a stupid question asked by a stab

#1
how different is the regs from the ta i mean the people and training

i know i may seem very very green asking this, but i havent been out on ops yet with the regs and i just wondered how different is it as i wouldnt mind joining the regs when im finished at college. i have been ta inf for about 2.5 years
 
#2
As a stab who has worked with the arabs for the past 15 years, not as much as you'd think.

There are good and bad on both sides. The Regs are better trained (but so they should be) and there are less walts/******* because constant exposure to each other roots them out far more quickly. Few Regs are promoted because they good attenders.

The quality of the people is the same but the training and exposure to a core set of values sets the Regs apart.

If you are thinking of going Reg then go for it.

Mushroom wanders off into dreaming about if only he was a young shaver again etc
 
#3
yep - good and bad in both - but I found that due to the size there are more numpties in the regs. Not slagging but a mathematical fact.

Of course the TA skills are not honed as much as the regs but the difference is minimal and TA soldiers are normally up to speed after build up training before going on ops.

Also, the regs don't like mentioning the fact that they do feck-all during most weeks apart from constantly moan (knowledge first hand - been there, done that, etc..)
 
#5
Nutter - pardon me for being honest, but that is a feckin bone question and the wonder is that these pages aren't full of comments which may be, well a little less complimentary than you want.

What's the difference? I won't go into the training and experience issue - one would hope you can work that one out yourself (please).

Mainly the difference is that we have certain civilian values that can't help but influence our behaviour to some extent when we're 'in green'.

Here's some quotes - hope you understand because they explain better than I can (and I can't really be arrsed, to be fair):
"It is said that the Army should reflect society, but what an
army does, and what in the final analysis it is for, do not
reflect society. The Army defends society but it cannot
share its values, for if it does it cannot do its job."
Major Gordon Corrigan RGR, Mud, Blood and Poppycock,
2003

"…although war may be bad, fighting may be bad,
application of force may be bad (none of which is selfevidently
true, but assuming it to be so), the military life,
which would disappear if violence vanished among men, is
in many important respects good.
Why this should be so is not difficult to see if we look at
what have been called the military virtues. These, to quote
an impartial witness in Toynbee, ‘confront us as a
monumental fact which cannot be whittled down or
explained away.’ But the military virtues are not in a class
apart; ‘They are virtues which are virtues in every walk of
life…nonetheless virtues for being jewels set in blood and
iron.’ They include such qualities as courage, fortitude
and loyalty.
What is important about such qualities as these in the
present argument is that they acquire in the military
context, in addition to their moral significance, a
functional significance as well. The essential function of an armed force is to fight in battle. Given equally
advanced military techniques a force in which the qualities
I have mentioned are more highly developed can
confidently expect to defeat an equal force in which they
are less and will often win when the opposing force is
stronger. Thus while you may indeed hope to meet these
virtues in every walk of life, and a good deal of educational
effort is spent on developing them as being generally
desirable, in the profession of arms they are functionally
indispensable. The training, the group organisations, the
whole pattern of life of the professional man-at-arms is
designed in a deliberate effort to foster them, not just
because they are morally desirable in themselves, but
because they are essential to military efficiency…
In consequence the moral tone in a military group tends to
be higher than in a professional group where the existence
of these qualities is desirable but not functionally essential,
where their presence will make life for the members of the
group more agreeable but will not necessarily make the
group functionally more efficient. This is one reason why
officers do not always find it easy at first to settle down and
earn a living in civilian life, where the functional aspects of
moral obligation are less apparent and the ex-officer is
puzzled and sometimes distressed to find, for reasons he
cannot always comprehend, a moral tone lower in some
respects than that to which he is accustomed."
General Sir John Hackett, The Profession of Arms, 1983
 
#6
stabtastic said:
Nutter - pardon me for being honest, but that is a feckin bone question and the wonder is that these pages aren't full of comments which may be, well a little less complimentary than you want.
Considering that the title of the thread indicates that nutter knows it's a bit of a 'bone' question, but one he is willing to ask anyway, yours is more of a 'bone' answer. Proving that there is no such thing as a stupid question, just a stupid answer.
 
#7
stabtastic said:
Mainly the difference is that we have certain civilian values that can't help but influence our behaviour to some extent when we're 'in green'.

Here's some quotes - hope you understand because they explain better than I can (and I can't really be arrsed, to be fair):
"It is said that the Army should reflect society, but what an
army does, and what in the final analysis it is for, do not
reflect society. The Army defends society but it cannot
share its values, for if it does it cannot do its job."
Major Gordon Corrigan RGR, Mud, Blood and Poppycock,
2003

