Commissioning a good egg

#1
Chaps,

Been round the houses with an issue for months, have become fed up with people who should know better making answers up, and so the time has come for me to convene a meeting of the ARRSE sages to seek your counsel.

A soldier in my subunit is -

- 30ish
- possessed of 10 years' service including a punchy Op and a fine cut to his jib
- substantive Cpl in rank
- recommended for a commission by his Reg OC from the Op, plus by a load of STABs (for what it's worth, I mean who gives a fck about their opinion?)
- keen to commission as a TA officer, for some reason.

His issues are AOSB and time. Despite a chronic TA-wide shortage of officers (albeit not in my unit), there do not seem to be enough spaces available on AOSB to get this fella commissioned pronto.

Can anyone give me (or point me towards the location of) up-do-date info on -

- soldier entry commissions (who is eligible, what is involved by way of filter, which parts of the TA Commissioning Course are exempted)
- late entry commissions (same questions, as above, if this route still exists as a thing separate to SE commissions)

Clearly, the ideal thing to be able to do is get him interviewed in a smoke-filled room, feel his heft so to speak, then chuck him into StabSandbags to see what they make of him.

Yours ever

Dr E
 
#2
TA Regs 4.035 and 4.036 refer
 
#3
Thanks, big man. According to that, "candidates who have satisfactorily completed 5 years non commissioned service in the ... TA" are required to attend a TA Selection Board rather than AOSB. That will be very useful, if I can find me one of these there TA Selection Boards.

Reg 4.033 gives the recognition features of a TA Selection Board:

TA selection boards are to be convened on the authority of the Div/Dist Commander concerned to recommend for Soldier Entry Commissions only (including officer appointments on NRPS / FTRS. This authority may be delegated to Regional Bde Commanders. In the case of national units or pools this will either be the district in which the candidate resides or the district of the TA/CVHQ concerned. The normal composition will be:

a. President. A regular Brigadier or Colonel (in exceptional circumstances a TA Colonel where a regular Brigadier or Colonel is prevented from attending).

b. Members. There are to be four; these may include a TA Colonel, but otherwise are normally to be Lieutenant Colonels, including one regular Lieutenant Colonel (or regular Major if no Lieutenant Colonel is available) of the arm or corps which the candidate wishes to join and, if possible, one TA officer. All exceptions to this must be granted by Reserves prior to a Board convening.

c. Representatives of the appropriate TA/CVHQ or RFCA may be invited to attend. Attendance when specialist candidates are being considered is essential and desirable in all other cases. (See also para 6.043 in respect of candidates for unit appointments.)

d. The commanding officer of the unit which the candidate wishes to join may be a member, or be in attendance, at the discretion of the Div/Dist Commander or the president of the board.

e. For boards where an applicant is being considered for commission as a specialist officer, a representative from that A&SD should be present. Bdes should contact Div/Dist or A&SD HQs to arrange representation.

f. All recommendations for a Commission made by TA selection boards must be authorized by MS (via MS Reserves APC) in order to ratify the Board results and provide the authority for future selection into a commissioned appointment.
Do TA Selection Boards still exist? How does one find out about them? Have they gone underground? Is there a special handshake?
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#4
I have to say I have never seen one or heard of one being formed.

No chance of quick promotion to Sgt then LE commission? It will probably be far simpler and less soul destroying than going through the DE commissioning route!
 
#5
Is said bon eouf an Ozzie with a penchant for pipe smoking? Not intended as a euphemism, although I have heard of the cruel and unusual demands the OP makes upon his hapless underlings...
 
#6
This was take from an email from my Adjt, and the direction he had been given regarding this.

'Unlike the Regular Army, there is no such thing as a TA LE Commission or a LE liability. The Regular Army method of extending a WO's military career by commissioning him and then employing him in jobs that are tailored for LE officers is not used in the TA.

