Article in the Indy

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#1
The Big Question: What does the Territorial Army do, and how has it changed?

A nice piece in today's Independent (though still riddled with inaccuracies). Interestingly they class HM's service in the ATS as making her an ex-STAB, which I suppose she was.

Why are we asking this now?

Because in the year of its centenary, the Territorial Army, made up of people from all walks of life who give up weekends, holidays and even head off on six-month stints on active duty abroad, has been hit by tragedy this week. Three reservists, Corporal Sean Robert Reeve of the Royal Signals, Lance Corporal Richard Larkin and Paul Stout, were killed alongside Corporal Sarah Bryant of the Intelligence Corps when their armoured Land Rover was hit by a roadside bomb. The nature of their mission has shattered old impressions of exactly what TA regiments do. Far from guarding bases or making the grub, the three men from the 23rd SAS regiment were part of a secret counter-intelligence mission, monitoring Taliban activity.

The incident, which was the biggest loss of life for the TA since the Second World War, underlined the fact that TA soldiers are now a key plank of Britain's defence forces. The old tags of "Sunday soldiers" or "weekend warriors" seem well and truly out of date.

What kinds of people join the TA?

Just like those ever-present recruitment TV ads say, recruits are plumbers, builders, lawyers and even MPs – David Davis served his time in the TAs, and Winston Churchill was the commanding officer of a TA regiment, the Oxfordshire Hussars. Comedians have also mucked in. Billy Connolly took to the skies with the 15 Parachute Regiment, completing several jumps, though he never saw active service. But its most notable alumnus has to be one 2nd Lieutenant Elizabeth Windsor. The then Princess swapped her crown for a crankshaft during the Second World War as a mechanic with the Auxiliary Territorial Service.

There is a minimum period of service in the TA of three years. Recruits are free to leave after that if they want, though they can extend their service for several years at a time. Most will have to train for between 19 to 27 days each year, including a two-week annual camp, so TA soldiers have to sacrifice a good slice of their free time.

Numbers have fallen dramatically since 1997, with some blaming the lengthy tours of duty many are asked to perform on account of the UK's major overseas military commitments.

cont...
 
#2
RP578 said:
The Big Question: What does the Territorial Army do, and how has it changed?

A nice piece in today's Independent (though still riddled with inaccuracies). Interestingly they class HM's service in the ATS as making her an ex-STAB, which I suppose she was.

Why are we asking this now?

Because in the year of its centenary, the Territorial Army, made up of people from all walks of life who give up weekends, holidays and even head off on six-month stints on active duty abroad, has been hit by tragedy this week. Three reservists, Corporal Sean Robert Reeve of the Royal Signals, Lance Corporal Richard Larkin and Paul Stout, were killed alongside Corporal Sarah Bryant of the Intelligence Corps when their armoured Land Rover was hit by a roadside bomb. The nature of their mission has shattered old impressions of exactly what TA regiments do. Far from guarding bases or making the grub, the three men from the 23rd SAS regiment were part of a secret counter-intelligence mission, monitoring Taliban activity.

The incident, which was the biggest loss of life for the TA since the Second World War, underlined the fact that TA soldiers are now a key plank of Britain's defence forces. The old tags of "Sunday soldiers" or "weekend warriors" seem well and truly out of date.

What kinds of people join the TA?

Just like those ever-present recruitment TV ads say, recruits are plumbers, builders, lawyers and even MPs – David Davis served his time in the TAs, and Winston Churchill was the commanding officer of a TA regiment, the Oxfordshire Hussars. Comedians have also mucked in. Billy Connolly took to the skies with the 15 Parachute Regiment, completing several jumps, though he never saw active service. But its most notable alumnus has to be one 2nd Lieutenant Elizabeth Windsor. The then Princess swapped her crown for a crankshaft during the Second World War as a mechanic with the Auxiliary Territorial Service.

There is a minimum period of service in the TA of three years. Recruits are free to leave after that if they want, though they can extend their service for several years at a time. Most will have to train for between 19 to 27 days each year, including a two-week annual camp, so TA soldiers have to sacrifice a good slice of their free time.

Numbers have fallen dramatically since 1997, with some blaming the lengthy tours of duty many are asked to perform on account of the UK's major overseas military commitments.

cont...
My Bold

That should cock up recruiting as people who read this will beleive that they cannot leave before the 3 years is up & so will be less inclined to enquire into a career.

Nice piece if they had got it right - Cheers Independant
 
#3
Toysoldier_1967 said:
That should c*** up recruiting as people who read this will beleive that they cannot leave before the 3 years is up & so will be less inclined to enquire into a career.
I don't think that would be true. How many people really would believe its something you can just walt z in and out of. Do you really want them in anyway?

Edited as I missed out the z. Freudian slip.
 
#4
Numbers have fallen dramatically since 1997, with some blaming the lengthy tours of duty many are asked to perform on account of the UK's major overseas military commitments
....and some of us would have said SDR...
 
#5
It's rather unfortunate that it takes three deaths before the general public starts taking us seriously.

And then only because the letters SAS are involved.
 
#6
mark1234 said:
It's rather unfortunate that it takes three deaths before the general public starts taking us seriously.

And then only because the letters SAS are involved.
Which planet are you orbiting?

msr
 
#8
I agree Mark. I spoke with a friend recently about the TA in Afghanistan - he has no particular interest in the military, and he was genuinely surprised when I told him about the contribution that the Territorials have been making in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately I suspect the "Weekend Warrior" image is still a prevalent view taken by most of the general public.
 
#9
Beak said:
I agree Mark. I spoke with a friend recently about the TA in Afghanistan - he has no particular interest in the military, and he was genuinely surprised when I told him about the contribution that the Territorials have been making in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately I suspect the "Weekend Warrior" image is still a prevalent view taken by most of the general public.
This again is something I have to disagree with unless you live in Royston Vasey.

But also why should they?
TA wear the same uniform as Regs. The TA are doing the same job as the Regs, why should they know and why does it matter. When they see the images on TV reservists aren't highlighted for the publics awareness.

If anything it is a good article and advert for the TA.
 
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