So you want to be a soldier – the recruiting process – streaming by ability
An understanding of the recruiting policies of the British army is necessary so that any judgement of soldiers in the Scottish regiments can be arrived at from a position of knowledge.
At the recruitment stage, applicants are required to complete a number of written and oral tests compiled by psychologists, designed to allow individuals to be grouped into one of four classes. There might be changes in the process from time to time, but the purpose remains the same. These provide the means through which the Recruitment Centre is able to allocate recruits to the arm of the service most suited to their educational abilities. Namely:
Class 1: Gifted and intelligent: Most likely educated to higher level qualifiers usually sent for training with specialist services e.g. Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (R.E.M.E.), Royal Signals (R.S.) or Royal Engineers (R.E.).
Class 2: Promising. Educated to “O” level standard, those taller than 5′.10″ are directed to the Guards Regiments (Scots and Coldstream). Others are routed to the Royal Artillery (R.A.) and Royal Tank Regiment (R.T.R.). Recruits with a stated preference for service with the Scottish infantry are permitted to join the Regiment of their choice
Class 3: Education problematic. Underachieving but displaying some abilities are based on their place of residence, sent to one of the Scottish Infantry Regiments.
Class 4: Not well-educated, Usually non-combatant (except for personal protection). Earmarked for the Royal Transport Corps (R.T.C.), Royal Catering Corps (R.C.C.) or Royal Pioneer Corps (R.P.C.) or other supporting service.
The Scottish Infantryman – Training and Indoctrination
Recruits are sent to a specialized military unit for 3-4 months training, at the end of which they are usually (but not always) allocated to the Regiment of their choice. The training is physically intensive, mentally demanding and life changing. Some fail to meet the standards demanded and repeat the training. Persistently poor performers are discharged or transferred to a less demanding service. The process of creating the Scottish infantry soldier is well planned, well-structured, well practised and successful. It comprises:
Basic training. Individual thought processing eliminated and replaced with uniformity (thinking as one). Military number allocated and memorized. Civilian clothing and personnel effects confiscated. Head-hair removed. Issue of military clothing and explanation of how to dress uniformly. Bed blocking and locker layout (uniform presentation of kit). Cleaning duties allocated. Square bashing, up to four hours daily. Weapons training. Combat training. Physical exercise, field training. The list is extensive, and takes up to 16 weeks to complete.
With the Regiment. More of the same but including weekly indoctrination sessions including, regimental history, espousing glorious past battles and campaigns in which the Regiment was involved, religious education and weekly address to the family by an officer providing reminder of the authority of Commissioned Officers and the requirement for unquestioned obedience to their will.
Rite of passage – roles and responsibilities of Officers of the Scottish Regiments
Young men accepted as commissioned officers are usually Public School educated, and many are descended from Scottish nobility and other well-connected Scottish families. After 6 months of training at Sandhurst they enjoy a “rite of passage” and their commission in the Regiment is almost always handed down from father to sons who are expected to honour their family tradition of military service. These young officers form an elite, tight-knit community, membership of which is exclusive and zealously protected. There is no place in this hierarchy for the common soldier.
The concept of family is heavily promoted and attention is given to training officers in the subtle art of persuading soldiers that their welfare and that of their dependents is paramount in the thoughts of their officers. The intent is to build trust between commissioned officers and their soldiers. The system works extremely efficiently although not always to the benefit of the ordinary soldier. The word of the officer is law.
In the course of the 2014 Scottish Independence campaign, many contrary views were voiced by the informed and uninformed about the future loyalty of the soldiers of Scottish Regiments. The dialogue (except through use of a proxy) was not inclusive of rank and file forces, who were forbidden from participating in discussions or expressing any views on independence. The measures silencing the voices of the rank and file stifled debate within the military and influenced the outcome of the referendum in favour of remaining in the Union.
This strictly enforced silence did not extend to a number of Generals and other senior officers who, with a lifetime commitment and obligation to Her majesty’s forces, were vociferous in declaring their support to the “Better Together.” campaign.
