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Not-so-woke Reds

Old 19th Oct 2022, 12:37
  #161 (permalink)  
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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/b...oman-wlpwlk9hr

Bullies’ force out Red Arrows woman

A female member of the Red Arrows has claimed she quit the display team after making a complaint about bullying and harassment, it can be revealed.

The officer, in her early thirties, joined the elite team this year but after six months lodged a complaint to senior ranks about behaviour that made her feel “uncomfortable”, an RAF source said. They said the woman had raised concerns about a “toxic” environment and that the complaint covered the period up until this summer.

The claim comes after The Times revealed that more than 40 personnel, several of them young female recruits, have given evidence to an inquiry into the Red Arrows in the biggest scandal in the team’s 57-year history. As many as four personnel are now subject to investigation by the RAF and could be thrown out of the force.

Allegations included at least 13 instances of alleged misconduct, including misogyny, harassment, sexual assault, bullying and indecent exposure. It is unclear when the inquiry will conclude and whether it will be made public.The RAF source said: “Although things have happened since the last story came to light, the toxic behaviour is still going on and not enough is being done about it.”

In the latest case, the woman is said to have complained to senior officers about a series of issues within the unit of about 130 people.

Her case is particularly significant because it details bad behaviour from this year, at which point several servicemen had already been moved out of the elite force amid allegations they had acted inappropriately. It also casts doubt on suggestions by individuals in the RAF that problems in the Red Arrows were historical.

Philip Ingram, founder of the Independent Defence Authority (IDA), said he was “aware of the issues highlighted by this young officer”, adding that he “remains concerned that there is no real change in the culture in the Red Arrows”.

He said: “I intend to write to Sir Mike Wigston [the air chief marshal who is head of the RAF] with my concerns around this case, as it continues to highlight a failure in command and culture suggesting nothing has changed from what the IDA brought to his attention over a year ago.”

In August two individuals came forward who had given evidence to the ongoing inquiry into the Red Arrows.

One told The Times that individuals in the squadron “got away with everything” before an inquiry was launched last December by Wigston.

Another source said new female recruits were considered “fresh meat”. She said in August: “At the moment many females are at risk because there are numerous toxic pockets within the air force but there is no urgency to act.”

A third source helping with the inquiry said the allegations about the Red Arrows were the “tip of the iceberg”…..

The defence select committee, which in 2020 carried out a landmark inquiry on women in the armed forces, has reopened its inquiry following a series of scandals. The committee has asked for any new evidence as part of a follow-up after 4,000 women came forward to give evidence to the first inquiry. The women said they had experienced bullying, sexual harassment and discrimination in the armed forces.

There was also said to be “truly shocking evidence” of rape and sex for promotion or advancement.

The RAF said: “The RAF has a zero-tolerance approach to unacceptable behaviour and will complete thorough investigations into any allegations, and take appropriate action. However, we will not offer comment on the circumstances of individual personnel moves.”
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Old 21st Oct 2022, 10:57
  #162 (permalink)  
 
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As a humble and retired airline pilot I have followed this thread with interest. I have flown with many ex Red Arrows pilots and found them in the main extremely pleasant people coupled with fairly self - evidently stellar flying skills. Reading some of the above is a reflection of the world we now live in. There is obviously and deliberately a lack of detail but much reference to toxic behaviour and ‘inappropriate’ actions but no precise evidence at least to the wider public. Cue the standard internet pile on, including of course here but the reality is that outwith the inner circle we don’t know what actually happened. As a commercial aviator after a long and stressful day I have found comfort and stress relief from a glass or three of ‘refreshment’. It is unsurprising that the display and fast jet pilots wind down in a similar manner. Indeed I have joined in after a long flight with many former team members in my long haul days. I am not sure what we expect of either the Reds or fast jet pilots in general when the skill set must surely be a high level of controlled aggression, courage, concentration and physical / mental fitness. Put bluntly it is unlikely that you become a fast jet pilot if you really wanted to be an accountant in Woking. So there is in the modern era an intolerance of any behaviour that doesn’t fit the now societal need. The recent RAF push for ‘diversity’ would highlight the way it is going. In conclusion this is just a personal alternative view with the caveat that if there really was very bad behaviour defined by any era then certainly that is unacceptable.
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Old 21st Oct 2022, 13:02
  #163 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by olster
As a humble and retired airline pilot I have followed this thread with interest. I have flown with many ex Red Arrows pilots and found them in the main extremely pleasant people coupled with fairly self - evidently stellar flying skills. Reading some of the above is a reflection of the world we now live in. There is obviously and deliberately a lack of detail but much reference to toxic behaviour and Ďinappropriateí actions but no precise evidence at least to the wider public. Cue the standard internet pile on, including of course here but the reality is that outwith the inner circle we donít know what actually happened. As a commercial aviator after a long and stressful day I have found comfort and stress relief from a glass or three of Ďrefreshmentí. It is unsurprising that the display and fast jet pilots wind down in a similar manner. Indeed I have joined in after a long flight with many former team members in my long haul days. I am not sure what we expect of either the Reds or fast jet pilots in general when the skill set must surely be a high level of controlled aggression, courage, concentration and physical / mental fitness. Put bluntly it is unlikely that you become a fast jet pilot if you really wanted to be an accountant in Woking. So there is in the modern era an intolerance of any behaviour that doesnít fit the now societal need. The recent RAF push for Ďdiversityí would highlight the way it is going. In conclusion this is just a personal alternative view with the caveat that if there really was very bad behaviour defined by any era then certainly that is unacceptable.
You could say that of so many occupations. Nail.........head! An excellent summation Olster!
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Old 21st Oct 2022, 13:28
  #164 (permalink)  
 
