I think I want to be different....

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by MrTracey, May 26, 2007.

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  1. Look, it might be me (an age thing perhaps) or I might just be getting confused.

    Just looking back over the last few years, we've had increasing use of the reserve (TA), FAS (TA), introduction of MATTs, change in Officer training, uplift in expectations across the board, and now we're facing cuts in budgets, paying for our own food and no doubt before long, losing T&S (NRPS lose it soon anyway) and in effect being asked to do more for less.

    This set me thinking..and I had a moment of utter clarity in that I realised through all of the smoke and mirrors, that I didn't join to be a mirror image of my regular counterpart. I joined a different organisation, called the TA. Why? Because it wasn't regular. I didn't have regular friends, nor served with the regulars. We had comraderie, fun weekends, lots of adventurous training, a slower tempo to reflect our other lives. In the event of the balloon going up, would this have been of any value? Of course. Teamwork, basic military skills, some special-to-arm skills, and a knowledge of the military would have been huge advantage. Furthermore, we had real unit adhesion and identity so as a formed unit, we would have been of great value. A bit of beat-up training and Robert is your fathers brother.

    Now I seem to be at a crossroads, not sure which way to go - Tom Hanks at the end of 'Castaway'. Its become a 'you can't beat 'em, join 'em' organisation. Everything's so serious. People join now simply to be trained to mobilise! - thats not the TA, that's part time regulars.

    I want to be different, I want to add civilian skills, I want to bring a different perspective and I want to be able to do it in my time when it suits me, not to be at the Army's beck and call. I want to add value but not sell my soul, I want to have a family and a life that isn't dominated by being in green.

    I think I want to be different....has the chance gone forever?

    If it has, then the TA is doomed. Part time regulars we will become with all of the attendant demands on standards, training and committment, but without any of the advantages.

    It's pants.
  2. text deleted - Mr_B.
  3. No plan survives contact with the bean counters.

    The TA live in interesting times.It could also be fairly well argued that the not overstretched Regular Army (It's true - CGS said so!) is being overtasked and over toured, thereby increasing the number of signoffs, thereby reducing the man power available. Combined with a drop in recruiting and you then have a gaping hole which has to be filled...

    One pace forward March the TA...

    So we have a vicious circle, if there's no whole....why deploy the TA (and remember they were on the whole only for Large Scale Deliberate Intervention which usually happens every ten years), but instead we (despite the politicians ignoring it) are effectively at war in two theatres on Medium Scale Enduring Operations.

    On the positive side the TA is getting used, on the negative side it's being regularised (and I mean negative in terms of that which works for a regular unit and soldier, does not necessarily translate to a TA unit or soldier).

    So in summary I think what we have is a cake and eat it situation.

    The army can't cope (pretty obvious based on the 19,000+ TA who deploy to the various Telics & Herricks). Either the TA fill the vacuum or they will be slashed by the bean counters. I wonder how, now that certain TA units are being put on the operation plot, what will happen to those that are not.

  4. So what you are saying is that you want your bounty by just doing the adventure training and having p*ss ups on drill weekends. You are just the reason why regular soldiers do not take TA seriously. Tell me what use are you to the military if you are not trained to mobilise? Your just treating it like a hobby, I suggest you sign off and join the boy scouts.
  5. No you've got it the wrong way around we used to go away and exercise our trades, now we are being forced to do more in camp (i.e. piss up) weekends in order to meet X, Y and Z regulation. Trade is nearly out of the window
  6. Ah ha! - maybe that IS what I'm saying. Maybe I don't want to mobilise - I have a life and a busy job - why would I?

    The new breed. Shouldn't you be on a regular thread?

    I rest my case.
  7. so I say again, what use are you to the army?
  8. He is the enabling component necessary to recruit and retain future reserve capability. Lose the MrTs from the TA and you lose the TA.
  9. I've heard everything now.
  10. I don't think I'm enabling component. I don't do stores and neither am I a MATT instructor.
  11. Tis true.

    Long in the tooth (25 years + service), but still pass PFT for 25 year olds. Doesn't prove anything, other than the fact that I have some form of deranged loyalty to the organisation...and I'd like to think that I might have added something along the way.

    There is (was) a saying that you only got out of it a measure of that which you put in...not sure that holds anymore.

    Tripod speaks for the 'it does what it says on the tin generation' and I don't have a problem with that per se. My issue is that it should be a balance - a broad church - and it isn't anymore. In the end, there will be no-one to maintain the momentum and the TA units will be absorbed into regular ones as there will no CofC left (see other thread....).
  12. I think it's a bit broader than that - part of the management structure, the processing chain and part of the whole infrastructure that acts as a launch pad for mobilisees

  13. 25 years with service, very admirable. But now you are saying that you won't mobilise again because of your civvi job. Apart from that "enabling component bullshite" financially,what do you bring to the table. It doesn't sound as though the tax payer is getting their monies worth for your efforts.

  14. Fair comment.

    One Army? Be careful what you wish for. :D
  15. If it was for nothing other than learning military skills and having a good time I would not have joined the TA.

    When I joined Telic had just kicked off and i knew what I was getting into, but I can understand those who may have joined in a different era being miffed.