Commission confirmation

#1
Hi All,

Perhaps this has been answered before, and if so could someone please point me in the right direction.

The first year of my commissioning is just up, so naturally I'm chomping at the bit for the next pip. Can anyone say definitively what the process is for moving this along?

About 2 months ago my CO signed a piece of paper and sent it to Glasgow saying I was a jolly decent sort and that I hadn't touched the cadets. This was meant to be the trigger that starts the whole ball rolling.

However, after a quick call to Glasgow they tell me that now the notification has to come from RMAS (The Commandant no less!) and should be triggered by your completion of Mod 5.

I shall leave my personal feelings about this system out of this thread, but can any one tell me when RMAS notify Glasgow? Is it as soon as you finish Mod 5 or a year on the dot (providing Mod 5 is complete). As this is a new system does anyone know what system is in place to capture this info and deal with it expediently? Are we, the first lot through, going to be cobbled by the fact this hasn't been done before?

Thanks in advance.

SB
 
#3
The goal posts seem to keep changing. When I commissioned the rule was YOs Course and Mod 5 complete within 2 years and then confirmation. However, I was confirmed on the dot after a year having done only 1 module of Mod 5. By then the rule seemed to have changed slightly [excuse wording] to 'you can be confirmed after a year but it will be un-confirmed (whatever) if mod 5 not completed within 2 years'. Equally I know that there are ppl from my course who are still on one pip, 8 months after my confirmation. From a self, self, self point of view I fortunately now have all my boxes ticked, a scroll would be nice......... It seemed to me very much down to COs getting onto Glasgow, as yours has done so, you will hopefully pick up soon. However, get onto Mod 5 (3 weekends out of your life which you will never get back).
 
#4
A quick look at the Gazette from late May this year shows that one OCdt I commissioned (over 2 years ago) with was only confirmed last week, and most seem to still be on one pip.
 
#5
Thx guys...

I was a little shocked at Abacus's comments in the other thread mentioned. TWO YEARS to pass probation for everybody?! WTF is that about? Why two years? I've done Mod5, my STA cse and annual camp all in year one at a reasonable amount of personal expense so it's a bit of a bitter pill to swallow if I still have to wait for another year to get the second. I'll have completed JOTAC by then!

I think i've mentioned this before in previous threads, but the way this is panning out for people with ordinary jobs with standard 4 wks hols is as follows:

Year 1 = RMAS
Year 2 = STA Cse
Year 3 = JOTAC
Year 4 = Annual Camp

I know I'm beating a tune on a well worn drum but where is the incentive to pack as much in as quickly as poss so you can actually spend some time doing the job on Camp?

The question remains though... how does the trigger process work. I have done Mod 5 w/e's with different RTC's so how does RMAS collect all this info, and what triggers the letter/call to my CO that says unfortunately the Army can't think of a good enough reason not to give me my second? How long will the new process take (crystal ball-gazers out there, it's time to earn your money!).
 
#6
It could just be Glasgow dragging their feet.

They do it for all ranks, with some of our officers waiting for 1 year past 'due' date for the next pip, or crown!
 
#7
Alright boys and girls, is there anywhere I can check the dates of Mod 5 courses. My local RTC has them planned for next spring and I want to start cracking on really. Have tried google (great to see soooo many RTCs have made the effort to go online! Well done boys and girls) and armyNet but alas no joy. Londist seems only one of two to advertise their presence on the net. Wessex, according to the calender at least, doesn't offer Mod 5 training but has at least made a bit of effort.

I am going to go out on a limb here and assume you are aware of the internet and also of this site. Could you perhaps whack the 'inofficial, unconfirmed dates' in this thread or failing that armyNet or get a website I can find. Just a thought so I can plan my life a bit as opposed to lastminute.com.

Cheers

T_B_B
 
#8
tearsbeforebedtime said:
Alright boys and girls, is there anywhere I can check the dates of Mod 5 courses. My local RTC has them planned for next spring and I want to start cracking on really. Have tried google (great to see soooo many RTCs have made the effort to go online! Well done boys and girls) and armyNet but alas no joy. Londist seems only one of two to advertise their presence on the net. Wessex, according to the calender at least, doesn't offer Mod 5 training but has at least made a bit of effort.

