why have we got 500 Colonels?

army one hundred thousand give or take a few hundred :(
thats a max what 100 command slot maybe 200 tops
100 staff slots
so why have we 3 to 1 ratio of staff to command
there can't be that many plans surely?
I think you know the answer to that one already, don't you? Either that or you're a bit on the slow side.

Deleted 20555

Probably due to a shortage in well paid not particularly taxing in mind or body work that has the attached social cachet that is required for an ex-Colonel.

The MOD is just keeping them turning over so to speak - I mean what would they do otherwise? There's hardly enough decent golf Clubs for them to act as club secretary for now is there?
And 250+ Brigadiers
Colonels don't run golf clubs...Majors run golf clubs!!
Cuddles said:
Colonels don't run golf clubs...Majors run golf clubs!!
Exactly, Colonels end up as public school bursars.

Are honourary Colonels included in that?

And are we strictly talking about 2 pip, one Crown full Colonels here?

Just for clarification

I thought the reason that we have more 'Senior staff' still on the pay role was that in the event of a mass mobalisation, it take Years to train up Staff Officers and then organise their working departments.
jonwilly said:
I thought the reason that we have more 'Senior staff' still on the pay role was that in the event of a mass mobalisation, it take Years to train up Staff Officers and then organise their working departments.
If we do that then why not retain SNCOs and WOs for their extensive knowledge and experience? How do they oranise their working departments? it is a case of 'get me' ' fetch me' 'I want'.

What do alot of theses retained officers bring to the party apart from a drain on the system? Fiascos like BOWMAN and Apache spring to mind. The wages saved could be spent on improving the living conditions in the blocks and quarters.

I'll get off my soap bx now :D
ffs 250 brigadiers thats insane!
50 would be tearing the arrse out of things but 250 :roll:


Book Reviewer
What we really need is 250 Brigadiers, 500 Colonels, 1000 Lt Colonels, 2000 majors, 30000 Captains, 150,000 Lt's, 200000 Staff Sargeants, 500,000 Sergeant Majors, 800,000 SNCOs, 1,000,000 JNCOs and 5 squaddies.

This way, if ever WW3 breaks out, we'll be ready and only have to train up the masses a la WW1.

Job done.
I had a conversation along these lines just the other day.

Many people are blissfully unaware of just how over officered we are, especially at the higher levels.
That's peanuts.

The RAF have 92 Air Commodores, 40 Air Marshalls and 340 Group Captains. IIRC that's more aircraft than we have.

Someone been reading "Lions, Donkeys and Dinosaurs" by Lewis Page have we?
By same logic we must only need one RSM per Regt/Bn. Get rid of all the other WO1s?

Or is that a bit simplistic?

Colonel rank has always been a bit of an anachronism. The fact that some officers skip it completely probably proves point. Same could be said of 2Lt nowadays.
Er, because being a middle ranking officer is a poorly paid sh1t show. If you want to keep all the little worker bees who run the army as majors and daren't retire because of their pension and boarding school allowance, you have to offer them the opportunity of a career.

I don't care myself - I am out of here.
Why do we have 500 Colonels? Because 500 awfully nice chaps have been marking time at LtCol for a bit too long.
Defence is a very big beast, and in parts hugely bureaucratic.

An officer can expect to spent approx 2/3rds of his career at staff, with the remaining time spent at comd/RD, that's just a fact of life.

Now, if we didn't have so many senior officers who would be responsible for the higher level issues and defence management?

It's already acknowledged that joe public is out of touch with the military and that civil service penny-pinchers have mal-alligned priorities, imagine how bad it would be without uniformed personnel embedded in projects, or without senior officer consultation in planning etc.

Before you have a pop at how many senior officers there are, think about where they are employed, the jobs they do and what would be the alternative would be?


Ps i agree, the RAF is massively over-represented in its senior officer corps.

PPS. Lewis Page's book is an utter pile of sh!te and merely illustrates just how naieve he is, and that he was a passed over junior officer.
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