Discussion in 'Join the Army - Reserve Recruitment' started by Will90, Sep 30, 2010.
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You are quite welcome to just turn up. If you give them a ring in advance at least they know you'll be coming and can advise you off the best time to arrive to avoid waiting around too long if they are busy.
Take along your passport, driving licence, etc plus your educational certificates if you intend to pursue the TA Officer route so that they can take copies of everything.
To make the best impression dress smartly and do a little research on the unit before you go, you'll find useful info at British Army Website and under the TA RAC section of arrsepedia (follow the link above).
Why do people keep spouting this rubbish?
If you want to be an officer, possibly. Even then, no-one is going to turn away any realistic potential recruit because of how they are dressed. It is a first visit, not main board. They will be looking at the person in the clothes -right age, correct number of limbs, not morbidly obese (beyond usual TA standards), not the clothes themselves.
If you need to go straight from work on a building site, or in your usual clothes from university then do so. Don't be put off by people suggesting you need to get into your Sunday best in order to have a quick chat and pick up some forms to complete.
I did say 'to make the best impression'. Yes we'll take anyone that meets the entry criteria but first impressions do count. If a lad walks in to our recruiting office with his arrse hanging out looking like he hasn't had a wash or shave in a week am I likely to think 'potential TAPO' or 'potential time-waster'.
It isn't a necessity to turn up suited and booted but it's to your advantage to not look like you've been dragged through a hedge backwards.
I say again, utter bollocks.
Take the time to evaluate the person, not their dress. Are you absolutely sure that the applicant has not sprinted off work as soon as they could and then busted a gut to get to you on time? Home/work/TAC locations not really ideal for popping home for a wash and brush up before getting in?
The relevant grown up should interview the applicant, and identify their educational standards. If they meet the TAPO requirements, then schedule a date for interview with the Adjt/OC or however your unit does it. At that point warn them off that they should make an effort to look smart for the interview.
The TA is not exactly brimming with manpower, and TAPOs are even thinner on the ground. If your CO finds out that people are not being given a warm reception and a consistent approach whatever their dress state, stand by.
Wil 90, C Sqn are a good bunch and are bound to make you feel welcome.
Duke, I can understand your point about being suited and booted but making a good first impression for pretty much anything is important. If you have obviously come straight off the building site that is one thing but turning up looking like a scruffy layabout because 'you should not have to make an effort, the TA is desperate enough to take anyone' is hardly the image I would want to portray to a potential recruit.
In my time in recruiting I would treat everyone equally but, in my experience, those who had made an effort initially were the ones more likely to turn up again and last the often long winded process that hinders the whole recruiting process.
I found that the ones who really wanted it and worked the hardest managed to pass, regardless of how they were dressed on their first (or even subsequent) visits.
Fat, sweating middle aged dreamer in a suit vs late teens/early 20s fit, enthusiastic, but in arrse hanging trousers and long hair?
One can be sorted by means of a quick haircut and a belt, the other is probably beyond help in the time available. I know which creates the best impression.
Oh I see, I didn't realise that everybody in a suit was, by default, a fat, sweating middle aged dreamer and equally that every scruffy twat that drags his knuckles in through the gate could be transformed into a steely eyed killer with a haircut and a belt.
My point was two fold;
1. It is, in effect, a job interview. Ask any civi, or military, interviewer if the scruffy twat who couldn't be arsed to put a belt on his trousers is going to get the job. Haircuts I will flex on but again think job interview.
2. More importantly, IMO, how much dedication is a young lad going to need to get through our wonderfully streamlined recruiting and trg process? If he can't even be arsed to brush his hair and spruce himself up then is he going to last the interminable drag that is the current process?
I agree with you that a suit is not compulsory but totally disagree that no effort should be made whatsoever, because the recruiter's crystal ball will see that he has a heart of gold and will turn out alright in the end.
To be honest I was pissed off 'back in the day' and remain so now at the staggeringly low standards that are applied to TA recruiting. Is quantity over quality really the ethos we want to go for? Yes current ops mean cannon fodder. Yes current attitude mean a high turnover, but how much of this is down to years of recruiting anyone who wants to play at soldiers before getting bored and leaving?
How much money has been wasted on recruits who only last five minutes before never being heard of again, apart from chasing kit returns?
Assuming recruiting is high and training slots are low, which I believe is still the case, then surely some application of standards would streamline the process hugely? Passing them on to other units, such as the infantry, because they will not cope with a technical trade is acceptable and encouraged under 'one army' recruitment, but should a Sqn waste resources on someone who will not serve with them?
Oops, ranting slightly there. In summary Duke, yes they should not have to wear a suit but you go too far the other way I feel.
You dont think that anyone should try to make the best impression they can in all areas of training, be it the initial interview or on being given their 1st command appointment at RMAS? You are right, it does not mean that they will definitely be of the required standard, just because they wear a suit; but it shows they are more serious about wanting the job if they dress as smartly as they can, and want to give a good impression of themselves.
Your analogy of a suited and fat 30 something compared to a young scrote is fatuous. Try a young scrote and the same young scrote who has made an effort (doesnt have to be a suit) but an effort. If he is willing to make an effort, it probably extends to other areas of his life. Im sure your regiment would like to recruit young blokes who are willing to go that extra mile in all areas of their life. Motivation to do well is what it is. Seems reasonable to me.
Bar that, turn up, see what the unit is like, interview them in the same way that you are interviewed to see if it offers what you want out of the TA. Go away, see other units, make your decision, go for it. Enjoy.
God help us all.
If we spent less time and energy fussing about what people wear, and instead thought more about how to get them through the door in the first place, the TA might be a bit less short of soldiers.
Stop being stupid. Don't you know that unless they turn up in a suit (or alternatively tweeds and a cravat for county regiments) then they are no use to man nor beast and should be shown the door immediately. No matter how fit, keen, and ready to train the potential recruit is he will be turned away on initial application unless he is turned out like Little Lord Fauntleroy.
For those quoting "job interview" - pull your head out of your arses. You are dealing with people making an initial enquiry to join an organisation that needs them far more than they need it. Worry about their state of dress once they have signed the paperwork and are on parade in uniform. It is only at that point that it becomes an issue (less POs at formal interviews).
Their initial selection is done at the TARS - everything before that is just administration. Further selection (really only self selection for the RTC system as very few are actually "failed") is conducted at RTCs. Anyone carrying out an initial filter or assesment based on dress should be sacked from a recruiting post.
I think this is where we will have to agree to disagree but I feel you do raise a valid point. Why do we need them more than they need us?
On the one hand we need bodies for Ops and a constant throughput of volunteers in exactly the same way as the Regular Army and, indeed, any other voluntary organisation.
On the other I think that is being missed is that we need to also recruit for quality as well as quantity. Because we have this mindset of recruiting as many bods as possible and take little notice of how long they stay in, retention positive management and 'career' management we are going to seriously struggle post Op Entirety. A high turnover means that JNCO's and SNCO's will be in short supply because nobody hangs aroung long enough to promote.
I think that the TA need to think post Op Entirety, as most Regular units are doing and consider how, and who, will run the TA at ground level in the future.
Of course if the upcoming review turns us all into infantry reserves, there purely to fill numbers, then please ignore all of the above!
Finally, why should a PO wear a suit when no-one else should bother to even brush their hair?
This sort of thing is more prevalent than you might think. I spent a few (not especially successful) years with a Yeomanry Regt that insisted its officers wear shirts and ties with combats. Apparently a faded and ripped norgie shirt was considered not quite the thing. To my eternal shame, I eventually (and briefly) conceded the point and gave in.
The Sqn photo in my loo stands in eternal reproach.
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