Army 2020

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by tearsbeforebedtime, Jul 5, 2012.

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  1. For those who were wondering what the outline is for the reserves in Army 2020,
    ...
    2.5. The Army Reserve. The Army 2020 proposition for the Army Reserve sees a fundamental change as it is fully integrated into the whole force. From the outset Reservists will be required to contribute routinely to military outputs – not simply in extremis – at every level from individual reinforcements to complete units depending on the nature of the task. This will include overseas engagement, UN commitments and domestic resilience tasks, as well as more accustomed roles such as supporting enduring commitments and intervention operations at larger scale. The Army Reserve will provide, at lower readiness:

    • Specialist roles, such as medical, cyber, intelligence, languages, and stabilization;
    • Roles requiring less collective training to maintain readiness, such as sustainment (fuel, transport and distribution); light gun artillery and air defence; and certain aspects of combat engineering and counter-IED;
    • Combat roles, principally for resilience and regeneration, but useable in formed elements on lower risk and less complex tasks, given adequate notice.

    Reserve units will be partnered with Regular units for training and force generation purposes, which will enable combined training and links with local communities and local employers to aid recruitment of Reservists. Individuals up to formed units will be integrated at readiness to deploy on operations as an integral part of any force. Key to this is ensuring that they are fully recruited and trained to the level required to maintain their currency and readiness...

    5.7. The Army Reserve. Army 2020 will provide the ways and means to make the Army Reserve better recruited, manned, trained and equipped as an integral part of the whole force. There will be no change to current levels of Reservist commitment to peacetime training, but when the Army is committed to an enduring operation the contribution of the Army Reserve will be both predictable and programmed. To achieve this there will need to be a step change in the relationship between the Army, its Reservists and their employers, which will be the subject of an MOD consultation paper to be issued in Autumn 2012 that will set out detailed proposals. The Army will engage the employers of Reservists to explain future requirements, understand their needs and develop relationships which better meet the requirements of the Army, the employer and the Reservist. Assuring service from Reservists in the integrated Army, to stabilise training attendance and routine mobilisation when committed to an operation, will require current Reservist terms and conditions of service to be applied more rigorously and existing legislation may need to be revised in order to achieve this.

    So those TA adverts are working, we are inundated with recruits, there is no back log at APC and regulars can transfer in with no excessive waits or dramas. Sweet.
     
  2. Ahh brilliant, I needed an injection of humour today.
     
  3. "The Army will engage the employers of Reservists to explain future requirements, understand their needs and develop relationships which better meet the requirements of the Army, the employer and the Reservist. Assuring service from Reservists in the integrated Army, to stabilise training attendance and routine mobilisation when committed to an operation, will require current Reservist terms and conditions of service to be applied more rigorously and existing legislation may need to be revised in order to achieve this"

    If I may translate:

    "We have no ******* idea how to do this so we will do what we do now, only more so, in the vain hope that something new will happen. Surely employers will mob us to ensure that they subsidise the Army via the TA. ROs are, after all, the perfect tool with which to persuade managers to miss their bonus for the priviledge of losing one of their staff at short notice. And one day the legislation fairy will visit and make everything all right."

    Now to be fair I did hear mention on the radio today of a possible white paper next year on new TACOS for the TA, so things seem to be moving at long last. But I still think that getting it done before the next election is unrealistic for pretty major political reasons - coalition government, recession and all that.

    But there are some fundamentals I feel the Regular component of the Army just doesn't get. Requirements of the employer tend to centre around making money which require that their staff turn up and work; while the requirements of the Army are to take soldiers away at minimum notice for irregular periods. These are not compatible.

    Two obvious solutions present themselves; firstly a decent carrot. If firms don't lose out financially then they won't care. But then the price of a TA soldier for a weeks course is far, far more than a weeks MTDs.

