Bin drill nights??

#1
Could have really put this in the TA review thread but ...

We have units who do weekly drill nights and around 2 weekends a month

plus units who do weekends every other month (specialists - UK wide)

Is their grounds for doing something in between??? Tuesdays for me include 1.5 hours traveling, on top of an intensive work day I'm normally worn out. Weekends are ok, especially if I can have a late Friday start after warming down from normal work (doing this at the weekend if OK'd by unit).

I don't fancy long trips to remote specialist units but a regional weekend only would be fine.
 
#2
My old unit talked of binning drill nights due to the budget. However although not much gets done, it does provide a link, if somewhat slender. If there were a closedown weekend and no drill nights, how long before many lost the will and motivation to turn up for the actual weekends ?

I suppose a lot depends on personal circumstances, motivation and actual training undertaken on the drill night.
 
#3
Polar,

i dont do many tuesday nights, its a 3hr round trip for me then an early start in the morning 8O , so i only go if something important is on the cards, but drill night are required, if not half of the training weekend would be sorting out the admin crap!! that is generated through the week and preparing the equip for the weekends training!:D

but it would probably depent on the type of unit your with!
 
#4
Less drill nights and more weekends may suit national units or trained soldiers, but will it offer training and support for recruits?

And what about the social element? :D
 
#5
The Drill night is usually the only chance most lads get to find out what's happening this weekend and what kit to bring/pack/prepare for. It gives me the best chance to sort what signals kit I need to supply and make sure it's working correctly and prepare so that on Friday night all I have to do is issue out kit, meaning we can get away and either get our heads down before midnight or start training early. A drill night allows WHT's to be carried out before a Range weekend, rather than losing an hour before enough people have passed WHT's and we can start shooting. Every second spent on a drill night prepping for the coming weekend can save hours on the weekend.

It also helps to encourge the lads to come in for the weekend.
 
#6
I travel 150 mile round trip and 3 hours, generally getting home at midnight. I then have to get up at 6am the next day and travel to work, generally to tired to put decent amount of effort into either but have to turn up to stop getting winged at!!!

It’s so frustrating making the effort to go in skipping dinner only to find nothing is planned, and getting asked where you were the previous week.
 
#7
It's a long time ago in my case but I imagine that with the reduction in the number of units it's no longer a case of walk or cycle to the TAC, learn a bit, do some work , have a couple of beers and go home. The format is still the same as it was in 1908 when it would have worked a lot better. Add a 30 mile drive at each end and it starts to look a lot less attractive.
 
#8
Drill nights were the main reason I decided against the TA and went for the RAuxAF.

Given the job that I do, I couldn't guarantee being around to get there.

Way back when I was TA, drill nights were a waste of everyone's time. Parade; bit of PT; a lesson that you did last week, repeated because there were only seven of you in; tea-break; lesson that you did three weeks ago etc; and finally bar.

I sincerely hope that things have changed, but from what I saw when I went visiting the local Units trying to figure out where to go, maybe not that much!

Never had any dramas with the RAuxAF training weekends really. We're told to bring all issued kit as per packing lists and SOPs. The addition of a sports bag with a change of civvies and off you go, covered for everything.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#9
It may be the way ahead with recruit processing and training done centrally by large sub units and RTTs.
 
#10
What would people consider 'best practice' for drill nights?

That is, if Carlsberg did tuesday night training, what would it be like....?
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#11
Even if there's only half a dozen lads in you can still always go for a tab/run/PT session. Save you paying for a gym! Luckily we have both a PTI and ETL at our subunit (with plans for more in the pipeline) so we have that option, though thankfully it's been a good long while since our numbers were so low (less than a dozen) that that was our only option.
 
#12
It's the people in the unit that make drill nights fun or crap.

No need to bin them, we get a lot done and have a few beers and a laugh, if your a miserable chap then it's a self forthiling prophecy that drill nights will be sh1t.
 
#13
I have never been a fan of drill nights. They are only useful for fitness, kit prep/admin (not moving chairs from one end of the TAC to the other) and social nights. After having been at an RTC for a considerable length of time, going back to the TAC on a drill night is a nause.

In fact Polar your right bin drill nights, bin weekend training. Oh, what will I do now? Spend time with Mrs Willis or maybe even those little folk that run around the house.

TA, stick it up your arrse! am off!
 
#14
I don't mind drill nights what has always gripped my sh1t is the Friday night faff on weekends. How many people have seen this scenario more times than they care to mention;

1. All kit packed and checked on drill night.
2. Parade at 18.30.
3. Admin Vortex hits TAC (for no apparent reason) and 18.30 drifts into 19.30.....by 20.00 it's getting silly. Oh Fred's stuck on the M25 blah blah.
4. Might as well get some scoff. Dial a pizza (delayed because of Friday evening)
5. Pizza turns up 21.00 just in time to hear the four tonners revving up - now you are faffing as some jack b'stard has left your bergin by the drill hall.
6. 21.30 finally leave TAC..........often it is later.
7. Arrive training area at stupid o'clock - standby for admin brief - and many hours later begin training.....

