What is morale?

#1
Its funny but whenever we get a visit from anyone who matters (or thinks they do) - the word is put out that "soldiers morale is high" or that "although in difficult circumstances their morale remains high"

Indeed in many cases soldiers and officers will say things like " Its OK - been here 3 months back home in 4/7 (or whatevewr) - it's OK" and that appears to show that their morale is high. Soldiers do enjoy being on Ops - its' why we join - but whether a few throwaway lines indicate whther "morale is high" I am not convinced.

Its when the cameras and senior knobs go away that the real stories come out and real feelings about how they feel they are being used / abused to achieve someones elses political ambitions surface.

So what is morale? - It is defined as the degree of hope or confidence in a person, but totally misued and misrepresented by many to indicate happiness and contentment with a particular role.

Should visits therefore not be so focussed on morale, but rather on the bigger issues or should we find a better measure of happiness than simply hope itself?
 
#2
The situation is that by the time the senior bloke of the seniors actually sets foot on the ground, the preliminary inspections/checks/visits by subordinates are deemed to have resolved all problems - morale or otherwise.
In the narrow definition that Outstanding has drawn for morale, he is surely correct. We all carry a degree of hope and confidence. It may only be "I hope it doesn't get any worse. I'm confident it cannot" but, surely, soldiers do not lose their hopes. Things will always get better. When - fcuk knows but the thought is sufficient to keep nose to grindstone, shoulder to wheel.
Given that a malcontent is the sort of bloke one does not want in the ranks, perhaps the aim should be that inspecting officers establish if the men are 'content'?
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#3
Met Inge once (few years back) and got the standard questions of "Boots fit?" "Wife in Quarters?". Upset Stannier (few years back) by telling him that I was bored when he visited our Tp on FTX. We hadn't moved for days. As long as you're smiling they're happy.

I love it when the gaffers do a quick 'filter board' of those likely to meet any visiting person of importance/self importance.
 
#4
Biscuits_AB said:
I love it when the gaffers do a quick 'filter board' of those likely to meet any visiting person of importance/self importance.


As a Pte in S Armagh one winters night in the late 70's I overheard our OC whinging to himself at the prospect of visiting dignitaries disrupting his already overstretched company. After a few minutes he saw me in the darkness & after a brief exchange I claimed I hadn't heard anything.....(the def sec was visiting the following day)

Ten years later I was a Sgt awaiting a visit in the mess from the new brigade comd. The RSM placed me in a prominent position as I was one of the few people likely to be recognised by my former OC & sure enough he made a beeline for me as soon as he walked in. After exchanging plesantries I couldn't resist a little dig;

Me: 'Sir, do you remember that night in forkhill when you were cleaning your boots & having a whinge about politicians/snr officers f*cking your blokes about area cleaning an' all that?'

Brig:(looking nervous) 'Yeeesssss?'

Me:' Good; we had to do it again this morning..... cos you're 'ere!'

The Mess erupted in fits of laughter & I was fortunate to get away with it:)
 
#5
Met Jock Stirrup last year at MoD London (was there on some bone job overnighting in Hyde Park Barracks), he was actually a lot funnier than I expected him to be. When he came in to the room I jumped to my feet (like the good wee boy that I am ;)) and he just looked at me and said "Oh, puh-leeze". :)
 
#6
On a CGS Visit in Iraq when asked how family and self felt about tours away replied "if you cant take a joke you shouldnt have joined"
OC and CO went white and then career laughed when CGS did. i was kept out of the way for nthe nexy visit though
 
#7
OldRedCap said:
The situation is that by the time the senior bloke of the seniors actually sets foot on the ground, the preliminary inspections/checks/visits by subordinates are deemed to have resolved all problems - morale or otherwise.
In the narrow definition that Outstanding has drawn for morale, he is surely correct. We all carry a degree of hope and confidence. It may only be "I hope it doesn't get any worse. I'm confident it cannot" but, surely, soldiers do not lose their hopes. Things will always get better. When - fcuk knows but the thought is sufficient to keep nose to grindstone, shoulder to wheel.
Given that a malcontent is the sort of bloke one does not want in the ranks, perhaps the aim should be that inspecting officers establish if the men are 'content'?
Valid point, mate. Perhaps we need something like a visit comment book held by each unit, into which indivs can enter anonymous comments that have to be shown to visiting digs.
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#8
Comments book? We've got a whole bl@@dy website! I for one am confident that the management knows what is written on ARRSE - good and bad.
 

Legs

ADC
Book Reviewer
#9
Outstanding said:
OldRedCap said:
The situation is that by the time the senior bloke of the seniors actually sets foot on the ground, the preliminary inspections/checks/visits by subordinates are deemed to have resolved all problems - morale or otherwise.
In the narrow definition that Outstanding has drawn for morale, he is surely correct. We all carry a degree of hope and confidence. It may only be "I hope it doesn't get any worse. I'm confident it cannot" but, surely, soldiers do not lose their hopes. Things will always get better. When - fcuk knows but the thought is sufficient to keep nose to grindstone, shoulder to wheel.
Given that a malcontent is the sort of bloke one does not want in the ranks, perhaps the aim should be that inspecting officers establish if the men are 'content'?
Valid point, mate. Perhaps we need something like a visit comment book held by each unit, into which indivs can enter anonymous comments that have to be shown to visiting digs.
What, so we have a sort of pen and ink manuscript version of Arrse? Never in a million years mate! You know the sort of comments ('cos you read them here every day) that would get bandied about as soon as you say "It's OK lads - you can remain anonymous..."
 

