British Armed Forces Federation launched

Clouseau

Banned
hammockhead said:
dhoby_bucket said:
The divisional system is only as good as the level of experience held by the DO..

More to the point, if you expect a subbie or chief to be able to do anything about basic things like pay or allowances, or your terms and conditions of service, then you must be on another planet!

They are just the roots of the Div. System, which IIRC goes up as far as you want it to go.
 

clanky

War Hero
I think I'll probably splurge out 30 sheets on a membership. I can think of plenty of occasions when an independant organisation supplementing the divisional system would have been handy.
 

hammockhead

Lantern Swinger
slim said:
What happenned to the Armed forces pay review board that was around in the 80s? They were supposed to be made up of independent experts and the government was supposed to take note of the board findings.

The AFPRB is an independent body which makes pay recommendations on the basis of evidence submitted by the Government and others. The problem is that while there is a lot of detailed evidence submitted by the Government and chiefs of staff, all the rest of us get are 'discussion groups'. All well and good, but discussion groups are no match for the MOD's well-crafted 'official version' of living expenses, costs of living, etc. It is as if you had a civil trial and one side had an enormous team of lawyers, accountants, etc. and the other side had no representation at all but was invited for a 'discussion' with the judge.
 

hammockhead

Lantern Swinger
Clouseau said:
dhoby_bucket said:
The divisional system is only as good as the level of experience held by the DO..

True - and what of BAFF appointed representation?

BAFF is not here to replace the Divisional System. We are all by and large proud of the fact that we have a much better system than the Army. However, how many times have DOs taken things up the chain of command and been told "Oh, that's come from CinCFleet, there's nothing we can do about it", or "We can't do that, it was either here or Gordon Brown's constituency", or "The JPA contract didn't make any provision for that allowance, so there's nothing we can do now"?

In those situations either you or your DO could contact the Federation and it might be something that we could take right to the top. In other cases, we could advise the DO on how to take it further. If it doesn't work, in appropriate cases we might take it to MPs or peers and get them to put pressure on the Government, or take it to the press. Some parliamentarians and media are really on our side.

All this is new and experimental, and there will be difficulties to start with, but it is up to us to get involved and make sure it works.
 

the_matelot

War Hero
Moderator
BAFF is not here to replace the Divisonal system at all. It is here to be a voice for ALL service personnel-not just army. I have become a member of BAFF and I have been involved with the initial steering group over on a closed forum on ARRSE. Trust me, I would not get involved if I did not think the Navy would benefit from this.
 

chieftiff

War Hero
Moderator
I think the concept is sound and would agree with Hammockheads comments, we will to some extent have to suck it and see, we are very lucky having the divisional system it far outstrips both the Army and RAF support systems and is undoubtedly here to stay. If anyone truly thinks the AFPRB is independent ask yourself why the same guy (Prof Greenaway of Nottingham University) has been asked to chair the organisation 3 years on the trot, so he can cover up his own previous oversights? or because the Govt likes his work?
 

Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
The Matelot wrote

BAFF is not here to replace the Divisonal system at all. It is here to be a voice for ALL service personnel-not just army.

Nor is it in the same area as the British Legion who as far as I can see are more concerned (rightly) with veterans' issues. I don't see them lobbying for more /better/right time right place kit for men and women at the sharp end.
 
Hammockhead is doing a splendid job flying the BAFF flag here, but as one of the original conspirators (whose cover has been well and truly blown int he Press), I thought it worth just reinforcing a couple of his points (note that these are personal opinions):

a. The BAFF Executive Council does look a touch green at the moment. This is almost certainly a function of the organisation's having acquired traction on Arrse. This will - actually it must - change; we're all in this together, soldiers, sailors, airmen and officers of all three Services.

b. Serving members of the Exec are understandably a touch resistant to the idea of putting their heads too far above the parapet just now. It's hugely to the credit of those who have broken cover that they have. The intent was always that the retired element would be the ones saying the unsayable (at least to MoD) - but, importantly, saying what they are hearing from the serving element, whether Regular or Reserve.

c. This in no way competes with the RBL. The focus of BAFF is on those currently serving; the focus of the RBL is on the retired/discharged.

d. BAFF is entirely independent of MoD and is not dependent upon anyone but its membership for funding. We will stand or fall on our membership; the equation is simple - if we do things people want and they join, we will achieve our aim, if we don't, we won't.

e. While welfare is undoubtedly an issue, it's not the main point of effort. I would agree, having seen all three systems, that the RN has a superb way of looking after its people in the Divisional System. Lord alone knows how you guys managed to keep that intact and away from MoD; that said, however, there are strategic people issues across all three Services which MoD consistently gets wrong and gets away with. BAFF is there to surface those issues.

f. While BAFF isn't a union, it's no-one's poodle. We hope to be viewed constructively by the chain of command (to whom we could be a huge asset in repairing the broken Covenant) and have made a point of keeping the people who matter in that chain sighted on our intentions to date. Note, we haven't been asking for either approval or endorsement. We have always made it very clear that we would welcome a conversation with MoD or anyone, really.

g. I think we all regret the necessity for this, but also agree that it is something whose time has come. No-one would be happier than I if, in a few years' time, we are no longer needed.

That's the summary of responses to most of the posts on this thread to date, I think. Feel free to PM me either here or over on Arrse if you want detailed detail, or just post in this thread.
 

Jack77

War Hero
I was a member of the Armed Forces Federation of Australia almost from its beginnings in the mid 1980s until about three years ago when I felt that it was no longer relevant to my civilian life. From its inception ARFFA attracted hostility from both the defence hierarchy and especially from other organisations such as the RSL, who saw themselves as the only organisation enttled to speak for the military and ex- military community.

As time went on opposition from defence lessened and ARFFA became a recognised servicemens organisation and was consulted on matters like pay, welfare etc. While their input was not always heeded they did have some success in bringing certain issues to notice.

It was always fairly egalitarian and had support from a wide cross section of ranks from all three services - The president has at various times been an RAAF Sergeant, a Colonel and a RAN Leutenant.

If your BAFF operates the same way it can only be a good thing for all the people, no matter what their rank or service.
 

BusterQuin

War Hero
Book Reviewer
To all involved with setting up BAFF
Apologies for confusing your aims with the RBL. As you rightly pointed out, the RBL deals with veterans not serving personnel
Best wishes for the future
 

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