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BibbsOnTour

Ex-Forces Turned TV/Social Media Personalities

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This is more for the ex/serving forces guys on here as I can give a civvies' opinion on this but the more the merrier...

 

What's your guys' thoughts on the above?

 

Someone brought up a couple names of people like this in a thread the other day and also someone, at a game I was at last week, who is just starting basic training for the Army mentioned his particular disdain for some of the more prominent ones due to how public they have gone with their service.

 

On one hand I totally understand his point, but similarly, I don't think it was ever the intention of some of these guys to become massive TV stars (could be wrong, of course)... Motivational autobiography book deal got a bit of traction and all of a sudden they're riding the wave of their own success and it's gone pretty massive.

 

I'm thinking more the likes of the really big names, not so much the small Instagram pages that just post the occasional picture from their time in Afghan with a short caption of what was going on but the ones really making the most of the 'ex-forces' bit in their bio.

 

Thoughts?

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[civilian opinion]

 

it's a tricky one, i do wonder that surely the people involved in the real sneaky stuff wouldn't necessarily want to go all that public about it, so i do occasionally wonder if the big personalities are maybe the ones who were less involved?

 

sounds like i'm denigrating their achievements, for sure even gaining entry to some branches takes more cajones than your average joe can muster so respect is certainly due.

 

on the flip side, if we don't know the stories and the people, then how do we remember them? and i'm sure tales of badassery probably helps the recruitment figures. and of course when folk get out they have a right like any other person to make a living, and writing a book or going on tv is as valid a job as any other.

 

[/civilian opinion]

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8 minutes ago, Adolf Hamster said:

 

it's a tricky one, i do wonder that surely the people involved in the real sneaky stuff wouldn't necessarily want to go all that public about it, so i do occasionally wonder if the big personalities are maybe the ones who were less involved?

 

I did think this, similar to getting your regiment tattooed onto yourself... Surely doing so would rule you out of certain operations and tasks alike?

 

9 minutes ago, Adolf Hamster said:

i'm sure tales of badassery probably helps the recruitment figures

There is this aspect to it too... To back up this point, every time I look in the comments on their posts on instagram or anything at least 1 in every 4 comments saying how said person has inspired them to sign up etc.

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I see no harm it as it can be good publicity and maybe help with recruitment as long as what is written or said is as factual as possible.

 

Take the book Bravo Two Zero which is probably the most famous, when you look into it you soon find out most of it is fiction. 

 

I think the best book on that is called The Regiment. It gives the history of the SAS without the rose tinted glasses and show the truth behind that mission.

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2 minutes ago, ImTriggerHappy said:

I think the best book on that is called The Regiment. It gives the history of the SAS without the rose tinted glasses and show the truth behind that mission.

I'll give it a read👍

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Theses are strange times, pretty much anybody can have 5 minutes of fame & claim to be a "celebrity" (& earn well at it ?),so I why should ex forces be any different.

my only issue, if you can call it that, is in doing so they don't comprise the official secrets act, which we all signed, & the safety/security of other personnel & operations, which I don't believe has happened so far ?.

on the flip side, no one has ever served & left the forces financially comfortable, to say the wages, for the time & effort (& risk) put in is poor would be an understatement, & many, for numerous reasons have endured extreme hardship in civvy street, with an almost non existent  support system in place.

lets be honest, the whole idea that you could give your life for your country but your family would have to find the money for your funeral is disgusting, a decent funeral is the very least that could be done for our fallen heroes.

so if guys want to use their training & experiences to earn a few bob, good luck to them.

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4 minutes ago, Tackle said:

no one has ever served & left the forces financially comfortable, to say the wages, for the time & effort (& risk) put in is poor would be an understatement, & many, for numerous reasons have endured extreme hardship in civvy street, with an almost non existent  support system in place.

lets be honest, the whole idea that you could give your life for your country but your family would have to find the money for your funeral is disgusting, a decent funeral is the very least that could be done for our fallen heroes.

so if guys want to use their training & experiences to earn a few bob, good luck to them.

This was more or less my response to the guy at the game day...

 

Once you've gone through all that, there surely is an aspect of having earned the right to make some extra money off of it (some ways more honorable than others).

 

Could go and work for a private security firm doing CP and make a bit more of a living with your skill set, but if you're a family man you may not want to put yourself in immediate danger again so doing something like TV or things along those lines is definitely safer!

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I've no issue with it, clearly none of the more prominent ones these days are breaking the Official Secrets Act (they'd get nicked if they did) and so they're selling stories/sharing their experiences and people are paying them. Fair play!

