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Sufficiently Grown Up?

Karma

War Hero
wave_dodger said:
Problem is the RN has to know what it needs and wants!

And therein lies the root of the problem, the RN seems unable to actually make up its mind what it wants, and that doesn't just apply to the RNR.

Personally I think that we could do with divesting a couple of the reserve branches and concentrating on the ones that do actually have some differentiation. On the other hand it's not helpful that there appears to be a view in some quarters that exclusivity is useful, so we end up with some capabilities delivered by either regulars or reserves, but resistance to pooling from both.

I'm not sighted on the current thinking with respect to a regular Int capability, but the idea of an Int specialisation a hardy perennial. The same idea keeps resurfacing every couple of years; the requirement isn't big enough to have a standalone branch, so it becomes an adqual with the associated rhetoric about the ''best people'' doing it, the appointers dissuade the ''best people'' from taking that route so it returns to being a backwater for failed PWOs and enthusiastic amateurs from the other branches.

Returning to the point of the thread, senior leadership, the key point is how the RN in general manages change. It appears to me that the reserve side of life is about 18 months behind the regulars, so end up trying to catch up with badly implemented change in the first place, without the time or resources to mitigate for the failures of senior leadership in the regular service. Issues are exacerbated by the low barriers to exit and the high barriers to entry in the reserve, poor internal communication and a lack of clarity over primacy; RTCs or specialisations.

Notwithstanding all of that I can agree with a lot of the points in the thread, the reserve service is top heavy at both officer and snr rate level, however when one considers the demographic profile that problem should reasonably disappear over the next couple of years. We could do with being a bit more brutal about sanctioning re-engagement and that will slim things down in the SO1 and SO2 plot quite significantly.
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
Karma said:
I'm not sighted on the current thinking with respect to a regular Int capability, but the idea of an Int specialisation a hardy perennial.

We should know pretty soon.

Happy New Year to your good self!
 

Grey_Fox

Midshipman
This is currently my favourite discussion as there are some people actually trying to justify the existence of the RNR within the RN & the Reserve Forces. And if you can't do that, then you probably shouldn't be in the RNR - or the RNR shouldn't be. I'm not sure.

I'm going to throw a big one out there now:
The current RNR is unusable, out-dated, anachronistic and poorly-directed.
These are all faults of the RN and full-time RNR management.

In its current form, the few useful roles that the RNR provides fall into:
-Specialist roles in joint operations that require no particular cap badge
-Basic roles so boring that the RN won't risk sending an expensively trained AB to do it when an RNR AB, likely to only do one tour anyway, can. Any expansion of that role (by which I mean Seamen, or whatever their pointless, money wasting name-change has now led them to be called) will require RM(R?)...

What is the purpose of the Maritime Reserve?
1-Is it to provide experts in small, specific fields that the RN only needs in times of conflict at a level that it is not economically sustainable to achieve with RN personnel (through limitations of career stream/training costs/maintenance of skills/small scope)?

2-Is it to provide a pool of trained personnel ready at a moment's notice to fill gaps across all RN specialisations, caused through poor recruitment and retention policies built up over years of neglect?

3-Is it to provide 3000 willing members of cannon-fodder for WW3?

It seems to me that it's designed for (3), aiming to do (2) and only sustainable as (1).

Currently, the VAST majority of RNR personnel employed on an FT-basis abroad need no specialist RN skills. They are either working as:-
- Lt/Lt Cdr in areas that the RN has no expertise and is wise to leave alone as they cannot support a career stream: Medical, Psy Ops, Op Int, Media Ops etc
(the pool of AW/Sub Ops is probably worth maintaining so that we retain a capability relatively cheaply - and Air has already cost the tax payer so much, why not try to retain some value?)
-AB/LH in an overseas MPGS role.

So why are they wearing Blue at all?
Why have we this expensive, poorly-managed COMMARRES function?
Why do we have ANYONE in the RNR who can safely say "I will never be mobilised as the RN cannot afford the compensation payments to my employer"?
Why do we have Cdrs in the RNR? Please don't tell me it's only to arrange training for the minions - this is clearly a function that should be provided by a competent FT function at FLEET.

While the TA is getting ripped apart trying to meet the commitments of the Army, the RNR is... mooching along, worrying if something is a branch, a specialisation or a sub-specialisation.

Why so glum, you ask?
1. It's a strange system that 'encourages promotion' and 'supports current operations' by instilling a "minimum of 24 days for bounty, maximum 24 days of paid training" system.
2. It's a strange system that puts all of its employees onto JPA yet continues to run a parallel system (the RNR database) that it doesn't properly maintain - and then spends money copying stuff across.

There's more, but I'll wait till the dust settles...
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
Okay, here's another one, currently less than half of the RNR, (approx a 1000) qualify for bounty. Which suggests that only less than half of the RNR is trained, in-date and useable.

