Changes in the Wake of SDSR

Discussion in 'OTC' started by Main_Effort, Oct 24, 2010.

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  1. We all knew change was likely in this increasingly stretched age, and for my UOTC it has now come.
    Firstly is we are no longer affiliated to a university. We are at a minimum loosing the "U" in the name and could be going much further. The capbadge and all uni referances will also go.

    Our first year intake is increasing by 50% and they will be paid in a series of lump sums as opposed to a daily rate. First years will no longer be attested and will instead be under a system more similar to "look at life courses"

    Second years must have an intention to go regular/TA officer and as such will have to have begun the process of AOSB.

    Control will no longer be in brigade and instead will rest in Sandhurst, and in all likelihood (has not been finalised) we will be badged as such.

    All (TA)officers under training will now join their local OTC to undergo training.

    I also know of 2 OTC's that has been amalgamated.
    Anyone else experiencing similar changes?
  2. sorry but not interested in bloody students, more worried about real men losing work,

    boo hoo
  3. Intriguing, really interesting. As UOTCs were the first to have wages cut last time, and continue with little griping realistically then something must be expected, its the softest target, its group B TA, any anything which isnt proving a mix of real value for money and is used in current or expected conflicts is being hit.

    As far as I know so far, there are places being cut with a stricter system imposed for discipline also. Merging, and 'look at life' aspect for non committed members would fulfil its mission and still produce TASO officers which is a useful scheme for the TA.

  4. Armadilo
    This is an OTC forum, if its really so unimportant why are you reading/commenting on it?.
  5. I know some OTCs are likely to get the chop, but it seems to me that my unit has come out of this review in a stronger position than it went in.
    I don't know how the other Otc's are taking it but my lot seem to have taken it well, and realise that changes have to be made. We realise that we are rightly at the bottom of the pile when it comes money. A new group A role and sandhurst direction could cause serious changes in the current "drinking club" attitude.
  6. As far as I know, at my UOTC, not much has actually changed at all, though I've only had one drill night since the review came out, so it may be that the implications for us hadn't filtered down fully yet, and we'll find out on Wednesday. The only change that comes to mind from last year is a purely internal thing, as rather than first years choosing their preferred sub-unit within the UOTC, they're already allocated one. Which is nothing to do with the review.
  7. I'm a student, but not an OTC member (stayed in my TA unit instead). From what little I've been able to piece together:

    - OTC budget got cut to nothing last year sometime - now funded out of the TA budget. Much whining my end.
    - My local OTC is cheerfully recruiting and doesn't seem to have been impacted by SDR at all; admittedly I don't have much to do with them, mainly as they're trying to get me to join, but if anything there's more recruitment bumpf going round than there was last year.

    No info on other OTCs, but hopefully this will help a bit.
  8. Main efforts suggestions are very interesting. The SDSR Q&A sheet from MOD says there are no changes to UOTCs. Some of the changes ME mentions may stem from the earlier Review of OTCs, which concluded there should be stronger links to recruiting. However there was no suggestion of losing capbadges or amalgamations, although stronger direction by Sandhurst was mentioned.

    Has anyone else heard how this is being presented at unit level?
  9. Certain UOTCs are undertaking various trials, nothing is as yet set in stone as far as I'm aware, although there was a big shindig down at RMAS last week for heads of sheds.

    The changes aren't per se a result of SDSR but as a result of the on-going UOTC review/study, let's be clear - things will change.

    This is one option - ie not attesting properly until 2nd year - being trialled currently and looked at for feasibility, but its by no means the model that will be adopted, I'm not trying to give the impression that I know what's going on (not sure if anyone does...) but I'm just trying to prevent rumours appearing that "THIS IS WHAT WILL HAPPEN" when it's just a trial at the moment.

    Possibly, possibly not. Some UOTCs may form regional units controlled by a central HQ, some may not! Some CO's may be taken away, some may not! It's all ideas and speculation right now, best thing to do is "soldier on" and not worry about possible changes that might or might not head your way. You'll get briefed in due course
  10. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    The OTC review hasn't reported yet but the proposed way forwards is becoming much clearer.

    Firstly, with the exception of Scotland, where there is likely to be a 'Highland' and a Lowland' OTC, it is probable that the OTCs will be reorganised to follow existing regional brigade boundaries. Thus Exeter and Bristol will be merged; Northumbria, Leeds and Sheffield; East Midlands and Cambridge; Oxford and Southampton; Manchester and Liverpool. London, Brum, Wales and Queens/NI won't be merging. The existing UOTCs won't disappear but will become major's sub-unit commands, under a regional 'regimental' headquarters. OTCs will also take on responsibility for TAPO training from the RTC OTWs. The 'regional' units might be called OTCs or possibly 'Officer Training Regiments' or something of the sort; the individual UOTCs will probably retain their existing names, as sub-units.

