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

#21
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!
Agreed, although not many of that ilk left around nowadays.
 
#22
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.
Jesus. I qualify as an Ugly bullet point...

Do we know each other or something? :D
 
#23
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.
Oh, come on... You know the answer to that one by now, surely... Pick one:
  1. What do you mean, SO2(V) isn't in the office at 1100 on a Thursday? Doesn't he understand I need to finish this staff paper before I head off for the weekend?
  2. What do you mean, I've never served in a TA unit? I was in the UOTC for two years, I understand all about the TA. I don't need to ask some STAB for their opinion.
 
#24
ARes manning has been constantly obscured through repeated verbal direction to NOT discharge non-attenders no matter how long it has been since they last attended. Would be most interesting if firm direction was provided by the CoC to strike from account any reservist who:

- Has requested discharge but the ARes has chosen not to action
- has not attended any training for more than 2 years.
- tranferred from Regular army but never attended training in the fol 6 months
- is MND(P)
- hasn't gained a CofE in the past 3 years.

and provide numbers for each category. It's easy to gain recruiting stats for differing categories but impossible to quantify the 'no longer training' numbers despite the data being held in Churchill and JPA.
 
#26
Manning, as anyone in the Reserve actually knows, is dreadful in certain units. We had the "whole regiment" including our HQ lot out over the weekend and we could have maybe scraped a single squadrons worth in reality. Two sub-units out of the lot turned up with green fleet. Let's be reet' honest here, most of us joined because we thought the big green things and the boomsticks were cool - how is the AR going to even hope to maintain people if either training budgets are cut nor equipment used due to lack of training funds or unwillingness of PS to facilitate it.


Methinks, as has been said before, that the numbers of the AR are very much inflated.

The scary bit however was when being sorted out, we were split upon years served, and half the group had 20+ years. Seeing how the AR struggles to keep a hold of new recruits (or fails entirely to get them), where does this put us for the future? It's a drum that's been beaten before, but I honestly think a return to local Regiments that people can identify as their own would greatly help.
 
#27
Manning, as anyone in the Reserve actually knows, is dreadful in certain units. We had the "whole regiment" including our HQ lot out over the weekend and we could have maybe scraped a single squadrons worth in reality. Two sub-units out of the lot turned up with green fleet. Let's be reet' honest here, most of us joined because we thought the big green things and the boomsticks were cool - how is the AR going to even hope to maintain people if either training budgets are cut nor equipment used due to lack of training funds or unwillingness of PS to facilitate it.


Methinks, as has been said before, that the numbers of the AR are very much inflated.

The scary bit however was when being sorted out, we were split upon years served, and half the group had 20+ years. Seeing how the AR struggles to keep a hold of new recruits (or fails entirely to get them), where does this put us for the future? It's a drum that's been beaten before, but I honestly think a return to local Regiments that people can identify as their own would greatly help.
This was raised at the ARC last year, as Reserve recruiting is lost as a distinct brand within the bigger Army picture.
The dichotomy in thinking is that whilst Regular units must have golden threads and links to their own unique regimental histories to encourage an esprit de corps etc etc, the stabs need to be bloody grateful they can associate with the real deal Army and stop being silly....

The brand value of the AR seems most value in helping people (mostly Regulars?) say that it isn't anymore the cold war drinking club they believed it to be.
That's an often inaccurate internal dialogue, probably based on those peoples 2 years afore mentioned UOTC experience (which were bloody impressive to watch on the lash, but then, d'uh students?)
 
#28
The brand value of the AR seems most value in helping people (mostly Regulars?) say that it isn't anymore the cold war drinking club they believed it to be.
That's an often inaccurate internal dialogue, probably based on those peoples 2 years afore mentioned UOTC experience (which were bloody impressive to watch on the lash, but then, d'uh students?)
Ah, yes. The Cold War drinking club that was not only identical in character to, but derived from, that of the Regular Army who actively promoted a hard-charging culture. I (hazily) remember being taught Mess drinking games by Regular adjutants determined to make the place more like the Regimental ‘home’ they had been so cruelly rusticated from.
Actually, all bar one were top class blokes, and (oh, the shame of it) it was part of the bloody good fun I joined for.
Fück. That dates me.
 
#29
Manning, as anyone in the Reserve actually knows, is dreadful in certain units. We had the "whole regiment" including our HQ lot out over the weekend and we could have maybe scraped a single squadrons worth in reality. Two sub-units out of the lot turned up with green fleet. Let's be reet' honest here, most of us joined because we thought the big green things and the boomsticks were cool - how is the AR going to even hope to maintain people if either training budgets are cut nor equipment used due to lack of training funds or unwillingness of PS to facilitate it.


Methinks, as has been said before, that the numbers of the AR are very much inflated.

