Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by promsan, Apr 14, 2008.

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  1. I was watching Hornblower on ITV last night, and thought came to me...

    I'm curious...

    ...what happens if you as a young recruit, be it officer or rating; RN, RM, or RFA, become disliked or unpopular, or for some reason don't get on with senior ranks?

    I can imagine, if your CO became mentally ill or a bit unstable, it would be picked up on by other senior ranks and discreetly reported and dealt with; but what if your boss is basically a bit thick or obnoxious, or just has it in for you?

    How do you deal with that these days?
    Is it classed as bullying? Do they have ways and means for lower ranks to raise these issues, or is it some kind of taboo?

    Is there any way of sorting things out these days?
  2. Anyone, officer or rating/OR can state a complaint about the way they are treated and there are set times for the complaint to be dealt with and investigated. The service takes a very strict view on bullying and other forms of oppression/discrimination - call it what you will. It's called zero tolerance.
  3. How is it dealt with though?

    I mean, at the end of the day, most people want to continue with their careers and have a good working environment with good relationships with all their colleagues both above, below, and at the same rank.

    Surely they'd have some way of getting people to reconcile with each other to get back on track and maybe get on even better than they do with others.

    What about the RFA, they are civilian, what's the difference when it comes to these issues?
  4. on my daughters first draft, she a few others came accross a newly made up l.h. who thought her position was to make the lives of those under her as miserable as possible, when my daughter sought advice on what to do the answer she got still makes me smile, " report the the matter to the xo, but make sure you deliver your complaints individually, if you complain en masse thats mutiny!" Sure enough their complaints were noted and a quiet word was had with the l.h. from then on her attitude change with no animousity.
  5. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    By definition Mutiny occurs daily in the RN.


     The Royal Navy & Royal Marines are committed to upholding the right of all personnel to work in an environment free from
    intimidation, humiliation, harassment or abuse.

     This commitment is enshrined in the RN Diversity and Equality Policy and Strategy.

     Behaviour such as bullying or harassment is manifestly unfair, undermines confidence and reduces morale.

    There is zero tolerance to bullying and harassment in the Royal Navy.

     Any allegation of discrimination, harassment, victimisation or bullying will be investigated and disciplinary or administrative action taken where there is sufficient and reliable evidence.

     All individuals who are in a position of authority are to be aware that they are to

    (a) promote an environment conducive to harmonious working,

    (b) become aware of any developing conflicts and take
    positive action to ensure that these are resolved early, fairly and amicably, and

    (c) have the moral courage to take firm action against any inappropriate behaviour.

     There are two avenues of redress open to Service personnel who believe that they have been the subject of inappropriate behaviour such as bullying and harassment.

     The first is informal where the person approaches the alleged perpetrator directly - either in person, in writing or via a third party. Often this solves the problem, as the perpetrator may not be aware that his/her
    actions are causing distress.

     If such an approach is not suitable or its does not succeed, individuals can submit a formal complaint to their Commanding Officer under the Royal Navy's laid down complaints procedures. It will then be
    investigated immediately, impartially and thoroughly, with fairness and sensitivity to all parties involved, and both the complainant and the alleged perpetrator will be kept informed throughout the process. Assistance can also be provided by EO qualified personnel from the Special Investigations Branch.

     Where the complaint is upheld, a range of sanctions can be deployed, from an apology by the perpetrator through to administrative or disciplinary action. The redress requested by the complainant will be taken
    into account as well as the severity of the incident.

     Should the complaint not be upheld by the Commanding Officer, individuals can appeal and they have a right for their case to be considered by a higher authority outside their ship/establishment; this process can be progressed as far up as the Admiralty Board.

     Where the alleged incident of bullying or harassment is unlawful under the Sex Discrimination Act, Race Relations Act, Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations or the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations, complainants also have the right to submit their complaint to an Employment Tribunal, at the same time that it is being considered through Service channels.

     Advice and support is available at any stage to both victims and alleged perpetrators from many sources. There include the person's Divisional Officer, a chaplain, the ship/establishment Equal Opportunities Adviser, legal advisers, the Naval Personal and Family Services organisation or the Confidential Supportline.

     Divisional Officers provide a link between the Commanding Officer to the most junior sailor. They are part of the Divisional system which is a personnel management system that provides a structure within a ship/establishment to supervise, develop, and train the members of its company. Of note is that it is also the means by which the welfare of personnel can be addressed and it is to a Divisional Officer that a rating will
    turn if he/she has family, financial or work problems.

     All ships/establishments have an Equal Opportunities Adviser who is a commissioned officer

     All personnel are made aware of the Naval Service's policy on EO, including bullying and harassment, and the complaints procedure by formal instruction from basic training through career and leadership
    courses up to senior managers' awareness days specifically focussed on EO.

     The level of bullying and harassment in the RN and the effectiveness of its policy on these issues is continuously monitored by means of routine and exit surveys, statistics from the Supportline and external agencies together with performance indicators on recruiting, training and retention which are part of management plans. Additionally, details of disciplinary offences, formal complaints and informal complaints over discrimination, bullying and harassment are recorded and analysed.

     Surveys specifically ask personnel to indicate if they have experienced bullying, harassment or discrimination, how they dealt with it, and, if they did nothing, why they made that decision.
  6. It's good to see it's taken so seriously.

    When I was younger, I went to Westbury for the RCB, and did better than I thought I would.

    I was totally turned off the Army by the news reports on bullying; the suicides; and things like Deep Cut; not to mention the lack of proper equipment to do the job.

    It seemed pretty evident to me that they just didn't look after their people; so I turned my back on the whole deal.