The Friday evening of weekends is often wasted - that should be binned IMHO
 
#15
FARMBOY said:
I don't mind drill nights what has always gripped my sh1t is the Friday night faff on weekends. How many people have seen this scenario more times than they care to mention;

1. All kit packed and checked on drill night.
2. Parade at 18.30.
3. Admin Vortex hits TAC (for no apparent reason) and 18.30 drifts into 19.30.....by 20.00 it's getting silly. Oh Fred's stuck on the M25 blah blah.
4. Might as well get some scoff. Dial a pizza (delayed because of Friday evening)
5. Pizza turns up 21.00 just in time to hear the four tonners revving up - now you are faffing as some jack b'stard has left your bergin by the drill hall.
6. 21.30 finally leave TAC..........often it is later.
7. Arrive training area at stupid o'clock - standby for admin brief - and many hours later begin training.....

The Friday evening of weekends is often wasted - that should be binned IMHO
While I have experienced all of the above (less the dial a pizza, because I live in the sticks). If you bin Friday night then the nightmare moves into Saturday morning. Bin Drill nights make every weekend a Friday night start.
 
#16
Before you know the night has gone - Parade 19.30 fall out sigs, MT, stores etc. Stores checks, impending inspections and gate guards. Ppl wandering round trying to sort admin or pay.

I think a more productive and sensible idea would be to bin them and instead of the TAC open alternate weekends, the Saturdays between can be made admin days.

Parade 08.00/09.00 Admin first hour Depts do their stuff and any bounty quals can be covered for those who attend.

A board can be mounted on the wall announcing that there will be a CFT on... if there are sufficient numbers. Ppl enter names and if enough CFT.

Ppl who attend on the Sat will have an option of booking on for a half day or full days training. This will both save money and enable those who have committments to attend to them. Family etc.

Stores can be loaded for the following weekend if required, a little planning may be required here.

This way the TAC does not have all the lights on and heating blasting out, with ppl wandering around achieving the square root of fcuk all.
 
#17
Taffnp said:
Before you know the night has gone - Parade 19.30 fall out sigs, MT, stores etc. Stores checks, impending inspections and gate guards. Ppl wandering round trying to sort admin or pay.

I think a more productive and sensible idea would be to bin them and instead of the TAC open alternate weekends, the Saturdays between can be made admin days.

Parade 08.00/09.00 Admin first hour Depts do their stuff and any bounty quals can be covered for those who attend.

A board can be mounted on the wall announcing that there will be a CFT on... if there are sufficient numbers. Ppl enter names and if enough CFT.

Ppl who attend on the Sat will have an option of booking on for a half day or full days training. This will both save money and enable those who have committments to attend to them. Family etc.

Stores can be loaded for the following weekend if required, a little planning may be required here.

This way the TAC does not have all the lights on and heating blasting out, with ppl wandering around achieving the square root of fcuk all.
If the review Bods are reading this thread the above gets my vote as a very sensible option and best use of resources all round. What a clever idea - I think attendance and retention would shoot up too - I would much rather do a Saturday morning than a Wed night - missus would approve too.
 
#18
Best idea I had for ages - my head hurts now :)
 
#19
ugly said:
It may be the way ahead with recruit processing and training done centrally by large sub units and RTTs.

I strongly suspect that if too much is done by central locations far too few people would bother to turn up to join the TA in the first place. The first draw to new bodies is how close to their home/place of work is the TAC. If it takes too long to travel there they wouldn't bother.

Case in point. My platoon location was intended to be the infantry choice for a city, a major town and various smaller towns. Post SDR we have had not one single new body form outside the major city we're based in. In effect those bodies who could have been interested in joining a TA infantry unit have not bothered as it's too far to travel.
 
#20
Its a tricky one and does has merit in many ways, though again as many have stated it provides that vital link between the chain of command and the troops and given the way that information systems to flow, ensures that soldiers know where and when they have to be.

Email has certainly changed how easy it is to distribute info regarding weekend training and perhaps if drill nights were binned then it might be possible to disseminate all the beatup info this way. What I think the Tuesday, Wednesday etc nights give is a sense of community and family to the unit. A chap I know in a RAFaux unit down the road from my unit only trains at weekends and it's clear this his unit do not have the same level of cohension that my TA unit does.

Most of my troops have commutes of under twenty minutes to get to TAC which seems about right. Having transferred from another Sqn, I have a longer commute of an hour and I use that time to decompress from work, though of course it means that much a longer day.
 

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