ATR Tp Comd

Discussion in 'RLC' started by happy_as_a_hat, Oct 24, 2005.

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  1. Thinking of doing Tp Comd job in Pirbright for a year. Fulfilling training the people who will take our Corps into the future or sh*t place with red tape?
    Please advise!
  2. Red tape all the way! ATRA are the enemy within!
  3. Have heard mixed things:

    1) Good, because you can plan your life.
    2) Bad, because you get treat like cr@p, extras up the ying yang and it's pretty unsatisfying as you can't deviate from the DS pink.

    That said if you are a chick theres loads of boyfriend material down there; every Platoon has a Sgt and at least three full Cpls!
  4. RTFQ


    If you're a non grad, go for it. Nothing to lose and don't listen to them when they tell you to do a long course. Oops, sorry that's a different topic entirely.

    ATRA is a pernicious little organisation that tries to replace initiative and leadership with procedure and back-covering (not your back mind), but if you get a job with a little wiggle room you can <gulp> 'make a difference.' To my mind ATR(P) was quite rigid and you had a set-in-stone training program. But the soldiers were green and maleable...and mostly very keen. My experience is from (jeez-US!) 4/5 years ago, but the real battle was being fought at Phase 2 training in 86 and 110 sqn in PRB/St Omer. If you want a challenge you will find few harder out there. It was thankless, exhausting and made you despise the powers that be within the RLC - no-one will recognise your efforts except those within the sqn. It was the mostly closely-knit unit (amongst the staff at least) and the most rewarding thing I've done. I'm sure things have changed since the press arrived, so speak to someone more contemporary, but if you want to have an impact on the mentality and morale of the soldiers joining the RLC, and feel that corps comes before career (oh dear, I sound like a TV evangelist) both training establishments are worthwhile jobs. Go ATR if you want fresh minds to mold, go Phase 2 if you want to try to turn round the bored, the confused and those on the slippery discipline slope. There's no such thing as a lost cause. Or a bad soldier.
  5. nice 1!!!
  6. Nope, not a chick (thank f*ck) but i am interested in turning around the dross troops i have been cursed with coming from training (i don't know ehy they call in training cos they don't!).
    so, having looked at the poll and seen the results i'll change the question if i may; pirbright or deepcut?
  7. Don't go to Deepcut, very very boring, whereby you cannot say a thing or make any changes without it going to the top first, then you would have done your tour by the time you recieve a reply.
    St Omer is where the Chefs and Drivers go and you have a little more free reign on the troops than you do at Deepcut.
    Put the ZING back into them and let us see the junior element of the Corps being brough to bear. At least some credability may come back into the corps with people like yourself. :roll:
  8. ATRA needs to understand that while it's good to treat people nicely and wrap them up in cotton wool it is not producing effective, disciplined and motivated soldiers. The end state is guys and girls who turn up loud mouthed and ignorant and think they can shove their thumbs up their arses and get away with it. And whilst I appreciate that I just made a huge sweeping statement and that there have been some excellent soldiers come through recently, I'm afraid it is the truth for a great proportion of new trainees.

    Of course when these soldiers get to their units and display the training attitude they are no longer under the protective cover of ATRA and the Sgt Major can't wait to unleash the fury. When this inevitably happens the soldiers think their whole world has ended because they're not used to it and, as a result, we actually lose people (they don't like it and underperform).

  9. Hear Hear Blacky :x . Whilst in the training environment years ago, the cotton wool was very thick, however, there was a few good men to come through the system who i see out and about and yes they are good soldiers and tradesmen. The whole ethos of a training environment is to get them in and then it is up to the unit to do the rest, which by that point it is to late for some of them.
  10. I was a Troop Commander in Pirbright for a year. As an Infanteer when I heard about my posting I thought it was the end of the world to be sent away from the Battaliom , especially to teach Phase 1 loggies. To my complete suprise it was a very enjoyable and fulfilling period - genuinely.

    A couple of random thoughts...

    The Work - Yes the CMS(R) programme is restrictive in terms of what you do. However how you go about it is pretty much your own business. I was in an RLC squadron and, aside from two visits to my exercises, I was left to crack on as I saw fit. Discipline, the quality of the teaching, the exercises, the "tone" of each Troop - its all up to you and your team.

