Could it be something to do with the fact that it created lots of Officer posts? Maybe I am being too cynical.
I know there were problems before, because no system is perfect, but I think it was better before. Anyone agree? At least with Regimental Clerks, you had continuity and probably a bit more loyalty to individual units, also as the clerk grew up and was promoted, the better he knew his customers. You never seemed to have gaps in establishments either. If the Clerk was away, for more than a day, it was the one post that the OC and SSM found from somewhere, and to be fair to SPS they do not have that luxury. Dont think they were any less professional training wise, if you take into account that the Army has changed developmentally wise, allegedly, since the demise of Regt'l Clerks. Also believe that RAPC were generally better with pay matters or maybe they seemed that way because in them days we all had our own MROs/RPCs, and less reliance on computers. But at least RAPC only had to specialise in one area and never moved from Pay to Admin etc. The other good thing was I guess, at least you knew if you spoke to a Conductor, you were either booking a quartet for the mess, or a very senior Clerk; nowadays you could be booking a late meal or ordering ammo for the ranges as well!!
Who in their right mind could disagree with you? The AGC(SPS) are having a personality disorder and have been since their birth. Keep staff clerks to staff clerk work and pay clerks to pay. The Corps over the last 10 years have failed to decide whether there should be two trades (staff clerk & pay) or one until recently and, of course, they make the wrong choice and decide their should be only one. Hey wake up and smell the coffee AGC - we are diiferent and it does effect the service we provide by pretending otherwise!!!!!
Funny - the old Pay Corps, god bless em' allways claimed all arms clerks were joining them, and now, with the new AGC Career Policy letter it clearly states that under the JE review, the Pay WO scored poorly and is to be reduced to SSgt, whereby the RAOWO (Chief Clerk) is to remain WO2 (under the old pre-93 system it was SSgt/WO2), and the old ORS (Sgt) job is to move up a rank to SSgt!
Do you think the Corps will collapse in 5 years? If so, why.
I don't agree with clerical support being better at Bn level, as in the old days, the Regt Clerks were from the Bn/Regt and knew it, the soldiers and the system in-side out (corporate knowledge), also I spoke in confidence with an ex CO who dispaired at his AGC Det as he could not use them on exercise (ie, they had no skills to offer). In the old days, your clerks (in my Regt) had to do all courses PLUS the clerical training, so that gave them both higher pay rates and a field role.
One good thing though about the AGC is that you are not stuck with the same unit all your life!
Please excuse me but as an ex pay corps bloke and now a Staff/docs/pay/ any other admin task type person I think I should indulge myself and tick like a good un for a wee while.
The Corps is going down the toilet because,as was said earlier no-one above the SO1 rank gives a damn about their lads. BUT does that make it different from any other Regiment or Corps ? ???
What makes it different, in the shortest possible sentence or statement is as follows :
Do the Cav put their gunners in a Chally 2 driver seat and expect him to perform? NO
Do the Infantry tell a recce bloke to take charge of mortars platoon without the neccessary training? NO
Do the RLC tell their posties to work in the cookhouse? NO (well not yet anyway!!!).(This is not a dig at Chefs by the way. You deserve the higher rate of pay for all the craop yopu have to put up with).
Does the AGC put a Sgt pay bloke into a Staff support assistant job without any real training. YEAH. How about a Lcpl who has only worked as a staff clerk into a post with an inf coy on an op tour ? YEAH
The list is endless.
The planners of MY Corps made a bit of a mistake a while back. But the long in the tooth JNCO and the Seniors are trying to keep it afloat, and thats where you lot, the customer come in... give us a wee bit of a break at the coalface, I know its hard when yer pays screwed up, and Unicoms telling you that you have no leave left. But honestly we do try sometimes. Especially when WE are also open to the same pay/leave/bad man- management that you are.
After reading the above it seems that the RMP is in complete and utter meltdown. Why? Because over the last 2 years at least 40 RMP of varying ranks have transferred over to SPS in the hope of a better life. It seems all is not that good in the Ord Room either.
