Females too terrified to report bullying and harassment Female service personnel are too terrified to make formal complaints over harassment and bullying, because of a culture of fear within the British Army, a Labour MP has claimed. Madeleine Moon, who sits on the Commons Defence Select Committee, said women were fearful about the impact raising a formal complaint would have on their career and their working relationships. Speaking to the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme, Moon said the Army were not tough enough on dealing with complaints, and needed to get better at communicating vital messages.
You get the general statement about we abhor all discrimination and we are opposed to and will strike it down , but actually there is not a clear message coming all the way down, she said. The MP for Bridgend, Wales, said female personnel faced discrimination at every level of the organisation and sexual intimidation and bullying was “tolerated a far greater extent” in the Army, compared with the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. Within the Navy, it s an issue of discipline and awareness that you cannot have disharmony on a ship, she said.
If you ve got two or three women on a ship you cannot have discrimination and harassment because it undermines morale, so they deal with it very firmly. Service complaints about bullying, harassment and discrimination accounted for 43 per cent of all Army allegations in 2012, up by a third on the year before. This is compared to 9 per cent of all allegations made in the Naval Service and 38 per cent in the RAF.
There seems to be a total denial of its existence and they the Army hide behind terms such as banter and horseplay, Moon told the BBC. She called for better role models; more help lines for personnel to access anonymously, and clearer top-down messages. Earlier this year, the secretary of state for defence, Philip Hammond, announced changes to the way bullying and abuse cases are dealt with in the armed forces.
Under the new watchdog, military personnel will be able to take complaints they believe have not been properly dealt with to an independent ombudsman, the service complaints commission, under Dr Susan Atkins.
This should bring substantial improvements to the fairness of the complaints system, the time it takes for complaints to be resolved and increase the level of confidence service personnel have in the process,” Dr Atkins said at the time.
Recruit Andrew Vaughan is 25 years old and is about to start Phase 1 training at Army Training Regiment (ATR) Winchester, where he hopes to go on to join the Royal Artillery. Recruit Andrew Vaughan I ve had a taste of Army life before because I previous applied to join the TA when I was 18. I completed the ADSC (Army Development and Selection Centre) after a year of waiting but unfortunately had to leave to go to University.
It is something I regret now and I do wonder what would have happened had I stayed. As they say though, everything happens for a reason. Fast forward seven years, a lot of life experience and a varied career including as an Accounts Assistant and a Recruitment Consultant.
Good money, but not what I wanted to do. I wanted a job which was varied, where I get to make a difference and have adventures along the way. Finally I made the decision.
I was going to become a soldier. The application I began my journey by going on to the Army website, you now begin your initial registration online by filling in their application form. It can take a while but it saves time down the road to be as detailed as possible.
After a couple of weeks of waiting (and worrying) I received an email which asked for medical details. Again it helps to be as accurate as you can. After another couple of weeks (and a courtesy call just to show enthusiasm) I received a phone call issuing me an appointment at my local AFCO (Armed Forces Careers Office) in London.
This was to be an interview and the first real hurdle of the process that can be failed. I was incredibly nervous and spent the time I had to take in all the advice I could from a variety of sources on how to pass. The interview is for the Army to see what type of person you are, why you want to join the Army and what you can bring to the table.
You will have already been asked what your top three job choices are, so revise what they involve including where you will based and how long for. Also revise the Army Values (Courage, Discipline, Respect for others, Integrity, Loyalty and Selfless Commitment CDRILS) and have an example ready on when you have displayed these values. Revise what ADSC and Phase 1 will involve but most importantly, be yourself.
As long as you truly want it and are there for the right reasons, you won t go far wrong. I was told straight after the interview that I had passed and had to strongly fight the urge to do the happy dance there and then probably for the best! I was then told of an upcoming running club in London, which is run by the Army so they can assess my 1.5 mile run time.
They hold it once a month so I was very eager to bosh it first time one week to prepare game on! The run clubs I attended this with my Grandad who, bless his heart, is just as excited if not more so about my decision to join the Army. Having been in the Signals himself and knowing the highs and lows that await me, he is extremely encouraging about my job/life choice and his pride in me is definitely a huge driving force for me to succeed.
I finished the run in 11:35, my personal record but not quite good enough. A month of training it is then! One month and a lot of miles under my belt later and I was back, again with Grandad in tow, and again finished in the 11:30 minute region.
I was devastated if I m honest. No improvement showing, I felt like this was where my journey had reached its end. Thankfully I received a phone call from my CSM a week after inviting me to attend the ADSC in two month s time!!