    The first year for UOTC OCdts will be run on a 'look-at-life' basis for which they won't get paid. It will use military training to deliver a Chartered Management Institute accredited training package and successful participants will be given a training allowance/bounty at the end of each module if they complete it successfully. Selected candidates will be given the opportunity to attest into the TA, if they are prepared to commit to working towards a commission for their second year, and will receive Mod 2 training together with TAPOs. Mod 3 for UOTC and TAPO candidates will be run on a 'super-regional' basis.

    Errr, that's about it. Nothing has been finally settled yet and there will be much squeaking from various quarters before it is, but that is a rough outline of the most likely outcome.
  11. msr

    msr LE

    This sounds quite well thought through...

  12. I wonder. It would seem to me to blow the cover of UOTCs, making them very directly as recruiting machines rather than recruiting by stealth in the past. That soft-cell system had the benefit that many people, those who only joined up because it was a student organisation with a good reputation but with no thought of joining up, came to their own opinion over time that a military career was attractive. This more direct approach will deter such individuals. And the fact that they are now clearly “recruiting agencies” will mean they are much more exposed to attack from ant-military political organisations within universities. This will be a further deterrent to potential joiners, and could make it impossible to operate in some instances.

    I would also be concerned about dissipating the strength of these units. Their sense of camaraderie is probably even more important than the cash incentive in making OTCs dynamic and effective, especially as student work in a very localised way. Centralising them across regions may again make them less attractive.

    I’d also be worried about losing the ability of OTCs to perform the community engagement role. OTC’s often play a disproportionately large role in community engagement events ( largely because, in some places, there are so few other military units around to keep Defence in the public eye), and downsizing the structures could weaken this severely. I know this is certainly the case in Scotland, and I imagine the idea of creating Highland and Lowland OTCs as mentioned in an earlier post, for the sake of the pennies saved in fewer staff costs, would seem to make little sense and be strongly resisted.

    It will also have a detrimental effect on the TA. As it is there are few unit commands that TA officers can aspire to, and this plan could wipe out another 19. As TA officers increasingly see themselves as administrators of augmentees, and with their potential to command decimated, why would people stay in?

    I’m sure there is room to improve on the value of OTCs, but a “target-setting” approach could be as devastating here as it has been in other fields. OTCs are not “broken”, and everyone who has ever been involved with them understands they have huge value, even if it isn’t easy to quantify it for the bean counters. Lets not throw away the golden goose by turning it into a battery chicken farm.
  13. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    'Broken'? Maybe not but if you think they can bumble on like they do at present, sucking up the best part of £30 million and producing a handful of TA officers every year, you've got another think coming; 'Golden Goose' my arse. The TA is approximately 600 junior officers short at present and RMAS is falling short of its targets in producing the right quality of regular officer. The OTCs can be a significant part of fixing this problem if they get it right.

    As for TA 'jobs for the boys', the TA currently has primacy in filling all the OTC command slots and yet can't produce enough of the right quality of officers who have the time to do so. There is no reason why the 'new' OTCs shouldn't also be TA primacy slots on the same basis.

    The TA needs officers from somewhere and the OTCs look like the best source. The opportunity for commitment-free military engagement is explicitly still there, with the new 1st year scheme which even comes with an add-on CMI qualification, but the organisation does need to develop a harder edge and stop flanneling.
  14. Surely you also have to question is what is putting people off becoming a TA officer, as well as how can we push more people into the TA from the OTC?

    All of which is correct, however, surely local TA units need to be involved in OTC's as well?

    This could be achieved by sending OCDT's away on attachment to a local TA unit of their choice for a month or two. The ideal time to do this would be after they have completed MLDP2 and are capable of doing (if not exactly excellent at!) the 7 questions and Orders process, and therefore treated as potential officers.

    This is where i believe the system is failing currently, and expose of OCDT's to the opportunities which exist will at the very least result in more going for the TA.
  15. Quite likely the amount of deployments that indiividuals in the TA have had to endure on Telic and Herrick. Speaking purely anecdotally, my experience is that a significant proportion of the officers I've served with in the TA do about 5 years and then leave, usually because of family or work commitments and retention was a struggle. Add to that being pinged for tours on a regular basis and a lot of guys will start to seriously way up their priorities. The TA, is after all, suopposed to be extra curricular and your average career-minded individual is going to give serious thought to what a second 6 months out of their day job in a relatively short time span is going to do to their long-term career prospects. As the TA isn't going to carry on paying the mortgage with the added riosk of getting yourself killed and your family not having the same degree of support as your regular colleagues, you can see why the TA may be an attractive bolt-on to someone not long graduated and out of the OTC, but for a family man/woman with commitments and an eye on theiur career 5-10 years later it's not.

    It always has been the case, it just may be you don't see it. In my days in London the HAC provided the 105mm Light Guns and pre-KG6 training packages, ICCY/71Sigs provided equipment and training on a regular basis, and I used to rely heavily on 151 regt for vehicles and driver training. When I was an OCdt there we had plenty of attachment opportunities with the TA units around London. I have to admit we were fortunate in the number of units in and around London that were in a position to offer support in a way some of the regional OTCs possibly didn't, but it would be far from correct to suggest that the TA and the OTCs occupied entirely different orbits.