GI Bill stylee education payments to fully recruit TA

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by msr, Jun 15, 2011.

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  1. msr

    msr LE

    Just a thought, given that we are some 10,000 soldiers short and have no YO's to speak of in the TA right now, how does this idea sound for filling the gaps?

    For every 3 years of efficient service in the TA the MOD will pay off one year of your tuition fees. This can start in the first year of Uni, so by the end of a three year degree you will have paid for the first year.

    My back of a fag-packet calculation reckons this will cost at most:
    £9,000 * 10,000 = £90m every 3 years, or £30m p.a. (roughly the cost of 1.5 days in Libya)

    Is this the best way to massively and very quickly fill the Offrs' Mess of the TA?

  2. An admirable idea, but not something I would even see working;

    a) we're skint
    b) fees are increasing to £9k per year

    And you wouldn't be feeling the ranks not with efficient soldiers but majority of stinking animals who are only money-motivated, not really what you want
  3. msr

    msr LE

    I acknowledge we are skint, and I know the fees are £9,000 per year, that's why you would have to do 3 years efficient service to pay off one year's tuition fees.

    It seems to work for the National Guard....
  4. Hmm... I don't mind the idea for regular service
  5. Id happily go with it and seing my fees are only 3000 a year and ive done 2 years in the TA now i could have both years paid off. I was planning on going on herrick 18 to do that though.
  6. Nice idea, but:

    1. The TA is not the National Guard. There is no compulsory element to service. Why does there need to be a substantial financial reward?

    2. The TA may be 10K under its established figure, but given that the TA's defacto role is providing IRs for HERRICK and there are more volunteers than places, you might conclude that the TA's establishment is 10K too high (Indeed, the TA units I have contact with have a high operational commitment and are fully recruited, suggesting that availability of op tours is a strong incentive for joining).

    3. The YO pipeline has dried up, but surely that is due to an unattractive process and 'offer', rather than a lack of financial inducement. Also, given that the operational requirement for YOs is limited to non existent, is this really a critical problem?

    4. Surely, the role of the UOTCs should be to attract undergraduates into the regular and reserve Army with a combination of term-friendly dates, ease of access and dosh.

    5. As you know, there is no up-front payment of fees by students under the new fees system. Fees are are paid back through the tax code once the graduate has exceeded an earnings threshold, so unless MoD provides a cash advance (unlikely) this measure would take the form of a credit against a possible future tax liability. Suddenly, this sounds less attractive.

    6. An system for the reserves must be seen to be fair when compared to any system of education credits for a regular on completion of service. It seems to me, that if a regular, after X years of full time service will get a full refund of fees, an equivalent TA scheme would require considerably more years of service, certainly greater than 9 years.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. I am reminded of these words from the late Col. Jeff Cooper, USMC:

    "Now here we have some fellow who joined the Army "to get an education." That is the wrong reason. You join the Army to enforce the will of the people of the United States of America, by force, against their enemies. An Army exists for two reasons: first, to kill people, and second, to be so good at it that any threatening group will be intimidated to the point of inactivity. You do not join the Army to get anything. You join the Army to give of yourself, terminally if called for. I am not sure what this fellow means by "an education," but his meaning and mine obviously do not coincide."
  8. Backdated? Why I could go back to university and get yet another degree. Seriously good idea.

  9. Er....which bit is the punchline?
    • Like Like x 1
  10. I know I've agreed with you on this subject before but my answer is no, for the mast majority of TA.

    In the current TA I can't see any reason why we should do this, we aren't going to use the YO and any soldiers given technical education (which I presume is geared towards army employment), would not be employed in theatre in a technical job.

    But I could see this as an option for Army Medical Services, the NHS has a number of employees who go off to work for another company (MOD) that hasn't invested in their training. Paying for nurses training could be offset by reducing the number of full time AMS posts and the NHS can't really say anything if their nurses then go on tours.

    You might be able to make similar arguements/arrangements with other government/civilian agencies.. i.e. Army trains, someone else employes and army uses when needed (with no comeback) .... but it's not really TA
  11. msr

    msr LE

    You'd have to do 3 years efficient service to get one year's worth of fees written off.

    RH: Many thanks for your considered reply:

    Because we are massively under-recruited and in the grand scheme of things, this is not a lot of money. The figures from my fag-packet are the absolute worst case i.e. every on of the 10,000 would be a student, on a maximum cost course and would do 3 years. This might also address the massive turnover we see in years 1-3.

    And this is going to stop in the foreseeable future, hence the need for some other incentive to join and stay

    I think a bit of a financil incentive would definitely help... And I don't see why it should just apply to YOs.

    The UOTCs are manifestly unable to produce YOs for the TA (see your point 3), and I would argue that most of the people who go regular from them would have gone anyway. This scheme could easily replace the UOTCs.

    There is no cash advance, the future size of the repayments would be reduced.

    I am happy to play about with the numbers, like I said, it was a back of a fag packet calculation.

  12. The Americans have been doing this for decades and it's a good idea...right up until you examine the raw material. Swap 'Cletus' with 'Nobby' or 'Dinger' and you'll find that they have neither the want nor the aptitude for university, so the initiative is wasted. Bear in mind, the academic ability of today's regular infanteer and you most certainly will have your work cut out. The Army doesn't do enough for a soldier's education post ITC, even though the AECs advertise a variety of courses. There is no encouragement at Bn or Coy level to get soldier's to see the value of an education and even if there were, is it what the soldier wants? From both a regular and a reserve point of view, wouldn't it be better to re-examine the resettlement package and those who deliver it? More money needs to be spent on vocational qualifications and skills (work experience),not wasted on degrees which will never be completed, no matter how long the individual stays in the Army for.
  13. Why are you looking to incentivise greasy students and Officers?

    Could I have 9k paid off my mortgage for the same terms?
  14. Why join the TA?

    If it has not changed, entry in to further education as a mature student means that you do not have to pay tuition fees anyway.
  15. msr

    msr LE

    Eh? Since when? I've just done an MSc and am paying for a PhD right now....