However the RMP is still flooded every year with soldiers attempting to flee their cap badge and join us. STOP and think! Personally I think the Army is getting a fair days work out of people these days, after many years of 20 hr weeks and sport, sport, sport, early knock offs and all the other perks we had. We are all wingeing about working for a living.
To use the lay terms: Normal clerking in the Ord Room is similar to Pay clerking, it involves the close scrutiny of documentation and serving a customer base. If it saves money having a multi roled person instead of 2, obviously the Civilian penny pinchers in London will shaft us squaddies, because when you jack it, some sad civvy kid is queueing to attend Worthy Down and be a combat clefk just like the posters.
Like any huge company, the Army treats its workforce poorly. But then again I am in the Pension trap, 15 done 7 to go. I may even accept a LE Commission in SPS as a Det Comd, well the pension is better isnt it.
I have to admit to being an ex staff clerk and the AGC (SPS) is the biggest bag of c**p that has ever existed. Bring back the days of the Regimental Clerks (who knew exactly what the Regiment was about), The Pay Corps who were the experts in their field and the Staff Clerks of the old RAOC who were clerks to the Staff Headquarters. I know a lot of people now a days will call me a dinosaur but I am not the only one who thinks like this. When the Corps formed we were all told that streamlining would exist, but I would be surprised to find many ex staff clerks who haven't been shafted by the system. The AGC (SPS) is run by an old core of Pay Corps personnel who think that the way ahead is pay, pay, pay. Who else thinks the same?
No matter which way you cut it, without the attached arms - AGC (SPS) in this instance who would you have to slag off in the NAAFI Bar at nights, vent your anger at over the counter, blaim the class 3 clerk, straight out of training for your own bad admin.
The problem ladies and gents is not with the person behind the counter with maybe a vast welath of knowledge and experience or very little, but with the system itself, in this case I refer to APC/RHQ Worthy Down.
For these are the people who lease the torrent of highly educated, but no common sense wealding, imbreds directly ouit of training into the full flow of Army Adminmistration. Do they assess these individuals fairly, look at the bigger picture as to what harm they are doing for the name of the AGC(SPS), ,
Instead of making a positive impact on the individual and sending them to a larger unit with hopefully a full establishment of SPS Staff (yet another hot issue for many) to learn, be guided and improve, the fools at the top ???? send them out to Div, Bde, Back water HQ's to make the brews, photocoy enless reams of doctrine and policy, learn the square root of shag s**t of then after 3 years of swaning around like they own the place they are finally let losse of the real Army to yours, mine and many others horror and dissapointment. APC/Worthy Down and smell the Coffee.
I know, and realise that the answers and overall picture in this matter is larger than I care to go into right now.
Yes the new clerks are supposed to be trained in-house by those in direct command etc, but live does not work like that. Show me a unit where an RAO/RAOWO can afford to have someone teach, audit and wipe the a***e of a newly qualified clerk and I will show you ten who can't.
i have been a clk for 4 years and already i can see that this all in one clerk (pay/docs/staff) is a load of crap. Clerks should be either pay or doc or staff and not a mixture of all three. it seems the AGC should not have been formed and the army would have had specialists at each job and not 'jack of all trades, master of none.TEXT
I have to agree with all the previous coments. I joined the Army as a Staff Clerk back in 1984 and was looking forward to a great career in the Army.
I HAVE had a great career but am now starting to wonder why anyone would want to join my Corps.
The sad thing is, we employ guys straight out of basic training and throw them straight out to Squadrons and expect them to be able to run the Squadron office and keep the docs updated and provide a useful service to all. This is impossibe. No other Corps places so much responsibility on their new guys, so early in their career.
Come on AGC, lets make everyone an expert in one field as opposed to knowing a little about lots.
And while you are at it, upband the Corps to Higher rates of pay. We work the longest hours and get the crappiest of jobs so lets compensate the guys.
