The turnout of Major units for this years RLC CORPSAAM was at the best dissapointing, at the worst a blatant dereliction of a fundamental military skill.

CORPSAAM provides an ideal opportunity for a young officer to 'put themselves out there'. Yet at this years event there were 4 YO's. My own experience of trying to get them to compete is disheartening to say the least, being met with such replies as "far to cold in feb" "I really am very busy" "Shooting?".

In the current operational climate where a SOLDIER be they chef, supplier, driver etc may be called upon to actually responsibly discharge their weapon in support or defence of others the representation of the Corp this year was dismall.

I have heard the phrase "whats CORPSAAM then" countless times which would indicate that it is not very well plugged within the RLC. Yet evry year we put on Orders the request for support for shooting teams "come along etc" and CORPSAAM is the same time every year and has always been so.


Im ex RAOC and RLC and funnily enough you are right in what you say. It seems that only aa select few ever get the chance as , dare I utter it, seniors and officers would rather see vehicles greased and stores counted!
I completed last year and enjoyed it, that we went onto DIVSAAM and got lads over to Bisley as well. The reason why this year i and a team could not get to the CORPSAAM was after trying to rasie a team at last minute (as always we do!), couldn't get people released from Sqns. :x

Trying to get a team for the SAAM in Germany (by the way anyone know the dates and where new to Germany?) and afer placing said request on Regt Pt 1, i got the grand total of no replies. It isn't the fact that seniors and officers would rather see vehicles greased and stores counted, it is getting the time and the right caliber of bloke to compete, and as we all know these days no matter what line of job we are in the blokes that you need are the younger element, but they do not want to put the effort in as it means early starts, late finishes and the occassion weekend. :evil:

Last year the team that i was with trained for 4-5 months and we won silverware, this year they had a great team again. Shows what can happen if the young blood get involved early enough. :D
I loved shooting and shot on a regular basis at SEDSAAM and CORPSAAM. As time has moved on it is not just the Friday early finish and sports afternoons that have faded out. Other good stuff like shooting has also faded out. Soldier first - apparently not, it is just an old saying now and certainly not practised. All those on a "We love the RLC" campaign I am sure will now enlighten me that I am wrong, that I should walk out of work and go shooting waving my RLC flag. Soldier first - I wish.

Amended to also add that shooting not only takes people out of work but also costs money. It is also enjoyable (now we have got rid of most bad MTI's) so work must come first.
Costs money yes but the investment in skills and practice is certainly worth the outlay. Totally agree it is the young blood we should be investing in but where is the leadership from the junior sub alterns. Surely it should not be up to WO's/SNCOs and LE officers all the time. I firmly beleive in the soldier first attitude and any of my troops will vouch for that, but my point is in a Corp of approx 12000 soldiers why is shooting so badly supported...........12000 soldiers 130 at a major Corp competition!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11
I would love to join you on the ranges. I would love to get the lads out but who is going to take up the work. We barely manage to get the APWT in. Our Sqn is planning to do Mil training at weekends as there is no time during the week. We have no slack in the system to allow us the time to do the good stuff, the stuff I joined up for. I read with interest a REME thread and some of them also seem to be in the same boat. The only answer I can see is to turn back the clock to pre Options for Change.

The very stuff people join up for is put second in the work place, infact I think it is lower on the priority order than H&S. Shooting, good training, OTX's and courses help retain soldiers but we don't drop everything and make these our priority. I would far rather be on the ranges than sat in my office and I assure you I am as disillusioned by it as you are. I had a good friend leave the Army, infact he was forced out as he was told to make a choice, his climbing expeds or his trade.

