Do we need REME TA?

Currently working with a TA unit(f### know for how much longer) I feel that someone has to stand up for the ******* now and again. Unit is a small concern , 5 VM , 1 recce mech, 1 storeman. As for qualifications, most are well ahead of their contemporaries in the corps, one being high up in the vehicle inspection world, 1 having his own very successful garage, the other works for a local hgv repair workshop he is ex reme 1st class vm.these guys are mostly time served and during their training I know for a fact that two of them completed HNC /HND which was the benchmark qualification that Tiffies came off course with when I was serving, although it was a fecking long time ago, so they generally are quitegood at trade, were they ever allowed to do it. I also believe that when they are deployed , most come back with good reports. remember also , there are some real chods in regular units who would have difficulty tieing their laces as well.
Having written this ,I am now going to break my own fingers
Beagle all your points are sound and I agree with, but the problem is not the vocational trademan which you seem to have at your place( lucky you), its the hobbyists with absolutely no qualifications or competence who are in question. Should we continue to employ these individuals.
 
You could skim lots of REME TA slots and save shedloads of dosh by having a serious look at the Bn HQs, my god these are full of hangers on and deadwood who are the highest paid hobby types. Check the amount of time spent on golf courses vs time in work along with cocktail parties vs time in the field. Some great points in this thread, but remember it is a lot harder to bin a TA bod than a regular, boy do I know!!
 
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EScotia

Guest
I've worked with the TA as a reg and as TA (being NRPS) and just like regulars I've met good & bad, I'm blessed with a majority of excellence at the mo. SPSI has a valid point in that I believe the shelf stackers & bin men (I've even had a mid wife turned doctor as a TA VM) have passed their sell by date. IMO with the TA as an entity having moved onto GCM the time needed to educate hobbyists to become worthwhile tradesmen in an operational environment cannot be found within the time allowed, bearing in mind they have soldier skills to learn & learn again.
With units also about to off load what green fleet they have and an awful lot of units going every where in WF (even having to turn up for Northern Bluebell to train as IRs & go round the stands in WF FFS!), there is obviously no role for REME at 1st line so why not have an area REME Bn/Wksp Coy who units have to bid for REME support on Ex for?
 
When working in their own units there is generally no problem employing non vocational VM's as the bod in charge of them will know their strengths and weaknesses despite what class they are and what competencies they have. It only becomes a big issue when the tradesman is removed from that environment on mobilization and the gaining unit has nothing to base his actual ability on except his trade class and competencies. In my opinion the whole competency gig should be scrapped for the TA, instead the boss of the LAD should furnish the gaining unit a pen picture of the tradesman they getting.
As for the whole sale use of white fleet, it's been a joke for some time now and seems to be getting worse. It's akin to buying a car then leaving it on your drive way whilst you hire another one.
Lift some of the pointless restrictions on using the green fleet that has already been bought and paid for and cut the amount of white fleet......
 

The_Mighty

Clanker
Looks like i in the same boat as EScotia background wise.......Before i give some chopper more ammo at 2 Div or beyond to pull us down in their sinking ivory tower lets clear one thing up.....the TA are cheap, you only pay the guys when they tip up....they can be mobilised, do a good job and then get papped out. You could go on here all day, do we need this, that and the other, lets not start on lightbulbs eh!.... Having seen both sides of REME life My only gripe would be the old school cold war coffin dodgers....get to funk... TA and reg! If you are not willing/ able to deploy, then beat it, have guys in my place now on Ops, they will come back.... de kit and be back emptying your bins, and driving your buses in no time folks! Things are changing and Mr Cameron is looking for cheap options... and reservists are just that.
 
