Celebrating 100 years of the Territorial Force/Army

#1
As ARRSE is, by definition, a rumour service, here's an actual, real, live rumour from a meejah friend:

"I was going to drop you a line today because yesterday when I was in a coffee shop between meetings I found myself eavesdropping on two people who were discussing how to pitch to be the PR company for the TA's big anniversary celebrations and wondering whether you would be involved in organising things."

Although I don't want to blow anyone's cover, wouldn't it be a good idea to start generating some excitement about this now, given that we have less than a year to go (01 Apr 08)?

And given that my TA job involves recruitment (well, in a sense, it's part of all our jobs), wouldn't it be a good idea if the powers that be told me (and the rest of us) that there are plans afoot?

Should I have to rely on the keen ears of my spies in the coffee houses of the metropolis? I know it's more fun that way, but still ...
 
#5
IMHO with the lack of money I am afraid that if it is a swap between MTDs for unit training and TA100 then it is the former.
If more money comes from the TLB then more than happy to parade or whatever.
ET
 
#7
If I hadn't read it on ARRSE, I wouldn't have even known that the TA had disappeared!

The old Green and Yellow budgie sign is still prevalent everywhere.
 
#8
Interior. Day. A high-ceilinged Georgian room. Bright light streams through the large windows, but no dust motes cloud the air. Leather chairs. Book-room red wallpaper. A man in service dress, deep in thought, steps back away from the window, to face an averagely good-looking public sector meejah girl.

Man: You know, it really has me stumped, all this.

Young woman: What, sir?

Man: This. This TA malarkey. Anniversary, and all that.

Young woman: Oh, poor you. I know you have all sorts of things troubling you.

Man: I do. I really do, you know? And these TA chaps want to throw a party! Don't they know there's a war on?

Young woman: Two, I thought. And I think they do know.

Man: Anyway, we're busy. Besides, Chairman Brown won't give us any more cash.

Young woman: Did you ask for any?

Man: Yep. He said: "We paid them already. What more do they want? A great big thank-you from the nation? Parades? Bands? Ticker-tape?" I said: "Funny that. I think that is what they reckon they deserve." Do you know what he said? He said: "We already have to do a big show like that for Tony - I'm not paying for another." Jesus.

Young woman [stands]: I hate it when he talks to you like that.

Man: Don't worry, sweetie. He's not going to be in a position to bother me for long. Anyway, back to the problem. How on earth do we, with no money, throw a big party for tens of thousands of volunteers?

Young woman: Ask the tens of thousands of volunteers to volunteer to help out?

Man [agitated]: Aha! But that's exactly what they want us to do!

Young woman [confused]: I'm not sure I understand.

Man: Don't you see? As soon as we involve them, we admit we can't do it without them! We can't have that!

Young woman: But ... aren't we ...

Man [terse]: What? Involving them on ops. Relying on them?

Young woman [brightly]: Yeah - that's what I'm getting at. Can't we use that plus the anniversary to really sell the TA?

Man [livid]: And admit to everyone that we can't even organise a party, still less a war, without them? Are you deranged?

Young woman [cross, hurt]: So, what do you suggest?

Man: Let's draft a paper about the plans. Keep it under wraps until about February. Include lots of work for the TA to do. Release it to their chain of command as our little Valentine's Day love note to them. They'll scramble to try to sort something out but they won't manage it in time.

Young woman [nodding]: But ...

Man: And let's arrange a major offensive on HERRICK or TELIC to coincide with the start of April. Get the press coverage to focus on that, using some juicy embed opportunities. There will be TA people involved in that but we can make sure that the usual policy of not mentioning TA numbers out there is followed in press releases. That way, any press coverage of the TA having their toy-town parades on the high street will be against the background of images of our boys fighting overseas.

Young woman [adoringly]: You are the master.

Man: Sweetie ...
 
#9
Dr_Evil said:
Interior. Day. A high-ceilinged Georgian room. Bright light streams through the large windows, but no dust motes cloud the air. Leather chairs. Book-room red wallpaper. A man in service dress, deep in thought, steps back away from the window, to face an averagely good-looking public sector meejah girl.

Man: You know, it really has me stumped, all this.

Young woman: What, sir?

