We are going to do more with less...

I find it slightly hard to believe that no-one has got started on this yet - I could go on about it all day, and probably will do.  Someone stop me if I get to boring!

It's just that the spectacular re-invention of the wheel that is the CIC(S) (the "new" Infantry combined Phase 1 and 2 course) seems to have missed the point that we are not trying to train blokes to stand on the front gate.  COs may well want people to do that, but surely they must realise that by allowing in soldiers who are capable of no more than stagging on, they are driving away their better guys.  Even in the depths of WW2 (sorry, getting into Swift and Bold's "good old days" thing, but it's true), it was considered impossible to train an Infantryman in less than 44 weeks.  We now do it in 24, and the syllabus is larger (our forbears saw the benefit in doing a few things very well).  I applaud the idea of breaking away from the ATR system (sorry to take your best instructors back, but we need them to train our own people!), but can't we go the whole hog and produce a training system that actually trains people?

I don't imagine that I will find anyone to disagree with me, but if anyone from the Temple of the Warrior Monks is prepared to toe the party line, I'm all ears...

PS. Sorry BB, I don't really "love ya", it's just that I can't work out how to change the little letters over to the left.


If the current recruiting slogan is 'Be the Best' why are current recruits facing the easiest passing out tests in the history of ITC? What sort of hardened killers are the front line units receiving if they are only just capable of a 55lB BCFT in 2 hours or a pathetic green score on the BPFA? Any instructors who attempt to bring their soldiers above these criteria face the wrath of God for breaching health and safety, human rights, bullying controls etc. etc. God forbid any of the poor recruits have to break into a sweat whilst training!
Yet when they get to Battalions these mollycoddled youngsters are thrown into gown up training whether that be a best effort 10 miler, a Coy speed march or an operational tour. No wonder so many of the poor sweethearts head straight for their platoon commanders' office to request a transfer to RLC or the red hats!
The bottom line at training establishments these days is with getting bodies through the gate, and then let their units sort them out in the long term. It is all about balancing figures; X% passes, Y%broken, Z%Civvies....

But what unit has the time, resources or infrastructure to conduct continuous phase 3 training amongst its other commitments?  :'(

Put things into perspective: Doing their annual ITD's the TA are going through harder more punishing training than todays recruits, so unless things change we will have an army of STABS before you know it....who'll be laughing then?


War Hero
Nice sentiment, and yes I agree with most of what has been said so far, but it's a question of £ at the going down of the sun!

The Army is a much more complicated place than it ever used to be, mainly caused by the surge of new technologies.  Those who are coming into the field Army are woefully unprepared to deal with the rigours of modern Army life and have it very easy compared with the good-old-bad-old days!

Things to note though are these:

1.     Never in history have any older soldiers/officers been complimentary about the quality of the FNGs.

2.     The 'watering down' of any physical tests on the grounds of gender free/fair assessment is being hotly debated in the medical profession (outside the Army!)

3.     Society sends ill prepared kids to the Army.  Most have never worn a pair of leather shoes on their feet or climbed a tree!! (scary eh?)  And many have never had to do as they are told, especially in a classroom, where you'd expect them to have experienced some disciplined instruction!

Don't bash the system too much.  Fact is there is just not enough £ to go round!
I can live with the lack of leather shoes and tree-climbing ability, and I fully appreciate that we are starting at a lower level.  The point is that training is not a cost, it's an investment.  By treating it as the former we produce blokes who cause so much exasperation to the more senior guys, we end up driving away our better people.  Also, let's not forget the unfortunate trainee, who we do the immense dis-service of propelling into his Battalion with inadequate preparation.  He may spend the rest of his career doing things on a shortened time-scale, but let's at least get him started properly.

I quote Comdt ITC (the last one) - "The core task of the ITC is to train Infantry soldiers to take their place in an Infantry Platoon, fit and competent to go on operational service the day they leave Catterick".  If this were actually achieved, can you imagine how much more efficient we would be?  And the cost of doing this, relative to the amount we spend in trying to make up for our difficiencies, is peanuts.  

I'm not trying to get at the system here (it's actually very good given the constraints); I just think we could do it so much better.  :-/


I sympathise totally with Dunners and those like him. I fearthe day when we train guys interactively over the web. ITCs etc are where people should learn their core skills but with too much emphasis on £ I seriously believe that units in the field army are expected to pick up where the people like Dunners reluctantly left off and continue. I know that everyone in the past said it was harder when I joined, but I cant remember it being as vociferous as it is now and especially from those charged to train.
Easy, troops. Before we go too far, has anyone done a risk assessment on this debate?

