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Time to do what's right?

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Time to do what's right?

Old 6th Nov 2006, 22:05
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Time to do what's right?

Sirs, Maams, Ladies and Gents...

I have noticed, whilst browsing through the threads on this site (Over a few years) - not to mention 17 yrs of crewroom chat, that there are many people, of all services, contributing to various discussions with much to say.

It is blindingly obvious to me (and I suspect many of you) that many senior officers and politicians who control the military are often removed from reality and, at times (like now!!!) appear not have a clue what is actually happening on the front line and at our training bases in the UK. My AOC seems to be on the ball, but other Senior Officers in the chain if command are, quite simply, either blind and deaf, or just plain stupid. They refuse to acknowledge (As do the morons we call the government (and to a large extent the opposition), the bare faced facts that the people on the front line are telling them - or worse, when questioned by the media, they lie. WE do NOT have the equipment we need ( I have not shot a live round in 9 yrs and I have remained CCS current!). Our aircraft are falling apart whilst Abbey Wood (The logistics centre nr Bristol set up, seemingly, to employ civil servants) has millions spent on it. Experienced personnel are leaving the military in droves (PMA TELL THE TRUTH - HOW MANY PILOTS STAY AT THEIR 38/16 OPTION???).

People of influence read this website - tell them how it is through a defined medium - here's my idea.

I propose this:

A commitee meets once a month to discuss, specifically, the miltary and what is right/wrong/good/bad/needs changing/leave alone etc.

The committee will consist of:

1 VERY senior Officer of each service (Min 2 Star)
1 Officer of OF3 Rank of each service
1 Junior Officer
1 SNCO and JNCO of each service

At least 1MP from each Party: Either the Armed forced Minister, Defence Secretary. PM or Dep PM (God help us - the man obviously crawled out of the gene pool when the lifeguard wasn't looking ).

AND MEMBERS OF THE PRESS

(Before the 'fishing' slogans appear, I am a current, serving officer (pilot - RAF).

The Rules:

The personnel attending are rotated every month, with no person allowed to appear twice in a twelve month period (except the cabinet ministers). The forces personnel submit their names and are selected randomly.

Unclassified Minutes are posted on the forces website and made available to the press (MOD won't like that - might expose the unbelievable incompetence of many of our senior officers - Gov't will hate it even more for much the same reason).

The MOD Intranet includes a site where personnel can ask questions and make comment that will go directly to the committee.

Personnel on the committee are free to say what they feel (within the official secrets act obviously), without fear of reprisal from small minded, career driven senior officers (there are 1 or 2 around...)

ALL recommendations by the committee are PROPERLY investigated by qualified service people, selected by the committee (every member has an equal vote) (NOT CIVIL SERVANTS - I am not a customer or a service provider - the only service I provide is death, and I am paid to do it - How does that fall into your IIP ethos???!!!) - get the message yet?!

I could go on (and indeed I probably will in time), but for now, dear fellow military friends, I would appreciate you thoughts.

Good luck to those away from home, and lucky you to those who are not.

Some of us still care and remember why we joined.

EE
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Old 6th Nov 2006, 22:09
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I know we could call it errrrrrrr................. The Armed Forces Federation.
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Old 6th Nov 2006, 22:37
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You would probably get the same old wheeled out responses that appear in the RAF news to difficult questions. Interestingly, the US Army paper recently had an editorial the called for Donald Rumsfeld to stand down, i just cant see anyone sticking there neck out that far.
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Old 6th Nov 2006, 23:05
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Refer to JSP101, if you please. You have made a number of points, some of which are good. With paragraph markings we could address them specifically.

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Old 6th Nov 2006, 23:22
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I suppose in essence the spirit of the thread is correct but in many forms we already have this. Certainly in the RN the system is in place for gripes and moans and has been since Nelson invented it.

The comment reference "How many pilots stay at the 38/16 point" was interesting. Why do you think the Armed Forces have a 38/16 point? Is it a nice thing for ther boys to have so that when they get to a certain age they have the option of going or staying? Or is it put there on purpose because when a guy gets to 38 we don't want him any more?

