Rob Hoole Letter

Karma said:
wardmaster said:
.....an SD officer whose ceiling was Cdr and who didn't quite make it because of age.

It appears that more and more frequently Acting Cdr is being used, rather than making the substantive promotion.

Well, at least if they do a couple of years as a three striper they get the pay, pension and Honorary Rank
 
sgtpepperband said:
I agree with the author's sentiment - but why has it taken him 4 years to publish his feelings? His decision to leave was obviously not an overnight, knee-jerk reaction; so what did he do about the state of the RN while he was still serving? :?

I think you will find he has been saying the same thing in letters to the press and on radio and TV ever since he retired. This excerpt is from an article published in April 2001, some time before his retirement:

The RN has got a lot of things right in comparison with other large organisations. However, when I joined, it was comparatively immune from external interference. Within certain constraints, business was conducted entirely to our own satisfaction and public accountability was something that happened at Navy Board level. All you needed to do at my level was follow QRRN, salute anything that moved and keep a good kit.

As witnessed by many other articles in this publication, times have changed. Under the ever-present media spotlight, the Services are increasingly subject at all levels to the external environment including changing social mores, more pervasive and often intrusive legislation and the need for greater transparency. Without throwing out the baby with the bathwater, I believe the RN needs to learn, adapt and adopt new principles and techniques at every level to manage a growing range of often sensitive, and hitherto alien, issues. Examples include: media relations and the ‘CNN factor’; the Citizens’ Charter et al (would you believe we now have to submit returns on our telephone response times?); the Data Protection Act; demographic trends and their implications for recruiting and retention; equal opportunities legislation and its effects on the treatment of ethnic minorities, pregnant servicewomen, women at sea/in the front line and homosexuals; courts-martial and powers of punishment; Health & Safety legislation and its implications for individual duty of care and risk analysis for new systems and equipment; international law including the rules of armed conflict and MARPOL; deconfliction with fishermen and other special interest groups; financial accountability including RAB; SMART Procurement; Private Finance Initiatives (PFIs) (e.g. with Flagship) and other examples of joint-ventures, outsourcing, and Contractor Logistic Support (CLS); contractual implications of DERA PPP; etc. The list could go on and inevitably will. We have yet to feel the impact of impending Human Rights legislation and the Freedom of Information Bill.

Why should the RN not take the initiative for once instead of the current tendency to mount rear-guard actions that usually end in publicly embarrassing and costly rout? Now is the perfect time for some lateral thinking and radical Fisher-like strategic direction rather than the constant distraction most of our people suffer with nibbling around the edges. For example, with the Fleet its present size, there are glaring opportunities for rationalising our headquarters, naval bases, warfare centres and training establishments to take us into the new millennium. Keep the tribes by all means but put them all on one or two reservations. I am well aware of ‘Fleet First’ and other studies such as the examination of the Naval Training Estate but why are we taking such a piecemeal approach? Let maritime operations, training and tactical development feed off each other and bring a whiff of sea air back to the classroom and simulator. It would work wonders for Warfare Branch Development or whatever it is called now. Allow leaf-sweeping trainees awaiting course and desk-driving officers alike to see ships and mix with sea-goers on a daily basis. They might even go to sea themselves for the odd spell by local arrangement. It used to work in HMS Vernon.
 

Karma

War Hero
wardmaster said:
Karma said:
wardmaster said:
.....an SD officer whose ceiling was Cdr and who didn't quite make it because of age.

It appears that more and more frequently Acting Cdr is being used, rather than making the substantive promotion.

Well, at least if they do a couple of years as a three striper they get the pay, pension and Honorary Rank

It's three under the '75 pension scheme, I understand for those who have moved onto the '05 pension scheme it's two.

Although the current hot air coming from this weeks change programme, Lean (and who the f**k thought using an organisational change strategy designed for the manufacturing industry would be a good thing (tm), but that's for another thread), is that the use of Acting Higher Rank and FTRS should be reduced.

I know it's a bit of a diversion from the thread but the whole issue of being passed over in a specialist branch is smoke in this instance. We all make the choice to either continue doing what we enjoy and are, generally, effective at whilst recognising there is an implied glass ceiling or move out of core in an effort to improve promotability. The end result is that those who get beyond Cdr are the proverbial jack of all trades, and master of none. In the joint environment we immediately disadvantage ourselves in our interactions with the other services who do cultivate specialists rather than generalists.

Of course the other side of this coin is that we do have specialists who've moved chairs five feet at a time for 20 odd years, not sure that's a useful degree of specialisation in this context though.
 

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