A good time to leave

#1
Good evening all,

I've been with my Reserve unit for a few years now. It's a well recruited unit, with a wealth of opportunities available, and one full of interesting and enthusiastic people. All of the threads/posts I've read on the matter usually feature suggestions about changing unit. For me, that isn't the issue. At every stage, from my introductory brief to the drill night I attended last week and all throughout training, I've been made to feel welcome and have learned a great deal about my Corps and the British Army as a whole.

My problem is with myself. I feel like a fraud. I'm absolutely useless at the basics of soldiering. I'm fit enough, and my civilian life has allowed me to find the content of the trade training very straightforward, but when it comes to doing anything practical I go to pieces. I'm useless in the dark. My coordination is terrible, I'm scared of heights, I struggle with the WHT (I should have failed it on my Alpha course, but I was "passed" and the same thing happened on my Bravo) and I'm beyond dire at marching. I know there's loads of possibilities for jokes ("you sound like every TA/Reservist I know!", etc etc) but I am genuinely worried that there'll be a point where I have to do something more strenuous than a MATTS weekend and I mong it, then someone else gets hurt or killed because of it. Someone who doesn't take five minutes to tie their boots up.

Should I hand in my kit? I love the Reserves but I'm increasingly certain that it's not for me.
 
#2
If you genuinely feel you are an actual danger to those around you, it might be wise to move on and have peace of mind. On the other hand, if you’re just having problems with getting on with basic soldiering, try another trade, or go RAF or RN. Many TA types don’t know when to give up the ghost well after their prime years and carry on because they believe experience trumps age, they are equally if not more dangerous than you claim to be.
 
#3
Good evening all,

I've been with my Reserve unit for a few years now. It's a well recruited unit, with a wealth of opportunities available, and one full of interesting and enthusiastic people. All of the threads/posts I've read on the matter usually feature suggestions about changing unit. For me, that isn't the issue. At every stage, from my introductory brief to the drill night I attended last week and all throughout training, I've been made to feel welcome and have learned a great deal about my Corps and the British Army as a whole.

My problem is with myself. I feel like a fraud. I'm absolutely useless at the basics of soldiering. I'm fit enough, and my civilian life has allowed me to find the content of the trade training very straightforward, but when it comes to doing anything practical I go to pieces. I'm useless in the dark. My coordination is terrible, I'm scared of heights, I struggle with the WHT (I should have failed it on my Alpha course, but I was "passed" and the same thing happened on my Bravo) and I'm beyond dire at marching. I know there's loads of possibilities for jokes ("you sound like every TA/Reservist I know!", etc etc) but I am genuinely worried that there'll be a point where I have to do something more strenuous than a MATTS weekend and I mong it, then someone else gets hurt or killed because of it. Someone who doesn't take five minutes to tie their boots up.

Should I hand in my kit? I love the Reserves but I'm increasingly certain that it's not for me.
Have you considered commissioning?
 
#5
Hmmm...

I am really pleased your local unit has been welcoming and your civilian trade is a good fit to your green one, but you are a little wobbly on some stuff and not sure if it is for you? A fairly common sensation if you have been 'rushed' through training, or have limited experience.

Can I suggest you speak to your unit skill at arms instructors and see if you can get some weapons coaching, if you understand why we do the drills we do it may help with application and confidence? This is all meant to be taught as part of saa training but is often badly covered.
 
#6
Transfer to the RAF immediately - you'll be made a gifted Sky God within a week.

On a more serious note, if your unit is willing to retain you, how bad are the others?
 
#7
OP, only you can answer that mate. Why don't you speak to your family and unit headshed about it.
For some reason you appear to be going though a period of self doubt. Why this is when you have been in your unit for a few years now skips me.
Have you got a MATTS test coming up that you are worried about?
You mentioned that you are concerned about your weapon handling and shooting ability.
I can assure you that you are not alone on this matter.
I have even stated in a thread before that my shooting ability wouldn't match a blind, deaf, and dumb village idiot shooting at point blank range.
Speak to people that you trust, and then go away and make a decision from there.
 
