Increasing the quality of the TA soldier myth

#1
Have seen a lot of work put into improving the quality of the TA recruit Pte and OCdt, yes it has possibly has. Or am I blinded by the hype and it really fixed a few corps without the skills to train their soldiers.

Yes we have gained a lot of experienced on Ops, so in theory our Ptes can gain a lot of valuable tips from their mates and LCpls

But the reality is many of us are still be taught in the same old fashion, lessons learned are not being applied at levels above LCpl because we don't know what they are. Key drivers (officers) are working as watchkeepers and are unable to see the problems because of their operational employment.

Saddened to hear of a few more Sgts being dinned out this weekend. I would have employed them as COMCEN managers, not sure with whats left who I would trust to do this? Its not that the youngsters are incapable but their training is being pushed in other directions by high up TA management with regts/sqns being left to waste expensive resources small cliques of tradesmen
 
#2
It's just old age and the rose-tinted lenses of nostalgia ;)

msr
 
F

fozzy

Guest
#3
polar said:
Its not that the youngsters are incapable but their training is being pushed in other directions by high up TA management with regts/sqns being left to waste expensive resources small cliques of tradesmen
Who's upset you this week then? :roll:
 
#4
fozzy said:
Who's upset you this week then? :roll:
Was going to reply to msr first but...

Not put uniform on for a few months, did that this week and intend to do it again.

The kids (recruits) they appear to be sorted, I believe many of your views are wrong, your a slave of the system (I think your ID is fake).

Nobody has upset me, I just care.
 
#5
IMO the quality of recruits has never been better*. ADSC is working, from what I see. The kids KNOW they will be on Ops within 18 months and work ethic matches.



* apart from when I joined, obviously. High water mark and all that.
 
F

fozzy

Guest
#6
polar said:
fozzy said:
Who's upset you this week then? :roll:
Was going to reply to msr first but...

Not put uniform on for a few months, did that this week and intend to do it again.

The kids (recruits) they appear to be sorted, I believe many of your views are wrong, your a slave of the system (I think your ID is fake).

Nobody has upset me, I just care.
I can assure you my ID was issued from my Sqn Office, there's nothing fake about it. I'm sure I would have ben caught by now...

Slave to the system? Interesting, as you have to be inside the system to change it......

Many of the issues that you post on should and can be be addressed either via you (as apparently you hold rank) or at a local level by your CoC.
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
polar said:
Have seen a lot of work put into improving the quality of the TA recruit Pte and OCdt, yes it has possibly has. Or am I blinded by the hype and it really fixed a few corps without the skills to train their soldiers.

Yes we have gained a lot of experienced on Ops, so in theory our Ptes can gain a lot of valuable tips from their mates and LCpls

But the reality is many of us are still be taught in the same old fashion, lessons learned are not being applied at levels above LCpl because we don't know what they are. Key drivers (officers) are working as watchkeepers and are unable to see the problems because of their operational employment.

Saddened to hear of a few more Sgts being dinned out this weekend. I would have employed them as COMCEN managers, not sure with whats left who I would trust to do this? Its not that the youngsters are incapable but their training is being pushed in other directions by high up TA management with regts/sqns being left to waste expensive resources small cliques of tradesmen
Polar, the qualms that you outline here are (yet again) specific to the R.Signals (V) and its trade training, and not to the TA as a whole. Certainly for the Infantry, the recruits that complete their training now are a uniformly better standard than five years ago when I joined. ASDC really is a gift from heaven and the selection process has gone a long way in weeding out the non-hackers who previously would just have been shunted through training regardless and absorbed to keep up numbers.
 
#8
dinned is actually 'dined' or perhaps they were shouted at when they left? - that would have been a 'din'
 
#9
fozzy said:
Many of the issues that you post on should and can be be addressed either via you (as apparently you hold rank) or at a local level by your CoC.
I am trying believe me (any way I can - which includes this site). I don't understand why are you so positive? Most I speak too, acknowledge soldiers are better trained but then ...

My own views is slightly out, as an Infantry Sgt I knew I could run a mortar section and do a very good job. A few years latter, as a COMCEN queen (Sgt) - I was aware I couldn't (and the infantry Mortar Section Commander job was harder than COMCEN - maths, complex orders, etc).

RP578 may be correct, the infantry system works but I doubt they are indicative of the TA. If people from a corps in the middle are moaning, its more likely Sigs paint the most accurate picture of the TA.
 
F

fozzy

Guest
#10
polar said:
fozzy said:
Many of the issues that you post on should and can be be addressed either via you (as apparently you hold rank) or at a local level by your CoC.
I am trying believe me (any way I can - which includes this site). I don't understand why are you so positive? Most I speak too, acknowledge soldiers are better trained but then ...