I am going to go out on a limb here and assume you are aware of the internet and also of this site. Could you perhaps whack the 'inofficial, unconfirmed dates' in this thread or failing that armyNet or get a website I can find. Just a thought so I can plan my life a bit as opposed to lastminute.com.

Cheers

T_B_B
Have you tried asking the Chief Clerk of your RTC? All the courses are listed on TAFMIS and TAPOMS and they all have terminals in their offices.

London are just finishing a Mod 5 course. The final weekend is on 17/18 Jun 06. It is W/E 3 Managing Soldiers. You can do the weekends in any order, so you can start with this one.

RTC SE at Aldershot is running another course starting in January.
 
#9
SilverBullet said:
The question remains though... how does the trigger process work. I have done Mod 5 w/e's with different RTC's so how does RMAS collect all this info, and what triggers the letter/call to my CO that says unfortunately the Army can't think of a good enough reason not to give me my second? How long will the new process take (crystal ball-gazers out there, it's time to earn your money!).
Your name and details are put on a scrap of paper torn from a notebook. If the DS remember, it is then passed to RMAS where the TAPOMS AO in the TA Cell checks it and updates your record.

You can confirm that this has been done by checking with your own RTC who can look at your record online on TAPOMS.
 
#10
SilverBullet said:
TWO YEARS to pass probation for everybody?! WTF is that about? Why two years? I've done Mod5, my STA cse and annual camp all in year one at a reasonable amount of personal expense so it's a bit of a bitter pill to swallow if I still have to wait for another year to get the second. I'll have completed JOTAC by then!
First of all, I think you are eliding the concepts of commission confirmation (ie, the end of your probationary period) with appointment as lieutenant. The two are distinct.

Secondly, I can give you what I think the rules are concerning appointment as lieutenant. This usually serves to prompt someone who really does know the score to step in and show me up.

Right. First, the probationary period. The minimum period of probation is one year (except for officers on FTRS, SSVC or mobilised service, who may be confirmed after six months). Probation ends when a "satisfactory report" about you is submitted and passed by the right bods. I don't know what the criteria currently are for confirmation of commission: they keep changing and no longer apply to me, and I'm busy with lots of megalomaniacking to do, so I can't keep up-to-date.

Second, promotion to lieutenant. In my unit and many others, this usually happens two years after commissioning. I know that TA Regs say that university graduates may be promoted to lieutenant the day after their probationary period ends but the crucial word there is may. For the others, promotion may happen after two years.

Bottom line: promotion for you may take two years, as it does for lots of other people, whether university graduates or not. So what? Being a 2Lt and Lt is the best fun there is as an officer: you're actually personally leading a load of blokes. Are you desperate for your TA career to finish as quickly as possible? Captain by RMAS plus three years, OC by RMAS plus five and then out by RMAS plus seven? Or are you racing to be a brigadier at 30?

SilverBullet said:
I think i've mentioned this before in previous threads, but the way this is panning out for people with ordinary jobs with standard 4 wks hols is as follows:

Year 1 = RMAS
Year 2 = STA Cse
Year 3 = JOTAC
Year 4 = Annual Camp

I know I'm beating a tune on a well worn drum but where is the incentive to pack as much in as quickly as poss so you can actually spend some time doing the job on Camp?
You need to cool your jets a bit, dear boy. You racing to die, or something?

JOTAC is intended for officers who are on the verge of being appointed company/squadron 2IC. In my unit, at least, that happens at commissioning plus five or six years at least. OK, so people can do JOTAC a lot earlier than that (after 18 months at regimental duty or summat) but the reality is that for most people in my unit and elsewhere, appointment to 2IC at RMAS plus two years would be way too soon. Frankly, you need a lot of practical experience to do a decent job of 2IC, even if you were a Jedi at Sandhurst.

The pattern should run as follows, I reckon:

Year 0 = Sandhurst
Year 1 = Special-to-Arm course and maybe a week of annual camp
Year 2 = Annual Camp
Year 3 = Annual Camp
Year 4 = JOTAC
Year 5 = Annual Camp
Year 6 = Annual Camp
etc.
 
