Morale




 
--
 
November 8th, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 

Topic: Morale


When I re-badged to the RCT there was a 2nd Lt which had the nickname “Silly Smith (not his real name)” and “rent a pip.” At every turn he stuffed up somehow, he was a complete and utter liability. I was surprised when a Captain tore into him in front of the “Other ranks”, to which “rent a pip” replied, “It wasn't my fault sir.” to which the captain came back “It never bloody is.”

After a while “rent a pip” was sent to another unit, we all sighed with relief.

Our Oscar Charlie was very good, he had a good sense of humour, looked after the people under his command, therefore morale was high..

On one occasion on exercise in Germany I had my section out for three days. It originally was going to be a quick run to deliver stores to a unit, and back again, therefore no rations were issued. When we arrived at the unit, I was given a signal to go to another and collect more stores and then deliver to yet another unit, and so it went on for three days.

I always tried to get the blokes some grub from the various units, only to be told “Sorry the cooks are finished,” or “sorry your not on my ration strength.” In the end we had to buy bratwurst and fries from roadside vendors. I did have my own stack of rations, but it wasn't enough to go around, and I couldn't eat when my blokes had nothing.

Finally we got back to our location about mid morning, I went over to the cooks and told the Corporal in charge that my blokes needed a meal. He said that he had just washed up and wasn't going to get his pots and pans dirty for my section, then he tossed me a packet of biscuits (cookies).
That when I lost it and got extremely vocal. The Sergeant Major and Oscar Charlie came out of the ops box wondering what was going on. Oscar Charlie told me to “calm down or you'll have a bloody heart attack.” I told him the story and without another word to me he turned to the cook and said, “Do the men a meal, push the boat for them.”

A few years later our Oscar Charlie was posted away, and a new one posted in his place. It turned out to be “Rent a pip.” I said to the Sergeant Major, “John, watch morale drop like a lead balloon.” He grimly nodded his head.

We had another exercise in Germany with “Rent a pip” in charge. He ran the squadron ragged, if a signal went out for RCT units to do a task, he always picked it up. The men were getting very little if any sleep, the Squadron was involved in quite a few accidents because drivers were falling asleep.

One afternoon I pulled my section into location, told my 21/c to park the trucks and get the blokes a meal and some sleep. I reported to the Sergeant Major, he told me to get one of my blokes to grab a motor bike to take a Signal to Regiment, I told him I'd take it, as my section badly needed sleep. I was away for around three hours, when I arrived back at the location I found my 2i/c under arrest in one of the CP's under guard. The story came out that “Rent a pip” had ordered him to take the section to collect and deliver stores, my 2 i/c refused because the men were in danger of falling asleep at the wheel and either killing themselves or someone else. I collared the Sergeant Major and told him that “Rent a pip” is going to get someone killed, he shrugged, agreed and said its out of his hands. I told the Sergeant Major I wanted to see my 2 i/c, walked into the CP and told the guard to piss off. I asked Dave why didn't he pull the section out, find a nice little lay by at the side of the road and get some sleep? He told me that someone had to take a stand against Rent a pips abuse of the men. I can't fault him there, but there are ways of doing it.

He was charged with “Failing to obey a legal order," and if I remember correctly, the old favourite section 69 “Prejudiced to good order and discipline” I with another Corporal was tasked as his escort. Before we were marched in in front of Rent a pip, I said to Dave, “If you want to screw him when he asks Do you accept my punishment?” you say “no, I elect for a court martial,” which would throw the cat among the pigeons and questions serious would be asked higher up why a part time soldier would ask for a court martial. Dave was marched in, didnt offer any defence and accepted Rent a pips punishment of “Reduced to the ranks.” I was furious, When we were marched out I turned on the Sergeant Major and said very loudly so Rent a pip could hear, “THIS IS WELL OUT OF ORDER SERGEANT MAJOR AND YOU KNOW IT.” Rent a pip poked his head out of the CP and said, “Tread very carefully corporal, or I'll reduce you to the ranks.” I replied, “Sorry sir, with my rank the only time I can get busted is by a Colonel and I would opt for a court martial.” It was at that moment I decided to quit the TA with Dave.

Afterwards I took Dave aside and told him that if he wanted to screw Rent a pip, put in a “Redress of complaint,” against him, even if found not guilty it goes on his record for life and affects his promotion. Its a pity that Dave never did, because Rent a pip wasn't fit to command men'

After I left the Squadron, one of my old mates told me they were carrying out live fire with Bren's and riflemen, while a section attack was carried out. When they reached a certain point all firing was stopped and the section attack carried out. Apparently Rent a pip had his girlfriend with him, who asked him“Can I fire that machine gun darling?” Beyond belief he let her while a section attack was going in. At the appointed point to cease fire, she didn't, she sent a burst that luckily didn't hit anyone. The Sergeant Major ran over and kicked the Bren out of her hands. Rent a pip turned on the Sergeant Major shouting “THAT WAS UNCALLED FOR SERGEANT MAJOR.” Apparently the Sergeant Major read Rent a pip the riot act. Quite frankly Rent a pip should have been up in front of a Court Martial and cashiered. Not long after, the Squadron was closed down with morale at rock bottom.
November 8th, 2011  
42RM
 