My own views is slightly out, as an Infantry Sgt I knew I could run a mortar section and do a very good job. A few years latter, as a COMCEN queen (Sgt) - I was aware I couldn't (and the infantry Mortar Section Commander job was harder than COMCEN - maths, complex orders, etc).

RP578 may be correct, the infantry system works but I doubt they are indicative of the TA. If people from a corps in the middle are moaning, its more likely Sigs paint the most accurate picture of the TA.
Polar,
I am positive because its not all bad and I have always seen opportunity at times of crisis. People are aware of what bits are broken and are trying their best to fix them.

I don't want to go into specifics here - drop me a PM.
 
#12
fozzy said:
polar said:
fozzy said:
Many of the issues that you post on should and can be be addressed either via you (as apparently you hold rank) or at a local level by your CoC.
I am trying believe me (any way I can - which includes this site). I don't understand why are you so positive? Most I speak too, acknowledge soldiers are better trained but then ...

My own views is slightly out, as an Infantry Sgt I knew I could run a mortar section and do a very good job. A few years latter, as a COMCEN queen (Sgt) - I was aware I couldn't (and the infantry Mortar Section Commander job was harder than COMCEN - maths, complex orders, etc).

RP578 may be correct, the infantry system works but I doubt they are indicative of the TA. If people from a corps in the middle are moaning, its more likely Sigs paint the most accurate picture of the TA.
Polar,
I am positive because its not all bad and I have always seen opportunity at times of crisis. People are aware of what bits are broken and are trying their best to fix them.

I don't want to go into specifics here - drop me a PM.
Polar First of all let me ssure you that Fozzy's ID most certainly is not fake. Perhaps you should take up his offer on the PM he is a genuine bloke and I'm sure if he can help he will. Just make sure your not asking for help on UHF comms, that he can't help you with.
 
#14
I'll disagree with the lot of you. The quality of the TA soldier hasn't changed a bit over the last 30 odd years and probably much longer than that.

What has changed is what's expected of him. The Infantry soldier doesn't need to be able to spell or construct sentences. He needs to be able to communicate verbally. He needs to be disciplined. He needs to be able to switch from being nasty to being nice. He'll learn organisation as he progresses through the system, but that's not the basics, as inferred by the topic of this thread.

When you get to different arms, other abilities start to creep in. Being able to read, understand and interpret written instructions may be a requisite. It's a poor term and I'm sorry if it offends, but the infantry soldier needs to be weeded out and put where he belongs.

The reduction of the scope of the TA has resulted in a lack of Infantry TACs. If you want to join the TA, you may be obliged to join the RA or RSigs, simply because there isn't an Infantry unit nearby.

The result is that the bloke who would be better suited to being Infantry (a noble profession) is a fish out of water and his instructors despair because his academic skills prevent him keeping up with the rest of his peers.

I recall, many years ago, that if a bloke wanted to join the Infantry but seemed a bit dim, he'd be sent to the RAOC. If a bloke wanted to join RSigs, but seemed a bit dim, he'd be sent to the Infantry. Of course, if a bloke was bright, you'd snap him up and put him on the accelerated promotion ladder.

With the reduction of the types of unit available in any given area, this process of natural selection has gone. You take what you can get because, if you don't, you end up short.

When I started, within 10 miles, there was a choice of Inf, RSigs, RAOC, RAMC, RMP, RE, RA, Pioneer, Yeomanry, PARA, SAS and more. How many places can now offer a choice of more than two units?
 
#15
putteesinmyhands said:
The Infantry soldier doesn't need to be able to spell or construct sentences.

Being able to read, understand and interpret written instructions may be a requisite. It's a poor term and I'm sorry if it offends, but the infantry soldier needs to be weeded out and put where he belongs.

The result is that the bloke who would be better suited to being Infantry (a noble profession) is a fish out of water and his instructors despair because his academic skills prevent him keeping up with the rest of his peers.
A very good post, and please excuse me for snipping it. I am assuming from the second sentence, firsr para in my "snipped" quote above, that you are suggesting that the originator of this thread is an infantryman? [ see my bold].

He seems unable to write, even basic English, so we must assume then that he is an infantryman...according to the logic you posit.

Of course not, he's probably what passes for an officer these days,in some corps or other, and yet, his English makes no sense, despite us knowing what he means. (Mind you, I had to read it a couple of times).

Fie, and alack, it would seem he is some sort of support arms wallah, and yet, he can't write properly, despite your implying that you and your ilk are naturally brighter than infantrymen.

Writing reasonably well, leads to thinking reasonably well, and as an enlisted man, as I was, I would worry if this man were leading me. I'd follow him nowhere, since, as he can't seem to put a sentence together, why would I believe that he can, as they say in the A Team, "put a plan toghether" or more importantly, execute it.

