Has the RN lost its way?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by wardmaster, Apr 6, 2007.

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  1. After much soul-searching and reflection, and after reading many column inches in the serious press about the loss of respect for our country in general and our Service in particular by the Iranian hostage situation, I am coming to the opinion that something has been going wrong with the RN for quite a number of years. The emphasis seems to have been on political correctness and equal opportunities; trying to be "modern" instead of effective. The RN has been feminised and emasculated. The 14 male captives would perhaps have been able to offer a more robust response to their captors had not a female been with them. Were they worried about her more than should have been? The First Sea Lord may be making supportive noises in public; I would love to know what he is saying in private. Is it now time to rethink the policy of allowing women to serve at sea in warships, so that men can develop their fighting spirit?
  2. no I firmly believe society has lost its way. Do you think the argies would have put the guys on TV? Would the guys have said anything even if they did?

    However the world has changed, it is not just our armed forces who are fighting for supremacy it is the media people too, and there are no rules of engagement in that war.

    Learn to live with it and get our people better trained to cope with the media war. I have had 2 hours worth of media training in my RNR role and I can assure you it was an eye opener.
  3. If you re-read my post you will see that it about the feminisation of the RN; not about the media!
  4. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    I think politic correctness is a bigger problem than women at sea, the jobs women do whilst at sea certainly need a rethink, after all women arn't meant to serve on the "frontline" and boarding suspicious vessels would seem fairly "frontline" ish to me.
  5. Oh, I think that's dangerous waters, there, Wardmaster. However, by saying that I think it can easily interpreted that I agree with you and I think the Royal Navy has suffered from political correctness, but so has indeed the rest of the country. In a professional national service like the Royal Navy, or any of the armed forces for that matter, efficiency is paramount, and the impact of equal opportunities laws has to be considered.

    The problem with equal opportunities is that the Admiralty can become more concerned about what gender or race or sexuality is of the person doing the job, rather than how well he (or she) can actually do the job, when really this sort of thing can only be detrimental to the Navy. Let it be said that I don't hold with equal opportunities in employment. I believe in the best man for the job. Please all note that last statement is a manner of speech and it is possible for the said 'man' to actually be female.

    Whether females should serve on warships, I like to think that I have an open mind, but I must point out that women have been serving at sea since Nelson's time, when they were employed as nurses and such. They are still useful in ships today because they can do many of the jobs that the men do, and considering the the RN is somewhat undermanned, removing them from sea drafts could be even more detrimental to efficiency.

    To conclude, because if Moondog is reading this he is probably quite drowsy by now, then I agree that the RN is not as efficient as it used to be, but women are required at sea for lack of manpower.
  6. I do think that there needs to be a rethink re Females serving in the front line.The past kidnapping of our troops has showed up inconsistencies,why werent the other(males)captives made such a fuss of?After all she was the ONLY female there amongst the rest,why was she put under the spotlight?She joined up and must accept the consequences as the lads do with out favouritism.Maybe its time they had female only ships?Or simply remove them from the front line units?The main thing is to maintain a high level of effectiveness and cohesion in a unit for it to function as required.We have all seen and heard of situations where sexual activity has been the blight of things,surely if temptation were removed then this would be solved and any Legal/Disciplinary actions that could lead to a break down in Unit effectiveness and cohesion would be avoided?Just a thought.
  7. I'll answer with a dit from a RM NCO RMBT Persian Gulf 2004. Royal secured the vessel to be searched then Jack followed to do his thing. One of the RN team was a Jenny and because there was a bit of a swell on she refused to board the stopped vessel, what happened to her, yes you are correct sweet FA.
  8. I have absolutely no time for this sort of bullshit, and I find it extremely tiresome that some on this site continuously want to fight the administrative battles of 10-20 years ago. We just had four personnel blown up in Basra yesterday, two of whom were women and two of whom were medics/nurses. There is no longer a clear front line, these people sign up to do a job which is extremely valuable, they understand the risks and they get on and do it, and I have no doubt at all that the women in our Forces do their jobs as well as any man.
  9. Might have been to you WM but I do not see that, I see that whilst she was a woman there were issues, but did I not see blokes doing what she did?
  10. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    Give the lady a coconut! This is the nub of the problem, we're an emasculated society, not just an emasculated RN.
  11. thanks FW but can I have an easter egg please? I don't really like coconuts!
  12. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    Sorry, you really wouldn't like the Hershey crap I can get over here - if the Belgians think Brit chocolate is bad, theyv'e never tried North American "chocolate" :)
  13. I left the RN almost 15 years ago.I have always been very proud of my service in the Royal Navy and also ive always remained proud of the Royal Navy even now I am a soldier. This site has been a way for me to get back to the banter of the andrew chat about the old times spin some dits and re-find memories. However in the 14 months I have been a member of Rum Ration Ive also noticed how much less moral the RN has compared to when I walked out of Drake main gate in 94.The ships that were brand new when I was de kitting are being sold.

    I may be stating the obvious to many of you but in my eyes the Royal Navy has suffered the most with this government.Its losing its identity, its losing its ships and of course naturally the knock on effect is its losing its operational effectiveness.As I have already said , you serving matelots know this .But as an outsider looking in ,it really is a crying shame.In the future this lack of support for the RN will come back and bite the government on the arse. They will not care at that point because they would have all moved on. Just remember.You can have a Royal Saudi Navy ,a Royal Netherlands Navy,a Royal Australian Navy but there is only one Royal Navy.
  14. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator

    I think it is more indicative of the state we are in when people can doubt the abilities and (apparent) vulnerabilities the service has because we have women doing 'mens jobs'. I don't think that LS Turney would be any less a seaboat coxon than any other LS I have met - would she be there if she was? To me, it is the Iranians and the media who have pumped up the bullshit, not her. Similarly, the whole issue of women at sea is hackneyed, tired debate, full of holes and inconsistencies and frankly poorly argued from a 'we shouldn't have them' angle - largely because there are so many good examples of female effectiveness, and just as much as there are males who are a waste of atoms.

