Working Class Officers?

Can a Commissioned Officer, also be working class?


  • Total voters
    2
#1
Is there such a thing? Is this an oxymoron?

A recent conversation with FP got me thinking.......

(And before anyone starts taking offence, I went to a 'free' comprehensive school & don't speak like a toff. I am confused about my actual & perceived social class)

Historically, Officers have come from the top echelons of society. but since the practice of buying your Commission finished, Officers have come from many walks of life.

What does 'working class' actually mean these days?

If an Officer announces their engagement in say the Daily Telegraph, all announcements are listed in social order, with Officers coming above Doctors and even some titled persons.

So, if someone is an Officer who holds the Queens Commission.... Can they also be described as working class?

Feel free to slate away..... :)
 
#2
Depends whether they get out of the bath for a wee.
 
#3
A simple answer here from a simple (ton). I had to use a dictionary to define the term working class.

"The socioeconomic class consisting of people who work for wages, especially low wages, including unskilled and semiskilled laborers and their families." or

a social class comprising those who do manual labor or work for wages; "there is a shortage of skilled labor in this field"

By definition, ruperts and their like can not allow themselves the privilege and title of working class. Even those giddly little subalterns that insist on getting their hands dirty to show the lads that they too can muck in. Bugger orf back to your CP sir, there is a superbly qualified lance jack standing right next to you who IS working class.
 
#4
Yes, of course both officers and doctors can be from working class backgrounds! My Dad's a mechanical engineer (left school with precisely zero O levels) and my Mum was a school cook. I still got into med school and from there the factory (RMAS) so - in short - a resounding YES to your question.
 

B_G_L

Old-Salt
#5
An officer may be from a working class background but having attended education past 16 and RMAS he is classed (by those that class these things) as a professional and therefore performing a middle class job. This works in the same way that a doctor attends medical school and is therefore professionally qualified.

This is all a bit meaningless these days as many tradesmen hold professional qualifications but I suppose they are technically Artisans and therefore at the top end of being working class or prehaps the bottom end of middle class(?)

Here's a collection of essays;

http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/list.php?subject=197

Googling gives this nice little slightly humourous explanation;

http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/questions/class.htm
 
#7
RAMC_Medic said:
.....My Dad's a mechanical engineer (left school with precisely zero O levels) and my Mum was a school cook. I still got into med school and from there the factory (RMAS) so - in short - a resounding YES to your question.
So, would that make your parents working class, but you 'higher' because you gained a professional qual, then a Queen's Commission?

Just because someone's parents are working class, does that automatically mean their offspring are also working class?

Good posts everyone.... It's interesting to get everyones views :)
 
#8
No, that would make me working class as my roots are working class. As for (in the unlikely event of my ever having ...) kid(s) - well, you could ask them when they're born plus 25 years!
 
#9
Yes, of course both officers and doctors can be from working class backgrounds!
Thats missing the point, the background isnt important, its what you are NOW, and officers cant be working class, by definition (as seen above). My father got a commission from the ranks. Was working class but not anymore. Thats my opinion anyway.
 
#10
Surely its the difference in perception.

I consider myself Middle Class.
The Daily Telegraph (apparently) considers me Upper Class.
The 9/12 Lancers would probably consider me Working Class.

What about Sir Alan Sugar? I'm sure he considers himself as Working Class, but by his Knighthood he is granted Upper Class status.
 
#11
Bomb_Doctor said:
Is there such a thing? Is this an oxymoron?

A recent conversation with FP got me thinking.......

(And before anyone starts taking offence, I went to a 'free' comprehensive school & don't speak like a toff.


But toffs no longer speak like toffs. Clipped vowels are out, and "estuary English" is in. The letter "t" is seldom pronounced by Ruperts who have attended major public schools (or even minor public schools and have aspirations) and their schooling is carefully concealed. Where will it all end ?
 
#12
Despite being an Officers brat. I have always considered myself working class.

I have paid my way through uni once and I am now paying my own way again and I consider that I have worked low paid jobs. Currently I am working for the Local Authority and the MoD and neither of them pay me very well. I am also self employed but then again I don't earn that much when you take my overheads into account.

Inconclusion I have not got a scooby doo.
 
#13
Father was CO, Mother stayed at home (apart from helping out at the Church fete), Brother is a minister of the cloth. Educated at a cost, and spent much time travelling. However I have been to Glastonbury and got muddy, I flyfished while growing up and have even been known to dabble in ladies of poor reputation.

So yes I would consider myself working class.

Actually - I was educated at a flick-knife comprehensive, scraped a degree in a bizzare subject becasue my original course booted me off for drinking / playing too much rugby / dabbling in fillies, and have had a spell on the wrong side of the law. But the boy still managed to find direction in life.

Wetlove,
RRR
 
#14
My opinions on this subject:

Can officers be from a working class background? Yes.
Can officers still be working class after commissioning? No, this is patently absurd. By the definition of working class, the occupation that they now undertake means they are no longer working class.
Are officers who insist on still being working class a bit sad? Yes, like it or not they are now, by the nature of their rank, position and occupation - middle class, until they are so promoted that they are condisdered upper class. People are rightly proud of their working class roots, but must accept the reality of the situation.

