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A Failure of Values

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A Failure of Values

Old 30th Jul 2021, 20:18
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A Failure of Values

Sir Humphrey on the House of Commons report on the treatment of women in the Armed Forces. And no, despite the start, it does not just apply to the Army, it also applies to the RN and RAF.

The article, and paper, should be read in full, and with shame.

https://tinyurl.com/3bus3khs
.
A Failure of Values, Standards and Leadership at All Levels
The British Army has six core values, which set out how a British soldier should act and conduct themselves. These values include:

COURAGE - Doing and saying the right thing not the easy thing

∑ DISCIPLINE - Doing things properly and setting the right example

∑ RESPECT FOR OTHERS- Treat others as you expect to be treated

∑ INTEGRITY - Being honest with yourself and your teammates

∑ LOYALTY - Support the army and your teammates

SELFLESS COMMITMENT - Mates and mission first, me second


These are laudable values, and mirrored in the other two services in similar documents. They are rightly seen as a good ‘handrail’ to which all soldiers and professional military personnel should aspire to conduct themselves at all times.Given this, when you read a report that talks of serving female personnel describing incidents like:

“Repeated sexual advances and unwanted attention from seniors”

“Bullying for refusing sexual advances”

“Filming and sharing images, including while in the showers”

“ Ejaculation into their pocket”

“Messes and mess accommodation being viewed as places of danger, with one servicewoman saying that they could be more dangerous for servicewomen than being deployed on overseas operations”

Bullying or downgraded performance assessment if servicewomen made attempts to report unacceptable behaviours

Then you realise that there is a very serious mismatch between aspiration and lived reality.

The publication of the House of Commons Defence Sub Committee report into the experience of women in the armed forces is both utterly vital, and absolutely appalling. It is hard to find words to describe the anger the author felt reading some of the accounts of women in the armed forces, and in particular the appalling experiences they have experienced.

What makes this report so significant is that permission was given, exceptionally, for women serving in the military to give evidence to the Committee. Roughly 10% of all serving female personnel responded to this report, which gives it significant credibility.

This report should be mandatory reading, in full, for everyone in the chain of command, in the vain hope that it will be seen, read, acted on and positive changes made for the better.

Sadly, one has to worry that it will instead be parked in a cul-de-sac marked “Irritating millennial wokeness” and given a stiff ignoring by a generation of people who want to go back to dreaming of manly wars fought by manly men (possibly even from a armoured vehicle that is less than 30 years old)……
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Old 30th Jul 2021, 22:10
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It just amazes me, I donít know if itís me or has the world moved on and got worse for it, my first tour was at a nearly all male station with one WRAF married to a guy on the Sqn and we all got on like a house on fire.

Posted to RAFG there were WRAF who would use the NAAFI who we would socialise with and again we all got on like a house on fire, yes we were male they were female, but it was more than that, they were mates if that makes sense, as an example Christmas morning etc we were invited around the WRAF block for Champagne etc, we were friends and I will forever remember quaffing Champagne as the girls opened their presents from under the tree. No hassle no grief.
One friend I gave a giant soap on a rope penis carved from those gawd awful bars of carbolic soap we used to have as a 21st present, it was taken as intended as a bit of fun which she loved and it was worn all night around her neck, I then did several requests.
What I am trying to get across was there was no animosity, no worry, and we all got along as both professionals and friends, what on earth has changed?
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Old 31st Jul 2021, 08:54
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
One friend I gave a giant soap on a rope penis carved from those gawd awful bars of carbolic soap we used to have as a 21st present, it was taken as intended as a bit of fun which she loved and it was worn all night around her neck, I then did several requests.
What I am trying to get across was there was no animosity, no worry, and we all got along as both professionals and friends, what on earth has changed?
What has changed is that women have realised that they don't have to pretend they are entertained by the sort of boorish behaviour epitomised by the carved penis incident you describe, and the rest of the world has woken (deliberate play on the word) up to that fact.
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Old 31st Jul 2021, 10:44
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I would suggest that 'what has changed', is that (like the UK) women have lost their 'place' in the world and are trying to establish a new 'equality'.
Unfortunately, their version of equality is just as skewed as was the male dominance which it seeks to replace. Men-only places - BAD; Women-'safe-space' GOOD. Man = equals predator, rapist, molester. Woman = soft, gentle, reassuring etc. Do schoolboys ever get a health warning about the perils of PMT !! ?
Hysteria was once regarded as the unique province of the female; ever more vocal outbursts in 'the media' reflect selective opinion which is verging on such a condition !
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Old 31st Jul 2021, 10:54
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..........
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Old 31st Jul 2021, 11:24
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Originally Posted by idle bystander View Post
What has changed is that women have realised that they don't have to pretend they are entertained by the sort of boorish behaviour epitomised by the carved penis incident you describe, and the rest of the world has woken (deliberate play on the word) up to that fact.
You missed what I what I saying, far from it, she was genuinely pleased with it, and I was asked by several of her friends for one too, which I made, indeed the original owner asked for another to pass on to her friend, so I would say it was far from “boorish.” It was all a bit of light hearted fun amongst genuine friends, as were some of the gifts the other way around.

