Is it time to walk away


Having served in the TA for the last 21 years I am now wondering if its time to hand in the kit and walk. Have done FTRS, Op Tellic and had some great experiences over the years.
But haven't effectivly trained in the last 2 years due to TA and Employer working on different time lines. My employer wants all annual leave Booked by the Previous December, TA unit won't give out camp dates at this stage as they're not confirmed. Weekend training Training returns sent out about 4-6 weeks ahead from unit requests for time off from work to be in 8-12 weeks in advance and a request is just that a request. Have tried explaining this to PSI's, PSAO's, RSM's TM's to no avail best one was being rung on a Friday afternoon to tell me I was starting a course on the monday morning Needless to say the PSI concerned was a little stunned when I told him a few home truths about the real world.
Best about it is when I actually get time booked of for TA at last minite training cancelled or dates changed and PSI's can't get their heads round the fact I can't go on the new dates. The number of times I've heard well its your £1500.
As I work in the NHS you would think they'd try and be helpful well nope. Unit was looking for people to go on Herrick and I had to basically say If I go on Herrick I won't have a civilian Job to come back to as our area is restructuring.
Have asked about moving to different unit or specialist unit to no avail cept to be told well there is no places in thease units for your rank/trade in effort to keep me on current units books.
At times I do wish someone would explain the realities of the real world to Potential PSI's and what shift work and anti social hours actually mean.
I'm sorry its ending this way but it really is looking like time to hand back the kit and walk away.
If you enjoy the TA and it sounds like you actually do enjoy it, stay in if possible.

Just because a different unit doesn't have a slot for your rank or trade doesn't mean you can't go to it. A change of role may be just the trick, you can serve and add a lot of valuable skills to another unit, even if you are a lower rank.


Nurse2 said:
The number of times I've heard well its your £1500.

Yeah but we're not in it for the money, having been in for a while now with a largish family and busy job, I sometimes wonder if the bounty is worth it.

I still enjoy being in the TA, I know when a weekends going to be good, some though I'd rather miss out on (e.g. MATTS).


Your empolyer needs shooting annual leave request year in advance
2months notice for a weekend request :frustrated: .
And how come your unit doesn't publish training forecast earlier?
Its annoying its surprising how they manage to get any medics in the ta facing the army and the nhs bureacracy at the same time.
Glad I walked away from nursing personally . Have you tried sabre ?
Maybe they could help ?



About seven years ago I had problems with camp dates, where I submitted them to my employer as soon as I knew them (about 6 months in advance), and my boss decided that she felt there was not enough notice (she was not exactly sympathetic towards the TA).

Co-incidentally, that night, as I was driving home, there was an interview with, I think, the employers federation on Radio 4, where the subject of "sufficient notice" for a holiday came up. The rep. said that sufficient notice on an employee's part would normally be at least twice the period of holiday required, e.g. a month's notice for two weeks away.

As it happened the boss had heard this too, and although she didn't volunteer the information to me, she accepted it when I raised the subject again the next day.

I imagine, though, that a shift work job could be more difficult to arrange, but a year's notice is daft.

Stick to it if you can. You know you'll miss it otherwise.

Best Regards,


Carp smelling
Nurse 2

Please see your PM. You have been sent a message from SaBRE Helpline.


War Hero
polar said:
I still enjoy being in the TA, I know when a weekends going to be good, some though I'd rather miss out on (e.g. MATTS).

So that's now the majority of weekends you'd rather miss out on :biggrin:


I get my training program through in November/December and it covers about 15 months. It used to really piss me off being at an independant unit who couldnt (or more to the point wouldnt) tell you what was on the training program.

If I was you I'd contact any Specialist Units your considering directly. Get everything sorted out, then drop your transfer request on your current unit. They cant stop you going if there is a vacancy somewhere else.


Our PASO has issued forecasts but the accuarcy of which is like the forecasts the met office issues. I've booked dates of from the forecasts well in advance goten the weekend of for the training and about 2 weeks before the training is cancelled or moved to other dates. Have seen this done to an annual camp as well. Mind you its amazing how skiing, sailing and adventure training never suffers from this!


Pork_Pie said:
polar said:
I still enjoy being in the TA, I know when a weekends going to be good, some though I'd rather miss out on (e.g. MATTS).

