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  1. #176
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    What the commission does/does not report for the Reserve, will be the making or the end of it. Some good points made above and all are doable.

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  3. #177
    Sergeant Major Auldsod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by batterysgt View Post
    What the commission does/does not report for the Reserve, will be the making or the end of it. Some good points made above and all are doable.
    This is the one point we can all agree on.

    If a half baked approach is taken to reinvigorating the reserve, I fear extinction is inevitable.

    We've great ideas and I'm sure numerous others will be communicated to the Commission.

    The sticking point will be resourcing with funding (wouldn't be tiny in overall budget but plenty of other areas looking for money) and manpower assistance from the PDF (the PDF manpower crisis is one of the primary reasons we have a commission so much stress here).

    Trying to sort out the RDF with a neutral funding and resourcing impact would be a disaster in my opinion.

  4. #178
    Captain Truck Driver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auldsod View Post
    This is the one point we can all agree on.

    If a half baked approach is taken to reinvigorating the reserve, I fear extinction is inevitable.

    We've great ideas and I'm sure numerous others will be communicated to the Commission.

    The sticking point will be resourcing with funding (wouldn't be tiny in overall budget but plenty of other areas looking for money) and manpower assistance from the PDF (the PDF manpower crisis is one of the primary reasons we have a commission so much stress here).

    Trying to sort out the RDF with a neutral funding and resourcing impact would be a disaster in my opinion
    Regrettably, someone in DOD will doubtless try and improve funding in this regard by offsetting elsewhere in the existing budget, i.e. the PDF will end up being deficient somewhere

    And that would not be a good scenario, as our Permanent colleagues are stretched enough and underpaid enough as it is
    "Well, stone me! We've had cocaine, bribery and Arsenal scoring two goals at home. But just when you thought there were truly no surprises left in football, Vinnie Jones turns out to be an international player!" (Jimmy Greaves)!"

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  6. #179
    Sergeant Major Auldsod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Truck Driver View Post
    Regrettably, someone in DOD will doubtless try and improve funding in this regard by offsetting elsewhere in the existing budget, i.e. the PDF will end up being deficient somewhere

    And that would not be a good scenario, as our Permanent colleagues are stretched enough and underpaid enough as it is
    Robbing Peter to pay Paul. Given the issues with pay, retention and capability - it's difficult to see this Commission not recommending increased defence spending.

    There is a Nordic twist to the Commission and they've increased there's in recent years. Now of course, their states aren't situated in such a benign environment as ours. It would be interesting to see how the Government would react to such a report suggesting more funding. 'Fiscal Pressure' from the pandemic may be a useful get out of jail free card for them.
    Last edited by Auldsod; 10th February 2021 at 16:37.

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  8. #180
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    The key is the implementation not the report as we have seen in 2 PDF and 2 RDF reorgs, 2 White Papers and other reports

    RDF pay could be improved drastically by making it easier to admin. It is improved in fairness. Just use more of the current financial allocation

  9. #181
    Lord Chief Bottlewasher trellheim's Avatar
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    We cost fk-all. They killed the grat because it could go on a happy list to make someone look good. Remember the notional reason it was killed was to fund extra mandays, which have never ever been taken up, because numbers have kept dropping for 20 years. Even through the worst of the recessions in the '70s and '80s the grat remained.
    "Are they trying to shoot down the other drone? "

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

  10. #182
    Sergeant Major Auldsod's Avatar
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    Forgive my ignorance but I wasn't in when the grat was still paid. How much was it per year and what did you have to do to qualify?

    I'm going to say it. I think we are going to see the grat recommended to return by the Commission. As Trellheim states, it costs feck all.

  11. #183
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    Most likely Grat will be restored but you will most likely have to have all KPIs completed to qualify. Again more problems there, no access to MO when it suits. Ranges are not ran every weekend. No proper access to PTIs on weekends to suit Reservists. Manual handling is not a 2 hrs cse and requires almost a field day. When the first ROW gets in the system that's when it clogs. I could not get off the weekend xy and z was arranged, I am available all other days. PDF investigates ROWs.

  12. #184
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trellheim View Post
    We cost fk-all. They killed the grat because it could go on a happy list to make someone look good. Remember the notional reason it was killed was to fund extra mandays, which have never ever been taken up, because numbers have kept dropping for 20 years. Even through the worst of the recessions in the '70s and '80s the grat remained.
    Grat was killed to fund more mandays .... yet we handed back mandays unused every single year unused (VFM report having left that bit out of course).

    The RDF pay policy being handstrunk by paperwork not being completed/submitted, not getting enough notice/not being informed, unit/Bde policies and to go back to my point a system that is obstructive rather than facilitative.


    Quote Originally Posted by Auldsod View Post
    Forgive my ignorance but I wasn't in when the grat was still paid. How much was it per year and what did you have to do to qualify?

