Standing by for a barrage BUT ... I am increasingly questioning whether the RNR (and by extension the RMR, TA & RAuxAF - though they may have different mitigating considerations) is able to justify having substantive 3-ring, 4-ring and 1* officers. My thinking hedges around the fact that a "proper" staff job is a full time one and with the best will in the world the vast proportion of RNR personnel are unable (and indeed should not be expected, encouraged or even allowed) to put in a full time commitment except as either FTRS, Mobilised or Temp Ad Hoc duties. Unit COs are ideally appointed for 2 years ... and then what happens to them? We end up with surplus Commanders and not enough "real jobs" for them to do. I am not advocating that RNR Lt Cdrs should not be allowed to step up to the mark (as required) but I do think we need to focus on what the RNR is all about and recognise that to be a truly integrated part of the larger RN machine we need to work to RN tribal chiefs (at whatever level that may manifest itself) and an RNR SO1 for a specialisation is inefficient in terms of management integration and strength of policy-making and operational contribution .. so why have them? The ambition of every Reservist (in my opinion) should be to be able to play his part in an Operational deployment (or provide essential support to assist others to get there (eg New Entry Training). There are a number of 3-ring Operational billets that can be filled by RNR officers but they are limited and my argument is that where necessary they should be filled as Acting Cdr with the incumbent reverting to Lt Cdr on completion. By extension therefore, RNR 4-ringers and the Cdre are, in my opinion, an unnecessary luxury and the RNR would be a significantly stronger and more focused organisation (and probably more relevant to the average regular) if these billets were held by RN officers. Please note that I am not trying to denigrate any RNR officers currently at Commander rank or higher and recognise the tremendous job many of them do but that is not the point of this post. The issue is could their "RNR day jobs" be better accomplished by an RN officer with the glass ceiling for RNR substantive promotion being capped at the valuable and eminently deployable SO2 level? Standing by.