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‘Stop choosing useless white male pilots’, RAF told

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‘Stop choosing useless white male pilots’, RAF told

Old 4th Jun 2023, 11:40
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Originally Posted by Lima Juliet
The sad thing is, even the RAF forgot that Julie was not the first woman to get the RAF Pilot Flying Badge - that honour lay with Fg Off Jean Lennox Bird RAFVR and FOUR others after her from 1952 to 1954. Julie wasn’t even the first Regular Aircrew either - that was Patricia Howard, who went on to become Flt Lt Pat Magill and was an Air Loadmaster from 1968.
Yes I know, but the reason some people would prefer to talk about the more recent examples is probably because their parents are looking for certain things before they will be very enthusiastic about a job. Showing people like my parents a picture of someone in number one service dress in a nice modern office is going to get a much better reaction than showing someone strolling around a grubby world war 2 hangar in overalls. Obviously you don't tell them which of those things you are personally more into.

To monkfish and Uplinker thanks but I think my bridges are burned at this point. You can say I don't know enough about the RAF to say all this, and you would be right, but I have to make the decision based on what I know. Everything I know tells me that the RAF is not the sort of organisation it presents itself as being. I just don't want it anymore. I just don't know how much of what they told me was true and how much of it was politics. However someone did say to me that if I was ever lucky enough to be in a position to smash into the side of a welsh valley at 450 knots I will die in exactly the same way as anyone else, which is bad way to discover you are a diversity hire.

On the upside apparently it takes 7 years to qualify as an RAF pilot at the moment and I can be qualified as a doctor and done with the first foundation year by that point. And nobody's really going to be in a position of saying there aren't enough brown people in the NHS. And I say that as we are coming up to some junior doctor strikes, I must be some sort of idiot.
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Old 4th Jun 2023, 12:06
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Originally Posted by TheOneWhoNeverWas
My name is Parminder, which should tell you what I look like, and I am female. I would have joined the RAF to scrub the floors. I had a Cranwell date with every hope of being able to fly, and I withdrew last year because of exactly this.

My parents came to this country in part to give me a better chance and I wanted to give something back and on that basis it feels like about the biggest betrayal possible. I was told I needed to be a reliable and trustworthy person with principles, and I did everything I could to be that person. Now it feels like the organisation which was telling me that was itself not very reliable nor trustworthy and did not have the courage to support its own principles.

I don't want to be a token minority to advance someone else's career or be in a job that I don't even know if I'm really competent to do. I don't want everyone I work with to think hmm, is she actually any good, or is she here for political reasons. I do not want any white males I happen to work with to assume I think they're "useless white males." I don't. Nobody asked me if I wanted this and I don't. I want to succeed on my own merits, I've worked for them. I am not doing it. They can find someone else.
My god Parminder......dare I say it but you are a "victim" of this lunacy! I absolutely understand why you'd feel the way you do. I'm so sorry that you were let down by supposedly intelligent people who've done untold damage when they really should have known better. I suspect Wigston and his disgraceful cabale will never be held to account for this travesty. The bloody fool probably thinks he did a great job! Good luck in whatever you do!
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Old 4th Jun 2023, 12:42
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Originally Posted by snapper41
Can we get back to the point of this thread, rather than debating whether Bader and Gibson were nice people or not?
Surely the point is a lot of self justification, from people who have never really experienced discrimination, about how they only got their job because they were the best?
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Old 4th Jun 2023, 17:43
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The US military was desegregated by an Executive order many were not happy about at the time. Into the 60s officers coming out who had literally "commanded nuclear bombers" were denied airline jobs specifically because they were not white. The issue then had to work through the courts. When I look at old photos displayed in or training center of new-hire classes to me there appears to be something absent there and surely we missed out on a lot of good people. Equity and inclusion policies address equality of opportunity but in 2023 with cockpits still overwhelmingly white and male we still have a long way to go.
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Old 4th Jun 2023, 17:56
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Koan

Originally Posted by Koan
Equity and inclusion policies address equality of opportunity but in 2023 with cockpits still overwhelmingly white and male we still have a long way to go.
Your last statement may be true. But only if those non-white males and females have been denied the opportunity because of their race or gender.