Looks like i in the same boat as EScotia background wise.......Before i give some chopper more ammo at 2 Div or beyond to pull us down in their sinking ivory tower lets clear one thing up.....the TA are cheap, you only pay the guys when they tip up....they can be mobilised, do a good job and then get papped out. You could go on here all day, do we need this, that and the other, lets not start on lightbulbs eh!.... Having seen both sides of REME life My only gripe would be the old school cold war coffin dodgers....get to funk... TA and reg! If you are not willing/ able to deploy, then beat it, have guys in my place now on Ops, they will come back.... de kit and be back emptying your bins, and driving your buses in no time folks! Things are changing and Mr Cameron is looking for cheap options... and reservists are just that.
i doff my cap and raise my glass to you sir,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
 
'Tis a curious thing that the TA REME is seen almost entirely as a pool (or puddle) of VM's and LADs.
The fact is that TA REME is largely formed in Battalions, which means that there are jobs advertised (and PIDs established) for the whole range of trades, VM's Gun Plumbers, Recce Mechs, Tech stores and so on. About the only thing they don't do is their own signals, hence the strange reliance on RLC Driver/Radops.

Now, that is just how things are. If that isn't making Div Staff happy, then the problem isn't that there are low numbers of TA on Ops. It's structural. The TA REME isn't producing what the Regulars want, because its simply the wrong shape-And that's the fault of the Regular Army.

The Battalions have large numbers of people with trades which simply aren't wanted on tour, or (even better), are completely unusable because, despite the 'One Army' concept (Pause for hollow laughter) the TA aren't EVER going to train on relevant modern equipment-unless mobilised, and even then, unless they are vocational, the chances are that they will be basically inefficient on ops.They can't cram 'X' months of trade courses into OPTAG.

After all, what is the point in training TA troops on anything useful? I've got Driver/Radops who were trained on CLANSMAN, (not that there are any radios left, or vehicles to put them in), Storemen who aren't allowed to use (And in fact have never been trained on ) UNICOM, and VM's who can strip a 110 Series Landy, but haven't ever seen the new MAN series vehicles, or the Mastiffs, Jackals, and so on.

So long as the Regular Army insists on training the TA component to be inadequate, it will be inadequate. Don't blame the STABs. They will continue to rock up on their own time, get in their White Fleet, and roll out. Ironically, the longer you've been doing it, the less desirable for Ops you are. A 20 Year TA WO2 is very unlikely to have the current level of trade and recent operational skills of a Regular WO2., so no one in their right mind would take him if a Regular equivalent is available.
-But he or she is likely to be shit hot at things the Regular Army never does.

The Regular Army has got exactly the TA it wanted.- A shell structure designed to produce a stream of low level IR's.

However, if that's the case, there is really no case for REME TA Battalions. Battalions require Colonels, Adjutants, RSMs, and all the other admin top hamper. -So there might be a shortage of useful slots for career minded Officers. Decisions, decisions-Scrap the structure, and there's a few less Battalion Commands for aspiring Colonels to occupy. Perhaps we just accept that the TA is an apprenticeship scheme for junior ORs. Sack everyone over L/CPl. They can train the recruits on Wednesday nights. But-

The TA's remit is to 'support the Regular Army on Ops.'- Which is tricky when the Regular Army has taken away all the equipment and training the TA requires, and then complains that the service it receives is lacking. A bit like sawing the legs off your racehorse, and complaining that it doesn't run very well. It want's to, but with the best will in the world, and beating it with all the sticks you like, all it can do is twitch a bit.
 

STABARMR

Old-Salt
I was an Armourer, i had no experience of the same in civvy job. But i knew after passing class two at SEME with four other TA armourers i knew i was just as good as a reg. The TA VMs, recy mechs at out TAC did the same in civvy street all very proffesional, motivated. Even had two coppers as VMs!!
 
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PrinceAlbert

Guest
I was an Armourer, i had no experience of the same in civvy job. But i knew after passing class two at SEME with four other TA armourers i knew i was just as good as a reg. !
No.....no you weren't. It's a simple matter of hands-on time with the equipment. It's impossible.
 