I was so excited and told anyone who would listen the good news, this was where the ball really began to roll! Visit Recruit Vaughan s page 1 Find out about joining the Army 2 Find out about ATR Winchester 3 This entry was posted in Army 4 , ATR Winchester 5 , Royal Artillery 6 and tagged a taste of Army 7 , adsc 8 , afco 9 , army development and selection centre 10 , army training regiment 11 , atr winchester 12 , basic training 13 , core values 14 , interview 15 , join the army 16 , phase 1 17 , Phase 1 training 18 , Recruit 19 , recruit vaughan 20 , Recruit Andrew Vaughan 21 , running club 22 , soldier 23 , the Army 24 , training 25 , Winchester 26 . Bookmark the permalink 27 .
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Joining the British Army becoming a recruit
Lisa s Diary 2014 Captain Lisa Irwin Captain Lisa Irwin is a REME Reserve Officer currently on a three-year Full Time Reserve Service commitment with the Defence Cultural Specialist Unit. She has spent 15 months learning Pashto and Dhari before deploying to Camp Bastion to be the 2 IC of a team of medical personnel set up to mentor Afghan medical personnel. This is her third tour of Afghanistan and her second blog, as she blogged during her last tour in 2010/2011, when she was deployed as a Female Engagement Team Commander.
7 Mar The past week has been a challenging one for the ANSF Med Dev Team and a tiring one for me. We have been busy with routine visits to Shorabak when possible but also busy doing some reactive mentoring. The Shorabak hospital has been relatively quiet so the guys in the team carried out teaching on things such as airway management rather than direct patient care and encouraged the Afghan medics to carry out necessary reorganisation of equipment.
Whilst the guys were teaching my role was a little interpreting, chatting to everyone to maintain relationships and assisting in teaching. I had a book of Afghan poetry which was written in Pashto, and I showed it to some of the patients as I know that poetry is an important part of Afghan culture. They were surprised that I had such a book and even more surprised that I could to read it.
I read some poems to patients who were unable to read (in the past many Afghans were unable to attend school) and they really appreciated it. It was such a simple thing but elicited a warm response from everyone in the hospital, patients and staff alike. VIP visit Ed Milliband (left) visited the hospital at Camp Bastion.
We had a VIP visitor to our team in March. Ed Milliband was visiting Bastion and as he was coming to the hospital he visited our team due to our mission being considered important. He seemed a personable man and listened intently as my OC, Fletch, explained exactly what we do and introduced the rest of the team.
He seemed interested in our role but I am sure that is a skill that all politicians quickly develop! Preparing for surgery As the week progressed the ANA were due to start a large military operation and therefore we started to prepare for a potential increase in casualties. As the casualties started to come in I was frequently called in to the hospital to be there as the casualties were brought in by helicopter.
Once the casualties arrived I waited for the doctors to decide if the casualties could be treated at Shorabak, or remain in Bastion, for those who could be transferred I co-ordinated the transfer of the casualties to Shorabak. Some of them were suitable to be transferred without the team going over to mentor and others required mentoring. Our aim is to take over cases that are slightly complex and useful for us to mentor in order to increase the Afghan doctors knowledge and confidence, but not so complicated that they may be overwhelmed or not yet have the capabilities needed.
The current set-up is a bit like a field hospital, and the new hospital being built will not be ready before July, so it would not be fair to the doctors or the patients to send over cases that are currently too complex. One of the first suitable casualties required abdominal surgery, and the operation was more complex than had been done at Shorabak before. However, the patient was assessed to be stable and suitable for transfer.
We decided to take over only the team members that were needed, rather than the whole team, and gained permission to stay over slightly later than normal (our working hours in Shorabak can be restricted depending on the security situation). So the smaller team, with our Force Protection, headed over. When we arrived at the hospital the casualty was already in the operating theatre being prepared for surgery so the surgical team scrubbed up and went in to mentor the ANA doctors carrying out the operation.
Meanwhile one of our nurses and I went in to the ward to see how many patients there were and make sure everything was up to date. I chatted to the medics and patients that were there, including two patients who remembered me talking to them in the Emergency Department in Bastion hospital I suppose a blonde, white woman speaking to them in Pashto probably makes me quite easy to remember! As the operation progressed I was frequently checking on progress to see if we were going to be OK for time.
I also reminded the Afghan medics that they needed to prepare a bed space for the patient to return to when he came out of theatre, with oxygen, monitoring equipment and other such things that a complicated post-op patient would need. Once the surgery was complete, the patient was taken to his post operative bed for overnight monitoring and care, and we were able to return to Bastion the team satisfied with a job well done. The drive back to Bastion was slightly surreal as I had never driven through Camp Shorabak in the dark before but other than feeling slightly more vulnerable we didn t encounter any problems.
