Experiences of a Newbie

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by BIGBAPS, Nov 23, 2005.

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  1. 3 months filling in forms and a sitting around in a pokey recruitment room, being ignored by everyone except the recruiter.
    selection, TAFS 1 & 2 within space of 5 weeks.
    5 months doing admin in the sodding garage plus 2 lectures on VP, 1 lecture map reading, 1 night sorting rifle cleaning kits.
    No pay as yet.
    Recruits course isn't until Jan 21st ( applied next avaible in Sept!)
    a dozen others got fed up and pissed off after a few weeks, the one other recruit to have stuck it out, hasn't turned up last 2 weeks.
    Now I'm keen, but fcuk me this is slow going and dare I say a tad boring. (There must be more than this???)
    oh yes, my squadron is getting disbanded in February, but hey at least my troop got an officer a couple of weeks ago
  2. msr

    msr LE

    I'm sure your experiences are not unique - and we wonder why we have a retention problem.

  3. I wish your story was a one off, alas it is not. Good for you though, keep going you can always move to another unit.
  4. All a part of the selection and commitment process. Some may realise even the TA isn't the glamourous Adventure Training package envisaged but an insight to the often tedious, mundane and realistic nature of the Armed Forces.
  5. welcome to the army. On the bus, off the bus.... Stick with it BB, it does get better
  6. It does get better (usually...) and, although it won't help in your case (sorry), the army is trying to do something about this. Phase 1 training in future will be weekend training done at your local Regional Training Centre. This should mean that you won't have to wait for / book time off work for the next available 2 week Phase 1 Recruit Training Course (which will then be cancelled, or oversubscribed because the last one was cancelled...). It should mean that you can get on with some proper training as soon as you've finished TAFs and cut out a lot of the sitting around waiting to be qualified to join in with the rest of your unit. :(

    Not due to happen until next year, unfortunately; but at least the army knows what you are going through is wrong and shouldn't be happening. :oops:

    No one would blame you if you jack it in now. But the other option is to stick with it and work your way up the chain of command to a point where you can make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else (doesn't have to be far - it sounds like even a commited LCpl could make a difference to your case if they were able to lay on some better drill night training).

    Well done for sticking with it so far - and well done for highlighting the problem. Good luck.
  7. I was in recruit reception for a few years and getting bods in through the door wasn't a problem. My company (Inf - RGJ) had at least half dozen a week and about four of those would express an interest to join. By the time their admin was sorted out we would be left with one if we were lucky. That meant that instead of a potential recruit training platoon of about 30 we would be left with five or six to start training. After that the usual drop out rate would be half, so we would have about three new bods every few months.

    If the admin was even half that of a private company we could have held on to three to four times that amount, maybe more. The biggest step for a potential recruit is walking into the TAC. If we had the right momentum we would have had filled every position and got rid of those still on the books that the PSAO kept on to artificially enforce our strength.

    Those that put up with the sub standard admin (run by ex regs living out their pensions!) did tend to give us a good return for our efforts - usually two to three years in green. If Price Waterhouse was ever let into TAC's to do an audit the MoD the findings should force a review - but the MoD would never let that happen!
  8. One thing I've noticed (I'm at the recruit stage too btw, haven't even done TAFS 2 yet) is that although I turn up week in week out the drill nights don't seem very structured. I'm not seeking to particularly criticise my unit (whom I think do an excellent job recruiting-wise) but I do think it might be worth thinking about establishing more of a structure to the first few months when a newbie has just joined. Like the OP, I'm quite keen and kept on turning up regardless...but also like the OP I've seen people join and not bother coming back when they never get to do anything new.

    Just a thought for those upstairs to ponder (and probably ignore).
  9. msr

    msr LE


    This is one of the things which gets mentioned every time there is a new OC/CO...

  10. [/quote]


    This is one of the things which gets mentioned every time there is a new OC/CO...


    Does it perhaps need to be higher than that? Just to emphasise I think my current unit do an excellent job recruiting (and I'm not just saying that 'cos quite a few of them post on this forum :) ) as evidenced by the c20 recruits currently going through the system: yet there's only so much they can do within the confines of the system so I can't help but wonder if the system is structured right.
  11. msr

    msr LE

    Personally I think that it is down to sub-unit commanders to ensure that there is a varied and interesting programme of training for their recruits, whatever stage they are at.

  12. Sounds like your recruiting experience has been much like mine five years ago. I didn't get paid for six months and took just under a year to get to CMSR, basically because no-one could be arsed to jack something up for me (the only recruit for much of that time). It was pump quite frankly and it was only the fact that I was keen that kept me going (although I did sometimes wonder why).

    I have to say that things have changed a lot at my squadron since then and the latest recruiting team have managed a radical turnaraound in numbers coming through the door (and staying in).

    Stick with it and I'd take Paoli's advice (and mine), to do what you can when you're in to make a difference to the way recruits are treated.
  13. stick at it. it will get better.
  14. I will give encouragement to stick at it with all the rest BIGBAPS. It would be a shame to see someone so committed disappear.

    Not all Sqns are the same it must be said. In addition recruiting and retention are becoming increasingly high profile (top of CO's performance criteria sort of thing). The Sqn I am with has some fantastic dedicated recruit trainers who put on a regular program of training aimed at differing points of the recruits experience (pre recruits course and post - depending of course how many can make it on a tuesday). The problem in the past has been people who have had good training as recruits and then as soldiers find themselves doing all the boring jobs we have to do to get our kit on the road.

    As has been said many times on this forum interesting and varied training is essential to the retention of personnel and it is the job of everyone in a unit from the Lance Jack with his/her first tape up to the person with the crown and pip on their chest.

    Anyway good luck - if the unit is disbanding in February then hopefully there will be options in place for where the soldiers go. If you can check the units out to see what their training is like this may aid your choice as to where to head next.
  15. Welcome to the army. You shouldn't have signed if you couldn't take a laugh! :)

    In all sincerity, hang on in there - it gets better. Not much, but it does get better LOL.