The MOD Intranet site has a page where people can ask questions...??? you need to look at the MOD Intranet site a little more closely.
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Old 7th Nov 2006, 00:25
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More (unfettered) access to the top brass would be a start. When was the last CAS' conference - notwithstanding the streaming address from 32 Sqn's crewroom.
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Old 7th Nov 2006, 07:23
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(Before the 'fishing' slogans appear, I am a current, serving officer (pilot - RAF).
Mmm, must be in 1 Group then.

Don't understand the lack of bullets. I fired my SLP every year to the bitter end.

Why do you think the Armed Forces have a 38/16 point? Is it a nice thing for ther boys to have so that when they get to a certain age they have the option of going or staying? Or is it put there on purpose because when a guy gets to 38 we don't want him any more?
This is an entirely different question and most likely is related to recruiting. As the 38/16 has survived over 45 years it seems to be perceived as very useful.

At its inception the aim was to get bums on seat, and in a number of offices although far fewer than today. The previous 41 exit point meant people were entering the civilian job market over the hill and this was disliked in the service and seen as a disincentive to recruitment.

A full-career, no option, would have been a recruitment stop as people would have been reluctant to commit to a long time of military discipline. Indeed 38/16 was too far in the future for many. For some they took a SSC of just 5 years - for a pilot that was one operational tour and then exit. There was a futher scheme with options at 8, 12 and 38/16 as well as a straight 38/16.

The difference between the last two was a massive 22% pay hike during training and the apocryphal promise of the pick of the postings. Yes, for one pound per week (£16 total) guys waived the chance of options at 8 and 12 years.

The full-career option at the outset would also have led to a severely aging population in the Air Force. Redundancies was unheard of in those days as we seemed to be expanding year on year. The first, early 70s cuts, probably reflected the demise of Hunter, Canberra, Shackleton, Argosy, Hastings and then Belfast, Britannia, Comet, and the draw down in MEAF and FEAF.

The 38/16 worked with a Supplementary List aircrew intake of over 100 pr month. The special Cranditz intake was possibly nearer 100 per year and these cadets were offered permanent commissions to 55. AFAIR they were not given a 38/16 option.

Today the requirement is virtually unchanged - to sustain fresh blood into the service and encourage them with an attractive mid-life exit option. Advertisement of the PVR option would be a negative recruiting incentive.
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Old 7th Nov 2006, 08:31
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PN

As one who left as his 38/16 point, I concur all of this except that 41 isn't too late to enter the civilian job market: 44 is really about tops if you want to have a go at a good second career.
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Old 7th Nov 2006, 08:59
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the only service I provide is death, and I am paid to do it - How does that fall into your IIP ethos???!!!)


Therein lies the nub, a creeping civilian ethos and its corporate bullshit with mission statements, "visions" (WTF? CAS been to Lourdes?) and such crap might work in some aspects of some civvy companies but is not suited to the military.

Pity there is no "roll back" button to press like on a PC. 1975 would be a good re-start point.

Oh, and buy some napalm.
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Old 7th Nov 2006, 09:09
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GMP, remember I was talking about the 41/44 point in the 50s when I think the average expectancy for a male worker was 65 and it was fairly common for full career officers to die before they drew their OAP.

41/44 was well into late middle age. Remember also that real men smoked Players Extra Strong.












Bring back cheap booze and cheap fags. That'll save the pensions for the survivors
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Old 7th Nov 2006, 10:12
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" "visions" (WTF? CAS been to Lourdes?) "