Legs

ADC
Book Reviewer
#11
I know that my idea would never, ever happen - but how about our high-and-mighties just arrive. No warning, no "quick paint the sand brown" type bollox - just VIP Bloggs wandering about having a chat with the lads. CO/RSM/assorted Staff type blokes would have a fit - but you could guarantee some great feedback (especially if the unit CoC are not allowed to attend the walkabout...)
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#12
Outstanding said:
Accepted that this needs some refining but what would you suggest to give a better version of reality to visitors?
Give them a rifle and tell them to stagg on for 2 hours on the gate :twisted:
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
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#14
hansvonhealing said:
Give Officers a rifle? Good God man, do you know what you're saying? Less danger in giving one to the regimental goat...
Did I mention ammunition anywhere? 8)
 
#16
fingers_1661 said:
Biscuits_AB said:
I love it when the gaffers do a quick 'filter board' of those likely to meet any visiting person of importance/self importance.


As a Pte in S Armagh one winters night in the late 70's I overheard our OC whinging to himself at the prospect of visiting dignitaries disrupting his already overstretched company. After a few minutes he saw me in the darkness & after a brief exchange I claimed I hadn't heard anything.....(the def sec was visiting the following day)

Ten years later I was a Sgt awaiting a visit in the mess from the new brigade comd. The RSM placed me in a prominent position as I was one of the few people likely to be recognised by my former OC & sure enough he made a beeline for me as soon as he walked in. After exchanging plesantries I couldn't resist a little dig;

Me: 'Sir, do you remember that night in forkhill when you were cleaning your boots & having a whinge about politicians/snr officers f*cking your blokes about area cleaning an' all that?'

Brig:(looking nervous) 'Yeeesssss?'

Me:' Good; we had to do it again this morning..... cos you're 'ere!'

The Mess erupted in fits of laughter & I was fortunate to get away with it:)
fingers that is absolutely priceless!!

That to me says everything about morale in the Field Army - when you are thoroughly pissed off you can find something to laugh about which everyone, regardless of their rank can share because it is common to everyone!

The story you relate made me smile and has certainly done wonders for my morale this Sunday afternoon!

Many thanks indeed
 
#17
Iolis said:
fingers_1661 said:
Biscuits_AB said:
I love it when the gaffers do a quick 'filter board' of those likely to meet any visiting person of importance/self importance.


As a Pte in S Armagh one winters night in the late 70's I overheard our OC whinging to himself at the prospect of visiting dignitaries disrupting his already overstretched company. After a few minutes he saw me in the darkness & after a brief exchange I claimed I hadn't heard anything.....(the def sec was visiting the following day)

Ten years later I was a Sgt awaiting a visit in the mess from the new brigade comd. The RSM placed me in a prominent position as I was one of the few people likely to be recognised by my former OC & sure enough he made a beeline for me as soon as he walked in. After exchanging plesantries I couldn't resist a little dig;

Me: 'Sir, do you remember that night in forkhill when you were cleaning your boots & having a whinge about politicians/snr officers f*cking your blokes about area cleaning an' all that?'

Brig:(looking nervous) 'Yeeesssss?'

Me:' Good; we had to do it again this morning..... cos you're 'ere!'

The Mess erupted in fits of laughter & I was fortunate to get away with it:)
fingers that is absolutely priceless!!

That to me says everything about morale in the Field Army - when you are thoroughly pissed off you can find something to laugh about which everyone, regardless of their rank can share because it is common to everyone!

The story you relate made me smile and has certainly done wonders for my morale this Sunday afternoon!

Many thanks indeed

You're welcome:) This exchange struck a chord with the officer concerned 'cos he reminded me about it at a Regl reunion in 2001.
 
#18
Had a high ranking dignatory visit us, so in normal fashion we were consigned to going over the obstacle course in full kit for his perusal. The usual chat ensued after completion whilst still hanging out of our arses.

Visitor "Do you do this often"?

Soldier "No sir, only when people like you visit".

Que the Tumble weed and stunned silence, watching the BC and BSM squirming was priceless.
 
#19
Jannerman said:
Had a high ranking dignatory visit us, so in normal fashion we were consigned to going over the obstacle course in full kit for his perusal. The usual chat ensued after completion whilst still hanging out of our arses.

Visitor "Do you do this often"?

Soldier "No sir, only when people like you visit".

Que the Tumble weed and stunned silence, watching the BC and BSM squirming was priceless.
Morale was obviously high then, but what would do today to let soldiers register their feelings?
 
#20
"The best morale exists when you never hear the word mentioned. When you hear a lot of talk about it, it's usually lousy."

-Dwight D. Eisenhower
 
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