I don’t want to be a midwife. Do you think that hospitals should be forced to hire 50% male midwives? After all, that would be inclusive and equal.

Before becoming a pilot I was a qualified primary school teacher of 7-11 year olds. I was overwhelmingly surrounded by females in every school I taught in. Should schools be forced to hire 50% male teachers?

Can you see my point or do you wish to keep rattling off the same old arguments that got us to where we are today?

If you want to see racism come to the region of the world in which I currently work. Trust me when I say it isn’t the white people dishing it out here.

Does racism exist in Britain? Almost certainly in some corners. Do I think our armed forces are racist in their recruiting practices by dint of the fact there aren’t higher numbers of people of non-white origin? I think you already know the answer but you think it makes you big and clever to trot out tired old stories from 60 years ago.

BV
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Old 4th Jun 2023, 19:26
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TheOneWhoNeverWas
Yes I know, but the reason some people would prefer to talk about the more recent examples is probably because their parents are looking for certain things before they will be very enthusiastic about a job. Showing people like my parents a picture of someone in number one service dress in a nice modern office is going to get a much better reaction than showing someone strolling around a grubby world war 2 hangar in overalls. Obviously you don't tell them which of those things you are personally more into.
Are you saying that seeing this kind of stuff has no influence at all?


Surely a female officer receiving her wings in 1952 alongside men some 71 years ago is a very positive image? Alongside that of her peer, Jackie Moggridge, who has a great book “Spitfire Girl” which is soon to be a TV series. Are you saying these are a waste of time? There are many females that would disagree with that from those I have spoken with. Also, culturally, then both Pakistan and India have female Pilots and other Aircrew in their Air Forces for some time.


So why is there an adverse reaction from those 1st or 2nd generation British Asian parents as you describe? It doesn’t seem to make sense.
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Old 4th Jun 2023, 19:46
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Originally Posted by Bob Viking
Your last statement may be true. But only if those non-white males and females have been denied the opportunity because of their race or gender.

I don’t want to be a midwife. Do you think that hospitals should be forced to hire 50% male midwives? After all, that would be inclusive and equal.

Before becoming a pilot I was a qualified primary school teacher of 7-11 year olds. I was overwhelmingly surrounded by females in every school I taught in. Should schools be forced to hire 50% male teachers?

Can you see my point or do you wish to keep rattling off the same old arguments that got us to where we are today?

If you want to see racism come to the region of the world in which I currently work. Trust me when I say it isn’t the white people dishing it out here.

Does racism exist in Britain? Almost certainly in some corners. Do I think our armed forces are racist in their recruiting practices by dint of the fact there aren’t higher numbers of people of non-white origin? I think you already know the answer but you think it makes you big and clever to trot out tired old stories from 60 years ago.

BV
I agree people really must WANT to become commercial airline pilots, more than midwives. That may be a factor keeping women on the job for the long haul. Witnessed several sign-off early or avoid upgrade to stay home. Self-funding's economic component has a racial factor that cannot be denied. Nobody is being denied an opportunity to interview or be hired any longer. But there are no quotas, inclusion is aspirational. Now more than ever seats need to be filled. The new hire classes are still mostly what one would expect they would be. Overwhelmingly white and male. The schools and University I live by are not. People come from diverse communities where previously role models were few and far between, so such a dream was never considered. On the other hand I just flew with a guy retiring soon whose father and grandfather were both airline pilots. He must have told me 5 times. So he grew up around the industry much easier to follow the path. Complete dinosaur who laughs at his own mysoginistic/homophobic jokes while spouting political tropes and thinly veiled bigotry. My own parents told me becoming a pilot would be impossible because of my ethnicity. The idea that people such as this feel they are victims now while the vast majority of pilots (and the CEOS, Politicians, etc) are all white males is sickening. Bon Voyage to them.

