back to article Army social media psyops bods struggling to attract fresh blood

Army social media psyops unit 77 Brigade is struggling to reel in new government cyber-warriors in spite of a recruitment publicity blitz last year, according to the Ministry of Defence. The "brigade" – in reality a unit slightly smaller than an infantry battalion, with a target manning strength of 448 people – is under …

  1. nematoad Silver badge


    They should try recruiting politicians and their minions.

    They're good at spinning and lying.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Simple.

      They're good at spinning and lying.

      Good at trying, perhaps, but they are rarely believed and frequently caught out, so perhaps not the best candidates?

    2. Mark 85

      Re: Simple.

      Pity they won't take US citizens. We've got a bunch of lying, spinning, well-versed people available (also bots) now that the elections are over. And you've got a choice as they are from both sides of the US political spectrum.

  2. SkippyBing

    'The response also claimed that 77 Bde has "no set recruiting targets".'

    I think I've spotted the problem...

  3. tiggity Silver badge

    recruitment struggle?

    Given that lots of UK "foes" they may wish to destabilize will often not be using English as primary communication language then presumably they need to have lots of people with good & varied language skills to be effective in producing "whsipering campaigns" (resists temptation of making a cheap cunning linguists gag)

    Depending which languages they are looking for, they might be struggling to find people with the necessary linguistic skills willing to help out when they could earn lots more working elsewhere / might not be overly impressed with UK govt & their allies behaviour in certain areas of the world.

    I can imagine staff recruitment may not be that easy ....

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: recruitment struggle?

      I don't think language skills (or the lack of them) has stopped the army of putinbots spamming newspaper comments.

    2. MrDamage Silver badge

      Re: recruitment struggle?

      If language is a problem, then surely the recruits will deal with it in th traditional British manner of typing slower and LOUDER.

  4. dalethorn

    I could do the job, but then it's so incredibly boring I'd end up just trading insults with every online idiot. Now, get me onto a juicy subforum such as Pizzagate, where I have to defend the ill intentions of pedo-lovers as pure innocence - that requires serious skills. That's where the action is. Conversely, the news room at CNN or BBC isn't bad as a part-time job.

    1. CommanderGalaxian
      Black Helicopters

      BBC Pravda

      Ah, the good old Aunty Beeb - the place where the truth goes to die.

      Even if Scottish Indy isn't the sort of thing that floats your boat, the one hour documentary is a handy guide to how the BBC does UK Gov propaganda.

      LONDON CALLING: How the BBC stole the Referendum

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In my day...

    Joining the forces was advertised simply as:

    - Learn a trade

    - Eat "lashings" of food

    - Access to hot showers

    - Play sports

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: In my day...

      Probably less risk of being sent off to Iraq to fight someone else's wars in those days.

    2. Hugh Barnard

      Re: In my day...

      Travel the world, Meet people, and kill them...

  6. M.Zaccone

    I'm guessing the money is not so good...

    In my inbox today I received the following in a job ad from the Metropolitan Police. Admittedly not for the Army but for the Police instead, but I think you can see the core of the problem


    National Digital Exploitation Service (NDES) Manager

    SALARY: £43,298 to £48,494 plus £3,406 location allowance plus 12.5% shift allowance.

    LOCATION: London, SW6

    Today's criminals and terrorists are more technically advanced than ever. To combat the threats they represent, digital innovation is crucial. This pioneering work happens at the National Digital Exploitation Service (NDES). Here, our experts work on everything from analysis of cyber attacks to technology development. As a Manager, you'll be leading highly skilled professionals within a cutting-edge environment. It's your chance to inspire a team – and to protect the country.


    So the list of responsibilities are pretty long (managing six staff etc),- important, possibly exciting , but piss poor salary for a skilled senior IT worker in London. I suppose with the army your bed and board are provided. When is this country going to get serious about what it pays its key workers ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm guessing the money is not so good...

      "When is this country going to get serious about what it pays its key workers ?"

      It increasingly seems to me that the principle requirement for getting a decent salary in the UK is having a low golf handicap.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm guessing the money is not so good...

      but piss poor salary for a skilled senior IT worker in London

      So a big improvement would be simply to move the function somewhere where that salary goes a whole lot further, and undoubtedly would have vastly better quality of life than within the self-absorbed shithole that sits at the centre of the M25. And when picking somewhere to go, not some grimey former industrial provincial cess-pit either, nor the vast metrollops of the "London-for-flat-cappers" effort to build a Northern Powerhouse.

      But that realisation is beyond the cretins of Whitehall and Westminster.

      1. Adam 52 Silver badge

        Re: I'm guessing the money is not so good...

        That's an enormous salary for a perm Police IT position. Outside of London but still in commuter belt similar posts are 25% lower.

    3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: I'm guessing the money is not so good... @M.Zaccone

      It's your chance to inspire a team – and to protect the country. …. National Digital Exploitation Service (NDES)

      Howdy, M.Zaccone,

      The abiding systemic problem and massive vulnerability for zeroday exploitation is the fact and fiction that one is expected to protect the abusers of countries rather than anything else.

      And the chattering classes are gradually, finally recognising the means and memes by which they are governed and abused. And Elite Executive Establishment Systems Administrations are absolutely terrified of and terrorised by the knowledge and with the reverse engineering of such to identify accountable sources being freely shared online and hitting the mainstream by myriad alternative channels/chunnels over which there is no available effective corrupt and disruptive control?

      And shared as a question only to invite further thought on the matter that is, rather than the tall tales and fake news that are.

      Mainstream Media in all of its forms and disguises really does need to fundamentally re-evaluate its position and situation/strategy and mission. Is it there to mindlessly server anonymous remote controlling masters of the past with the presentation of their corrupt and perverted policy decisions and programmes, or to lead them with the commissioning of a novel series of unprecedented events which lay bare and fully explain the virtual nature of existence in an Advanced IntelAIgent Machine Ordered World?

      Or is that something totally unexpected to be expected from the East whenever in the West and from the West whenever in the East? And would it be a Private Pirate Programming Project or a Public Pursed Utility, or a Quantum Leap Operation with both partnering to reap the benefits and bounty which their dumb currency investments have energised? That is an everything valuable for nothing precious win win situation.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        And ......... not mincing words

        Does not the MOD have a Competent Commander and Commandeerer of Elite Special Secret Cyber Forces for Future Present Programming of Projects with IntelAIgent Sources ….. a Unique Virtual Force with Immaculately Resourced Assets? Isn’t/Is that what Right Royal Commanders in Chief are supposed to provide?

        WTF is the House of Windsor playing at these days, abdicating that responsibility and opportunity. Don’t they realise the perilous Great Game they are quite obviously either not playing, or playing extremely badly. Come on, Will and Harry, get your APT ACTivites sorted or be extraordinarily rendered totally unfit for Future Right Royal Great Game Purpose. Ich Dien and all that expects.

  7. Stevie


    By the right, quick wait for it, wait for it ... tweet!

  8. Dave 15

    Stupid question

    Are there the usual army age restrictions and fitness regimes for these desk warriors? If there aren't then I am up for it...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I suspect the candidates that have the skills also have a less than sympathetic view on military discipline.

    They don't want "the best". They want "the best <insert narrowing criteria here>" not the same thing.

  10. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    I don't get it - why don't they do what everybody else does and outsource to an Indian call centre?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No recruitment target?

    Sounds a lot like setting a low standard and constantly failing to achieve it.

    I am surprised politicians kids aren't going for this. At least they can say that they were in the Army without risk of dying on some godforesaken battlefield in a war which their parents thought was a jolly good idea, as long as only council house kids took part, and not their own.

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