Advanced Command and Staff Course (Reserves)

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by Strikesure, Jan 23, 2012.

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  1. Hmmm, self-inflicted wound, so no sympathy required (but a bit of empathy wouldn't hurt and would prove you weren't a Tyrell Corp Nexus-6).

    Any one been and what should I be expecting? The web site is 'thin' on detail and a heads up would be really appreciated. Right, so, now off to Milittery and Bloodletters bookshop for a copy of Sun Tzu.
  2. Try posting in the Staff Officers forum as well.
  3. msr

    msr LE

    I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

  4. MSR, not knowing whether to laugh or cry is not what you want to be saying in an empathy test. I now have to 'retire' you.

    But, the slaying aside, I now want answers. Someone must have done it and knows whether I am looking at operational staff work and smashing things up (good) or Bristish Defence Policy and haute strategy (bad).
  5. Ring up the DS? Or in MSR's words, ask your PSI!
  6. msr

    msr LE

    Would it be too harsh to make the observation that if you have ask on a random internet website for information about the most senior course the TA offers, rather than contacting the Defence Academy who run it, then Lt Col may not be for you?
    • Like Like x 1
  7. I have some sympathy with him.

    If you contacted the Defence Academy to ask what is involved in ISC(TA), they would probably read off the usual bumpf about preparing TA Officers for appoints at SO2 level and (depending on the latest gen) qualifying for promotion to Major.

    However, the reality from who have done it is that it really just a very basic skim over the top of a wide range of subjects, from revision of the 7Qs and staff writing, to Defence Policy and Force Generation. Pretty much summed up as "Here is a bunch off stuff we really don't have time to teach you on this pathetically short course. You'll find out more if you mobilise or do FTRS, when you might just know enough catchphrases to stop you looking a *complete* arrse in front of your regular colleagues, who will be throwing this stuff around like Ninja Shuriken..."

    I'm guessing ACSC(TA) is probably similar, only the potential for embarrassment alongside regular officers is higher...

  8. This is hardly a random internet website!

    Good luck Strikesure
  9. I wouldn't waste your money. The most important piece of pre-course prep for this course is to make sure that you have barrack dress. Those who attended ACSC(R) #1 in CS95 were duly rifted.

    The course is woeful and the product of a "me too" mindset. The TA Staff Course I am given to understand was a pretty useful 2 weeks (plus a few weekends) dive into BG and Bde ops and lots of estimates and planning exercises along with a staff ride.

    Unfortunately the benefits that the regular course sees from joint staff training don't apply to the reserves. You will not meet fast jet pilots, submariners or seamen, instead a bunch of charming, talented and in the main highly capable but slightly confused naval and airforce reserve specialists (medics, int analysts, humint types etc) who have never seen a 7Qs before (and why would they?) who are presented in week 2 with a campaign planning estimate. That is not to say that they are not good people, but the course just doesn't make sense. In short, probably the most disappointing course in my military career.
  10. Nemesis, an interesting (and rather alarming) viewpoint, which frankly doesn't surprise me. The old TA CSC was, I think (because I have never been a student on it) 3 weeknds and 2 weeks and was certainly in excess of 20 days - not enough perhaps, but better than the current situation. As someone who may well be attending the ACSC(R) in the next 24 months, your viewpoint concerns me and I have absolutely no reason to doubt the veracity of what you say. It is hardly a good omen for an expanding TA where TA primacy in command is the preferred solution. Quite why the MoD felt that what appears to be such a poor quality solution was the way ahead, other than on cost grounds alone, remains to be seen. If it is honestly as crap as you say, I will be thinking very carefully about taking two weeks off work to attend it.
  11. It's certainly not a "command" course and is barely 'staff'. The course assessment was based on a current affairs essay, a written brief (odd, as staff work - op or non op is not taught on the course) and a joint presentation on a historic campaign.

    Syndicate discussion periods are cusory, the staff ride has been binned and the campaign estimate is a slow 3 day walk through of a process which is completely alien to our dark blue and light blue kin (and of very limited relevance to a TA officer).

    Cynically, its a means to end, so attend for that reason alone.
  12. My experience of the old course is now nearly 20 years out of date but I detect echoes.... we were syndicated with assorted loggies, medics etc to provide joint solutions because the poor "G4" bastards were totally out of their depth when it came to the "estimate" etc. I'd be interested to hear current "Thrusters" views on their chance of promotion to Lt Col. My view is that the No 6 board is an extra "glass ceiling", stopping otherwise qual and recommended folk from even applying for Comd. slots ....opening up more vacancies for Regulars and lets just ignore that bit in TA Regs about Comd slots.....
  13. msr

    msr LE

    TA Lt
    TA Lt Col
  14. Get out what you put in. I enjoyed it (#1 as above). My syndicate and DS were a good bunch which helped. The campaign planning bit has been very relevant to me in the post I've been in the last year or so. I thought most (not all) of the speakers were excellent. I'd agree that they were trying to cover a lot of bases for a wide spectrum of people in a limited amount of time.

    For #1 we got sent an information pack with all the precourse requirements in it (including that barrack dress thing) and there was plenty to get stuck into like MK and recommended reading.

    I particularly liked the way they said they wanted to promote an atmosphere of open debate and intellectual freedom, then in came a badge with a big stick to give us our precautionary bowlocking about standards of dress and the consequences of parking your car in the wrong place etc. etc.
    • Like Like x 1

  15. Glad you enjoyed it and found it useful. I did put a lot in (and fankly got a good report - so this is not sour grapes), but I didn't enjoy it and IMO it's a poor course with a weak rationale and ill-defined aims. Sure, the speakers were fine (especially the late Richard Holmes) and we had some nice chats in the syndicate room, but that does not make it a good course. Did you do the pre-course reading and MK2(V)? It was apparent that most of the course didn't(!) How do you rate the assessment process? Current affairs essay, written brief and a 1/3 of a powerpoint?

    It would be interesting to hear how the course stacks up against the overseas alternatives that are sometimes offered - how is the Canadian equivalent, I wonder?