#11
Here's my experience

Commissioned 1st August 2004, STA course Jan-Feb 2006. Promoted Lt in March with pay and seniority backdated to 1st August 2005 (grad). Served 1 year probation and had good OJAR in first year so presume that it's that that triggers the end of my probation. London Gazette is not up to date. Basis for this-I received a letter from Glasgow saying my commissioned had been confirmed at would be gazetted in April (when I was already at Lt)! Received Scroll dated April 2006 two weeks ago. I didn't do module 5 (not aware if I was exempted by CO) but was promoted anyway.

Hope it helps you.
 
#12
Dr_Evil said:
The pattern should run as follows, I reckon:

Year 0 = Sandhurst
Year 1 = Special-to-Arm course and maybe a week of annual camp
Year 2 = Annual Camp
Year 3 = Annual Camp
Year 4 = JOTAC
Year 5 = Annual Camp
Year 6 = Annual Camp
etc.
Where does the Op tour fit into that - perhaps the army could refer to it as 'extended camp'?

I can partly sympathise with Silverbullit's point, in that career management for officers often seems to happen by accident rather than any actual management on anyone's part (see topic on flat-spinning adjutants). It would be nice to see the criteria for promotion actually laid out (even if it is only regimental policy), rather than passed down annecdotally.

That said, I believe attending JOTAC as a TA officer in your 4th or 5th year is a real 'force multiplier', to quote a hateful buzzword. So many of the regular subbies in year 2 after commissioning really didn't seem to grasp what was going on. Before this degenerates into another Regular vs. TA meeting engagement, I would like to point out that I believe this is due simply to being a bit older, and seeing alot more 'stuff' (mainly going wrong).
 
#13
Dr_Evil said:
Or are you racing to be a brigadier at 30?
I wish I was, or perhaps had been... :)

So, as I silently predicted to myself, few actually know how the Mod 5's are recorded (bar the scrap of paper thing) or what happens to them there. Does a little flag pop up on an AO's 'Outlook' saying "2Lt Fatgit is one year old today (Hoorah!), get the Camp Commandant (no jokes please) to send him a card and a packet of shiny pips!"

As for racing on to do JOTAC... Well, yes, 2Lt and Lt is a fun place to be although you do still command troops at Captain level. The range of jobs available on Op Tour to Lt's is limited in comparison to those availabel to Captain and above... and, I'm not getting any younger so an Op tour would need to be on the cards in 2008 at the very latest.

For all of you that are yawning at this point, I know this is a personal case, and I apologise for bringing it up on a public forum. However it does link in with the issue of getting in courses and doing Annual Camp and experience commanding troops. Time is limited.

Perhaps one of the issues that causes frustration is that coming from the world outside the Army (and in the private sector), we (I) am used to in most cases transparency of process and also contactability. It astounds me sometimes that we need to have conversations like this, as the information we seek is clouded by the MOD's invisible fog (I appreciate that is a contradiction). It is wrong to call it bureaucratic ignorance even though that's what it feels like, because someone out there knows the answer to these questions... you just don't know who they are so can't contact them for a straight answer... therefore what propagates is part myth, part truth and part wild fantasy.

Surely a simple list saying for query X contact Y etc.

Perhaps that's asking too much.

Still, I can't knock the army too much... they let me in, let me do lots of cool stuff and pay me (occasionally on time) enough to blag a few grand more on my mortgage application!

I'm off to sip sparkling wine at the HAC ball... I hope you all have a lovely weekend... and...


COME ON ENG-ER-LUND!
 
#14
Dr_Evil said:
SilverBullet said:
{snip...}

SilverBullet said:
I think i've mentioned this before in previous threads, but the way this is panning out for people with ordinary jobs with standard 4 wks hols is as follows:

Year 1 = RMAS
Year 2 = STA Cse
Year 3 = JOTAC
Year 4 = Annual Camp

I know I'm beating a tune on a well worn drum but where is the incentive to pack as much in as quickly as poss so you can actually spend some time doing the job on Camp?
You need to cool your jets a bit, dear boy. You racing to die, or something?