Maybe that is half of the problem, people jump down each others throats, and read into things the wrong end of the stick with out actually being there and knowing the true story. Maybe a lot of it is press driven.

Last edited by NutLoose; 31st Jul 2021 at 11:40.
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Old 31st Jul 2021, 12:38
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
You missed what I what I saying, far from it, she was genuinely pleased with it, and I was asked by several of her friends for one too, which I made, indeed the original owner asked for another to pass on to her friend, so I would say it was far from “boorish.” It was all a bit of light hearted fun amongst genuine friends, as were some of the gifts the other way around.

Maybe that is half of the problem, people jump down each others throats, and read into things the wrong end of the stick with out actually being there and knowing the true story. Maybe a lot of it is press driven.
The woman in your sh1t dit might not have minded, but if you bother to read the report you'll see there are plenty who aren't happy.

Take some time and read the report.
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Old 31st Jul 2021, 13:17
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It's amazing that we have to talk about this in this day and age. The blame for this might rightly fall at the institutional and senior officer level, but this is a failure of leadership at corporal and sgt level. Why? The vast majority of cases are not in the Brigadier's office, with a bit of 'racy chat and bum-slapping' bs. It's at the training, barracks-room and Naafi* level. It's about shutting it down hard- just as it is when male recruits are bullied or defiled, 'to build character'. If those two ranks (with the others obvs) can't effect change in this, I'd rather not have them order me about in a war, thanks. Pond life like them probably don't respect their Mum or Sis either.

CG

*Do they still exist?
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 08:25
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Para 20 says that the fitness tests are "gender free" is that really the case? My memory might be going with age, but I remember that
for example AS a 50 + male I had to achieve more than a female in her 20's. Not that either was much of a test, the biggest challenge was remembering to take your 1250 /MOD 90.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 09:07
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Originally Posted by vascodegama View Post
Para 20 says that the fitness tests are "gender free" is that really the case? My memory might be going with age, but I remember that
for example AS a 50 + male I had to achieve more than a female in her 20's. Not that either was much of a test, the biggest challenge was remembering to take your 1250 /MOD 90.
Nope. Not gender free yet. Iíve just passed mine at light blue but green for my age is 7:1.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 09:47
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Originally Posted by vascodegama View Post
Para 20 says that the fitness tests are "gender free" is that really the case?
Interesting wording... as there are still male and female test standards, a claim of the test being "gender free" would imply that the distinction between the two is officially considered to be "sex" based. Such hair-splitting is presumably required to address the issue of test standards for transgender people. Defining the test as "sex" based would make chromosomal makeup the relevant discriminator; that would require transgender people to disclose their status to PTIs and would make the test "gender free". I don't know if this is the policy (?) but it would explain the wording.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 10:30
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So as you say ES, interesting wording. If it is ,as you suggest, then the statement has little to do with the main thrust of the argument. If it isn't then it is just a mistake.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 14:45
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This "diversity" notion sure seems to create a lot of "division" when is supposed to end it.



