe we need a Federation based on the one the police force have. I do not believe that we have the right to strike? I do remember the Irish defence force (who have a federation) one of their units were moved into a prison for accommodation two weeks after the prisoners were moved out due to poor building standards and they needed to threaten strike action to be re housed.

We are watching as the service evolve into a very new creature boasting that we can “Punch above our weight” this always seams to be at the cost of our welfare and professionalism. Our kit needs to be improved, surely if this web site has highlighted one thing and that is there are a lot of real concerns across the board.

No one is listening, the politicians are lyres, and the chain of command is powerless.

When the flag goes up and the shout is given every man and women does the stuff, but what about peace time conditions? Too many problems to list and too many half hearted attempts to paper over cracks, do we now need some power behind our own punch?

P.S I am not a commi pinko just a squadie who sees his blokes living in joke conditions using rubbish equipment and being asked to do too much.
P.P.S I hope this post doesn’t get “moderated” too much????
Don't worry we only 'moderate' on grounds of OPSEC, personal privacy and foul/abusive language (less the NAAFI)! You raise a serious point I believe.....


I have said on other threads about unions and federations etc. I can't see it being able to work. The HMF is too varied trade wise and every trade would want a rep wouldn't they?
who would represent your unit? at what level of unit do you have a rep? it would end up with a federation Regiment filled with nothing but reps each trying to make sure their units plight is higher on the agenda than anyone else's.
Still say leave all that stuff to civvi street.
Ex Dvr, no no no! Let’s not get bogged down in reps and the such. We have to be serious, there are serious issues that are not just being ignored they are effecting our service men and women on very level.

No one is taking the governing bodies to task. It is not about who is going to represent us and arguments like this only cloud the issue and prolong the problem. Unions and federations can work and they are not evil! The only time a union (corrections welcome please) is deemed as evil is from a corrupt or unjust government.

We want to be soldiers, we want to defend our country we want to serve our crown but we also want to be treated fairly and given equipment that at least works!

Recruiting and retention is poor at the moment, we need to burst into the modern world with modern thinking, painful as it may seam, or we will become a joke.

Victorian attitudes and values are out dated and are now doing us harm. My unit seams more interested in the length of the lads side burns than whether he can fire his rifle with out stoppages and the like.

The success of this very web site is based on the need to “tell it how it is” we are going around in circles and we should not wait until we fill body bags before some one sets some very important issues to right. At the moment officers are more involved with their own careers and politicians involved with their elections, no one is going to help us except us!

Next time you open your kit locker just count how many none issued items you have bought! How many stoppages have you seen, how many tours have you done, how often do we see green DPM in the desert, how many pay claims are missed, how many divorces are there, how many homeless ex soldiers are there, how often does the radio work, come on lads and lasses we need to agree that not a lot is being done fast!
Can't but agree with you that sometimes the conditions aren't great. The rest of the time, I think they are ace, or I wouldn't be in. Take the rough with the smooth eh?

As far as unions, federations (unions) are concerned, behave yourself. Once we get a soldiers federation, we'll then have a black soldiers federation, then a single mums federation, then they'll want a lesbians and gay single parents federation and thgen we'll all be suing each other because the Army couldn't do this or that for us and it will go on and on and on. If you really don't like the job you do, then do the common sense thing and get another.

Name one credible fighting force in the world who have shown that a federation (union) has made them more effective? I'm not talking about putting a smile on their squaddies faces or better accommodation, I mean a more effective Army.

Yep, there is no doubt that the Government takes the piss. But you have the freedom of choice in this country, you're not a conscript.
Victorian attitudes and values? Oh for fcuk sakes get real will you. What unit do you serve with?
Dirty old chap, yes I am a volunteer and not a conscript, but why do I just have to take it or leave it? Doesn’t the country deserve better than just to say “Here is the Army if you don’t like it don’t join” Well we haven’t been able to retain enough soldiers for the last ten years with that attitude and to be honest liking it or lumping it is a mega cop out for those who are scared of change.