Last edited by Koan; 4th Jun 2023 at 22:47. Reason: Keep the politics out of Mil Forum, thanks
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Old 4th Jun 2023, 23:39
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Originally Posted by Koan
I agree people really must WANT to become commercial airline pilots, more than midwives. That may be a factor keeping women on the job for the long haul. Witnessed several sign-off early or avoid upgrade to stay home. Self-funding's economic component has a racial factor that cannot be denied. Nobody is being denied an opportunity to interview or be hired any longer. But there are no quotas, inclusion is aspirational. Now more than ever seats need to be filled. The new hire classes are still mostly what one would expect they would be. Overwhelmingly white and male. The schools and University I live by are not. People come from diverse communities where previously role models were few and far between, so such a dream was never considered. On the other hand I just flew with a guy retiring soon whose father and grandfather were both airline pilots. He must have told me 5 times. So he grew up around the industry much easier to follow the path. Complete dinosaur who laughs at his own mysoginistic/homophobic jokes while spouting political tropes and thinly veiled bigotry. My own parents told me becoming a pilot would be impossible because of my ethnicity. The idea that people such as this feel they are victims now while the vast majority of pilots (and the CEOS, Politicians, etc) are all white males is sickening. Bon Voyage to them.
Good points. However, to behave outside of social norms is unacceptable (ask "itler"). We are a product of our environment. As pointed out Bader's attitude, snobbery, class consciousness, was a product of the culture and society he lived in and not unusual. To behave differently would have been unusual. To state that it is sickening to feel the victim now that things have changed when you have only been behaving as your culture, society always has is short sighted. Feeling discriminated and a victim against is justifiable when that is what is happening. Such as a white 20 old year old when a) you were not part of the society or culture that discriminated, showed bigotry and racism b) and now you are being discriminated, shown bigotry and racism. Given the vast majority of CEO's, Pollies, etc. are white males (not all, either vast majority or all but difficult to be vast majority and all) may be unpleasant but times are changing. At least recognise that. In countries such as Japan, Korea, China, India, Iran, Iraq, etc do you feel justified in calling out the discrimination and bigotry and racism whereby their CEO's, Pollies are not of different ethencity/race?

Yes, barriers need to be broken but to vilify people because of their race, culture, society and what has happened is well just a repeat on history and not really a step forward. Yes, you may well say it is still happening but until we have moved forward a few more generations there will be the remnants of that era still around.
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Old 5th Jun 2023, 06:21
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Originally Posted by flash8
I wouldn't be so sure. More likely adopting the PC/equality at all costs culture aligns with potential promotion (meeting artificial targets etc). Many folk go overboard on this issue not because of any inherent racist tendencies (either way) but because they see some personal advantage to be gained out of it.
Yes indeed. Zay are only following ze orders!
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Old 5th Jun 2023, 08:35
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There are still substantial groups of white British people that look down on anyone joining the armed services

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Old 5th Jun 2023, 10:45
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Originally Posted by meleagertoo

Wit regard to “ You’ll never fly with the RAF as you’re a girl” it occurs to me that if the young lady was permanently put off by that one remark it's pretty clear she didn't ahve the character to survive, let alone thrive in the military in the first place.
That's an interesting observation, I've often wondered if recruiters use such lines for exactly that reason - my first contact when I walked into the RAF Careers office in the mid-80s said 'Not many people from this part of the world (Glasgow) make it as an officer' and followed up shortly later by 'How do you feel about having to look under your car for bombs every morning'
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Old 5th Jun 2023, 11:02
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Originally Posted by Asturias56
There are still substantial groups of white British people that look down on anyone joining the armed services
I had no idea ...... which stratum or socio-economic cohort has such a mind set please....... I must have had sheltered monarchist patriotic militaristic surroundings all 86 years!
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Old 5th Jun 2023, 12:19
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Originally Posted by TheOneWhoNeverWas
Yes I know, but the reason some people would prefer to talk about the more recent examples is probably because their parents are looking for certain things before they will be very enthusiastic about a job. Showing people like my parents a picture of someone in number one service dress in a nice modern office is going to get a much better reaction than showing someone strolling around a grubby world war 2 hangar in overalls. Obviously you don't tell them which of those things you are personally more into.

