Clarification regarding “forced” mobilisation in reserves?

#21
This really should have been explained to you. Under the Reserve Forces Act 1996 you can be compulsory mobilised once every five years. Currently the Army uses 'intelligent mobilisation', it asks for volunteers. This may change, we don't know.

What can you be mobilised for?

1. Actual war.
2. War like acts in preparation.
3. Operations where it might be beneficial to use reservists where regulars might otherwise be used.

If that doesn't work for you, maybe the reserves isn't for you.

No essay/stream of consciousness is required in response to this post as I fully understand, such a 'commitment' is not for everyone.
 
#22
I think you may have misunderstood. I am not saying no to mobilisation, I am asking in general how much I could expect (also where in the world I may end up, at a guess) when going in as the Reserves (not the infantry) as I would like to get an idea of what I could expect and obviously my employer is going to want to know if I'm going to be getting called up to be away for various periods. I'm asking these questions here because the Capita recruitment phone lines are hopeless and I get different answers from my reserve unit when asked.
Ok that's fine. My question would be are you prepared to voluntarily mobilise? You state you don't want to do the bare minumum and frankly that is kind of the definition of it. TBH you are right to question the process because it is not clear. As has been observed, over the past 20 years or so, "Intelligent Mobilisation" has been the buzz-word i.e. people volunteer for tours. This should reassure your employer.

However I stand by my previous posts. What has happened in the past will not neccessarily be what happens in the future (and in fact, if you had suggested prior to Op TELIC that volunteer reserves would be the reserve of choice over the regular reserve you would have been laughed at in many quarters.)

In my reserve and non-reserve life I deal with trying to assess what will happen in the future. I can tell you, at the moment it is ******* difficult and the past is of limited utilty. The game is changing.
 
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#23
Everybody who goes on operations is `mobilised`, it's a legal process which clearly defines every parties rights and responsibilities. (With a few exceptions) everyone in the last 15 years who has been mobilised has volunteered to be mobilised. There are High-Readiness Reserves and Sponsored Reserves who will be more likely to be mobilised however you're not one of them.

Any vacancies on operations/exercises relevent to the units role will usually be advertised several months in advance on weekly orders or drill nights etc, if you're interested then the unit admin staff will make the arrangements. In terms of duration: most are between 3 and 6 months in theatre, add on Pre-Deployment Training and Post-Operational leave and you're somewhere between 4 and 12 months for the deployment, although i've heard of people going for as little as 2 weeks in exceptional circumstances. Most of the current demand is in the middle east, a few in africa, and a few in places like Cyprus, Gibraltar, Falklands etc.

I wouldn't be concerned about being called up at short notice several times a year as it's very unlikely (but not impossible) to happen. It'll take you a year or 2 to get through basic training and get trained in role to the point where you would be able to function on operations anyway.
Can you give more detail on the High-Readiness + Sponsored Reservists? My understanding is if you opt into High-Readiness, you are paid a bit more £ in exchange for volunteering in advance to go on any needed mobilisations and are higher in the queue should a national emergency arise. As for sponsored reservists, I've not ever heard this before, is it for ex-regulars who have gone into the reserves and have agreed to go back into regulars should the need arise?

@Anonrecruit890 - In the application process you are encouraged to comprehend your role fully and understand completely what this involves - but it seems certain things you should know to get a complete picture are always difficult to come by, and make people question your motives (most here have tried answering it as best they can, but still questioned your motives). You know your motives, they don't need to so don't rise to them and just focus on the answers - another question you may ask if your are mobilised then become injured and can't perform your Civy job when you return are you financially compensated, is your employer?

When they use the phrase "You know what you signed up for" lets make sure they know all the negatives as well as the positives, and just answer the question if its a 'perceived' negative question - this aids in a full understanding.

I would say from my research you'll need to 'complete' your training first, and for the moment in today's climate only voluntary is required, but is voluntary 'asked' of you or do you seek it out, seems to be debatable topic.

But like you i have no idea, seems no one really does there are too many factors.

All you can say for certain is you'll need to complete your training first and so you could get a 'timeline' of that then you can assure your employer its very unlikely (if at all) it will happen before the end of that date, 2021? (assuming it takes 2 years....) Along time in Civy world.
I don't mind people questioning my motives, it is pretty obvious if someone says "I'm unsure on the mobilisation side of reservists" that there will be some who will kick off and say they shouldn't bother signing up if they feel that way.

