Proliferation Senior Officers

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by norman, Apr 15, 2007.

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  1. In 1960 when I left the navy we had several Fleets serving in every part of the world. Shore Establishments and Dockyards overseas galore Captital Ships everywhere all commanded by c.400 Captains Commodores and Admirals. There were RNAS's throughout the UK and abroad and Shore Establishment all over the UK.

    Today we have the same number of Captains Commodore and Admirals. 70 are Commodores and 40 Admirals, not one of whom is serving operationally at sea. That's not completely accurate so, for the avoidance of doubt, I should point out there was(is) one Commodore serving on HMS Cornwall-but the less said about that the better. We have one Commodore who in 30 years service has never served afloat.

    Apart from the Senior Officers we currently enjoy the service of a few over 2,000 Lt. Cmds. of whom only 300 are serving operationally at sea.
  2. And your point is?

    Referring to your comment about Lt Cdrs - who do you think supports those 300 at sea and all the rest? Who fills the SO2 billets ashore in battle staff headquarters and the like?

    Are you implying that all the junior officers, senior and junior rates the RN employs are all serving operationally at sea? Bollox.

    Shite thread, I bit, now I am pissed off. Well done.

  3. I think norman might be saying that it's a bad thing. It does seem odd having more admirals than ships. As for the SO2s ashore... are they really all needed? The old question... if Fleet HQ burned down overnight, would anyone notice?

    While the government reduces the size of the fleet, officers on long commissions are difficult to sack and they have to go somewhere. Meanwhile we mothball LPDs for lack of sailors. Too many Chiefs (I don't mean CPOs) and not enough Indians.

    The NHS has a similar problem.. while there are more hospital administrators sitting in their swanky boardrooms than there are hospital beds, the trusts go bankrupt while only a quarter of nurses and less than that of physios can find jobs when they graduate; loads of Drs are about to be made unemployed as well.

    I think the cause is simple mismanagement. 'Never put down to malice what can be explained by incompetence'. Don't know what the solution is though.
  4. Actually GK, I think he's making quite a "sad but true" point here.
    The RN has shrunk drastically since the 60's for on the most part, quite valid reasons, but this has not been an "across the board" shrinkage, has it ;)
  5. Green king, yes staff jobs are required to be filled. But WE are top heavy. Too many officers with little or nothing to do. Especially when staff jobs are being invented to keep these LtCmdrs and above in jobs. Take Collingwood for example, When i was a baby wem in early 90s the CO was a four ring Captain assisted by a Lt Cmdr as his XO and a senior Lt as his 1st Lt. Now we have a Commodore assisted by Cmdr and so on down the food chain. Lets get rid of some of this dead wood. I have served at Northwood and seen the amount of Officers doing very little or nothing at all. We need to revise how our service is led. Unfortunately the Wardroom will feather its own nest, we need dynamic talented Officers, there is no doubt about that. But at the moment many are just purely in it for them selves. Plus as ratings especially in the engineering branches are academically equal or superior to many warfare/seaman offficers, there is a growing dissatisfaction among the lower decks in how we are led. This in turn is being reflected in retention rates.
  6. it would seem to me that the RN is no different from any civilian organisation. When my last company downsized (on several occasions) it was noticed that most of the downsizing occurred at shop floor level. Though some managerial positions went it certainly was not proportionate in any way to the numbers of workers.
  7. Time for some facts.

    In the 2006 Navy List there are: In the 1991 Navy List there were

    3 serving 4 stars 6 serving 4 stars
    6 serving 3 stars 12 serving 3 stars
    25 serving 2 stars 28 serving 2 stars

    A total of 34 admirals

    There are 58 Commodores today. In 1991 Commodore was an appointment. However Captains over 6 years seniority were paid as one stars ( the old post- captain) in 1991 there were 81.

    So, there are today 92 one stars and above compared with 127 15 years earlier.

    In 1990 there were 31 submarines and 49 DD/FF compared with 14 and 25 last year. (Wikipedia figures)

    It seems to me that the pyramid is rather misshapen in regard to two stars and one stars. It could be argued that this is a simplistic view but I have sympathy with norman because at some point the number of senior officers should surely correlate with capability and manning.

    As regards Lt Cdrs, there were approx 2100 in 1991 and there are approximately 1600 today (couldn't be bothered to count the individuals).

    One thing that hasn't been considered is the need for regeneration. Below a certain level of surplus manning it will be impossible to effectively prepare for war. The wholesale sell-off of real estate in the last few years to put all our eggs in the basket of Gosport is an egregious lack of foresight in this respect, as will be the closure of another dockyard
  8. That's what pisses me off about threads/discussions like these. Some would have us believe there are officers (2 1/2 being the most common target obviously) sitting around picking their noses who are impossible to get rid of. Of course, in my 21 years in the service, I have never seen any Senior Rates of that description..........

    I agree, there are issues with manpower, but let's all grow up a bit and stop going on about 'too many officers'. "Wardroom feathering it's nest?" Don't make me laugh, the WO and CPO's Messes I've seen are way better at doing that - and you all know it.

    DNCM are responsible to 2SL for RN Manpower. They represent all ranks. Lay off blaming one small bit of it. I guarantee if I started this thread saying something similar about Senior Rates, for example, all hell would have broken loose by now.

