Good TA PR - DTel Photo stories

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by OldSnowy, Jan 21, 2010.

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  1. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    If you haven't seen this article, I recommend it:

    It's a very positive story about Reservists on HERRICK, and it may be worth gently pointing some employers to it.....

    There are a few typical DTel typos, and one Craftsman is oddly shown as an Aircraftsman, but all in all it's very good. Makes a change from the generally negative stories appearing in the press about Afghanistan at the moment - these men and women do seem to be doing a good job.

    There have also been a series of good stories in the Evening Standard in London recently. Perhaps taking Journos on trips abroad is worth it?
  2. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    London SaBRE put the DT and Standard journalists on to an employers visit to Bastion, and got some good publicity out of it. There is also a good interview with CO4 Para in the employment section of yesterday's DT. I will see if I can find a link for it.
  3. Typos.... merging with a Signal Regiment based in Rugby, that'd be a Sqn then
  4. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    Is it a stand alone squadron, or does it sit within a Regiment?

    More importantly, why not look past the albeit slightly annoying errors and concentrate on the positive PR - it is not as if we are overburdened with the stuff, is it?
  5. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Absolutely! This is the sort of thing that can be waved in the face of nervous employers, to show that TA on Ops do come back with improved skills in many areas. Most employers won't know the difference anyway - you're probably just known as the one who is "in the TAs" to them, after all :)
  6. Ha, yes. Without changing subject, can we mention the troop in Rugby again.... no self serving PR milking intended of course.
  7. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    I couln't find the link, but have posted the text of the DT "Careers in Defence" supplement 20/01/10 interview below:

    “Today, the Territorial and regular armies operate as one,” says Lieutenant Colonel Alistair Rogers, 42, Commanding Officer of 4th
    Battalion The Parachute Regiment (4 PARA), a TA unit that supplies fully
    prepared infantrymen for operations to the regular battalions of the
    Parachute Regiment. “TA members get the same access to resources and training as their regular counterparts, albeit on a prioritised and part-time basis, and they are regularly deployed on military operations — most notably to Afghanistan, but they were also sent to Iraq before British forces withdrew. When they’re out on operations, it’s difficult to tell TA and regular forces apart. They look the same, are equipped the same and do the same job. They receive the same pay, carry out the same tasks and absolutely have the respect of their regular army peers.

    “There is considerable diversity of skills and backgrounds in the TA. A TA private could be a plumber, an engineer or a stockbroker, and therefore brings experience beyond what a regular army private might have.”
    “When I was in Afghanistan, it was not uncommon to hear of an army unit hastily constructing an operating base, and a TA soldier in the unit happening to be a carpenter or an electrician. While the regulars may be scratching their heads trying to work out how to make the lighting work, or mend the roof, the TA soldier steps in and solves the problem.”

    In addition, Rogers says he is humbled by the extraordinary commitment of the average TA soldier: “Regular soldiers are there because it is their paid job, TA soldiers are there because they want to be. Their enthusiasm is impressive and it is important that we provide demanding training
    and excitement to meet their expectations. “Soldiers often give up a couple of weekends a month, turning up on Friday night when many of
    their friends are off to the pub or out with their partners. They then spend two nights training in cold and wet weather, without much sleep, before going back to work again on Monday morning.”

    According to Rogers, the true value of the TA became apparent after the
    regular army found itself stretched for manpower in the last Gulf war.
    Its importance has been crystallised by Britain’s increasing involvement
    in Afghanistan. “Hitherto, TA soldiers had never really served on active operations in any numbers,” says Rogers. “But now, the army has come to realise that the TA is needed to make the regular force structures more robust. “Today, not only does the regular army welcome and respect the TA, but the public is also beginning to realise that TA soldiers are working
    and fighting alongside the regular army, with all the dangers, challenges and positive experiences that brings.”

