2 Years 2 Soon?

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by diehard57, Sep 17, 2005.

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  1. I was just wondering if anyone had an opinion on the '2 year in an appointment' rule for the TA. In my time - '74 to '95 - the unwritten rule appeared to be 'best man for the job'. I don't want this to sound like I'm blowing my own trumpet but I held the post of CQMS for 4 years and CSM for 5. At the time I wasn't holding any one back, and those that were next in line to succeed were either not interested in the role or couldn't meet the increase in commitment - so I soldiered on. In recent years, my old unit has rigoursly applied the 2 years and your out rule and as a result suffered a number of appointments where the replacement was less effective than the previous encumbant. The current CSM is shortly due to handover to the CQMS. Both are doing a good job in their respective roles and have youth on their side, yet the present CSM has not got a role to go to within the battalion and is going to hang up his boots at age 34 - a total waste of an excellent TA soldier IMHO. In addition I feel that the CQMS - lovely fellow that he is - is being promoted too soon. I'm not advocating a 'dead man's shoes' policy and I'm all for 'personal career and development' but at what cost? If ultimately the individual and the unit suffers from this enforced turnover should the policy be rescinded or amended to a period of 3 years for example? What does the floor think? t
  2. diehard57 - Knowing both the individuals you mention, I think you are entitled to your opinion, but I think you will be proved wrong. I also think, sensing your obvious loyalty to the men of Middlesex, that you hope to be proved wrong. The quick answer is that I think it depends on the man and his personal circumstances.

    Sir, I hope you are well.
  3. There's an alternative to these people hanging up their boots. Specialist Units have a recruiting problem in that they require people with experience in various civvy trades. Typically, this means that the recruit sought will be more mature than in other units. As Specialist Units have a commitment of only 19 days (including Camp), a new entrant who already has military training from Independent or Regular units can be allocated a role very quickly.

    For those that are concerned they would be starting from the bottom, this isn't usually the case. In fact, units are generally rank-heavy (1xWO1, 3xWO2, 4xSSgt in a Team (inc 4xOffrs) of 20).

    As many of the younger entrants tend to go for a commission, vacancies are usually available.
  4. Speaking as an individual in a defined appointment - and as someone who has influence on other appointments, I think the rule should be applied flexibly and with the best interests of the unit/sub-unit in mind. My unit had a 7 year RSM who was a star in the 80s and 90s; he was allowed to continue because he was the best man available for the job and wasn't holding anybody up. However, the rule does allow an OC/CO to move someone on who is proving to be ineffective and this is necessary without the risk of employment tribunals etc.

    Incidentally, TA Regs state that an appointment can be 2 or 3 years - it just has to be defined at the beginning - and then extended annually.

    Not being a teeth arm I am perhaps not best to make the following comment but I would suggest that age is more of an issue for a SNCO in the infantry than elsewhere; a good SNCO will be well received in a Brigade/District Trainign Team and - I appreciate cap badge loyalty may prevent it - non-teeth arms will always welcome a good infanteer into the Sgts Mess or maybe even to a commission.
  5. Experience in my Regiment has been that SSM's and OC's are given a three year appointment, that can be extended depending on availability of SSgts or Captains to move up a notch.

    I've known two SSM's who were in post for more than 5 years, although I've yet to see that with OC's - always enough thrusting Captains to take their place.

    The trouble with 3 year tours is that you can peak too soon. I know a number of very good SSgts who are quite happy to stay in that rank until they reach 40-ish, and then aim to pick up a WO2 appointment, so that they can "retire" from the TA at the 45-ish mark, rather than play the 1 year extension game.

    If you've no desire to aim for a commission (and Regimental policy will always vary depending on how enthusiastic the CO is about commissioning NCOs), then the soldier who achieves WO2 by 34/35 can find that their TA career suddenly stops, especially if they are Territorial about their unit, and it's that what keeps them in, with no interest in serving outside their sub-unit.
  6. Mr M,

    You're absolutely correct in sensing that I hope to be proved totally wrong as a result. I have no desire to see either my former unit, of which I am extremely proud, or any individual suffering purely on the grounds that the two year rule must be applied. Although I'm probably biased in believing that a longer serving CSM can provide a greater degree of continuity and stab-ility (no pun intended) within a TA company, I am certain it helps minimise the impact of other significant changes of personnel such as CO;OC; RSM and PSI's. Another benefit is that it can help avoid having to go outside the Company to fill the post. Difficult at best in a regiment with a single capbadge - doubly so in a multi cap badge one. Between the years 1967 (yes 1967) to 1995 only four CSM's served the current company and its forebear units (1967-79; 79-85, 85-90, 90-95) . I hope that all of our appointments were on the basis of merit and not 'its your turn in the chair regardless'. By way of comparison within the last ten years there have been six appointments with the seventh imminent. Like I said - I'm biased and hope to be proved wrong but think a 3-year posting should be the minimum.
  7. This is what I fear for myself. I have just picked up sgt at the ripe old age of 26. I feel by the age of 35 there will be nowhere for me to go.

    We shall have to see.