Soldiers first - we should be but soldiering does not come first in my part of the RLC.
Well as we all know the Army just isnt what it used to be..... Now its just work, work and some more work. If units cant find time for sports afternoons or NAAFI breaks then they sure aint gonna find the time to allow soldiers to get away and compete in CORPSAAM. I strongly think more bosses should realise that the work will still be there the next day. It aint gonna run away! I do agree that some things need to be done but bosses are so insecure these days they feel the need to have lads around for a "just incase plan". Values and standards springs to mind.
shootingchef388 said:
Costs money yes but the investment in skills and practice is certainly worth the outlay. Totally agree it is the young blood we should be investing in but where is the leadership from the junior sub alterns. Surely it should not be up to WO's/SNCOs and LE officers all the time. I
Yes i agree with the statement that all subbies should be leading from the front, however in the form of competitions, not all can get away from the workplace and do it. Last year i was out from work for 4-5 months, but i still had to do the work at nights (didn't mind though as i was out of the office and doing something that i enjoyed, and to be honest the whole year i was out and about for, great but you still need to do the normal jobs that subbies do).

But as shootingchef said, it should not be up to WO's/SNCO's to lead all the time, it is not. At present i fight all the time to get blokes onto courses that aren't trade linked with said WO's, why, because it will career foul them later on. MY ARRSE!! This is what becomes when you have people who are blinkered in trade and nothing else matters to them.

Still there are ways and means. :D
values and standards - like it a lot especially "selfless commitment". We must all be in a position surely, that we can let our soldiers away with out the security in numbers scenario....... i would gladly stand in front of the OC/CO and state Pte Fu%$£nuts is shooting sir that is why i'm in me whites/covys etc.

Yes we are heavily committed and yes there is an abundance of work out there in all trades and yes the work will still be there, ask yourselves this though is a soldier who has grafted for weeks going to graft any harder without a change or without a reward.

I am sure there are managers out there that actively discourage their soldiers to take part/volunteer for shooting teams when they re-alise the time involved.........in fact i know of an intsnace when a soldier voluntered and was disuaded by his troop sgt using the fact he would only get one weeks easter leave.....top manager!!!!!!!!!!!

I frimly beleive there are always a ways and means..if it was a two week diving expedition to the caribean....volunteers please!!!!!!!!!!
Marky, there is alot of work that is crap. Changing policy notices on boards because you have a new CO. Updating risk assesments because there is an audit around the corner. Managerial checks, inspections, audits on the audits to check that they have all been audited. LSI, PRE, Fire, SHEF it goes on and on. As I said I know where I would rather be. Somebody needs to rationalise all this crap so we can steal some time for the good stuff. Problem is that if some time is created then more work will be dished out as soldiering takes a poor second place.
perhaps some soldiers are just more intrested in turning out fot their resective regt's sports teams going on leave or just blatenly cant be bothered or intrested as it takes up to much of their presious "personal" time ?.
I must admit I was totally unaware of the CorpsSAAM until I read it on here. I used to love shooting but have seen it slip into once a year "Oh bugger it's ATD time lets have a day on the ranges to waste some rounds".

You are correct, shooting is a skill that needs to be practised, and if it is practised in a non-pressure way more people will enjoy it and then hopefully more will shoot at competition.

What am I going to do about it? Sadly nothing. Work takes priority, and shooting is not an integral part of work.
Maybe we should change the title of this thread.

An underlying problem here is that the managers among us both senior and junior are letting this work thing go too far.

I cant for one minute believe that units are too busy that they have to do Mil Trg at weekends, what trade is that?

Tha RLC has bread a bunch of managers that are afraid to deviate from normal work and allow their troops to do the other things ie sports afternoons, Adv Trg cse's, early knock off, non trade cse's and the rest of it that has long gone.

I am no SAA inst but could imagine the amount of work that goes into arranging a day on the ranges just for ITD's(MATTS), trying to organise a day of "fun Shoots" or further trg would probably get the big F O from the Qm's with the excuse that its a waste of money or rounds or that they dont even have enough rounds!!!

There are some skills that need practising regularly shooting being one of them, you only need to look at the amount of failures on a recent telic trg range pckage.