I know some will have a stricter view on it than others. Even so, the times I've gone to visit my reserve unit for a presentation evening or just to watch a drill night go on, some of the troops there do seem fairly overweight or just very "lazy" and don't strike me at all as people who I have no idea what it would look like if they were called up to go. I get you on nothing whatsoever is going to happen in regards to this until I've done my basic training (even so, I'm not looking to be relaxed with that and want to get both of them done as soon as possible), but I like to be sure on everything before I sign up (I am aware I can quit the reserves at any time aside from when mobilised).

The Tories have less appetite for playing war than Labour, so should you join just keep voting cost conscious Tory, that way then you will know if its real and you end up going to war.
Frankly the chances of getting mobilised for the next ten years for anything serious (excluding attempts to wave the flag in front of Putin etc) are slim to nil. The appetite for warmongering seems to be cyclical, apart from operations that are legally and morally justifiable (Falklands, Gulf war etc) then unless we ae threatened I doubt you will need to worry.
However and its a big however I have heard of a yeomanry unit where members have been warned for deployment to Eastern Europe.
Quite how that is legally enforceable I dont know and its not my concern. Using mobilisation to fill the gaps on non operational tours is a bad thing especially when the option is deploy or leave!
The troops saying if you wont deploy then dont join are right in a way. The way to look at is I suppose is comparing it to 1938 and the Munich Crisis. You could train before the rush and maybe even deploy and be sacrificed in a cold 2 man slit trench outside Kaliningrad or wait for the instant sunshine to warm up your home?
I know what you are saying in regards to war, obviously nobody can predict the future (although I'm obviously hoping there are no more wars in the world). Whether Russia are going to kick off and do something stupid I have no idea, given that the US would likely instantly join in is probably enough to make them think twice.

Technically, if they want you, they get you, unless you successfully appeal on the multiple grounds available, which isn't particularly arduous.

Anecdotally, I've never heard of anybody being successfully mobilised who didn't want to be, though, by the same token, I am aware of several instances where a failure to show willing was considered a block to further promotion.

Essentially, the more specialist your unit, the greater the pressure on you will be in the event that something did kick off. Personally, I think it will be a long time before this nation's politicians are brave/stupid enough to re-run 2003, with all that followed for the AR, and you'll die in your bed having bored your descendants rigid with tales of wet weekends in the remoter parts of the UK.
I've read up on the appeals process but you can only delay it unless you have deployed already in the last few years (although reading what it says there is nothing stopping someone from getting their mobilisation date pushed back and then leaving the Army Reserve straight after their appeal is successful before the time comes again.

My unit isn't specalist at all and is very common / general in the Army, although still a critical function nonetheless.

This really should have been explained to you. Under the Reserve Forces Act 1996 you can be compulsory mobilised once every five years. Currently the Army uses 'intelligent mobilisation', it asks for volunteers. This may change, we don't know.

What can you be mobilised for?

1. Actual war.
2. War like acts in preparation.
3. Operations where it might be beneficial to use reservists where regulars might otherwise be used.

If that doesn't work for you, maybe the reserves isn't for you.

No essay/stream of consciousness is required in response to this post as I fully understand, such a 'commitment' is not for everyone.
It wasn't explained clearly to me hence why I've come here. I've explained at the bottom of this post how ridiculous it got that I couldn't get a clear answer that I felt I had to come to an unofficial source such as this forum in order to try and get the answers I seek.

I'm more aware of the "intelligent mobilisation" now, so thank you for that. If the country went to war, prepared or situations where for some reason a reservist(s) would be more handy to send then I would have no problem with ultimately going provided I was trained and my employer wouldn't have a P45 waiting for me when I get back home.

Ok that's fine. My question would be are you prepared to voluntarily mobilise? You state you don't want to do the bare minumum and frankly that is kind of the definition of it. TBH you are right to question the process because it is not clear. As has been observed, over the past 20 years or so, "Intelligent Mobilisation" has been the buzz-word i.e. people volunteer for tours. This should reassure your employer.

