Who’d be a Squaddie,an Erk or a Matelot nowadays?

  Brumas 15:46 23 May 2006

After viewing last night’s Dispatches (Channel 4 at 20:00 hours - repeated 03:45 Saturday) I think the answer must be – not many young adults!!

Betrayal , shame, anguish, concern, disbelief , lack of confidence and anger were just some of the emotions/feelings I was experiencing whilst viewing ,but can you imagine what those currently serving must feel like?
When I served in the army, in the late ‘60s, early ‘70s, I felt very secure and, even though we and the top brass didn’t necessarily see eye to eye, we rubbed along amicably. both secure in the knowledge that ‘when the s##t hit the fan' one would look after the other – so to speak. I was in the Andy Capp’s Commandos and the nearest I got to real action was, whilst skint ,I collected glasses in the NAAFI club in Aldershot on a Saturday night !!

Things do not look too bright for HM Forces. Carry on like this and I can see the return of the Press Gang and watch out for the King’s Shilling in the bottom of your beerglass!

  Forum Editor 19:24 23 May 2006

to this thread will be deleted without warning or explanation.

  semag 19:30 23 May 2006

Bring back national service and the cane in school.

  johndrew 19:49 23 May 2006

I couldn`t agree with you more.

Notwithstanding the usual inter-service rivalry there was a definite feeling that we were of a single `family`, well cared for and well regarded by both the public and our masters. I feel for the lads/lassies in the forces these days, they still, I`m certain, have public support but I think the sense of support and `belonging` has been forceably removed.

As for the `King’s Shilling` nothing changes even after a century or so you can`t get the Paymaster General to up it to a couple of quid!!!

  sunny staines 20:21 23 May 2006

It's a real shame how the forces are treated so badly with such poor after care. I watched the program and felt for those injured, just hope those in high places felt the same & offer urgent help to those injured.

[never served in HM Forces but always respected those that do]

  semag 21:05 23 May 2006

My son is in the forces, he's been to Iraq twice and is going back to Afganistan for the third time in September. He says his biggest problem is boredom other then that its ok and the money is excellent, of course we worry ourselves sick about him, although he isn't front line, thank god.

  Brumas 22:40 23 May 2006

When I posted this it wasn't to pillory any political party, nor was I expecting any such responses. I posted it because I was mad as hell at the treatment or should I say non-treatment of our forces!!

pattoo - with respect, what is harsh about it? I hope you do manage to see the programme for yourself, perhaps then you will have a different opinion.

  mammak 22:50 23 May 2006

I come from a very Forces orientated family my darling daddy was in the Army
Then my one of my brothers served 24 years with the Army one of my-brothers in-law served the same in RAF again a brother in-law served 24 years in the army I was a NAFFI lass for a number of years best time of my life! I then married a RAF Police Dog Handler had some great times in Germany cheep booze ect :) it was a good life
As Brumas has hit on but these awful things that are allegedly happening we are still
An overall excellent British Force surely that's important and Hail Hail the Kings shilling we are a good British Nation long may it continue.

  Forum Editor 23:38 23 May 2006

I'm always interested in such things because I spent twelve years of my life on RAF bases, both here, and in the Far east.

I'm able to step back, and realise that a TV program is just that - a reflection of the way that certain people saw a certain subject at a certain time. I don't slavishly believe all that I see on TV documentaries, and more than I swallow everything that's written in newspapers. I think that the way to approach contentious issues is to take the widest possible view, and gather information from as many sources as possible.

When considering the present (and future) state of this country's armed forces it's important to understand at least three important things:-

1. Our world is one in which our national security is no longer threatened in the way it might have been say, twenty five years ago.

2. The people who serve in the forces reflect the values and morals of our society as a whole.

3. We no longer occupy the pivotal position on the world stage that we once considered ours by right. We are a considerably diminished nation in terms of our military significance, despite what some gung-ho factions might like to think to the contrary.

These are facts, and we have to face them. Morale in the armed forces has been a subject of debate for a long time, and will continue to be so. We're not alone in that; most western nations have seen problems of that kind, and have experienced crises of discipline and difficulties with recruitment. Books have been written about the causes of these problems, and there are theories by the dozen - not least amongst them the view that morale in the armed forces is directly related to the presence or absence of direct threats to national identity or security. Prolonged periods of peace aren't conducive to comradeship in the way that wars are.

Whatever the causes, and whatever the truth (or otherwise) of the scenarios portrayed in TV programmes, it's a fact that financing and running a modern nation's peacetime army/navy/airforce is far from being an easy task.

  Brumas 09:26 24 May 2006

Sorry, I thought it was directed at my post . The first post I was able to see was from the Forum Editor.

I think I may be inclined, if allowed, to let this post run until after the repeat on Saturday, then I shall green tick it.

  Totally-braindead 10:17 24 May 2006

My nephew came out of the armed forces last year, he had served in Bosnia, Afghanistan and two tours in Iraq.
He became disenchanted with the way he was being treated in the past couple of years and decided enough was enough. Having heard some of his stories I must say I agree with him and his decision. I unfortunatly didn't see the program but will keep an eye out for the repeat if there is one.

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