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Foxy to axe Forces "Ferrero Rocher Club"

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Foxy to axe Forces "Ferrero Rocher Club"

Old 16th Jan 2011, 10:37
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Foxy to axe Forces "Ferrero Rocher Club"

Just read this in the Mail on Sunday, evidently, Foxy intend to cut back on the number of Senior Officers who are to quote"promoted to a higher rank merely to keep them in their current jobs".

FB


EDIT: Added forgotten link. Fox takes his spending axe to Forces 'Ferrero Rocher Club': High-ranking military attaches to be cut back | Mail Online
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Old 16th Jan 2011, 11:47
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I think the article is referring mainly to (to use Army Terms) Brigadiers and Colonels in DA/MA posts in 57 embassies around the world.

Fox is looking to replace 1*/Gp Capt level DA/NA/MA/AA appointees with SO2/3 level attaches, except in "significant capitals such as Washington DC, Paris and Moscow, and embassies in the Middle East", where embassies "are likely to retain attachés of higher rank".

It remains to be seen of course how many capitals are re-branded as "significant".

Also in the Sunday Times this morning there is mention of a plan to axe more than 50 Generals, Admirals and Air Marshals. Fox: "It is inconceivable that we would cut back on junior ranks without doing the same at the top. All three services are top-heavy. There clearly will have to be changes at the top."

The article goes on to say that in the US there are 2,947 troops for every General, while in the UK the figure across the services is 392 troops for every General, Admiral or Air Marshal.
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Old 16th Jan 2011, 11:59
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Ah, yes, but our troops are more closely managed as a result!

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Old 16th Jan 2011, 12:02
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Ah, yes, but our troops are more closely managed as a result!
Very true. You only have to look around at the moment to witness the benefits of this close management.
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Old 16th Jan 2011, 12:09
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Stocks of duty free Gin will also have to be reduced...
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Old 16th Jan 2011, 12:22
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Now this is really starting to piss me off...

The Government is unwilling to tackle the issue of public perception over banker bonuses, yet is prepared to demonise senior military officers as living a life of luxury in overseas diplomatic missions despite having already cut back the number of these diplomatic posts drastically over the last few years.

The Government's published National Security Strategy (Oct 2010) identified 8 strategic tasks of which influence was number 3. Just how much influence the Government expects to get from an SO3 I really don't know. Most SO3s and SO2s are experts at the tactical level, but have little appreciation of issues such as national strategy, international relations, regional defence issues etc etc. With rank comes the experience and gravitas required to make a valid contribution in these areas. Otherwise, you mighten well not bother with the posts at all. Nice to see the CEA hot potato thrown in too, so does that mean no-one else would claim it or require their children to be educated?
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Old 16th Jan 2011, 12:58
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With rank comes the experience and gravitas required to make a valid contribution in these areas. Otherwise, you mighten well not bother with the posts at all
I don't necessarily follow the argument of rank equating to gravitas (apart from the perception some have of their own importance), but I do wonder how the diplomatic community will respond to every other country fielding a colonel equivalent, while Blighty sends a capt or major. In some countries rank opens doors.
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Old 16th Jan 2011, 13:19
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My last boss had come from a diplomatic post and he was a wg cdr equivalent. He was very comfortably built. I also recall SO3 on the attache staff in Moscow more than 40 years ago, 2nd tourist IIRC.
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Old 16th Jan 2011, 13:22
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Seriously, you don't follow that argument??? So you'd be comfortable with trimming down the foreign office and filling it with fresh out of protests, sorry college, graduates??

It's not about an individual, it's about the level your dealing at and matching it to some extent. This is true in diplomatic, military and business circles.

Not much to follow really
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Old 16th Jan 2011, 13:34
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It seems to me that the government have really got themselves, rather the Armed Forces, into a dreadful downward spiral, and this is just another one of the thousand cuts which they are killing the country's military prestige and capability off with. After watching the most appropriately named Bob Diamond the other day, sitting in front of a select committee, letting everything they had to say fly over his head or bounce off his Rhino hide, I can sympathise with those who believe the politicians choose their easy, rather than priority, targets with utter and unbelievable lack of shame.

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Old 16th Jan 2011, 14:22
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Politicians?

Meet the new boss,same as the old boss
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Old 16th Jan 2011, 14:40
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you'd be comfortable with trimming down the foreign office and filling it with fresh out of protests, sorry college, graduates??
Ah, change is bad!

Better to hold on to those quite comfortably 'mowing the lawn' than inject any new blood. It is a known fact that not one single graduate leaving University in the next few years can spell or add up, and all rioted in London before Christmas.

In fact, let's stop recruiting graduates into the military (ok, I know we arent recruiting anyone right now) and just retain everyone until they are 67.

We need a balance in the military. No doubt the FCO is very similar in that respect.
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Old 16th Jan 2011, 16:23
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In some countries rank opens doors

Can't immediately think of any country in which we have a Service attache (or adviser in Commonwealth countries) where this doesn't apply, so I would settle for "Rank opens doors". I can certainly recollect specific examples where a promotion in post made a world of difference to relations, far exceeding the value of any financial differences involved.

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Old 16th Jan 2011, 16:29
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Simple, send Majors, but make them acting unpaid Lt Cols for the duration of their time in post.

They wear the rank, which opens the doors, but don't get the pay, so the money is saved - and they get the chance to be assessed as one rank higher in their annual reports....

Simple!
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Old 16th Jan 2011, 17:08
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I see your logic but if you take that to the extreme we could end up asking everyone to do a bit more with the carrot of acting unpaid rank in the name of saving money.
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Old 16th Jan 2011, 17:20
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I was being a bit tongue in cheek - but I wouldn't put it past the bean counters....
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Old 16th Jan 2011, 18:08
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I know my particular region has been separated for different treatment, but a Lt Col wouldn't get you through the front door to meet the commander of the national army/navy/air force and thereby quickly resolving military/diplomatic issues. I suspect it is the same throughout much of the world. If you need a favour from a friendly country, it pays to have the right contacts within the ruling bodies (including the military), otherwise we may as well put the Harriers back on the carriers!
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Old 16th Jan 2011, 18:33
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As posted on another site:

I recall an RNR PO back during TELIC who did immense good in a certain middle eastern country, and who got a CINCFLEET commendation for his work. The only way he was able to be so effective with the host nation was by making said PO a local acting and unpaid Commander, as that was the level the locals would do business with.

A lot of the time, the rank is essential if you want to be taken seriously by the nation - in ISAF SO1 is seen as entry level for many posts, regardless of whether its an SO1 or SO3 role...
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Old 16th Jan 2011, 20:09
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Preparation for the new Euro-Embassies?
Allowing just one senior rank and lots of little ones from member nations?
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Old 16th Jan 2011, 20:16
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For a Minister it would appear that our new man doesn't understand how the foreign military/diplomatic system works. Maybe his position grants rights of access but even as a Wg Cdr it was hard to get through the door. As a Flt Lt, forget it. Come to think of it, as a Flt Lt straight out of the cockpit I'm not sure I'd have said the right things ..........or drunk the right amounts.....................

It costs an arm and a leg to get anyone over there; wherever "there" might be. A wife, and particularly rank, are essential for diplomacy on the "Cocktail Circuit". If we're going that way to save money, then just pull out. If we're serious, keep on as we are. Better not to do it than to do it badly. Lets not make ourselves the laughing stock.
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