To monkfish and Uplinker thanks but I think my bridges are burned at this point. You can say I don't know enough about the RAF to say all this, and you would be right, but I have to make the decision based on what I know. Everything I know tells me that the RAF is not the sort of organisation it presents itself as being. I just don't want it anymore. I just don't know how much of what they told me was true and how much of it was politics. However someone did say to me that if I was ever lucky enough to be in a position to smash into the side of a welsh valley at 450 knots I will die in exactly the same way as anyone else, which is bad way to discover you are a diversity hire.

On the upside apparently it takes 7 years to qualify as an RAF pilot at the moment and I can be qualified as a doctor and done with the first foundation year by that point. And nobody's really going to be in a position of saying there aren't enough brown people in the NHS. And I say that as we are coming up to some junior doctor strikes, I must be some sort of idiot.
If you still consider a career in the RAF as a doctor I think you could get a bursary towards the cost BTW.

See

https://recruitment.raf.mod.uk/sponsorship

https://viewer.joomag.com/medical-sp...9564825?short&
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Old 5th Jun 2023, 12:39
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Originally Posted by langleybaston
I had no idea ...... which stratum or socio-economic cohort has such a mind set please....... I must have had sheltered monarchist patriotic militaristic surroundings all 86 years!
every wondered why serving in the military (especially as officers) tends to run in families?

I know ONE member of my extended family that is thinking of joining the RAF - and that's the first one in my lifetime (other than the poor sods who were conscripted)

I know of no-one in our local village who ever served or has any member of their family in the military.

One friend had a son who flew Apaches - but he quit and went off to fly in the N Sea.

None of our kids friends have ever joined up.

It isn't a career path that exists on the radar of many young people these days and that's what the recruitment figures have told us for years
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Old 5th Jun 2023, 13:15
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Originally Posted by Uplinker

So what is this bloke Harwin on about? Why does he want to artificially change the recruitment proportions of the RAF? What will that achieve, operationally?
To be fair, I don't think it was him wanting to change the demographics. He was just following orders from CAS, COS Pers, the 1* etc.

Originally Posted by langleybaston
I had no idea ...... which stratum or socio-economic cohort has such a mind set please....... I must have had sheltered monarchist patriotic militaristic surroundings all 86 years!
Large tracts of Liverpool and Glasgow?

Last edited by Roland Pulfrew; 5th Jun 2023 at 13:36.
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Old 5th Jun 2023, 15:38
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An interesting graphic depicting Numbers of Military Personnel as percentage of total population of several different nations.

Might begin to explain a bit about the overall problem of military recruiting in general when compared to career choices of younger generations.

Of interest is the "spikes" and the years those are seen.

https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/m...tal-population
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Old 5th Jun 2023, 15:57
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Originally Posted by langleybaston
I had no idea ...... which stratum or socio-economic cohort has such a mind set please....... I must have had sheltered monarchist patriotic militaristic surroundings all 86 years!
Narrowing the focus a bit, while on an army course (platoon commanders battle course, 1983) I visited the country pile of a fellow student (Rupert C+++++, Coldstream Guards). His parents were decidedly sniffy that an RAF officer was on the course. Even colder when their daughter showed an interest in said officer!

Batco
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Old 5th Jun 2023, 19:14
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Originally Posted by SASless
An interesting graphic depicting Numbers of Military Personnel as percentage of total population of several different nations.

Might begin to explain a bit about the overall problem of military recruiting in general when compared to career choices of younger generations.

Of interest is the "spikes" and the years those are seen.

https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/m...tal-population
Very interesting graph thank you. British army non-officer reruiting until the Boer War 1899 1902 was often driven by famine or was seasonal, when the annual cycle of harvest and winter meant casual labourers flocked to the colours in mid winter.
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Old 5th Jun 2023, 19:56
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Inter-Branch Rivalry

Originally Posted by The B Word
DM sent. It won’t surprise you that he is one of our finest Scribbly inhabitants of Handbrake House. They wonder why they have a bad rep!
What an inane comment. Following this sort of silly logic, I could - justifiably - state that most of the RAF's problems over the past 40 years have been the result of appointing fast jet pilots as CAS: all were incompetent but hey they all had ingrained "leadership" qualities! Clearly, I am joking.

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Old 5th Jun 2023, 20:27
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I never flew with any women or minority ethnic pilots. I just flew with fellow pilots.
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