Man: This. This TA malarkey. Anniversary, and all that.

Young woman: Oh, poor you. I know you have all sorts of things troubling you.

Man: I do. I really do, you know? And these TA chaps want to throw a party! Don't they know there's a war on?

Young woman: Two, I thought. And I think they do know.

Man: Anyway, we're busy. Besides, Chairman Brown won't give us any more cash.

Young woman: Did you ask for any?

Man: Yep. He said: "We paid them already. What more do they want? A great big thank-you from the nation? Parades? Bands? Ticker-tape?" I said: "Funny that. I think that is what they reckon they deserve." Do you know what he said? He said: "We already have to do a big show like that for Tony - I'm not paying for another." Jesus.

Young woman [stands]: I hate it when he talks to you like that.

Man: Don't worry, sweetie. He's not going to be in a position to bother me for long. Anyway, back to the problem. How on earth do we, with no money, throw a big party for tens of thousands of volunteers?

Young woman: Ask the tens of thousands of volunteers to volunteer to help out?

Man [agitated]: Aha! But that's exactly what they want us to do!

Young woman [confused]: I'm not sure I understand.

Man: Don't you see? As soon as we involve them, we admit we can't do it without them! We can't have that!

Young woman: But ... aren't we ...

Man [terse]: What? Involving them on ops. Relying on them?

Young woman [brightly]: Yeah - that's what I'm getting at. Can't we use that plus the anniversary to really sell the TA?

Man [livid]: And admit to everyone that we can't even organise a party, still less a war, without them? Are you deranged?

Young woman [cross, hurt]: So, what do you suggest?

Man: Let's draft a paper about the plans. Keep it under wraps until about February. Include lots of work for the TA to do. Release it to their chain of command as our little Valentine's Day love note to them. They'll scramble to try to sort something out but they won't manage it in time.

Young woman [nodding]: But ...

Man: And let's arrange a major offensive on HERRICK or TELIC to coincide with the start of April. Get the press coverage to focus on that, using some juicy embed opportunities. There will be TA people involved in that but we can make sure that the usual policy of not mentioning TA numbers out there is followed in press releases. That way, any press coverage of the TA having their toy-town parades on the high street will be against the background of images of our boys fighting overseas.

Young woman [adoringly]: You are the master.

Man: Sweetie ...
Do you know, I'm very reliably informed (which means I'm 'Chatham House'-safe) that a regional Bde Comd, recently queried why the lack of budget for TA100 was an issue and was then surprised when the assembled mess started mentioning things like: his formation MTD limits, coaches to take families to whatever it turns out to be; some form of refreshments; a beer for the old comrades...

The conversation rather quickly turned to other things.

Apparently.

So I'm lead to believe.

Last month.
 
#10
We have no money.

So it's an early finish on a Tuesday night , and then up to the bar for a Curry supper and a few cans.

Possibly a rendition of "Happy Birthday TA" by our youngest subbie, who is about 12.
 
#11
PartTimePongo said:
We have no money.

So it's an early finish on a Tuesday night , and then up to the bar for a Curry supper and a few cans.

Possibly a rendition of "Happy Birthday TA" by our youngest subbie, who is about 12.
How do you do that, then? Our youngest subbie is on his third extension of service...
 
#12
don't forget that it's the anniversary of the RFCA's as well (TAVRA for you older subbies).

Oh, and by the way, there isn't any money (did you know that already?) so it's all being done on the back of normal training pretending to be TA100 so that it get's some PR value (sorry 'Army in Society').

Oh, and there is a TA100WG (working Group) which is very high powered and has made loads of decisions (mainly about it's own terms of reference) so rest assured, the CofC is on the case (of whisky).

No worries there then.

Ideas so far include naming a train.
 
#14
I don't care what they do to celibrate, as long as the coachs are there at 12 on the dot on Sunday.
 
#15
can't afford coaches.

Perhaps they could name a coach instead?
 
#16
On Friday 17th June 1958 to celebrate Golden Jubilee of the TA, the Territorial Army units of the City of London were invited by the Corporation of London to exercise their right to march through the City with "flags flying, drums beating, and beyonets fixed". A reception was held afterwards in the Guildhall. I have a copy of the programme.