How the hell did he manages to become an officer???
November 8th, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 42RM
How the hell did he manages to become an officer???
I have no idea whatsoever. Not only was he useless he was dangerous.
--
November 8th, 2011  
42RM
 
Someone in the system should have stopped such a man before he was commissioned. Having the strength to inspire strength in others is the hallmark of a Commissioned Officer.
November 8th, 2011  
AFSteliga
 
 
Stuff like this happens everywhere, though. Some young officer who thinks he knows better than the men under him. Although, even some of the guys who commission from the ranks fall victim to this.
November 8th, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AFSteliga
Stuff like this happens everywhere, though. Some young officer who thinks he knows better than the men under him. Although, even some of the guys who commission from the ranks fall victim to this.
We had one in the Far East who came up through the ranks, not a pleasant chap at all
November 8th, 2011  
AFSteliga
 
 
I had one not too long ago. Master Corporal in the Infantry Reserves commissioned into the Air Force as an Air Traffic Controller. We got rid of him before he could even make it to the ATC School.
November 8th, 2011  
muscogeemike
 
In the ‘60’s Def. Sec. McNamara instituted something commonly referred to as “McNamara’s 100,000” for the US Army. He allowed the recruitment of below standard (and during the Draft era the standard was low to begin with) men. I encountered many enlisted men who were in this category, fortunately we could let them run out their enlistments and not have to deal with them any more. But I also saw officers that I’m convinced were in the same bracket. They were not so easy to dismiss and were often in positions to do harm.

I remember one in particular (an Infantry Lt) who was rejected from the 82d Abn Div and forced on us (a PSYOP Grp). After failing in several positions he was finally sent to the Div. Choir to complete his term.

During a tour with the 2d Inf. Div in Korea, I was with the Armor Bdg Staff. We had a 2Lt who was an ex-enlisted man and had gone back to College and received a commission through ROTC. On one field exercise he insisted he command our sections Armored Command Post vehicle. He had absolutely no experience with tracked vehicles and pulled this stunt without the knowledge of his superiors. He admitted later that he had watched all our other armor vehicles use the center of the dirt road to cross a wooden bridge but he had always driven far right so this is how he instructed our driver to go over the bridge.

The edge of the bridge gave way and our vehicle started to go over into a 5-10’ ditch. There were 4 or 5 of us inside the vehicle as well as the driver and our Lt. Fortunately the top of the armor side caught a concrete rail bridge running parallel to our road, holding the vehicle, and we managed to get out. One of our radio’s came lose and injured a Master Sergeant, this was our only major causality.

For this and other things, this Lt did not get a favorable evaluation at the end of his tour. But 4 or 5 years later he contacted me. He was trying to get a job with some lobbyist and was trying to get this evaluation overturned and wanted me to support him!

In 1988 I sat on a promo board for soldiers being recommended for SGT. Somehow the subject of Viet Nam came up and this particular soldier, with condemnation, stated that he believed that the US had dropped leaflets on VN villages, offering assistance at a particular time, with the objective of getting the maximum number of people together, and them bombing them.

This was long after the draft so this soldier was a volunteer. I ask him why, if he believed something like that, he would want to serve in the armed forces of a nation that would do such a thing?

Another question, I think, is why his supervisors and his unit (which was a good one) would put him up for promotion.

When individuals are so obviously unsuited for their rank why can’t the military check back and investigate those who put him in the position?
November 9th, 2011  
Alan P
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 42RM
How the hell did he manages to become an officer???
The trouble is they do become officers, but if they do not command respect off the men they are supposed to lead, they then become a liability to everyone. It does not take long for the rank and file to find someone a liability.
They might bull there way through exams etc but when it comes down too soldiering they soon get found out. Hopefully sooner than later.
November 9th, 2011  
muscogeemike
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan P
The trouble is they do become officers, but if they do not command respect off the men they are supposed to lead, they then become a liability to everyone. It does not take long for the rank and file to find someone a liability.
They might bull there way through exams etc but when it comes down too soldiering they soon get found out. Hopefully sooner than later.
Something to support what you said:
“The military is a hands-on profession in which overhead projectors, long-winded instructors, and pop quizzes are not effective. Leadership is not learned at a desk, and management techniques that work in industry will not necessarily motivate men to fight, risk death, and kill.” Michael Lee Lanning - THE BATTLES OF PEACE
 


Similar Topics
Most decisive battle in WW2?
Why did WWII happen ?
Indian army finds inflatable answer to low morale
U.S. Troops Try to Maintain Morale in Iraq
"Elusive sniper saps US morale in Baghdad "..!!