16,000 TA troops quit since 2003!

#2
Given the recruiting crisis in the regs too, I feel it is only a matter of time before the Government have to consider imposing a draft to bring Regiments/Battalions up to operational strength.

Am I right in thinking that we have not had a manning crisis as bad as this since the end of National Service?
 
#3
Andyroo said:
Given the recruiting crisis in the regs too, I feel it is only a matter of time before the Government have to consider imposing a draft to bring Regiments/Battalions up to operational strength.

Am I right in thinking that we have not had a manning crisis as bad as this since the end of National Service?
Unlikely. Very unlikely. Especially in these ECHR/HRA driven days.

Something akin to "stop loss" may come in though. What a lovely thought.
 
#4
Does anyone know what the usual rate of 'natural wastage' was for the TA over a similar period before we invaded/Liberated Iraq?

edited cos i can't type one line without screwing it up today
 
#5
Andyroo said:
Given the recruiting crisis in the regs too, I feel it is only a matter of time before the Government have to consider imposing a draft to bring Regiments/Battalions up to operational strength.

Am I right in thinking that we have not had a manning crisis as bad as this since the end of National Service?
Yes, of course they got us through that particular problem by recruiting Fijians...ah, hmmm..... :roll:

Well I quit the TA in 2003, so the figures are partially correct...we just need 15999 others to confirm the ONS figures!
 
#6
"The TA should not be used as cheap soldiers" - Daily Telegraph Leader article:

This is the linked leader from the same page.

Quote:

The Territorial Army has a long and distinguished history, since volunteers fought alongside the regular Army to thwart Napoleon at Waterloo.

In various guises, TA soldiers have been putting their heads above the parapet each time this nation comes under threat. But, until now, their role has not been as a permanent replacement for regular troops in foreign campaigns.

Since 1988, Government spending on defence has steadily declined. But since 1997, while this decline has continued (the defence budget has shrink by a quarter under New Labour), the tasks the Armed Forces are called upon for have grown.

So as the full-time Army is losing soldiers, the Government appears to believe that the TA is a cheap way of replacing them.

More than 1,000 TA troops are currently in Iraq risking life and limb alongside the full-timers. The volunteer force now accounts for one in five of those on the front line of an unpopular war. Yet its manpower is only three-quarters of what it should be.

In the two years since October 2003, the TA has lost, through resignation, 2,100 more volunteers than it has managed to recruit. One major reason is the dislike of the conflict in Iraq, which has hit both regular and part-time soldier recruitment.

But the Government has also steadily diminished the authority and status of British soldiers, through a combination of insensitive judicial enquiries and unpopular regimental reorganisations.

The original purpose of the TA was to defend our country - not to fight battles far from home. The Government thought the alteration would go unnoticed, but to many of those willing to give up their time the difference is immense. The change makes it much less attractive to join the Territorials, as the likelihood of being sent to a war zone such as Iraq or Afghanistan is now much higher.

The impact on volunteers' lives and jobs is often too great, resulting in those considering offering their services walking away and those already serving resigning. Yet it is these men and women we would be relying on in a real emergency.

The TA are not Dad's Army buffoons. They are highly trained, dedicated soldiers. And they should be valued as such.

The Government has been wrong to assume that it could change their role without any knock-on effects. It should appreciate the vital role the Territorials provide in times of trouble or threat, and not just see them as a cheap way of filling in an underfunded army.

There is only one solution: to recruit - and properly equip - more full-time soldiers.

Unquote.

Great that the Daily Telegraph should highlight and cover this piece today, but I'm surprised by the rationale from the following para.

"The original purpose of the TA was to defend our country - not to fight battles far from home. The Government thought the alteration would go unnoticed, but to many of those willing to give up their time the difference is immense. The change makes it much less attractive to join the Territorials, as the likelihood of being sent to a war zone such as Iraq or Afghanistan is now much higher."

I have never come across anyone who was serious about following a second career in the TA, being deterred by the liklihood of being involved on Ops overseas. It strikes me that some readers will reach the conclusion that this is the core reason for so many of us to resign. This logic panders to the view that TA soldiers are only suitable for the HD role, and the emphasis on this point, as the root cause is just bo**ox.

The article finishes by saying that the only solution is to recruit and properly equip more full time soldiers, having already stated that' "they (TA) are highly trained, dedicated soldiers. And they should be valued as such."

