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'The Grey Man' ??

General discussions on joining & training in the Royal Marines.
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_T.K_
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'The Grey Man' ??

#1 Post by _T.K_ »

I have just returned from an Army work experience in Folkestone (South East Egnland) Which consisted of a of a BFA and basic military tatics.

On completion of this we had a shory interview to state how well we did.

I was said to be the 'Grey Man' and as i am starting my application to join the Royal Marines, wondering if this is a good or bad thing?

Any response will be appreciated.

Tom

(apologies if in wrong forum)

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Jagger

#2 Post by Jagger »

Depends. If you want to get through training as easilly as you can, with the least hassle then being the grey man is good. If your aspirations are high, i.e. want to be a section leader or Kings Badgeman, you're going to have to be seen to be in the spotlight, putting your leadership abilities forward etc.

I opted out at week 22. I played the 'Grey Man' route, not because I decided to do it, it's just how I am. I had guys coming up to me as far as week 10 asking me if I was in their troop lol. The training team didn't notice me much either ...till week 15 and the first test exercise. I decided to go hell for leather on all the tests and managed to come 5th out of 54 nods that was in the troop. Needless to say this put me in the spotlight abit, all the people who were selected as section leaders (4 sections in my troop, 1ic/2ic = 8 people) were all the in top 10 with a minisucle amount of points (Decimels) separating pretty much all of us, but all the would be section leaders were far from grey men in the first half of training. I got the 'Mne Bonner Award' after phase 1 which is the best improved recruit. I don't think I was the best improved recruit actually, I alrdy had a bit of military experience going in, it was that the training team didn't notice me till that time.

When i join again, im going to try my hardest to be grey man again, but being a rejoiner I think it'll be hard.

Those that have aspirations to become section leaders and kings badgemen really do earn it though, they have to exceed at everything and if something goes wrong they're normally the first peeps to hear it, off both the training team and recruits. Not for me!! :o :wink: There are also rewards though, If you're picked as a section leader you get 6 months seniority (you'll get promoted faster) when you go to a unit, or is that only for kings badgemen ..anyway there are rewards, but you gotta earn it.
Last edited by Jagger on Mon 26 Apr, 2004 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

_T.K_
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#3 Post by _T.K_ »

Thanks for the reply......

I also cant help being the Grey Man but perhaps i dont push myself to be in the spotlight of things.

If all goes well and passed traing (being very optimistic) and go on some active tours this may change me into a different person, who knows?

Why did you opt out after week 20??

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df2inaus
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Being the Grey Man

#4 Post by df2inaus »

TK,
I was said to be the 'Grey Man' and as i am starting my application to join the Royal Marines, wondering if this is a good or bad thing?
As someone who had the misfortune of not being a grey man in training, I'd take it as the ultimate compliment.

Good luck, but you won't need it!

df2
"Poor Ike, it won't be a bit like the Army. He'll find it very frustrating. He'll sit here and he'll say, 'Do this! Do that!' And nothing will happen."
Harry Truman

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#5 Post by Si Capon »

Having taken a number of troops through training and being a Kings badge bod, I can say that there`s nothing wrong with being a "Grey" man. When I was an instructor, I only remembered the good or the bad recruits, not the grey men.
I think that is probably the case with most training teams.

As far as getting the KB, all I wanted to do was pass out, I had no aspirations to out perform anyone else, I guess it just happened.

My advice would be to knuckle down and just crack on to the very best of your ability. If you shine you`ll get noticed, if you don`t, you won't. Provided you pass everything obviously.
Grey is good, don`t worry about it.
Once....................... Always...tup, three

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#6 Post by Dolly Gray »

I cannot say that I ever came across a 'Gray Man' during my time with training teams. Everyone gets noticed and everyone gets written about at some stage by the training team so whilst you might think that your are floating through someone is pinging you and marking your cards.

The only thing that I could say could raise this title, would be those who have taken the chance to opt out and whilst they are hanging around getting ready to go, they still hang around the troop causing problems, basically trying to get soemone else to join them.

No forget the title someone said to you in work experience, get in the Corps and go for it.