The foregoing policy should not be permitted at the next referendum, and its removal would be assisted by the publication of a well presented discussion document outlining the make-up of Scotland’s armed forces in an independent Scotland.
The makeup of the Scottish infantry following independence
Infantry forces of an independent Scotland might be comprised of 2 Divisions (Highland and Lowland) each comprising 4 Regiments with 1 regular battalion of 650 soldiers and 1 Territorial Battalion. This provides a total complement of 5,200 regular soldiers supported by an expanded force of 5,200 Territorial soldiers.
The regimental system butchered by successive Westminster governments would be re-instated, permanently garrisoned in Scotland and deployed as necessary by the government in support of NATO commitments.
Forces families would be provided with married quarters, based within the local community and maintained by the Local Council. A transfer of relevant military personnel, equipment, weaponry, transport and dependents would be agreed through negotiation with the Westminster government and implemented over a period of 1 year from the date of independence. Any soldier that wished to remain with the UKr armed forces would be permitted to do so. Given freedom of choice, it is expected that in excess of 90% of rank and file infantry personnel would exercise a preference to transfer to the Scottish Defence Force.
Not all Commissioned Officers will follow the lead of the soldiers, and (given their support of the Westminster system of government) it would be reasonable to anticipate that less than 50% would transfer their military loyalty to Scotland. Any shortfall would be made up through the promotion of serving warrant officers and/or senior NCO’s, who would be well able to fill the gap.
Soldiers of the Queen
In recent months fanfares have been sounding in the unionist press proclaiming, glorifying the groundbreaking decision by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to allow women to serve as soldiers on the front-line. Much was made in the announcement of the equal rights act and the need to provide opportunity for women to volunteer to fight and die for their country. But the unexpected messenger bearing gifts it is not entirely upfront. The real reason for the new approach to army recruitment is a marked fall off in the number of male volunteers.
This is attributed to the extended over deployment of soldiers to foreign fields of war with little chance of a change of emphasis. Indeed there are many ex- soldiers who at the time of their discharge had been away from the UK at war throughout their entire contract of service.
Another factor is that in the last 20 years Westminster politicians have been complicit in the exposure to the public of jingoistic rhetoric reminding the nation, (usually after yet another military setback, loss or cock-up resulting in loss of life) of its enduring commitment to the Armed Forces, their families and veterans.
But the Westminster politicians pledge to care for servicemen and women, their dependents and veterans, many suffering from the adverse effects of war is not honoured and the jaundiced views of military personnel (serving and discharged) are being increasingly voiced in public warning off those who might be tempted to take the “Queens Shilling.” Hence, the need for women.
The Much Maligned Covenant between the Westminster Government, the Public and the Armed Forces
Soldier dad away for 6 months fined for taking children out of school to spend time with him – http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/soldier-dad-away-6-months-6872096
Wounded British soldier refused a hotel room – https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/soldier-turned-away-from-hotel-because-334677
Benefits Cut ‘Took Away Ex-Soldier David Clapson’s Lifeline,’ Says Sister – http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2016/03/03/david-clapson-inquiry-crowdfunder-dwp-benefit-insulin_n_9372008.html
Care for UK military veterans is ‘flawed’, medical experts say – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29807947
Government ‘breaking military covenant over veterans’ care’ – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/defence/11470842/Government-breaking-military-covenant-over-veterans-care.html
A soldier speaks: ‘The covenant is just words’ – http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/a-soldier-speaks-the-covenant-doesnt-help-anyone-its-just-words-8505845.html
Deal to aid brave British troops is ‘not honoured’ says military report – http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/705046/British-troops-failed-military-covenant-not-honoured
Ex Soldiers Add Their Comments About The Covenant
Thieves such as the boss of BHS, and time served wasters in the civil service get lordships, knighthoods and very fat pensions. Forces people who put their lives on the line get shafted. This is down to the liars in the lib, lab, con sh*t pile that is parliament. Sadly, it has always been the British way.