JOTAC is intended for officers who are on the verge of being appointed company/squadron 2IC. In my unit, at least, that happens at commissioning plus five or six years at least. OK, so people can do JOTAC a lot earlier than that (after 18 months at regimental duty or summat) but the reality is that for most people in my unit and elsewhere, appointment to 2IC at RMAS plus two years would be way too soon. Frankly, you need a lot of practical experience to do a decent job of 2IC, even if you were a Jedi at Sandhurst.

The pattern should run as follows, I reckon:

Year 0 = Sandhurst
Year 1 = Special-to-Arm course and maybe a week of annual camp
Year 2 = Annual Camp
Year 3 = Annual Camp
Year 4 = JOTAC
Year 5 = Annual Camp
Year 6 = Annual Camp
etc.
my bold... Wrong. JOTAC along with passing MK1 is the requirement for promotion to captain. Yes it prepares you for role of 2i/c, but that is not when you should be attending it. You should complete it sometime in your first two years at regimental duty as a Lt, I would say 2Lt is too early but it has been known.

This would still put the revised schedule at

0=sandhurst
1=STA course (2lt)
2=Annual camp (2lt/Lt)
3/4 = Annual camp/JOTAC (Lt)
5=annual camp...
 
#15
Humphrey_De_Tiluel said:
Dr_Evil said:
JOTAC is intended for officers who are on the verge of being appointed company/squadron 2IC.
my bold... Wrong. JOTAC along with passing MK1 is the requirement for promotion to captain. Yes it prepares you for role of 2i/c, but that is not when you should be attending it. You should complete it sometime in your first two years at regimental duty as a Lt, I would say 2Lt is too early but it has been known.

This would still put the revised schedule at

0=sandhurst
1=STA course (2lt)
2=Annual camp (2lt/Lt)
3/4 = Annual camp/JOTAC (Lt)
5=annual camp...
Humph, I don't want to fight ya. And it seems we agree on the schedule. But I need to take you up on your rather conclusive "Wrong".

When I said "JOTAC is intended for officers who are on the verge of being appointed company/squadron 2IC" I was merely repeating what I was told when I was pushing to get on JOTAC, and indeed what I was told on the JOTAC course by the people who teach JOTAC.

The title of the course "Junior Officers' Tactical Awareness Course" is a good example of marketing by misnomer. It's not about tactics. It's about being a 2IC. Indeed, the guy in charge of the JOTAC course when I did it started things off by saying: "We were fed up of getting 2ICs who thought that their job was to understudy the OC and take his place when he got zapped. What we want is 2ICs who can do the job. That's what this course is about."

I have to agree with Gassing_Badgers on this one. JOTAC is about practical stuff, not applying Sun Tzu to thumping Al Q. It makes more sense and is more appropriate, especially for TA bods (simply because they have spent less time as part of the Borg), to do it in year 3 or 4. Doing it as a 2Lt is a bit silly, unless you're a TA 2Lt who was formerly a corporal or something with six years' service and two operational tours under yer belt already.
 
#16
Bloody hell,

am i drunk or is Dr Evil actually defending the T.A. its so good to hear from such a great doc. The basic fact of T.A. is the fact that you can even get the time of to do the courses. If you can even get your lazy fat ass CO to even know who you are and even understand that "yes i did go to uni. just because i joined the T.A. for some fun and really enjoy it and know that i have the brains to lead the whole ******* troop never mind just to speak to me when it suites does not matter" its all down to the idiot at the top if she puts you on the course even though she has said yes "i think your a good candidate for leadership".

The thing which makes me so angry is that i went for a regular commision got sponsorship and even got a cat 1, then for a civi job which was to good to turn down came along. the T.A. said no problem we will take you as an officer but 6 months down the line have heard nothing, just makes me want to go mad.

Anyway thats my piece said. i was angry but just as i have learnt "shut up and get on with it" and thats just what im doing. i do not critise the T.A. but i know that certain people who have all the power simply waste it by letting it get to their head and enjoy the chance of getting on to every photo opp and press release simply make out that thier great, just to get thier next pip.

