Squadding - success or failure?

I realise this may all sound a bit too much like work (especially on the first day back from leave) but I would appreciate your opinions.

The theory behind squadding is fine but has anyone got an opinion as to whether it has been a success in practice?

I have been trying (without much success) to get figures to back up the subject as part of project work, whereas opinions based on experiences are far more useful.

It appears that the cases where squadding has worked as planned have mostly been down to careful management of the squad, and the issues of gapping are long-standing issues in the RN which squadding will not be able to deal with.

All replies most welcome...


War Hero
higthepig said:
er, what`s Squadding?
As part of Topmast, JRs are drafted to a squad rather than an individual ship. After that it all gets sufficiently complicated to preclude an explanation of it all in one post.
As to the question of whether squadding works, it does amorilate the effects of gapping if properly managed. Its important to remember that the gapped billets existed long before the advent of Topmast. If I were a JR and was given a choice, I woul probably opt for Topmast.
I would imagine all SRs hark back to the old manning system from time to time!
It sounds a bit like spare crew in boats. A full crew sat about Dolphin and when someone went sick or AWOL then the spare crew bod get a pier head jump. In fact any odd bod loafing around Dolphin who was qualified but not on a course was used I had four or five PH jumps. I used to keep a holdall pack for Monday morning when a list of names would be Tannoyed to the Manning office. Most were only for a week or so and were not a problem to a non RA.

i.e. Squad = Spare crew
Gapping = a Billet which need filling

Is that about it?



Book Reviewer
higthepig said:
er, what`s Squadding?

I think its to do with the re-formation of the RN Division, what else are they going to do with all the spare Matelots once the ships are gone 8O
Basically each ship should have 30% extra manning to account for ratings on leave/courses/harmony time etc.
If we had enough people in each rate/spec then it would work like a dream for those involved. As it is, when a rating gets up to his "limit" of time onboard, then that person has to leave the ship for an amount of time or get a bounty, leaving a gap where that person was because there is no-one else.

( If i'm miles out would someone please put me/us right, ta;))

I wouldn't call it either a success OR a failure to be honest, its just the way it is and we live with it, like most things :)
It's great for the lads, as they never breach their harmony time; it's f*cking awful for SR and Officers as a) it's lots and lots of work (both to organise and the fact that you get some-one trained up and they go to their local AFCO and forget how to do their job) and b) it does give some of the scrote-y ones an attitude over entitlement and such like. It needs strong DepCo's, EWOs and HoDs to make sure it works properly - unfortunately they don't always exist....
Clanky, why would anyone want to be draftted to a squad rather than a ship? Surely you get to form a closely knit team better as part of a ship than as a squad (which sounds too parade groundy for my liking :lol:). Then again I'm only a civvy, what do I understand about these things? :roll: :lol:
navalpenguin said:
The theory behind squadding is fine but has anyone got an opinion as to whether it has been a success in practice?

All replies most welcome...

Hi Penguin,

Whether it is a success or failure will depend on a few factors such as your specialisation, base port, your individual squad and the number of medically downgraded personnel in your squad.

Some squads seem to be working well, whereas others have too few people and are causing gaps in certain areas.

May be worth contacting one of the Waterfront Manning Offices (I'm assuming you're in the mob).
Always - each ship has a ship's company, it's just we have more than we can sleep on-board. All JRs will wear the NONSUCH cap tally, their DO will be an Officer or SR on-board, and their reports will come from NONSUCH. Hope this helps.