    I'm going to say it. I think we are going to see the grat recommended to return by the Commission. As Trellheim states, it costs feck all.
    It was increased to a realistic level for about 3 years before abolishment (was I think €70 private, €120 NCO and €180 officer for a long time (don’t quote me on amounts). That was paid tax free during FTT.


    It was increased for about 3 years to starting at €180 for a private with 1 years service and 7 days FTT up to €900 for private on integration.

    To get that you needed to do:
    - 8 unpaid training parades
    - 8 unpaid field days (or equivalent in hours)
    - APWTs
    - 7/14/21 (plus integrated syllabus requirements) aggregate mandays
    - min 1 years service (if memory serves that was only brought in a couple of weeks before the first payment was due)

    That was tax free and paid in December
    Last edited by DeV; 10th February 2021 at 20:40.

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  14. #185
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    with regard to the RDF, the Commission will consider a wide range of options and will make recommendations to better leverage the capabilities of the RDF in their supports to the PDF and to make service in the RDF a more attractive option

    Above TOR on most parts of RDF.

  15. #186
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Back to the FLR for a second

    https://www.kildarestreet.com/wrans/?id=2021-02-03a.945

    Strength as at the end of the year was:
    Army
    Offrs 0
    NCOs 14
    Ptes 118

    AC
    Offrs 0
    NCOs 4
    Airmen 20

    NS
    Offrs 3
    NCOs 16
    Seamen 87

    Holding up promotions etc unlikely to be a major issue (in the AR anyway)

  16. #187
    Lord Chief Bottlewasher trellheim's Avatar
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    The FCA/RDF has been on a continuous loss of people since 1994 It has never had more people than that year, and even then has dropped in strength every year bar one or two years and they were in the 90s and 2002/2003. Since then its just been 20 years of bleeding . Proof : See the DF strength down the years.

    Its not the grat, pay , clothing , recruiting (although at the moment its the worst its ever been to get someone in, COVID aside)
    "Are they trying to shoot down the other drone? "

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

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  18. #188
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    Were people promoted on tenure then? How could people be promoted to a non existent post, or was it due to previous reorganisations?
    According to PWC 1998, the strength of Cols was 4 over establishment, Lt Col’s 21 and Comdts 97. This was explained by:

    Col - there were 3 overseas so temp promotions to replace them and 1 Supernumerary

    Lt Col - 13 overseas so temp promotions to replace them, 7 retained in service (some officers could extend their service up to aged 60 but this was being phased out) and 2 supernumerary

    Comdt - 61 overseas so temp promotions to replace them, 23 due to fixed term promotions (mainly tech officers who qualified for promotion after a certain number of years (this then blocked Capt’s appointments)), 8 retained in service, 5 on leave of absence/secondment (with replacement authorised) and 2 supernumerary.

    Ref Supernumerary there were 5 “officers appointments to establishment.... in DFHQ, the Equitation Sch and AC”


    It doesn’t go into detail as much for all the other ranks

  19. #189
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trellheim View Post
    The FCA/RDF has been on a continuous loss of people since 1994 It has never had more people than that year, and even then has dropped in strength every year bar one or two years and they were in the 90s and 2002/2003. Since then its just been 20 years of bleeding . Proof : See the DF strength down the years.

    Its not the grat, pay , clothing , recruiting (although at the moment its the worst its ever been to get someone in, COVID aside)
    I’d argue that it is grat, pay, clothing etc.... but not just those 100,000 other issues.

    We don’t value our members as a “Defence Organisation” (DF & DoD). As an organisation, we don’t treat people fairly (nepotism in some units, pool issue kit, etc), in some parts the training was haphazard at best, we don’t let them do what they joined to do (the they’ll get cold and wet Bde), we don’t give them basic things like a change of uniform, wet gear. All those things can be the straw that breaks the camels back for someone.

    The question I answered about grat reminded me about that. When the new increased grat came in obviously it was on the notice board what you had to do. We regularly updated a wall chart to help motivate people as to how much they had done. There was always a keen interest and it did help in motivating attendance. We had put a huge effort into recruiting that and the previous year and it had worked and we better than 50% retention.

    Then someone decided a few weeks before it was due to be paid that you also had to have min 1 years service (no matter how many days you had done you could only get the 7 day rate) and min 2 years to get the 14 day rate. I had to tell them. I was honest and incredibly pissed off on their behalf, they appreciated that and retention didn’t overly suffer. Other units weren’t as lucky.

    Thankfully some of those problems are gone, some turn up now and then, some are still in force in some units, plus we have lots of new ones.

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  21. #190
    Lord Chief Bottlewasher trellheim's Avatar
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    I’d argue that it is grat, pay, clothing etc
    All of those issues combine to make it a much crappier experience, and its a horrible entry process. Every time in the last few years it hasn't been like the BA Reserve or USNG ( common core skills and highly centralized ) but people going "imagine if we put MORE into the two star syllabus" backslaps all round. Same for most recent career courses.