There is only one type of Group A TA commission which can be achieved through the DE or SE route. If you are to recommend a TA soldier for a commission, you must judge that he has the ability and potential to fill the full range of TA officer jobs in his cap badge. If you caveat your recommendation by implying he is only suitable to fill jobs that in the Regular Army would be filled by LE Capts, you are giving him a weak recommendation, at least that is the way a Board will see it.

The upper age limit for SE Commissioning is 54, in other words they must commission before they reach 55. TA Soldiers who are given extensions of service by DM(A) beyond 54 cannot be commissioned therefore they should not be recommended for a Commission. SE Commissioning Boards will expect candidates to have the potential to fill at least two 3 year tours as an officer and to be able to go on Ops which they can’t do as officers once they have reached 55. So the effective upper age limit for a commission is probably around 52. But the aim must be to commission soldiers at a much earlier age than this so that they give the maximum return of service as an officer and have the maximum opportunity to promote. For the SE route this is after 9 years service (2 as a SNCO), by which time commissioning potential should have been fully developed and identified. This means that most SE candidates should be commissioning in their 30’s. Exceptionally they can be commissioned in their mid-40s but any later than that is really too late.'
 
#7
I have to say I have never seen one or heard of one being formed.

No chance of quick promotion to Sgt then LE commission? It will probably be far simpler and less soul destroying than going through the DE commissioning route!
Hewould need 2 years as Sgt:

Commissioning Qualifications (Soldier Entry)
4.021. From 1 Apr 07 all officers commissioned late or from the ranks will receive a TA Gp A Commission in the rank of Lt or A/Capt (on probation, see paras 4.061 and 4.063-5). Eligibility is:
a. A recommendation in the last OJAR/SJAR.
b. Exceptionally 9 years, from their 21st birthday, of service in the ranks of which 2 must have been as a SNCO. Regular service, Mobilized service or Full time service is to be counted. Priority should be given to the Direct Entry Route for commissioning for any individual who has the ability to complete the RMAS commissioning course before age 35.
Officers who hold a Quartermaster Commission may convert at any point, until 2012, to a TA Gp A Commission at the rank they currently hold. On 1 Apr 2012 all QM commissions will become TA Group A commissions.
 
#9
With the stipulation of 2 years as an SNCO alluded to above in mind, if you are in a jam hen it might be worthwhile finding exceptional precedents. Given that the FANY managed to commission and mobilise two girlies in their early 30s who had no previous military experience, there is a shortcut somewhere.

IIRC correctly the commissioning process took < 6 months and was via London OTC. So it can be done, somehow. The AOSB hurdle, however, is more likely to be a sticking point.
 
#10
#11
With the stipulation of 2 years as an SNCO alluded to above in mind, if you are in a jam hen it might be worthwhile finding exceptional precedents. Given that the FANY managed to commission and mobilise two girlies in their early 30s who had no previous military experience, there is a shortcut somewhere.

IIRC correctly the commissioning process took < 6 months and was via London OTC. So it can be done, somehow. The AOSB hurdle, however, is more likely to be a sticking point.
CC, you know me. I live for exceptional precedents.

However, having battled on this fella's behalf against the DE system for more than a year (pace The Duke), facing denials by them of his existence, mislaid paperwork, assurances given yet forgotten,* lack of spaces on AOSBs,** conceptual/procedural problems on their part in dealing with anyone who is not coming from an OTC (or so it seems), I think that pushing him as an exceptional case would be as futile as an under-resourced land campaign in Asia.

I think the advice might have to be: await your AOSB. It might come, one day. And if it does not, in a few years' time you will still be relatively young and will be able to flick across as an LE.

* The Corrs come to mind.

** Seriously, with a lack of TA officers, how can this be?
 
#12
Well, if you're that disillusioned, have you considered giving him your commissioning, or embarking on some kind of job swap? He gets to lord it behind a large shiny oak desk, give Mussolini-style wildly gesticulating speeches from the garlanded platform you erected in the TAC especially for the purpose, and scream in frustration at the annoyance of dealing with Byzantine MS processes.