So that's now the majority of weekends you'd rather miss out on :biggrin:

Haven't been on a Matts weekend yet and actually only know about mats from what i've seen on line. Have had training years that were either to role and ITDS only. Which is great but other little things get dropped like basic military skills not covered in ITD's/MATTS. I remember in the dim and distant past doing things like infantry section battledrills, Vehicle drills, signals training and exercises. All now considered luxuries as 'we'll never have to work as infantry' then going on deployment and being out on the ground and not in a fancy hospital buried inside a guarded perimiter on a self escorting detail into Basrah.
dont leave

if your heart is still in it, simply lower your commitment

three weekends and one week camp!
Nurse2, we have sent you another PM.


Well results of restructuring of the department are now in and our manager has told us because we have to put more trained on at weekends we will have less weekends off so looks like writing is on the wall.
Added to which request for recent training weekend turned down as unimportant and not a priority it would appear that priority for time of is only for hospital and medical appointments.


I know its a bit of a radical move but would a change of employer help, you are a good nurse with a wealth of experience and a lot of employers would welcome yor skills and support your TA career. And it sounds like you are not exactly enamoured with your present situation either.

Most of the NHS trusts that either myself or my TA collegues have worked for have been really supportive so its either your trust or your manager disregarding policies on the TA.

I also found when moving outside of the health service most employers saw being in the TA as a positive attribute and were keen to know more.

On the training front we badgered the training wing into providing more mill skills training for the reasons you gave earlier - with a bit of imaginative planning they usually manage to sneak a couple of matts in when we're not looking.

Good luck and please consider all options before leaving


Also I don't know of any unit that hasn't got vacancies for nurses at any rank - they're like rocking horse poo!
Have you tried having your friendly RCN rep having a word with personnel department and boss? A lot of the unreasonable practices in the NHS are usually down to one person's opinion, and if challenged by someone using lots of leagalistic words they usually back down, as they have not got a clue how the real world does things.

Looking for the trusts written policy on leave, days off, notice required etc might help giving you grounds to challenge it. if there is not one then you can tell them to put up or challenge the decision. If there is one, again, making them stick to the letter of it will make them think twice.

Some of the conditions you mention could leave the trust open for a case of constructive dismissal if you quit.


I too am a nurse and experience similar difficulties to Nurse2. My weekends on are set in stone so I cannot change them for TA events, but when the boss wants to change them she does, with little notice and no care for other commitments I have.

I have had to cancel numerous weekends and courses due to shift changes. My A/L has to be booked in October for the following April to April year, so it's 18 months in advance! Then my off duty comes out the week before and often gets changed anyway.

Work has taken a week A/L away from me as I had too many weeks booked off before xmas when I go on Herrick, they said I will not have worked enough in that year to have that many weeks off.

When I treid to explain the skills and experiences I had gained from the TA in aninterview for a course at work and was told post interview that I did not get it as I seemed to be more enthusiastic about TA than my job.

Due to the difficulties I have to overcome to actually turn up on a TA weekend (I am also married with children) I too have serously thought about leaving. Fortunately I am with an excellant unit who care about retention. So my advice to Nurse2 is to stay in but change units if you are not getting the support you need.


well resignation is written. Kit is Bagged and unit said they'd collect it but no show as ever. They promise the earth and deliver nothing. Just sad and disappointed in their attitude's towards the last few years but hey ho had a great time with the Artillery in 102 & 105 204 was fun and really enjoyed being an N.O. with them but it all went down hill when I moved to mainland unit big mistake!
It really does sound like you will miss it.....

I'd do what the others said and look at another unit...

I have to say that I can relate to the TA support (or lack of it) to consider employers....

I had a mobilisation cancelled at short notice (not my sub-units fault), but there was a break down in communications so somebody forgot to tell me it was off... and when I asked them to send a letter to my employer saying it was off, they promised but it never happened (the Reg. 2ic was going to do it but left, never chased though).

I too have to now give vacation dates 12 months in advance (due to the nature of my work), but when I explained this recently, I got the feeling no one really cared?

I actually don't think my unit is any worse than the norm (actually it sounds better than yours!!), but I think that some people in the TA don't understand that the balence should be.....

HOME then WORK then TA in the order.

It's just my opinion, but it seems like many people put the DPM blinkers on as soon as they step in the TAC? They ultimately forget that we are civis first.....


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