Is it time to think the unthinkable

#1
or accept the unacceptable:

The complexity of today's Contemporary Operating Environment is beyond the capability of the part-time reservist?

msr
 
#4
Beyond the capability? Not if you get some good advice from your PSI.

Of course we have the capability. If a Regular can manage it... It's something that's just outside the comfort zone, not helped by being suddenly lumped in with a bunch of strangers. Just takes a bit of time to adapt.
 
#5
Msr,

You seem to be buying into the "being a regular is hard" narrative of this site, wash your mouth out. It seems far more regulars have trouble adjusting to civvy street than TA members have trouble adjusting to FTRS, regular transfer, or mobilisation. How many last tour PSIs have you asked if they are joining the TA to hear them say they wont have time with all that high pressure / long hours civvy work? Or ex reg transferees into the TA who dissappear after a few months of not attending because they cant handle two jobs.

Slightly more seriously - what you allude to is the creeping subtle change in attitude that the part time soldier is not now expected to be "slightly better than a totally raw conscript" as material for reforming a large army, but is expected to be a month away from combat ready at all times. This is a big jump in expectation from the part time soldier, which has been accompanied if anything by a reduction in the time and resources available for training. So I would tend to agree that its unsustainable.
 
#7
Whatever the actual experience or empirical evidence (and I'm not sure either way since I have not deployed yet; but we have certainly had blokes who've deployed and seemed to have done well), can you really see the Army effectively declaring the TA unusable in current ops, given how useful they came in whilst the UK was in both Iraq and Afghan?

You'll never get the TA declared nondeployable in the sort of conflict that is overwhelmingly common and likely to be common in the future. If absolutely forced to declare anything, they would rather disband us - that way at least they are saving some cash.

There is also the argument to be made that a TA that doesn't send bods on ops serves to widen the gulf between itself and deployability. Having a good number of those who have been on tour serves to raise the standard of the whole.
 
#9
Voltiguer said:
..can you really see the Army effectively declaring the TA unusable in current ops, given how useful they came in whilst the UK was in both Iraq and Afghan?
Cynically and despite the One Army concept, I think they might if they thought there would be a budgetery advantage.
 
#10
msr said:
or accept the unacceptable:

The complexity of today's Contemporary Operating Environment is beyond the capability of the part-time reservist?

msr
No not really, I think the method we try to sell ourselves may be outdated but it's a good question. It's got me thinking I'm in the wrong TA, a number of my skills are niche not mainstream - I need to remove myself from the temp pool and join the contract one. (or put another way, the wording of your post made me think it didn't belong in a TA/temp thread or even reg/full time thread).
 
#11
msr said:
or accept the unacceptable:

The complexity of today's Contemporary Operating Environment is beyond the capability of the part-time reservist?

msr
Let's turn that around. Can a regular officer perform at the same level in a Civilian company..?
 
#12
It is beyond the capability of some but certainly not all. I'm on PDT for my second tour, and we have seen TA binned off at an early stage as not fit for purpose, same at Chilwell.
But the same goes for regulars, there are rear party dwellers, fatmongs and 'enablers' there too.
 
#14
Kitmarlowe said:
Can a regular officer perform at the same level in a Civilian company..?
Until he gets out, does he ever need to? Deployed TA personnel need to be up to the job they are sent out to do at that time. There is no comparison in this situation.
 
#15
Kitmarlowe said:
msr said:
or accept the unacceptable:

The complexity of today's Contemporary Operating Environment is beyond the capability of the part-time reservist?

msr
Let's turn that around. Can a regular officer perform at the same level in a Civilian company..?
Comparisons based on the specific are odious enough but to try and have a debate populated by generic TA or regular soldiers seems nugatory. I honestly do not think that the COE is beyond the capability of the well-trained, motivated and mobilised reservist. After all, nor is it beyond those members of the armed services who joined the Army as a last resort option.
 
#19
There seems to be a contradiction growing. In the past, TA soldiers received lots of appropriate training designed to fit them for war-fighting at very short notice. Individual and collective training was focused on the delivery of formed units. however individuals could be creamed off and deployed/mobilised with a relatively small amount of training and in the main perform well in peace enforcement, PKO and even war-fighting operations.

However is it not the case now that unless the TA soldier comes from the old background, they do not receive the same levels of individual and collective training? As a result they are not as able for mobilisation, PDT and successful deployment as a fully capable member of a deployed unit on ops?

So unless some other way of producing good, experienced and "just add water" soldiers in the reserve can be implemented, ultimately the reserve forces will produce a diminishing return from the older cohorts - many of whom have two or three tours or FTRS periods under their belts - and provide "close to conscript" elements at the rifleman/gun bunny/makey-learny end of the scale?
 
#20
At OR level at least in the infantry the TA soldier can be up to scratch after PDT, as long as you're fit and motivated the job of an infantryman is not that hard if we're honest.

At SNCO level or technical trades their is a massive difference in experience between TA and reg, at least that's how it seems to me.

That might change now the lads with several op tours get promoted, I know several full screws with at least 2 or 3 tours, but we cannot expect years of experience to be easily replaced by a couple of years experience spread over many years. It's also the reason I've turned down promotion courses every time they're offered.

Of course there are always exceptional individuals that buck the trend but being realistic it's just not the same.

I'm leaving the TA soon, I might give the RMR a try if I miss being in green, not for the allyness factor (I see the extra phys I'm going to have to do as a bit of an inconvenience to basically do the job I'm already doing) , but because I like the way they do things, they do the regular version of courses, and at any time can apply to go away with one of the regular commandos, I wish the TA worked like that.

Edited to add- I know you can do FTRS in TA but the RMR work a lot closer with the regs and the process is a lot quicker and simpler.