Could this be the best way to make the TA more effective?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by headgear, Jun 14, 2012.

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  1. With the upcoming regular forces draw down to 82000 and the plan for having 30000 effective TA in support, it strikes me that that the MoD has to come up with a new way of making the TA more effective.

    This is not an attempt to slag off the TA, I am a regular soldier of 25 years service and have served 2 years with the TA like a lot of other regulars. From conversations with them it is a common perception in my peer group that around 20-30% of TA are your hard core dependable turn up for everything guys who often put the regulars to shame! Another 30-40% are enthusiastic amateurs but often would not be employed in their TA trade or rank on attachment to the regulars because they simply dont have the skills or experience whilst the remainder are quite frankly a waste of space.

    In the main the TA simply just don't have enough time in training days to become fully proficient and they have their own busy lives to lead which often even with the best will in the world interfere with training events. On the flip side of the coin the regular forces are losing highly skilled and in many cases combat proven people to civvy street - sometimes non voluntary.

    My idea is to Make the TA a real mon- fri job without the x factor (unless deployed on ops) - this would attract ex regulars as the salary would still be in line with any other civvy jobs and it would also provide enough training time to raise the proficiency levels of the average TA soldier - TA units could even work with their regular host units as required throughout the week which would create a closer and better relationship and understanding and potentially alleviate some of the extra work the regulars will inevitably have to do with less people such as ceremonial or basic stuff like vehicle maintenance.

    Of course this would probably be far more expensive and my solution is very simplistic but I believe if the MoD really wants to have a credible reservist force that can readily step into support the very small standing army then it needs to get radical! Due to its size The future army will require much more support from the TA and it won't have the time or resources to Molly coddle the TA on attachment .

    What do you think? Am I talking bollocks or do you have a better solution? - please remember this is not intended to be a TA bashing post
  2. If it was 9 - 5 Mon to Fri it would no longer be part time, reserve or TA, it would be the Regular Army with more hours :-?
  3. So, a full time reserve, a bit like an army maybe ?
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Like FTRS(HC)?
  5. How about civvy companies taking on stores/clerical/support roles, with a remit to have a % of their employee's as TA. Paid a normal wage most of the time, but an equivalent military wage if called up for ex/ops etc.
  6. Civvy companies don't like losing manpower and it's difficult if not impossible for them to gap a post for 6 or 7 months - this is one of the things that holds back many of the highly skilled people we need from joining the TA ! Yes, my idea is to make the reservists more like an army because thats what the mod seems to be wanting them to be but they would be on different contractual obligations
  7. The x-factor is, what, 15% atm. Considering the capitation rate of a serviceman is about double their salary its a minimal saving.
  8. The USNG have a full time commitment just for stores/training etc. But then they are each state's own army and can do what it likes.

    How about telling those who have been made redundant or are signing off anyway that to reduce their reserve liability (I understand it is currently 6 years), they join the TA for three years? The TA gets the experience, they get paid if they don't have a job immediately, they also can be weaned off the army life and into civvy street and can network within the TA unit and finally if they don't like it, they only have to do 28 days?
  9. The whole point of getting rid of ~20,000 regulars is that the government isn't perpared to pay for them. Most of the "savings" would be lost if your idea were implemented.
  10. Trying to make redundant regulars do a 3 year stint in the TA won't work due to TA station location which may not be anywhere near that individuals new home and the fact that those guys will have to be looking for a new job and house hunting etc - never mind the fact that the organisation has laid them off and they might be ever so slightly pee'd off with the army! Thats why it would have to become attractive by being a real full time job - I mentioned minus the x factor but if it was only mon-fri then obviously there would need to be a further salary reduction to reflect that (unless on ops or ex) so the savings should be a lot bigger than just the x-factor, I know that reduced level of pay wouldnt make people rich but in many areas it would still be average or above in a working environment that many would enjoy.

    As for the whole idea is to reduce the number of regulars I agree but to compensate for that the new TA is supposed to become more effective, we all know that in reality no politician would adopt my idea but I believe it is the only real way to provide a reasonable compromise - cheaper force but far more effective.
  11. I see a more simple solution...restructure the entire military :)

    The only full time soldiers would be frontline troops, those whose role is to close and engage with the enemy along with a few attached specialists.
    Second tier soldiers would be monday to friday (of shift to cover weekends), support troops such as Engineers, Signals, REME, RLC and so on
    Third tier would be "TA" and would be highly specialist roles that are actually better off being civvie trained but who are willing to volunteer. Roles like Medical spring to mind but I am sure the Leagal services and so on are in the same boat.

    Just a thought... :)
  12. The whole failure of the way of thinking that you increase the TA to 30,000 that we have that reserve is frankly b######s. Like the original poster who commented on his time with the TA and how the breakdown of the average unit is for effectiveness I concur. I served TA 1972-74, Regular 1974-84, then TA 1984-2007 before the memsahib said it was time to hang my boots up. (I'm now a voluntary Civvie Instr with the Air Cadets for my sins). AF95 brought in that TA could be called up for 12 months in any 3 years thus solve the manpower probs in the supporting arms following reductions. It didn't work and is still NOT working. Employers are not very chuffed losing skilled personnel for 6 - 12 months unless there is a recession and they can promise to keep their job open (if the firm is still around) whilst losing the wage burden for the period but what about when the economy picks up? Also picture the field hospitals most of which have NHS staff as their personnel. Every time they are mobilised they denude hospitals here of staff. The TA is under strength now, never mind recruiting another 12,000! As other posters have stated, the level of experience varies unit to unit and also note the drop out rate following a tour. It is simply the bean counters at work without looking at the practicalities. The support given to TA after ops is even worse than that given to Regs - I know as I am a volunteer for SSAFA and RBL and meet the guys and gals after the event. The whole process is made up of matching numbers and pennies - nothing more, nothing less.
  13. If every single Reservist who worked for the NHS were mobilised tomorrow (and that includes me), the NHS would lose fewer staff than call in sick each day.

    Possibly more of a reflection on NHS absenteeism than the numbers of reservists, but nevertheless...