#8
I felt the same after I came out out of Bravo - but on reflection you can't expect to walk out as a competent and confident soldier after 2 weeks with a couple of nights in the field so don't be so hard on yourself. Does your unit have a shooting team or run any "green" weekends? I found these very helpful in seeing how to do stuff at a more relaxed pace. If you get picked up for promotion you'll get a lot more practice at the field stuff.
 
#9
I could be wrong, but it sounds to me like inexperience, and lack of familiarity with the subjects rather than anything else.

How long have you been in?
 
#10
The most important point you've made here is identifying that you've a couple of problems.

You must also bear in mind that while yes, you've done a few years in the TA/AR - you don't get anywhere near the same "hands-on experience" in any of your roles, as a regular bod does. When I got out of the regs after nine and a half years, the local TA unit were desperate to get me on their books, simply because even a full TA/AR career doesn't give you anywhere near the same experience as even that held by a JNCO.
  1. Crap with gats?
    1. Practice, practice and more practice - you will get there.
    2. Some people pick up weapons handling quickly, some don't. You may feel that your weapons handling lets you down, but I'm sure there'll be some bugger in your unit who's handling skills are top-notch, yet can't get around the mile and a half anywhere near your time.
  2. Scared of heights?
    1. I was trained and worked as an AE/camera rigger in the army.
    2. I worked as a AE/SATCOM rigger in civvy street.
    3. I still get "disco-leg" when I climb. Anyone who tells you that they love heights, is either a liar, is mentally retarded, or is a Para, (it is possible to be both mentally retarded and a Para).
  3. Drill?
    1. Everyone gets shouted at during drill.
    2. Every intake has some bugger who "tick-tocks".
    3. At then end of the day, it's just a slightly more advanced (yet archaic) kind of walking.
  4. Crap co-ordination?
    1. Not everyone is an über "daggered-up" bleep like I was.
    2. Try things to help with your coordination:
      1. Dancing
      2. Parkour
      3. Model-making (I'm particularly fond of Warhammer 40k myself)
  5. Useless in the dark?
    1. None of us have particularly good night vision.
    2. Every soldier since Pontus was a pilot has either:
      1. Walked into a tree
      2. Been poked in the eye by a branch
      3. Has tripped into a bush
      4. Has fallen down a hillside.
    3. My own party trick was managing to hit a TA lieutenant with my Wolf FFR whilst I was driving around Sennybridge at night.
    4. I also tripped and fell down a steep hill (chipping a canine on the foresight of my rifle).
I honestly believe that it sounds like you've simply got a slight lack of confidence. Having crap drill, an inability to see at night* (like the rest of us) and coordination* isn't going to kill you or anyone else, neither are you going to kill yourself or anyone else when working at height (even the army clips you onto the things you are climbing or traversing now). Concentrate on your Weapon Handling Training, if your unit is as good as you say it is - there'll be bods all over the place more than willing to help you. Try and bear in mind that gats aren't complicated (if they were, the MOD wouldn't give them to the infantry), sooner or later it will simply 'click'.

The last thing you want to do is chin something off because you are struggling at the first hurdle, perseverance will see you through.





*-unless you're an ATO, or a helicopter pilot.
 
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#11
Speak to your OC and he'll tell you how you really are... if your worth keeping around he'll let you know, if not, he'll give you the paper sign on the dotted line kit check MOD90 handed in see ya later alligator...

But seriously discuss with the permanent staff first, you may be worth more than you know
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#12
mate, if you want a bit of close-focus advice it would help to know what the role of your unit is in broad terms eg ,Infantry, Logistics, Medical ?

