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"Dumbing down" RAF Officers?

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"Dumbing down" RAF Officers?

Old 1st Jan 2016, 16:15
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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Perhaps Mr C Hinecap's proposal for operational, diverse, 'joint' officers might be more appropriate for some, but is it a luxury that cannot really be justified until the individual has some professional skills under his/her belt?

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Old 1st Jan 2016, 19:10
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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To me, it was just a glorified Boy's Scout camp and all a bit of a waste of time. Whether it's 16, 16, 24 or 33 weeks, it's still too long. The constant reduction in flying training hours is however, far more serious.
I think there is, however, an underlying presumption that officers should be officers first, and pilots second. Of course, experience shows that's not always the case

And there are, apparently, still other Branches in the Royal Air Force besides pilots ... at least, that was what I was told: it may be a foul rumour, of course.

Oh, how wonderful it must be to emerge from the egg, fully formed and with all the knowledge and skill one would ever require

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Old 1st Jan 2016, 20:03
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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ah!

"Ignorant and arrogant enough to be a Harrier pilot!" as a neighbour's teenage miscreant son was once described by [of all things] a Catering officer.
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Old 1st Jan 2016, 20:09
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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I think it's fair to say that all Branches have their general characteristics, but I did find over 30 years that most of them were good and decent people, doing a good job without trumpeting their greatness in the Mess or on the Patch.

But perhaps OQs, as they were known, were sometimes less evident amongst some Branches/Specialisations
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Old 2nd Jan 2016, 00:57
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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But perhaps OQ's ... were less obvious amongst some Branches/Specialisations
When I was a Rockape I regarded most GD officers as not real officers at all, being fit only to act as drivers airframe, etc, and not to exercise command.

Of course as soon as I graduated at Stradishall with a brevet on my tunic I realised that in truth I was now a real officer and no longer a thick Rockape

All a matter of where you are looking from!
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Old 2nd Jan 2016, 04:14
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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Perhaps Mr C Hinecap's proposal for operational, diverse, 'joint' officers might be more appropriate for some, but is it a luxury that cannot really be justified until the individual has some professional skills under his/her belt?
Either you didn't read my post or I failed to make myself clear. I was reflecting upon the CURRENT IOT and not some aspiration. For what it's worth, the RAF is severely hampered by those who remain behind the wire and fail to learn how to play nicely with the other children. Unfortunately, they tend to be the Aircrew and the aircraft engineers, and they tend to promote themselves.
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Old 2nd Jan 2016, 07:00
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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Blimey, I must have been thick. It took the RAF 2 years at Halton to turn me into something of some kind of use to the Service......

HB
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Old 2nd Jan 2016, 07:30
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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I was reflecting upon the CURRENT IOT and not some aspiration. For what it's worth, the RAF is severely hampered by those who remain behind the wire and fail to learn how to play nicely with the other children. Unfortunately, they tend to be the Aircrew and the aircraft engineers, and they tend to promote themselves.
It seems attitudes haven't changed since I left for pastures greener in 1974. Aeroplanes and those lucky enough to be closely involved with them are a damned nuisance.
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Old 2nd Jan 2016, 08:19
  #69 (permalink)  
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Mr C Hinecap, I don't know why you bother! Your words will never find favour with a bunch of largely long-retired, over-opinionated dinosaurs. The attitude, however, is sadly prevelent and will be why the RAF continues to be endured by the other services as a necessity, rather than embraced as a brother service of warfighting professionals. When I was involved in a further education course in Oxfordshire, the aircrew rarely excelled as they often carried the attitude of expected success and didn't work to achieve that. The officers who usually sat the highest were the Regiment guys, as they are much more used to properly working in a joint environment.
In a professional, military organisation, there is more to successful operating than just having good piloting skills, and that starts with being an officer in HM Forces, like it or not.
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Old 2nd Jan 2016, 08:37
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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Remember those little stickers which used to appear everywhere:

'The role of the RAF is to fly and flight. The role of those who don't is to support those who do!'
Of course that was long before 'visions', 'mission statements' and the seeming need for mantras such as 'Agile Adaptable Capable'...

I was merely questioning whether it wouldn't be preferable to shave something off the present IOT syllabus and transfer it to a later point in an individual's career - such as after his/her first tour?

