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ORAC 30th Jul 2021 19:18

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)……

NutLoose 30th Jul 2021 21:10

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?

idle bystander 31st Jul 2021 07:54


Originally Posted by NutLoose (Post 11087380)
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.

Cornish Jack 31st Jul 2021 09:44

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 !:ugh:

ORAC 31st Jul 2021 09:54

:rolleyes:..........

NutLoose 31st Jul 2021 10:24


Originally Posted by idle bystander (Post 11087516)
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.

downsizer 31st Jul 2021 11:38


Originally Posted by NutLoose (Post 11087575)
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.

charliegolf 31st Jul 2021 12:17

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?

vascodegama 1st Aug 2021 07:25

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.

Toadstool 1st Aug 2021 08:07


Originally Posted by vascodegama (Post 11087913)
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.

Easy Street 1st Aug 2021 08:47


Originally Posted by vascodegama (Post 11087913)
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.

vascodegama 1st Aug 2021 09:30

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.

SASless 1st Aug 2021 13:45

This "diversity" notion sure seems to create a lot of "division" when is supposed to end it.




Toadstool 1st Aug 2021 16:42


Originally Posted by SASless (Post 11088106)
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.

SASless 1st Aug 2021 17:10

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.

charliegolf 1st Aug 2021 20:03


Leadership begins at the second lowest rank
My point exactly SAS. Post no 8.

CG

Slow Biker 1st Aug 2021 20:04

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.

Big Pistons Forever 1st Aug 2021 20:31

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…..

SASless 1st Aug 2021 20:53


Originally Posted by charliegolf (Post 11088307)
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!).

Jimlad1 1st Aug 2021 20:54

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.

Cornish Jack 2nd Aug 2021 10:27

Some of the posters here are admirably demonstrating why this problem is so very real.
...and (in my opinion) mistakenly concentrating on the problems for females. This is to do with power, not sexual misbehaviour. The problems at Deepcut and other recruit training establishments are not solely directed at women - indeed, they are, probably, not in the majority. Mis-use of power, at whatever level of command structure has always been a feature of 'group culture' -school, University, Service or civilian, makes no odds. The 'nature of power' makes it possible (and inevitable) and the 'nature of power' makes remediation extremely difficult.
For doubters, note Ms Patel. ... and, surprisingly, that is not intended politically.

langleybaston 2nd Aug 2021 20:13

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.[/QUOTE]

I fear we live in a nastier world than hitherto.
As an example, I fathered four children, and have seven grandchildren, and two ggchildren. I happen to like children after they reach about two years old and are potty trained and communicative.
And yet, as I walk past any school playground, I dare not admire their antics, laugh at their tumbles, listen to their squeaky voices. Like most men these days, I hasten by, lest I be perceived as a dirty old man.
That is a great sadness of modern times.

charliegolf 2nd Aug 2021 20:58


And yet, as I walk past any school playground, I dare not admire their antics, laugh at their tumbles, listen to their squeaky voices. Like most men these days, I hasten by, lest I be perceived as a dirty old man.
That is a great sadness of modern times.
In my schoolie days, there was an elderly man named Viv Rich (RIP) living directly opposite the school. He was a proper old school gent. I recall him writing to the local rag's letters page along the lines of:

"How wonderful it is to look over the fence and see the enjoyment in the children as they go about their learning and play; and to marvel at the endlessly varied activities their teachers provide."

We all thought it was a wonderful compliment! But even then I was saddened to think of how some would read such a letter. Still am.

CG




Cornish Jack 3rd Aug 2021 08:57

... and still, the concentration on the effects, not the cause.
The cause being power, the problem is self-perpetuating - the powerful will always protect themselves and/or their colleagues as a natural function of self protection. Why does the Buffoon back Patel, Jenrick, and Cummings and Hancock until forced to change ? Power has a natural corrupting effect. It takes particularly self-reliant, self-confident (in the best sense) characters to accept the responsibilities of positions of power and discharge them for the benefit of those placed in their care and oversight. I have been fortunate enough to serve with a few ... but many more of the less accomplished.

Mr N Nimrod 4th Aug 2021 22:23


Originally Posted by NutLoose (Post 11087380)
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?

