Times: MoD faces questions over why Army majors on generals

#2
The comment below makes a good point I think, although even with a massive task like really shaking up the army is there a danger of there being too many cooks?
 
#3
In my wee time I came across a manning doc that stated there were 1 Engr Orficers for 9 OR's.
This was in the SDR Options for change era, we only had 4 Orficers in the Sqn then and we should have had 7.
We did post out a few Junior Generals though.
 
#4
Why post a link, without a brief synopsis, without your own opinion.
Is this good for debate.
Discuss.
My personal opinion is that there are far to many 'jobs for the boys', quasi-autonomous national government organisations and civil servants. Some deserve shooting, some don't. But what can an individual do? I'd liked that to be discussed as well.

The Army is weighed down with top brass, according to figures showing that the number of generals and brigadiers has risen since Labour came to power in 1997.

Although the size of the trained Army has shrunk to about 100,000 soldiers, there are now 255 members with the rank of brigadier or above — or one for every 400 service personnel.
In your own time, carry on.
 
#5
soleil provides links to the news without offering her own opinion; she does a grand job over on RR and has obviously moved over here too. If you don't like it, feel free not to read the thread.
 
#6
You could also ask why each subunit in the TA needs:

Permanent Staff Admin Officer
Admin Officer
Asst Admin Officer
NRPS storeman
Civvy Fitter
Civvy Driver
Cleaner
Caretaker
SPSI
PSI

To look after 50-60 part time soldiers.

msr
 
#7
Part of the growth is due to jointery - more joint units equals more need for commands than previously. Also we continue to hold a lot of NATO posts (and if you think the UK is bad, try dealing with the insane NATO flags to post plot where its all about who has the most stars).

There is a need to keep senior military officers in a range of posts such as procurement teams and other organisations, mainly because the military like to have a uniformed head on these projects - if we removed the 1* leads from a lot of IPTs and other areas, and replaced them with civil servants, you would save hundreds of thousands, if not millions instantly.

Ultimately though we have this plot as we need to demonstrate to officers entering all parts of the army that they have a chance to achieve senior rank if they are good enough. Removing posts at the top will have a trickle effect downwards - if people don't think they're going to get promoted then they will walk. We have a generation of hugely experienced officers moving through the system at all levels now, and we need to be able to show them that staying in means career opportunities. If not, then the army loses its best and brightest, and we potentially end up with the 2nd 11 at the top.
 
#8
msr said:
You could also ask why each subunit in the TA needs:

Permanent Staff Admin Officer - Yep got one
Admin Officer - does a clerk count?
Asst Admin Officer - Nope

NRPS storeman - Does all the G4 during the week

Civvy Fitter - Nope

Civvy Driver - NRPS Storeman does that

Cleaner - about 5 hours a week

Caretaker - Not sure what he does

SPSI - If you have to ask, then you don't know.

PSI - Platoon det and SPSI deputy


To look after 50-60 part time soldiers.

msr
 
A

armadillo

Guest
#9
There is a lot of job creation for the boys, also there are a lot of retd officers on the books. I worked at a unit where the chief of staff was a civvy (retd officer) who AGAI one of my soldiers. He did not like me walking into his office and ripping said document up in his face. Thats another matter for discussion elsewhere.

However, there are it seems a lot of empire building with the need for senior officers at each new created post.


Also it seems from the guy on the ground that on each new posting officer is promoted in rank, whereas junior soldiers get posted without promotion. I have only seen in 16 years a third posting Captain where the Captain has been posted three times without promotion.

All you need to do is be a complete sycophant at a Brigade post for a year to be promoted.

The promotion system for Officers has not changed a great deal, whereas the junior ranks has become harder to be promoted (for the right reasons).

As for IPT needing a military officer, that makes sense, however it has to be the right officer for the job, but because someone has headed an IPT for three years and brought a new system in means they will get promoted.

The system is open to corruption of the olds boys network always has always will be. There is also another subtext to this is the amount of retd officers who are in the system.

I would rather have someone who is an industry civilian captain than a retd officer who happens to be bezzers with a general.