The next comment about black, gay and lesbian soldiers having a rep, well do they need one? And what’s the big problem with having a rep that will look after your interests? You remind me that I am a volunteer and not a conscript, well I remind you that black, lesbian and gays are volunteers as well, and to be little some ones potential needs and problems (some do have problems in the service) is not what the British Forces are about. We are protectors of our free society are we not?

Saying if “I really don’t like my job then get another” I have served quite a few years and yes I love my job but I can appreciate that there is much wrong with the service. This is not a slur on the lads and lasses who do a brilliant job! This is some one (there are many) who say we need to get our problems sorted it is dragging out too long!

You say “Yep, there is no doubt that the Government takes the piss. But you have the freedom of choice in this country, you're not a conscript” what the bludy Nora does that mean? Are you suggesting that we have freedom of choice just to leave the service if not happy with the problems it has and don’t bother to address them but take your “freedom” to get out? I’m a soldier, a fighter not a surrendered as you are suggesting!

Unrest is not a new concept in the British Forces! I am not planning or suggesting a military coupe! Please please please don’t belittle my question just for the sake of YOUR VICTORIAN ATTITUDE!


I didnt say it wasn't needed anywhere (i don't think) all i said it wouldn't work thats all. i was a union convenior for several years, and that was bad enough, it gets full of people with ambitions for house of parliment etc, and meetings were generally full of individual gripes and moans from the officials, very rarely did it involve the "workforce" in general, in my experience anyway. I wouldn't expect anything different if HMF had a federation/union.
We want to be soldiers, we want to defend our country we want to serve our crown but we also want to be treated fairly and given equipment that at least works!
no one is going to disagree with that statement, but how do you prioritise on whats needed 1st? everybody's viewpoint will be different

Next time you open your kit locker just count how many none issued items you have bought
but is there an army in the world that squaddies do have the right equipment to do the job, is actually all issued?

i could go on in giving negatives. but I do agree with what your saying(mostly) i just don't see how it can be achieved by having a union/federation.
The Irish Defence Force has a federation and so does the British Police force. The British Police arguably the best in the world?

The Irish Defence Force has a Federation for the rights of the soldier and no it doesn’t fall apart every week over niff naff and trivia such as he said this and he said that!

I have served along side them on two separate occasions in the Balkans and they are a professional, motivated and operationally tested force. They are constantly in the thick of it in Beirut. I was with them when they lost two young soldiers in a mortar attack. They have my up most respect and they are not commi pinko looking for excuses to strike!

Not too sure how many other nations’ forces have Federations, the Dutch I think? We used to slag them off in the late seventies and early eighties for “tools down” policies and pony tales but I recon this is propaganda, they serve in the Balkans along side us. Same blood in the same mud me thinks?
Well I see nothing has changed, and no I am not making light of this situation believe me, historicly in peace time ( I know in the current world and political climate that maybe not the right phrase) a soldiers lot has never been a happy one , I remember talk of federations (unions etc) back in the 70's and man were we underpaid then things were pretty desperate,OP Banner tours were consistent , UN tours followed etc, BAOR still at the height of the cold war(training never ceased) culminating with BATUS, it seemed every year (more like every 2 years just seemed more )

Now I am not saying it was worse then or now, situations are different commitments are different but the one fundemental constant in the British Army was the job always gets done.(and complaing all the way)

Around the mid seventies the govt (bless em 8O ) decided to put right a wrong , we recieved a huge pay raise( and I mean huge first time in my army career had money left at the end of the month !!!!!) a revamping of the banding system, now as always, some came of better than others as is always the case (is that any different to civvie street) nothing is perfect?

In all this euphoria at the time as we now were feeling like real professioanls somewhat and not some under paid dogsbody, it took about 4 weeks untill the talk of ferations(unions etc) started up again.

So no matter what you do , implement , allow......... the one constant along with the job always getting done will be , "its never good enough"

Dirty s, Ma (gawd hope he hasnt gone deeper undercover!!!) has a valid point which has always been there if you dont like it you can leave, I am not saying that is the best answer to give to someone who has or maybe has a proplem, however comparing military life to civvie street has never worked , nor should it, we , I should say now, YOU guys are special, do you need better, indeed in cases preferential treatment the answer is a reounding YES , will you get it , equally resounding NO, it will always be catch up but ........

