HAC - what's the point ?

Discussion in 'Gunners' started by zigzag, Jun 11, 2012.

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  1. OK. I'm an HAC officer. I'm not going to say much more about me than that since there aren't a lot of us & so working out who I am could be easy if I said too much. But I am fairly experienced and patrol qualified.

    I have enjoyed a lot of what I have done with the regiment and have made lots of very good friends. There are downsides - we get smashed for ceremonial stuff (I know it's an honour, but once you have done one gun salute they're all the same, and getting time off in the week isn't easy for me) and there are a few complete throbbers, but most of the time it has been good fun. And you can't knock the parties (though the number of throbbers at them seems to go up).

    But I am thinking very hard about leaving for another regiment in the TA - probably 4 Para, or the RMR. The reason is because just having fun isn't enough. There is a lot of work involved being an officer (and I have a busy job) so I want to know that it is worth doing - and I don't. Nobody can seem to tell me what the Regiment is for. Ok we send people on tours but that isn't "the role". If I was in 4 Para I could see myself being mobilised to do what I was trained to do and work as an infantry soldier. I cannot see that ever happening as an HAC soldier. We support 4/73 but never doing what we are supposedly trained to do. I know some of that has to do with Afg and 4/73 having to fill in FST slots and more or less invent a role for itself to get on the Herrick Orbat. But even beyond Afg I just can't see it ever happening even for 4/73 let alone a bunch of TA. So why does the Army bother training us like that if it never has any intention of using us in role ? What we're trained to do just feels hopelessly out of date and irrelevant unless you are SF. This is dispiriting if you have put yourself all the way through Rcts and then the patrols course, but it is even worse as an officer because we are judged by how many of our blokes turn up. And persuading them to turn up is all about convincing them they have a worthwhile role. With the complete lack of credibility we have I am finding that very difficult to do.

    This is not a "losing TA mojo" thing. I want to stay in the TA. But I want to do something that feels like it has a real future. (I know the HAC will probably be around for another 475 years - but whether it will be doing anything useful looks dodgy from where I am sitting). And before anyone tells me to "wait for Army 2020"

    a. Other units (Para, RMR) aren't unsure about what they are going to be doing.
    b. I don't think 2020 will have the answers anyway.

    I know the easy answer is "You will just support 4/73" whatever they are doing. But the FST & JTAC jobs are too qualification / currency heavy for TA soldiers apart from on FTRS - and anyway will 4/73 really do anything else in the future ? The way it seems to be going is just base ISTAR and UAVs. Fine if you are into fiddling with joysticks and looking at TV screens, but not what most of my friends and I joined the regiment for.

    Have patrols had their day ? Is it time to move to somewhere where they will still offer chances to put boots on the ground ? I would like someone to tell me different. But I will take a lot of convincing.
  2. Join the RLC
  3. Bloody STAB.
  4. Fiddling with one's joystick & watching TV? Sounds like a lot of Balkans tours after about 2001. Mine was like that :wink:
    • Like Like x 3
  5. Why not wait a few weeks to see what FR2020 has in store for the RA(V)..?
  6. My guess: "Support 4/73" since they are our regular counterparts. In which case have they had their day ? It all seems to be about B-ISTAR and UAVs. I know what we tell people to get them to join but honestly it looks like a made-up crock of sh*t just to get people to sign up. I imagine it is the same for the Bty.
  7. what about 21 then?

  8. The HAC's role is probably to Re-Role.

    Flexibility was /is the key to its existence

    Theyll be something else when it's needed/called for. The day of Stay Behind patrols are done; as were the armoured car and infanty roles before it.

    I personally think any unit without an overt 'battle casualty replacement' role is struggling to find its relevance in today's rapidly changing army
  9. Ps I know 21 is going through the same anxiety
  10. I had a fairly decent lunch there the other day if that's any help.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Not an option for lots of people because of work. But obvious for a lot of others since "they" do seem to have a proper job and they do actually get to do what they bother going through Selection for (foreign exercises, properly exciting training, SF support on ops). Personally I would prefer my blokes to stay - but only if there is something worthwhile and rewarding - the sort of thing they joined for. If we are going to become the 208th UAV joystick-fiddling regiment (V) - which is what it looks like - I just wish someone would tell me so I can stop doing what feels like wasting my time.
  12. Wander a few hundred metres down Worship St towards Liverpool St Station and take a look at 3MI...? Lots of interesting roles there for troops and officers alike.
  13. RMR mate, do an interesting fizz routine, they have their SBS if you want to see what you would look like in Harry black sunglasses. Also you get to use weird old fashioned razors unless they've changed.


    131 Cdo Sqn RE, bags of variety, bit warry and you will spend quite a bit building up new skills etc.

    HAC have a reputation for being fit so if you like pull ups and press ups the future could be green.

    PS I do feel sorry for the decent officers trying to keep things going when they are threaders themselves.
  14. When you joined as a soldier, spent all that time doing Phase 1, then PSC, then hanging around a bit longer, then getting yourself commissioned....during all that time, you hadn't realised that the Cold War was over and that the neither the HAC nor 4/73 do their stay behind patrols job on operations and aren't likely to in the future? Marvelously perceptive you must be. Are you sure you're a badged officer?
    Why not just wait for the FR2020 review like everyone else? Yes, RMR and 4 PARA know what their role is, but that's because infantry -of whatever flavour- are pretty much the one constant of armies, reform after reform. The HAC isn't infantry, so for us, just like everyone else there's an element of uncertainty. How about you just wait and see instead of mingeing away on a public forum. If that doesn't satisfy you, you could even do what a normal human being would do in your position and talk it over with your brother officers.
    • Like Like x 3
  15. And although you may not lose the traditional issues that dog TA officers (you would be gauranteed to be at least intellectually equaled if not out-gunned by 99.9% of your soldiers), you could say goodbye to any existential angst issues - now is the time of the part time slime.
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