The whole system is top heavy, scratch beneath the service and count in the retd officers and it is heavier than you think.
 
#10
msr said:
You could also ask why each subunit in the TA needs:

Permanent Staff Admin Officer
Admin Officer
Asst Admin Officer
NRPS storeman
Civvy Fitter
Civvy Driver
Cleaner
Caretaker
SPSI
PSI

To look after 50-60 part time soldiers.

msr
Obviously something wrong with that sub unit. I remember an inf coy with 200 on the books, perhaps 120 attendance at weekends and 80 plus on drill nights (this was about 20 years go though).
 
#11
jim30 said:
mainly because the military like to have a uniformed head on these projects - if we removed the 1* leads from a lot of IPTs and other areas, and replaced them with civil servants, you would save hundreds of thousands, if not millions instantly.
Like to or need to?

jim30 said:
Ultimately though we have this plot as we need to demonstrate to officers entering all parts of the army that they have a chance to achieve senior rank if they are good enough.
And that should depend on quality, not on the quantity of jobs offered.

msr
 
#12
MSR - Like or Need? Depends on the project and who is leading it - there are some projects where it makes sense to have a military lead - for others, do you really need a brigadier or Colonel to head up the "portable showers" IPT (for instance).

What you need is a good chief of staff - ditch the 1* and 1/2* leads, hand them over to CS who have spent their working lives doing procurement. Get a good military COS to handle what really matters, and continue to ensure that there is 2* military ownership of the business areas - result is significant savings, and arguably no real loss of capability.
 
#13
jim30 said:
Ultimately though we have this plot as we need to demonstrate to officers entering all parts of the army that they have a chance to achieve senior rank if they are good enough. Removing posts at the top will have a trickle effect downwards - if people don't think they're going to get promoted then they will walk. We have a generation of hugely experienced officers moving through the system at all levels now, and we need to be able to show them that staying in means career opportunities. If not, then the army loses its best and brightest, and we potentially end up with the 2nd 11 at the top.
As I suggested on another thread; we should recruit a lot less officers and give some of the subaltern posts to ORs, possibly a reintroduced WO3. Less officers to provide promotion paths for and better opportunities for ORs. Granted this will take a long time to feed through to the top, but it is a long term solution to the problem.
 
#14
It stands to reason we have more Generals/Air Marshals/ Admirals than are needed for UK troops only.

We do not work in an UK only world, many of the UK's commitments are "multi-national" but apart from the USA, Canada and a very few others no-one else is prepared to commit large amounts of troops. Therefore you end up with large "hotchpotch" amounts of troops grouped together for a task and they need leadership, hence more generals. Also we need a voice when working alongside the yanks, hence more Generals. It aint rocket science.
 
E

EScotia

Guest
#15
msr said:
You could also ask why each subunit in the TA needs:

Permanent Staff Admin Officer - Carries out all MS work and other admin tasks/organisation on behalf of their Sqn CoC (as OC's often don't have the time)

Admin Officer - Carries out the duties a clerk will do in any Sqn/Coy in any part of the army

Asst Admin Officer - Never seen one

NRPS storeman - Carries out all receipts, issues, demanding and backloading of stores/clothing/equipment that is impossible to do on a drill night/weekend (all of ours also deploy with their Sqn at weekends and are deeply involved in prep of kit & eqpt to speed the deploying of troops)

Civvy Fitter - Carries out all inspections, repairs, servicing, maintenance and modifications to all Sqn eqpts (not just vehs) and related paperwork and maintain their tech libraries - ours actually do a lot more than their job description directs (and on crap wages)

Civvy Driver - We have storemen/drivers in some of our locations, job title speaks for itself

Cleaner - Contracted by RFCA

Caretaker - As far as I have observed does occasionally change light bulbs (apart from one of ours who also carries out barracks maintenance, cuts grass & generally helps out on other admin tasks when asked). He also is involved in the running of the Cadets in the same location.

