Why OPMI doesnt work

Discussion in 'Int Corps' started by roseandpose, Jul 12, 2006.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. In the old days, when you turned up at Ashford for your MLAT, you were required to indicate whether you wished to be:

    a) Operator Int and Sy
    b) Operator Special Intelligence (analysis)
    c) Operator Special Intelligence (linguist)

    The correct terminology for the latter 2 is 'Darksider'. The term 'Lightsider' has been used for a), but it's not as descriptive.

    Most of the time, people knew their place. In the event of you nominating (a), but it emerged that you were not the right sort, you were encouraged to change selection to (b) or (c).

    To define 'not the right sort' - If you were socially inept, prone to rocking back and forth on your bed, could not hold your liquor, were insufficient of robust good health, a nerd or had any similar traits to the late lamented Joey Deacon.

    Of course, mistakes will be made, but that's OK - there was another safety net to preserve the purity of (a).

    Those who managed to hide their darksideness through training (possibly using some kind of Sith mind trick) were soon idenitifed on operations. So we created a new place to shuffle them off to. It's called IMINT. A sort of halfway house between light and dark.

    The problem that exists now is the generic OPMI - who exactly are you getting? How are 'they' weeded out? And what about transferees? You never know what you're getting.

    Gentlemen, we need to go back to the old system. Make your choice, but have the safety system of Imagery built in case any get through the net.
  2. Indeed-that's how it was-I arrived in Ashford with A3 Sy and most of A3 Int from Int n Sy Gp V as it was then -the conversation went

    "You got a squillion on your MLAT-you are going to be a linguist"


    "OK you can be a linguist or be a civvie"

    "Well if you put it that way...."

    Actually turned out fine in the end-met the wife, got where I wanted to be , got quals etc, - just one question for roseandprose

    Is this a serious debate or yet another boring lightsider darksider bitchfest? (always started by lightside folk for some reason) in which case see other threads.

    On the serious side-the days when you could spend your 22 on one thread of the tradecraft tapestry have sadly gone and surely now it is better to be multi skilled to a reasonable level than be a mega guru at one narrow spec.
  3. So being in an Operational Pinch Point trade is not classed as one thread of tradecraft tapestry? Like to see all those at the Debilatated Humans Unit get posted elsewhere in the Corps...
  4. obviously a weeding process to get rid of those potential op ints who lack determination, tenacity and confidence i think... and putting them where they belong :)

    mine went something like this:

    "You got a squillion on your MLAT-you are going to be a linguist"


    "OK you can be a linguist or be a civvie"

    "Ok thanks for your time" *gets up, opens the door and walks out*

    "Ok, ok, you can be an Op Int."

    true story. had no idea how close i came to ending up living like a badger!

    howayman - couldn't agree more. be rather surprised if a highly qualified huminter found themselves doing a Bde int job or something, in order to "enhance their career profile" :)

    (that's an idea for another pointless thread - a phrase book which translates such gems. "enhance your career profile" = "get you to do a sh*te job that you've been avoiding like the plague for years and years")
  5. Yep, that MLAT test is one of a kind - you get rewarded for failing! :)
  6. Like most in the Corps, I work with two people who initially were either initially OPSI/OPSI(L)/OPMI(L). Both have (temporarily at least) escaped from the clutches of 14 Sigs/Digby. Neither wishes to work in the SIGINT world anymore, for all or some of the usual reasons. What is scaring both is that they have been told that they are likely to be sent back there some time soon. It's not set in stone yet, especially as it's been assumed that they are going to volunteer for the long language course and spend 18 months first and then disappear to Wales/Lincolnshire. Unsurprisingly, both are looking to pursue other options.
  7. Your post demonstrates admirably why OP MI doesn't work. Mainly because despite your protestations to the contrary, the vast majority of the 'Lightside' have already made their minds up about the 'Darkside' and reinforce their stereotypes by listening to the whinging sprog element who, with an attitude typical of modern 'yoof' think they are above doing the job they've trained for and have decided in advance that they are far better suited to doing all the Gucci jobs in the Corps which, when you get down to it, require even more hard work in bonk conditions. (and which aren't really as Gucci as everyone thinks - greener grass syndrome?)

    Despite my obvious bite, I can't really take you seriously. The main reason OP MI doesn't work, IMHO, is because the Corps has adopted a 'Jack of all trades, master of none' approach at just the time when true specialists are needed. I believe the '10 reasons why it's fun to bait Darksiders' thread is still open if you want to crack on in there...

    Not edited despite obvious sense of humour bypass.....
  8. You are wide of the mark.

