FR2020 - changing the TA to the AR for political trade offs, budget cuts and opportunism

Future Reserves 2020, the British Army and the politics of military innovation during the Cameron era
A fascinating report on how FR2020 wasn't implemented as proposed due to a whole raft politiking and trade offs, including push back by the Army against a Cameron -Fox plan to "cut the regulars, boost the TA".

However, as we have shown, while intraparty politics can initially drive innovation, so intraservice rivalry and organizational difficulties in adapting can curtail it later; accordingly, the political will to carry AR transformation through to completion waned.
At the core, the same problem as always; huge changes & policy being based on what the TA/AR was assumed to be, rather than what it really was.

Also, if you don't/can't change the primary legislation, anything proposed is like lipstick on a pig
 

Attachments

This is already having an effect, I know off 1 Army Reserve unit that had it's BHQ moved and one of it's companies now lodge at another Units location. The Reserves have not expanded enough to support the Regulars in operations home & abroad as the Ministers & Top Brass thought it would.

We did tell them this back in 2011 when it all got mooted that it was on the cards.
Some MoD Civilian roles are now gapped or on short contracts so not getting the right caliber of people in.
You lose good people and they don't come back in both the Civil Service & Reserve Forces!
 
This is already having an effect, I know off 1 Army Reserve unit that had it's BHQ moved and one of it's companies now lodge at another Units location. The Reserves have not expanded enough to support the Regulars in operations home & abroad as the Ministers & Top Brass thought it would.

We did tell them this back in 2011 when it all got mooted that it was on the cards.
Some MoD Civilian roles are now gapped or on short contracts so not getting the right caliber of people in.
You lose good people and they don't come back in both the Civil Service & Reserve Forces!
why worry, you won't be able to go to war without the good will of Serco, Babcock and capita away
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
You lose good people and they don't come back in both the Civil Service & Reserve Forces!
Unfortunately for the current grown ups the lack of career management and sensible respect for the dedication and hard graft put in by reservists has now come home to roost.
Years back the TA was made up of 5 types of people. (in my limited experience)
1. The straight in after school/cadets type who were using it to supplement their paper rounds part time work whilst at college and often as a taster before going regular.
2. The long termer who joined because of a family tradition perhaps and despite his science degree is happy being the OC's radio operator and will happily see out his time at the same TAC until he gets his retirement gong from the Lord Lt.
3. The blokes who rocked up out of curiosity and stayed never wanting to be promoted but never really needing to attend every SAA lesson but they still did. These lads usually did seven to ten years and were the experienced core of each rifle platoon.
4. The wanna be officer type, either an LE or De but trying hard to make up for the fact that the troops will only trust them if they dont let them down/**** them about and will repay his efforts with attendance if deserved. The LE types tend to be in it for the very long term.
5. The ex reg who usually gets dicked with working two ranks up even before attested and who usually will leave within 3 years due to frustration at the petty politics that they hoped they had left behind or for being deployed on ex with no Modacs (because the storeman doesnt want to sign anything over), occaissionally if the ex reg has to start from scratch they make a second service career out of it having learned the lessons of before.
Nowadays it seems to have managers (officers who cant do the paperwork they have been given by their bosses because frankly there isn't enough time) and enablers courtesy of the sandpit generation. The rank and file either joined and deployed, came home and thought this is a bit sh1t and binned it or have joined ups since because eits something they always wanted to do but didn't fancy losing a limb or their lives in a foreign field when the country wasn't even bothered!
 
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ugly

LE
Moderator
why worry, you won't be able to go to war without the good will of Serco, Babcock and capita away
Trying to do the American thing with outsourcing, only doing it badly with less money!
 
Unfortunately for the current grown ups the lack of career management and sensible respect for the dedication and hard graft put in by reservists has now come home to roost.
Years back the TA was made up of 5 types of people. (in my limited experience)
1. The straight in after school/cadets type who were using it to supplement their paper rounds part time work whilst at college and often as a taster before going regular.
2. The long termer who joined because of a family tradition perhaps and despite his science degree is happy being the OC's radio operator and will happily see out his time at the same TAC until he gets his retirement gong from the Lord Lt.
3. The blokes who rocked up out of curiosity and stayed never wanting to be promoted but never really needing to attend every SAA lesson but they still did. These lads usually did seven to ten years and were the experienced core of each rifle platoon.
4. The wanna be officer type, either an LE or De but trying hard to make up for the fact that the troops will only trust them if they dont let them down/**** them about and will repay his efforts with attendance if deserved. The LR types tend to be in it for the very long term.
5. The ex reg who usually gets dicked with working two ranks up even before attested and who usually will leave within 3 years due to frustration at the petty politics that they hoped they had left behind or for being deployed on ex with no Modacs (because the storeman doesnt want to sign anything over), occaissionally if the ex reg has to start from scratch they make a second service career out of it having learned the lessons of before.
Nowadays it seems to have managers (officers who cant do the paperwork they have been given by their bosses because frankly there isn't enough time) and enablers courtesy of the sandpit generation. The rank and file either joined and deployed, came home and thought this is a bit sh1t and binned it or have joined ups since because eits something they always wanted to do but didn't fancy losing a limb or their lives in a foreign field when the country wasn't even bothered!
And it was not understanding the differences in the types, or the more territorial focus of activity/interest etc, nor the roots that in some (not all) TA units had in their local community that lead to the bright ideas club result called the AR.
For all intents and purposes, the AR is morphing back into the business of providing individual battle replacement/mobilised volunteers ( of a much better equipped, trained & motivated calibre), rather than the formed sub-units envisoned in A2020R - and it does it through the medium of people who join the AR as a more focused meaningful leisure activity - a hobby with values & standards?.

