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Dear Potential Officers on visits to RN bases!

When you are in Wardroom, pse try to look like you are enjoying yourself. Strike up conversations with the Officers around you. You want to join us, being deadly silent doesn't give the right impression....
 

Seadog

War Hero
Moderator
"......from now on you will speak only when spoken to and the first and last words out of your filthy sewers will be 'sir'..."

is not a greeting visitors hear in the couth surroundings of a Wardroom.

"I'm the First Lieutenant around here"...is.
 
"......from now on you will speak only when spoken to and the first and last words out of your filthy sewers will be 'sir'..."

is not a greeting visitors hear in the couth surroundings of a Wardroom.

"I'm the First Lieutenant around here"...is.


And don't you forget it...!
 

Branch-Hopper

War Hero
Sir,
You forget the youth of today are unable to make conversation, they have never heard of such a concept.
However, if you would be kind enough to advertise your mobile number they will doubtless text you across the table.

BH
 

jrwlynch

Lantern Swinger
Sir,
You forget the youth of today are unable to make conversation, they have never heard of such a concept.
However, if you would be kind enough to advertise your mobile number they will doubtless text you across the table.

BH

As Al Capone supposedly said, "We laugh because it's funny, we laugh because it's true..."
 

jrwlynch

Lantern Swinger
When you are in Wardroom, pse try to look like you are enjoying yourself. Strike up conversations with the Officers around you. You want to join us, being deadly silent doesn't give the right impression....

If a fortysomething Reservist who meets most of the criteria for borderline autism (if anyone had been diagnosing it back when I were a lad, rather than saying "if he's reading lots of stuff about tanks and battleships and war stuff, at least he's reading, why not encourage him?") can manage it then it can't be *that* hard... even if the end result is the people I'm talking to rupturing their own eardrums so they don't have to listen to me any more...
 

Trainer

War Hero
Book Reviewer
If a fortysomething Reservist who meets most of the criteria for borderline autism (if anyone had been diagnosing it back when I were a lad, rather than saying "if he's reading lots of stuff about tanks and battleships and war stuff, at least he's reading, why not encourage him?") can manage it then it can't be *that* hard... even if the end result is the people I'm talking to rupturing their own eardrums so they don't have to listen to me any more...


Exactly the same as me - I'd have done much better in the RN if I'd spent less time in the library as a child and more time playing Golf and Rugby.

@alfred_the_great .As Inward Visits Officer to COLLINGRAD in a previous life I can confirm that large portions of some of the parties, are indeed, not enjoying it. Groups of kids, brought in from inner city schools so that exposure can increase their aspiration to move up and out of the shithole they live in. In reality, they'd much rather be hanging with their homeboys....
 

slim

War Hero
I think that Trainer has hit the nail on the head.
Could it be that though the RN is now taking many more Officers from working class backgrounds the Wardroom ethos has not moved with the times and is still trying to be the upper class enclave it was in the 60s and 70s?
 

RabC

MIA
I think that Trainer has hit the nail on the head.
Could it be that though the RN is now taking many more Officers from working class backgrounds the Wardroom ethos has not moved with the times and is still trying to be the upper class enclave it was in the 60s and 70s?
Popcorn and wait........................
 

Purple_twiglet

War Hero
Moderator
I think that Trainer has hit the nail on the head.
Could it be that though the RN is now taking many more Officers from working class backgrounds the Wardroom ethos has not moved with the times and is still trying to be the upper class enclave it was in the 60s and 70s?

I think thats slightly unfair - the Wardroom is emphatically not an upper class enclave. At best its a fairly middle class institution with bad habits that are on the verge of becoming unnecessary traditions.

Is the RN a classist organisation? I honestly don't know - I've sometimes thought that there is a lot of unnecessary 'them and us' bred in at RALEIGH between the JR/SR & the W/R which promotes a gap that doesnt exist anymore. The educational / aspirational background of our recruit pool is far more even than before. There are pools of classism, with a certain type of passed over Lt Cdrs still out there, and at times a sense of some CPO's going through the tired old motions of 'dont call me sir I work for a living'. Neither are totally necessary in this day and age, but somehow both still seem to cling on as a stereotype.
 
I think that Trainer has hit the nail on the head.
Could it be that though the RN is now taking many more Officers from working class backgrounds the Wardroom ethos has not moved with the times and is still trying to be the upper class enclave it was in the 60s and 70s?

On the basis hte majority of Wardrooms - sea and shore - have a fairly healthy mix of direct entry, UY and SUY, I doubt it very much.
 

slim

War Hero
Having being outside for 30 years and my last time of living in the wardroom (afloat) was 23 years ago I do not claim to be an expert on modern wardroom life. However I can see how kids from a working class background may be a little shy when entering the wardroom for the first time. after all they have not had the experience of the knife & Fork course at Dartmouth yet
 

Trainer

War Hero
Book Reviewer
Interestingly, I made no mention of the Wardroom in my post. Some groups were fantastic, as always personality driven by their PSI, I remember telling one platoon of baby OMs that the group of cadets I was driving were dressed and marching smarter than they were, which was the truth.