What does that suggest?

For my money I'm willing to bet just like when I was in the RNR, it means the same old faces week in week out do the training, commit the time whilst many do as little as possible. May be wrong ('twas 17 years ago).
 

AntC

Lantern Swinger
I don't think the problem lies in the fact that we have Cdrs/Cpts/Cdres at all. I think the problem is in the way these senior officers are utilised. I think scrapping ranks at senior level would be a bad thing; I believe it's important that the RNR has these senior officers who can lead the organisation.. It's all well and good getting a full time chap in as the Commodore, but he can't empathise with the men/women he's commanding if he's never had to leave his full time job for a 9 month tour, if he's never struggled to balance a full time job, family commitments, the RNR and a private life, he can't empathise if he's not been through the training first hand, and served as a reservist alongside regulars. I'm sure he's more than willing to sympathise - but it's npot the same thing.

In an ideal world the RNR will redefine its aims and targets and will come up with very cleear and transparant uses for it's top brass officers. Sure it might mean having LESS of them, but certainly not getting rid of them all together.

As has been said the RNR doesn't seem fully to know exactly what is expected of it and I think this is the main problem.
 

dunkers

War Hero
Given the numbers in the SEA (Res) branch (see SO1's letter sent out today) we can't be much above the "critical mass" number needed for us to remain economical. The numbers are soberingly low.

Grey_Fox said:
... trying to justify the existence of the RNR within the RN & the Reserve Forces. And if you can't do that, then you probably shouldn't be in the RNR - or the RNR shouldn't be. I'm not sure.

My bold. Don't quite follow the logic there. It's certainly not the case that a member of the RNR should be blindly trying to justify its existence. I think the reservists at the "coal face" know better than anyone what anachronisms still exist, and hence are best placed to state what parts of the reserve structure remain worthwhile.

I agree with a lot of what you say however, and maybe I misread the above. Anyway, a big part of the retention problem is related to the lack of answers to your (very valid) questions. Nobody knows what direction we are going in and nobody is hearing any sign of consideration being given to that direction. It results in a continuing exodus of manpower leaving only half a dozen mobilisation-ready men in each unit. Until we are given a clear purpose and clear status within the Royal Navy, no amount of divisional care will make a difference to our manning levels and capability. People might put up with all manner of JPA bullsh*t if they remain inspired by the work of the Reserve and its future, having been inspired by direction and moral leadership from above. If that isn't there, you will end up (as we all know) with a great many disaffected ratings waiting for the last straw before jacking it in.

These ratings are seemingly expected to dismiss failures to be paid and their lack of clue about their future purpose as "life in a blue suit". No it fcuking isn't, thanks; see ya. We remain because that's who we are - the Service is ingrained in us - and only after a hefty shove are we moved to resign: I hope the relevant people realise that.
 

Bisley

War Hero
With seaman (reserves) numbers so low how does Commres see him filling the AWFP within FPGRM role up Scotland with the mystical numbers needed for the 6 odd teams needed up till end of 2010/11?????
 

GCYZ

Lantern Swinger
Grey_Fox said:
What is the purpose of the Maritime Reserve?
1-Is it to provide experts in small, specific fields that the RN only needs in times of conflict at a level that it is not economically sustainable to achieve with RN personnel (through limitations of career stream/training costs/maintenance of skills/small scope)?

2-Is it to provide a pool of trained personnel ready at a moment's notice to fill gaps across all RN specialisations, caused through poor recruitment and retention policies built up over years of neglect?

3-Is it to provide 3000 willing members of cannon-fodder for WW3?

It seems to me that it's designed for (3), aiming to do (2) and only sustainable as (1).

Absolutely spot on, the problem in a nutshell.
(You may well have just written the epitaph of the RNR!)
 

Bisley

War Hero
SO2Seaman said:
ETM 0209 refers to how the Sea(Res) branch will continue to step up to the mark
SO2Seaman

Obviously not having the in depth numbers as your good self, does the powers that be see a shortage in Sea(res) manpower for the future? As i have seen very few knocking around. Is intelligent mobilisation going to give way soon to compulsory of AB's/SR of other branches to fill AWFP role in FPGRM?
 

SO2Seaman

Lantern Swinger
sorry guys, in-depth and authoritive discussions on the branch and it's way ahead etc, are not for the public forum.
Hopefully the two ETMs that I sent out yesterday will give you a clear idea of where we are, where we are going and how we intend to get there.
Suffice to say, if we all concentrate on getting up to the trained strength, the future is not bright, its not orange either, it the Sea(Res) branch!
:)
SO2 Seaman
 

Bisley

War Hero
SO2--- understand about public debate etc. But for us mear mortals not attached to the sea(res) branch which the RNR seems to centre itself around at the moment, i was just inquirying about future shortages and the way ahead.

thanks for the speedy reply!!!!!!!
 

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