16,000 TA troops quit since 2003!

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by monkeydave, Jun 15, 2006.

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  1. 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?
  2. Unlikely. Very unlikely. Especially in these ECHR/HRA driven days.

    Something akin to "stop loss" may come in though. What a lovely thought.
  3. 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
  4. 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!
  5. "The TA should not be used as cheap soldiers" - Daily Telegraph Leader article:

    This is the linked leader from the same page.


    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.


    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?
  6. Cuddles, I'm a statistic as well in the same timeframe, so only 15998 to go - could be a busy thread!
  7. 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?
  8. I was quite touched by the Telegraph's belief that we "are not Dad's Army buffoons"!
  9. Speak for yourself.
  10. I see myself in a Sergeant Wilson-type role. Pte Pikes are ten-a-penny.
  11. 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***!
  12. 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."
  13. 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.
  14. 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.