In summary if the idoiots actually spoke to the people they command and realised thier skills then the T.A. would be twice as good and retain the people who came through the doors. instsead they see the chance to make everyone who comes through the door as a stepping stone for thier own good.

so like i said if anyone is an officer in the T.A. and reads this "BLOODY WELL SPEAK TO YOUR LADS AND REALISE THAT SOME OF THEM HAVE THE SKILLS TO DO EVEN BETTER THAN YOU" just because they didnt go to sandhusrt does not make them anyless.

YOU CAN ONLY EVER BE AS GOOD AS, NEVER BETTER THAN ANYONE.
 
#17
Dr_Evil said:
The pattern should run as follows, I reckon:

Year 0 = Sandhurst
Year 1 = Special-to-Arm course and maybe a week of annual camp
Year 2 = Annual Camp
Year 3 = Annual Camp
Year 4 = JOTAC
Year 5 = Annual Camp
Year 6 = Annual Camp
etc.
Well, my experience went
Year 0 = Sandhurst, and an Annual Camp. Age 22.
Year 1 = PCBC (TA), a week of RMQ 1-3 (got a place on a regular course), and a week of annual camp
Year 2 = Annual Camp, and Lt-Capt exam
Year 3 = Close Recce (TA), and annual camp as OC Recce.
Year 4 = Three weeks as an exercise umpire in Belize :) and annual camp. Hit the dizzy heights of Captain.
Year 5 = Annual camp.
Year 6 = Got sent to an OTC for a year, did annual camp.
Year 7 = Did JDSC (TA), and back to Bn. Annual camp. Ops officer, just in time for CAST(N). Met the future Mrs.G
Year 8 = CATC (TA) - Great fun. Got sent to ** HQ as SO3(V). Complete waste of time.
Year 9 = Dug escape tunnel from **HQ. Bn had a manning hole, new CO had the bright idea of making me an OC.
Year 10 = SDR hit, our company reduced to a platoon. Same CO had the bright idea of making me re-role HQ Coy. Annual Camp. Got married.
Year 11 = Annual Camp.
Year 12 = Knackered after 2.5 yrs as OC. Posted to OTC as an OC. Annual Camp
Year 13 = Annual Camp. Arrival of first rugrat.
Year 14 = Annual Camp.
Year 15 = Annual Camp. Arrival of second rugrat. Decision to sack it.
Year 16 would have been TACSC - they confirmed my place on the course about two weeks after I'd stated my intention to retire.

I spent my first five years allegedly in charge of a platoon, and my last six allegedly in charge of a company (with the last three poisoning curious and innocent OCdt minds in my own perverse, cynical, and subversive way). F***ing brilliant fun - I got to do everything I ever aspired to, and a bit more besides, with only one wasted year. Couple of points:

I had a degree and MTQ2, so at the 18 month mark (and after a thrash through TA Regs by the OC), they confirmed my commission, gave me a backdated second pip and six months of pay difference between 2Lt and Lt. Yippee.

I did JDSC(TA) and CATC "early"/"about right" by comparison with my peers. That JDSC was essentially a BG Staff Officers course, just right for my next job as Ops Offr. Doing JDSC before CATC was a definite plus. CATC was probably the most fun I've ever had on a course.

I got my commissioning scroll at about year 8, after a conversation with the Chief Clerk. My oppo from Sandhurst (same unit, army number different by two) had got his at year two, just after he sacked the TA to go work on the rigs.

Don't rush it. I hit Major at age 31, but couldn't be made substantive until age 34 - by which time I had finished my first tour as an OC. Given the rules for consideration for a place on TACSC, it's easy to be "career fouled" if you actually care about making CO.
 
#18
Dr_Evil said:
Humph, I don't want to fight ya. And it seems we agree on the schedule. But I need to take you up on your rather conclusive "Wrong".

When I said "JOTAC is intended for officers who are on the verge of being appointed company/squadron 2IC" I was merely repeating what I was told when I was pushing to get on JOTAC, and indeed what I was told on the JOTAC course by the people who teach JOTAC.

The title of the course "Junior Officers' Tactical Awareness Course" is a good example of marketing by misnomer. It's not about tactics. It's about being a 2IC. Indeed, the guy in charge of the JOTAC course when I did it started things off by saying: "We were fed up of getting 2ICs who thought that their job was to understudy the OC and take his place when he got zapped. What we want is 2ICs who can do the job. That's what this course is about."

