Hows it looking from where you are?

#1
Last weekend our coy was out doing a nav ex on a very wet (could have been anywhere) trg area. Each stand incorporated MATTs, so some ticks in boxes were acquired it wasn't just wandering about getting wet! A total of 12 pax altogether, if you take out the head shed, SNCOs etc that left four blokes doing the trg.

In a time where the message is recruit, recruit, recruit! Something seems to be going wrong, we aren't getting guys through the door and the ones that are in don't seem that interested any more. Is this something unique to where I am? Or is it right across the board?

BW
 
#2
On the bright side, with a "pupil:staff" ratio like that, your soldiers will be ninjas! Or rather Ninj-TAs...
 
#3
We had a MATTS weekend, ranges, CBRN, BCDT, LOAC etc, so if you turned up bar the PFA and AFT you had done the vast majority of the MATTS. 28 said they would go, 20 people turned up and eight of them were DS. It is not just you, it is (and has been in my 15 years service) the way of the TA. Unless we goes down the USNG method where it is compulsory to attend with legal backup (ie orders, courts martial) that is the way it will be.
Having said that, due to the lack of numbers evryone got much more time to shoot and the coaching staff got to implement what they have been taught...everyone was a winner.

As for recruiting, I have told my regiment, brigade and CRR, when you give me some money so I can buy some pull-up posters (£200 all in) I will start recruiting - we haven't had any for the past two years and whenever I go cap in hand there is never any money. I'm not asking for the world.
They want me to recruit, so give me the bloody tools that everyone else has.
 
#4
Level of attendance seems to be inversely proportional to the amount of training provided. When we were in the doldrums of capped MTDs and there was 1 training event a month and 1 drill night, attendance at these was good as it was attend or wait a month for your next dose. Having seen this increased to 2 or 3 weekends and 4 drill nights per month attendance has generally dropped off. People are spoilt for choice.

I see it as a case of habits, people have been used to training at these limited levels due to delightful things such as MTD restrictions. They've found other things to do in their spare time (Sunday league football, skydiving, whatever).More importantly perhaps the missus has been used to having Mr STAB around the house for 3 weekends out of 4 to do the important duties we are all familar with; DIY, wining and dining her, getting dragged round Bluewater, hoovering etc etc. Persuading her that no, you wont be around next weekend as you have a field weekend which the CSM says will look good on your SJAR may not cut the mustard.

As people have learned repeatedly, when you turn the tap down or off, it can be more difficult to turn it back up again than expected. Witness RN recruitment in the 1990s - switched off and they had terrible trouble getting it started again.

Of course, there are those that can attend as much training as they like, good on them, but for most of us the TA is a small part of life to be balanced against a potential ear bashing from the missus or jacking too much on your colleagues at work by banging out early to make the 2 hour trip to the TAC.

That, and it was raining so it was obvious why noone was there.
 
#6
It was always rather amusing that my final Squadron's best attended weekend of each year was one where we played at Infantry/Peace Support Ops on STANTA. This despite it taking place in January & frequently with snow on the ground.
 
#7
In a nutshell this is why I as an ex-reg won't join the TA (apart from the fact that there's no flying to be had in the TA). I'm not going to burn a whole lot of effort to jack up meaningful and fun training only to discover pants attendance because I'm competing with a cup final or episode of some end-of-the pier talent show.

That IMHO is a fundamental failing of the TA and heavens knows why this isn't being addressed whilst at the same time the narrative is that the proper armed forces will place a greater dependence on reservists. Utter nonsense.
 
#8
^^^^ When some TA Gen (ex REME) turned up at my unit for a visit I asked him directly why attendance couldn't be changed in the TA Regs - and also about the HDT allowance. His answer was TA Regs won't be looked at for a about three years as they were looked at two years ago. FFS!

To be fair as the powers that be don't listen to the TA maybe the "proper" armed forces should moan a bit louder and get things done!
 
#9
Does anyone look at TA Regs? I thought they lived in the PSAO's office, propping up the corner of the wobbly cabinet.
 
