Stand By Your Beds!

  Bapou 19:23 16 Jan 2010

click here 'Would you mind standing to attention?' Sergeant majors told to adopt touchy-feely approach.

'Touchy - Feely' have you ever heard the like of it?

I can hear him now, 58 years on: "You There! Stand up straight, you look like a pregnant NAAFI girl." Or, "Fall out and wipe your sword!."

RSM at the training depot, guaranteed to put the fear of God in to you - and discipline.

The Army has moved on I know, but, young squaddies of today do they not need an earful now and again?

  morddwyd 19:27 16 Jan 2010

I remeber in the 70s returning, as an instructor, to the place where I did my training.

On day one I was told to stop shouting at the trainees as it would upset them and "They would go home to Mum" and that is a direct quote.

  Input Overload 20:00 16 Jan 2010

They still seem to be getting killed frequently instead of going home to mummmy, rather they are still going off to Afghanistan etc. So the brass must be doing something right?

  Forum Editor 00:02 17 Jan 2010

when that individual giving the orders isn't there?"

That's one way of looking at it. On the other hand, the army seems to have managed OK in the past.

Bullying is certainly unacceptable, but there's no need to allow the pendulum to swing too far the other way. I imagine that the very last thing we need is an army full of soldiers who all have their own ideas about how a campaign should be fought.

  morddwyd 08:38 17 Jan 2010

"They still seem to be getting killed frequently instead of going home to mummmy"

I suggest you look at the drop out figures.

I don't know the actual figures, but for every one of those who have the courage of their convictions and risk their lives, a large number do not, and opt out after a few weeks.

I have two brothers-in-law and one sister-in-law who left less than three weeks after they joined (as well as three brothers-in-law and a son who completed their full time) and while that's perhaps more than most of you would know about, I don't think the proportion is that far out.

  michaelw 10:21 17 Jan 2010

It seems the regular army is adopting the type of training used by the elites like the SAS. There's no bullying or shouting and screaming at troopers on training. The soldiers are treated with respect and one outcome of that approach is they can think more for themselves and use rationale better.

  Input Overload 10:48 17 Jan 2010


'I suggest you look at the drop out figures'.
'I don't know the actual figures'.

You are telling me to look and you haven't?

There was a fair 'drop out' in WW1, the firing squad was the deterrent.

  Marko797 11:17 17 Jan 2010

what u fail to acknowledge is that before any soldier 'joins' any elite, such as SAS, they have to become a regular soldier first, i.e. have completed their basic training, and have a considerable number of years of relevant, regular service under their belts, and then go through the most extreme training & selection regime imagineable.

It is by going through all of the above 'soldiering' that discipline & mental conditioning is instilled, by whatever methods, & naturally this only fully develops over time.

Because of this, there is no need at SAS level to continue the 'shouting and screaming' as, having successfully gone through the selection process, the soldier is considered suitable, conditioned, mature, and disciplined enough to become one of the elite SAS soldiers. If he isn't any of the above, then he will not get to join the elite SAS.

They don't just sign up & join the SAS, so am not sure your point has much relevance.

  rawprawn 11:36 17 Jan 2010

I agree, along time ago when I did National Service we had all completed basic training, and were studying survey before an SAS Officer came round looking for volunteers for those of us who would like to try for the SAS

  Forum Editor 12:33 17 Jan 2010

In 2006 over a third of all army recruits (34.6%) dropped out before the completion of their 24 week basic training period - either because they didn't like the army, or because they failed to meet the standards required.

I don't think it's fair to say that "..for every one of those who have the courage of their convictions and risk their lives, a large number do not"

It's not necessarily a question of a lack of courage or conviction, some people simply discover that they don't like the regime imposed by the army. Others thrive on it, and they're the people the army wants. It irritates me intensely when I see someone inferring that people who join the armed forces have more courage than other people. The armed forces have plenty of cowards on board, just as the civilian population has lots of brave people. Over 400 civilians have been awarded the George Cross (The highest possible gallantry award after the Victoria Cross) in the sixty odd years since it was first awarded.

  morddwyd 18:22 17 Jan 2010

I was not impugning anyone's courage - I used the term "Courage of their convictions" which is a conventional term and has little to do with courage as in bravery.

There are those who believe, and I am one of them, that it takes a hell of a lot of courage to stand up and say "That scares me and I'm not going to do it".

I was referring to those who join thinking it's the life of Reilly and then opt out when they find there is some hard work and application required.

As an ex training supervisor I saw many of them, and in some cases signed them off. Some would simply come and say "I've decided that it's really not for me" and I had a great deal of respect for that. Better to stand up then than when you're about to join a night patrol in Kandahar.

However, the ratio of one to a large number is not fair, as you suggest.

Out of sixteen starters we used to reckon a dozen would finish, though by the time we got them for specialist training they had already been through basic and recruit training and some weeding had already taken place.

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