Skip to comments.Private's delight... in first 'field promotion' for more than 60 years (British Army)
Posted on 01/28/2014 2:44:51 PM PST by naturalman1975
A soldier has been handed the first on-the-spot 'field promotion' for more than 60 years after he was witnessed training foreign troops by the head of the British Army.
Rifleman Gigar Das, 31, was promoted after General Sir Peter Wall watched him teaching Malian troops to fight.
L Cpl Das, of London, has served in the Army for eight years and has been deployed on three tours in Afghanistan and one of Iraq.
His rise from Rifleman to Lance Corporal is believed to be the first time such a promotion has taken place on the front line since the Korean War in 1953.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
Really? I’ve witnessed several **poof** promotions to E-6, including my own. Why so rare?
It’s British Army, specific, of course.
My knowledge of British defence protocol is a little dated at this point, but I think what makes this unusual is the fact that it is a full confirmed promotion without course qualification.
A soldier could be given what is referred to as ‘Local Acting Rank’ on an temporary basis without having completed the necessary course qualification (in this case a Junior Non Commissioned Officers course) but they would still have to complete the course to be confirmed as promoted in that rank (and could lose it - without any prejudice being attached - if the reason they were granted it ceased to be relevant). In this case, Lance Corporal Das is now a substantive Lance Corporal and does not have to complete any further course to retain that rank.
It’s legal - the Chief of the General Staff has this power - but it’s very rarely used nowadays. The fact that Lance Corporal Das would have done the JNCO course if he hadn’t deployed probably counted for a lot (and I also suspect he will be encouraged to do it when he has the opportunity, if he ever wants a second stripe).
Out of curiosity, what is the ethnic derivation of the name “Gigar Das”? He looks “asian”, but that covers a lot of ground.
It’s not that uncommon in certain regiments in the British Army (especially infantry). If somebody wants promotion taking eight years to get a stripe would be very slow, but they don’t force somebody who is happy being a Private to seek promotion if they are doing the job where they need to be doing it.
A person can be an excellent soldier, without necessarily having the inclination or ability to lead others.
You are kind of a rare bear. I only ever knew two, or maybe three, Spec 6’s. I made Spec 5 in nineteen months. Then I was put in an E-6 job but didn’t have sufficient time in grade for a promotion so they made me an E-5 hard stripe.
Why still a Pfc. after 8 years?
Indian, Pakistani, or Bangladeshi most likely - Das is a reasonably common surname on the Indian subcontinent.
See my reply a little above yours (#5)
I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip the waitress.
Yeah, too bad velcro wasn’t real common yet in the 60’s; I know some guys who could’ve saved a lot of time sewing on and ripping off their stripes every time they f’d up.
Commonwealth private is a far cry from US private.
I’ve known a few Spec 7s. In Korea, E-6 and above don’t need a pass to go off-post, so I did like that, otherwise it was just a pay hike and getting lower ranks off my back. Once, as a Spec 5, some acting jack Corporal (in reality a PFC) tried to tell me to do something once, I laughed so hard the section Master Sergeant came running, thinking something was wrong. I asked him to please inform the faux Junior NCO what the deal was. That was the only problem with soft stripes.
No, but the Gurkhas aren’t the only group from the subcontinent with a strong tradition of serving in the British Army.
The Gurkhas have their own specific Regiments, within their own specific Brigade (the Brigade of Gurkhas) in the British Army (there are also Gurkha units in the armies of Nepal, India, Brunei, and the Singapore Police Force (counter terrorism).
I read somewhere that no one was ever promoted to Spec 8 or 9 the whole time those ranks actually existed. Of course today every specialist rank except Spec 4 has been eliminated. The last Spec 5 promotions were in 1985.
Those were some weird looking ranks, that's for sure.
I knew of a Spec 8, she was a nurse with a radiation specialty. She was some sort of special case, since as I recall, she only had something like 4-5 years time in service.
I knew of a Spec 8 (promotable) who made CW1 before being promoted to Spec 9.
He was CID. And an old fart. He had been around quite some time.
I knew of many Spec 7's, most in the Medics and one or two that were CID.
The only Spec rank I ever held was Sp4, although looking at my records, I have noted that when my promotion was recorded for E-5, it lists both Sp5 and SGT.
There was a time that promotions were quick, relatively speaking, if one had combat time, etc.
When I re-entered the Army after a 13 month hiatus, I had to come back in as a PFC.
I was an E-6 10 months later.
I don't think that happens now.
My whole life has been spent either just barely being able to take advantage of opportunities or just missing them due to changes in policy.
I would have made Spec 5 out of Signal school with about fourteen months in service if I had been part of the class just before mine. The policy, I think, had been that the top performer in each such class would get a two stripe promotion instead of just one. Most of the class were PFCs so the top student would be promoted to Spec 5. They dropped this policy and all I got was a certificate.
As it was, I made Spec 5 in about 20 months thanks to some coaching from some of the NCOs at my site. It's good to know what the colors on a topo map are used for and there was a moderate pause in the interview board questioning when I rattled off my rifle serial number without having to think about it.
A year later, in addition to the $10,000 signing bonus I was pretty much guaranteed promotion to Spec 7 in exchange for re-enlisting for six more years. I passed on it.
I wouldn't have spent a day more in the Army if I had been promised a promotion to General.
Both of my promotions above PFC were noted as "promoted to temporary grade". I understood at the time that this was a mechanism for preventing the ranks from becoming inflated by promotions during times of rapid expansion.
When the expansion ends, there would be a tendency for those who are in the lower ranks to leave the service, eventually creating an over-supply of the higher ranks. The solution was "promotion to temporary grade" followed later by a demotion for the good of the service, if the staffing needs dictated it.
