Coming to the TA on exchange (from Australian Army)

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by Warm, Oct 6, 2007.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Ladies and Gents,

    Just chasing some advice/information on the ins and outs and process of coming to the TA on exchange.

    I am currently polishing off my commission in the Australian Army Reserve and should graduate RMC in July, heading for the Armoured Corps, specifically Light Cavalry (Recon), but second preference is chalked up for infantry.

    I am coming up to the UK on exchange in 2009 with university, studying at the ANU here and hope to study at Leeds Metro.

    What TA units are in the area, which would you reccommend for a young 2lt etc?

    Cheers for your time and consideration!
  2. It all depends on what you want to get out of your year over here. If you want to concentrate on your time at uni and conduct army training for fun, then look at the Officer Training Corps - essentially a drinking club :drunken:
    They have a presence on the main Army website here
  3. I'm not massively concerned about my uni studies during the exchange, its more about the travel, drinking and adventure rather than head down bum up study.

    As a consequence, I really would like an opportunity to really experience in the ins and outs and workings of a TA unit and how they function.

    This OTC outfit seems vastly different from our University Regiments, which are Officer-Training units for the Army Reserve. Students make up a minority of the members, within my platoon for example, only 4 of the 35 staff-cadets are university students.

    Naturally I wouldnt mind spending 6 months with an OTC, any idea what the job/role would be for a young subby in such a unit? Down here only Captains can function as OTC platoon commanders, very rare to see staff with less than 2 pips upstairs.

    Otherwise 6 or 12 months with the local Cav or inf unit would go down a treat as well.

    Most of my adult life i've wanted to experience the British Army and be a part of it for at least a short time, and exchange seems the logical way of doing things.


    Been reading up on the Leeds OTC unit, might be the way to go, close to uni and the committments would fit around my studies nicely. Seems a better way to fill 6 - 12 months rather than tacking onto a 'proper' TA unit and being a third wheel for the whole time.

    Any clues as to what an Australian light horse/lancer 2LT would be posted to within an OTC? Wouldn't mind the experience as an instructor, but its usually a role reserved for Captains down here.
  4. I think you are treading in to the realms of the unknown here mate.

    Get in touch with the OTC and ask the OC there. He may bolt you on as an instructor or as an extra member of staff.

    After all you have your commision already. There are Commisioned Officers dotted about the country, I think some are in Birmingham not sure about the other places, who are undergoing a degree.

    If you want to see how the TA or the Regs work, get in touch with them too. I can't see you actually being anything other than a 3rd wheel either, and I am not sure how pay would work but if you want to see how the "real" Army works (as opposed to the OTC which doesn't really work the same way) get in touch with a local(ish) TA and Reg unit.

    The OTC could be a good help to starting you on your path to British Army Recce units, but it really isn't much more than a drinking club (hence its nickname of "Army Club" to it's members, most of whom don't even join up, or possibly even have the intention too).
  5. Have you spoken to your chain of command on this? For you to be able to train as an Aussie officer attached to us there would need to be a memorandum of understanding between the two governments regarding cross-training. Possibly try contacting the defense staff at your embassy here in London, they will be able to tell you what the score is from an Aussie point of view. Then it would be a case of contacting the 'host' unit to see if they would be willing to take you on. You are planning well ahead which is a good thing, these things take time...
  6. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Well, what a coincidence.... I understand that the UK and AUS Governemnts are due to sign an MOU on this very matter in around 10 days - stroke of luck or what!

    In practice, there are plenty of diggers who have trained with the TA before, so it shouldn't be a problem - but, from around 2 weeks time, it will be a 'recognised' option. There is alrady a MOU with Canada, the AUS one is No. 2, more to follow, I hope.
  7. I do believe that there is already an agreement with the US. If not, then I'm not quite sure how I've managed to get an attachment for the next 6 months...!
  8. a bloke from the NZ Army Reserve was in my TA regt for about 2 years so it definitely can be done.
  9. Just to clarify myself, I'm training under a NATO Status Of Forces Agreement which allows for us to train with them and them to train with us. Apparantly there have been quite a few US guys over here this summer.
  10. I beleve the local TA cav lot near you would be Queens Own Yeomanry up at York who are light armour recce
  11. Forget the OTC.
    Contact these chap’s and have a great time, you won’t regret it. The CO is a top man.
  12. We in the Royal Yeomanry have an Aussie Army Reserve officer serving with us. His professionalism (due in part to the more intensive training AR officers have to do by comparison with those in the TA here) is exemplary. We also had a Kiwi Territorial Army officer with us for three years: he was just as good because that was his mindset (he did an op tour in Sinai after his stint with us). I'm sure you'd be made welcome by whichever unit you choose.

    I have to say that based on what the Aussie has told me about your Army Reserve, I would strongly advise that you join a TA unit rather than the OTC, if your primary aim is professional rather than social (although the TA will have a social aspect to it, too).

    Our OTCs are very different from yours, and the OTCs here have a separate and very different ethos to the TA: the TA is now about training people for ongoing operations (and sending them on ops) whereas the OTCs are still very much a three-year "look at life" in the military (no offence, my OTC chums).

    If you succeed in commissioning into the Armoured Corps and want to advance your light cav skills then a Yeomanry regiment would be clearly the best choice.

    As a newly-commissioned 2Lt, you would be given a troop to lead (whether or not you will by then have completed your special-to-arm training) - which would be much more use to you than kicking about in an OTC doing basic level inf stuff for a year with da kidz. If there is no spare tp ldr slot then you could at least shadow a tp ldr and engage in training which is relevant to your Aussie Army Reserve role.

    You should make contact with Y Sqn QOY: see the details on this page. They do the stuff you want to do. The only problem with this is that Y Sqn are based in York, which is 25 miles or so from Leeds.

    If that's too far to travel, look at any of the Leeds-based units on (especially those already mentioned here - the Paras and the Yorkshire Regt).
  13. Gents,

    Thanks for all your valuable input and advice, it is most appreciated.

    My interest is indeed professional, which is why my initial plan was the TA rather than the university drinking club.

    I am planning well ahead, I will make some enquiries through the embassy and so forth and up my own chain of command to see if I can get some information. The point there is of course my chain of command now is vastly different to the one I will have at the end of next year.

    Inititally I wasn't expected to have graduated RMC by the time of my trip to the UK, but a change in the training program has made it possible.

    I may or may not have completed the Armour or Infantry ROBC (Regimental Officer's Basic Course), which is our corps-specific training, so I may only be qualified as an infantry platoon commander (and not a very good one at that, by Australian standards)

    Dr Evil I did find the Queens Yeomanry pop up during my searches, if I do indeed make it into Armour it will be my first and foremost choice. I hope to spend 6 months with the 1/15th Royal NSW Lancers before coming up to the UK.

    I am young and stupid so I will find my way into a Combat Corps somehow (as abhorrent as the idea of having to walk everywhere is to me). Which means the Paras and Yorkshire regiment may be a good choice (particularly if they are closer to university, as I won't have private transport or anything).

    Will keep making gentle enquiries and see what I can figure out, and concentrate of course on getting through the last 6 months of the GSO FAC :D No point having my wonderful 6 months as a British Officer lined up if my commissioning gets set back 6 months.

    Off-Topic slightly, we have a girl in my Regiment who came in reverse, and came from her university OTC in the UK to one of our university regiments. All I can say is POOR GIRL! She was probably expecting her OTC drinking club, and was greeted by a real officer training unit which is overseen by RMC Duntroon. Don't see her on many training weekends or courses! :oops:

    Thanks again for all your kind advice, keep it coming!