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What is wrong with subbies today?

#41
I think we are starting to swerve off topic here a tad.

It's not an argumaent about class, how good they were in 1914-18 or any of the other things creeping in here (officers from the ranks were there because most of the officers who were killed could not be replaced fast enough by the system).

IMO the 'rot' started a few years back (if you discount the point that this is every generation's argument, and base this discussion on the YO of today), and as has been highlighted Values and Standards seem to be lower than say 10 - 15 years ago.

I had a 2IC who came round with a few subbies for dinner and we all had a great time, only one of the subbies (out of three) wrote a TY letter to my good lady wife, but after some 'education' the remainder did so promptly. The 2IC thought he 'didn't have to' 8O ; I gave him a day or so to rethink his actions...still no letter, so I sacked him. :x

Essentially I think it could possibly be linked to the fact that a lot of guys come through (as has already been said) and are Captains within a year or two. Not only does this devalue the rank of Captain, but it means that you have guys and gals sitting in a Coy/Sqn office as 2IC, or even as Ops/Adjt without ever really having spent any time with soldiers...and this goes on throughout their career as they have never really had any effective trench/turret time.

If the incentive to recruit officers is for them to have the pay of a Captain within one or two years, then give them money, but not the rank. Let them spend 5 years as a subaltern before they reach the hallowed rank of Captain and all it entails; then you will have Captains who understand what goes (as well as being good/experienced at their own jobs) and can 'educate' the YOs when they arrive. You don't have Adjutants turning a blind eye to not shaving (he would have been out on his ear, or at least up to the bathroom to shave) or as in our barracks, Adjutants, who over the last 5 - 8 years have been letting YOs get away with 'murder'.

That is all...... :)
 
#43
ASR1-I, for one, would undoubtedly challenge your opinions on the sartorial elegance of SNCOs. The word 'dashing' was coined for me. Thankfully, your post was tongue-in-cheek and negates the need for me to level the word 'pompous' at you....
Fartsac, no doubt your response to promotion from the ranks during WW1 is partially accurate, but surely there is some accuracy to the assertion that there is no substitute for experience, hence field promotions?
 
#44
Actually you could argue that field promotions are a substitute for experience, being based on capability more usually, e.g. the Gunner who does brilliantly on ops or exercise and gets bumped up to L/Bdr without doing cadres et cetera.
 
#45
Cuddles surely that is a tenuous argument-surely real world experience on Ops is what cadres are attempting to replicate? Your example is flawed-the Gunner you speak about would still be expected to complete his promotional courses, and in the circumstances would be awarded acting rank as LCpl.
The discussion so far has involved Field promotions which I believe are a different kettle of fish to acting rank
 
#46
However, reverting to my theme, which I do believe has some credence.

When a soldier was plucked from the ranks in both the wars, soldiers would then get posted to OCTUs (in the second world war for 6 months), unless it was a sgt- lt job, in which case experience alone might be enough.

Therefore the quality of the officers came from a mixture of experience, the person qualities of the individual and further training. This training, particularly in the Great War, focussed on the need to maintain a certain ethos, and it was maintained, whatever the background of the officer concerned.
 
#47
barbs said:
I am under the distinct impression talking to people more grown up than I that there is a feeling in the Field Army that when the kids leave the factory they brain dump and shrug off whatever they have learnt along with the battle blazer. Is this a unique stand point? Does this mean I am getting crusty? Does anyone care?

I am convinced that 80% of the kids who pass RCB would be ok with or without RMAS; mostly they would be 'better' but they weren't bad in the first place. What can RMAS teach the President of the winning Oxford boat crew about leadership, selfless commitment, teamwork and gerneral all-round-good-egg-ish-ness? Likewise can RMAS really test the commitment or robustness of the two blokes who rowed the Atlantic? I know, they are a distinct minority, but are good examples of the standard of man and woman wanting to be junior officers today.