My own experience is that WRs are reasonably egalitarian, but then I do prefer living and working with engineers, not master racers. I did, a few years back, visit a top secret signals training establishment in Dorsetshire, where a group of POCs was being tested to see how they would fit into Army life and the mess. The test consisted of getting them drunk under very controlled conditions, then exhorting them to form a human pyramid to vault a structural beam some 20 feet ish off the ground. What they did not know is that they would, the morning after their drunken ructions, be awoken from their reverie, for a 0600 EMA Sickener, and that the real test was how they would react to those conditions whilst shabby.

There was a report , I think on the Beeb, in the last 2 weeks, that suggested that 70% of senior officers went to public school. My missus, however, is a Chief Stoker's daughter and benefitted immensely from her CEA primed excursion to the Royal Hospital School.
 

Subsunk

Lantern Swinger
Book Reviewer
When you are in Wardroom, pse try to look like you are enjoying yourself. Strike up conversations with the Officers around you. You want to join us, being deadly silent doesn't give the right impression....

They may have been bricking it internally and trying not to show it.

Many, many moons ago a far more impressionable Subsunk went to the AFCO and got the bumf for all 3 services, and was able to break up a long and boring summer term at school by doing loads of fam visits.

The Royal Armoured Corps brochure showed people racing bobsleighs and driving around in tanks. This appealed, and I asked for a visit to the regiment with the steely skull and crossbones cap badge that I remembered my Action Man having while siting askew in the turret of his little plastic Scorpion tank, holding his Stirling SMG as Daniel Day-Lewis would have in 'My Left Foot.'

Incredibly, the careers officer went along with it, cue a trip to the Officers' Mess of the Umpteenth/Flipteenth Queen's Own Royally Royal (Loamshires) Lancers or whatever. The bit involving tanks was brilliant. Everything else was a social catastrophe, although the tie that I had scored from Oxfam didn't look any dafter than some of the others I observed. In the end, by mutual agreement, it was a negat. The loss to armoured warfare must have been incalculable.

Next up was the Royal Logistics Corps. I was au fait with this as they did Bomb Disposal. The day consisted of a guided tour of a Land Rover and a brief on being a Fuel Technologist. There was a brief video of a line of muddy green 4-tonners in Germany, to the tune of Duran Duran's 'The Reflex.' Even at a tender age, I figured out that there was no need to express any interest in the Corps - if I had nowhere else to go, they'd have me. The evidence was the recruiting team.

A visit to my local county regiment followed. This involved an interview from some crusty old Colonel in an AFCO office with a mannequin wearing the regiment's kit from 1804. Maybe they had been warned about me and were conducting some kind of dissuasion op, because my take on it all was 'dress like an idiot and get led by an even bigger one.' This actually worked out nicely, because my limited experience in field conditions on Dartmoor was mainly constantly rummaging through my bergen for stuff, tripping over babies' heads and getting lost while permanently needing a Number 2.

The RN a couple of years later was a different gig entirely - Joining Instructions from the Merchant Navy Liaison Officer for a week on HMS ALDERNEY. This was a blast, never been made to feel so welcome, a really happy little ship. I remember sailing from London with everyone turned out in shiny uniform, and about 30 seconds after falling out from Harbour Stations, the range of pirate rigs on display had to be seen to be believed.
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
I think that Trainer has hit the nail on the head.
Could it be that though the RN is now taking many more Officers from working class backgrounds the Wardroom ethos has not moved with the times and is still trying to be the upper class enclave it was in the 60s and 70s?

Bollocks, I joined in 92, working class background, crappy secondary school with the NF being the largest after school club. I don't seem to have done so badly and my "distinctive regional accent" is lost among the many.

Wardrooms are the same as Senior Rate messes, made by the people who live, work and use them. In my time it's never been about class, standards definitely and ethos but never class.

Thats its perceived that way says more about the people with the perceptions methinks.
 
Last edited:

Trainer

War Hero
Book Reviewer
Bollocks, I joined in 92, working class background, crappy secondary school with the NF being the largest after school club. I don't seem to have done so badly and my "distinctive regional accent" is lost among the many.

Wardrooms are the same as Senior Rate messes, made by the people who live, work and use them. In my time it's never been about class, standards definitely and ethos but never class.

Thats its perceived that way says more about the people with the perceptions methinks.


Yeah, but you've gone softly middle class. I know it's Shakespeare's birthday but using the term 'methinks'?:D
 
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