In turn, you get to loaf around with a couple of stripes, bomb around in a stripped down landrover on field weekends and spend your working weeks with a blissful disregard for TA homework.

The sale of commissions is illegal, I haven't read anything about gifting or lending your commission in TA regs. All you need to do is swap rank slides and come to a gentleman's agreement to split the pay.

You wouldn't need to slice off his face and wear it as your own, or set up house with his shapely wife or anything... but it would help.
 
#13
The sale of commissions is illegal, I haven't read anything about gifting or lending your commission in TA regs. All you need to do is swap rank slides and come to a gentleman's agreement to split the pay.
Aha, you advocate the HAC route, which of course has nothing to do with the TA. As a point of order I think they pay rather than are paid, though...
 
#14
TA P&P 2012 Para 1.1.16 b - in my Corps we still run what we call an LECB and send Officers on the LEOC but they are Soldier Entry in truth. There is a rumour out there about Cpl's attending AOSB and if they pass going straight to Sandhurst without needing to complete Mod 2 & 3 but yet to see any paperwork on it!
 
#15
I'll caveat all that goes after with, "OK it was 10 years ago".

I was a reg WO in a TA unit and we had a regular CO. Being selected for commission consisted essentially of passing TA Phase 1 training, then having a recommendation from the CO, a chat with the Honorary Colonel to see if your face fitted, and some civvy academic quals. HNC seemed to be the minimum, but I'm sure a good egg with operational experience might get round that. All this resulted in the nod from the regional brigade, same from CoC above regimental level, in our case 11 Sig Bde.

However in this age of more regulation, all that may be complete pap, and....OK it was 10 years ago.
 
#16
How are post-tour reports supposed to be folded into the SJAR process ? I had two recommendations for 'an LE commission' from both the CO and IO of the unit I was attached to in 2007, on account of working at SO2/SO3 level, yet my TA unit has pretty much ignored them since I came back. 'You're too old for a DE and too junior for an LE. Bugger off'.

FP
 
#17
His issues are AOSB and time. Despite a chronic TA-wide shortage of officers (albeit not in my unit), there do not seem to be enough spaces available on AOSB to get this fella commissioned pronto.
I was offered a briefing date ~6 weeks after Westbury received completed paperwork (That was with Christmas in the way, so ~4 working weeks, not sure how long they take for Christmas there) and Main Board lead times are similar having spoken to someone a few weeks ahead of me in the process. It did not seem to matter TA/Reg as everyone I spoke to seemed to be being offered the same.

Unless he's already booked on Mod2 (Or you can get him on one PDQ) then he's already looking at a Summer 2013 commission date so he's got all year to get AOSB and Main Board completed for a Spring 2013 Mod3...
 
#18
For what it's worth, and adding the caveat that it was a good deal more than 10 years ago, my ol' man was commissioned from Sgt to one pip wonder. He made some mention of a TA Selection board, but I get the impression it was a formality (something about a handshake and 'gotcha')...
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#19
How are post-tour reports supposed to be folded into the SJAR process ? I had two recommendations for 'an LE commission' from both the CO and IO of the unit I was attached to in 2007, on account of working at SO2/SO3 level, yet my TA unit has pretty much ignored them since I came back. 'You're too old for a DE and too junior for an LE. Bugger off'.

FP
Your JPA generated SJAR has the provision to attach your operational insert, which should also be referred to in the SJAR itself. Your inserts could state that you have a marvelous line in party tricks involving loaves and fishes but unless the recommendation if followed through and put in your SJAR it counts for little.

Ultimately, your promotion or selection for commissioning is very much a unit level thing. If your OC or CO don't want to write you up for it, then you are stuffed (at that unit, for the duration of their tenure).
 
#20
Many, many thanks, Your Grace.

We have a new CO who knows me from that tour so I'm hoping that the log jam will finally clear. (And I took photo-copies of everything...)

FP

PS If it was you playing 'mine Host' at the Royal Armouries last Friday I hope the guests enjoyed their tour and their chat with the Curator.
 
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