Educational and Training Services Branch

Educational and Training Services Branch

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= Educational & Training Services

start_date= 1846 As the Corps of Army Schoolmasters
country= United Kingdom
command_structure= British Armed Forces
garrison= Directorate ETS Army - Upavon
motto='Amino Et Fide' Courage and Faith
identification_symbol_label=Tactical Recognition Flash

The Educational and Training Services form part of the Adjutant General's Corps and have done since 1992 formed this Corps of the British Army. Their remit is to continue the general education of soldiers and officers alike, as well as the actual military training of the soldiers of the Army.

1846 to 1914

The Corps' first embodiement in the British Army was as the Corps of Army Schoolmasters (CAS), formed in 1846. In 1859 its duties were extended from simple schooling within the Army to assume responsibility for the Army schools and libraries and in 1903 the Army schoolmasters fell under the jurisdiction of the Adjutant General, confirming their place as an important and lasting Corps within the Army. By the early nineteen hundreds, the investement in the Corps was showing dividend, and soldiers began to be admitted to evening classes, and some garrisons opened vocational classes. In 1914, a committee was set up for the "industrial training of soldiers" underlining the Army's intent to properly equip soldiers for civilian life. This committee recommended that soldiers should be struck off duty during their last 3 months of service, in order to allow them to attend vocational training.

1914 to 1920

Despite the strains of World War I on the British Army, education of soldiers did not stop. Unlike the German Army, the British Army was circulated in and out of the front line, reserve line, and rest areas. This allowed education to continue, albeit in a disrupted fashion. Even whilst in the trenches, boredom meant the soldiery desired news and information, and in accordance, a staff officer would organise lectures to satisfy these needs. The issue of resettlement was also raised by the war, and so a scheme was established to prepare men for civilian life.

The Army Educational Corps

A Royal Warrant established the Army Educational Corps on June 15 1920. The Corps was for the first time recognised as a combat Corps, and the wartime task of its members was to:

"assist by all means in their power the maintenance of a high spirit of devotion and well being in their units"

Peacetime duties were more clearly defined, and AEC personnel were expected to do specialise and advisory work, the bulk of the teaching which was to be done by regimental officers.

World War II

World War II saw the normal work of the corps radically change. The need for both physically and mentally competent troops resulted in an increased workload for the Army Education Centres. The AEC began to operate in a variety of different thatres and locations throughout the war, including the unexpected task of sending news sheet teams with the D-Day landings. Recruits saw training time double, with education being conducted in hospitals, prisons and displaced persons camps.

The end of the war saw the Corps involved in the daunting task or returning a national Army to civilian occupation. Unit Education Officers gave pre-release advice whilst the Corps organised an extensive network of "formation colleges".

The Royal Army Educational Corps

In 1946 the AEC was honoured with the title of "Royal". In Britain this honour must be bestowed directly by the monarch, and allows the relevant service or organisation the right to use a representation of the crown in their badge. King George VI contributed to the design of the new badge. After the war the RAEC continued its work educating soldiers and helping them to resettle into civilian life.

In 1971, the education of soldiers and indeed Army Education was radically changed. Recruits joining the Army were generally poorly qualified and although the tasks of soldiering were easily mastered, the additional responsibilities involved in being an NCO proved more difficult. The new system introduced the Education Promotion Certificate. This was designed to specifically meet the training needs of potential Sergeants and Warrant Officers.

RAEC to Educational and Training Services Branch

In 1992 the RAEC was disbanded and its Officers transferred into the newly formed Educational and Training Services Branch of the Adjutant General's Corps. It no longer had its own cap badge, or organisation, as enjoyed by the Military Provost Staff Corps, which also forms part of the AGC, until May 2007 when the Branch adopted its new capbadge generally very similar to the old RAEC cap badge but with a change in lettering. Under its current Director, Brigadier David Wilson (appointed 2007), it is in the process of adopting a new posture of "Educate Forward" which could lead to a substantial change in the distribution and number of Army Education Centres (AEC) in line with the Army's FAS (Future Army Structures)

External links

* [ ETS History entry on the Ministry of Defence site]
* [ ETS Branch entry on the Ministry of Defence site]

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