The scary bit however was when being sorted out, we were split upon years served, and half the group had 20+ years. Seeing how the AR struggles to keep a hold of new recruits (or fails entirely to get them), where does this put us for the future? It's a drum that's been beaten before, but I honestly think a return to local Regiments that people can identify as their own would greatly help.
I agree, or perhaps split the reserves.... With a large slightly pudding like Territorial force who get to shoot off those shootybangsticks and tasked with home defence and a useful reserve if everything goes pear shaped.... And, a smaller intense group of army reserves who have first class travel around the country to boost their training and more money.
 
#30
I agree, or perhaps split the reserves.... With a large slightly pudding like Territorial force who get to shoot off those shootybangsticks and tasked with home defence and a useful reserve if everything goes pear shaped.... And, a smaller intense group of army reserves who have first class travel around the country to boost their training and more money (i.e the custard).
Which is what you had with the TA - effectively it was a mass "milk collection" organisation that allowed the Regular Army to skim the cream off the surface either in individual augmentees or in more specialist units.
It functioned as a whole not a split organisation, because not everyone wants to be pudding nor custard the whole time, as civvy life has cycles and changing priorities. Hopefully, the keen volunteer for mobilisation in his younger years becomes the Chain of command stalwart that enables the unit to support the next generation of keen youth.
The point about a strategic reserve not an operational reserve is really important, as this is a deeper societal connection that the Regulars didn't see the benefit of, only the cost.

Don't get me too wrong, as bar reviving the TA brand, I don't advocate going back in history to the old TA.
The standards, kit, training and equipement have evolved and are better aligned with the Regular Army; what hasn't is coprporate understanding of how the reserves work/can best be leveraged, mechanisms for getting people out to units and the acceptance that making what you have work well as it does, not poorly as how you want it to will be an evolution. (ed. check syntax!)
 
#31
That's an often inaccurate internal dialogue, probably based on those peoples 2 years afore mentioned UOTC experience (which were bloody impressive to watch on the lash, but then, d'uh students?)
Probably based on bad experience and never having seen inside it; but I would cheerfully fire the HMS UOTC and all who sail on her into the Sun.
 
#32
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#33
Probably based on bad experience and never having seen inside it; but I would cheerfully fire the HMS UOTC and all who sail on her into the Sun.
Ahhh, jealousy based on lack of experience... ;) haven't you said that many times before?

It's a bit like complaining about the recent recruiting campaign not appealing to serving or ex-service personnel - you're wrong, just look at the numbers.

The UOTCs are the one part of the reserves that exceed their recruiting target and manning levels, with actual live bodies, every single year. Walk into any UOTC recruiting event, and they're beating them off with sticks. Walk into their training nights, and they're packing them in like sardines.

Every time the numbers have been gathered, it's shown that they're a key feature of officer recruiting. You might not like it, but they have a significant impact. For a few years (and after several "cost saving" bright ideas from LAND) they were the only thing keeping the Reserves in officers - I can remember the year where you could count the number of TA Gp.A commissions on your fingers and toes.

Instead of whining about how you don't like them, why not ask how they are able to demonstrably overachieve in the following:
  • Get young people through attestation and into uniform, with a service number.
  • Train them in (very) basic soldiering
  • Retain them for two or three years of frequent attendance
Because it's something that the rest of the Army isn't very good at. As witnessed by the, you know, numbers of boots on the ground. Perish the thought, maybe the rest of the Army could learn something?
 
#34
Ahhh, jealousy based on lack of experience... ;) haven't you said that many times before?

It's a bit like complaining about the recent recruiting campaign not appealing to serving or ex-service personnel - you're wrong, just look at the numbers.

The UOTCs are the one part of the reserves that exceed their recruiting target and manning levels, with actual live bodies, every single year. Walk into any UOTC recruiting event, and they're beating them off with sticks. Walk into their training nights, and they're packing them in like sardines.

Every time the numbers have been gathered, it's shown that they're a key feature of officer recruiting. You might not like it, but they have a significant impact. For a few years (and after several "cost saving" bright ideas from LAND) they were the only thing keeping the Reserves in officers - I can remember the year where you could count the number of TA Gp.A commissions on your fingers and toes.

Instead of whining about how you don't like them, why not ask how they are able to demonstrably overachieve in the following:
  • Get young people into uniform
  • Train them in (very) basic soldiering
  • Retain them for two or three years of frequent attendance
Because it's something that the rest of the Army isn't very good at. As witnessed by the, you know, numbers of boots on the ground. Perish the thought, maybe the rest of the Army could learn something?
Are by any chance suggesting the application of “Common Sense” in the British Army !!! Good god man

This despite regional Brigades trying the failed duplicate organisation of BOW’s, how and why I did wonder at the time.

Love them or hate them the UOTC’s work and are one of best bets for getting not only officers but engineering/technical officers.