Fifty years ago the strength of the TA in London was greater than the size of the whole TA today. In 1958 the TA in London could boast 2 armoured regiments, 13 infantry battalions, 1 Para Bn, 21 SAS regt, 4 signal regiments, 3 engineer regiments, plus numerous units of RA, RAOC, RASC, RAMC and of course the HAC.
 
#17
sandy_boots said:
On Friday 17th June 1958 to celebrate Golden Jubilee of the TA, the Territorial Army units of the City of London were invited by the Corporation of London to exercise their right to march through the City with "flags flying, drums beating, and beyonets fixed". A reception was held afterwards in the Guildhall. I have a copy of the programme.

Fifty years ago the strength of the TA in London was greater than the size of the whole TA today. In 1958 the TA in London could boast 2 armoured regiments, 13 infantry battalions, 1 Para Bn, 21 SAS regt, 4 signal regiments, 3 engineer regiments, plus numerous units of RA, RAOC, RASC, RAMC and of course the HAC.
But did they NAME a train....?
 
#18
From the Army Web site - no mention of the Golden Jubilee or a train. See highlighted text - history repeating itself?

Formation of the Territorial Force

In 1907 Parliament passed legislation which saw the consolidation of the yeomanry and volunteers into the Territorial Force. The first units were stood up on 1st April 1908, and this date is accepted as the birth of what we know today as the Territorial Army.
The Territorial Force was mobilised in August 1914, its soldiers fighting alongside, and indistinguishable from, the Regular Army. Upon demobilisation in 1918 Territorial Force units were disbanded, but were reconstituted in 1920 as the part-time Territorial Army.

The Territorial Army in 1939

As war clouds loomed over Europe in the early months of 1939, the Government authorized the ‘duplication’ of all Territorial Army units, thereby doubling the size of the TA.
On the outbreak of hostilities in September 1939, the Territorial Army was mobilized and its units absorbed into the British Army. When the Army demobilised in 1946 the TA was temporarily suspended, but was reconstituted in 1947as a part-time reservist force similar to its pre-1939 structure.

The Cold War Years

During the 1950s and 1960s the Government allowed the Territorial Army to become seriously under-manned and poorly-equipped. In 1967 a poorly-advised and heavy-handed attempt at reinvigorating the reserves led to a virtual abolition of the regimental system among the reserves.
Realising the error of its ways, the government set out in 1971 to increase the size of the reserves, creating many new battalions. Subsequent expansions and reorganizations over the following 20 years meant that, by the early 1990s, the regimental system was almost totally re-established.
Throughout this period of fluctuating fortunes, the Territorial Army was never regarded as a particularly useable or effective force, either by the Government of the day or by the Regular Army. With the image of a ‘force of last resort’, its role was, at least unofficially, seen as home defence.

Recent cutbacks

In 1998 the Labour Government announced what it called the ‘Strategic Defence Review’, which would make the Army more relevant and effective in meeting the demands of the post-Cold War era and the 21st century.
The Territorial Army was the hardest-hit and within it, the infantry suffered most with 87 companies in 33 battalions reducing to 67 companies in 15 battalions. While the measures allowed for at least one company from each of the 33 battalions to survive to continue their regiments' identities, the result was that thousands of experienced and loyal personnel had their service terminated.

A New Purpose

The final years of the 1990s and the turn of the Millennium saw the Territorial Army assume a more high-profile role. As the Regular Army became increasingly engaged in overseas operations, the TA moved from being a ‘force of last resort’ to become the ‘reserve of first choice’ in supporting the Regulars. Some 6900 personnel were mobilised for Operation TELIC, the invasion of Iraq, and the TA continues to provide around 1,200 troops each year to support the Regular Army in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans.
In 2004 the Government announced a radical restructuring of the Army, leading to the realignment of the TA as reserves of the regular regiments. Under TA Rebalancing, 15 TA infantry battalions were reduced to 14, but the overall strength of the force remained the same.
 
#20
Handy link, although I must stress that I am not repeating that thread. My points were that decisions are being made late and we're not hearing about those that have been made.

How hard would it be to organise something akin to the 1958 hoolie? If London's not appropriate for the parade, how about a city in the Midlands?
 

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