    I got a great sense of satisfaction out of being part of a good training team - moulding a group, bringing them on, coaching them through hard times and seeing them pass off. I won't deny that at times its extremely frustrating to deal with some pretty pathetic individuals but - your recruits look up to your team, and their personal and professional development is a direct result of *your* effort.

    Standards - Yes there is a great deal of debate and criticism about these within and without the ATRs. The concentration on first-time pass percentages, APWT scores etc leads to rivalry between OCs and tacit endorsement of cheating. However it is down to YOU to maintain the standards and defend your corner, despite the consequences.

    "Look here Lt Charlie what the hell went wrong with your troop's APWT? Cleall Troop had a 90% pass rate." "Well sir our range was well run - the first round went down the range at 0800, there was a fast turn around, no break for lunch, Cpls taught revision to waiting details, and we maintained a positive atmosphere on the firing point. Furthermore I arranged for those who hadn't passed to retake it the next morning with another troop on the larger range, having provided the NCOs and ammunition for them to do so. Cleall Troop, on the other hand, abandoned the standing shoot, the use of respirators on the NBC phase and fired kneeling practices from the prone position."

    To keep high standards you need to be efficient. There are a series of practical targets which are easy, aside from the APWT. After all, whos going to fail CMS(R) on The Country Code or won't be able to grasp fire and manouvre? The most important aspect, however, is the obvious "in my experience and opinion does this recruit have the core soldier skills which will make him a self-disciplined, robust, honest team player aside from his trade skills?" If the answer is "No" then they shouldn't pass out. HOWEVER! You've got to be able to show a track record on these intangible qualities - high quality, reliable reports by the NCOs backed up by warnings etc. Then you've got the proof to bin them if they're not up to it.

    This takes a lot of concentration and effort. In my experience the JNCOs and, to a lesser extent SNCOs and officers, who complained most were the ones who didn't put the effort into quality coaching and consistent monitoring. After all, it is easier to say "the systems shit" than do something about it. Its what you make of it. As an officer you can, if you wish, get away with a respectable bare minimum, leave your NCOs to crack on and enjoy a relaxed year. Or you can put a lot in, get a lot out, and still have time for a much better quality of life than in a standard infantry battalion.

    Annoyances - As RTFQ alluded to, there's a lot of paperwork. No two ways about that. Also discipline. Personally I thought it wasn't too bad. Coming from a Scots Inf Bn I found it refreshing not to have to deal with AWOL, assault, battery, breach of peace every week. There are many forms of punishment at your disposal - sending to the guardroom, shows, warnings, getting them charged. But you must have the paperwork to back it up. However any aspect of "bullying" or "cruelty" get jumped on from an enourmous height. Just a couple of exaggerations in some recruits' diary about punishments, allegations of bullying etc and the world falls on your head. You don't always have the full complement of NCOs - they can change quite frequently. Also some Infantry Regiments dump the guys they don't want - after all the best get sent to Catterick. You lose quite a few weekends on ex s etc - but more stability and routine than the field army and the added bonus of more subbies to cover duties. After your third troop, yes your will to live does start to wane a lot. It even more of a problem for the NCOs who are there for two years. Also some RLC JNCOs really have a point to prove and try the whole Gunny Highway approach with shaky basic military skills themselves.

    Plus Points - Cracking mess life, exposure to other arms (I'd never worked alongside anyone outside to my Bn prior to Pirbright and was a definate G3 snob) relatively short working days when in camp, near to London, more chance of doing AT (where the f uck did that disappear to?), working in a close-knit gang with some really good NCOs.

    In summary - there were times that I thought it was completely toss to be training recruits and losing some weekends instead of being properly warry. But then when I went back to the field army I re-realised what being busy was really all about.

    Take the job.

    Its far better than some bonk RD job like Coy/Sqn 2ic. But make sure you take your spine with you and have the courage deliver good training despite laziness and cynicism among a few NCOs and the politicing of brown-nosing OCs.

    Edited to say feel free to PM me if you've any questions.
  11. Been offered a place at ATR Harrogate.
    Anyone know about it?
  12. Apparently it’s like being a youth leader for a load of over sexed 16 year olds coming to terms with their hormones and genitals for the first time.

    You are probably best posting this in the Trg Wing forum as you are more likely to find MTIs and Regimental Scotsmen who have served there.