So, where does the leader writer see the future of the TA then? As the MOD spokesman argues that the TA doesn't have problems with its operational commitments (his words), then surely the answer must be to properly equip and train all of our armed forces?
 
#8
Splitters. :lol:



Seriously, if it's not too personal, and you can manage more than, '...because it's shit!', were your reasons ones which could be addressed if the CoC was interested?
 
#12
fas_et_gloria said:
Splitters. :lol:



Seriously, if it's not too personal, and you can manage more than, '...because it's s***!', were your reasons ones which could be addressed if the CoC was interested?
Get you!

reasons for leaving were (briefly)

Pruning of MTD budgets over the last five years in my unit.
The expectation that because you are TA, that you are not entitled to the same duty of care as regular pers.

More specifically (and careful on PERSEC):

Mobilisation at three days notice, crucified the previous good relationship with my employer.
Employer being told crock of sh1t by Sabre.
Mobilising through Chilwell - No CBA, No water bottles, 10 Rounds per man to conduct first firing of SA80A2.
Administrative cluster at Chilwell
The constant "you'll be given this / told that in theatre" - bullsh1t from various at RTMC, when they knew we wouldn't.
Being given skant information at Chilwell about inoculations and their effects.
Witnessing TA and reservists being shafted for being "just" TA or reservists.
Witnessing regular officers with no op experience putting people at risk through their' own ignorance.
Witnessing the political interference within Div HQ by civ POLADS.
Witnessing the chain of emails, between regular officers in Iraq and unit HQ in UK, slating the TA and our CO (and yes, copies are still in circulation).
Unit pers being issued 40 rounds per man, "that's all there is guys"
Passing CBA around, on an almost daily basis.
Witnessing first hand the complete lack of post war planning, and the effect it had.
Having virtually no comms in theatre.
Being underpaid, despite all of the assurances.
CoC not acting on matters affecting the safety of our men.
Returning to the UK to discover that Glasgow had f*"ked up completely my CSA payments.
Being left in financial sh1t because Glasgow appear not to know what a sense of ownership is.
My employer's having to pay an admin fee to request the re-training award.
My unit refusing to accept any Post Op report points that went "beyond" the unit.
My arabic friends and colleagues views and opinions.
My health suffered - "just TA - not entitled to DMS"
Medal parade, cancelled due to lack of budget, etc.
Impact on civilian career.
Financial impact long after op, due to Glasgow.
My children being abused whilst and after I returned.

I could of course, just paraphrase the above into, ...because it's s***!
 
#13
ABrighter2006 said:
Great that the Daily Telegraph should highlight and cover this piece today, but I'm surprised by the rationale from the following para.

"The original purpose of the TA was to defend our country - not to fight battles far from home. The Government thought the alteration would go unnoticed, but to many of those willing to give up their time the difference is immense. The change makes it much less attractive to join the Territorials, as the likelihood of being sent to a war zone such as Iraq or Afghanistan is now much higher."

I have never come across anyone who was serious about following a second career in the TA, being deterred by the liklihood of being involved on Ops overseas. It strikes me that some readers will reach the conclusion that this is the core reason for so many of us to resign. This logic panders to the view that TA soldiers are only suitable for the HD role, and the emphasis on this point, as the root cause is just bo**ox.
You're right. I agree.

A net deficit of 2,300 TA soldiers in the three years since the Iraq invasion is a surprisingly low figure. That said, we're losing the old and bold and gaining newbies, so there is a substantial loss of capability which is somewhat hidden by the top-line figures.

The likelihood of operational duty is one of the good things about the modern TA. The real factors causing people to leave have been discussed most recently on the "officers morale" thread, which ended up being about concerns other than those affecting ruperts in particular.

By the way, on the Dad's Army point: Richard Holmes made a very effective point about that in the recent Radio 4 documentary The Other SAS. He said (I am paraphrasing): "When people think of the TA, they sometimes wrongly think of Dad's Army. But at the time when Capt Mainwaring would have been pacing the shoreline of Walmington-on-Sea at the start if that series, the Territorial Army was fighting and dying in France."
 
#14
Dr_Evil said:
That said, we're losing the old and bold and gaining newbies, so there is a substantial loss of capability
Really? Last time I checked, the Newbies were being mobilised and the old and bold were not. Sounds to me like we are gaining capability.
 
#15
StabTiffy2B said:
Dr_Evil said:
That said, we're losing the old and bold and gaining newbies, so there is a substantial loss of capability
Really? Last time I checked, the Newbies were being mobilised and the old and bold were not. Sounds to me like we are gaining capability.
I was speaking from personal experience only - should have said. We've lost some very capable corporals and sergeants, after the lot of us got mobilised.

