How did you join the TA ?

#1
On the back of the "TA recruitment how have they got it so wrong" thread, I was thinking about how and why I joined the TA.
These days it seems more and more recruits join because they want to go on ops, when I joined there had been no TA personell on ops since the second world war.

I did a few years as a crab, Im not proud about that and looking back I wish I'd joined the Army. When I left the one thing I did miss, apart from cheap housing, was my mates, camaraderie and ripping the piss out of people who had screwed up ( mainly me).
So one day I was on the bus, picking my nose and wondering how much longer I could use my monthly bus ticket for before the driver realised it was out of date, and looking up I saw a big black and yellow and green poster on the back of a bus.

"Join the TA," it said, "its reet grand"

Or words to that effect. There was a central recruiting number on the back which I duelly rang when I got home that night. A nice lady took my details and told me a local unit near me would be in touch.
After about a week or so a big shouty man from the Royal Artillary rang me and bellowed down the receiver. He was inviting me to join the RA, at this point it occurred to me that my knowledge of "The Army" and in particular the TA was restricted to a sign on the back of the local transport.
Cut a long story short I got out the local colour pages and looked up "Army", found a local unit more to my rather laid back and laconic taste and joined the Royal Singles.


Now, time span apart, this can't be too disimilar from what recruits encounter today, of course for "back of the bus" you can substitute "Annoying advert on youtube"
And for central recruiting number sub website.

Im in recruiting now myself at my sub unit, we do get blokes coming through the doors off the street for a nosey and we also get blokes through the new system, we have even had blokes off the old system (who's paperwork was mysteriously flying around the world somewhere) matched up from the old system and put on the new.

So, how and why did you join the TA ?
 
#2
I was hunted down at a conference and told i was joining. The CO had seen a puff-piece in a trade rag which said I was ex-Reg. I must have been attending for about a year before medical and APC stuff was all sorted out. Got back-pay, mind.
 
#3
My Dad had refused to sign to let me join up full time at 16. He'd made me do my A Levels (good Dad) and I had just got into University at 18. I was away from home, no-one could stop me and I needed a part time job that fitted in with study so the obvious thing to do was join the TA.

So I found the local Infantry Company's Drill Hall, had a chat with the PSAO and the rest is an inauspicious 10 year career of SLRs, GPMGs, Gucci smocks, drunkenness, soldiering, travel, promotion, demotion, promotion again and finally jacking it when I decided I'd rather have an extra shag than go on stag every other weekend.
 
#4
I laughably wanted to join 10 Para in Croydon but turned up on the wrong night and joined the Royal yeomanry instead and drove Fox armoured cars for seven years starting with Lionheart. I jacked it to run pubs for fourteen years and ended up Wales. I didn't know a soul and walked into the TAC on impulse and signed up on the spot to get some new mates. That was 10 years ago. I still enjoy it, but I'm nearly 50 and the field weekends bloody kill me and keeping up with the juniors breaks me.
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
#5
I can't remember how or what happened, could have been an advert in the paper maybe. I remember the recruiting Sergeant, lovely chap, very decent sort, filled out some forms, told us what to expect regards training. The following week we went by four tonner to a local GP who I knew. I'd read the medical forms and gulped when I read questions about checking my special and very tight man quim. Fortunately he just asked if I was in good health, checked the urine sample, ticked every box on the questionaire and that was that. I was worried about any swimming tests as I can hardly swim at all but there wasn't one and so that was it. I got issued uniform that were ironed with a hot spoon apparently and they made me sleep in woods in the winter and paid me money and gave me free stew. I walked around a bit in the night with my SLR and a hip flask awaiting imaginary Soviets invading parts of northern woodlands.
 
#6
I did join and did a few weekends & was already for the main training until a woman stepped in the way.
My girlfriend asked me to go on a dirty weekend with her & i would have her ample chest & fanny for 4 days!
It was to much for a lad of 20 so i made my excuses and missed the training, think i told them the dog had died.
I never owned a dog, her fanny was most accommodating and i never looked back, well until she chucked me, bitch!
Did dabble again later in the black art of the TAVR.
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
#7
That right marker thing confused me, they bundled me in with everyone else. Man marches off, then suddenly everyone marched after him, no idea what I was doing but tried to look convincing.