One of the biggest mistakes the Army ever did was to get rid of Regimental and Staff Clerks. Regimental Clerks had the inside knowledge of their Regiments and afterall, they started at the bottom and then worked their way up to Chief Clerk (if they were lucky). Staff Clerks were quite able of looking after Staff Officers and Battalion Clerks were well able to look after Battalions. It made no difference if the Battalion was on operations as the Regimental Clerk was a soldier first and clerk second. Staff Clerks were clerks and that was that! Of course this is my personal view as I saw on both sides of the fence and truthfully say, the best years were when I was a Regimental Clerk - at least you had the respect of your fellow battalion members.
I couldn't put it better myself (well I could, but don't want to show off
There is no comparison with the standards produced by the RAO of today to those produced by the Ord Rm of 15 years ago. The Chief Clerk would have had a grounding as a Coy Clerk, Part 2 Order Clerk, Movements Clerk, Documents Clerk, ORC and possibly tenures in the Int Section or Ops room on ops. He knew every man in the Battalion, and possibly half of their Regimental Numbers. These days they flit in for 2 years having never touched half the disciplines and are found wanting. Not their fault by any means, but the system is pants, is known to be pants by those who head it, but is self perpetuating. There is a saying if it's not broken don't try and fix it. With the AGC (SPS) the saying goes, If it's working, fcuk it up until it doesn't.
Because we're in a world of constant change. It gives the illusion of progress while paradoxically making us less effective and increasingly disgruntled.
The AGC concept was talked about as far back as the early 70's but they knew it was far too much hard work.
All Arms Clerks used to be the guardians of the hallowed duplicator machine (remember those ink-spewing contraptions?) and now the SPS are the keepers of the sacred Canon photocopier
By the way - why do clerks spend 10 minutes returning your form with a snotty memo when they could phone you and rectify the issue in 30 seconds? I should know - cos I used to be one until I jumped ship and became a scaley. So long suckers!
Seems like all the clerks who reply to this all have had a gripe against the Corps???
To be honest its not the Corps that is at fault its not the APC or Worthy Down, its not the Clerk.
After 14 years in the Pay/Admin/RAO office.......it is the effing customer.
For gods sake how difficult can it be to complete a form, or work out if the £2000 overpay should not be touched because its coming off next month.....or the most fatal of all closing one bank account before your sure your wages are going to your new account.
Also lets look at the Coy clerks - stuff this business of going on Exercise or Driving the Green Goddess's because your Coy does not have enough personnel without Drink Driving bans - let the Clerk get on with his job...OC's work it out, if your clerk is not at his desk then you have missemployed him.
Finally, lets get out of this old thing about Regtl and Staf Clerks, for god sake have you never heard of evolution, dont forget your average full screw in the admin office had spent 15-16 years getting there. Of course he will be able to know eveyones Regtl No, but lets be honest was he really as good as you think, well the ones ive come across have been fairly dim and and fitness, well most clerks in those days were the sick lame and lazy.
I wholeheartedly agree that the AGC concept was/is an outstanding disaster. I have yet to meet anyone in the Corps who was around at the time who was consulted on this matter.
I mean, think about it, if you were going to create a brand new corps of clerks wouldn't it have been a good idea to get the opinions of some of those clerks first? I remember well the days leading up to my COMPULSORY transfer to the AGC and not one clerk I spoke to thought it was a good idea.
I was a Regimental Clerk (R Signals) and yes, believe it or not, I did know a lot of soldiers regimental numbers off by heart. And now? I am in a Finance post and floundering like ten fish out of water! Who the hell in APC looks at your docs, sees that you've been doing Regimental clerking for 10 - 15 years and decides you'll make a good pay clerk?
And on one final note - why does the AGC have one soldier doing what it used to take 3 men to do?
Hey Fedup - quit the trash about Regt Clerks being lame etc.
In my old unit the RAPC full screw & lance jack, were not trusted to be guard commanders. They were both kids and had immediate promotion and no unit experience. On one occasion the Sgt Maj tried giving the lance jack a go at Coy JNCO, he attempted it once and was removed.
When I think back to RAPC I have to admit that most of them were pretty shite, especially and being NCOs.
Also in my unit the Clerks did every NCO cadre that the rest had to do, so fitness was not an issue (cant remeber any RAPC on them).
Remember - the AGC was created to save the RAPC from being civilianised.