What about the remaining 20% - well most of them leave either of their own volition or by invitation. The stupid, devious ones get caught but the clever, devious ones don't. The ones who know how to play the game but don't like the rules slip through. Is the problem of 'bad' officers as stark as imagined. What on earth possesses young officers on leaving Sandhurst to:

a. Walk into the RSM's office and introducing themselves: 'Hi, I'm Brian'?
b. Sh@g a JNCO?
c. Sh@g a SNCO?
d. Call their pl sgt by his first name and 'dispense with all that formality cr@p'?
You have produced a set of statistics here that are completely fictional and then based a silly set of proposals on them. You have clearly not been to RMAS or you would understand better the way in which that course is designed to develop individuals.
As someone who did both CMSR as an infantry recruit and attended a full course at RMAS I speak from knowledge and can say that it is a valuable and well proven course, that has adapted to suit the needs of each generation that goes through it.
Newly Commisioned Officers are by no means a "finished product" and require the advice, support and guidance from the WOs and Sgts in the Units they join. This requires an proper understanding of the relationship between YOs and SNCOs, described to me by my first platoon Sgt as " you are the horsepower that drives this platoon, I am the man driving the horse!" I learnt an immense amount from him and believe that I was a better man for it.
Of course you can just take the pee and be destructive but thats your option.

Dug in to stage 3 and standing by for incoming.
 
#49
Outstanding said:
You have produced a set of statistics here that are completely fictional and then based a silly set of proposals on them.
They are not statistics: percentages are a means of expressing proportion.

You have clearly not been to RMAS or you would understand better the way in which that course is designed to develop individuals.
wrong

As someone who did both CMSR as an infantry recruit and attended a full course at RMAS I speak from knowledge and can say that it is a valuable and well proven course, that has adapted to suit the needs of each generation that goes through it.
As an instrutor of Ph1 & Ph 2 soldier training and officer training I agree

Newly Commisioned Officers are by no means a "finished product" and require the advice, support and guidance from the WOs and Sgts in the Units they join. This requires an proper understanding of the relationship between YOs and SNCOs, described to me by my first platoon Sgt as " you are the horsepower that drives this platoon, I am the man driving the horse!" I learnt an immense amount from him and believe that I was a better man for it.
Correct. Answer the question if you wish:

barbs said:
What on earth possesses young officers on leaving Sandhurst to:

a. Walk into the RSM's office and introducing themselves: 'Hi, I'm Brian'?
b. Sh@g a JNCO?
c. Sh@g a SNCO?
d. Call their pl sgt by his first name and 'dispense with all that formality
Of course you can just take the pee and be destructive but thats your option.
Not my style... most of the time

Dug in to stage 3 and standing by for incoming.
No need, just read the question and don't assume you know what you are talking about!
 
#50
barbarasson said:
However, reverting to my theme, which I do believe has some credence.

When a soldier was plucked from the ranks in both the wars, soldiers would then get posted to OCTUs (in the second world war for 6 months), unless it was a sgt- lt job, in which case experience alone might be enough.

Therefore the quality of the officers came from a mixture of experience, the person qualities of the individual and further training. This training, particularly in the Great War, focussed on the need to maintain a certain ethos, and it was maintained, whatever the background of the officer concerned.
You may be correct regarding the Second World War, but I am not so sure about the Great War.

The experienced NCOs from 2 RWF who were commissioned don't seem to have been sent on an "Officer course" they seem to have been CQMS or CSM one day and Captain the next.

The other week I was told an anecdote of how the CO of the HAC in the Western Front was asked for 20 soldiers to be sent to other units in the division as Subalterns. He raised a stink at Div, Corps and Army level after discovering that after several months they were still being paid as private soldiers.

Here is anthoier snippet.

In 1913 seven officers in the British Army were commissioned from the ranks. In the first month of the war alone five hundred warrant officers and NCOs were commissioned. During the Great War as a whole the figure was 6,713, 41 per cent of the total number of permanent commissions.
This is from a web page about Lieutenant-Colonel W.H. ‘Harry’ Carter DSO&bar MC &bar who rose from Signals Sgt to become CO 7 Staffs. http://www.firstworldwar.bham.ac.uk/forgotten/carter.htm
 
#51
In 1913 seven officers in the British Army were commissioned from the ranks. In the first month of the war alone five hundred warrant officers and NCOs were commissioned. During the Great War as a whole the figure was 6,713, 41 per cent of the total number of permanent commissions.


Interesting, although obviously only a small percentage of the total as it refers to permanent commissions. As I small caveat, I believe the 7 commissioned from the ranks would be those taking straight commissions, as opposed to those taking QM commissions. Nevertheless it illustrates the general point well.
 