However I stand by my previous posts. What has happened in the past will not neccessarily be what happens in the future (and in fact, if you had suggested prior to Op TELIC that volunteer reserves would be the reserve of choice over the regular reserve you would have been laughed at in many quarters.)

In my reserve and non-reserve life I deal with trying to assess what will happen in the future. I can tell you, at the moment it is ******* difficult and the past is of limited utilty. The game is changing.
Yes I am prepared to go, of course I'd like be fully trained and everything before going, obviously knowing my employer is happy with it and I'll have a job to come back to is another determining factor if I would want to go or not. I know my reasons for joining which is to do my part for the country, something I'm proud of and to learn new thing, meet new people (and so on). Obviously there's extra cash too but that isn't primary reason I want to do this.

I am not going to lie and say I would glorify or welcome the idea of doing to a combat zone, but if it needed to be done and I was trained enough then I would by all means go if required (again I do not want to be forced to choose with leaving my day job with my employer or appealing and looking like having to leave the Army Reserve altogether). I am 100% on asking to do more days and asking what courses and events they will have going on (travelling around and meeting new people and so on).

It has even got to the point where I rang up the Royal Military Police hotline to ask them if they could tell me clearly what the stance was on all of this and for a genuine answer. They sadly didn't have information to hand as their hotline isn't for that, all I got was being pressured to drop the name of my reserve unit so they can investigate and ask them why they are messing about in regards to telling potential recruits the stance on mobilisation (I just hung up on them due to them being so pushy and that my reserve unit would likely realise it was me that dropped them in the shit as I'm probably the only recruit who has asked them more than once on this topic).

So yes it is not right that there seems to be "messing about" in regards to the mobilisation processin the Army Reserve. I wouldn't be surprised if some RMP Officer or whatever comes across this thread and gets pissed that a potential recruit had to resort to unofficial sources of information for such a serious topic like this.


Thanks for all the replies on this so far everyone, I wasn't expecting a turnout like this at all. Whether you agree or not with the notion that someone shouldn't be joining the reserves if there is even a hint of doubt that they may not want to mobilise, it does seem obvious that there is some potential foul-play going on in regards to them being completely clear and honest in regards to mobilisation if someone is asking about it. The fact that I've had more clear answers, detail and information here on this topic than what the reserve unit and recruitment line have told me is ridiculous.
 
#24
If you read RFA very carefully, you'll find that it says that a Reservist can be mobilised at a moment's notice for any duration and can be mobilised as frequently as the Army requires. That's the worst case scenario but the one that you've got to be happy with when you join.

Yes, it talks of deferment, length of mobilisation and frequency of mobilisation but these are only current desires and can be dropped if the need arises.

In practice, the MoD needs to appease Reservists, their families and their employers otherwise the only people joining would be better off being pointed toward the Regular Army. That's the reason why RFA isn't a one-paragraph document.

While military operations remain relatively low tempo, you can expect the MoD to keep their promises of long periods of notice, 4-6 month deployments and no more than one mobilisation every 5 years. In the future, it's anybody's guess - you may never get mobilised, you may go off to war or you may be brought in for disaster relief or humanitarian aid, either at home or abroad.

Voluntary mobilisation is a subject that's been mentioned but the reality is that you volunteer when you join. If you volunteer for mobilisation, you're just letting the MoD know that now is a convenient time for you. What's needed is that you keep your promise to turn up when the brown envelope drops through your letter box. Keeping that promise is the reason for the existence of the Reserves.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#25
I've read up on the appeals process but you can only delay it unless you have deployed already in the last few years (although reading what it says there is nothing stopping someone from getting their mobilisation date pushed back and then leaving the Army Reserve straight after their appeal is successful before the time comes again.
Unless there is a real war I doubt any Govt would be able to enforce compulsory mobilisation on folk, they would either leave or deploy.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#26
So yes it is not right that there seems to be "messing about" in regards to the mobilisation processin the Army Reserve. I wouldn't be surprised if some RMP Officer or whatever comes across this thread and gets pissed that a potential recruit had to resort to unofficial sources of information for such a serious topic like this.
Its not the purvey of the RMP to intervene in these sort of things.
Social media is something the MoD cant really control especially before you join. However discretion can be useful as those at Dartmouth found out.
Simply you are available for voluntary mobilisation or you aren't. If you aren't but may be in the future then fine, there is nothing to stop you leaving should some tinpot dictator decide that the invasion of Kuwait was a good idea badly executed. Lets face it you can leave at any time, just hand in your kit. If you haven't been mobilised for war what can they do? They couldn't force the regular reserves to attend (assuming they could find them) for anything since Suez. I doubt seriously that they would be able to drag you back having left.
Simply dont volunteer for a voluntary mobilisation unless it suits you! Do your time, get what you want from the Army Reserves and leave. Its worked well enough for those claiming to be enablers!
 