  9. silverfox

    silverfox War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    The 'Teeth to Tail' ratio is a popular theme in HQ at the moment. The number of people in shore HQs has not fallen in the same ratio as the reduction of platforms. Could be why they are having a squeeze on promotion to Cdr for the next few years.....
  10. Sorry, <OT>

    -Sir I dont believe the OM Branch will work.
    -It will work young rating because i say it will work.
    - ET Branch will work.....
    Back to top
    View user's profile"

    I recall when I re-catted form EW to EW in '88 - (I just got the letters the wrong way round :) I was asked about the idea of the OM branch. I said that it won't work as it is too much for the average Jack to do. They will have too many hats to wear:
    Seamanship, your trade in my case EW but sonar.. radar .. etc, the "greenie" bit, then you've got adquals like Navs Yo etc.

    sorry </OT>
  11. So WHY are there so many Officers at Flag Rank then GK?
    Where are they ALL hard at work mate?

    On the subject of lazy S/R's (you brought it up), could you also explain to me why, when I leave my current (and happily last) ship in Feb next year, there are no billets available anywhere other than SFM (ie working for DM bloody L), because there ARE no billets left?
  12. There are a lot, above PO in the rating corps and above Lt in the officer corps, working in the joint environment and at MOD. From Lt Cdr upwards the actual requirement for officers isn't too closely related to numbers of ships/ submarines.

    Flag officers tend to be pretty busy, although not everywhere. I was working for a 2* a couple of years ago, it needed three months notice to find anything more than an hour in his diary and while he used to clear out of the office by 1800 he then took a laptop back to his digs and worked until around 2200 most nights.

    I'm not sure of the up to date figures, but at the time the RN was pretty well represented compared to the other two services at 1* level and above.

    There are probably a few we could afford to get rid of, I think it was reasonably well recognised after the Fleet/ 2SL merger that hanging on to 2SL wasn't really justified but not wise politically to get rid of the job. I'm not sure if the 2* role leading the latest cunning change stunt is going to be ended when we move onto the next fashionable programme, it should be, but I doubt it.

    Politics undoubtedly plays a part throughout the structure though, and WO posts are as likely to be created/ retained as Lt or Lt Cdr posts.
  13. GK you've stamped your feet, flashed, spat your dummy out and generally dripped about people discussing a real issue and I suspect you’d maintain the status quo in order to avoid rocking the boat.

    If the military (and RN in general) were audited by an external there would clearly be slack/dead wood in the system - I don't think you'll disagree with that? Some of this would clearly be within the Officer Corps and the fact that there will be a reduction in the number of Lt Cdr reflects this.

    In your comment you also mentioned 'lets grow up a bit and stop going on about too many officers'; in that statement you exposed your inability to understand all elements of the manning problem and the fact that the Officer/Rating ratio is not in-balance needs to be addressed if the RN wants to survive in a respectable state.

    Trying to back you argument by deflecting the flack towards the non-commissioned officers is also rather adolescent.
  14. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    As a matter of interest, does anyone know the ratio of RAF personnel (in total) to aircraft? I think that would be rather telling. As regards value for money, I'm told it takes about £6k to recruit a matelot (including advertising etc.) compared to £12k for a squaddie & £16k for a crab SAC. These figures aren't mine, they were put forward by each branch of the services.
  15. What happened to Admirals, Vice, rear etc?, when did this * stuff come into effect?


    Up North
  16. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    More stuff imported from across the pond HtP!
  17. It seems to have crept in over the last few years as a result of "jointery", where appointments for senior officers reflect the number of stars on their car plates. Instead of Brigadiers, Commodores and Air Commodores (or whatever the crab equivalent is), we now have 1-stars, Rear Admirals, Maj Generals and the crab equivalent are now 2-stars etc.

    Beleve it or not, RN Captains, Colonels and Gp Captains are now often referred to as half-stars. :roll:
  18. Not even gonna rise to your comments SpiderMonkey. I expressed my opinion to which I am equally entitled. I managed to do it without personally attacking and insulting those I disagreed with.

    I think you should consider that before you post again.

    As for your post Lamri, I didn't use the term 'lazy' when referring to SRs. I merely pointed out there are those in other messes throughout our ships and establishments who are equally unemployable and 'seing out their time'.

    My point was this is a problem across the Navy, not just in the officer corps. We would all do well to remember that.

  19. Thought about what you said GK, and I've decided that was another flash by you and if this topic gets your blood pressure up so much maybe you should avoid it!

    I, like you, was just stating my point of view. I apologise if you feel I attacked you personally in my retort, but I didn't know how thin your skin was at that point.
  20. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    I think this whole "argument" is bloody hilarious and I am surprised at G_K for rising to it. Been in 24 years now, if I could get away with "seeing through" my time doing sod all it would be great, fat chance. I may not move spanners around, shout at people too much anymore or a lot of the things I did when people were all too aware of my presence but if I didn't do what I do now a lot of people would know!

    The whole thing is about perception and to some extent envy, I am only surprised that the "argument" doesn't crop up as often as it did 20 years ago, maybe we are all more aware of each others jobs now than we were then. There will always be idle bastards around who do sod all and its unfair to generalise, there are also those who do their jobs so well that no one even notices it is being done.

    Silly argument not even worth any more of my time!
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