    Has the navy lost it's way? Of course it has. But look at the evidence. We would be in this situation 20 years ago had it not been for Corporate saving our skin and making ***** out of Nott and Thatcher, herself quite happy to rubber stamp a 35% reduction of our capabilities until Lord Lewin showed her, and the country what a potent maritime force we can be. And the public watched the poor ******* staggering from the helicopter on the Hermes, nylon 8s hanging in ribbons, they saw the Antelope explode spectacularly, they joined in with the celebrations as the carriers came past Round Tower and suddenly, amid the shit and corruption of 3 million on the dole and a showdown with the unions, we all felt ace, courtesy of Jack, Perce and Woger. Before that, did they give a shit?

    So, fast forward. We ... the navy ... play a diminished role in subsequent wars and our share price on the interest stockmarket plummets. All we have done is ferry kit and stand off with missiles at the ready. Not dead impressive at all, is it? Despite all the unsung mine clearance, patrolling, counter narcotics, counter arms smuggling, patrolling some more, burying of dead cattle and strike busting. Do they give a shit? In between this, our Lords and Masters are forcefed horseshit from government pressure groups and lobbyists, crowing that we are ostensibly an archaic employer who bestialises its workforce and 'does things wrong'. This, despite us being able to reach out and kick arses for well over four hundred years. Doing it wrong. Yes. We must trivialise everything. We must make logs ... and files. We must monitor. We must meet quotas. We must do everything that the people who don't wear uniform and conform to a military discipline system say so, because they know best. It says so, in the Human Rights Charter, or summat. We have to. No one questions why, or challenges whether it is right, or even if it will have a corrosive effect on morale or focus. Get it done. And because we are used to getting things done without question, we do it. We accept change like it's a new set of uncomfortable No4s. You'll get used to them. You'll break them in. Couple of washes, and they'll be fine. Horseshit.

    So, we have two problems here, don't we? Firstly, we are scrabbling with an ignorant, ambivalent media ... ones quite happy to generalise us as 'troops' and 'soldiers', and then we have an acquiescent management system, most of them who have memories of better days and can look into the past when the navy was an expensive, but *******-well-effective asset, yet have their eyes not on the bleak future but their own pensionable eternity. Oh, and Gordon Brown. President-elect. The bloke for whom we are merely a strippable expense, yet occasionally pop up on their importance radar when a thankless errand needs executing, like up near the ******** of the planet searching ships for smuggled weapons and risking life and limb trading paint with the Republican Guard. Crack on, lofty.

    That's where we are.

  15. Nobody doubts this Hammockhead but this is not what is being questioned. I believe wardmaster is putting forward the question of how men's fighting spirit is affected by there being women present (please correct me if I'm wrong) which is a very valid concern to point out. Wardmaster I think your points are spot on.

    There's a reason why women are barred from the Infantry, and don't tell me it's difference in physical ability as both sexes are capable of that. Previous assumptions have put support arms of the Forces further away from the "teeth" of combat, and this is becoming increasingly at odds with reality. Modern warfare does not have a "front line".

    No doubt there will be some who regard these ideas as reactionary and contemptible. However this brings up another important point; that there seems to be greater emphasis placed on being "modern" than being effective. Look in any AFCO and you will see PR pictures of female or ethnic minority personnel - which 96% of the Forces are not.

    True; but I wonder if men would be encouraged to join up if it was less "feminised".

    Awaiting incoming
  16. Deeps, very well put, I for one agree with your point's of view
  17. I am heartened to see that this thread has been seriously discussed rather than provoke a slanging match. I have just seen the news about the press conference with the 15. They were all treated very badly; the female was given a particularly hard time, as we would expect from a Muslim society. On reflection, I am convinced that the 15 acted very bravely and that I was wrong in my harshest thoughts. Maybe the RN has changed and I haven't.

  18. We are all aware of yet another tragic loss of lives in Basra and having an opinion is not bullshit just because it is not in agreement with your bullshit, and by the way Basra is the front line.
  19. silverfox

    silverfox War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    I think maybe the time has come to be a little blunter with the political masters. What exactly do they want us to do, and then can we have the equipment/manpower etc to do it. Whilst fighting the blue water war of a theoretical conflict with the Warsaw Pact, it was easy to define needs and tactics and by and large we had some pretty good kit to do it with - we were the acknowledged world leaders in passive sonar ops for example.

    Things have changed, under SDR we were configured to engage in 2 medium scale conflicts, but of unspecified nature - open ocean, littoral who knew.

    Speaking personally I think it is time we reviewed the tasks, and that should be done out of objective assessments rather than out of financial necessity based on the latest spending revue - and watch for the next one - it could be a doozy.

    I have to confess that for the first time in over 20 years I am not quite sure where we are going - which is an uncomfortable feeling, and I wish someone would do something about it. The only ray of hope is that I do trust the senior management, and from the snippets I hear I think people will take a tougher stance, and I hope that should Brown get into Number 10 his animosity towards defence will dissipate as his appreciation of its necessity grows.
  20. Having never served with women at sea I feel that I am perhaps not qualified to comment. However when it comes to the more physical tasks on a ship females are not as able as men, surely this means that if 10% of a ships company happened to be female, the male 90% would have to compensate for this. also because women are female they have a 28 day cycle (or thereabouts) during which their emotions are changing.
    I remember on a television program about the RN several years ago a naval Lt. stating that in his opinion any country which sent its women to war was morally bankrupt. Sorry ladies but I share his sentiments.

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