Is this normal?

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by newnewbie, Jan 23, 2006.

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  1. Hi

    I am totally new to the TA's and after going to three evening sessions I was told to go to the 1st TAFS weekend. I was really surprised at what it was like.

    I got there on Friday at 20:00 and all the new people (there were 16 of us) were taken aside, we had a half hour 'getting to know you' chat then were told that was all for the night. Everyone went to the bar to watch some DVD's then went to bed really late after getting really drunk. I was a bit surprised, I thought we would do a little more, I just had one pint (I don't normally drink but wanted to try to be sociable) but one new recruit got so drunk he had to go home. So the first night was a waste of time.

    On Saturday we were up at 6, given a really unhealthy breakfast and then sent to do our BPFA, but they had a mix up and so we had to wait around till 12:00 before we could do it. Of the remaining 15 I was the only one who even passed it. The rest of the day we did a bit of riffle handling and some marching; that was all. We finished at 19:00 (although the entire day could easily have been condensed into 4 hours) then it was back to the bar that night, when once again everyone got extremely drunk.

    Sunday was just the same, did hardly anything (just learnt how to identify someone’s rank and a bit more riffle work). On Sunday everything could have taken about 3 hours MAXIMUM yet we were up at 6:00 and didn't finish until 17:00.

    Sorry for the long post, but I want to know if this is normal. I thought the TA's would be a challenge but this weekend was just about drinking and eating absolute rubbish. Then getting up so early that by the time you did get the chance to learn something you were too exhausted to understand or care.

    At the moment I am really surprised and am seriously considering leaving as it's more of a social event than even a slight challenge.
  2. Just out of interest , did you hear the phrase "Look at life" at any point?

    That's what the first weekend is about, it's just that. Don't worry , you'll get beasted into the ground later.

    Especially with the attitude you're showing already.
  3. Welcome to the British Army!!!
  4. Things do seem to be a bit of a pain in the arrse at the start all the waiting around doing nothing then to do things that u would have a good idea how to do if u've grown up in a military family but things will start to improve.You also mentioned you don't drink much will that will soon change believe me u'll be a professional drinker before becoming a professional soldier(only joking).Just stick with it and things will start to get better...:)

  5. scaryspice

    scaryspice LE Moderator

    And don't call it the "TA's" newnewbie - it's the "TA" - TA's are teaching assistants.....

    Seriously - although this does sound a bit poorly organised, it will get better - stick with it - you will be glad you did.
  6. What unit have you joined?

    Things are different in every unit. I'd like to think that at some point you'll get more of a beasting in order to train you, but if you don't and you haven’t got the challenge you were looking for, maybe you should look at transferring to a different unit, perhaps one which involves an arduous course such as a commando or para rolled unit. I can guarantee you wont be sat around doing nothing for long!
  7. Does not sound good does it ! - If you are lucky the recruit team have been told to take it easy and not stretch people too hard - Difficult enough to recruit in the first place etc etc.

    If you are unlucky its because the recruit team is run by a fat knacker who should have been chucked out years ago and now has a nice little cushy operation running, out of sight of the rest of the organisation.

    The truth lies somewhere on that spectrum, I've seen both ends of it.

    If after a fair shot at it you start to think that its the second scenario then make your feelings known. ( Careful you do not come over badly in front of your potential mates - anyone else feel the same ?). Does the OC or a sub-unit comd show up and ask "hows it going ?" - if its too easy tell them ! If the worst comes to the worst then look around for a unit with a "harder" image - Inf, Para or, at risk of seeming a Walt - SF.
  8. sorry newnewbie seems about right for the small amount of reme ta blokes ive worked with, dunno which lot your with though.
  9. Newbie, - not all units are the same. If it had been run like that in my unit I guarantee the guy in charge would have had a rocket put under him!

    When you say TAFS1 after 3 evenings do you mean the very first weekend? With my lot the first weekend is the RSC - Recruit Selection Course, and TAFS-1 comes later.

    Our RSC runs thus: Arrive Fri night, sign in and receive complete brief plus some other admin including getting measured for your uniform, get set up in accomodation, and if you're lucky a swift half before bed. Sat you're up at 0530 for early morning PT, followed by breakfast (and yes the mainstay is the usual British Army fry-up but you're so active you need the calories, plus there are healthy alternatives). After breakfast you go through the written entrance test, followed by your first BPFA, a foot drill lesson, and 2 classroom lessons before lunch. After lunch you're out on the training area for leaderless tasks followed by a confidence course where we push you a little harder and make sure you get properly muddy. After evening meal there's another lesson, followed by an observation test and a debrief before knocking off. There's usually a few pints in the bar but if you're not sparkling the following morning then watch out. Sun you're up at 0530 again for more PT and after breakfast theres a little more drill, interviews, the attestation ceremony, and issue of your first kit. All done by 1300 and most are back to their squadrons for mid afternoon so you still get some free time before you go back to work on Monday. And we are not paras or marines or special forces - thats just the way it should be done.

    One other thing - you should not be doing weapon handling at all on the TA Foundation Scheme - thats policy from the highest level. It is taught on your 2-week CMSR(TA) course at one of the Army Training Regiments.

    Stick with it, but if you decide you want to transfer to another unit then PM me and if you're in our area you welcome to join our mob - I guarantee you will be challenged.

    (Appologies for the long post - but recruit training is very important.)
  10. I did no RSC, but I did do basic SAA on my TAFS with a regular S/Sgt from an ATR
  11. Whats wrong with getting pissed? And anyway thats what makes it great -work hard-play twice as hard! You will get beasted then you will start whinging about that!! Id rather be on the pish than being beasted!!!! Army life is a good crack, loosen up and be more open minded!
  12. Good advice.

    Newbie, people posting on this thread are from different units. I've been in (post SDR TA) units where socialising is a very big part of the TA, but I've also been in units that it isn't (pre SDR TA). The obvious answer is to leave or transfer (note a few would disagree with my last sentence)
  13. Sounds more like an OTC than a TA unit! Most TA regiments have moved on from those days. When I joined my Regiment (admittedly I missed the first weekend when they were in Huts) I did not see any accommodation until after phase two training. As for bars that was Sunday post exercise! I suppose it is up each individual as to which type of training they prefer. I would assume that most recruits when they join would expect to be challenged but can easily slip into an easy life revolving around the bar.
  14. First hello everyone from another newbie, treat me gentle I'm getting old and frail. :D

    Newnewbie I'm sure this was a 'break em in gently' weekend. Get to know your fellow recruits and training staff. It's also a good chance for the training staff to sound you out (and to see who can drink and who'll spend most of the time throwing up!).

    When training starts you'll find it gets harder and more challenging as time goes on. By the way, time in the bar is seldom waisted (even if you are!). It's a good chance to 'bond' and talk over any probs. Your fellow recruits can talk to the sweats and ask questions over a pint that they wouldn't ask the staff because they were afraid of feeling and looking like a fool.

    Of course I could be wrong and your unit is pants :D
  15. msr

    msr LE


    Stick with it. Complete the TAFS w/es and then decide if it is not for you. If it isn't, then speak to your OC about a transfer to another unit.

    But give it time, don't rush into a decision based on one w/e.


    P.S. Good result on the BPFA!