Showing a united front
AS a journalist, I have been professionally trained in the art of cynicism.
So when I visited the MoD last month to interview the Service’s top brass about the latest redundancies, my view of the powers that be had already been formed.
Having spent several months on the receiving end of a steady flow of disillusioned emails about the unfairness and sadness of the reduction process, I was sure this would be yet another interview where those in charge refuse to admit how rotten it all is.
But on meeting Maj Gen James Everard and Brig Rob Nitsch I found myself genuinely empathising with the task they have been charged with.
As they began to explain the complicated process of selecting fields for redundancy, of exemptions and applications and resettlement support, I suddenly had a thought.
Why do they bother?
The process of waving goodbye to loyal and talented soldiers can surely not be easy for anyone within the same organisation, especially those who have made their own sacrifices in order to serve Queen and country.
So why stick around to see it all through?
Why have they taken on this unenviable task when, let’s face it, a stroll into civvy street with a less-than-shoddy pension would undoubtedly have been the easier option.
What became clear during the course of the interview was the fact that these officers have a genuine desire to get this thing right.
The openness with which they talked about the far-from ideal but well-planned third tranche was refreshing compared to the more guarded interviews Soldier had experienced in earlier rounds.
These officers seem to want to execute this task in a way that honours the greatness of this organisation and, more significantly, the courage and value of the individuals within its ranks.
No matter how much we all dislike the idea of shrinking the Army, surely now is the time for those in uniform to stick
together in order to see this through. – Sarah Goldthorpe, Editor