You don’t hear of it much, but sometimes the Navy recruits E6-E8’s. I’ve known a few. They where all hired as direct military technical liaisons to Hughs Aircraft. Late 20’s early 30’s. All the high tech jobs in the military have rapid promotions ... at lease in the 70’s and 80’s. It’s the grunts that go 4 years to make E-3.
I omitted the reason why I have always been barely making or barely missing opportunities. I am an older baby-boomer. Just as I would reach the age to qualify for some opportunity, the population of such people would balloon greatly. I would either be among the last to take advantage or the first to lose an opportunity.
Sounds familiar. The communications site I was trained on was manufactured by Hughes Aircraft.
What the hell he hadthen in 8 years 4 tours of duty and was only a private and had to get a few promotion to be a lance Corporal?????
“Made E-6 (Specialist 6) in just over 3 years.”
Took me 8 years to make E5 in the USAF in the 90s, and that was average. I was actually up for a step promotion but passed the test so they pulled the step back.
I got out just before ten when I realized it would take a minimum of 3 more years to make E6, and thats if I scored 100% on the test. Thats with firewall top ratings for my entire career.
But you lived better than us...blah, blah, blah... LOL
Well yeah we did. For the most part, other then being assigned to an Army post for a year, and a combat air wing for two, and the rest of my time below ground.
Watching the army guys run across the snow in their sandals and towels after their shower while I watched satellite tv in my air conditioned building was a good reminder that I chose wisely.
I don't think I ever saw the "temporary grade", unless it applied to commissioned officer grades and that was usually a "Regular Army" versus "Army of the United States" thing.
I was "frocked", wherein once I became promotable to E-8, I was given 1SG rank, but not paid as such, until such time as I was actually promoted off the DA list.
That was "temporary", lasted about 4 months, as I recall.
Only the CO and the paymaster knew my true grade.
Things have certainly changed now.
I've been retired now for longer than I was on active duty. I quit trying to keep up about 6-8 years ago.
There must be a plethora of very fine junior NCOs in this man’s battalion if after eight years, and three tours of active duty he was still only a rifleman (not private).
I was distinctly unimpressed by his CO, Major Cates, gushing about how well-deserved Das’ promotion was, well, er, why didn’t he promote him long before the head of the British Army showed up and noticed the man’s talents? It’s only to lance corporal after all, he wasn’t exactly being made a field marshal.
Incidentally why is the French general giving him his stripe?
I Just realized that he’s in The Rifles.
As in the 95th Rifles...
Sir Arthur Wellesley: “What’s your name?
Richard Sharpe: “Sharpe, Sergeant, 2nd Battalion 95th Rifles, sir.”
Sir Arthur Wellesley: “I’m much obliged to you. You did me a damned good turn. Now, I’m going to do you a damned bad one! I’m giving you field commission Sharpe. From this moment on you’re a Lieutenant in the 95th. Major Hogan! Meet Mr. Sharpe.”
I worked for a CWO3 who had served in WWII, Korea, and was on his second tour in Vietnam, having worked his way up the ladder of enlisted ranks and then getting his Warrant. Big, gruff, bear of a man, but with the heart of a kindly grandfather. One of the nicest men I’ve ever known. He’s the one who made me the tech supply sergeant after the SSGT who had the job rotated. He offered me the stripe, promised to walk it through for me, if I would extend for six months - take my 30 leave and then come back in country. I gave some thought until we started to take a lot of rocket fire at night. You know, whatever rank they chisel in your headstone, you’re still dead. I passed on it, too.
End of the story, my CWO friend, was a private pilot as well as a military helicopter pilot. He and I were both from WA State, his home was about 75 miles from mine. I’d been out for about a year when I happened to be watching the evening news and a story came on about a man who had been killed when his small plane was involved in a mid-air collision. Yes, you guessed it. All those wars and he went out like that. It absolutely broke my heart.
S/B 30 day leave
Probably so he can kiss him.
No - as I understand it, he's actually under French command at the moment - the French are leading Operation Serval in an operation to deal with an Islamic insurgency in Mali, and the UK is providing some support. General Wall took the decision to promote him, but may just have asked General Bertrand Ract-Madoux to do the honours.
As for Major Cates and Lieutenant Colonel Hickman, what else were they supposed to say? That two full Generals got it wrong?
I too worked for a CW3 who put me in charge of our supply room when the sergeant running it left.
He wasn't a bad guy, but he didn't have the heart of a grandfather either. He was a very starched "by the book" kind of guy. He knew I was teachable and simply pointed out the Tech Manuals that described how a supply room was run. The rest was up to me.
I very much appreciated the fact that my early assignments were working for idiots and that the later people running the site were much more sensible. It was a constantly improving trend. I don't know how I would have coped if the best had come first and the worst last. It was hard enough as it was.
the surname Das is Indian
I’d say not Bangladeshi or Paki — Gigar sounds more Hindu Punjabi to me
“As for Major Cates and Lieutenant Colonel Hickman, what else were they supposed to say? That two full Generals got it wrong?”
Fair point, maybe the CO had a reason for not giving him the stripe and as you say he could hardly tell his boss he was being a plonker promoting a man after only seeing his work for ten minutes.
Although in fairness Das was due to go on the JNCO training course. I can’t help thinking that alone symbolised the officious paper-pushing nature of contemporary British institutions where a policeman can’t climb a ladder on duty unless he’s “done a course” or an employee can’t change a lightbulb unless he’s been properly certified.
I would have thought in the heydey of the British armed forces if you wanted to promote a man to lance corporal you simply told his sergeant to give him the stripe. Am I being over harsh on the army here?