BRNC RM Band to be 'temoporarily' disbanded

Discussion in 'The Corps' started by Seaweed, Mar 18, 2008.

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  1. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

  2. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    "The Ministry of Defence confirmed that 36 Marines bandsmen had been "deployed to support operations in Afghanistan".

    But the ministry insisted that the 45-man band's break up was only "temporary" - for a year from the end of this month - and it would not be disbanded.

    However, there are fears that the band might be permanently cut, with musicians saying they would not hold their breath for it to be reformed if it remained suspended for more than a year.

    The shortage of bandsmen has now become so chronic that, on some occasions, CDs have been used to play the ceremonial music, it was reported."

    Hardly surprising.

    Despite being one of the RM Band's number one fans, they cannot continue to be considered part of the military and funded as such without being capable of being operationally deployed & justifying their existence.

    There is little point the RMBS undergoing 15 weeks basic military training (compared to the USMC undergoing only 12!) prior to undergoing 2 years 8 months musician training & then claiming they can only be used to perform music.

    The band, brilliant as they are & the very best of military musicians, are in the Armed Forces & apart from the Level 3 First Aid "medical" role, have already been deployed in the Group Force Protection role in support of RM Commandos in operational theatres including the last (ongoing) war in Iraq. Similarly around 1000 RN personnel will have been deployed to Afghanistan this year, in support of the Royal Marines Commandos- even though it's land-locked.

    Those in the band that don't appreciate this military role & think they are only there in support of the arts, had best revise their primary role expectations. It rather vexes some of us when the RMBS will not perform in support of their own recruiting drive initiatives because the "luvvies" would rather be accommodated in a hotel than military barracks. It's a bit pointless claiming a shortage of musician recruits quite frankly when you are the direct architect of your own demise. You reap what you sow.

    Welcome to reality.
  3. Fully concur. I am also a fan of the RMBS, and I also believe that this is exactly the sort of thing that they should be doing, just as they deployed to the Falklands etc. In fact this is exactly the sort of thing that will help to guarantee the future existance of the Band Service.

    I hope that they will have a good deployment, and return safely back home.
  4. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    The fact is the Band have acquitted themselves exceptionally well whenever operationally deployed- incidentally males & females included.

    The vast majority in the RMBS take this in their stride. Sadly there were a few who submitted their notice to quit after the last Gulf deployment as they felt it wasn't what they anticipated when they joined- perhaps the careers service failed to manage their expectations correctly. Possibly they were just being completely unrealistic in expecting the tax-payer to send the around the world simply to allow them to be paid doing something exclusive that they alone enjoy.

    How many of us can claim to get paid a living only doing something that we want to do?

    A quote saying that the shortage of musicians is so dire that CD's have to be used is completely laughable given that many of us joining had to make do with tape recordings on the parade ground in the late 70's and early 80's when there was a fair few more than the 5 bands available now that were never seen even then.

    Funny how the multi-millionaire, Sir Donald Gosling is never left short of a random RM band at short notice on his luxury yacht, whilst BRNC has to make do with a recording or that none of the 5 bands , with over a years' notice can play at a performing arts college for 40 minutes to interest potential future recruits. Wonder why that happens, eh?

  5. BZ Ninja - funny how a Bootie Band can be "found at short notice" when needed for "non-Service" functions, thereby bolloxing up Bandy's weekend. Whilst being among the least "Anchor Faced" among us, I've alwayd found that the sound of a real RM Band has even stiffened the spine of an old decrepit submariner like me.
  6. Considering how much Sir Donald Gosling has done to help sailors I do not begrudge him the use of the RM band.
  7. I spent a couple of weeks at BRNC just before Christmas and the talk from the band was that it was going to be disbanded for good and that they were going to be dispersed to other duties including the other four bands. Any duties to be performed at BRNC would then be covered by the other bands.
  8. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Agreed, he has been a most generous benefactor & staunch supporter of all things Naval. It is not my intention to bite the hand that feeds, merely to question commonsense priority.

    As previously stated I'm a huge fan of the band, but get a little irked when statements about manpower shortages come from such a magnificent organisation whose mere presence at a function is in itself a huge recruiting asset. The answer lies within, quite simply.
  9. Whilst I understand your reasoning perhaps the impact on morale and the PR value alone fully justifies the Bootie Bands.
  10. Couldn't agree more, good for the Dartmouth bootneck band. Those who joined up just to play music can resign and join a local civilian band or do as I do and listen to military music here to stiffen my spine and support all services who are serving in Afganistan.
  11. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    We should never underestimate their invaluable worth, Peter, the reduction of a single band would be a huge blow & possibly take them to levels of overstretch that could take them below the level of self-sustainability. I hope they can maintain a high enough profile in the venues that reap recruits rather than plaudits from the "grey vote".

    Four drummer buglers accompanying the Royal Navy Student Presentation Team (RNSPT) as a closing act to the presentations given in schools & colleges would hit the target audience squarely & deliver a huge impact.

    As it is the RNPT, (Royal Navy Presentation Team - the Grown-up version)who give PR style presentations to the "gatekeepers" sometimes have the Corps of Drums and win many accolades from the rent-a-mob attendees, but seem to generate little significant recruiting figures as the wrong audience is targetted.
  12. That is a very good idea, and indeed if this whole subject could make playing a musical instrument more attractive to teenagers, as it makes it seem more "cool."
  13. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    I'll just join in the virtual kicking NS is getting for his sarcy remark. Sir Donald Gosling, ex matelot, honorary Commodore RNR (IIRC) and all round good egg when it comes to looking after Jack, Jenny & Royal. He deserves his own band. Mind you, his yacht is big but I don't expect he has a full on marching band stomping around the poop, more of an ad hoc dance band.

    The bandies will take their instruments on deployment and keep in date. Where their green hatted brethern use their extra baggage allowance and pouches for women's clothes, the bandy will pack a tuba and a music stand.

    Respect to bandies as musicians and part of the Corps. Most of them are more Corps pissed than the fighting arm.
  14. The way things are going we might need to paint Sir Donald Gosling's yacht grey. What would it look like with a 30mm on the bow??
  15. Wow, I have just googled his yacht and it looks impressive:

    I noticed that among its facilities it has the following: "Jacuzzi, observation, and helicopter decks, fitness room, dive room and swim platform."

    Now what would you rather be on patrolling around the West Indies, a Type 42 or this beauty??? Put a Lynx on the flight deck and some of those gattling guns around the ship and it would be quite useful! It probably has a better comms fit anyway!!
  16. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Thankyou, may I have another one please?

    A contentious issue is always a good way to enliven a forum. :thumright:
  17. I think we owe Donald Gosling the use of the bandies after a certain P2000 left a big scratch down his yacht's port side...
  18. Errr... You need to ask??? Type 42 of course!

  19. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Wise words indeed.

    Confusing, but wise.
  20. Sir Donald used to ensure that Leander was always refitted at Devonport. I have not seen it for a few years now. Wonder why? :thumright:

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