How much time?

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by Dry_Clean_Only, Mar 2, 2009.

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  1. A new Tp OC recently asked me what their commitment was outside normal training, and I found it difficult to answer. Given that those higher up in the chain of command e.g. Tp SSgt, Tp OC etc have the admin side to manage which can't be done during normal drill or weekends, then this has to fit in somewhere else.

    For my unit, we have between one and two training weekends a month, with two being the norm. Like most they start on a Friday which means leaving home for most troops at around 18:00, then getting back on at a similar time on a Sunday. Drill nights are a Tuesday and again most troops leave home between 18:00 to 18:30. In a month that means two weeks personnel only have three evenings free (Mon, Weds and Thursday). The other two weeks only Tuesday evening is taken up but that doesn't look so bad.

    However, with a typical 9 to 5 job and the assumption that personnel don't do TA work at work, then leaves either the three free evenings during the two weeks which have training weekends or during the other two weeks which don't ( four week day evenings and a weekend).

    The increased reporting regime and the delights of DII and JPA, increase the burden and despite delegation where possible, the realistic advice I've given is that for a YO or Tp SNCO who are actively involved in their unit, is that they should expect to spend at least one additonal evening a week on top of weekends and normal drills nights. Basically it doesn't leave a lot left for non TA activities e.g. having a social life, seeing family, finding/having a relationship etc.

    Bit of lengthy post, but I'd be grateful for thoughts on this as it's bugging me (don't get me wrong I thoroughly enjoy what I do but there should be a work/TA/life balance). The expectation seems to be from my Regt that the higher ranks should be available to engage in phone meetings, generate paper work on short time scales and meet deadlines which don't seem to take our civilian working hours into account...
     
  2. What are these? :?

    ....speaking as someone who transferred to a Specialist Unit because he didn't have enough time for Drill Nights and only really gets involved in admin during the run-up to Camp...

    I wholeheartedly commiserate with those who have the admin burden laid firmly on their shoulders - but then again, if you will volunteer...
     
  3. There are those who believe in the Family/Work/TA hierarchy. And there are those who shuffle Work and Family to fit in with TA commitments. I'll lay odds that the majority of TA soldiers are in the latter group, even though they preach the ethic of the former.

    It's unrealistic to state how much time needs to be laid aside for TA commitments. When time needs to be allocated, it gets allocated. End of story.
     
  4. It might well be unrealistic, but unfortunately that isn't an acceptable answer to a new Tp OC. Obviously you're right, it's hard to gauge and it will vary depending on the time of year e.g pre-camp (I know I'm answering my own question), but it is important there is at least a concept of a balance. I agree most TA soldiers are in the latter group, shuffling their civilian careers, family life and social (if they have one :( ) to fit the demands of their TA role. For me, I think one answer is that it's directly proportional to your rank. Junior ranks put in around 40 to 50 MTDs a year in my unit, junior officers and Tp seniors around 60 to 80 and senior officers and the SSM etc around 100. Thats the best indication of amount of commitment I think.
     
  5. Why not ask the previous incumbent how much time he spent on admin outside of normal hours and work from there. Although I agree that everyone will be able to commit different amounts of time (and be more or less efficient).
     
  6. Another factor is whether he can, or is willing to, delegate. And whether those delegated can fit in the time...

    Yet another test of leadership, I suppose.

    As the Master Race used to say, "Mannschaftlichkeit macht frei!" Or they would have done if Mannschaftlichkeit is a real word... ;)