    ^^^^^ all the above . There was no major change in 1996 but the numbers have been on a continual slide more or less since and thats a fact . They were static from about 13 years - 1983-1996 at about 15,000 . Pay, uniforms, grat problems have existed all the way through these periods ( it was brutal when I joined in 86) . The answer lies elsewhere.

    Since 1994
    "Are they trying to shoot down the other drone? "

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

  22. #191
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trellheim View Post
    All of those issues combine to make it a much crappier experience, and its a horrible entry process. Every time in the last few years it hasn't been like the BA Reserve or USNG ( common core skills and highly centralized ) but people going "imagine if we put MORE into the two star syllabus" backslaps all round. Same for most recent career courses.

    ^^^^^ all the above . There was no major change in 1996 but the numbers have been on a continual slide more or less since and thats a fact . They were static from about 13 years - 1983-1996 at about 15,000 . Pay, uniforms, grat problems have existed all the way through these periods ( it was brutal when I joined in 86) . The answer lies elsewhere.

    Since 1994
    Yes and until the experience is changed, throughout the RDF, that will continue. If efforts were made to improve the simple stuff it would aid retention. Not saying it would fix it but sometimes little things like that make a massive difference when someone is thinking about voting with their feet.

    Don’t necessarily disagree but we want reservists who are as far as possible useful and with a degree of interoperability with the PDF. That’s what (increasingly) the DF wants and needs. But it is definitely a double edged sword.

  23. #192
    Lord Chief Bottlewasher trellheim's Avatar
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    Don’t necessarily disagree but we want reservists who are as far as possible useful and with a degree of interoperability with the PDF. That’s what (increasingly) the DF wants and needs
    Christmas 1987, two stars on my arm I was doing barrack regimentals in several barracks . exact same interoperability as now from that point of view and we trained like crazy for those star tests.
    Last edited by trellheim; 11th February 2021 at 12:58.
    "Are they trying to shoot down the other drone? "

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

  24. #193
    Commander in Chief Bravo20's Avatar
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    A slight caveat on the pre 1994 figures. The amount of funding paid to each unit was based on the numbers on the books up until the mid to late 90s. Units weren't incentivised to make people non effective (in fact the opposite was the case), I was a company clerk from 94 to 97 and I remember the change as our unit took the opportunity to get rid of all the dead wood.

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  26. #194
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trellheim View Post
    Christmas 1987, two stars on my arm I was doing barrack regimentals in several barracks . exact same interoperability as now from that point of view and we trained like crazy for those star tests.
    Yes but PDF (and RDF) recruit and 2-3* training syllabi are very different now.

    There are some very basic and useful areas (both life & military skills that are essential section level tasks) on both PDF syllabi that aren’t on either. But there is a balance I absolutely agree.

    We need continuation syllabi on some of these and not to be run at unit level.

  27. #195
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bravo20 View Post
    A slight caveat on the pre 1994 figures. The amount of funding paid to each unit was based on the numbers on the books up until the mid to late 90s. Units weren't incentivised to make people non effective (in fact the opposite was the case), I was a company clerk from 94 to 97 and I remember the change as our unit took the opportunity to get rid of all the dead wood.
    And old habits died hard in many units and that has only changed in the last 3 years in some units.

    Of course in some units anything that involved paperwork wasn’t done.

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  29. #196
    Captain Truck Driver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    Yes but PDF (and RDF) recruit and 2-3* training syllabi are very different now.

    There are some very basic and useful areas (both life & military skills that are essential section level tasks) on both PDF syllabi that aren’t on either. But there is a balance I absolutely agree.

    We need continuation syllabi on some of these and not to be run at unit level
    Agree with the statement above (bold)
    Only way to ensure matching standards is to run this at Bde / All Army level
    "Well, stone me! We've had cocaine, bribery and Arsenal scoring two goals at home. But just when you thought there were truly no surprises left in football, Vinnie Jones turns out to be an international player!" (Jimmy Greaves)!"

  30. #197
    Lord Chief Bottlewasher trellheim's Avatar
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    Units weren't incentivised to make people non effective (in fact the opposite was the case),
    ahh Deontas i gCabhair flashback (Grant in Aid) remember that lol
    "Are they trying to shoot down the other drone? "

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

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  32. #198
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Truck Driver View Post
    Agree with the statement above (bold)
    Only way to ensure matching standards is to run this at Bde / All Army level
    Not the reason I was thinking of .... centralised to create critical mass. No point in 4 Inf battalions running 60mm mortar course for 4 students each, run 1 for the whole Bde

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  34. #199
    Captain Truck Driver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    Not the reason I was thinking of .... centralised to create critical mass. No point in 4 Inf battalions running 60mm mortar course for 4 students each, run 1 for the whole Bde
    There is that also
    "Well, stone me! We've had cocaine, bribery and Arsenal scoring two goals at home. But just when you thought there were truly no surprises left in football, Vinnie Jones turns out to be an international player!" (Jimmy Greaves)!"

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