Army chief's concern over public

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by sgtpepperband, Sep 21, 2007.

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  1. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    The head of the British Army says he is becoming increasingly concerned about "the growing gulf between the Army and the nation"... [Full story]
  2. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    I think he's absolutely right, 20 years ago everyone I know, knew or had family in the services. My wife and I are the only servicemen most of my civvi friends know, we are somewhat of an oddity. I was in Leicester last week in uniform, walked into the bus station cafe to wait for my daughter, whilst buying a coffee the girl behind the counter asked which bus company I worked for!!!!! Whilst waiting by the bus stop an old lady walked up and asked which bus she needed for Lincoln (obviously I told her 122A, she's somewhere near Manchester now)

    My point is that we aren't even recognised in uniform anymore, maybe because the uniform has become so sterile or maybe people are just so disengaged that they aren't bothered.
  3. So what's new??? Replied Tommy Atkins
  4. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    As a contrast, a couple of years ago in Brum, about as far from the oggin as you can get, I was in uniform in the city centre (to attend the T200 service in St Martins in the Bullring); on my way to the church from the car park I passed through Selfridges as a short cut - approaching a busy door, it was opened for me with the phrase "After you please Chief".

    There's two sides to public recognition; we've got to be prepeared to wear the uniform in public in order to educate the public that SRs are not bus drivers in a fancy uniform <ding><ding> fares please! :)
  5. just came back from Brize Norton collecting my youngest as she arrived back after 5 months based in Bahrain . Never being in the services I still consider it to be a privalige to be included in these military procedures, but what really wound me up today while waiting in the terminal were police notices to all personel warning them of the posible offence they may incurr in certain areas of the communty if they wear their uniforms off base ! Dont get me wrong I think it is sound advice, and it didnt seem to bother the service men, but if it was myself that was traveling overseas risking life and limb for my country I'd be more than a bit miffed on my return to be told this. sorry for the rant but I'm still seathing now in work.
  6. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    How low have we sunk that people can live here and 'take offence' at the sight of the Queen's uniform? Why should we tolerate such filth in our midst?
  7. Ignorance is at the core of all this and to some degree how far the public perceive Afghanistan/Iraq as being vital to our interests. I think all of us on here would agree in part at least that Afghanistan is vital to our interests, and those of the West in general. However, the general public probably wouldn't care unless Coronation Street went off the air or the Taliban started bombing our airfields in the UK....or am I being unfair?

    Another factor is that the country is being run by a cabal of fomer local government officials/academics/former special interest group representatives/professional politicians who are no more likely to stand up for the armed forces' interests than they are to recognise that its a nasty world we live in that will sometimes need the provision of extreme violence to achieve foreign policy objectives........ :thumright:
  8. Came back from Afghanistan on leave earlier in the year and was told (by a civvie) at Brize that I had to get changed out of uniform before I would be allowed on the bus to the station. There being no changing facilities in the terminal I - and others - had to get changed in the heads.

    What angered me and still makes me throw my arms up in despair, is that the ruling, I think, has been made by our own senior officers.

    I was allowed to wonder around a dangerous foreign land with a rifle (and as I'm in the Navy, I don't think the powers-that-be realize how dodgy that was), but I'm not allowed to wear my uniform in my own land 'for my protection'.

    Frankly, I think it should be down to me to judge the risk and if Sir Richard Dannatt really is concerned about how we are seen by the public, I think he should press for us to be allowed to be seen in public! Not just the occasional pomp, but every day. That I think would be a good first step.
  9. Whatever happened to the "rig run", when you wore your N0 1's ashore because you knew the locals would entice you over for a few wets (and other thingies...) and to hear your dits, or just to thank you for the fine job your doing.

    Instead you wear the uniform and it becomes a target at home for the malcontents who wouldn't know what colour polish to put on the boots ffs...

    And what's really astonishing is if you live in a military town, and it's this way.Over here I believe a lot of the reasons for the apathy can be squarely laid at the feet of senior silly servants, it is them that the public really have a beef with, but because a person in uniform is a clear target that's who they vent about...that and the fact that Canada is too damn big from coast to coast, so reading about it in the UK is really amazing as your history is most definitely longer then ours (although somewhat intertwined) and your troops/sailors have been at it longer..think maybe it's "fatigue", this process has been going on for quite awhile now and the public want to move on...? or not enough community exposure, also the cut backs and amalgamations must have hurt....

    I think one of the reasons may be the loss of "traditions", the esprit de corp amongst the units, not doubting their professionalism, but as the regiments and Navy units get whittled down, unit traditions are lost forever and after each slice it becomes more invisible...JMO...
  10. I agree with Sir Richard Dannatt, t would be nice to see someone from the RN saying the same? First or CINC perhaps?
  11. I think at the moment in the civvy world there is a lot of apathy
    regarding the Armed forces reason being the use the forces are being
    put to at the moment .
    With the Falklands we had full UK backing and the population knew all our successes and welcomed us coming home.
    Now with Iraq------the reasons for invading the place haven't really been explained and as for Afghanistan ???? somebody mentioned why not boost the import controls in this country to prevent drugs getting in.

    The media attention the forces get is also next to nothing unless its to report another death . Or the reports of bad equipment!!

    Its like a US Vietnam situation and the UK is trying it now. Our forces
    a long way from home in places that in some cases the place name is un-pronouncable and in some cases unwinnable .

    As for the uniforms in public -----well its been going on since the 1970's
    and the N.Ireland troubles.
    Mind you as a vet and wearing the blazer etc etc its amazing how much
    'respect ' is shown to us when we do show up in public.

    :nemo: :nemo:
  12. Well, to be fair, 1st and 2nd have been saying for a fair while to wear our uniform in public. I can remember dits at the bottom of our (old style) pay statements telling us to do just that.
  13. We stopped wearing uniform ashore mostly in the UK during the 70's due to the threat from the IRA at the time.
    I think this probably helped towards the loss of consciousness regarding the exsistance of our armed forces etc.

    Hopefully we are not going down the same path as the Americans did during the Vietnam War where their servicemen and women were treated like lepers because of it.

    Service personnel do not chose where the next war or conflict is ,this is usually the domain of the politicians but they just get on and do the duties that are expected of them. Sometimes without the full back up from those self same politcians who sent them there in the first place.

    I believe we should have a national bank holiday in honour of all serving ,retired and reserve servicemen and women and also the merchant marine in thanks for their efforts during war and peace.
    We could have it at the same time or near to Rememberance Day and call it United Services day or something similar.
    Maybe then people will remember that we have one of the best if not the best armed services in the world.

    Lest We Forget.
  14. I lament the lose of the White Front and making Juniors wear shirts. Didn't have a "Corporate Image" so we gave them bloody epaulettes. Now everyone looks like a bus driver.
    And on the subject, I don't really approve of WRN's / Female JR's or whatever they are supposed to be called in this day and age, wearing square rig. They looked far smarter in Fore and Aft rig (NO pun intended!) with those caps that had to be balanced on the bridge of their nose. And don't say it was for going to sea, a set of strides could have been added to their kit list, and still have looked smart. Female S/R and Officers being an example.
    Surely this was all a cost cutting exercise. We'll be like the NOG-Wegians next, all the services in the same uniform and only differentiated by the colour of their wooly pulley.
    Call me old fashioned, but its dog egg. Bloody penny pinchers, they've stolen our corporate image that took hundreds of years to instill in the public psyche.

    Here endeth the rant.

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