CinC and D Com Army Reserves interview

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by theblindking, Oct 8, 2011.

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    link on armynet above. Nothing new but nice to hear it from the horses' mouths. To summarise:

    - Increased element of compulsion to attend training. Good, but will be backed up with an increased "carrot"?
    - Some wibble about employers, nothing conclusive.
    - Make it easier to change from reg to reserve without taking a hit in entitlements. Good, but what about the other way round? (expanded on below)
    - The usual guff about stabs adding value through "life experience" but when giving an example of how civie qualifications can add value on Ops, D Com used the example of an RAF Aux geologist. Thanks for that Sir! It's not like there are any TA professionals who use their quals in uniform is it? way to big up your blokes! On that note, no mention of integrating those who may be able to spare a few years for full time service - the psychologist who fancies 5 years at 15 POG, the ex copper who fancies being a full-time monkey, techy IT bods or simply those who have become specialists in trades where reg soldiers can't stay for extended periods without a carrear foul. I don't believe that FTRS is fit for purpose in these contexts.

    In short encouraging and depressing in equal measure.
  2. It's also disappointing that the chosen "geologist example" was the coincidence of somebody who had information of strategic importance from their civilian job just happening to be at the right time & place for it to make a difference. How many other such incidences have been missed ?

    What would be far more impressive for the future would be for FR20 to make it possible for that geologist to be identified and deliberately posted (or his knowledge accessed via reachback to the UK) to use his expertise.
  3. As far as I can see, no effort is made at any level to make use of civilian skills.

    In my civvy career to date, I've gained usable practical experience in vehicle mechanics, railway operations, mapping and surveying, 3D virtual modelling, mechanical engineering design, welding, machine shop work, vehicle recovery and any number of other things.

    Not only is there no mechanism for these skills to be recorded and made available to those planning operations who might need somebody with that background, they're not even sought out or utilised at sub unit level. I could be a bog cleaner or a brain surgeon and the army would not even know.
  4. The 2 future army projects are heavily biased towards boosting the TA, but have a number of problems - immediate, midterm and longterm

    Immediate: Transfer of TA Bns to Reg Bdes and the gutting of RF Bdes by AVANTI being imposed/acted on now risks making whatever they come up with defunct/redundant before it can be imposed.

    Midterm: TA officer structure seems focussed on Sqn/Coys - junior officer recruiting is bad enough as it is without trimming the offer more.

    Longterm: Everything is focused around AFG/expeditionary ops. What happens after 2014 if there isn't another largescale op? SDSR 2.0?

    On the plus side, regs are getting a lot more interested in the reserves, just need to get the whole primary/secondary job bit across.
  5. You maybe right that no effort is made, but despite this I can think of a number of examples where reservists have been utilised effectively in order to impart skills to the military that they have developed in "another life" - often on a full-time basis. this has however, been due to luck and not corporate judgement in most cases.
    To be fair, the TA does itself no favours; does the Brigadier/GoC theatre tps/D Com AR know that he has soldiers conducting niche/specialist roles in obscure but supposedly vital areas? The answer is probably not because no-one has bothered to tell him. That doesn't make the RAF Aux reference any less irksome though...
  6. I met a TA officer in As-Samawah who had spent his entire civvy career in the Prison Service and had been mobilised with the promise that he would take a starring role in overhauling the Iraqi prison system.

    When I met him, he was living in a shed in Camp Schmitty as the LO to DutchBat... and not a happy man.
  7. There is still no capture of primary employment skills either for the TA or the Regular Reserve.

    Also Reg Units only really seem to engage with the TA when an op tour is coming up. If they trained with them in the years between tours, then they or the unit they deploy might have some better quality material to put through PDT
  8. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    There are several major problems with this. Firstly, what do the person's employer think about it all? Almost all professional / trade bodies are against this, and their main employers too. Example: you are an accountant, and KPMG have spent years and £Ks getting you trained - you are alos in the TA. The Army suddenly needs an accountant for 6 months (i.e. for 1 year away from his employment). Your employert is not going to be happy. Do the Army pay for a replacement? In part - but it won't be the same, by a long chalk. Do the Army contribute to his training costs, or CPD? Do they buggery. And do not forget - that all wars recently have been matters of choice, not National survival - and that makes a BIG difference in the attitude of many, not only employers, but families as well. Employers groups do NOT like the government getting something on the cheap - especially not when otherwise they could provide the service as CONDO or under a similar contractual arrangement, and make Big Bucks (Because, almost all these niche employments are ones that can be done by Contractors - and therefore SHOULD be done by contractors, not TA on the cheap).

