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  • Survey

    Survey finds most soldiers unhappy with service life

    Richard Norton-Taylor
    Saturday November 5, 2005
    The Guardian

    Nearly three-quarters of soldiers feel undervalued and nearly two-thirds are dissatisfied with the standard of their accommodation, according to the latest survey on attitudes in the army.

    Every year, more than half of all British soldiers spend £13m out of their own pockets on combat equipment, with officers spending £1.6m, the survey suggests.

    The "continuous attitude" survey is based on 2,900 responses between December 2004 and April this year. A copy has been placed in the House of Commons library.

    Only one in two soldiers said they were satisfied with their job and were confident in their fighting equipment.

    A quarter said they had complained about unfair treatment and discrimination and 47% said they "often think of quitting", with more than 40% saying they would probably look for a new job in the coming year. Eighty-five per cent said they believed bullying existed in the army. Eight out of 10 were dissatisfied with the effects of army life on their families.

    Four in 10 soldiers say army life is "worse or much worse than I expected it to be", according to the survey. Taking the army as a whole, that amounts to 32,000 soldiers.

    Michael Moore, Liberal Democrat defence spokesman, who has seen the survey, said yesterday: "It is disgraceful that soldiers are forced to spend so much out of their own pockets on combat kit and clothing because they have no confidence in their standard issue."

    He added: "It is equally disturbing that one in four have been subject to abusive or unfair treatment ...

    "The consequences are all too clear: a staggering one in two soldiers often think of quitting. In truth, this is a wake-up call for ministers."

    Mr Moore continued: "At a time when ministers are placing more and more demands on our forces - with impending deployment to Afghanistan, and with no trace of an exit strategy for Iraq - serious questions must be asked about Whitehall support for our troops in the field."

    Pressures on the defence budget are delaying badly needed improvements to soldiers' accommodation and other facilities as well as equipment.

    However, recruitment and retention is not being significantly hit yet, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Defence.

    There is a shortfall of 1,900 in the number of soldiers the army requires to meet its new official target of 90,320, excluding officers, the figures say.

    However, they relate to the year ending last April and look much better than they might have done because they take into account a significant cut in the total number of soldiers it says Britain needs.

    Recently, senior army officers have been expressing much more concern about recruitment of both officers and soldiers, partly because of Iraq.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/military/s...ticle_continue

    If a similar survey was undertaken here, what would the results be like?
    "Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here...this is the War Room!"

  • #2
    It's when they stop complaining that you have to worry.
    .
    .
    .
    With 50,000 men getting killed a week, who's going to miss a pigeon?

    Guns don't kill people, bullets kill people.

    Comment


    • #3
      Its down to a change in upbringing. During Childhood, and early teenage years, discipline for the most part is non existent or "consultative".
      The idea of doing something when someone tells you to immediately without having to ask why is an alien concept to many of todays younger generation.
      Combine with that a culture that does not respect the rule of law and order, or government.


      Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

      Comment


      • #4
        Back to the old maxim really...if you couldn't take a joke...you shouldn't have joined up!
        Covid 19 is not over ....it's still very real..Hand Hygiene, Social Distancing and Masks.. keep safe

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by stameen soldier
          If a similar survey was undertaken here, what would the results be like?
          It would be interesting to see and especially compare the PDF survey against the RDF survey.

          For example, how does a RDF infantry soldier feel about the highly unlikely chance of serving over seas within the next decade?

          Or, how PDF other ranks think about working along side RDF soldiers on tour abroad?
          As for accuracy, presumably the missile carries MRVs with terminal phase sensors and guidance.

          Comment


          • #6
            A better comparison would be with civilian workers in the UK- are one in two satisfied with their job and work equipment for example? I'd very much doubt it.
            Take these men and women for your example.
            Like them, remember that posterity can only
            be for the free; that freedom is the sure
            possession of those who have the
            courage to defend it.
            ***************
            Liberty is being free from the things we don't like in order to be slaves of the things we do like.
            ***************
            If you're not ready to die for it, put the word freedom out of your vocabulary.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Goldie fish
              Its down to a change in upbringing. During Childhood, and early teenage years, discipline for the most part is non existent or "consultative".
              The idea of doing something when someone tells you to immediately without having to ask why is an alien concept to many of todays younger generation.
              Combine with that a culture that does not respect the rule of law and order, or government.

              I think that, regardless of upbringing, the high op tempo of the BA and consequent disruption of family life (8 out of 10 of those surveyed are unhappy with the impact of army life on families) is what is causing so much dissatisfaction amongst soldiers.

              EDIT: here is a letter from todays Independent (the English one) which may help explain my point a bit better (filtched from ARRSE):




              Sir: The Army as a great national institution is dying, hidden away from the public's awareness.

              For the past five and a half years I served as an officer with the Light Infantry. I was a field soldier, proud to lead other young British men where our country sent us, in Bosnia, Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Iraq.

              When we joined we all knew that our job was unique, that we would be exposed to the hatred of people who would be trying to kill us or those we would protect. We accepted that we might have to take human life. We accepted that fathers would not see children grow up, that relationships might suffer under the strain of separation and friends might die in these foreign places. We too might die a painful death or return maimed and disfigured. When choosing our profession we do not ask for any great rewards. But in return for the sacrifices we make, we expect the trust we placed in our country to be returned.

              The Army's morale has been shattered. The days of leave after a six-month operational tour are now gone; soldiers are more likely to come back from Iraq and go to Afghanistan than France or Spain. We expect that if we were sent to war it would be for an honourable cause, to defend a people from an aggressive foreign threat. We did not expect to go to war and be treated as common criminals on our return.

              The famous, 300-year-old, family regiments that we belonged to have been carved up, blended into homogeneous civilianised organisations that fit the slashed budgets. At a time of chronic overstretch, where the gap between operational tours is measured in months, over 10 per cent of the infantry is being cut. And your life feels fairly cheap when you go to war without the correct equipment or sufficient ammunition.

              The army is haemorrhaging. Tomorrow's company sergeant-majors and colonels are leaving as exhausted, shattered and betrayed young men. Once this experience has gone it cannot be replaced. You cannot put an advert in a newspaper for someone to lead 100 soldiers in the back streets of Basra.

              Soldiers want the Army to be a career, spending a lifetime doing a honourable job with integrity, serving with their fellow countrymen and making the world a safer place. But the trust we placed in our country to look after our interests while we were looking after its interests has not been returned. The Army's personnel are voting with their feet. They will continue to do so until this country's leaders show the sort of honour and duty towards its soldiers that they show on a daily basis in Iraq and Afghanistan.

              CHRISTOPHER HORSFORD

              CAPTAIN (RETIRED), OXTED, SURREY
              Last edited by Steamy Window; 8 November 2005, 20:33.
              "Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here...this is the War Room!"

              Comment


              • #8
                I remember hearing, it might have been on this board, that the brits SA80 rifle, is only for right shoulders, and lefties are basically told to f*** off. I'd say 50% of the lads I know are lefties, I can see what yur man is saying, if they can't fix a simple problem like that in their main rifle, how good can their equipment be? I read this article in the times that one soldier had been in Iraq for two weeks, and was issued a pair of pants that were two sizes too big for him, he couldn't get them changed until recently. I mean flippin pants for christ sake. You're in the middle of Iraq and all you want is a new pair of pants and you can't get that.

                Did any of u guys read that article in the magazine with the guy from Top Gear? From the sound of it the soldiers are getting **** all support.
                'Sciathán Fianóglach an Airm'

                Comment


                • #9
                  And what is your opinion of the irish DF solution to the problem of lefties?

                  Comment

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