SPSI - Don't have one (and we are a 5 Sqn regiment)


PSI - Ensures trg is conducted in a correct manner, instructs when needed, deploys on each exercise for which they have done most of the Wng O's, admin inst and an awful lot of the organising of eqpt


To look after 50-60 part time soldiers. Ours look after a lot more than that (on paper and occasionally for real), but the TA being a voluntary organisation can turn up when they want, or haven't you noticed yet?

msr
 
#16
Reference the OP posting a link without comment, I agree with hairyarse2.

As for the article, if the perception is that there are too many general and other senior officers then a review is not a bad thing, so long as it is a review that leads to a decision rather than a PR exercise that dovetails with a decision that has already been taken. As the article points out, many of these senior ranks are in international appointments, not merely driving desks within the RN, Army and RAF, and these posts are essential to secure the relatively small amount of influence that we have left in the world.

[hr]
Slightly tangential query: I've recently seen various media reports quoting stars when referring to general officers, rather than just using their rank title - is this a new thing in order for the public to peg them against US general officers or has it always been the case?
 
#17
EScotia said:
msr said:
You could also ask why each subunit in the TA needs:

Permanent Staff Admin Officer - Carries out all MS work and other admin tasks/organisation on behalf of their Sqn CoC (as OC's often don't have the time)
That's extremely worrying, if your OC is fobbing MS matters off onto the PSAO, then the CO should be informed.

msr
 
#18
It makes me sick, you have lads dying in Afghanistan and suffering shortages. And their (many) bosses are living it up with high salaries!


Why is the CDS and Vice-CDS the same rank (4* General)? The size of the British Armed Forces would justify 1 for the army.

Why does the Navy have 2 four star Admirals (equivalent of a 4* General)? Does the shrinking size of the navy justify even 1 position of that rank?

Why does the RAF have 3 Air Chief Marshals (equivalent of a 4* General)? Does the shrinking size of the RAF justify even 1 position of that rank?

43 Major-Generals ???? There are only 5 divisions (and only 2 of them are operational !)

17 Lt-Generals ??? There is the equivalent of 1/2 Corps in the British Army!


I always taught that the British Army was too top heavy but that is ridiculous!! Yes I know there are NATO and other appointments but there isn’t that many and there is no reason why personnel in some positions could hold too posts.

Cut the amount of HQs!

The job of CDS could potentially be done by the Chief of the General, Naval & Air Staff in rotation.

Reorganise JHQ – a lot of jobs are being duplicated there

Get rid of HQ Land, have the Adjutant General, Equipment Support Land and the sub-parts of HQ Land all report to Chief of General Staff.

Merge Commander Field Army & Regional Forces and reorganise the regional forces to make them more deployable (share the workload)

Reorganise the regenerative divisions to make them more deployable (share the workload)

Look at reorganising JHC into a smaller HQ

Merge Commander Land Support with Theatre Troops – they are doing parts of the same job

Combat Service Support Group (Germany) & (UK) are bde-plus sized units… make them Logs Brigades and but them into Theatre Troops – that is what they really are, and get rid of UKSC(G)

London District is a Bde-minus sized formation but it has a Major General as GOC. Make it a brigade with a 1*.


How many generals does that get rid of?! And thing of the equipment that could be purchased with the savings!

Its jobs for the boys plain and simple!

NATO has expanded so some of the jobs filled could potentially be handed over to other countries or done in rotation.
 
#19
DozyBint said:
[hr]Slightly tangential query: I've recently seen various media reports quoting stars when referring to general officers, rather than just using their rank title - is this a new thing in order for the public to peg them against US general officers or has it always been the case?
I often refer to ranks by stars because of jointery. It is much easier to say ... star rather than give 3 titles.

I also expect journalists use stars because it is easier for the non-specialist to understand.
 
#20
Mobat said:
DozyBint said:
[hr]Slightly tangential query: I've recently seen various media reports quoting stars when referring to general officers, rather than just using their rank title - is this a new thing in order for the public to peg them against US general officers or has it always been the case?
I often refer to ranks by stars because of jointery. It is much easier to say ... star rather than give 3 titles.

I also expect journalists use stars because it is easier for the non-specialist to understand.
Plus we all know who is calling the shots these days :)

msr
 

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