    As the role of the TA has changed, so the organisation is beginning to evolve. There is a greater emphasis on training for current operations
    and integration with battalions of the same cap badge, or regiment. 4 PARA is seen as a model for this approach and only provides manpower to its regular army sister battalions, 1, 2 and 3 PARA. “This allows us to better develop and foster core skills,” says Rogers. With the expansion of the TA, career opportunities for members have also grown. “Many employers have stated that being in the TA is a positive thing for their employees,” says Rogers. “This is not just in public sector organisations, such as the NHS and the civil service, but increasingly in the private sector too. Rogers is clear when asked about what the rewards are for him, working with dedicated people who fulfill a crucial role in the modern
    army. “I see it as a real privilege to command a TA battalion,” he says.
  8. msr

    msr LE

  9. I really, really hope that the Sapper Lt Col didn't write this & the errors were in the transcription by the Torygraph...
  10. Isn't that the two SAC's with the RAUX ?

  11. Great piece for everyone- just wish the R Irish could get publicity like this sometimes.

    But i suppose we are just a bunch of chippy paddies at the end of the day (i love it!) :twisted:
  12. msr

    msr LE

    They can, they just need to get of their arrse and do it.


  13. We do, regulary, in papers in NI. It can be a bit difficult sometimes when certain local areas advice is no names/pictures or mentioning of employers for security reasons.

    It was a throw away comment anyway.

    Any good PR for the TA is excellent news and just what we need.
  14. I'm sorry msr but I see very little positive in this article - despite the title.

    "We are skilled butchers. He is a driver, who are easy to replace," says Mr Cook. "We know in advance when he goes and you plan around it. There's no financial hardship. But he applied for a job as a butcher and he wanted to know whether he could train up and I said that would then be an inconvenience."

    Translation: He's expendable as a driver - easy to replace - and we don't see him as having a 'career' with us as such. If he wanted to be a butcher, be paid more and of more value to the organisation, then we wouldn't be so tolerant (see the word 'incovenience').

    Larry Stone is an honorary Colonel of 81 Signal Squadron, a specialist unit that traces its history back to 1924 and which is made up of 190 reservists, 90pc of whom are employed by BT. They make up almost half the total number of reservists employed by the company, which has as many as 30,000 engineers on its books.

    Mr Stone, a public affairs director at the telecoms giant, says: "For larger employers, even though we are suffering from the recession and we are seeing some downsizing, we are able to cope. Small businesses may find it more difficult."

    Mr Stone said BT was supportive of reservists – it is thought to be the largest employer of reservists outside of the NHS. "We see it as a win, win, win," he says. "They tend to be our best people and we can ill afford to lose them but we have the flexibility and when they come back they are even better."

    Translation: The Public Affairs Director as an Hon Col is inevitably going to be supportive and able to influence BT internally. 90 out of 30,000 is hardly likely to be felt by the organisation and he acknowledges that small businesses would have a different view. Not sure that this is representative.

    Lt Colonel Gavin Richards, 51, is a director of Lloyds underwriter Grosvenor Health & Accident and the unit employer support officer of the Royal Marine Reserve London.

    "Some employers are quite happy to give someone a nine month sabbatical. I know some businesses where there's a threat of redundancies and it's suited them to let a number of reservists go out on operations. It's delayed the decision," he says.

    Mr Richards said the financial crisis had left its mark on the City and the ability of firms to support reservists. "I now think it's quite difficult in the City if you are a reservist and a number of your colleagues have been cut down and you say you have been mobilised for nine months to a year. But it depends on the size of your company. A small company, you will be worried."

    He runs a 16 person broker and none of his staff are reservists. "I have friends at RBS and HSBC and they have been very, very supportive of people going away. They look at it as a sabbatical. If they are in the Army, from a commercial point of view they see it as additional training. But I could not afford a guy to go away for a year. I would be out of business."

    The 'bolds' speak for themselves. Being a reservist has helped companies to avoid making you redundant as you've gone away anyway. That's good then. 'A small company, you will be worried', says it all. But to then admit, as the 'Employer Support Officer' that 'But I could not afford a guy to go away for a year. I would be out of business' is an admission of how poorly the TA is protected and that the veneer of the Regular Army's assertion that TA service is of benefit to individuals in the eyes of their employers is just that; a VERY thin veneer.

    Sorry, but this has depressed me, not given cheer.

    Perhaps the adage that 'there's no such thing as good PR' maybe true after all.