Well it's been quite a ride hasn't it? The Army's redundancy programme has resulted in gaping holes across most capability areas and we are potentially looking at an uplift to a number of promotion board vacancies this year to compensate - specifically the Pink List may see an overall uplift of some 35% as around a third of all Lt Col appointments are currently going unfilled. Combined with the disastrous VERS, we are looking at over-worked and increasingly stressed people at every level struggling to cope with the incessant waterfall of nonsense flowing from above.
"Learn to say 'No'" said the grumpy i.e. rude 3-star General now running the Army's Force Development and Training command. "We must understand what we cannot do - and what the impact is" he continues. This doesn't chime with the mood flowing from Army HQ however who are pushing for the generation of the Light Armoured Battle Group "at best effort" whilst simultaneously handling Op ESCALIN (fuel tankers), Op OLYMPICS (don't even get me started on the unbelievable nonsense here) and all the usual contingency 'stuff' - which will be the subject of a separate post in due course. Our masters at the top of the tower may well recognise that we're busy - and the people at the bottom, in the units, certainly do - but the great morass of staff officers in the middle, all thrusting for promotion and an MBE/OBE don't want to hear it. "We're all far too busy generating work for ourselves" comes the cry. Perhaps that's where the bulk of forced redundancy should be taken?
And finally, who could forget Future Force aka Army 2020 and it's associated white elephant, Future Reserves 2020? Well, some may recall that the broad strokes of A2020 were 'leaked' by 'someone' to the media which prompted a spasm of indignation from the Cabinet Office and the MoD. "It's all speculation" said a talking head. And now the announcement has been delayed to "take the heat" out of the announcement. Something tells me that there's going to be quite a bit of comment regardless.
In summary, morale is low and the example being set by our political masters is of a uniformly poor standard. But increasingly, the example being set by our military masters is starting to generate comment as well. Fat Generals chuntering on about the requirement for everyone to "go back to basics" is causing open merriment in messes across the land. There is an open bet on whether anyone will ever actually witness some of these portly but terribly august gentlemen ever attend PT? "They're downgraded" said a spokesperson. Well, in that case, make them redundant too - you do it to our soldiers after all.