If you love the life, love being a soldier, sailor , airman whatever, sit down work out why you love it, and if you do it properly and really do love the military life I guarentee you will come up with more positives than negatives, it will never be perfect, in some quarters the military will always be looked down on.

Do you need a Federation ....NO..... reasons have been stated by others in earlier posts, what you need is the hierarchy to do what was done in the 70s show loyalty to there men and units , I knew some great officers, who did indeed resign and go public over the treatment and conditions there men were recieving, combined with the pressure the senior officer's at MOD etc brought to bear on the govt, a wrong was put right, for how long? as I said earlier, its always catch up.

Maybe I see or saw things differently, I never treated my career as a job , more a vocation, I loved it, would I start over and do it all again , YES if I could.

I have rambled on long enough, I hope somewhere along the line I have made some valid points.

In summary, we civilians cannot do without you, the country cannot do without you, at times it may feel like your ignored , shown a lack of respect, and treated like the poor second cousin, but when the chips are down who do they turn to first?
Tigger, I have read your points with great interest but I really can’t see the benefit of not having a Federation. You seem willing for us to shut up or get out or even for our officers to commit career suicide for causes that are far beyond their reach.

Romantic notions that, “if we all soldier on every thing will be OK” and “that any one who complains is just a whinge” are out dated. I have served my country for 19 years and I have seen us launched into operational tour after operational tour with first class soldiers and second class equipment!

Randomly pick out some of the subjects here on this forum and see all that is wrong. All that is right is that the soldier is a quality soldier who makes the best of a bad lot. That must not be an excuse to allow such serious issues go unaddressed.

To suggest we have but one choice of shut up or get out is as old as the dinosaurs. To look back at the early eighties Army and last seventies Army and compare our commitments is naive to say the least, any one remember options for change? We have never ever been as over stretched as we are no and the poor soldier on the ground is not getting quality of life!

We are reminded time and time again that we have a “Charge of care” for our soldiers, I car but nothing is being done it seams at any level! We get the odd MP who yaps on about the odd thing then disappears into obscurity.

Again we need a federation. We should not be able to strike or take industrial action but we need a voice that can be heard. Not a empty voice followed by empty promises.
7 points.

1...Tigger, I have read your points with great interest

Thank you for taking the time ,and also for your comments to my input, I in turn thoroughly read yours ,obviously I did not make myself clear.

2...You seem willing for us to shut up or get out or even for our officers to commit career suicide for causes that are far beyond their reach

Not true, never believed in stifling initiative, was trying to point out that comparing the way things are done in civvie street, does not have a place in a unique organisation like the Army (Forces). As for wanting (willing) to allow officers to commit professioanl suicide ,again not true, think they would have served everyones interest better by staying and joining as one voice to continue to improve the everyday lot of military personel in general. But I did and still do admire the fact that they were prepared to "commit that professional suicide and go public' with what they had to say, which they could not whilst still in uniform.

3... I have served my country for 19 years and I have seen us launched into operational tour after operational tour with first class soldiers and second class equipment!

I served for 24 years, and had some "complaints about equipment also, grass sometimes looked greener on the other side of the fence, however in most cases , when I looked deeper if I thought ours was "second class equipment" could not even begin to classify the equipment of other forces who I served with. Not to say improvemnets cannot be made.
Totally agree on the point though about "first class soldiers" always.

(accept for one chief clerk (middle name Doris) who spent all his time buying womens underwear, not as tolerant as the REME are now in those days)

4... Randomly pick out some of the subjects here on this forum and see all that is wrong. All that is right is that the soldier is a quality soldier who makes the best of a bad lot. That must not be an excuse to allow such serious issues go unaddressed

Nothing new here. and no amount of any form of federation input will change that.

5... To suggest we have but one choice of shut up or get out is as old as the dinosaurs.