I was an Armourer, i had no experience of the same in civvy job. But i knew after passing class two at SEME with four other TA armourers i knew i was just as good as a reg. The TA VMs, recy mechs at out TAC did the same in civvy street all very proffesional, motivated. Even had two coppers as VMs!!
Passing a course gives you a tick in the box to then go on and learn the job you're doing through experience, a bit like when you pass your driving test.
A regular will gain the experience a lot quicker than a TA soldier by virtue of the time they spend working at trade. If the regular spends more time in a tracksuit than uniform and you get yourself on an FTRS and work at trade then you may have a case..........
 
The Div Deputy Comd recently visited my Sub unit and asked everyone present, " why do I need REME TA", not unusally noobdy could give him an answer. He asked this because he stated that at present REME TA were just over2,000 manned yet only 42 REME TA personnel are currently on OPs. I believe that he thinks that its just not cost effective, and looking at the figures I think may have a point.

Putting aside the fact that most Trademen, apart from the Nationally recruited who are generally Ex-Reg, are " hobbyists" ie not vocationally qualified( a two week basic and a two week Class 1 is all they recieve) . Do you out there in the field force see them as needed reservists and a valuable asset.
Let's put the question another way:

Do you need a Deputy Divnl Commander?

How many regular REME is there and how many of them are on Ops?
 

STABARMR

Old-Salt
I did two op. tours with battalions and LAD's, a lot more experience than a typical TA armourer. I believe the regs armourer courese spends six weeks on file-ing techniques. We got it compressed into a day and a half. Experience came from benchfitting skills learnt working alongside regs.
 
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PrinceAlbert

Guest
the regs armourer courese spends six weeks on file-ing techniques. We got it compressed into a day and a half. Experience came from benchfitting skills learnt working alongside regs.
Exactly, so how can a TA Armr be as experienced as a Reg Armr?
 

STABARMR

Old-Salt
I spent a lot of time working closely with a reg cfn armourer in podejevo, he was a bit younger than me and had just left SEME. His bench fitting i believed was the same as mine. And TA REME will always be prepared if mobisied to do other jobs in theatre where a bod is needed. Driver's etc... With regards to hands on equiment time I came across weapon systems that even regs hadnt seen before. 2 Weeks at SAAM on the 'interest' range. Had gats from HK and other makers even the reg sarg armourer hadnt seen. However i did see a reg soldier put his hand up on firing point. He said to me his weapon wouldnt fire. When i removed the see thru mag off the 5.56 rifle (cant remember which one, but not ours) he'd managed to get five 9mm rounds into it!!
No.....no you weren't. It's a simple matter of hands-on time with the equipment. It's impossible.
Passing a course gives you a tick in the box to then go on and learn the job you're doing through experience, a bit like when you pass your driving test.
A regular will gain the experience a lot quicker than a TA soldier by virtue of the time they spend working at trade. If the regular spends more time in a tracksuit than uniform and you get yourself on an FTRS and work at trade then you may have a case..........
 

STABARMR

Old-Salt
Most TA REME i met and worked with, did the same job for civvy company when not in greens. Very qualified for the ranks they held.
 
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PrinceAlbert

Guest
Most TA REME i met and worked with, did the same job for civvy company when not in greens. Very qualified for the ranks they held.
You don't give in do you........so on that note, you're right. A TA Armr Class 1, is just as experienced as a Reg Class1 Armr. No difference in skill-set at all. Nothing, nada, zilch........
 

polar

LE
Exactly, so how can a TA Armr be as experienced as a Reg Armr?
Not in all aspects of the trade because the TA soldier should only know a part of the subject matter, so definatley they should not match the variety of experience but in specific areas the gap can be closed. If you need to have good generic experience then I'd say the trade isn't suitable for TA.
 
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PrinceAlbert

Guest
Not in all aspects of the trade because the TA soldier should only know a part of the subject matter, so definatley they should not match the variety of experience but in specific areas the gap can be closed. If you need to have good generic experience then I'd say the trade isn't suitable for TA.
I'd agree.......
 

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