#52
Outstanding, in response to How? Because I have seen too many examples pass who are patently unsuited to command, and people fail who are more than adequate. Whether you accept it or not, this constitutes a flaw. The only question is-does that make RCB acceptable compared to any other option available?
OOPs-left myself open to the "So, you failed RCB then?" dig. No, but considering finally using the degree I worked for many years ago, before they were given away in packets of Coco Pops, and applying for a LE ETS commission.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#53
Pteranadon said:
You may be correct regarding the Second World War, but I am not so sure about the Great War.

The experienced NCOs from 2 RWF who were commissioned don't seem to have been sent on an "Officer course" they seem to have been CQMS or CSM one day and Captain the next.
Very true. My grandfather was a sergeant in the QVR one day and a 2Lt in the City of London (7th?) Fusiliers the next.

Northern_Monkey said:
Because I have seen too many examples pass who are patently unsuited to command, and people fail who are more than adequate. Whether you accept it or not, this constitutes a flaw. The only question is-does that make RCB acceptable compared to any other option available?
RCB is only intended to identify the potential for command, which it does reasonably well. Subsequent training at RMAS and within units is supposed to develop that potential and, again, I think it's reasonably successful. We can all think of absolute knobs who have managed to get themselves commissioned, but they are greatly outnumbered by by good quality young officers who understand what they are supposed to be doing and perform with great credit to themselves.

In reality, despite the title of this thread, I don't think we're producing greater numbers of poor-quality officers than we used to: it's just that they are different these days, and their fcuk-ups come from different and unexpected directions to us old lags who were brought up in a somewhat different era (Christ almighty, that makes me sound a hundred years old: I'm only 42!).
 
#54
CPunk-I accept your comments, but my response still stands to Outstanding's question-the system is flawed. As you say, it works reasonobly well. That does not prevent it from being flawed-ie. imperfect in some way.
 
#56
[quote="barbsThey are not statistics: percentages are a means of expressing proportion[/quote]

STATISTICS: SCIENCE OF CLASSIYFING AND INTERPRETING NUMERICAL INFORMATION.

As you erxpressed your percentages in Neumerical terms they are satistics! But I suggest we may be on the verge of furiously agreeing. Having re-read what you wrote it seems that you have knowldege of what happens to a large percentage of YOs when they leave RMAS. Further it appears that they have been poorly instructed over what we both know to be a good course; to the point where on release from RMAS they discount the Values and standrards that should have been imparted and try and be popular. It follows that it the fault lies with the basic product ariviing at RMAS and with the very PC instruction they receive at RMAS. Do you believe that tougher or longer (revert to 2 year Course)training will improve things. Should we be training M + Fs together?
 
#57
Northern Monkey said:
Outstanding, in response to How? Because I have seen too many examples pass who are patently unsuited to command, and people fail who are more than adequate. Whether you accept it or not, this constitutes a flaw. The only question is-does that make RCB acceptable compared to any other option available?
OOPs-left myself open to the "So, you failed RCB then?" dig. No, but considering finally using the degree I worked for many years ago, before they were given away in packets of Coco Pops, and applying for a LE ETS commission.
My initial concern is that unless you have knowledge of what RCB is, or like me did it twice , you are not well placed to throw away a lose comment about its suitablitity as a means of selection. Nevertheless I will fight and die for your right to say so if wish.
 
#58
I'm assuming from the standard of your last two posts you have had a drink or three just like me. I have not attempted RCB but have reasonoble knowledge of it. Thanks awfully for the offer to fight and die for my right to offer loose comments, but my 'throw-away' thoughts are based on a damn good education, and a decent intellect. I offered my opinion on selection for commissioning, and it is no less valid than yours, even if you failed it once! Simply because you succeeded second time round does not make you the resident subject matter expert. You can be taught to pass most things with the correct tuition-whether you have innate ability is a different kettle of fish.
 
#59
If as stated, RCB is there to spot latent ability to be developed at RMAS and at unit level, why did you need two attempts Outstanding? Either the latent ability is there or not, in which case the system is flawed, as evidenced by the fact you failed first time around. :twisted:
 
#60
barbarasson said:
Interesting, although obviously only a small percentage of the total as it refers to permanent commissions.
The comparison with "permanent commissions" is relevant because of proportion of regular soldiers given regular commissions. If a lot of regulars were commissioned then the post Great War army may have had a significant proportion of ex soldiers. QED
 

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