Did not say that, just agreed with our site undercover agent, that this was an option open to all , actually think i said "not saying this is the right wayto address proplems"

6... To look back at the early eighties Army and last seventies Army and compare our commitments is naive to say the least,

Naive? , mmmm think I did point out basicly that times change and commitments are different somewhat in this day and age, however, please do not believe us DINOSUARS did not spend a little time operationly,
between 1971 and 1978 I personaly spent (on the ground not behind a desk) 3 years and 7 months in NI, in between that in 1975, 9 days after completing an 18 month operational tour, the Turks became a little uppity on a little island they share with the Greeks, and was immediatley dispatched along with my fellow sqn members who had a whole 10 days off, and wouldnt you know it in 1982 called back 2 months after starting the cushiest posting I could have imagined, and was looking forward to 2 years of keeping the army in the public eye with my social skills, to be sent somewhere full of peat moss and sheep and it wasnt wales!
Now these are just some edited highlights, lots more was going on in BAOR, BATUS, these commitments which because of the cold war, were (and still are for other reasons I am sure) taken very very seriously we can go on and on .
To end this part , in 14 years as a SNCO never once did I ever fit in my 6 weeks leave allocation. Oh and yes I think the firemen started there tradition of striking in the 70's just to add to our already busy schedule.

7... Again we need a federation

I respect your opinion and you are as entitled to that as I am to disagree with you.

In summary
Yes I am a dinosaur, yes I agree your operational commitments now are different to what ours were, however as is the case now in your day as in mine(albeit) may have been sundials not clocks, there were 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week,365 days in a year,.
The military has always and always will be stretched beyond there limits, that will never change, equipment will never be perfect or on time.
I just hope I never see the day that the British Army becomes a federation, and then we can be compared to the Danish!!!! Germans !!! etc
makes me cringe at the thought.

Oh and BFPO , never give up the fight to improve the lot of your men, and I am glad you have been able to see it through no matter how tough it got.................

See nothing changes.
Well said BFPO! Although I do not agree with you on all your point's. I asked (recently on Curent Affair's) " Do we need to fail" the point I was trying to get across was that as an Army we are TOO GOOD at making do and overcoming the liabiltes of cr*p equipment etc. I would support a Soldiers Federation if it was limited to bringing legitimate concern's i.e Eqpt reliability to the attention of those in power and independantly of the chain of command. Now i realise this is not the accepted way but sometimes it can be the ONLY way. Further I am not advocating any treasonable action it is just that I better than most and to my personal cost realise that the Chain of Command sometime's fail's for a variety of reasons.
BFPO, you are obviously a bit upset with the fact that someone dared argue with you, but there really is no need to throw a tantrum, old boy.

What I meant by the comment with which you experienced difficulty (quite surprising really, it was in plain everyday English.....are you in the SIGNALS?), was that if you don't like what the Government asks you to do or put up with, then you are not tied to staying with the Army, whereas a conscript for a certain duration would be. You are a volunteer..... YOU COULD ALWAYS LEAVE. Does that simplify matters for you ? You're not a tech trade surely? are you?

Now Sparky, your problem appears to be, that you are one of quite a few, who think that they can change the way the Service operates, as it obviously hasn't taken into account your personal feelings (should've read your contract....clown), and that if anyone disagrees with you, then their attitudes are antiquated (that's quite similar to 'Victorian'...... for your benefit). You are a selfish man. Remember SERVICE not SELF. Don't agree.......try TESCOs..........they've got a big yellow jacket in your size and all the trolleys you can shove. Right up your street.....they've even got a union!

You appear very childish and to be frank, you are a very dull little individual. All the hot air you spout, is nothing but hot air. You profess to enjoying being a soldier, but at the same time you wish to rebel against the establishment. MAKE UP YOUR MIND WILL YOU. I doubt that you are as happy as you claim. If it were otherwise, would you post such nonsense. And that is all your posts amount to in this thread.......NONSENSE. Supported by a few other singly block guerrilas, but NONSENSE all the same.

