The Officer Drought

THE number of would-be officers applying to attend the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst has plunged by 40 per cent as potential candidates reject the Army as a career in favour of more lucrative civilian jobs.

That was written in 2015, which was very surprising (not). It went on to describe the loss of attractiveness for the forces as a long-term career opportunity.

The politically driven 2011 UK’s Strategic Defense Review(s) effectively destroyed the armed forces expertise from the ground up with its ill thought out money-saving fixation.

Of course it also had a knock on effect way past the rank and file.
Unhappy, uncertain about their future, troops reached a point where they simply didn’t give a damn and many before they were ‘pushed’.
Funny thing was 1000 officers ALSO choose to quit.
Simply put, the UK’s armed forces was seen as going downhill.
Thus a few years on there is a lack of expertise to promote.

So what is proposed?
The ‘powers that be’ are thinking about dumping the policy of senior officers coming up through the officer ranks and basically by-passing experience for qualification.
Senior Rupert’s with no military experience?
Some old hands will probably be thinking “how unusual (NOT)”.

The real reason for this, (not enough officers to promote and even fewer wanting to join), is being hidden behind the rhetoric of ‘a new set of skills is needed for today’s warfare”.
OK, I sort of buy that (a little) BUT just imagine the reality.
Direct entry geeky cyber and technology officers taking military decisions.
Even worse them having superior rank over time served ‘junior officers’.

You can say almost anything to an officer provided you add “SIR” at the beginning and end and believe me, a few idiot officers have been on the receiving end of a well-earned “Sir, With respect, F.O. Sir!” from experienced NCO’s and troops. A trend which may grow if what is proposed is enacted.

It’s also a recipe for even more mass resignations by the junior officer class!

Still there will always be the NCO’s to save the forces blushes.
Only even they have limited patience for poor ‘management’.

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