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I am not sure what we expect of either the Reds or fast jet pilots in general
Maybe (in the context being considered) that they not act like boorish twats when on or off duty; or expect women to STFU and accept harassment as 'service banter'. Maybe. If they haven't done any of those things, then carry on as you were, obvs. But someone is alleging they have.

CG
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Old 21st Oct 2022, 17:17
  #165 (permalink)  
 
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If you join ANY close knit professional team you have to expect to put up with some banter and severe leg pulling until you have settled in and proved your credentials . (Male OR female newbies !)

Last edited by Haraka; 21st Oct 2022 at 17:37.
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Old 21st Oct 2022, 17:37
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Cheers mopardave!
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Old 21st Oct 2022, 17:59
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Originally Posted by Haraka
If you join ANY close knit professional team you have to expect to put up with some banter and severe leg pulling until you have settled in and proved your credentials . (Male OR female newbies !)
I don't think that is true, but it is popular in macho fiction and it does produce great viewing figures.

Usually behaviour of that sort is indicative of a superiority complex (we know best) which leads to a rejection of different ideas and fresh blood. (But that doesn't reinforce the stereotype that sells)

Last edited by beardy; 21st Oct 2022 at 18:30.
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Old 21st Oct 2022, 18:30
  #168 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Haraka
If you join ANY close knit professional team you have to expect to put up with some banter and severe leg pulling until you have settled in and proved your credentials . (Male OR female newbies !)
Why?

1234567890
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Old 21st Oct 2022, 18:31
  #169 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by alfred_the_great
Why?

1234567890
Because it's harmless fun that happens in all walks of life.
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Old 21st Oct 2022, 18:37
  #170 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Confusious
Because it's harmless fun that happens in all walks of life.
÷f Course!
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Old 21st Oct 2022, 19:17
  #171 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Haraka
If you join ANY close knit professional team you have to expect to put up with some banter and severe leg pulling until you have settled in and proved your credentials . (Male OR female newbies !)
Originally Posted by Confusious
Because it's harmless fun that happens in all walks of life.
itís not harmless, itís not fun, and it degrades operational capability.

ĒPosted @withrepost ē @mace_curran With Halloween rapidly approaching this seems like an appropriate question. Is your team playing dress-up?

Looking back at the various teams Iíve been part of, thereís a distinguishing factor that greatly affected my performance

Whether or not I was able to be ME

This was something I didnít recognize until years after

In the thick of it, I was too busy trying to act how I thought a young fighter pilot was supposed to act

A lot of energy went into worrying about what everyone else thought

Was I laughing at the right jokes, was I not easily offended, was I being a ďbroĒ?