"…although war may be bad, fighting may be bad,
application of force may be bad (none of which is selfevidently
true, but assuming it to be so), the military life,
which would disappear if violence vanished among men, is
in many important respects good.
Why this should be so is not difficult to see if we look at
what have been called the military virtues. These, to quote
an impartial witness in Toynbee, ‘confront us as a
monumental fact which cannot be whittled down or
explained away.’ But the military virtues are not in a class
apart; ‘They are virtues which are virtues in every walk of
life…nonetheless virtues for being jewels set in blood and
iron.’ They include such qualities as courage, fortitude
and loyalty.
What is important about such qualities as these in the
present argument is that they acquire in the military
context, in addition to their moral significance, a
functional significance as well. The essential function of an armed force is to fight in battle. Given equally
advanced military techniques a force in which the qualities
I have mentioned are more highly developed can
confidently expect to defeat an equal force in which they
are less and will often win when the opposing force is
stronger. Thus while you may indeed hope to meet these
virtues in every walk of life, and a good deal of educational
effort is spent on developing them as being generally
desirable, in the profession of arms they are functionally
indispensable. The training, the group organisations, the
whole pattern of life of the professional man-at-arms is
designed in a deliberate effort to foster them, not just
because they are morally desirable in themselves, but
because they are essential to military efficiency…
In consequence the moral tone in a military group tends to
be higher than in a professional group where the existence
of these qualities is desirable but not functionally essential,
where their presence will make life for the members of the
group more agreeable but will not necessarily make the
group functionally more efficient. This is one reason why
officers do not always find it easy at first to settle down and
earn a living in civilian life, where the functional aspects of
moral obligation are less apparent and the ex-officer is
puzzled and sometimes distressed to find, for reasons he
cannot always comprehend, a moral tone lower in some
respects than that to which he is accustomed."
General Sir John Hackett, The Profession of Arms, 1983
So you're saying that TA soldiers retain civilian values and are therefore presumably deficient in military values (courage, loyalty, fortitude etc)?

Say again, in your own words, over.
 
#8
No. Just re-read it.

Notice: "But the military virtues are not in a class
apart; ‘They are virtues which are virtues in every walk of
life…nonetheless virtues for being jewels set in blood and
iron.’ They include such qualities as courage, fortitude
and loyalty.
What is important about such qualities as these in the
present argument is that they acquire in the military
context, in addition to their moral significance, a
functional significance as well. "
 
#9
I think the main difference that you'll notice is the change of pace.

Whereas you currently strive to take in all that is thrust at you over the course of 2 drill nights and a weekend, in the Regulars you'll have at least two weeks to cover the same content, giving enough time to allow weekends off and entire afternoons devoted to sport without detriment to the military training.

The TA learns at quick time (and therefore may have to gloss over some aspects of training, picking up the missed pieces over time or, in the case of mobilisation, during OPTAG). The Regulars learn at slow time, learning by drill (and thereby reinforcing lessons learned as they progress through training).

You'll have heard gripes from Regulars that current operational commitments leave them with little time off. In reality, they still have a fair amount of time off, but not at preferred locations. So the married soldier, when on courses between periods of deployment, still gets weekends off but may not be able to visit family and friends (and properly escape from the green) so morale suffers.
 
#10
stabtastic said:
No. Just re-read it.

Notice: "But the military virtues are not in a class
apart; ‘They are virtues which are virtues in every walk of
life…nonetheless virtues for being jewels set in blood and
iron.’ They include such qualities as courage, fortitude
and loyalty.
What is important about such qualities as these in the
present argument is that they acquire in the military
context, in addition to their moral significance, a
functional significance as well. "
Qualities like 'courage, fortitude and loyalty' are indeed qualities that are virtues in all walks of life. They can however not be taught as such, but can be instilled in those around you by demonstrating them. You don't know you have them until the time comes that they are needed.

The fact that they are more apparent in the Military is that there are reletivley few oppertunities in civvy street that require courage or fortitude and true loyalty are not as apparent in a world of 9-5 jobs. It is far too easy to take the 'line of least resistance', leave it to someone else or just call for help, which is an option not always afforded to soldiers on Ops.

The TA does allow more of our society to recognize these virtues, and they are virtues, which can only be a good thing. Too many of today's society have never needed them, will never need them and quite frankly, couldn't care either.
 
#11
Thanks Plant-Pilot - think that's spot-on, and probably why TA soldiers (usually) rave about their part-time job - because it allows them to enjoy working in a real team with a proper sense of togetherness. Apologies for misunderstanding.

Good to see a thread focussing on what we have in common rather than the differences.
 
#12
Like has been said before there are good and bad in both. Ive worked with quite a few TA on ops and the majority have fitted right in so you wouldnt know they were TA. I did have the misfortune of bumping into one who was out for glory and plenty of tales to take back who said "he'd rather have a tour with lots of incidents even loss of comrades life than a boring one". My response to him was thank f""k i wasnt in his unit as he was a c""t. As for the regs not having much to do that depends on your unit but there arent many with the current commitments who arent training for ops/ returning from ops or on ops.
 
#13
Just talking in generalisations here.

The regs get more intensive training and work better as a unit, and I believe the mitties are rooted out pretty quickly. They are often more conversant with the tactics, IA drills and kit.

The TA has more mitties, but they are generally more enthusiastic and on the whole brighter due to the demands of civilian jobs.

Reg squaddies are just that, whereas a TA squaddie might also be a doctor, lawyer or scientist. Downside is, they might also be a shelf-stacker in Tescos and just want to play with guns.
 