 

People like Ant Middleton have taken it further and used their forces background to open doors but the stuff he's doing now isn't really military relayed anymore, he's just going off on adventures and doing difficult things for our entertainment. 

 

As for your young mate who's just about to join the army, right now he's full of piss and vinegar and dreaming about his glorious career serving the queen.  Once he's had the plug cut off his kettle a few times and been AGAId a few more he'll have a more realistic attitude!  

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One of the names in a recent thread isn’t a household name, but did write a book under his own name instead of a pen name and does ‘military related’ TV, ‘training’ etc

There is an entertaining closed thread on an army related forum which calls him out as a Walt for the tall stories in his book ...... and promptly verified for both him being genuine and the situations having actually occurred.

 

 

Its nothing new that books get written or that people appear on TV, Lofty Wiseman taught Jesus how to survive in the desert for 40 days.

Prior to TV there were Boys own adventure comics, books and newspaper pages with the exploits of the larger than life characters 

The difference is that we have 24 hour TV with hundreds of channels and every non entity looking for their 5 seconds of fame

 

There is interest in their content and people will pay for their services either just for an experience or to be trained to get through extreme situations 

They don’t necessarily need to be a great door kicker, they just need the right skills to pass on or tell a story.

 

One of my favourite SAS characters is one of the 2nd set of originals (from the post war reformation), a little scrawny man who went through selection being overtaken by giant paras, only for him to pass them as they dropped out.  He went on to a number of exploits in the jungle and other places around the world

 

 

My father was special forces, (not UKSF or what would be recognized today as the term special forces).  I recently saw a Facebook post referring to their regiment as the untouchables as they could not be deployed elsewhere without volunteering and transferring out.   If they ever got to do their specialism for real then they wouldn’t have been about to write the books and few would have been about to read them 

 

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53 minutes ago, jcheeseright said:

People like Ant Middleton have taken it further and used their forces background to open doors but the stuff he's doing now isn't really military relayed anymore, he's just going off on adventures and doing difficult things for our entertainment.

I'd love to do all of that sort of stuff eventually! Getting paid for it would be just be a bonus!

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I have no military experience but grew up in Hereford and know some guys there who are currently serving (pretty much everyone in the villages knows someone in the SF).

 

General consensus from talking down the pub about media success of ex-SF is that they're not bothered / wish them well, etc... providing there's no bull**** involved. What really winds up the SF guys I know is people who exaggerate their experiences for the sake of selling books, or whatever. To clarify: this relates to conversations I've had long before Ant Middleton and co., so I can't comment on opinions of him and the recent 'crop' of ex-forces celebrities. That said, I think disdain of bull*****ers extends to all corners of life, to be fair, and isn't unique to this topic by any stretch.

 

Like I said, this is all second-hand opinion but it's what I've heard. I can also verify that they like to take the p*** out of Bear Grylls, but that's another topic 🙂

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1 hour ago, Uncle Pauly said:

they like to take the p*** out of Bear Grylls, but that's another topic 🙂

From what I've heard, Bear Grylls also likes to take the piss out of Bear Grylls😂

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On 15/08/2019 at 13:45, BibbsOnTour said:

Could go and work for a private security firm doing CP and make a bit more of a living with your skill set, but if you're a family man you may not want to put yourself in immediate danger again so doing something like TV or things along those lines is definitely safer!

 

Working overseas in CP pays next to nothing to what it did 15 years ago. When i left loads the younger guys and myself got into it and only did it for a few years because the pay didn't match expectations. 

 

Edit* I also remember signing a second document with a Spook when leaving basically saying i would write a book etc about my time in NI, lol   

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5 minutes ago, comrade vinnie said:

 

Working overseas in CP pays next to nothing to what it did 15 years ago. When i left loads the younger guys and myself got into it and only did it for a few years because the pay didn't match expectations. 

Oh really... That's handy to know, as that's what I had been considering!

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1 minute ago, BibbsOnTour said:

Oh really... That's handy to know, as that's what I had been considering!

 

How long have you got left to serve? (assuming your army yeah?) Also depends alot on what trade you are and what you wanna do.  Send me a PM if you wanna chat about it

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Just now, comrade vinnie said:

 

How long have you got left to serve? (assuming your army yeah?) Also depends alot on what trade you are and what you wanna do.  Send me a PM if you wanna chat about it

Worded it badly! I'm not serving (yet)! I'll PM you haha

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