Good words Gainesy!
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Old 7th Nov 2006, 14:57
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Originally Posted by 1771 DELETE View Post
You would probably get the same old wheeled out responses that appear in the RAF news to difficult questions. Interestingly, the US Army paper recently had an editorial the called for Donald Rumsfeld to stand down, i just cant see anyone sticking there neck out that far.
The Army Times is privately-owned, and not the 'US Army paper'; ie it is not an official mouthpiece.
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Old 7th Nov 2006, 16:02
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Originally Posted by Gainesy View Post
Therein lies the nub, a creeping civilian ethos and its corporate bullshit with mission statements, "visions" (WTF? CAS been to Lourdes?) and such crap might work in some aspects of some civvy companies but is not suited to the military.
That is part of the problem. Many of the career MoD Civil Servants would also agree with you. The rot began when Governments became obsessed with commercial practices as a means of gaining value for money. Then we had the management consultants thrust upon us. They didn't understand our ways nor our phraseology. To make them learn to understand us would have cost money so we grasped the language of Business (particularly that of the Harvard Business School). Before DLO and IPT/MDGs were invented, operators of the military support chain, well the RN side anyway, were forever being compared with Woolworths and Marks and Spencers. What was successful for them had to be good for the Services. The fact that they were there to make the most profit while military supply sought to make the least loss was beside the point. Also, if they had a store range that wasn't profitable, they could bin/mag/gash it and the Customer could go elsewhere. Wow! that's a really great philosophy for supporting old, complex and hard worked equipment. The thing that continues to amaze me is the readiness with which Service officers grasped the Commercial ways and business-speak. It's like watching newly converted evangelists with missionary zeal.

Rant disengaged, Thread re-acquired.

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Old 7th Nov 2006, 16:28
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Consultants!!??!!

GBZ - nail squarely on head.
Thought you might appreciate this one:
Once upon a time there was a shepherd looking after his sheep on the side of a deserted road in the Highlands. Suddenly a brand new bright red Porsche 911 appears and screeches to a halt beside him. The driver, a woman wearing a Chanel suit, Ray Bans and a Cartier watch, steps out and asks the shepherd:
"If I can guess how many sheep you have can I keep one?"
The shepherd looks at the large flock and says "OK".
The woman connects a lap top to a mobile phone, enters a NASA website, scans the field using satellite imagery, opens a database linked to 60 Excel files filled with logarithms and pivot tables, and then prints out a report on a high tech mini printer. She studies the report and says to the shepherd:
"You have exactly 1,586 sheep".
The shepherd replies “That's correct. You can have the pick of my flock."
The woman packs away her equipment, looks at the flock and puts one in the boot of the Porsche. As she is about to leave the shepherd says:
"If I can guess your profession will you return the animal to me?"
The woman thinks for a moment then agrees.
The shepherd says, "You are a Defence consultant."
"Correct" responds the woman, "but how did you know?"
The shepherd replies "Simple.
First you came here without being invited.
Second, you wasted a lot of time telling me what I already know.
Third, you don't understand anything about the work I do but interfere anyway – now, can I have my dog back?"
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Old 7th Nov 2006, 16:59
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Is the irony of dealing with inaction, procrastination, pontification, and a general lack of resolve by establishing a committee not lost on a few of you?

All those in favor of positive action say aye...
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Old 8th Nov 2006, 08:02
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Armed Forces Federation

I can't find (quickly) the original thread and the case that Lord Garden made for a single tri-service, all-ranks, federation.

Etheral entitiy makes the same, or similar case. I disagree and believe that several associations or federations might be better.

True, a single all embracing federation can speak with one voice.

The problem, as I see it, is how that one voice is arrived at. You would be seeking a consensus between 3 different services and 3 or 4 sectors of each service - senior and middle management, SNCOs, and others. The board would have to be large to convince each sector that its interests are being properly represented.

The senior management sector should, if properly promoted, be the predominant and 'leve-headed' group and thus potentially dominate and consensus and subsequent discussion.

If each sector was a separate organisation then each could chose its representative and reach consensus within its own group. Each group could then combine to produce an overal or enlarged consensus but more importantly it could present a dissenting view.

Examples include the medical profession with Royal College of Nursing, the GMC, the surgeons etc. The rank and file police had a federation and the chief constables have a separate one.

Within the MOD the civil service has 4 separate groups, First Class, Prospect, PCS, and the ROA. Each can represent its own group to its own rules and avoid accusations of bipartisanship from a disparate membership.

Perversely I suspect that one single tri-service, all-ranks federation would be vulnerable to divide and rule far more so that single-service, officers-ranks associations. Each separate organisation could still form a higher level association much as Prospect and PCS do when it comes to pay bargainng.
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