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#8
i wanted to do a commission and thought joining the TA whilst at uni was a good way to get a look at the army. joined 32 signals as i knew where the TAC was and was out on tour pretty much as soon as i was qualified. after telic i realised i liked going on tour and some bits in the field on exercise but crucially i didnt really like the army.

so regular commission idea got binned, transfered to the infantry (which i wish i'd joined first off) unit about 500m away from the signals TAC: another tour, came back, farted about a bit, decided i wasnt touring again, jacked it in and now indulge my military interest by going on arrse and reading/commenting on threads i dont really understand.
 
#9
I laughably wanted to join 10 Para in Croydon but turned up on the wrong night and joined the Royal yeomanry instead and drove Fox armoured cars for seven years starting with Lionheart. I jacked it to run pubs for fourteen years and ended up Wales. I didn't know a soul and walked into the TAC on impulse and signed up on the spot to get some new mates. That was 10 years ago. I still enjoy it, but I'm nearly 50 and the field weekends bloody kill me and keeping up with the juniors breaks me.
I wanted to do the same but High Wood in Forest hill was 200 yds. from where I lived, I turned up on a Tuesday night, was told I'd get a 'cherry berry/wings/HGV' and unlike the 'suckers' in Croydon I'd get to drive everywhere...so '562 Para Sq(V)RCT welcomed its newest member(1973)
 
#10
I was going to join the UAS in my first year at uni because I was in the ATC and every time we went flying on a Sunday morning at the local RAF station it seemed the OCdts had been for a heavy night in the bar the night before and a number of toilets were out of bound due to vomit-related damage. As a 15 year old cadet corporal, I dreamt of these wild nights in the bar.

Luckily I had a part time job at Tesco that prevented me from joining the chair force as I worked the same day they "trained", so I took a wander over to the OTC lot instead and signed up, because I fancied a bit of extra beer money and thought it'd be a good laugh and to be honest it all just sounded a bit better than the feminist trainspotting society or whatever other bollocks was going on.

Left there after a year as it wasn't for me (the number of shit blazers was just all too much to handle) and went to a different unit- Fast forward a few years and I'm still there and ditched the tesco job as quickly as I could.

Still haven't had a vomit incident though, must try harder!


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#11
family traditon, wanted to join the para's as a reg at 17 and a half but was told i was too tall, oldly the recruiting sgt was a coldstream, i could join the guards if i wanted...................no!!! so i didn't join up at all until i was 20 then it was my dads old RCT unit. still there now.
 
L

lumpy2

Guest
#12
I laughably wanted to join 10 Para in Croydon but turned up on the wrong night and joined the Royal yeomanry instead and drove Fox armoured cars for seven years starting with Lionheart. I jacked it to run pubs for fourteen years and ended up Wales. I didn't know a soul and walked into the TAC on impulse and signed up on the spot to get some new mates. That was 10 years ago. I still enjoy it, but I'm nearly 50 and the field weekends bloody kill me and keeping up with the juniors breaks me.

I, too, joined on impulse some 20 years ago. I guess I just wanted to do something useful with my life and saw it as a good way to learn new skills, get a bit fitter, make new friends and, of course, earn a bit of dosh.

Sadly after three years I was medically discharged and for several years lost contact with my mates. I was quite bitter about it for a long time but I'm pleased to say I'm attending the Endeavour Award Dinner tomorrow night and looking forward to catching up with old friends.
 
#13
I wanted to do the same but High Wood in Forest hill was 200 yds. from where I lived, I turned up on a Tuesday night, was told I'd get a 'cherry berry/wings/HGV' and unlike the 'suckers' in Croydon I'd get to drive everywhere...so '562 Para Sq(V)RCT welcomed its newest member(1973)
562 Sqn? Funnily enough that same Sqn tried to drag me into their unit before I sent them an email telling them I'm joining 47 Sig Sqn. Of course you joined 40 years ago, I'm just about going into selection.
 