Until recruitment/retention is sorted (if ever?) the army still needs this model, though maybe through gritted teeth?
 
That is genuinely fascinating.
 
An interesting – and rare as the authors indicate – read.

However, I think a few of the passages are a bit naïve. They recount in some breathy detail the propensity for senior TA officers to take matters direct to politicians, conveniently ignoring the fact that the officer who confronted 'Elicopter Bob after the 2009 cut was a Regular general, not a Shire worthy. Yet they seem to blindly accept that the TA-negative media coverage had nothing to do with any subterfuge on the part of what is colloquially known as the 'Brass Ring' - or the retired Regulars who plant the plausibly deniable feelings of serving Regulars in the in-trays of hacks like Coughlin.

In my personal view, it was no accident that the 'TA can't recruit' stories started to dry up at about the same point the cliff-plunge Regular manning figures became apparent to Army HQ.

They also glossed over the way that the Adjutant General sought to set Gerald and a 'council' of TA greybeards up as puppets - which merely revealed exactly how much he had understimated His Grace. Westminster might not have been God's gift to academia, but he was a streetfighter as Mark Mans found out to his cost when our man declared that he was not about to endorse the 8,000 plan and walked out of the room. The post of DCLF was most certainly the only way they could get him inside the tent pissing out again.

What is also intriguing is the way they cover the £20M training cut as being imposed on the TA in isolation. It wasn't. It was actually a £40M cut; and HQLF decided that £20M would fall on Regular and TA training alike, based on the quick assumption that, by October when it was announced, most TA training had already taken place. It also revealed a rather important semantic error: the planners did not appreciate that everything the TA did was classed as training. They genuinely thought that the TA would be able to carry on with Drill NIghts, although it is not entirely clear why they didn't just ask any of the TA officers working in Reserve Secretariat just down the hall in Wilton at the time.

Will have to read in more detail later. Good find @smallbrownprivates !
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Makes one so proud of and confident in our Lord's and Masters. They are constantly demonstrating the way they have their finger on the pulse!
 
Unfortunately for the current grown ups the lack of career management and sensible respect for the dedication and hard graft put in by reservists has now come home to roost.
Years back the TA was made up of 5 types of people. (in my limited experience)
1. The straight in after school/cadets type who were using it to supplement their paper rounds part time work whilst at college and often as a taster before going regular.
2. The long termer who joined because of a family tradition perhaps and despite his science degree is happy being the OC's radio operator and will happily see out his time at the same TAC until he gets his retirement gong from the Lord Lt.
3. The blokes who rocked up out of curiosity and stayed never wanting to be promoted but never really needing to attend every SAA lesson but they still did. These lads usually did seven to ten years and were the experienced core of each rifle platoon.
4. The wanna be officer type, either an LE or De but trying hard to make up for the fact that the troops will only trust them if they dont let them down/**** them about and will repay his efforts with attendance if deserved. The LR types tend to be in it for the very long term.
5. The ex reg who usually gets dicked with working two ranks up even before attested and who usually will leave within 3 years due to frustration at the petty politics that they hoped they had left behind or for being deployed on ex with no Modacs (because the storeman doesnt want to sign anything over), occaissionally if the ex reg has to start from scratch they make a second service career out of it having learned the lessons of before.
Nowadays it seems to have managers (officers who cant do the paperwork they have been given by their bosses because frankly there isn't enough time) and enablers courtesy of the sandpit generation. The rank and file either joined and deployed, came home and thought this is a bit sh1t and binned it or have joined ups since because eits something they always wanted to do but didn't fancy losing a limb or their lives in a foreign field when the country wasn't even bothered!
Your point 5; after 9 years in the R Signals, I came out and starting missing the life within months.. Joined the Light Infantry TA for a change of pace and couldn't believe the politics and binned it as my career prospects in civvie street started to improve.

The Reserves as it stands today, I honestly can't see the attraction beyond a year. I would bet the volume coming through the door is dropping and retention must be appalling.
 

potter

Old-Salt
The Reserves as it stands today, I honestly can't see the attraction beyond a year. I would bet the volume coming through the door is dropping and retention must be appalling.
Well, this is what the official figures say:

1558551128049.png

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/801507/201904-_SPS.pdf

Outflow not too bad, and certainly reflective of long term averages as opposed to the political fudge-factoring of "don't process any sign-off paperwork, as it makes the numbers look bad" of a couple of years ago.

Intake. Well, a gradual reduction in funds/staff, fewer Reg->Reserve, and RPP fun and games all have a part to play in the recent less-than-stellar performance.
 
