A more professional TA???

#1
For the past few of years or so I have slowly seen this term 'more professional' creep into TA life. And I actually believe that we, as a force, have become 'more professional'. Yet I can honestly say that nobody at any level carrying out any job in my platoon (possibly other that the WO2 plt comd) can carryout that job as effectively as their counterparts 15 years ago.
So what does 'more professional' mean?
 
#2
Proffessionlism is a buzz word nothing more .It sounds good .Cos amateur
or part timer sounds bad.
 
#3
bubblechaser said:
For the past few of years or so I have slowly seen this term 'more professional' creep into TA life. And I actually believe that we, as a force, have become 'more professional'. Yet I can honestly say that nobody at any level carrying out any job in my platoon (possibly other that the WO2 plt comd) can carryout that job as effectively as their counterparts 15 years ago.
So what does 'more professional' mean?
You choose:

1. of profession: relating to or belonging to a profession
professional people


2. following occupation as paid job: engaged in an occupation as a paid job rather than as a hobby - professional tennis player


3. businesslike: conforming to the standards of skill, competence, or character normally expected of a properly qualified and experienced person in a work environment professional attitude


4. very competent: showing a high degree of skill or competence
did a very professional job


5. doing something habitually: habitually, and usually annoyingly, indulging in a particular activity - a professional complainer?
 
#4
or just plain old Pro, although that sounds a bit of a descriptive term for some of the ladies of Lurgan town :).
Buzz words are cool, like, bollocks and cack, two buzz words used to describe buzz words.
I have been a Part time Professional for years :)

Faugh-A-Ballagh
 
#6
bubblechaser said:
For the past few of years or so I have slowly seen this term 'more professional' creep into TA life. And I actually believe that we, as a force, have become 'more professional'. Yet I can honestly say that nobody at any level carrying out any job in my platoon (possibly other that the WO2 plt comd) can carryout that job as effectively as their counterparts 15 years ago.
So what does 'more professional' mean?
Possibly our approach/attitude towards training and ops
 
#7
"Being more professional" is just a term used by the top dogs to make us sound good.

It's all complete tosh - if they want to make us sound good, then they should make some good TV adverts, rather than showing the usual walting crap...



"So what do we call you two lovely ladies?"

"She's LT Reynolds... blah blah blah"

"O RLY? So really you mean you belong to the Walt society? Get tae fcuk!"



Honestly... who in their civvie job would use their TA rank? More pro? More bloody walt...

What next? TA soldiers chasing the Loch Ness monster because they suspect it of terrorist activity...? Christ...
 
#8
bubblechaser said:
For the past few of years or so I have slowly seen this term 'more professional' creep into TA life. And I actually believe that we, as a force, have become 'more professional'. Yet I can honestly say that nobody at any level carrying out any job in my platoon (possibly other that the WO2 plt comd) can carryout that job as effectively as their counterparts 15 years ago.
So what does 'more professional' mean?
Operational deployment aside (unfair to include this as arguably it is a case of being in the TA at the wrong time/right time depending on your point of view) I disagree that todays TA is 'more professional' than at any time previously.

From a purely infantry perspective, 15/20 years ago we had many NATO roled battalions that would have deployed en bloc to BAOR without arguably much in the way of beat up training. In addition the Home Defence roled battalions also achieved a level of operational efficiency that surprised many regulars. The TA's performance on Exercises Lionheart and Brave Defender support this.

On a man to man basis, in my unit we had far more course qualified JNCO's (SCBC, SAA, RMQ3 etc.) than today allied to a commitment which saw many record over 100 (genuine) MTD's.

There was also depth of experience in the Sgts Mess with Pl. Sgts, CQMS's and CSM's staying in post for several years and not having to follow the current trend of two years in the chair and move on or move out. Most of the Pl. Sgts in my Company attended PSBC at Brecon whilst Cpls.

I know we're all biased but from an outsider who is regularly looking in I personally can't buy this 'more professional TA' spin based on the measures above.
 
#9
diehard57 said:
I know we're all biased but from an outsider who is regularly looking in I personally can't buy this 'more professional TA' spin based on the measures above.
Exactly. More Professional TA means being able to sell the TA via MATTs results on powerpoint presentations. It hides the fact that other skills have declined
 
#10
Professional tends to mean the fun has been removed. It can also be used as an excuse for unimagainative training.

Streamlined - there isn't anyone left.

Flexible - no one knows what they are supposed to be doing anymore.

Brought into line with the Regular Army - All the bad bits, with none of the good.
 
#11
It might mean actually doing all the paperwork that goes along with a regular soldier. In other words filling the P file with all the mid-year and annual reports, course reports, etc. Selecting soldiers for courses 18 months in advance of the course and making sure that they have done the requisite amount of work up.

Promotion boards that function properly rank performance and determine career paths rather than the 90 second folder roundabout reveiwing the 2 up's comments and ignoring everything else. Might like to include 360 degree reveiews in that as well.

It might mean putting all the qualified trainers and assessors in place before rolling out MATTS. Outside the MOD buble most folks would be sacked for incompetence if they pulled a stunt like that.

Of course it's a lot easier to say the TA is not professional yet than it is to provide the necessary staffing to make sure the paperwork is done well.

Unprofessional is to keep on adding admin tasks and assigning it to the PSAO's pile.
 
#12
GoodIdeaAtTheTime said:
It might mean actually doing all the paperwork that goes along with a regular soldier. In other words filling the P file with all the mid-year and annual reports, course reports, etc. Selecting soldiers for courses 18 months in advance of the course and making sure that they have done the requisite amount of work up.