    I hope things have changed, and I'm now starting to look seriously at joining the RFA (as I'm 31 and 23/24ths! - too old to be an eng off except in the RAF, which ain't my scene).
  7. The book (and film) the Caine Mutiny is an interesting case study. I would suggest that there is no easy answer and that it is a reason why HM's Services value so greatly the judgement and integrity of their officers.
  8. In addition to all of the above, the RFA is a civilian organisation with a union. Mutiny cannot, therefore, occur - it's called a strike I expect. I would assume that the relationship between ranks in the RFA is similar but have no real knowledge or experience.
  9. You will find that strike action is only possible alongside; at sea it isn’t. At sea, the Merchant Shipping Bill is relevant under “Discplineâ€;

  10. Not busy then POL?
  11. There's some interesting ones for law students:
    Technically, even gently touching someone can be classed as assault! Or putting the willies up someone (not in the biblical sense)!
    Technically, alcohol and other narcotics remain in the system for some time after reaping the full benefit... having a bar on a ship and permitting the consumption is effectively aiding and abetting...
    Even if the captain's gone cuckoo?!

    and what's this $ rubbish? I only speak pounds shillings and pence!
  12. Guns

    Guns War Hero Moderator

    Bullying, no matter by whom, is never acceptable.

    Depending on the type and nature start by speaking to your next in line (LH, POS PO or DO).

    Never suffer in silence. I have dealt with many cases, and one a close friend, and would say the sooner you speak to someone the sooner the problem can be resolved.

    And remember the freephone number on the back of your ID card is there for a reason. That helpline is there for you.

    What if my DO is the problem? Well find a SR or Officer you trust to speak to. If nothing is happening request to speak to the XO/EWO and go down the formal route.

    Sweeping under the carpet is not an option and it is taken very seriously. Bullying reduces team cohesion, affecting the fighting capability of the ship. Ask and the help is there.

    In the end I, like any good officer or SR, will always help if some one asks.
  13. I read an autobiography last year of a former matelot who'd been at the G Spot in the 1930s (eek!) and commented that many of the POs there appeared to have personality disorders (read: psychopaths). His mess deck instructors took delight, in Winter, of making the students hang their duck suits (which they had to undergo swimming instruction in) outside to dry - resulting in them becoming stiff when they became frozen. The instructors made the boys put these on and wear them for several minutes before allowing them to enter that water!

    Of course nowerdays instructors bring their charges, at Raleigh, hot crumpet and coffee in bed before they get up at 1130..... ;)
  14. drunken_engineer. I couldn't possibly comment. I took particular interest during the 2000 Seaman's dispute. Having to wet nurse GREY ROVER for several months, unable to berth alongside in a cold and distant place lest the said Seamen sign off Articles and leave ship, does make one interested.

    Guns. The $ (assuming it's Yankee Dorra, Johnny) mystified and irritated me. I assume it relates to it being the World shipping currency in any Port.
  15. Guns

    Guns War Hero Moderator


    I think I am missing something.
  16. Watched the same episode of HORNBLOWER. In those days, (LONG before mine, I hasten to add), the Captain's word was law. There were no such things as Diversity and Equality Policy Strategy, and Equal Opportunites meant you stood just as much chance as being flogged as the next man. And the whole weight of the system was behind him - and the way things were then, this was just accepted as the way things were in a blue suit. There were incidents of mutiny in the sense we think of it (THE BLACK SHIP, by Dudley Pope, about HERMIONE, where the crew mutined, killed their officers and handed it over to the Dons), and quite a few incidents of what was called "mass indiscipline". The came the mutinies at the Nore and Spithead in 1797, brought on by Government stupidity, and Admiralty indifference. Invergordon in 1931 was caused by the same combination.
    For anyone who has access to it, CB 3326 is a history of mutiny and indiscipline, but I don't think you can borrow it for a casual read. Fascinating stories in it if you can.
  17. Guns

    Guns War Hero Moderator

    Following on from the CB you mention is a recent book on sale. It is called the Officer Handbook. It has a brown cover and at the end is a section on instructions to a CO ref Mutiny. A good read.
  18. No, I was with a misident; sorry. It should have been for promsan with the Post immediately before yours, last line.
  19. Well that's it... there are that many kinds of dorra... when I first encountered it a couple of years ago, I found it very peculiar stuff... texture of Izal Medicated, and looking like bland Monopoly money... and they're all the same size (great for the blind).
    Everyone knows that pounds is proper money... in fact most of the currency in the World is designed and manufactured in the UK by De La Rue, either way we win: they use our currency or pay us to make theirs!

    I'll never understand why they abolished the pound note... it's got to be cheaper to make... and you don't need pound coins or that stupid £2 discus for vending machines... you can use more than one 50p!
    More to the point, it's a cultural thing... a projection of power and influence across the world, to show Johnny Foreigner that America is not the pinnacle of Human civilisation!
    On my travels even the poorest people know a pound's worth more than a dorra... but they won't take coins.

    I think euro's rather shoving the dorra off it's perch nowadays. It should be the pound! Why haven't we got patriotic leaders with intelligence, charisma, vision, and balls?! Where are they hiding! We seemed to be ruled by Schutzstaffel of flaccid vapid patronising gnomes these days!

    (As the Vietnamese would say...) Phucqing Quntz!

    I won't Phucqing use doleys or winos if can help it! :tp:
  20. To get back to the thread, what on earth has making a complaint about the behaviour of one of your superiors got to do with mutiny? Mutiny requires the collusion of two or more people for a start.
    Additionally, one is compelled to obey a lawful order, but if an order is not lawful, it does not have to be (and, indeed, shouldn't be) obeyed.

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