Well, this is what the official figures say:

View attachment 394409
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/801507/201904-_SPS.pdf

Outflow not too bad, and certainly reflective of long term averages as opposed to the political fudge-factoring of "don't process any sign-off paperwork, as it makes the numbers look bad" of a couple of years ago.

Intake. Well, a gradual reduction in funds/staff, fewer Reg->Reserve, and RPP fun and games all have a part to play in the recent less-than-stellar performance.
I know of NRC/DRS/RPP accounting for at least 90% drop in intake at 1 unit, replicated to varying degrees with others. the recovery has not been as steep upwards.
That was a self inflicted injury. cutting recruiting staff (ROSWOs) or only limited extension of life of other (RSUSOs) is not helping the situation.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Your point 5; after 9 years in the R Signals, I came out and starting missing the life within months.. Joined the Light Infantry TA for a change of pace and couldn't believe the politics and binned it as my career prospects in civvie street started to improve.

The Reserves as it stands today, I honestly can't see the attraction beyond a year. I would bet the volume coming through the door is dropping and retention must be appalling.
I left LI regulars and joined another infantry TA mob, work did start to get in the way but I was appalled at the petty jealousy that experience and ability seemed to attract from a clique of time served old sweats who didn't want to actually do much apart from carry on fiddling the books and doing as little as possible for as many training days as they could screw out of the system!
 
I left LI regulars and joined another infantry TA mob, work did start to get in the way but I was appalled at the petty jealousy that experience and ability seemed to attract from a clique of time served old sweats who didn't want to actually do much apart from carry on fiddling the books and doing as little as possible for as many training days as they could screw out of the system!

I get what you are saying mate and have witnessed that, but that is not all ex regs. We have had a few who were the complete opposite.

Quite recently (last 3 years) we had a guy come to us straight out as a Sgt. Quickly got promoted to SSgt while hardly attending, hoping that he would pass on his knowledge. First year in we help him get his MATTs squared away as he never attended any weekends (so that he can get his re joiners bonus and bounty). OC perseveres with him hoping that he is going to give. Next bounty time ...same story. They get him his Warrant and appoint as SSM in the hope that he will pass on his vast experience to the AR guys.........nada. Gets help again for 3rd year bounty and final instalment of bonus, then...............guess!..............He F**** off. Only saving grace was that he never got his Warrant Substantive.
 
I left LI regulars and joined another infantry TA mob, work did start to get in the way but I was appalled at the petty jealousy that experience and ability seemed to attract from a clique of time served old sweats who didn't want to actually do much apart from carry on fiddling the books and doing as little as possible for as many training days as they could screw out of the system!
To be fair the regulars of our era were full of time served old sweats, who didn't want to do much work either :)

As jockparamedic says, the regulars are often a jaded bunch when they leave the service. I myself was handed a clansman the minute I pitched up and was being given responsibilities that took away any pleasure in just hanging around the lads for awhile and away from civvie street for a few hours.
 
To be fair the regulars of our era were full of time served old sweats, who didn't want to do much work either :)

As jockparamedic says, the regulars are often a jaded bunch when they leave the service. I myself was handed a clansman the minute I pitched up and was being given responsibilities that took away any pleasure in just hanging around the lads for awhile and away from civvie street for a few hours.

This guy wasn't jaded. Just greedy and underhand.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Fair one, I did say in my limited experience. Of all of the forty odd candidates on my TA junior Brecon about five were ex regs who all passed, some of the long term TA guys hadn't fired a GPMG or thrown a live grenade before!
Some seemed to be sent based on phys fitness alone, I doubt they would have been able to deliver training to others or seem interested in it either!
Of the three others in my Bn all left within three years, only one already there had been TA before a reg and stayed on to get his LE, odd fuxxer to say the least!
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
To be fair the regulars of our era were full of time served old sweats, who didn't want to do much work either :)

As jockparamedic says, the regulars are often a jaded bunch when they leave the service. I myself was handed a clansman the minute I pitched up and was being given responsibilities that took away any pleasure in just hanging around the lads for awhile and away from civvie street for a few hours.
I think the long serving promoted by still being there mob felt threatened, certainly managed to avoid the most basic of physical efforts even if it would help someone other than the person responsible for signing of their training records!
 
This guy wasn't jaded. Just greedy and underhand.
If you have ever seen Sons of Anarchy their is a character called dury or clay who betrays the club for money.

The point being a lot of middle managers give a lot and when they leave the services I have noticed many SNCOs and Officers are prone to having a decidedly hyperactive greedy gene.
 
I think the long serving promoted by still being there mob felt threatened, certainly managed to avoid the most basic of physical efforts even if it would help someone other than the person responsible for signing of their training records!
As you said you were an experienced pro and I was a telegraphist trying out something different, so slipped under the radar a bit. By the by, I hadn't fired a GPMG, or thrown a grenade either and they seemed very keen on me sticking around.

I think what was missing from my reserve time was the bit of the regulars you liked, which was the lads was/is missing and as each individual has different circumstances it reduced cohesiveness.. I would imagine the old terriers of the 20s were all of a class and worked together in civvie street as well as the drill hall.
 
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