    I'm not trying to bait 'darksiders' at all, just illustrating a point. I respect those who work in that aspect of the Corps, though I've never done it myself. Neither of the individuals I'm referring to are currently linguists. Both want to go to the supposedly 'boring' and non-gucci world of security sections.
  9. Sorry Invicta, I was referring to roseandpose, I just couldn't be arrsed making people trawl thru that drivel again by quoting it.
  10. No worries
  11. In the old days our Sergeant Majors used to whinge that they had not got commissioned after 12 years in the ARMY, ( Not in their rank!).

    In the real old days they used to whinge about B1 Op Int , B1 CI and the ANSIs.

    Get with the programme, in 10 years time this will all be a blurr. HUNINTers and Darksiders will both still end up running security sections in their latter years with no previous experience. Some could end up managing a set room.

    <<I've see some darksiders get further through certain courses than some North Face clones :oops: .>>

    The acid test is not who comes from the better side, but who then has the wit or wisdom as a WO or new LE Oroffice to be guided by their SNCOs and their experience when they move to a new role for the first time.
  12. and still do. Nothing has changed there!

    A lot of LE's are too overwieght to run, or suffering from some form of "war wound" picked up whilst on "ops" with Ginge and Minky...etc You also seem to be implying that their management skills magically improve on commissioning. I know mine haven't. I am still reliant upon my EFP2!!

    Yes! I love to see the looks on the faces of those who are considered "sure bets", but end up being RTU'd as they are considered "not suitable for further training". I know some great darksiders who excell in the North Face environment.[/quote]

    yep, another learning curve. It is hard sometimes to accept that, although having served longer, you don't always have the right answer! Just most of the time :)
  13. 'In the good old days' I turned up at Ashford and for the next few years thought I was in the RCT again. Only this time I got to drive a small brown Mini instead of of a f* off big growly thing wot could eat trees. Nobody even suggested to me that I should go on the tour of that place up North; maybe I didn't have the right shade of acne, or was too dim or something...
  14. Albeit the opening post was clearly intended to be another "let's try and bait the darkside" thread, but strangely the posts actually started to reflect the title of the thread.

    Can anyone hand-on-heart say that the implementation of OPMI has been a success? I doubt it; I have yet to hear anybody honestly say that it is working. Obviously, we get the SO1's from the Directorate and the representatives from MCM Div visiting the units giving the official version of events, but the tone lately has been hinting that change is on the horizon.

    My question is: what is the next step? From a linguist perspective, I am strongly in favour of a separate linguist trade; and I think it will be happening soon. The current situation with regards to linguist selection and training is clearly not working. Even if a recruit joins the Army to be a linguist in the Intelligence Corps, the chances of them actually getting to be a linguist are slim; there are too many factors working against them. Firstly, the Corps now recruits OPMI's. They go to Templar for their Phase 2 Training, and then they are rushed out to their first unit. The Corps tries to trawl these individuals back to sit in a classroom for 18 months, something that is clearly going to have an effect on how they are reported on and ultimately their promotion prospects. There is also an issue of whether this individual then becomes an OPMI(L) straight away, or whether they stay as an OPMI for the next 4 years. Which they technically should do, as an OPMI(L) has to be an OPMI for 2 tours in order to lose the (L) accolade. Added to this, there are no guarantees that the individual will get to hear about the language courses that are available. They seek advice from the Chain of Command, where they will probably be advised against undertaking language training, on the grounds mentioned in numerous anti-darkside threads.

    So is the way forward to take a step back; revert back to the previous system of Phase 1 Training, Phase 2 Training and then on to language training? I would say, probably not. There is too much 'Training' there. The soldier will have been in the Army for two years before they get to their first working unit. Cleary you could not dispense with Phase 1 Training, and a linguist without language training would not be much use to the Corps. However, there are many aspects of the current Phase 2 Training at Templar that are not relevant to the linguist trade. If we directly recruit linguists into a linguist trade, where the recruit moves from Phase 1 Training to Phase 2 Training which is designed for the OPMI(L) trade. Oddly enough, this is how the RAF does it, and they do not have a problem with recruiting linguists. In fact they have got so many linguists 20 are being made redundant later in the year.

    As for the old OPSI trade, well if the Corps does not address that issue then the Royal Signals are only too happy to keep stealing the posts. They have got more Spec Ops than they know what to do with. There are already Supvr's (Radio) filling posts that really should be Int Corps SSgt, WO2 and WO1's. Not to mention all of the Spec Ops employed in 'Military Intelligence Analysis'.
  15. I agree with almost all of that.(Y)

    I definitely don't think that the majority of what you learn in Phase 2 is relevant to a linguist, I know I have forgotten 3/4 of everything I learned there, if not more. If a seperate Phase 2 was set up for linguists I think a lot more people would be up for taking that path, because at the end of the day 2 years plus is a long, long while to be in training.