I find it hard to understand where your "capability gain" is coming from, though.
 
#16
I knew exactly what you were trying to say, Dr E. I was just baiting :D

As a serious comment; we are gaining capability in being able to provide greater numbers of augmentees to the Regular Army which, lets face it, is the modern and future role of the TA.

This will be enhanced by the fact that (in the future at least) those training the newbies will have more medals to display than a golden jubilee and good conduct.
 
#17
StabTiffy2B, understand where you're coming from - I suppose it comes down to our' definitions of capability. On paper, I feel that the figures mask the operational impact, I suggest that what has been lost is the years of experience gained by many, which the units will no longer benefit from.

What would make for an interesting study, is to break the numbers down into true capability indicators - i.e. analysis of the skills that the "old and bold" take with them, versus the timeframe that it will take to regain these skills and knowledge in unit. Equally, you could argue that operational skills count for much more, therefore, your point stands. I guess all of this is academic, until such time as we suffer a truly bad incident with great loss of life, which is then attributed to being caused by the "newbie", and subsequent questions about training standards, FFR, etc.
 
#18
ABrighter2006 said:
I guess all of this is academic, until such time as we suffer a truly bad incident with great loss of life, which is then attributed to being caused by the "newbie", and subsequent questions about training standards, FFR, etc.
Agreed. Won't be academic for that poor fcker, though.
 
#19
I'm hearing significant anecdotal evidence that the stats are being gamed for all they are worth, so the real position may well be worse than the bald figures suggest. It would be nice to see how the top level figure breaks down by time served, fully trained and so on.

For instance, at one level I see very few new faces around the place, yet the unit recruiting figures are apparently excellent. Cynics - albeit cynics involved in the process - have ventured the opinion that we let anyone in these days. Once they've done the first weekend then they exist as far as the stats are concerned. This is then the cue for the system to apply the standards we used to apply at the selection w/e and chop all the no-hopers. So the OC stats look good and we keep standards up - everyone's happy. Well, except sub-unit cdrs with empty orbats.

Ideally the system would monitor a representative selection of metrics and not just the simplistic few we currently use. After all, some ridiculous percentage of the unit falls into the under training category (ie doing CMS or basic trade), yet we act as if everyone on the establishment is trained.

Those new entrants we do see tend to attrit quickly, particularly after a first tour. I get the distinct impression that turnover during the initial engagement period is higher then it was when I was a lad. Some seem to have done all they wanted to so time to move on, some feel let down by the system, some leave as they see TA as incompatible with a more demanding job, marriage and so on.

I don't think we've seen a lot leave since the invasion of Iraq, the writing was on the wall for my mob since the early nineties when we started sending people off to FRY and the last of the old guard left as a result of Veritas, which came as a nasty surprise to some. Of course, that mobilisation disproportionately targeted the old and bold with very few slots for juniors. Telic reversed that trend but it would be a brave man that said we'd never swing back.
 
#20
Strangely enough, I was chatting with a very grown up person about this just the other day. (Alright, I was taking notes whilst the grown ups talked amongst themselves....)
The most grown up person, who gets fed all the data, looks over the whole field, yada,yada,yada, mentioned that the operational thing hasn't been the cause of the TA failing to retain and recruit. The falling off in numbers, about 1500 per annum over 10 years excess of outflow over inflow, has been caused by the way in which the TA has been treated. Common causes given were training, equipment, estate (the condition of the TAC and all that), ToS, the provision of an enabling componant and the way in which the TA were committed to, and used upon, a deployment. Methinks I haven't told you anything that you don't know. Said Uber Grown Up also remarked that the past two years had seen the TA "flat lining" on the bodies in and out issue - largely as a result of their own efforts rather than as a result of anything eminating from the Big House. Now, at the risk of antagonising the ill-disposed and providing an entree to the jaded and cynical (i.e. most of ARRSE), the utility of the TA and concurrent changes and impacts to the Regular Army are forcing a change in the way we do business and in the way we handle the TA. The Very Grown Up one was/is adamnant that we have to invest in the TA, in the broadest sense, if (a) the TA is going to survive and (b) the regular ORBAT is going to continue to be filled. Whats all this waffle about? Simply, the dinosaur's tail was kicked a little while ago and the message has got through to the brain. Change is in train.
 

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