#27
and my employer wouldn't have a P45 waiting for me when I get back home.
Not allowed by law.
You need to understand that, under RFA 1996, an employer has a number of responsibilities. In essence the relationship is much the same as a lady taking time of for maternity leave. The right to return to work in a similar role, at a similar rate of pay, and so forth, is all in the Act.
Likewise, if you can prove it, not to be selected for employment/promotion/whatever because you are a reservist is also considered discriminatory and the employer liable to prosecution.

However, the employer also has the right to appeal against your mobilisation. If you are deep into some project, or perhaps others of your department are away/busy/sick/maternity then it is quite possible that MoD would drop your mobilisation order (WW3 aside). The employer gets some MoD funding to help pay for your temp replacement if you are mobilised.

With respect, I think you are over thinking this. I accept that I am the wrong colour uniform, and that my visibility on the demands of the AR is pretty much nil. However, as discussed up thread, the concept of Intelligent Mobilisation - the selection of the willing - means few, very few, are deployed against their and/or their employer's wishes.

Hope that helps.
 
#28
Not allowed by law.
You need to understand that, under RFA 1996, an employer has a number of responsibilities. In essence the relationship is much the same as a lady taking time of for maternity leave. The right to return to work in a similar role, at a similar rate of pay, and so forth, is all in the Act.
Likewise, if you can prove it, not to be selected for employment/promotion/whatever because you are a reservist is also considered discriminatory and the employer liable to prosecution.

However, the employer also has the right to appeal against your mobilisation. If you are deep into some project, or perhaps others of your department are away/busy/sick/maternity then it is quite possible that MoD would drop your mobilisation order (WW3 aside). The employer gets some MoD funding to help pay for your temp replacement if you are mobilised.

With respect, I think you are over thinking this. I accept that I am the wrong colour uniform, and that my visibility on the demands of the AR is pretty much nil. However, as discussed up thread, the concept of Intelligent Mobilisation - the selection of the willing - means few, very few, are deployed against their and/or their employer's wishes.

Hope that helps.
Well, that's the theory... In practice, it comes down to goodwill and it doesn't help if your employer doesn't spot the caveats in RFA and gets screwed as a result.
 
#29
Can you give more detail on the High-Readiness + Sponsored Reservists? My understanding is if you opt into High-Readiness, you are paid a bit more £ in exchange for volunteering in advance to go on any needed mobilisations and are higher in the queue should a national emergency arise. As for sponsored reservists, I've not ever heard this before, is it for ex-regulars who have gone into the reserves and have agreed to go back into regulars should the need arise?
Some defence contracts have a provision that a proportion of the contractors employees will also be reservists so they do their day job as either a civi or soldier as required. KBR use it for their contract to move Challenger tanks: www.intranet.ftxlog.com/driver-operators/ and Babcocks for vehicle mechanics: www.ctp.org.uk/focus/job-finding-babcock-dsg-sponsored/478385
 
#30
Well, that's the theory... In practice, it comes down to goodwill and it doesn't help if your employer doesn't spot the caveats in RFA and gets screwed as a result.
Indeed. And RFA 1996 is sadly deficient in any real (based on precedent) teeth to support mobilised reserves. Annecdotally there are a handful of cases where employers have been bought to book for sacking employees because they have mobilised and almost all because they overtly or demonstrably gave that as a the reason for dismissal.

