Saturday, 9 October 2010

Right dress?

We've all seen the diktats issuing forth about long-haired squaddies running amok in various FOBs and PBs - and the rather tenuous links to poor discipline, declining standards and - one assumes - the link to an outbreak of ribald soldiery breaking wind in the palaces of the mighty at some point in the very near future.  I'm all for it - what cuts the mustard in the field isn't really required when mooching about in camp.  We should wear the right badges, we should ensure our hair is kept neat and tidy, and sleeves should be rolled in the right manner (above the elbow - not lurking mid-forearm) and so on - we are a professional armed force, not some sort of partially uniformed outreach service.  It seems that some AS&D are taking this issue very seriously indeed - DRA recently AGAI'd a WO1 for being in contravention of RA Dress Regs - it seems he wasn't wearing a belt with his smock and it is heartening to see the rule being scrupulously applied to all.

Or is it?

I was in Tidworth Camp the other day and happened to drive past a Colonel wearing (and I kid you not) the old style tropps (the ones that go purple in the wash), desert boots, and a ridiculous red 'chip bag style' side hat.  He looked utterly stupid and most annoyingly, he was being accompanied by a group of more junior soldiers who were all dressed immaculately - all of whom must have thought he was a proper cunt.

So 'Sir' - take a good long hard look at yourself in the mirror before 'popping in' to work next week and roughing it with the Toms. 

9 comments:

  1. That Colonel works in Garrison HQ. I blame the GSM for not gripping him! :)

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  2. ScaleyBackB@stard15 October 2010 21:53

    I take it he was some flavour of Calvary? rule unto themselves....

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  3. Who gives a sh*t? What does it matter what trousers he wears? I have always found that obsession with uniformity and dress is inversely proportional to professional ability.

    Zac

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  4. Interestingly one of the Field Army GOCs (within the past 3 years) stated he belived there was a link between conduct and standards in camp and ability on ops. ie: Those who were smart, soldier like and disciplined in camp were the better units on ops.
    Now I dont have the oversight he did when this was proclaimed I just know he was pretty damm sure about it.

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  5. Looking a cnut takes years of practice. It cannot be effectively achieved in a tea break. In any case, he was merely emulating a look I'd perfected in the mid-1980s at Ackers - albeit sans red hat. Good effort all round.

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  6. Anonymous at 1605 18 Oct

    "Those who were smart, soldier like and disciplined in camp were the better units on ops"

    This is a classic failure to understand the point. If you were comparing two RA regiments, both of whose COs and RSMs placed equal importance on dress and standards in camp and passed these expectations throughout their command, it makes sense that the better dressed regiment is the one where the command structure best understands the CO's intent and has a grip of the soldiers. Hence, this regiment is likely to perform better then its worse-dressed counterpart

    However, there are regiments which place little value on uniformity and bullshit and where looking smart is rarely among the command structure's priorities. Given that these regiments include the SAS, Paras and Rifles I call bullsh*t on this particular observation.

    Zac

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  7. Hmmm...Your first paragraph proves exactly the point you have quoted, and then called bullsh*t over.

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  8. Major Boothroyd14 December 2010 09:40

    Field Marshall Slim (and he knew a thing or 2 about Ops) said that Regt/Bn that maintained dress & discipline in camp performed better in the field.

    Paras and Rifles may dress different to the rest of the Army but look closely and you'll see that they're all dressed the same as each other. I've served with Airborne and Household Division and they are just as disciplined; they express other than by shiny boots and straight crease.

    I'm surprised that the Col in Tidworth is still getting away with it. I saw Comd 1 Mech Bde peel off the back of a squadded run to bollock a Major who wasn't wearing head-dress - while driving a civvy car!

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  9. The WO1 was the DRA's scapegoat, he had decided to punish someone for sideys (not a belt transgression) and ordered the clampdown on them. Before many people could do any trimming (ie as orders were being published) he got him AGAId. It was never seen through (i was drunk when he told me but I believe that was the case) but was humiliated enough. He was probably one of the most knowledgable soldiers in his field and he was villified by idiocy. However I have seen it on Ops and there really is a direct correlation between maintaining the standards and fighting ability. People can argue all they want but theyre probably lazy or just think that they need beards to perform better on Ops. Clearly there needs to be common sense but people seem to polarise left or right, commanders need a happy medium.

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