Drill Nights - Keep Them or Scrap Them?

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by stag-monster, Jul 12, 2006.

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  1. Keep Them!

  2. Bin Them!

  1. I am starting to get really down about the state of things in the TA; particulary in my unit.

    After having read about the RAF reserves and the fact that they have no drill nights it got me thinking do we in the TA still need them?

    My reasoning for not having them is this. Now I am making the assumption that the MOD budgets for every TA soldier to turn up for 40 drill nights so on a quarters day pay for each one thats 10 MTDS. If we scrap Drill Nights thats an extra 4 Training Weekends! Just think what could be achieved with these. You could use 2 a year for dedicated admin and MATT's.

    The other 2 can be used for recruiting, decent range periods etc etc

    What do other members feel. Do drill nights still serve a purpose? If I am honest apart from the recruiting efforts or admin very little gets done. A lot of the time the Toms end up standing around talking, seniors are in their offices putting the world to right and the officers well they're keeping out of harms way.

    The only people I ever see working is the poor guys on stag and even then it's just "Barrier Up, Barrier Down"

    Obviously a big arguement is the social aspect but then again I am sure that the RAF reserves still have a good social life on their training weekends
  2. Keep them. Its the main way the TA/Sqn/Coy can deliver training, with a lot of quality instruction. Weekends tend to be dominated by ITD/MATT etc crap
  3. bin them.

    Come in if you want to for some admin but structure training around W/e - critical mass, efficient, doesn't bu**er up the week. Rarely is anything of any real value achieved on a drill night.

    They were called drill nights because people came in, did a bit of drill and then retired to the pub. Now that's what I call some decent retention based training.
  4. Drill nights serve a number of functions. firstly they give the sub unit identity, the CoC is able to 'sell' the w/es training to those who attend and talk to individuals on a range of issues that there just isn't time for on a w/e. As already identified, the w/e are when the real training gets done, so don't reduce this and fill it with admin. (Also civi staff not always in on sat).

    Second, the drill nights are a good time to build up trg for the w/es. This is where the theory lessons can be done in preparation for a particular w/e and the tasks you are going to do. Call it lessons, call it rehearsals, it all amounts to the same. If the training is poor, it is not a problem of the drill night, its the CoC / PSI for allowing it to be poor.

    Third, the TA is a habit. If not enough training is laid on, people find a new past time and drift away. If it takes up a reasonable amount of time, then most won't have enough time to find something else to do and then TA becomes that major past time. Ultimately, we all enjoy soldiering, reduce the time it is on, and I'll get into something else and soldiering will slip away down my list of priorities. Finally, its good to do a bit of work before retiring to the bar for a few. After all, we all do that in normal life.
  5. I second what marabout says, in 2 hours on a ***day night you can deliver an o group, prep the vehicles and check kit for the weekend. You can also chase up those who will maybe not appar on sat without a little push. Plus for recruiting you need your parade nights, blokes don't comein off the street on a weekend
  6. Agreed with point above, if theres no parade nights a person like me going through the stages of getting in has no definite point of contact aside a phone number basically.
  7. fcuk it, let's just scrap the TA altogether!?

    Admittidly, my Unit isn't the best organised come drill nights, but those that ARE well organised, are invaluable. The weekend idea seems like a good plan, but how do we propose to deal with skill degridation? An extra 4 weekends a year compared to two hours every week? Taking that if your Sqn goes away 1.5 weekends a month (twice in some months), you're only looking at an extra weekend every quarter? If the CoC makes use of the time efficiently, we'd have one hour trade-related training and one hour at the OC's discretion.

    Keep them I say!!
  8. Last night did some admin had a breif for a recruiting weekend and fired a apwt (ok on the dcct but its sort of shooting :D ) some nights are bone some are useful .
  9. havent had a decent drill night for months. whats the point? their a throw back to the past and for a modern Ta, things should be done in a modern way.
  10. I'm not in the TA but want to join up but I have a hard time convincing the missus that 12 w/e isn't much, 16 would cause hell

    Personally we can swallow weekdays over weekends, but hey what do I know
  11. what you on about? I think the minimum is 15 day camp + 6 weekends and this has nothing to do with drill nights
  12. No Wellyhead has a fair point, too many weekends and you end up with half the Sqn one weekend the other half 2 weeks later.

    Keep the TNTs and use them correctly for admin, briefings and light training such as PT etc.
  13. What about doing something along the lines of 1 or 2 nights per month, but have them better focused / organised, and use the rest for a couple of extra weekends for things as already mentioned.

    (Suggested as someone who has never been in or near the TA, just an outside idea!)

  14. Sorry I was being too specific, this of course would only effect those if they attended all camps, which many do not, the reason I posted it was more from the point of view of a newbie expected to attend all camps in the first year rather than the old and bold.

    What I mean is for someone to go through training they may have to supliment the missed nights with extra w/es which could cause people to jack it, but as I said I am NOT in the TA (yet - if ever) and you guys should have a better feel for the requirements, all I can say is its easier to swing a night a week that a whole w/e with the missus (especially one that works many w/es)
  15. I have difficulty identifying with this as I'm in a Unit that works hard, plays hard every drill night, weeeknds, camp etc, and it works fine the way it is.

    Sounds like the seniors and PSIs in your unit need a rocket up their collective arr$es (IMHO!) to get out and do their jobs so that you get interesting and effective planned training every time you rock up. The orifices of course should be encouraged to remain well out of harms way - the last thing you need is them trying to do the NCOs jobs for them.