I have to agree with Gassing_Badgers on this one. JOTAC is about practical stuff, not applying Sun Tzu to thumping Al Q. It makes more sense and is more appropriate, especially for TA bods (simply because they have spent less time as part of the Borg), to do it in year 3 or 4. Doing it as a 2Lt is a bit silly, unless you're a TA 2Lt who was formerly a corporal or something with six years' service and two operational tours under yer belt already.
Dr E, I apologise for a rather strong "Wrong", should have realy said "Almost, just a little tweak" :wink:

Having also attended JOTAC and heard the same shpiel I must say that I agree with you 100% on the content and purpose of JOTAC, and the possibly creative advertising with the name, but then who is going to attend the "G4 niff naff and trivia" (GFNNAT) course (Helmet and ECBA donned for the incoming from the logisticians out there :p )

However, I still disagree that it should be done immediately prior to a 2i/c posting.

In my unit (and the rest of my cap badge from what I can tell with conversations with mates) Sqn 2i/c is never a post for a newly promoted captain, it is occasionally a second tour but more often third tour as a captain whilst doing your Sub-unit command course and getting ready for Sqn Command as your next posting.

The way it generally happens in my unit is you are promoted to Capt after min 2 years as a Lt in a troop commander LSN (More usually 3) you then either do a tour as Sqn Ops offr or a staff job/trg job outside of the unit either at Bde, RTC or an OTC. you then swap and do either the staff job or back to a sub-unit as ops offr. By now you are generally deemed to have the G1 experience to carry off the job of 2i/c.

JOTAC and MK1 are the qualifying criteria for promotion to Capt, you can no longer promote via JOTES and then attend JOTAC as employment trg (ET). I wonder if this is the route you followed, a legitimate route whilst ROCC(V) took over but since 31 Mar 06 JOTES is no more and there is no way of promoting to Capt without MK1 & JOTAC. So the way you say it should be done would have fresh out of the box captains in what I would say is the most difficult and important job in a sub-unit.

Humph
 
#19
Humphrey_De_Tiluel said:
In my unit (and the rest of my cap badge from what I can tell with conversations with mates) Sqn 2i/c is never a post for a newly promoted captain, it is occasionally a second tour but more often third tour as a captain whilst doing your Sub-unit command course and getting ready for Sqn Command as your next posting.

The way it generally happens in my unit is you are promoted to Capt after min 2 years as a Lt in a troop commander LSN (More usually 3) you then either do a tour as Sqn Ops offr or a staff job/trg job outside of the unit either at Bde, RTC or an OTC. you then swap and do either the staff job or back to a sub-unit as ops offr. By now you are generally deemed to have the G1 experience to carry off the job of 2i/c.
Merci, my motte-building friend.

If my cynicism were not so ingrained, I would regard what you have just provided as an outline career plan for years RMAS +2 to RMAS +8ish, the like I which I have never seen or heard despite such a thing being extremely frikkin handy to have. Helpfully, it tallies (more or less) with Gravelbelly's CV.

As it's a Sunday:

Acts 9:18 said:
And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith.
 
#20
Dr_Evil said:
Merci, my motte-building friend.

If my cynicism were not so ingrained, I would regard what you have just provided as an outline career plan for years RMAS +2 to RMAS +8ish, the like I which I have never seen or heard despite such a thing being extremely frikkin handy to have. Helpfully, it tallies (more or less) with Gravelbelly's CV.
And the keen observer will have noticed that all of the tallieing bits were prior to SDR when we were tripping over young thrusting subbies, I would suggest that if the current lack of subbies continues we would be looking at a profile more like:

year 0 = RMAS
Year 1 = Confirmed and op tour
Year 2 = POTL and JOTAC
Year 3 = 2 ic job and Whatever comes long to replicate ICSC(L)
Year 4 = Sqn Comd
Year 5 = knackers yard as you are spat out the other end of the reserve of choice and get a chance to spend some time with one of them family things I've heard so much about...

[/cynicism] damn that doesn't seem to be working anymore :roll:
 
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