What I should have been worrying about was the flying, the tactics, and being as good at my job as possible

When members of your team feel like they have to create two versions of themselves that donít align, itís not sustainable

Itís a surefire way to lose talented peopleÖto burn them out

Iíve talked a lot about trust lately

Part of that environment of trust is inclusivity

Donít create barriers that donít need to be there

Invest in getting to know your people

Understand what motivates themÖthis investment will pay for itself 10x over

They arenít all the same, even if they all wear the same uniform

#culture #inclusiveleadership #trust #community
📸: 2011, while in the Intro to Fighter Fundamentals course... starting to realize I need to "dress up" to fit inĒ



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Old 21st Oct 2022, 19:26
  #172 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by alfred_the_great
itís not harmless, itís not fun, and it degrades operational capability.

ĒPosted @withrepost ē @mace_curran With Halloween rapidly approaching this seems like an appropriate question. Is your team playing dress-up?

Looking back at the various teams Iíve been part of, thereís a distinguishing factor that greatly affected my performance

Whether or not I was able to be ME

This was something I didnít recognize until years after

In the thick of it, I was too busy trying to act how I thought a young fighter pilot was supposed to act

A lot of energy went into worrying about what everyone else thought

Was I laughing at the right jokes, was I not easily offended, was I being a ďbroĒ?

What I should have been worrying about was the flying, the tactics, and being as good at my job as possible

When members of your team feel like they have to create two versions of themselves that donít align, itís not sustainable

Itís a surefire way to lose talented peopleÖto burn them out

Iíve talked a lot about trust lately

Part of that environment of trust is inclusivity

Donít create barriers that donít need to be there

Invest in getting to know your people

Understand what motivates themÖthis investment will pay for itself 10x over

They arenít all the same, even if they all wear the same uniform

#culture #inclusiveleadership #trust #community
📸: 2011, while in the Intro to Fighter Fundamentals course... starting to realize I need to "dress up" to fit inĒ
The bit you may have missed from Haraka's post is this (Male OR female newbies !), that's harmless banter. If you're being targeted by your peers and mocked then I agree with you that is entirely unacceptable, but that's a totally different animal to the definition of harmless fun.
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Old 21st Oct 2022, 21:00
  #173 (permalink)  
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The old excuses - it was just harmless banter, a joke, a bit of fun, they’re thin skinned - used by racists, homophobes, bullies, sexists through the years.
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Old 21st Oct 2022, 21:09
  #174 (permalink)  
 
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So what do we do? Do we act like automatons because the fun police have instigated a campaign of fear lest anyone gets their leg pulled? There's a world of difference between "harmless banter" and abuse. Abuse, bullying and intimidation are unacceptable and I'd hope that anyone feeling threatened could vocalise their discomfort......I'd also hope those dishing out the "banter" would have the intelligence to know when to draw the line. Are we not just getting a little thin skinned? The fun and team spirit were certainly being sucked out of my final career and working life become rather dull as a result. We've lost any sense of perspective in so many things.
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Old 21st Oct 2022, 21:54
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Originally Posted by mopardave
So what do we do?
Read the room and exercise a bit of self control. Does anyone think grabbing an arse, or 'jokingly' saying, "Show us yer tits then!" is OK?

CG
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Old 21st Oct 2022, 22:14
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Originally Posted by charliegolf
Read the room and exercise a bit of self control. Does anyone think grabbing an arse, or 'jokingly' saying, "Show us yer tits then!" is OK?

CG
Apparently it's fine if you want to be like Liam Gallagher (at Knebworth)
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Old 21st Oct 2022, 22:15
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Beardy, you make my point for me.

CG
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Old 21st Oct 2022, 23:56
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In this respect are the armed services divorced from normality?

I did 41 years as an MoD scientist, cheek by jowl with the RAF and army. I merely have no idea what is being discussed.

Put a job before us, we did it.

What happened to integrity, loyalty and the work ethic? Never mind good manners?

FFS
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Old 22nd Oct 2022, 16:08
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What happened to integrity, loyalty and the work ethic? Never mind good manners?

FFS
And a self deprecating sense of humour?
An Astrophysisist I worked with once pointed out to me that if you just predicted that today's weather would be the same as yesterday's, you would have an 80% chance of being correct.
Apparently a significantly higher percentage than that achieved by Meteorologists

Last edited by Haraka; 22nd Oct 2022 at 16:24.
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Old 22nd Oct 2022, 20:20
  #180 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by charliegolf
Read the room and exercise a bit of self control. Does anyone think grabbing an arse, or 'jokingly' saying, "Show us yer tits then!" is OK?

CG
Couldn't agree more.......of course that kind of behaviour is unacceptable. I'm not suggesting it is and you well know that.
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