THis is going to be briefed down the chain of command. Military Annual Training Tests will be introduced to the Regular Army from 1 Apr 06, but are to be implemented for the TA over a period of 2 years. THis is partly because of the bounty issue (TA Regs currently require ITDs to be done, not MATTs) and partly because of a new Tri-Service Reserves Regulation thing that is to be brought in.
The TA fitness policy is still being staffed, but essentially you are right that TACFT will increase to 6 miles, then 8 over a period. What may be more worrying for some is if the Fitness Assessment becomes a Fitness Test which must be passed twice annnually to qualify for bounty. I know an awful lot of TA wallahs who can put their heads down and get round a CFT (even an 8-miler) but have pretty awful grades on BPFA.
What may be more worrying for some is if the Fitness Assessment becomes a Fitness Test which must be passed twice annnually to qualify for bounty. I know an awful lot of TA wallahs who can put their heads down and get round a CFT (even an 8-miler) but have pretty awful grades on BPFA.
2006 - BPFA plus 4 miles CFT
2007 - BPFA plus 6 miles CFT
2008 - BPFA plus 8 miles CFT
In theory you do the BPFA get advised how to improve your fitness (possibly by TA corporate Gym membership) then undertake CFT, but it is important to realise that all PTI's are have not been educated enough to deliver this fully. Their training has been extended to 3 two week courses (plus weekend modules), only the first two of these courses should be running this year and the advanced one next year.
The idea is that soldiers arrive at Chilwell fit as they can't fix fitness problems in a short time.
I was told 6 miles came in this year, in the autumn, and 8 was 2007. But I get told all sorts of contradictory guff.
I do hope there is more comprehensive training, say 2 or three weekends, prior to the higher level CFT. I worry about what will happen to the guys who barely scrape through the current CFT, I don't like to see people biff out from lack of adequate training.
Can you sack people for not being fit enough - no
Can the TA provide enough time for fitness training - no
How much fitness can you demand people do unpaid in their own time - none
Is there a solution to this - ?
The whole thing is just so litigious. In the regs we had to do some much build up trg for the CFT in the preceeding weeks. I hate to think where the time and attendance for this training is going to be found. Whilst I completely agree that we should be doing 8 miles, the fact that this is all a part of MATTs and the ethos of being able to do all tests in one weekend is slightly flawed. I suppose if anything, it'll get rid of the lazy gits who bounty hunt and cynically speaking, who cares if we lose a few bad soldiers and our figures fall, any positive recruiting that we've done over the last 18 months is about to count for bugger all as FAS cocks the orbats up. This one army concept is rot. I'm personally thinking of re-roling my sqn to a picnic recce unit and heading out for some scenic spots to camp out and take in the pretty views for the weekend, which strangely enough ain't too dissimilar to what we do now.
Im regular, I deployed on Telic with a TA unit, imagine my joy as I and the 8 other regs had to do the extra 4 mile lap of the Chilwell CFT compared to everyone else. Certainly was a team building exercise!
The drive towards converting the TA into bronzed muscle gods capable of towing artics with their teeth while running a CFT backwards is all well and good but has anyone thought out the practicalities yet ? Optimism is no substitute for planning.
Currently my unit doesn't have enough PTIs, so much so that finding one for a CFT once a year is a major strain. Soldiers don't join up to be PTIs and once they do the course they spend very little time doing the job they joined to do. Recently onlookers witnessed the few we have being rushed straight from participating in the forced march section of our annual mil skills competition to running the assault course for everyone else - not something guaranteed to bring forth a rush of applicants for the course.
So how we find enough PTIs for two fitness assessments plus CFT per year - plus training for the new standard - beats me. Denying soldiers their bounty because we can't provide a PTI to assess them - or because they miss the single weekend one is available as they're burying their granny - is not placing retention on the main effort in my book.
And as for three fortnight camps to fully qualify as a PTI - words fail me. That's at least three calendar years for the average soldier. I would expect that if they could do more than one camp a year they'd do the trade course, promotion course - oh, and the "must attend every three years" Bn camp so as not to suffer a career foul rather than an extra PTI course.
Realistically then we'll have adopted the policy before we've trained the PTIs to deliver it. Or is this yet another way the TA is being made incompatible with a civvy job, leaving it full of students and long term unemployed as a scource of cheap labour for the regs ?
Reaction of TA soldier to six month warning - do not attend training for six months.
Reaction of TA soldier to extra duties on weekend - "Whoops, got to look after the kids, wife is going away"
Reaction of soldier to extra duties on training evening - "Sorry, got to work late"
The only effective sanction you have against someone who volunteers every time they walk through the door is to discharge them.