I recall asking you if you could identify an EFFECTIVE Army who had a FEDERATION. You have yet to do this. Unless of course you actually consider the Irish Army effective? If so, allow me to elaborate a tad.......I mean an EFFECTIVE WAR FIGHTING ARMY not A BUNCH OF PEACEKEEPERS.

You are not the only squaddie who is aware of the fact that the police do have a federation, but could you kindly show the relevance of that fact to your current arguement? Do you actually know what the police federation does or why it exists? (stand by for Cpl Fcukwit AGC (RMP) to grant us his tuppence worth here).

Now, be a good chap BFPO and go and take your nose for a pish. You have brought nothing new to the party as we've heard this crap about federations on this site before.

You unoriginal boring little rebel you. I'll bet your Squadron are just chuffed to fcuk when you go on leave.

Please tell me that you are not a tech.
Come on Sparky, get with the programme.
Dirty Sanchez, I think you are getting a little too personal in you attack to me? Why?

I have points I want to make on this forum and I did not think it was going to turn into a slanging match. Not sure if I will be posting any more items on here, kinda thought it was an open forum for debate and not for silly name calling.

I did try with my posts to point out that a Federation should not have the powers for industrial action. I did point out that believe our army is being taken for granted and many units are so overly stretched. I was trying to make a point for the good and benefit of the lads.

I am away now to do a bit of studying on my grammar as no doubt it has all gone horribly wrong for me, Dirty Sanchez thank you for putting me in my place and pointing out to every body on this forum that I am just a cnut that spouts off. I consider my self well and truly “placed in the picture by you”
And it's a good thing that you have young man.

You appear to be one of life's losers. Bitter and twisted. You've been in the Army 19 yrs now (your admission) and one would guess that your 'career' hasn't quite gone the way that you'd planned/hoped. So, you've now turned into a bit of a rebel. A chap's chap. Quite sad really, given that you are old enough to know better. But then again are you?

You posted a ditty about a female WO2 from your Squadron, in the NAAFI I believe, concerning the possibility that she may have been intimately involved with a junior rank. Why? Is it any of your business? Were you there? Didn't she fancy the 'older man'? Just what would the 'federation' do about it if she were threatened with disciplinary action? Would they support her case? If so, doesn't that go against the grain with you? After all, you were quite upset about her behaviour, weren't you?

Stick to the 'Starship Federation', Space Cadet and stop contradicting yourself. You couldn't hold an reasonable argument, that's why people like me find it so easy to mock you.

You might be scoring points here with the juniors and the has beens, but what do you really hope to achieve. What will you realistically achieve?

What exactly are these 'Victorian' values, you shout so loudly about? You've accused me of possessing them, yet we have never met. You base my values on the strength of a single post? A bit small minded isn't it? It's more than apparent from your posts that you don't quite seem to fit in anymore. If you don't like it.....LEAVE. Those who do like it, are fed up having to listen to prats like you, droning on and on about how terrible it is. If you were Infantry, I might be prepared to listen. But you are not. I strongly suspect that you are SIGNALS. Boy, do you have a rough time of it eh?

So would you be so kind as to provide evidence of your spurious allegations re: Victorian values?

You are in the SIGNALS aren't you. I'd guess that you may be at Elmpt/JHQ.

Well loser, you have yet to answer my question concerning effective Armies with federations/unions. You have also failed to show relevance between police federations and the Army. Like I said, you're full of hot air.

It won't turn into a slanging match Old Bean.......you lack the substance for that.

Now kindly get off your soap box and at least make an attempt to salvage something from the three years you have remaining.

Dirty Sanchez said:
.You might be scoring points here with the juniors and the has beens, /quote]

Not a bad tirade dirty , but care to comment on the quote ?
Glad you enjoyed it .

In response, certainly, I refer to the rebellious and immature junior rank element which every unit possesses, many of whom, post here.

As for 'has beens'...........speaks for itself doesn't it. To elaborate, take a look at the originator of the thread. Every unit has one of these. Frankly they bore me. 19 yr Sgts. They should know better.

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