    Then we have the stick. And here, without discrimination legislation in the same league as that for sexual and racial discrimination, all that will do is make the TA unemployable. Even with legislation, there will be a constant drip of cases going to tribunal. Currently the Army does nothing to help in such cases; for soldiers to actually take a case rather than just chuck the TA in they will have to start getting heavily involved. Something new and expensive.

    And then we have the Reservist. They will sack the TA if it threatens their mortgage payments. Any serious conflict with work - regardless of what someone in the MoD or in the Regs says or thinks - will do just that and they will bail. (Or join the Regs, either works.)

    So we come back to the problem of just how to persuade a businessman in a recession to take a financial hit so one of his employees can train with the TA in peacetime. And on that subject, on which the whole FR2020 hinges, there is a deafening silence, broken only by the occasional bullshit bingo entry about "engagement".
     
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  4. So no change. Mostly officer roles? [Notice no TA RSignals except for its CVHQ]

    Assume a number of new RLC, RArty and RE Regts



    No change, IR role in another name - except for a few new battalions?


    Can't see much employer changes except for medics which will be continued relations with the NHS (has anyone told the army about elements being privatised within the NHS???).
    Second group contains typically 'temp' roles, you don't need employer relations for these types of employees and
    seems to be American National Guard inspired model without any of the perks.

    So in short a few new units, large part of the TA ethic ignored or lost and a new title.

    If is was in a more left wing mode I could say something about exploiting cheap labour and working classes. Plus the army does believe the TA spend weekdays flipping burgers at McDonalds and stacking shelves at Tesco's, hence the focus on the Really Large Corps...
     
  5. Actually this is something I for one (despite being a regular officer) am only too conscious of. I agreed with all of the other points in your post as well by the way. So what is the solution, given that whatever it is it must be cheaper than retaining full time soldiers? If we start compensating employers for the loss of their employees or fighting expensive legal battles on behalf if TA soldiers (both morally right things perhaps) then the part time/TA option starts to look very expensive. Still we have our orders and no doubt we will soon have some more detailed direction and possibly even some functional TA TACOS which I am extremely grateful I have not been given the (near impossible) task to design.
     
  6. Has anybody else worked out the vain hope that this Government have to swell the TA by tempting the Regulars who have been made redundant into the TA with promises of free bounties for three years.

    In the words of a well known comedy programme, its like "reclassifying data processing staff from administrative to technical".
     
  7. Brave Coward you hit the nail on the head. This is a 'wicked problem'. I have my doubts that MOD will want to engage in too many tribunals as, as you say this will be extremely expensive.

    There are four main parties involved in this activity. The Army, the reservist, the employer and the reservists family/partner.

    If what has been espoused in recent times is correct, then a greater liability will have to be taken by one or more of these parties.

    Goodwill in a recession is hard to come by, from all of these parties but particularly from businesses. Things in the economy are not going to get better any time soon (at least until 2020 in my book).

    My gut feel is that the reservist (rather than MOD or his employer) is the one going to have to accept a higher level of 'risk' as a result of increased liability - to his livelihood and indeed his personal life (if he has one). This is the easiest and importantly the cheapest solution.

    The adage of 'Family, work, TA' may soon be replaced by 'TA, divorced, sacked'.

    As for enlisting ex Regulars, good luck with that, the system for transferring is broken and the current backlog for transfers is several months I understand. Given the rapidly declining level of morale in the regular army at present most will want to stay as far away from green as possible.
     
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  8. On Newsnight yesterday evening Phillip Hammond suggested that emloyers need not be told if an employee was joining the TA, or that a prospective employee was a reservist. This won't hold water as most employers put in contracts that employees notify them of second jobs/other commitments which they may have, in case there's a conflict of interest. Employees would also have to opt out of the 48 hour working time directive, through their employer, so they will find out.
     
  9. I saw that and nearly choked! Phillip Hammond is on pretty dodgy ground there.

    However, it looks as it the thorny problem (long discussed here) about "if you want us to do this properly change the TACOS" is now front and centre, as the aspirations behind FR2020 won't work without something changing.
     
