Top positive review
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A useful description of the structure of the British Army.
on 4 April 2012
Most officers and soldiers within the British army confine their service to their own sphere of influence - gunners serving with the Royal Artillery, Paras serving with Airborne Forces are two examples with very few instances where such officers and soldiers would serve with, say, an armoured or engineer brigade. Consequently, many experienced service men and women are often unaware of `how the other half lives' inside the army and this book goes a long way to explain the makeup of those elements which may be unfamiliar.
This is not a book one can sit down and enjoy as a read. Instead it is a fully comprehensive explanation of the way in which the British army is structured - laid out in tabular form. As such, the 15 chapters are: Overview, Organisation, International Commitments, Units of the Regular Army (to late 2011), Household Cavalry and RAC, Armoured and Protected Vehicles, Infantry, Artillery, Army Aviation, Engineers, Communications, Combat Service Support, Joint Service Units, Recruiting - Selection and Training, Reserve Forces and Miscellaneous.
Infuriatingly, the book has no index which means that anyone wishing to look up a specific such as, say, Gurkhas, Guards or Medical Corps will have to troll through the detail contained below each chapter heading in order to find what they are searching for.
Two small errors relating to the formation of the Adjutant General's Corps in 1992; The Royal Army Chaplains Department is not part of the AGC. At the time of that particular phase of reorganisation, the RAChD refused to join because such a merger would place them within a structure of combatant troops and Chaplains are strictly non-combatant. In addition to those corps which did join the AGC and retained their primary function (pay, education, legal and police) all those former members of the WRAC (also disbanded at that time) who were not transferred to whichever regiment or corps in which they had been serving, were also absorbed.
Overall, this is a useful tool which should find a place within every orderly room as an item of reference.
(British army major (retired))