Class is about what others perceive you as, not what you perceive yourself as. However much you think of yourself as working class, how much do you really believe you (an army officer) has in common with the average man in a Working Men's Club? Do you honestly think that your life of Officers' Mess black tie functions, soldiers saluting you and comfortable salary equates to his life? You may have had a similar background to him, however your lives now are poles apart. To consider yourself still as working class does yourself and the real working class a disservice.

Whilst this matter is subjective, some objectivity can be achieved by considering how society in general perceives people by the use of generally acccepted norms and standards. For those people who really care about what class they are (I am not one) I suggest reading Debrett's Guide to Etiquette and Modern Manners. Whilst you may not agree with its content it demonstrates what 'society' considers the norm. It is a very interesting read (no, honestly!), I particulary like its definition of a gentleman as someone (male) who never allows a lady in his presence to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed.

Feel free to take me to task over this.
 
#15
Special_Kind_Of_Cynicism said:
My opinions on this subject:


Class is about what others perceive you as, not what you perceive yourself as. However much you think of yourself as working class, how much do you really believe you (an army officer) has in common with the average man in a Working Men's Club? Do you honestly think that your life of Officers' Mess black tie functions, soldiers saluting you and comfortable salary equates to his life? You may have had a similar background to him, however your lives now are poles apart. To consider yourself still as working class does yourself and the real working class a disservice.


Feel free to take me to task over this.
With the greatest respect.

Firstly working class people now attend black tie functions, cruising is now a holiday that the masses book. Working class belong to the Masons and even the Rotary. The middle and Working class blend.

We now have a class of scum who remain on the dole all of there working lives.

Working class or Trades men are now so few they command great wages.

Middle Class and Upper Middle Class again blend.

And no one has the same respect for "The IT girls and Boys" who are the supposed Upper Class.

I can't engage my brain to anymore currently its sunday and I am relaxing with a glass of "Pride Mountain Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon" and awaiting the serving staff inviting us to the table :wink:
 
#16
I fear this is absolutely correct. Classes tend to blend.

Except (unfortunately) for an underclass who do fk all except sponge off everyone else, and complain about public services. Their lives are dominated by magnifying their DLA benefits, claiming free travel and medicines, avoiding council tax, smoking, watching their satellite tvs, drinking "superlager" or possibly "buckfast tonic wine", buying absurd porly-coordinated "designer" clothing and idiotic checked caps, and becoming fatter and fatter. Presumably these people must be capable of some sort of work - even collecting up dog crap off the pavements, so why can they do nothing at all and claim benefits????? It is these people who drain the NHS of funds, and constantly demand their "rights". Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country".
 
#17
Bomb_Doctor said:
Is there such a thing? Is this an oxymoron?

A recent conversation with FP got me thinking.......

(And before anyone starts taking offence, I went to a 'free' comprehensive school & don't speak like a toff. I am confused about my actual & perceived social class)

Historically, Officers have come from the top echelons of society. but since the practice of buying your Commission finished, Officers have come from many walks of life.

What does 'working class' actually mean these days?

If an Officer announces their engagement in say the Daily Telegraph, all announcements are listed in social order, with Officers coming above Doctors and even some titled persons.

So, if someone is an Officer who holds the Queens Commission.... Can they also be described as working class?

Feel free to slate away..... :)
Working class these days is an attempt by some to "fit in" or pretend to be something they aren't.

Officers who try to be one of the lads, when they've gotten their A levels by staying in education, then got their degree, perhaps a couple of years lounging around in a non-job or travelling before going through the mill at RMAS before hitting their future unit.

They may have working class roots, but the path they have followed has taken them from the working class and placed them in the middle classes.

They might be able to go back to the council house they were raised in for a visit, but their hard work and effort has provided them with a life and a career that their friends who didn't make the same efforts, can't understand or even fit in with.
 
#19
Chief_Two said:
Are Warrant Officers considered to be working class?
Good point, what would the top soldier in a battalion (The RSM) be considered class wise?
If the man was then to obtain a LE Commission would he then ascend to middle class with the rank of Captain, or retain his 'working class' status, presuming thats what he considered himself on entry to the Army? Anyone with experience of the latter care to comment?

Cheers easy!
 
#20
In response to princess_combat:

Those members of the working class who attend black tie functions, are members of the rotary, have skilled professions where they work for themselves and command a large salary are, despite what they might think, not actually working class. They may have come from a working class background but their current status is that of middle class. This was one of the fundamenatal points of my original post. The reality of today is that there was a considerable transition of people from working class to middle class in the 80's. Without getting too political, Mrs Thatcher's impact on British society was profound. Many traditional working class people were able to own their own homes, become their own bosses and generally become more affluent. As such they joined the growing middle class but still considered themselves working class. Post-Thatcherite Britain is that of a large middle class and a declining working class, however many people identify themselves with the class that they were born into hence regard themselves as working class.
 

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