8 Mar 2014 Talking to a patient on one of the ANA hospital wards at Camp Shorabak. The next day was almost a repeat of the previous day, with several more casualties coming through, some of whom remained in Bastion hospital and some of whom were transferred to Shorabak. Of the ones transferred to Shorabak another required abdominal surgery so again the team was stood up to go over and mentor the case.
This time the as the surgery was ongoing there was another casualty with a gunshot wound to deal with, so three of us cleaned, irrigated and dressed his wound. We then moved him to the ward but no sooner had we done that than word came through on the radio that the Afghans were bringing in 3 seriously ill casualties evacuated by their own helicopter. Immediately I started chivvying the Afghan medics to make sure the Emergency Department was set up to receive them as the medics haven t yet fully grasped the concept of preparation and tend to be more reactionary.
At the same time I had to keep an eye on how the surgery was progressing as I was aware that we had a limited time in Shorabak. Eventually it became clear that the operation wasn t progressing as planned and that we needed to take the casualty back to the hospital in Bastion, and at this stage there was no sign of the Afghan casualties. So after numerous phone calls and radio messages we loaded the casualty into an ambulance and we all returned to Bastion.
Casevac d for needing to pee! The next morning as I sat at breakfast reflecting on the past 2 long days my phone rang again as more ANSF casualties were en route. No relaxing breakfast for me then as I headed in to work.
There had been an IED incident that resulted in a number of casualties and some were on their way to Bastion. On arrival the most seriously injured were immediately taken in to the Role 3 Hospital Emergency Department for assessment and treatment but one casualty appeared to have only minor injuries so he remained in the ambulance while he was assessed, as it appeared likely that he could be transferred straight to Shorabak. However, although the assessing doctor couldn t find any obvious injuries the casualty was still grimacing in pain.
Unfortunately due to the number of casualties all the interpreters were busy with other injured Afghans and so I climbed into the ambulance to speak to him to see if I could find out where he was in pain. Quite quickly I discovered the source of his extreme discomfort .he had an extremely full bladder and was desperate for the toilet! Once he had been able to pass urine he was absolutely fine (apart from a slightly sore back).
Possibly the first time someone has been casevac d for needing to pee! After yet another full and busy day I eventually crawled in to bed, exhausted. I suppose this is how my life is going to be for the next few months, with me taking advantage of any breaks I can get but acutely aware that I can be called in at any time.
I wouldn t have it any other way though as I enjoy the challenge and variety that the role can bring and I really enjoy being able to interact with the Afghan personnel and hopefully positively influence them. It may be small steps but I really do feel that my job, and more importantly the work of all of the ANSF Med Dev Team, is making a positive difference. Pt1: Lisa s Diary 1 2014 Pt2: Lisa s Diary 2 2014 Pt3: Lisa s Diary 3 2014 Read Lisa s previous blogs from 2010/2011: L isa s Diary 1: October-December 2010 4 Lisa s Diary 2: January-March 2011 5 This entry was posted in 102 Bn REME (V) 6 , Army 7 , REME 8 , TA , TFH HQ 9 and tagged Afghanistan 10 , Bastion 11 , camp bastion 12 , captain 13 , casualties 14 , Cultural Specialist 15 , dari 16 , DCSU 17 , Emergency Department 18 , female 19 , H19/20 20 , Helmand 21 , HelmandProvince 22 , HERRICK 23 , Hospital 24 , interpreter 25 , ISAF 26 , linguist 27 , Lisa 28 , lisa irwin 29 , Medic 30 , Medical 31 , medical development 32 , mentor 33 , nurses 34 , nursing 35 , pashto 36 , REME 37 , reservist 38 , shorabak 39 , soldier 40 , surgeon 41 , surgery 42 , surgical 43 , training 44 .
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References ^ Training Afghan Medics: The Language of Healing (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ Training Afghan Medics: The Language of Healing Pt2 (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ Training Afghan Medics: The Language of Healing Pt3 (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ Lisa s Diary 1: October-December 2010 (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ Lisa s Diary 2: January-March 2011 (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ View all posts in 102 Bn REME (V) (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ View all posts in Army (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ View all posts in REME (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ View all posts in TFH HQ (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ Afghanistan (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ Bastion (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ camp bastion (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ captain (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ casualties (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ Cultural Specialist (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ dari (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ DCSU (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ Emergency Department (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ female (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ H19/20 (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ Helmand (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ HelmandProvince (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ HERRICK (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ Hospital (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ interpreter (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ ISAF (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ linguist (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ Lisa (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ lisa irwin (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ Medic (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ Medical (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ medical development (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ mentor (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ nurses (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ nursing (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ pashto (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ REME (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ reservist (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ shorabak (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ soldier (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ surgeon (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ surgery (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ surgical (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ training (britisharmy.wordpress.com) ^ Permalink to Training Afghan Medics: The Language of Healing Pt4 (britisharmy.wordpress.com)