Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by sgtpepperband, Jul 18, 2008.
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Simple answer - do the whack!
I would agree with that report. I know a couple of ex-Army bods who did 3 and 2 years who have not adjusted, in one case after some 10 years out!
I think that all the assessment of reasons is fair, but I also see the resettlement package as part of the overarching reward package, you get more support having accumulated the entitlement. That said, it could be useful for those with <6yrs to have some form of advice and support, but I don't have any issue with the level of that support being the minimum required, since you earn the reat over time.
There are basic points that aren't in the normal range of experience in the service; how to write a CV, how to field interview questions, how to actually do the job search. All things that the Career Transition Workshop is supposed to cover (and does, with varying degrees of success).
It's possibly also a refleciton of position in the food chain, the longer you've spent in the service the more able you are to take advantage of the opportunities that are out there. As an AB there is neither the exposure, nor the freedom to take as many opportunities as there are.
The encouragement to "do the whack" is a fair point; up to a point. It doesn't allow for those who are medically discharged and those made redundant. Was it '96 when shed loads of redundancy notices were issued? About 8,000 Air Force and 2,000 Navy?
Actually, having fallen foul of the lovely Alverstoke bods myself, I can say that the medically discharged community (we're all in communities now...) are given pretty spot on help. Obviously there are differences in entitlement depending on length of service, but I'd only done four years and there is a different set-up to what you get if you're just wrapping your hand in out of choice.
The report does make some points which I agree with- after four years I was pretty bl**dy institutionalised and still have moments where I just feel like a fish out of water civvie side- which is probably why I still post on here. Having said that, I suppose the situation for the medically broken is slightly different as we didn't leave out of choice. I've no doubt that I'd have been in for the long haul had it not been for something completely out of my control buggering life up for me.
I'm not sure it matters where you are in the food chain tbh. Whether you're an OM1 or, like me, a Lt when you go outside it's still a painful readjustment and the support does need to be there. I'm lucky in that I wasn't blown up and didn't lose any limbs- also, I had a good degree and have slotted pretty well into a good civvie job. Didn't make it any the less difficult though struggling to adjust to the fact that the big bad world outside is a massive change from the mob.
I think the RNA have got one thing right when they say "once Navy, always navy"- I'm only 27 and always took the p*ss out of those bloody anchor faced idiots that couldn't let go when they left but I reckon actually that it's true. Obviously you can't spend your life ditting on like some whenwe Rhodesian but you do put a lot into life in the services and it leaves a hell of a hole when you go.
I think that there are issues with how they treat the average service leaver who hasn't done his 22, but the medical guys are pretty swept up.
It's probably also fair to say, "once Service, always Service". It's probably also fair to say that in Civvy Street, people tend to have colleagues and acquaintances regarded as friends. This contrasts with the Services where one has comrades of which some will be mates. When you have a problem, a mate can be a great help. A friend, on the other hand, can be totally bloody useless.
The point I'm clumsily trying to make is that it isn't just the transition from being "institutionalised". I think it's also the loss or distancing from real mates.
Part of it is down to a failue to become de-institionalised, perhaps becoming less part of the problem now we do not take boys into the likes of Ganges and expect them to survive in the outside world when they are in their 40s. Never I think that bad for those who married but there certainly used to be a fair number of unmarried 3 badge ABs who evn then you could see would have problems outside.
I do think that PTSD is becoming more of a problem, yes it has been around for a long time and at least recognised for some 100 years, but I get the impression it affects us more these days, our softer lifestyle I suspect makes us more vulnerable..
It will not be an easy problem to solve and it will never be solved completely because at the end of the day the sufferer must both realise there is a problem and be willing to acccept help.
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