Infantrymen do not need to be "weeded out" as you well know, having described it as a "poor term".

You described being an infanteer as "noble proffession"; I'm not sure how noble it is, at times, but the requirement for intantrymen, which I can't see going away, means that the rest of you will have jobs for years to come. Which is great, for you.

Infantry is what the army is all about. Seize, dominate and hold ground. You can't do that from a sigs tent. You can't even to it from a tank/horse/Rover/lorry. Not properly. You have to use Shank's Pony.

Everyone else should be "weeded out";

"Those who don't want to be in a fighing unit stand fast, everyone else one step forwrd MARCH".

There are a great many bright people in the infantry. I know you know this, given your "poor term" and "noble" sayings, infact, you were even kind enough to describe what we do as a "proffession", and I sense that you realise that the infantry is the raison d'etre of any army worth their salt, and most certainly ours.

Some of the infantry are even bright enough to have used TDEDs and 319s, and I am sure that this ability continues in the post Clansman era, although I wouldn't know. Some of them can even shoot straight. I'm sure that skill still prevails.

Some of them even read books for fun.

Some of them join the infantry because they feel drawn to an area that is represented by a fighting county regiment, and are prepared to fight for it, as opposed to supplying various "services" , from some corps, to those who make themselves available for a bit of srcapping.

If they're not "from" such an area, and actually everyone is, especially in these days of the new "super-county/region regiments" , even now they can join and train to fight, if that is their fancy.

Unfortunately, most young men dinnae wanna.

And yet, some join because they would be bored employing the skills required to do bottlewashing/signalling/driving/ordnance supply or any of the other menial/unchallenging tasks presented to troops in a non-fighting unit.

If you are in London on Sunday the 15th, just over a week from today, please feel free to come to the CIRA parade ( Comined Irish Regemints' Association ) not to be confused with the CIRA ( Continuity Irish Republican Army ).

You may be surprised, Actually, no you won't; for we're all as daft as brushes. We'll pretend to be stupid, just for you, but be noble about it. You're right; it is a noble thing to do.

Most of us, despite being (mainly) infantrymen ( a few poofy-Irish_cav type Generals on pde), are only half-intelligent. This is compounded because we are Irish, which means, at best, we are only a quarter intelligemtent. <howas dat schpelt Seamus?>..

Were we English, we would of course conquer the entire world...oh, hang on, didn't that already happen, haven't youse lot already done tha'? :D
 
#16
Sorry, our lad, but you're reading into it more than there is.

The infantryman is the backbone of any army. The reason why anybody else is there is merely to allow the infantryman to do his job.

While the others may need educational aptitude to perform their support tasks, the infantryman doesn't.

I'm sick to death of the attitude that prevails, that unless you've got academic qualifications, or at least the ability to construct a sentence according to the rules of grammar, then you're useless. This isn't so. The infantryman doesn't need to be literate (that he is, is merely a bonus). He needs to become an extension of his weapon and to integrate with his fellow infantrymen to become part of a fighting machine. Drills are the infantryman's training method. Repeat and repeat until the actions become second nature.

With the current situation, where there are only one or two support units in many geographic areas, what is to become of the bloke who is best suited to the Infantry? He either doesn't join or he joins a unit where the training is unsuitable for him. He joins a unit where he is looked down on because he can't hack the academic-oriented training and where the instructors despair because they have to repeat the lesson. In short, he's wasted.

Better to rethink the organisation and provide an Infantry option, even if it is only Detachment sized. The support units may be worse off in numbers, but those numbers will be better suited to the training regime.

Remember, I've said that the Infantryman may not be academically gifted and that he doesn't need to be. I've not said that he's stupid. That's something that he can't afford to be - support arms have limited vacancies for the stupid.

Horses for course. If your unit requires steeplechasers, don't recruit flat racers. But if you can't ride flat, you can't steeplechase (but you don't need to be a winning flat racer to be a winning steeplechaser).
 
#17
putteesinmyhands said:
Sorry, our lad "our lad?" Is that some kind of Liverpuddlian Solidarity kine of innit fing?,

...but you're reading into it more than there is. My apologies, or dad. Intellecually, I am your son[ ( by the way, that means that I'm as stupid as you seem to be) /, but you're right, you're certainly benaeath me..b].I'm cerainly not your lad. Unless you've been ******* my mother. I sense that you may be a little stranger er than me, which, hopefiully, would make us being related impossible.