Just how much of that IOT stuff does the average JO aircrew mate remember anyway, once he/she reaches his/her first squadron?
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Old 2nd Jan 2016, 09:24
  #71 (permalink)  
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Rifle drill, boot polishing, hairy blues. Bed blocks, Rock lectures and the Rock who 'idly' wrote each answer on a blackboard, wiped it off, wrote the next one etc.

Those eyes down missed it. those looking for inspiration soon twigged.

Acidic water crossings, bent scaffold poles, tents with poles and guys.

Parachute rolls, dinghy drills, parades.

The main lesson?

Find a good hotel on away days and avoid sharing a room if possible.
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Old 2nd Jan 2016, 10:07
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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MG

Mr C Hinecap, I don't know why you bother! Your words will never find favour with a bunch of largely long-retired, over-opinionated dinosaurs.
Thank goodness I don't need help crossing the road!
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Old 2nd Jan 2016, 10:37
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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A couple of the more worthwhile events at IOT was to go down a coal mine and to be taken round a steelworks. Objective was to give us an understanding of just what it was that we might be fighting and giving our lives for. That did impress me. Otherwise I have to agree it was a bit like a glorified boy scout camp.
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Old 2nd Jan 2016, 11:05
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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Sadly, IOT students visiting a coal mine or steelworks is no longer an option in the UK! So that is 2 days by which they could shorten the course.
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Old 2nd Jan 2016, 11:21
  #75 (permalink)  
 
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My Graduate Entrant time at RAFC coincided with the oil crisis, the 3-day week, NUM working to rule and various other socialist strikes....

So I don't think that a visit to a coal mine would have been terribly popular on either side!

Then came 5 years of galloping 2-figure inflation and low military pay under labour misrule, before Maggie T came into power and sorted things out.
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Old 2nd Jan 2016, 11:39
  #76 (permalink)  
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Pontiflex, we visited Wiils Tobago but our escort was Customs and Excise. Also Dowry propellers but these were at Navy School not IOT.

Fast forward 30 years and Nav school studeds had to organize their own trips and also organise a fund raising event while in Basics. My lot, now embracing a gp capt and AVM exhibited all the abilities of a wet paper bag competition and failed to organise the charity event.

Probably why the boss didn't get an OBE and took a sabbatical as a missionary in South America.
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Old 2nd Jan 2016, 11:51
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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Going back a bit.....

So, in the past 20 or so years, how many times has the duration of Sandhurst and Dartmouth been changed?
No-one has answered that, so i can say that my Sandhurst course was 2 years, but had a very large "academic" content because the idea was that Sandhurst was the equivalent of a University degree. So we were turned out, up to the early 60s at least, as impeccably dressed, well-mannered 2nd Lieutenants without a huge amount of military skill, but well-versed in military history and, in my case, an Interpreter Class II qualification.

This is not all that relevant to flying aeroplanes; the Army's approach at that time was that driving its many aircraft, helicopters, Beavers, and so on, was a task that any NCO could do just as well as an Officer, so reasonably intelligent trainees from the ranks were promoted to Corporal (or Bombardier) when they went off to fly.

This annoyed the hell out of the RAF, who were determined to remove all non-commissioned pilots on the grounds that flying was an amazing skill that only Officers could perform, which was probably the main reason for the Army adopting that policy.

My Dad, wartime instructor (Rhodesia) then a Lancaster pilot shot down near to Munich and captured as a Sqn Ldr in 1943, said that lack of social skills training seemed not to make all that much difference to pilots' and crews' determination and ability to deliver their bomb-load accurately on to the target.

Some did it as best they could, some didn't. Some, very few, succumbed to terror, dumped the load under a shallow pretext and went home. Neither their commission or lack of it nor how they held their knife and fork was a factor, nor was their familiarity with a bow tie.
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Old 2nd Jan 2016, 12:46
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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TTN.....One to the Manor must be born.

Social Climbing is still just that.

Last edited by SASless; 2nd Jan 2016 at 13:30.
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Old 2nd Jan 2016, 13:00
  #79 (permalink)  
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Capot, you remind me of further ITS lessons, calling cards, Stradling, dining in nights - mess rugby, changing those 'orrible once aertex boxers shorts ONCE PER WEEK

Eek!
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Old 2nd Jan 2016, 15:05
  #80 (permalink)  

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Perhaps the time has come to re-introduce the Supplementary List. Not all officers (aircrew) have the ability or desire to become CAS. Churn out pilots faster; after all, many will leave for more lucrative civilian careers (I did). At a later stage, select those with the aptitude; put them on the General List, and give them the education they will need in more senior positions.
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