Having recently finished an extremely fulfilling tour at an ATRA Service Provider, I think it's only fair to point out the hazards of all this frippery, so we're all singing from the same song sheet, in a joined up, swept up op. Check? Give a score from 1-5 on the likelihood of an accident occurring(sending an email before checking your SD/annoying a grown up/getting bubbled by a gunner 'mate'). Then, give another score of 1-5 of how bad the consequences of such a boo-boo would be (Getting summoned to ECAB for a severe ticking off/MI5 bugging your phone/emails/your battalion being disbanded in reprisal). Multiply the scores. Clearly, although the youthful exuberance of those piglets (labouring under the misapprehension that we still train soldiers for war) is to be admired, wiser heads must prevail. Risk factor of 25.

Have we spoken to the Docs and the PT Wing for their advice yet? Has anyone done a Wet Bulb Globe Test? If you're typing in a room over 20 degrees C, you could well explode. We need water stops every 15 minutes as a minimum. And noone even think of wearing a helmet whilst typing (unless in a moving vehicle or anywhere near ammo).
I confirm, I am a qualified first aider (although not permitted to teach my infantrymen how to insert IV drips prior to going on operations).
Hmm. How many need to die in a skill related cockup before we go back to being soldiers once again?
Red button, small bomb, big cloud. Lets start all over again.  :mad:

As was pointed out above, the system is tied by what society gives us. My ball ache is that we are trying to be a corporate company, with a corporate image and a product.

S h i t e! Day one, week one, we are an Army! People have to get hurt. The fundementals of that role will never change. Regardless of how society changes more and more into a leisure, 'want it now for nowt' orientated beast, the dirty jobs still need to be done. Who will defend the defenders? Do people understand what is required from an Armed Force? Probably not nowadays as the memory of most family members having served at some point fades into the dim and distant past. I say we do it the old fashioned way (not all things) and when some lefty Labour ponce questions human rights/EO/H+S that is blatantly a crock of 5h1te, we should remind him we are not selling a product but defending his right to speak his drivel in the first place!

I have just had a quick peek at the official Army site and found it to be full of 'buzz words, company image enhancement and other such naff civilianisms'.

Why have we replaced the word 'Command' with management? We are not freaking Woolworths!

Off to bed ::)


You would think looking at some of the soldiers today that we worked for woolworths or asda- i mean they come with attitude armed to death with their playstations and Playstation world magazines. What is the army coming to,

GET YOURSELF READY FOR PT RECRUITS..............................PLEASE
Trog, I don't think its soley the Armies fault. You can only do so much with the tools you have been given. Society dictates the standard of recruit and political constraint dictates what can be done to bring them up to the standard. No win situation. It will only get worse.

Do they still use the yellow card, red card thing?


War Hero
Yeah, I heard about that aswell!!

Most of the Nig's at our place say that it's still going on!!!

Don't you think it's a load of b******s? ???

New Q

The soldier of today comes equipped with the following:

1. Mobile phone.
2 Car.
3. Credit card.
4. Attitude.
5. Home sickness.
6. Severe resentment for authority.
7. Clean Nappy

??? ;D :-[ ::)


You forgot Duvet!

Can't say i miss the good 'ol days of the pain in the 'arris bed block, and parade your whole bedspace infront of the guardroom at 22:00, but i look back and laugh and think of my sect comd saying 'It's all character building stuff me lad..'  Years later, i remember the hardest days of my life, and i think he was right.
The recruits coming through now say that they really enjoyed basic!!
I know that if you enjoy something, you are more likely to absorb it, but For F's Sake- one day these people might actually have to kill people. I don't think they could handle the emotional stress of a firefight.(then the beuracracy afterwards ;) )
I hear the arguments about funding, but i think i agree with Dunners on this one.

New Q

The problem started when ATR's were initiated lets face it trying to produce an all arms phase one is just laughable  :D how can infantry soldiers complete a basic trg designed to be used on medics and clks and then see them go off into battle it was a drastically rushed and mis managed project from the start !
;D :::: Holds up Yellow Card::::::::  ;D

Ha now ya stuffed ain't ya ........