Dolly

Artist

#7 Post by Artist »

Dollys bang on. Everbody is noticed.

Each section has a Cpl in charge and he will notice you whatever you try to do. Each week results in the Trg Team getting together and discussing each and everyone. Be you Grey, dayglo yellow, or a very fetching colour of Purple!

Artist

Jagger

#8 Post by Jagger »

I agree with you guys, training team will always notice everyone, but being a "Grey man" doesn't necessarily mean you're not bring noticed, it means that nothing is expected from you. If you don't do anything really good, or really bad, you'll be "noticed" as just an average recruit and be left alone. If you shine in certain areas, more will be expected from you and you will have more pressure keeping up the standards, same if you always make an ass of yourself, you have pressure to become better.

Some recruits like to put themselves forward to lead in certain circumstances, getting people ready for parade or whatever. The training team will see this and later on in training they will be expected to lead by the training team, and also be criticised/examined on how well they do so. Myself, I CAN lead, and I i'm good at it ....but I also HATE leading, I will not lead if someone else is doing so, but if no one will come forward to lead I will do so. In my troop, there was no shortage of nod's wanting step to and take charge, so I didn't have to do squat and I was happy about it.

Everyone gets noticed, but the "Grey Man" will try not to get noticed more than anyone else..... by being average.

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#9 Post by Dolly Gray »

Jagger

You state you want to join again and still be a Grey man. Have you given any consideration to the notes written about you during your previous time in the Corps and to the fact that they might be as negative as the colour you have assumed. Dont you think that someone somewhere is going to give preference to an applicant who wants to come in go for it rather than putting you forward for a place, because that someone will have notes that say you never want to show your hand or commit yourself.

There is also the fact that you might to wish to continue your track of remaining a Grey man in a unit once you have passed out , I don't think so, you wont last. I see a definate and very eligable line here between the art of skiving off and doing nothing to bring you to anyones notice.

One thing you should know is that Royal Marines by nature are extrovert and like to be noticed, for a hundred and one reasons, some good ,some bad and we have spent a lot of years polishing this fact .

As an instructor at the FBI school at Quantico once said there is something about them, the way they stand, the way they act, the way they stand out in a crowd and the way they support each other and that Jagger comes down to one word 'confidence' which you will never get if you stay in the dark (grey).

Dolly

Jagger

#10 Post by Jagger »

Dolly, I was merely saying that ,in my opinion, being a "Grey Man" does not mean you are not being noticed, it means you are not being noticed over anyone else, for either good or bad reasons.
You state you want to join again and still be a Grey man. Have you given any consideration to the notes written about you during your previous time in the Corps and to the fact that they might be as negative as the colour you have assumed. Dont you think that someone somewhere is going to give preference to an applicant who wants to come in go for it rather than putting you forward for a place, because that someone will have notes that say you never want to show your hand or commit yourself.
Seeing that I have done most of the training before, if I do join back I will have some knowledge there. Sure i'll use it to help my oppos out, but I sure as hell won't be the guy answering every question and volunteering to do everything, just because i've done it before. I'm won't be there to earn brownie points from anyone and suck-up, i'll be there to give 100%, get my head down and get through training.

Yes, I have read the notes written about me, the training report at least and I know it's EXTREMELY hard to impress the training team, at least it was that way with my section corporal (each section corporal wrote reports on each individual each week and we signed off on it every week). Being a nod, you are EXPECTED to bust yer butt, and that I did to the best of my ability, every hour, every day, every week, so giving 100% in the daily things is expected. Being a Grey Man doesn't mean that you "never want to show your hand or commit yourself" either, in my opinion. Being a Grey Man in RM training means you do everything that is asked of you and you do it 100%, because if you do any less you WILL be noticed. There are people who can give more than 100%, by taking extra responsibilties etc and these will be noticed also, but I cannot see how being a grey man in training is a bad thing and shows that you are not commited.
There is also the fact that you might to wish to continue your track of remaining a Grey man in a unit once you have passed out , I don't think so, you wont last. I see a definate and very eligable line here between the art of skiving off and doing nothing to bring you to anyones notice.