That Army of today has lost that work hard play hard ethos, as has been said before its now work hard, work harder.
At the risk of getting a good slagging from the rest of the Corps, whilst accepting that everybody is busy these days, anybody on the strength of 11 EOD Regt (not just AT's but drivers, sup specs and R Sigs too) would find it difficult to get more than 10 members of the Regt in one place at one time - unless its Iraq/Afghanistan/NI. While I agree that shooting is absolutely vital and is a basic skill, ops will always override training. At this moment in time the only way you can get these individuals together is at weekends and evenings - including those on duty. I would be delighted to give my guys time off, sports afternoons etc. The problem is every time I try to do that there's no-one there. I totally agree with your sentiment on the Army of today - work hard, work harder. And before anybody says "if you don't like it sign off', thanks - I will.
melchers completely disagree with you.shooting is an integral part of our work, why would we be taught it so early if it wasn't.

would i rather go on tour with someone who can shoot or some one who can skip past a full back or stay upright on skis.......now let me think????????

Jonney the managers out there may be snowed under but there is always a way to release lads.......never had a drama getting ammunition, the shoots are fun but they also reflect what the APWT should have done years ago a relevant operational shooting policy to ensure we can all engage in positions apart from prone without the scary fig 11/12 hurting us.

11 regt spread to the four winds can perhaps under stand your position.

The bottom line here is soldiers cannot be bothered with the one overiding skill that defines us all.......it does impact on work time, leisure time, leave other training, it takes a great deal to organise, it costs money and troops/sqns/regts will loose manpower for a prolonged period, but so does skiing/adv trg/battlefield tours/sports etc.
There are always exceptions to the rule...without doubt we are an extremely busy Corps (in fact...who isn't?) and shooting unfortunately comes way down the list of competitive sporting activities where the majority of Commanders (at all levels) are concerned. At every shooting competition I have attended, whether it was CORPSAAM, DIVSAAM or Bisley the teams represented were all led by the same group if individuals each year...the unit did not matter...it was the keen individual that took that interest and charisma with him wherever he was posted and got the troops and young Subbies interested and involved.

Most soldiers if asked would probably tell you that they would rate time on the ranges as appealing as stagging on on a New Years Eve...they think this because of the way they are treated from Basic Training whilst on the range...they associate range days as an unpleasant experience because they are generally messed around, are not correctly instructed in the marksmanship principles and most importantly, do not get the time on a range day to properly apply their application of shots at the various ranges in the different positions before they go on to do an APWT...and then they miss and we all wonder why!!! How on earth is anybody expected to zero with a few rounds at 100m and then move on to engage targets in different positions at 300ms without any application...or perhaps I have missed something. The soldier then just gets p155ed off because he feels he is achieving nothing and switches off...only to be run through the shoot again and again until he either scrapes by or stumbles off dejectedly with a fail. On top of the good old range stew or white death box for lunch and the occasional run up and down the range with your weapon above your head this just about rounds off the average day at the ranges.

My main point (eventually) is that like all sports, unless you have someone keen pushing the Bosses to enter these events they will just fall flat on their face. The main exception with this particular sport (yes...Skill At Arms Combat Shooting is a recognised Army Sport) is that it is also one of our main basic soldierly requirements. Those of us that are interested have just got to keep pushing the younger soldiers and subbies to compete...and whilst you are out at the range don't be **** about it...be safe but make it enjoyable and have a laugh. I have dragged many a soldier kicking and screaming onto a range after spotting their scores on APWTs...and once you show them it is not just about running up and down the range with you weapon above your head and the team comaraderie kicks in, spookily enough they suddenly realise range days can be enjoyable.

For those that know me then you know how keen I am to do the shooting...it is not about fat people laying around on the grass all day anymore, it is kit on, obstacle courses, tabbing down the road on the Para Cup, legging down an Ash Ranges hill side trying to do acrobatics over the Team Snap obstacles, snap shooting like some over the top Tarantino movie on the FIBUA Match, breathing through your arse after sprinting balls out and firing more rounds on automatic than you can keep up with on the LSW Match and having a great time with the rest of the team (and other teams) throughout the competition periods.

We are all busy, admittedly some more so than others, but to use this same excuse over and over again is just lame. What ever it may be, if you want to do something, you can make the time for it, if you don't want to do it then get back into your room and play with your computer games.

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