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  1. #1
    Lord Chief Bottlewasher trellheim's Avatar
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    Discussion thread for COS remarks to the Committee Nov 2018

    Vice Admiral Mark Mellett made his views known while addressing, for the first time, the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs, Trade and Defence.


    It emerged last month in Dáil exchanges between Mr Chambers and the Minister of State with responsibility for defence, Paul Keogh, that a series of recommendations to deal with pay and personnel retention problems, which the Strategic Planning Branch of Vice Admiral Mellett’s office prepared and gave to the department, were stripped out of the submission that the department in turn gave to the commission.
    I do wonder at the DoD sometimes I cannot see what the gain is there.
    Last edited by trellheim; 16th November 2018 at 10:03.
    "Are they trying to shoot down the other drone? "

    "No, they're trying to fly the tank"

  2. #2
    C/S CTU's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trellheim View Post
    I do wonder at the DoD sometimes I cannot see what the gain is there.
    This might be their agenda

    http://forum.irishmilitaryonline.com...e-to-low-staff

    DoD must love the interdepartmental meetings when the other departments are overspending and they are under spending.
    Last edited by CTU; 16th November 2018 at 10:26.
    Well, government doesn't stop just because the country's been destroyed! I mean, annihilation's bad enough without anarchy to make things even worse!

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  4. #3
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    Recruit Poiuyt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTU View Post
    DoD must love the interdepartmental meetings when the other departments are overspending and they are under spending.
    They got burned on that before - Dept of Finance may give them a pat on the back but it doesn't make a blind bit of difference to Finance. In the end there won't be any benefit from it.

    At the cabinet table, might be a different story.

  7. #5
    Brigadier General
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    Around the time of the first white paper I was chatting to a retired Officer who was dabbiling in politics at the time.
    He had server in DoD Parkgate Street for a time and said that the DoD civie staff had a chip on their shoulder with the Military staff and acted the bollopox to hamper any thing they tried to move on. Things like a senior department head being greeted with a "howya Jim" while the guy beside them being address as sir ground their nuts. The Military are dealing with a bunch of cunbs who are protecting their little empire at the expense of defence.

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  9. #6
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    As a civil servant I have noticed a trend in senior managers. As they rise the ladder, their only objective is not to upset their chance of promotion. Once they reach the higher steps, all they want to do is impose the "my way or the highway" method of management, usually without any interest or knowledge of the area in which they work. Keep in mind that many reached the junior management positions they were promoted from by seniority alone, with little in the way of actual management skills. They bluffed their way to the higher positions by taking credit for implementing policies created by others.
    In recent years there has then been a steady influx of highly educated managers from the private sector. These people have given the public sector since they left school managers with a new motivation to frustrate and hamper progress at every opportunity.
    As the CoS has discovered, when it comes to the DoD, if the civil servants there didn't come up with the idea, they will block it every time. Well done to the CoS for speaking out, in the most diplomatic of ways, about the obvious failures within the DoD to implement defence policy. Well done also to the members of the committee for recognising this.
    German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
    German 2: Private? I am a general!
    German 1: That is the bad news.

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  11. #7
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    If only the CoS was the accounting officer and had the authority to request the dismissal of department employees from the minister for defence as is the case with the Garda Commissioner.

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  13. #8
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    Clare Daly to the CoS: As the head of an organisation of about 10000 people, why don't you know about this incident involving one of them, resulting in a disciplinary action involving 2 others?

    She assures him it was in the news, but it seems to have gone under the rader of all here too.
    Ah yes I remember well when working in a large multinational in the private sector, how all disciplinary actions would be fasttracked to the desk of the MD at head office.....
    German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
    German 2: Private? I am a general!
    German 1: That is the bad news.

  14. #9
    Commander in Chief Bravo20's Avatar
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    I suspect she may be talking about a certain video that was circulated on Facebook involving a private who was acting the maggot getting his just desserts

  15. #10
    Lord Chief Bottlewasher trellheim's Avatar
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    Unfortunately it usually takes some time for Committee debate transcripts to go up, usually a fortnight or so.
    "Are they trying to shoot down the other drone? "

    "No, they're trying to fly the tank"

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  17. #11
    Lord Chief Bottlewasher trellheim's Avatar
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    MM if you are reading this thanks for calling out the RDF ( Min 43 onwards ) ... and the specialist reserve... let's do it !!!!!!
    "Are they trying to shoot down the other drone? "

    "No, they're trying to fly the tank"

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  19. #12
    Lord Chief Bottlewasher trellheim's Avatar
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    Sorry ive finished listening to this in a podcast type when driving up to the orienteering today.

    fk sake the quality of questioning from our elected reps .

    Shout outs to A o Snodaigh and Clare Daly who at least had some knowledge of the subject. Its an interesting thing to see some oversight .

    The Chair Brendan Smith - thanks for saying nice things about us.

    However - no FG tds in attendance - could not be bothered to turn up which I think is shocking disrespect
    "Are they trying to shoot down the other drone? "

    "No, they're trying to fly the tank"

  20. #13
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    • Sean Barrett TD
    • Tony McLoughlin
    • Sen Gabrielle McFadden.