One thing you should know is that Royal Marines by nature are extrovert and like to be noticed, for a hundred and one reasons, some good ,some bad and we have spent a lot of years polishing this fact .
This is where I think our definitions of what a grey man is differs. I don't know what the life is like after training, but you do, you've done it. In my view a Grey Man in a unit would be someone who draws no attention because he is like everyone else around him, an extrovert in this case.
As an instructor at the FBI school at Quantico once said there is something about them, the way they stand, the way they act, the way they stand out in a crowd and the way they support each other and that Jagger comes down to one word 'confidence' which you will never get if you stay in the dark (grey).
I do believe I have this confidence, and it stands out in civvie street alot, the way you conduct yourself etc. In RM it is different, everyone is confident in their abilities, from what they have achieved on the road to get there. Confidence can be displayed in many ways, one is arrogance which is an extreme, I prefer to have the inner confidence that when people look at me they can see, but which I do not project in an arrogant nature.

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#11 Post by BenChug »

Being the grey man is ideal, if you ask me. You get picked for stuff if you stand out. A grey man isn't a freindless wonder or anything its someone who does the job with out complaining, bitching or being a smart ass.
If a man has nothing he is willing to die for then he isn't fit to live.

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#12 Post by Dolly Gray »

Although I am not serving I still have a lot of contacts in the Corps at all levels and like to think I am reasonably up to date with our termanology, and Grey man is new to me and as an old git I suppose I have trouble in accepting what I see as something negative from somone who is as positive as you state i helping other and wanting to get back into the Corps.

To me the Grey man or men is something very different. they do exist and keep a low profile, but for different reasons. I have just checked with my mate who is one and the title still belongs to them, but as it has been used in a couple of novels of derring do someone must have added it to Jackspeak to to decribe the character you see yourself as. and obvious it is international as Ben seems to think it as OK as well.

Never to old to learn says I, but I can honestly say that I hope that there are not to many of these characters floating arond CTC.

But If it works for Ben and yourself you make your choice and go with the flow but |I can't see it getting you onto a Juniors etc or does a Grey man do his time with no SQ or promotion thoughts.

You state its hard to please the training team, If you did not say that the training team would not be doing its job, every one of us since the ark has said that and will continue to do so till the next flood. Its not hard to please people if you give your all, but if as you say its best to stay out of the way and keep low profile maybe they are seeing it as something different.

Anyway good luck and I hope you make it, but you might want to adjust your colour spectrum.

Dolly

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#13 Post by mercury »

I made a career of being the grey man
Just ask df2aus

:D
"certa cito"

Jagger

#14 Post by Jagger »

The way the corporals marked each of their sections in my troop at least, was varied. You got points on areas like determination, administration etc every week, other sections in my troop tended to get loads of points every week, but my section started off all very low and only over time they increased no matter how much effort we put in, didn't stop us trying though. :wink:

I'm not saying that I try to be this great Grey Man all the time. I am an extrovert with my mates and do my share of showing off, I don't think you can join the marines without alot of competitive nature to be honest, so it's all relative. However, i'm sure it's everyone will universally agree that it sucks getting all the bone tasks from the training team like sprinting to the NAAFI to get thier kids an assortment of weird named sweet in different amounts that you forget half way there, or constantly getting called to get a wet on for the training team and while doing so being made to hop on one leg, rub the kettle as fast as you can to make it heat up faster and singing them a "happy" song :o ...I've done it! And you always know who they are going to pick, those names that they know, the ones who have f**ked up and those who s**k up are normally first, more so at the beginning of training, because they will be the first names they will have learned. :D :wink:

Artist

#15 Post by Artist »

Bang on again Dolly

If you want to be a nobody sit back and let other people make decisions for you.

Was not my style whilst serving and is still not my style. I do what I like to do and it gets me noticed to such an extent that I now work for myself in a job I enjoy. Quite a few people who know me refer to me as the "MAD MARINE" due to my attitude and way of life.

I was the same in the mob, an individual who got noticed. Sometimes for all the wrong reasons, that I will admit to. But no bugger ever thought of me as just another nonentity. Thats for sure.

Artist

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