#10
Last summer did a Company FIBUA training weekend in Thetford; on the final attack, the exercising troops consisted of 1 Pl Comd, 1 Pl Sgt, 1 Sect Comd, 1 Sect 2ic, 1 man in Charlie, 1 man in Delta.

On the Friday night, despondently looking around the lack of bods, a minibus tipped up and the shout of " ABC Company have provided another four bods to make up the numbers" went up.

I went over and said to the four "Two of you will be in Charlie with me, the other 2 in Delta I'll take you over and give you a heads up" and was answered with "We are all on the biff and have been sent down here to play enemy". There was more enemy than assaulting troops.

About sums it all up really.
 
#11
Allegedly the Big Duke (not the Duke that posts on here) that is driving all the changes to the TA, visited 42X at the w/e. They had 11 recruits in. Meanwhile across the Pennies at 15X, a total of 12 recruits were carrying out Phase 1 trg. Looks promising I must say!

I have never seen the TA in such a shit state as it is now! And we are to fill the void left by a reduction in the regular army?? Feck off your having a laugh!!
 
#12
To coin an old phrase "Lions led by Donkeys"


Or to quote Kipling "Its Tommy this and Tommy that, but its saviour of his country when the guns begin to shoot"

Its time for someone to blow the dust off the TTW plans.
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
#13
Why? Who you planning to go to war with ?

( and there was me thinking I should take Vic Minor to task for never having served as a TA soldier but still posting in this clearly marked forum :) )

The problem I suspect is that the accountants who run the MoD today want everything to show some kind of out turn.

HERRICK has skewed the normal ' peace-time' approach to how both the under-borne Regular Army and it's home-based non Regular counterpart should be employed.

If I recall correct > 16,000 part time soldiers - as the Press love to call them - have deployed on Ops since 2003.

When I left the TA in 2005, the mobilisation culture was being talked up bigtime.....recruitment has, I suspect, taken a double whammy.
 
#14
In a nutshell this is why I as an ex-reg won't join the TA (apart from the fact that there's no flying to be had in the TA). I'm not going to burn a whole lot of effort to jack up meaningful and fun training only to discover pants attendance because I'm competing with a cup final or episode of some end-of-the pier talent show.

That IMHO is a fundamental failing of the TA and heavens knows why this isn't being addressed whilst at the same time the narrative is that the proper armed forces will place a greater dependence on reservists. Utter nonsense.
Wait and see.
 
#17
Yes. Let's see what is announced next month.:relax:
Yes, another push to the right; on a personal level I'd like to know whether or not I 've got the appointment that I applied for - if not then I will have to find something else fairly sharpish (it keeps being staff-checked i.e. delayed at Glasgow). On a wider note, the wole thing is such a clusterfuck these days that it is amazing that anyone bothers to turn up! But it is not just the TA that is in the doldrums but also the Regular Army.
 
#19
Hmmm...

Make the training interesting and people will come.
Make the training passive and boring, people won't..simples.

All in all, people get pissed off with giving up there time to be pissed around. Clear, focussed, valuable training will retian people. I now work in Oil and Gas training and its exactly the same here. If the training is not relevant to the person, then they switch off and become uninterested.
 
#20
Spot on. People turn up for good, relevant training. They don't for stuff that looks like it will be pump. Other killers for attendance are changing dates around at short notice and stupidly early reporting times at the TAC.

But those awaiting the arrival of the legislation fairy to change things are I fear in for a long wait. The Queen's speech was notably free of plans for new laws in this area. Given the economic situation, growing rifts in the coalition and the perception that we wll not actually be needing an Army any time soon I do not see the political will existing in this Parliament to expend the political capital necessary for such a major redefinition of the relationship of TA soldier and their employer with the state.

Even if that will does exist it will take a while to work through the system. I suppose a watered down version might make it through but the devil, as always, is in the details. Stick in enough get out clauses and it won't actually change anything.
 

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