If you are in an Infantry unit , love it but feel that you will never reach your own standards, a Unit transfer may be the way forward. As posted above, Inf basic skills are welcomed wherever you go in the Army. Less important as a Naval reservist on the bridge of a minesweeper in the North sea ;-)

If however, the idea of being a soldier repels you - stop now :)
 
#13
Good evening all,

I've been with my Reserve unit for a few years now. It's a well recruited unit, with a wealth of opportunities available, and one full of interesting and enthusiastic people. All of the threads/posts I've read on the matter usually feature suggestions about changing unit. For me, that isn't the issue. At every stage, from my introductory brief to the drill night I attended last week and all throughout training, I've been made to feel welcome and have learned a great deal about my Corps and the British Army as a whole.

My problem is with myself. I feel like a fraud. I'm absolutely useless at the basics of soldiering. I'm fit enough, and my civilian life has allowed me to find the content of the trade training very straightforward, but when it comes to doing anything practical I go to pieces. I'm useless in the dark. My coordination is terrible, I'm scared of heights, I struggle with the WHT (I should have failed it on my Alpha course, but I was "passed" and the same thing happened on my Bravo) and I'm beyond dire at marching. I know there's loads of possibilities for jokes ("you sound like every TA/Reservist I know!", etc etc) but I am genuinely worried that there'll be a point where I have to do something more strenuous than a MATTS weekend and I mong it, then someone else gets hurt or killed because of it. Someone who doesn't take five minutes to tie their boots up.

Should I hand in my kit? I love the Reserves but I'm increasingly certain that it's not for me.
You're young (in soldier years) you will learn. This comes from experience and time doing 'green stuff'. 27 days a year is the minimum, try and get as much 'green' in those as possible.

If you came to my office and gave me that spiel, I'd fecking 'whoop' as you know where your weaknesses are. Pretty easy to work out how that can be remedied; assign mentor, do green weekends, volunteer for Cambrian, volunteer for shooting team.

Although I couldn't give a flying fcuk if you can march or not; I want Sappers, not Guardsmen.

Failing that, as @stacker1 points out, Commission. You still won't be able to march though. Or navigate, or...
 
#14
Good evening all,

I've been with my Reserve unit for a few years now. It's a well recruited unit, with a wealth of opportunities available, and one full of interesting and enthusiastic people. All of the threads/posts I've read on the matter usually feature suggestions about changing unit. For me, that isn't the issue. At every stage, from my introductory brief to the drill night I attended last week and all throughout training, I've been made to feel welcome and have learned a great deal about my Corps and the British Army as a whole.

My problem is with myself. I feel like a fraud. I'm absolutely useless at the basics of soldiering. I'm fit enough, and my civilian life has allowed me to find the content of the trade training very straightforward, but when it comes to doing anything practical I go to pieces. I'm useless in the dark. My coordination is terrible, I'm scared of heights, I struggle with the WHT (I should have failed it on my Alpha course, but I was "passed" and the same thing happened on my Bravo) and I'm beyond dire at marching. I know there's loads of possibilities for jokes ("you sound like every TA/Reservist I know!", etc etc) but I am genuinely worried that there'll be a point where I have to do something more strenuous than a MATTS weekend and I mong it, then someone else gets hurt or killed because of it. Someone who doesn't take five minutes to tie their boots up.

Should I hand in my kit? I love the Reserves but I'm increasingly certain that it's not for me.
Even the fact that this bothers you is a good sign, as others have said though what you need now is to pipe up and concentrate on strengthening the areas you feel weak.

A lot of the stuff you’re talking about is a case of practice and even then you’ll still be stronger in some areas than others. I was speaking to a mate of mine on Friday and he was telling me that he is still shit on field exes; he’s a full screw, been in 15 years and has done two op tours (as well as two toscas).

If your solid in your trade then you will have a lot to offer your unit and the people in it. You’ve just got something to work on.

WH is just repetition, personally I could never march for toffee and as for cutting about in the dark I managed to lose a bloke 5 metres in front of me a couple of times.
 
#16
A very wise man said many years ago, "There is never a good time to leave, or a bad time to leave, but there is a right time."
 
#17
A very wise man said many years ago, "There is never a good time to leave, or a bad time to leave, but there is a right time."
Confucious?

Man who goes to bed with sex problem, wakes up with solution in hand.
 

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