#14
Saw an advert in the jobcentre and took it from there. The regiment was just reforming after some sort of shake up and recruiting wasn't my platoons strong point! In 2 years I was the only bod to come in off the street and go all the way through training, we had a couple of ex regs who got fast tracked and that was it. No big suprise when they got moved to a new location too far away so I transferred to a new capbadge, it just wasn't the same and lost my mojo then met the missus. And thus ended my less than illustrious military career!
 
#16
I lifted a pint of slop and there was a shilling was at the bottom.

N.B. no I didn't. I was in the regs, the TA wouldn't have me.
 
#17
It was one Thursday morning in late June in 1975 when one of my 6th Form mates, Les, came into school and announced that he'd joined the TA the previous evening. He was enthusing about the upcoming weekend when he'd be off to the ranges. "Oh, that's nice." I responded while thinking "You're 5' 8", a 7 stone weakling and ******* useless at darts. You've joined the infantry. They're going to make mincemeat of you."

Monday morning arrived. He hadn't just been firing an SLR and an SMG but he'd also put 200 rds through a GPMG. "Look at the bruises," he'd say to anybody who would listen, "that's what you get when you fire a Gimpy!", opening his shirt and baring his right shoulder. People were sliding all over the corridors, having slipped in the enthusiasm that he was trailing everywhere. Of course, his next remark was "Why don't you join?"

I thought about it for a while. Shooting could be fun but my hobby was tramping all over the North York Moors every weekend in the winter and carousing with the Youth Section of the Camping Club every summer. Then it dawned on me that I could tramp over new and hillier countryside without having to worry about getting the bus back home at the end of the day. I could indulge in improvised camping. And instead of having to pack sandwiches, I'd be getting the latest in expedition rations - for free. At the back of my mind was also the thought that I didn't really fancy suffering a lingering death when WW3 kicked off and nuclear weaponry started raining down - as it surely would - so I could be conventionally blown to bits somewhere on the North German Plain and avoid that suffering.

It was a difficult decision though. For years I'd been styling myself on Dylan c/o Magic Roundabout - peace, love, harmony - and I was so laid back, I was horizontal. Sod it. I'll get my hair cut and have a look at the place. I'm not committing myself. Any duress and I'm back out of that door. Just a look. A few questions. I'm not going to sign up straightaway, I'll think it over.

And so, the first Tuesday of July, I found myself outside the Drill Hall. No big fences in those days. Just a waist-high brick wall, a wooden gate, a short path across the front lawn and those ******* IMPOSING DOUBLE DOORS! I walked backwards and forwards past the gate for half an hour and bottled it. I went home.

I didn't mention it to my mate Les. But the thought kept creeping back "He's 5' 8", a 7 stone weakling and ******* useless at darts. He went through those doors." Needless to say, I was back at the gate the following Tuesday. Yet again, I felt trepidation and was on the point of giving up again when the double doors opened and a corporal came out. "Do you want to come in?" he asked. "Erm, yes. But just to have a look around."

I was ushered in and somebody asked me my name and address, NI number and other stuff. I told him but clearly stated "I haven't come to join just yet. I just want to have a look around." "That's OK, it's just so that we know who's in." I was taken to a corner of the drill hall and left to watch as muster parade was taken. Then shuffled to another part of the building to watch some weapon instruction. Then it was time for a cup of tea, which was nice as they had very big mugs. Then back to the office.

"Right, I've filled in the form. You just need to sign there, there and there." WHAT!
"I've only come to look round."
"Yes, but if you sign this form then you'll get paid for tonight if you do decide to join us."
"Oh. OK, then. Erm... why is there a tick in this box?"
"Oh, my mistake. Good job you noticed that otherwise you'd be joining the UDR."

The corporal who let me into the drill hall came back. "Come over to the canteen. I'm just about to open the bar. I'll buy you your first beer while the company's having the dismissal parade. It'll save queueing."


And that's how I came to join. Aged 17 years and 2 months. The first four months of my service was as a Junior Bandsman though I never met anybody in the band until some 25 years later, by which time he and I were both Sappers.
 
L

lumpy2

Guest
#19
Was that a recruiting ploy in the 1980's to offer anyone that walked in the door a HGV licence?
That's how I got mine.

Happy memories of Driver Training at Folkestone. Held in March every year, it was the last camp of the year and always the most fun.
 
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