#14
Don't ever let slip that you have any special skills from civvie like, like welding or carpentry.

You can bet you bottom doller you'll be the go to guy for all of these things when needed, as you'll be closer than the RE. It feels nice at first but when you spend you days off welding sniper shields to posts on a wall around a school in Karbul you'll being to regret it.
 
#15
ooooohh, that explains it then.

I was wondering why, when I mentioned my civvie trade, they kept giving me money and asking me for sex.

I thought it was just a regs thing?!?
 
#16
Rifle-Green-Sex-Machine said:
yep - good and bad in both - but I found that due to the size there are more numpties in the regs. Not slagging but a mathematical fact.
Surely your perception is one thing, but to claim it as a magical mathematical fact is utter, fornicating nonsense, my good man. It's like saying there are more left handed people in China than there are in Peckham - a thoroughly pointless comparison. Perhaps it would be better to speak of proportions?
 
#17
CardinalSin said:
Rifle-Green-Sex-Machine said:
yep - good and bad in both - but I found that due to the size there are more numpties in the regs. Not slagging but a mathematical fact.
Surely your perception is one thing, but to claim it as a magical mathematical fact is utter, fornicating nonsense, my good man. It's like saying there are more left handed people in China than there are in Peckham - a thoroughly pointless comparison. Perhaps it would be better to speak of proportions?
I catch his drift.

Go to a TAC and you may meet one or two. Go to a barracks and you're likely to meet several. Proportionally, perhaps similar figures, but Regulars tend to congregate in larger numbers.
 
#18
The regs get more intensive training and work better as a unit, and I believe the mitties are rooted out pretty quickly. They are often more conversant with the tactics, IA drills and kit.
I've been on ops with both the TA and regular army and found that overall I'd be glad to have either of them on my side when things go wrong.

That's not to say there aren't large differences between the regular army and the TA, however I don't agree with all the points above.

It's a fair one that there are more walt-types in the TA. The ones which join the regs have it beasted out of them, or leave. In the TA, the ones that don't leave are left to flourish after basic.

I won't agree that the regs work better as a unit. The way the TA mobilise from all walks of life and are thrown in together at the same time seems to bond them very well as a team.

As for tactics and drills - I'm not sure exactly what you mean. The regular army obviously has the experience and the training where tactics are concerned - But with regards to, for example, route clearances and vulnerable point drills, the TA unit I worked with was far more coherent and a lot more thorough.

The regular army consider themselves professionals and have nobody to prove it to. The TA are the underdogs and see themselves as having something to prove. This is their strongest point and a lot of the time makes up for shortcomings in other areas.

The other thing the TA has going for it (or not, I'm undecided) is the soldiers willingness to think for themselves and speak out if they believe something should be done differently. Although there's respect for rank in the TA, it isn't the inbuilt fear of rank which exists in the regular army.
 
#19
Good points.

My experience with the TA was bloody fantastic and I could not have enjoyed my time more. There are indeed more mitties, and muppets due to the reasons you've put. This is more than outweighed by the quality of the rest.

When we went on a big exercise in Germany (1989), we battled for two days across the countryside and when my unit finally fell over (1 company plus Milan) after two hours of furious fighting against a reg mounted battalion, albeit with blanks (and quite a few digs with rifle-butts for those that wouldn't play dead), some of the regs asked us what battalion we were and were most surprised when we told them we were a TA company.

The regiment gave us all a nice thank you and provided the funds for a good piss up.

I would like to say at this point, that whether they be regs or TA, we most definately have the best army in the world and I am bloody proud of it.

I hope you guys at the sharp end get the opportunity to enjoy some of Christmas this year. You're in my thoughts.
 
#20
Giblets said:
Good points.

My experience with the TA was bloody fantastic and I could not have enjoyed my time more. There are indeed more mitties, and muppets due to the reasons you've put. This is more than outweighed by the quality of the rest.

When we went on a big exercise in Germany (1989), we battled for two days across the countryside and when my unit finally fell over (1 company plus Milan) after two hours of furious fighting against a reg mounted battalion, albeit with blanks (and quite a few digs with rifle-butts for those that wouldn't play dead), some of the regs asked us what battalion we were and were most surprised when we told them we were a TA company.

The regiment gave us all a nice thank you and provided the funds for a good urine up.

I would like to say at this point, that whether they be regs or TA, we most definately have the best army in the world and I am bloody proud of it.

I hope you guys at the sharp end get the opportunity to enjoy some of Christmas this year. You're in my thoughts.
This rang a bell with me. I recall my TA Btn being on exercise against a reg Btn at STANTA in 1989. We ran rings round them. They would have been at (near) full strength I suppose but of course as a TA unit we probably only had 200 max. I often thought afterwards that in the event of being deployed en masse, that TA units would probably continue to operate well having taken heavy casualties because they are used to having 2/3 of the men missing when they do any large scale exercises. TA are also used to being formed into scratch sections and just getting on with it which I suspect happens less in the Reg. Army.
 

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