Would love to know how your female Ďfriendsí would view this as they reminisce about those days

Cat Techie 5th Aug 2021 00:02

The Army? Majority are Army? Navy and Air Force are not innocent either. How many people on here have daughters? A good question. I have two and they are have been brought up as humans. They are modern people. They didn't join the military as they saw the rubbish as kids and worked above it. A shame as they would be top leaders. They are in the NHS. I am proud of that.

langleybaston 13th Aug 2021 23:33


Originally Posted by Cat Techie (Post 11089913)
The Army? Majority are Army? Navy and Air Force are not innocent either. How many people on here have daughters? A good question. I have two and they are have been brought up as humans. They are modern people. They didn't join the military as they saw the rubbish as kids and worked above it. A shame as they would be top leaders. They are in the NHS. I am proud of that.

Are you glad you served, or sorry?
Is it and was it a heap of sh1t, and you made a mistake joining?.


Or did and does the Royal Air Force do its excellent best despite difficult times, poor politicians, and internal whingers?

dctyke 14th Aug 2021 09:13


Originally Posted by Cat Techie (Post 11089913)
The Army? Majority are Army? Navy and Air Force are not innocent either. How many people on here have daughters? A good question. I have two and they are have been brought up as humans. They are modern people. They didn't join the military as they saw the rubbish as kids and worked above it. A shame as they would be top leaders. They are in the NHS. I am proud of that.


Are they ďtop leadersĒ in the NHS?

NutLoose 14th Aug 2021 12:51

Good post Cat, it saddens me that we all come into this world free from sexism, racism, religion, superiority / inferiority complexes. They are all sadly taught to them by their piers and elders.

Herod 14th Aug 2021 14:11


They are all sadly taught to them by their piers and elders.
On their visits to the seaside I presume?

langleybaston 14th Aug 2021 14:15


Originally Posted by NutLoose (Post 11094974)
Good post Cat, it saddens me that we all come into this world free from sexism, racism, religion, superiority / inferiority complexes. They are all sadly taught to them by their piers and elders.

Surely Lightning and Harrier pilots must have realised very early on that they were brilliant?

IP_to_Tgt 14th Aug 2021 17:38

...And wokka pilots!

Ninthace 14th Aug 2021 21:35

I always found wokka pilots had a good vibeÖÖ:ok:

Ascend Charlie 15th Aug 2021 05:15

Chopper pilots get it up a lot more often than airline pilots.

Tinribs 26th Aug 2021 13:19

I recall being at an RAF g base, guto I think when a female joined us in the bar wearing a skirt made from many squadron ties .
When I asked how she got so many blokes to part with essential item of kit she laughed and said I'm saving up for a jacket

ORAC 2nd Oct 2021 09:10


ORAC 18th Oct 2021 06:08

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/t...tary-pkvck6nbg

Tenfold rise in rapes and sexual assaults on girls in military

Complaints of rape and sexual assault made by girls under 18 in the military have risen tenfold since 2015, Ministry of Defence figures reveal.

Freedom of information requests show that girls under 18 in the armed forces have made 41 complaints of rape and sexual assault to the military police since 2015. With an average of 215 girls under 18 serving between 2015 and 2020, it is said to be equivalent to one report for every 40 girls. This makes girls in the armed forces more than twice as likely as their civilian counterparts to report a rape or sexual assault to police.

The numbers have emerged as the Armed Forces Bill progresses through the Lords. The Lyons Review, commissioned in advance of the bill, recommended that serious crimes including rape are removed from the military’s internal systems and handed to the civilian police, but the bill does not seek this.

Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, lifted a gagging order this year to allow servicewomen to give evidence to a defence committee inquiry into women in the armed forces. One in ten serving women made a submission, and 64 per cent of veterans and 58 per cent of serving women said that they had experienced bullying, harassment and discrimination. Six in ten did not report what happened and a third of those who did said that the experience was “extremely poor”.

Martin Docherty-Hughes, a member of the committee, said that the “sickening” new numbers showed that the government needed to “act hard and act fast to root out this horror”.

Charlotte Cooper, from the Child Rights International Network, who made the FOI requests, said: “Any rape or sexual assault of a child in an institution tasked with their care is unacceptable but one report for every 40 girls is abhorrent. This would never be considered acceptable in a civilian school or workplace.”

In the past year more than 3,000 teenagers under 18 enlisted, mainly to the army, where they make up a quarter of the intake. The numbers of enlisted girls aged 16 and 17 grew from 190 in 2015 to 290 this year. So far in 2021 there have been ten reports of rape and sexual assault, or one for every 29 girls…….

ORAC 31st Oct 2021 09:46


ORAC 24th Nov 2021 12:57



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