    Substitute almost any other trade, and think about it.

    Secondly, who keeps records of Quals that are of use? The TA? I think not. It's easy enough wit hsome, like Nursies, but others are more difficult. You are a Civil Engineer - doing what? What area of expertise?

    Thirdly, what if you are in the TA to get away from the day job? Why be an Accountant in Uniform instead of in civvies, earning five times as much (think of families here!)? Once you are mobilised, the Army can do what they like with you, but until then it's down to you. Many will not put their hands up to go and do their normal work in the Army. What about all those in the Infantry, RMR, etc?

    There are other reasons why this idea is pants, and if I could be bothered, I'd post them, but what's the point? Sad to say, we've been here before - it's been tried, and failed miserably.

    Nothing at all will come of this.
  9. The problem with the above Snowy, is that there are past and present examples of this working (as I commented in my earlier post) however they appear to have been by accident. I can't give you examples by these means but you will have to trust me that they are not Advanced mess tin riveters or other such non-jobs either.

    I agree that there is no utility in applying a blanket "you are a specialist so on the the shortlist for a tour" principle. I am talking about putting those who have desirable skills in regular pids or even creating pids for them shoud none exist. Lets think beyond military adventurism and to how we keep the (truely) specialist capabilities we already have and develop the ones we don't with a regular army of 82 000 bodies.
  10. Snowy, they are looking at 82k regular, 30k TA Ph 2 trained with 8-9k in the trg pipeline (as per SDSR).

    I wouldn't be surprised if an Armed Forces Bill to support this runs a big risk of alienating employers. The Primary/Secondary employment deal doesn't work unless the Primary employer is adequately compensated and that will cost.
  11. I bet he's ******* glad about it now though.
  12. The " Why don't we have a database to make use of our civilian qualifications" question was asked of the then D Reserves on my Staff course. That would be not quite 20 years ago... and SFA has happened since. Any use of our civvy background - bar Doctors etc - has been pretty solidly accidental.

    Lets not get too excited here. Comments about "The Regulars getting interested in the TA" are utter bollix. The ONLY reason the Regulars are paying any attention at all is that Dave gave them a big "Re-Show" on their first plan, which yet again intended to bin the TA in favour of retaining Regulars. The average Regular thinks Gen Lamb is barking for even suggesting that the TA should be expanded. If this plan is implemented it will be undermined, slowly sliced, delayed and generally fucked about with by a huge cohort of Regular staff officers who fundamentally disagree with the direction given.... Turkeys are not known to vote for Christmas.
  13. ..... Oh, and why has no-one in the Regular Army asked the obvious question about the move of TA units to Operational Bde control - What are RF Bdes going to do when all they control - and I use the word loosely - is the Cadets and the Stationery budget ? The case for binning them completely in favour of a "Home HQ" attached to the Op Bde HQ, run by a deputy Bde Comd is pretty blatant I'd have thought ?
  14. this is a point i made on this very website about 4 years ago and one of the reasons that i have such a downer on the TAs...not the individual soldiers, but the organisation and structure. It was sparked following being present at a meeting when i saw 2 extremes. 1 was a bloke highly skilled in a governance and local politics who deployed as an RLC junior officer in an entirely unrelated field, another was a guy who deployed as a rifleman having had his military salary doubled to ensure that he wasn't out of pocket from his civvi job.
  15. Absolutely, but seeing as the giblets have been removed, put in a little bag and re-inserted already, the vote has **** all to do with it.
    I agree that the regs would rather bin the TA to save regular jobs and frankly I'd be reluctant to argue with that. However the point I am making (and seem to be constantly repeating) is that we already have reserves who are in either full-time or de facto full-time service already in a number of fields that simply cannot be replaced by regs but no-one seems to know about it; I would be wiling to bet hundreds that neither of the interviewees does.
    My point is that the wheel has already been invented and is rolling - perhaps someone should tell the CoC?