@Anonrecruit890 Really? You rang the RMP? I don't think there is really anywhere else to go with this but I will try for one final time.
1. Your liability for mobilisation (worst case, best case and everything between) is laid down in RFA '96.
2. As with every piece of UK legislation it is subject to case law.
3. The fact that you appear so hung up on what is essentially a largely unenforcible piece of legislation (outside of the circumstances that you have stated you would be prepared to be bound by it) suggests that you probably don't really want to be a reservist.
4. Do it or don't do it. Just ******* get on it with it one way or the other.
 
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#31
Highly improbable that you'd be frequently mobilised unless you actively volunteered for it. Just be aware it's something that could happen in theory but very unlikely to happen in practice. Last I saw was a vision of reservists being available for a deployment once every 3-5 years, and that was only if a suitable role was available and everybody was willing.

The last widespread compulsory mobilisation was Iraq 2003 as we were already committed in Afghan. With the current defence budget in ruins and a lack of appetite for foreign adventures by Joe Public there is no chance of 2 simultaneous campaigns happening again anytime soon. The army is aware of the need to keep civi employers on side so try not to antagonise them by making unreasonable demands on reservists.
And a larger military so if anything the chances of reserves being required has increased
 
#32
Indeed. And RFA 1996 is sadly deficient in any real (based on precedent) teeth to support mobilised reserves. Annecdotally there are a handful of cases where employers have been bought to book for sacking employees because they have mobilised and almost all because they overtly or demonstrably gave that as a the reason for dismissal.
To add some depth to this point, there is an emerging opinion among some employers that being taken to a tribunal and suffering the humiliation of a fine that will rarely exceed £2k is a bloody cheap way of making someone redundant. Game Theory anyone?
 
#33
Highly improbable that you'd be frequently mobilised unless you actively volunteered for it. Just be aware it's something that could happen in theory but very unlikely to happen in practice. Last I saw was a vision of reservists being available for a deployment once every 3-5 years, and that was only if a suitable role was available and everybody was willing.

The last widespread compulsory mobilisation was Iraq 2003 as we were already committed in Afghan. With the current defence budget in ruins and a lack of appetite for foreign adventures by Joe Public there is no chance of 2 simultaneous campaigns happening again anytime soon. The army is aware of the need to keep civi employers on side so try not to antagonise them by making unreasonable demands on reservists.
Really? I'd love to meet this army of which you speak. The one I know has fack all understanding of anything outside of its own narrow internal narratives, let alone something as complex as employment law.

Also, we're not talking about "unreasonable demands". This is about terms and conditions of service. The OP signs up to them or doesn't - his / her choice.
 
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#34
Really? I'd love to meet this army of which you speak. The one I know has fack all understanding of anything outside of its own narrow internal narratives, let alone something as complex as employment law.

Also, we're not talking about "unreasonable demands". This is about terms and conditions of service. The OP signs up to them or doesn't - his / her choice.
OP asked a perfectly reasonable question about the frequency of mobilisation before they join up as they didn't seem able to get a straight answer from Capita or the unit. I'm not sure what your issue with that is - If the reality of being a reservist was being mobilised every couple of months to do guard duty or blanket stacking for a few weeks because the army was short on manpower then it wouldn't work for someone with a full time job. Can't really fault the OP for asking before they commit.
 
#35
OP asked a perfectly reasonable question about the frequency of mobilisation before they join up as they didn't seem able to get a straight answer from Capita or the unit. I'm not sure what your issue with that is - If the reality of being a reservist was being mobilised every couple of months to do guard duty or blanket stacking for a few weeks because the army was short on manpower then it wouldn't work for someone with a full time job. Can't really fault the OP for asking before they commit.
Are you on a wind up? If so that's a magnificent bit of STAB baiting.
 
#37
No, just trying to answer a potential recruits question instead of criticising them for asking the question like you did.
Fine. So you actually read my previous posts in this thread where I attempted to advise the OP? (I'll help you out - it starts at the third post in). And you think that ringing the RMP was an appropriate place to seek answers?

If so I will happily take your criticism but I would like you to identify where I have a) failed to give reasonable, factual advice, b) criticised them for asking for it.

Frankly, @Forastero or @The_Duke this thread needs locking.
 
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#38
And a larger military so if anything the chances of reserves being required has increased
One of the reasons I’m glad my employer has just updated their Reserve Forces policy (including recognition of intelligent mobilisation).
 

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