Promotion boards that function properly rank performance and determine career paths rather than the 90 second folder roundabout reveiwing the 2 up's comments and ignoring everything else. Might like to include 360 degree reveiews in that as well.
Yes that would be nice wouldn't it
 
#13
Professional?

I remember Crusader in 1980 defending the Leine yet again.

I was Coy 2 icecream and was told off to go to the rear to meet the incoming TA Line Inf Bn who were going to relieve us.

I arrived at the RV some mile to the rear and waited....and waited....and waited. Eventually towards dusk the turned up. They were not too fussed having cracked into the ale on the back of the 4 tonner round about the Dutch border.

I told them to get into NBC kit because the threat demanded it. There was an explosion of bodies and kit as stuff that had been packed in confident expectation that it would never be needed began to saee the light of day. The Trg Maj grew nervous.

After a whil as it grew dark we moved off, bogging only one veh in the wood. Good practice was obtained recovering it and we cracked on.

We arrived at the river about dawn some hrs late. After a certain amount of hooting and braying the posn was handed over.

My last sight was the CP flanked by two lances (bit of a giveaway,this) one on each side of the CP entrance and the CSM opening his first beer whilst handing the OC his.

They were prepared to withstand the Russian hordes but I think that the modern TA with its considerable experience may just be a bit better.
 
#14
Beenaround said:
Professional?
They were prepared to withstand the Russian hordes but I think that the modern TA with its considerable experience may just be a bit better.
Yes, individually the TA maybe leaner, meaner and fitter than in the 1980s, but how many TA Bns have deployed on exercise as such, who has been on a Bde ex with all its many ups and downs and round and rounds.

Individually I would say we are doing pretty well 'professionally' but collectively, we are far weaker than we were and lacking the depth of practical knowledge. But that's ok because we only want IRs now.

With our short build up to deployment, sometimes as long as 2 months, this corporate knowledge of how a BG actually works in the field would be invaluable to the regular army. However the powers that be have spoken and they only want the 'basic soldier', and anyone who thinks differently are pigeon holed as cold war dinosaurs.

Roar!
 
#15
marabout said:
Individually I would say we are doing pretty well 'professionally' but collectively, we are far weaker than we were and lacking the depth of practical knowledge. But that's ok because we only want IRs now...

However the powers that be have spoken and they only want the 'basic soldier', and anyone who thinks differently are pigeon holed as cold war dinosaurs.
Having worked with a TA Bn just pre-SDR, I would have to say that it was a change desperately needed. The non-professionalism of the top end (Majs, CSgts, WOs) left me stunned. Priority on weekend deployment was to get the bar functioning.
I could rant on for hours with examples but I'll limit it to things like orders process not being followed. The one that did for me was losing a company on final ex at summer camp. The OC harboured his coy for two days; when they eventually turned up (and I had the OC in a stranglehold) his excuse was 'I thought I'd take casualties if I stayed in the movement box'.
Conversely, the junior ranks and officers were keen to learn, get fit and frankly, be as professional as possible.
SDR enabled the weeding of the cr@p. The effect of IRs (certainly for TELIC 1) was that we received keen and willing soldiers.
Another angle - I'd rather be treated in the field by a TA doctor any day.
No apols for the rant; I didn't even mention the Bn 2i/c - what a knob!
 
#16
I'm only speaking from my experience of 1 TA unit, but having seen them Pre and post SDR, I'm fairly sure of my opinion. We had our share of idiots but unfortunately we still do. The difference is the level of education of all ranks about larger formations that due to our 'new and improved role' of IRs we lack.

It is tempting to say we are all more professional now than our peers were x years ago, but I'm sure most generations have been tempted to say things like that. In my unit, people weren't and weren't expected to be so overtly 'professional'. It didn't mean that they were completely ammature. The culture of professionalism was different. People were expected to be good at their jobs and didn't have to jump up and down all the time to advertise it.

Changinmag, I agree, some individuals may have not been up to scratch in the TA, and we can all site examples, but then again I also have seen regular officers who have been just as incompetent and dangerous to their men. Sometime more so because they didn't know that they didn't know what they were doing, but because they were a regular thought they must.
 
#17
changingmag said:
SDR enabled the weeding of the cr@p.
Complete utter crap. I know a large number who left because they had the wrong qualifications (I had to choose a 140 mile round trip or a transfer 1/2 a mile away) or were the wrong age.

It was all down to regular army politics, wether to maintain a good recruiting spread for the regular regiment or being canned cause your parent regular regiment was not as famous as the LI/RRF/Staffords/Cheshires.
Strangley enough the top TA Signal Regiment today has roughly the same footprint as one of the top 5 Inf TA battalions of the 80's and 90's.

Also that cr@p you mentioned, is now comfortably working at Bde level (many different cap badges), performing tasks the TA you describe could never perform, you don't have a chance of gaining the experience. I've seen several TA Infantry Bns trying to work in a bigger formation and it no longer works anymore, its too inexperienced.

Lastly as part of the crap, I'm glad to let you know I was offered a pln in my local regiment a couple of years back, I was then a Sgt.
 
#19
While arguably less professional 20 years ago, the TA was certainly more focussed. It had its job mapped out and trained to that scenario.

Now, there's a multitude of possible theatres and little ability to train in them prior to deployment. Is the term "professional" much more than a euphemism for "looking good?" Or does it just acknowledge that BS has finally caught up with the TA? (BS baffles brains).
 
#20
Its just a numbers game now in most units and they are recruiting from the bottom of the barrel just to keep their unit head count looking good to he who looks at statistics, lets face it what sort of true % would turn up if the unit was mobilised, how many people have you all not seen in ages but are still on the books, just to keep the orbat looking something like..
Im afraid its going to worse.
 

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