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Old 1st Aug 2021, 17:42
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
This "diversity" notion sure seems to create a lot of "division" when is supposed to end it.
Actually, it says we still have far to go. I was shocked about how much SAPR training I had to do in the US when flying with the USAF. The number of sexual assaults were staggering and people had to be taught that it wasnít ok. In the military!
It seems, based on this shocking report, that we also have much to do in the British Forces.
Snarky statements do nothing.

Last edited by Toadstool; 1st Aug 2021 at 17:58.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 18:10
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Toad....what it tells us is there is a leadership problem in both our militaries.

Leadership begins at the second lowest rank and rises right up to the very tip top.

In US Army terms....an Infantry Fire Team Leader....who is a Private First Class usually is the that bottom rung on the leadership ladder.....as the FTL he is responsible for himself and four others generally.

Then you move to the Squad, Platoon, Company, Battalion, Regiment/Brigade, Division level and higher levels of command....and everyone in those chains of command have a direct responsibility and obligation to ensure none of this bad stuff happens.

That is the problem....they fail far too often.

They fail on the simple stuff way too often....and that leads. to major failures.

Simple example....a Female Soldier is sexually. harassed by a member of her Fire Team....and the FTL sees it happen.....right there on the spot the miscreant should have his Tea Leaves read to him....and if need be the Squad Leader should be informed of the event and corrective action taken.

At that level a decision should be made as to whether additional action or training be done for the involved soldier or unit.

People in Leadership positions should be held accountable at every level for adhering to policies, regulations, and Standards.....and failures should garner adverse action for that failure.

I see it as a Discipline problem....that is caused by poor leadership.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 21:03
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Leadership begins at the second lowest rank
My point exactly SAS. Post no 8.

CG
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 21:04
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Back when I was serving I turned up for work and found a young airwoman in my office, when I queried her presence she burst into tears. She was fairly newly married but evidently her husband loved their dog more then her. She was clearly desperately upset but what was I supposed to do about it? She was younger than my daughters and my first instinct was to comfort her with an arm around her shoulders - as I would do with my girls, but there we were, a sobbing airwoman and a wo, just can't, must not even, do it. Instead I sat her down and we had a heart to heart and hopefully straightened out a few perceived issues. I did restrain myself in asking if she hadn't wondered why her husband had previously been married and divorced twice under the age of 28.
I have often thought about that incident. Had I given in to my instinct as a father it could have become difficult - today it would be called abuse or sexual harassment but I am sure it would have helped.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 21:31
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It is the 10% problem. 10% of your people give you 90% of the problems. Everyone knows who they are. Deal with them and the other 90% take care of themselves. Don’t deal with them and the whole organization starts to crumble.

But “dealing with them” means standing up for what is right, making waves, and forcing your seniors to take action. Much easier to to just kick the can down the road and let someone else deal with it. The senior leaders of most of today’s Military are the product of a culture that incentivizes inaction and coverups.

And so here we are…..
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 21:53
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Originally Posted by charliegolf View Post
My point exactly SAS. Post no 8.

CG

Actually.....I should amend my answer....the authority begins at the second lowest rank....but the responsibility begins at the lowest rank.

You see misconduct you are to take immediate action....that is incumbent upon the lowest ranking of us clear up the big boss person. (See....I am getting my arms around this pronoun sea change!).
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 21:54
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If you read the report in full (and I highly advise that you do), then you'll see this isn't about 'delicate flowers' or people unable to take it, its about a systematic series of abuses that comprise serious criminal offences. Read the experiences female service personnel have had, and which they've testified to - like sexual assault, like rape, like living in a climate where they are seen as the troublemaker and are career fouled if they complain that colleagues are wanking into their clothes or stealing their underwear, or trying to force them to have sex with them and you'll see its not all 'PC gone mad'.

Perhaps the people here have daughters or granddaughters - are you saying that you want your children and grandchildren to experience this if they join up - after all, its just 'banter' isn't it - so when your grandaughter gets sexually assaulted you'll be fine with the fact that the conviction rate in the service court community is a fraction of the Civvy courts? After all, they're just a bunch of snowflakes.

Some of the posters here are admirably demonstrating why this problem is so very real.
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