  10. To continue a discussion from the other thread

    Charlie - I have transposed this from the other thread , hope it hangs together.

    I appreciate your points but I was expecting some more courageous thinking from FR2020 and I am indeed one of life's pessimists.

    The RAC is now down to 3 heavy regt, 3 recce regts and (effectively) 3 mounted infantry regts with a TA component. Not to forget a regt of BCRs, so in REAL terms 15 regts - down to 10, but it was presented as something totally different.

    I was hoping that FR2020 would align Sqns to their regular counterparts - so 3 Sqns ( or one regt) trained in CR2, 3 Sqns ( or one regt) trained on SCOUT/FRES etc and sure , 3 Sqns ( or one regt) take on the mounted inf/light cav role.

    And I can't see any more PIDs going to the yeomanry - I reckon they will go to CS and CSS, maybe some infantry but don't hold your breath.

    To my mind the Light Cav role is a reaction to - "got a whole lot of units left over and a number of WIMIKs, so let's call 'em Light Cav instead of Mounted Infantry"

    I just think there is a bit of smoke and mirrors here.
     
  11. There's a difference between not having to disclose reserve status during job application (or applying to join the reserves) and not informing the employer at all. Especially if you combine being a reservist with some discrimination protection it means by the time the employer finds out about the reserve status you are protected.

    That said I think there's scope for a much greater push on the benefits of hiring a reservist to be made. Especially given the current pro-forces goodwill that has been built up over the past few years. If the PM really is committed to this then he has access to a powerful bully pulpit if major employers are anti-reserves.
    The characteristics that most employers list as being desirable are ones being in the reserves engenders after all. You're not going to find many employers who prefer to hire slovenly, ill disciplined unfit individuals.

    It is wider than the TA - the RNR are already getting briefs on the "terms and conditions", and legal protections, being looked at as part of the FR2020. The Army 2020 delay has probably held up the tri-service negotiations on such things.
     
  12. B_C -- good point, the weakness is the assumption that civilain employers should be prepared to pay for the nations defence themselves by releasing "Army Reserve" employees for military training. I suspect that our culture is not yet developed enough to support that ambition and as the greater number of employers are SMEs, we may well struggle with this assumption.
     
  13. Surely a legal framework is only a part of the solution, the greater challenge is to change culture so that Reserve service becomes a reflection of good corporate community mindedness. I would have thought that the current public support is somewhat jingoistic and that the public really see us as not much more than victims on a sombre BBC web page.
     
  14. Fair enough, maybe I should have referred specifically to those who write this stuff. Or maybe they know but can't do anything about it. I don't know which is more depressing.

    Regardless, I don't see much that can be done beyond the current casual labour model. And for that if you want to get people in you have to offer them something great. Thats is not what is currently planned for the post-HERRICK TA.

    A2020 does the opposite of what I'd do. People want to run round fields with guns or drive tanks at weekends. Real tanks mind, not clapped out landies masquerading as. Infanteers need up to date kit and plenty of ammo, and so on. They do not want to do "loggy shit", phrase copyright every high speed low drag G3 ninja I've ever met.

    I think the Army is going to have to make a conscious effort to move courses to weekends, make it more intense and hence shorter. One of the prime tasks for the Regular element is going to have to be training the TA, rather than sending a PSI out every now and again. In other words, turning up regularly at weekends with loads of stuff and inspiring by example.

    It will be frustrating as hell. No doubt about it. I also think that we should be aiming at 50k odd PIDs and substantial overbearing on establishment to get 30k trained. We need more and better TACs.

    Employers will have to be told as is current policy, not telling them is - regardless of anything else - grounds for a disciplinary or dismissal given most contracts require that your employer be told about any other paid work you do. The real problem is that employers just don't believe the hype about how TA training helps them. They base this on their experienced reality not a leaflet from SABRE.

    As as already been said, this is indeed a wicked problem.
     
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