What a crock of S****

We have people turning up at our place 17/18 years of age, having not had to pass a BPFA .....
I asked if they were olympians when they arrived.......

"It is the taking part that matters, not the winning <passing>"

What a crock!

New Q

But Sarge I had to run 6 miles in 2 hrs wearing those awful issue NIKE trainers ??????


Bugger it. I'm off to join Al Qaeda. At least you learn to fly and get holidays in Floriday.
The underlying reasons for recruits generally being of poorer standard these days echoes in some way this topics header, albeit oppositly. Those enlisting these days are of the generation where to do less for more is a philosophy of life and this is being reflected in the way that recruit training is having to be altered. Unfortunately the Army's hands are tied - do they return to the good old days of recruitment and suffer further losses (in such busy times) to the Nintendo generation? Or do they pamper recruits and degrade the Army's efficiency?
The kids off today have a tecno attitude to the job if they cant score 5000 pionts with a triple hit then they dont want to know ,just look at the recriuts on the gate if they think falling asleep on duty is the done thing send them to the back  these kids need a have 4 week beat up before theyer let lose on the regts our lifes are in there hands we can do with out the bottom of the barrel


Well the facts are a new goverment  :mad: less pay less apptitude for the new recruits yes we at the other end have to pick the pieces up & then to top it all we accused of being bullys whats the end result  ???
None been there seen it who the **** do you think you are well thats the reply ITC Catterick prime example
For once in our lifes lets go back to old traditions & ignore what is said & dictated by Brussels. We need the best so let's stop playing the numbers game & select the best  ;D. Retention starts at the top & filters down
. So lets reside away from the 90's / 2000 soldier as they call them selves it's not our fault we are only told to push them through the system. No matter what we suggest we are overuled  :-/
As has been said earlier, I'm afraid. If we go back to old standards of discipline, we have bigger retention problem, lack of recruiting thus the situation we find ourselves in today.

What do we want? An elite, highly trained and disciplined fighting force or just enough manpower to be able to play the numbers game? A balance of manpower to quality. Nowadays, we can't have it both ways. Accept it, work with it. I feel it goes beyond the old and bold always think the younger generation are softer. It's kicking the arrse out of it now.

Example (I'm sure you all have one!); I ripped the sh!te out of an Atpr (Air trooper) when in an operational theatre because he had failed to do his job (having being pre-briefed to fill the Tac radios with a certain secure fill, Cougar) which meant I took off on an Op sortie late and caused the job to be delayed with all the usual effects that would have. Basic stuff, not rocket science and all that. After I returned from the job, I got called into to his superior officers office and got an almighty bollocking, without kettle, for upsetting the young emotionally insecure soldier and didn't I realise he was having problems with his wife and had other things on his mind! I was lucky to remain a SNCO due to the Ops WO asking me kindly to let go of the Ops Offr throat. What did I learn? The system will not protect a soldier with over 16 years of exemplary service who is trying to preserve the basics of military discipline/Op effectiveness but would rather be PC and maintain retention whatever the cost and protects, regardless of value, the lower end of the scale. I used to be under the belief that you start at the bottom and work your way up. Not true.

I don't want to change but we have to change with the situation. I would love to go back to the old school of 'train hard, fight easy' philosophy but the fact is, it wouldn't attract the average Tom into uniform like it would us a few years ago. I was swayed into uniform due to the Falklands War and my farther was military too, so was his dad. As I have said before, we don't have the generations of military heritage any more.

Spotty faced youth has the choice of; work in Kwik Fit, allowed to smoke dope/drop some E's or join up (don't know what that&#8217;s all about, sounds like too much hard work). Well, nowadays, mate, it aint. Walk in with your book of rights, Nike trainers and stash of smack and you'll be fine. If you don't fancy doing anything mildly objectionable, just tell a grown up and a WO II will do it for you. Can't have your human rights to life being offended now can we! WE NEED TO GET MAGGIE BACK AND HAVE A GOOD OLD PATRIOTIC WAR (preferably somewhere warm this time).

Yours faithfully,
P!ssed off,
Milton Keynes.

He who parties like a p u s s y rarely fights like a Tiger. (fortune cookie, Chinese Royal take away, 2002

Edited because the stupid software wouldn't allow me to mention a small feline mammalian without changing it to girlies thingy. For ******* sake!

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