YM
 
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#35
@Gravelbelly

Top post.

I would simply point out it is an aberrant sample to base a survey on.

A population of -

High levels of free time x high imput by organisation x desirable freebies = Boots on the ground.

I am not sure that is sustainable across the Army as a corporate body. If the best practice from that can be 'transplanted' across to Army Reserve then excellent; but I think it would be best to use cross-match the blood types before you just bang the drip in.

If it gets the British Army in the public eye and builds goodwill, what's not to like.

On my experience the ones I met were tools. But as I said in my post, probably based on a bad experience. No doubt they thought I was a grumpy old STAB as well.
 
#36
Every time the numbers have been gathered, it's shown that they're a key feature of officer recruiting.
Guys aiming to Commission join an organisation that will help them. Hardly a shock.

I'd lay money there are VERY few OTC bods who join for sh!ts and giggles and then think, "Hold on, I suddenly want to go for a Commission".
 
#37
I'd lay money there are VERY few OTC bods who join for sh!ts and giggles and then think, "Hold on, I suddenly want to go for a Commission".
During the time I was an instructor at one .... 4-5 a year, split 50:50 Reg/Reserve. Can't think of many who ended up in combat arms though. Offset slightly by the 1-2 a year who came as bursars / cadetships and then decided to bin going to Sandhurst.
 
#38
Because it's something that the rest of the Army isn't very good at. As witnessed by the, you know, numbers of boots on the ground. Perish the thought, maybe the rest of the Army could learn something?
To be fair the UOTC offer of all the fun of mess life with no possibility of deployment doesn’t scale to the entire rest of the army... same with CFAVs...
 
#39
I think that the Army Reserve Brand was designed to appeal to the regular army and remove their negative perceptions of the TA. It shot us in the foot with the local population, but then so did withdrawing from that population to super ARCs. When the Reserve leaves a town, so do the pool of recruits.
Manning in the AR is poor for a number of reasons;
  • Op FORTIFY money has run out. We are not spending any money on the ATTRACT and are now surprised we aren’t attracting.
  • Regular adverts are not aimed at, or produce effect for, the Army Reserve.
  • Army Media place restrictions on engaging with local media to effectively get free advertising in the local paper.
  • The Army has not been able to clearly state what the AR is for. If they can’t do that, then how can we expect a young civi to know he wants to join.
  • We have made the joining process so convoluted. It isn’t Capita, but our policies by D Med that causes so many problems. Capita are implementing them in a pretty rubbish manner, but the fault lies squarely with the Army. However traditionally we have had to produce 10 expressions of interest to produce 1 phase 1 trained recruit. We do that now but much slower.
  • Process is king and has removed the enjoyment for the leaders whose lack of enthusiasm infects new joiners.
  • Leadership, Regular and Reserve. Some is woeful, some frustrated, some excellent and it all depends where you are. Experiences differ wildly even between sub units in the same unit.
We need to wage a war on silos and process, we need to empower our units, resource them to actually do the job and hold them to account. Basically we need to focus on ends not ways. We need to constantly educate the regular army on their ginger step child. However this all costs money, which despite being hugely undermanned we just don’t seem to have and are unlikely to have after the next election.
 
#40
Guys aiming to Commission join an organisation that will help them. Hardly a shock.

I'd lay money there are VERY few OTC bods who join for sh!ts and giggles and then think, "Hold on, I suddenly want to go for a Commission".
Errrr..... me? After four years of pissing it up in the Pipes & Drums, and the unit shooting team, it was suggested to me that it was time to choose: leave, transfer out as a Pte, or commission. I was enjoying myself, I hate being shouted at, so there was really only one choice left. They persuaded me by making it gradual. Each individual step was easy, and not a huge leap; before I knew it, I was trusty and well-beloved...

Oh, and there was also my friends Neil and Liz who commissioned with me into the local TA infantry battalion. He sacked it after couple of years, what with working offshore; she's still in, having done an SSVC with SCOTS DG, and the RAC Tp Ldrs course on Challenger 1 (she led Heavy Tp at the RAC Demo Sqn in the early 90s). Scott from the Pipes & Drums always had to be different, so he commissioned into 15 PARA(SV). That's 3 out of 15 P&D members, commissioned infantry in a single year (1989-90). Slightly unusual, but then...

I joined the UOTC, because it was the only pipe band at University. I knew about it because two blokes in the year above me, from our school pipe band, had joined the UOTC and told us about this awesome organisation where you got paid to play, and had a great time.

One of those two blokes decided to commission REME; finished up a Brigadier. The other decided to take on an SSC, went to the Royal Scots, liked it, converted RegC, and is now a Major-General; he's the current Military Secretary (at one point, they were the two Brigade Commanders on the same HERRICK tour)
 
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