The background to this talk was on online conversation which Rod MacArthur had with the distinguished American Military Historian, George Nafziger in 2005. George said he could never understand British Army organisation, since there seemed to be no rational structure to it. Since Rod had written British Army establishments at various times during his 30 years in the British Army, he felt this was unlikely to be true.
Rod therefore researched the detailed establishments from the original documents in the National Archives at Kew and analysed his findings in a way which no one else has ever done. He then published the results in a pair of articles, totalling 18,000 words, in the Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research. This shows that the British Army did have clear structures, but most were task based flexible and pragmatic ones, and not the rigid “one size fits all” used by many other nations.
Rod has also summarised his research as a PowerPoint presentation which lasts about 45 minutes.
All Rod’s talks are given to raise funds for charities, in this case for Combat Stress, which provides support and treatment to military veterans with mental health problems to help them tackle the past and take on the future.