The Tories are Known As the nasty party. But they are worse than that. They have betrayed our armed forces more times than I want to remember. When a government jails its own troops to appease the enemy, it’s time to get rid of them forever, and never trust them. The Tories are the artists of betrayal. They have a history of betrayal. They dumped our loyal commonwealth countries to join the EU.
Redundancy letters were sent to soldiers on active service in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the government set out to reduce the pensions of wounded and limbless veterans.
Refugees and EU migrants were rehoused in nice new houses with mod-cons and gardens, but the MOD forced limbless and incapacitated veterans and their families to live in high rise flats. The MOD are pure evil.
The Tory government recruited a pen pushing General to back the decision not overturn the 20-year jail sentence of Sgt Blackman, Royal Marines for shooting a wounded insurgent after an ambush / firefight in Afghanistan, which beggars belief. If there is any justice at all in this country at all, our soldiers that are interned, should be released now. It’s hardly shocking, in fact pretty much of what was expected by this government who seem hell-bent on giving as much of taxpayer’s money as they can on foreign aid, supporting migrants, whether legal or not, in this country and of course their £10 billion per year EU contributions that go towards other basket case countries in club Med or on the Eastern Front, there’s no money left for our own vulnerable people everybody knows that!
Since the days of the Napoleonic wars, successive British governments have promised a land fit for hero’s, and then promptly dumped them onto the streets. The military covenant was supposed to have stopped that,but governments decided that the welfare of 3rd world despots and so-called refugees and asylum seekers were a priority. Perhaps our time served newspaper industry can campaign for some honesty and action?
One former military soldier sleeping rough on the streets is one too many, and the people responsible should hang their heads in shame. Meanwhile, an immigrant arriving at our shores, with no paperwork is permitted to claim asylum and is provided with furnished council accommodation house, allowances, legal aid and a free TV licence.
Come on boys you have done your job for the country, but we don’t require you any more, all our promises to you are off, don’t you forget we now have to support many thousands of immigrants displaced by your activities. They are entitled to welfare benefits, housing and medical care. How on earth can we support you as well. British government, shame on you. Started when Gordon Brown snapped the purse shut, denying the army proper kit and equipment, then continued by Osborne, aided and abetted by Cameron.
The government supports illegal migrants and foreign criminals but fails to honour its commitments to members of the armed forces injured and handicapped doing the government’s bidding.
Typical Cameron and government promise to people wounded and handicapped, protecting the nation. All hot air and lies.
The Armed Forces should have all the support necessary. It is a disgrace that many are sleeping rough. Some of the foreign aid budget could be utilised to give them a roof above their heads.
We can look after and give houses to people who have not been born or worked here. But we can’t look after our own. While the lords and MP’s milk the system for all its worth.
Our military veterans and their dependants Must be put at the top of the queue for housing and welfare when they retire. It is totally unacceptable they are not, especially as priority seems to be given to other people who have contributed little or nothing to this country.
Of course the covenant is not being honoured. Because the establishment politicians of the legacy parties are dishonourable traitors !
The armed forces covenant and the so called remit should be written up as a policy document as a minimum requirement, not as a remit that can be twisted and even ditched all together by the local councils etc:
We put our lives on the line & we have no guarantee on a fair deal for our families or even ourselves.
We cannot get decent housing or proper food to eat.
At least when we had our own cooks we decent food, the civilian contractors are screwing the troops and seem to be doing it expressly in the eyes of the troops. Bring back the ‘Catering corps’.
The Military Covenant is a waste of time and only pays lip service to personnel leaving the armed services, it’s the government’s way of showing that they are doing something, something that doesn’t really mean anything. I spoke to my GP, and he had never heard of it, that’s how good it is, if no one buys into it then it’s a total waste of time.
He’s right and most likely a Tory traitor? But that’s what I was told after serving 12 years and not residing in the UK for 3 consecutive years. Because I was overseas in the Army. The Council told me I was an alien in our own country. Council Regulations are that you have to live in England for 3 years, or you don’t qualify for housing. Unless you are an EU migrant or a refugee. That’s the rules in this land. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/705046/British-troops-failed-military-covenant-not-honoured
Casualties of War Iraq & Afghanistan