    So what were the TDs doing that kept them away from committee? I did notice some asked their question and left because there was some pressing debate ongoing in the dail.
    Leaders Questions would have been on round this time, and FG td's have little purpose here except to sit near the Taoiseach (or in this case the Taniste) and nod in agreement.
    Sean Barrett rarely shows up to this committee and even made a point of this when the RDFRA met the committee some time ago.
    Tony McLoughlin had no questions tabled in the Dail on the 15th. Though it must be asked what the purpose is of having a TD in that committee when his constituency has no (and has not had) any military installation of any sort within its borders. Energy is his thing, going by the bills he has put through. Yet another victim of the dilution of defence by the current government. There was a time it was put with Justice. The current combination makes no practical sense.
    German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
    German 2: Private? I am a general!
    German 1: That is the bad news.

  21. #14
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Clare Daly would protest at a social housing opening for their not being enough social housing

    SF!!

  22. #15
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    You realise of course that the one place you’ll never find a TD is in Leinster House

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  24. #16
    Lord Chief Bottlewasher trellheim's Avatar
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    By the by I recommend all should have a listen to the whole three hours. Put it on in the car or something. It does offer a unique perspective into top management's view of the deep problems we face.

    Also by the by - what badge is DCOS Ops wearing on the left and right shoulders
    Last edited by trellheim; 19th November 2018 at 08:43.
    "Are they trying to shoot down the other drone? "

    "No, they're trying to fly the tank"

  25. #17
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trellheim View Post
    By the by I recommend all should have a listen to the whole three hours. Put it on in the car or something. It does offer a unique perspective into top management's view of the deep problems we face.

    Also by the by - what badge is DCOS Ops wearing on the left and right shoulders
    DFHQ on left
    Nothing on right

  26. #18
    Lord Chief Bottlewasher trellheim's Avatar
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    DFHQ on left
    ACOS is wearing DFHQ. DCOS Ops is not - looks like a tricolour
    "Are they trying to shoot down the other drone? "

    "No, they're trying to fly the tank"

  27. #19
    The Auld Fella A/TEL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trellheim View Post
    ACOS is wearing DFHQ. DCOS Ops is not - looks like a tricolour
    Maj Gen Cotter is DCOS Support
    Last edited by trellheim; 19th November 2018 at 17:34.

  28. #20
    Lord Chief Bottlewasher trellheim's Avatar
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    sorry correct amend my last
    "Are they trying to shoot down the other drone? "

    "No, they're trying to fly the tank"

  29. #21
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    Some of the politicians raised issues that have been identified as far back as 2000/1 but needed political effort and direction to change.

    Some quotes from DF strategy statement 2001-2004 (Brendan Smith TD was MoD)

    Internal Weaknesses
    A series of Defence reviews has chronicled the weaknesses of the Defence Forces at length. Some ofthese weaknesses remain to be addressed. These and other weaknesses are broadly summarised below:
    • The absence of clear lines of accountability, authority and responsibility. The Chief of Staff currently has 18% of the Defence Vote devolved to him, while expenditure on the Defence Forces is in excess of 90% of the vote
    (Almost 20 years ago, it was identified that the CoS had a need to be accounting officer)

    • Human Resources - Recruitment and retention difficulties; and the inability to transfer or retire personnel to meet organisational requirements

    • Deployment and Organisation - operational units too widely dispersed
    (Still too dispersed as political parties priorities is for votes rather than the needs of the state)



    • Equipment & Infrastructure - the need to continue the considerable improvement in recent yearsto enable a credible defence capability and to meet the standards required of a force operating in a modern peace support environment
    (While equipment acquisition programs have improved the general state of Defence Forces building infrastructure across the country is extremely poor and is having a direct negative impact on both health and safety, operational effectiveness and retention).

    • Training - Insufficient dedicated collective conventional military training
    (Still no centralised recruit training facilities)

    External Threats
    • The impact of an economic slowdown on the implementation of Defence Forces’ reform

    • The requirement to devise a new Defence Forces’ Pension scheme and the uncertainty of its effect on future recruitment and retention
    One of if not the biggest challenge to retention is the complete erosion of the DF pension scheme to the point where it now not financially viable for new entrants (post 2013) to live when they are still mandatorily forced to retire at a certain sage or time served.

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  31. #22
    Corporal irishrgr's Avatar
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    Overall I think MM did a good job, he stayed professional, ,kept circulating back to the pay issue as a core issue and didn't give the Mick and Claire show any fodder. He came across as professional and someone who cares about his organization and the service members. He did a good job of hitting his talking points and staying in the circle of trust. One of my take aways was "look, if you give me the resources, we won't have a retention & operational problem" even though he never actually said the.

    His face, towards the end of Daly's questions seemed like he was getting a bit annoyed with her, but then who wouldn't. Nice to see the uniformed leadership getting the message out. This needs to be a regular feature and not have them censored by DoD. Ultimately the CoS needs to the accounting officer.

  32. #23
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Unfortunately the politicians are more concerned with themselves

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  34. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    Unfortunately the politicians are more concerned with themselves
    Delete "more", substitute "ONLY".

  35. #25
    Lord Chief Bottlewasher trellheim's Avatar
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    Looking back many of the questions are better dealt with as standard DF PQ's . If you have the opportunity to question the COS would you not focus on COS taskings /train/equip/man
    "Are they trying to shoot down the other drone? "

    "No, they're trying to fly the tank"

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