The infantryman is the backbone [ surely you mean raisond'etre= reason , what else is the arm there for?] of any army. The reason why anybody else is there is merely to allow the infantryman to do his job. [correct]

While the others may need educational aptitude [does this include being able to quote corrctly on arrse, in English, at least?[ to perform their support tasks, the infantryman doesn't.oh yes he does...as I was trying tp imply in my last post, you''ll find thst the most successful infanteers had very good educations, above or below the officers' mess [Quite]

I'm sick to death of the attitude that prevails, that unless you've got academic qualifications, or at least the ability to construct a sentence according to the rules of grammar, then you're useless. [I agree ]This isn't so. The infantryman doesn't need to be literate (that he is, is merely a bonus). He needs to become an extension of his weapon and to integrate with his fellow infantrymen to become part of a fighting machine. Drills are the infantryman's training method. Repeat and repeat until the actions become second nature.

With the current situation, where there are only one or two support units in many geographic areas, what is to become of the bloke who is best suited to the Infantry? He either doesn't join or he joins a unit where the training is unsuitable for him. He joins a unit where he is looked down on because he can't hack the academic-oriented training and where the instructors despair because they have to repeat the lesson. In short, he's wasted.

Better to rethink the organisation and provide an Infantry option, even if it is only Detachment sized. The support units may be worse off in numbers, but those numbers will be better suited to the training regime.

Remember, I've said that the Infantryman may not be academically gifted and that he doesn't need to be. I've not said that he's stupid. That's something that he can't afford to be - support arms have limited vacancies for the stupid.

Horses for course. If your unit requires steeplechasers, don't recruit flat racers. But if you can't ride flat, you can't steeplechase (but you don't need to be a winning flat racer to be a winning steeplechaser).


Infantry option?

you renfs make me laugh. I'm off to sleep. You don't get real soldiers, and we'll never understand you. Thanks for the food though.

THE NEXT DAY...Putees, I didn't write the above. I would have spelt "remf" correctly. Thanks for your answer to my post, it was far better than I could have expected. Your points are noted, and not one of them is out of shape. I've just come back from a regi reunion and its nice to see you.

Please tell that remfy officer though, that he needs to learn a bit of di Inglish b4 he startz 2 tipe :D
 
#18
mark1234 said:
All the moaning I see in this forum is from the sigs, is it that bad?
I have worked with TA Royal Signals a couple of times, and although they were very nice people their morale did seem to be low.

Polar seems to be posting the most moans and groans. I just wonder if he (sorry to talk about you in the 3rd party) wouldn't be better off back in the Infantry.

The TA is voluntary, if your not happy go and volunteer some where else or, don't even volunteer at all :wink:
 
#19
brucewillis said:
mark1234 said:
All the moaning I see in this forum is from the sigs, is it that bad?
I have worked with TA Royal Signals a couple of times, and although they were very nice people their morale did seem to be low.

Polar seems to be posting the most moans and groans. I just wonder if he (sorry to talk about you in the 3rd party) wouldn't be better off back in the Infantry.

The TA is voluntary, if your not happy go and volunteer some where else or, don't even volunteer at all :wink:
Bruce,

I came to the Infantry from the Signals. (I saw the light)

I agree with your observation the guys/gals in my old Sqn were all great to get on with but overal the morale was pretty low, alot of the junior ranks felt their was no sense of direction etc.

I was only with them for a year, the senior leadership tried alot of things to spark interest and get more bods through the door but it was difficult!

Some people will love the Signals as a job, others won't. I was one of those that turned in on anything remotely green but didn't find the Comms side that interesting (CommCen anyway, field comms was good) hence the switch!

W-60
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#20
Whiskey_60 said:
I came to the Infantry from the Signals. (I saw the light)

I agree with your observation the guys/gals in my old Sqn were all great to get on with but overal the morale was pretty low, alot of the junior ranks felt their was no sense of direction etc.

I was only with them for a year, the senior leadership tried alot of things to spark interest and get more bods through the door but it was difficult!

Some people will love the Signals as a job, others won't. I was one of those that turned in on anything remotely green but didn't find the Comms side that interesting (CommCen anyway, field comms was good) hence the switch!

W-60
Mate, your experiences mirror my own almost to a tee. One of the reasons that I habitually post on here to remind people of the possibility of switching to the Infantry is because of what I saw of the Signals. My old Sigs unit had many good, switched on and enthusiastic bods from all ranks, who nonetheless felt consistently frustrated by their experience of TA life. It just seemed (and seems to me still) an incredible waste of talent and enthusiasm.

I don't know why the TA Sigs are like this. Perhaps it's the technical nature of the trades and/or high maintenance of the equipment which is hard to reconcile with a part time force that in turn leads to half measures. I genuinely don't know and I do feel sorry for those TA soldiers who actually want to do comms work, as their options are limited.

I realise of course that the Infantry is not for everyone and indeed that (contrary to what puteesinmyhands may believe) some may never hope to come up to the standard for an Infantryman. Nonetheless, if you're unhappy and the only reason you're in a Signals unit is because it's the closest a look around at your nearest Infantry unit might be just the tonic.
 

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