Is your AR unit fit for purpose

ugly

LE
Moderator
#1
Is your AR unit fir for purpose (Stand Fast 4 Para, this isn't a willy waving exercise). I'm not asking units to be named but it would be nice if you could say your units role. I'm curious because apart from a few units who seem to have no trouble getting recruits there certainly seems to be an issue with some posters regarding the performance of their unit.
I'm interested if your unit is an independent specialised company or squadron sized unit thats fully manned or close too and can turn out regularly a full or close to full complement so that normal roles can be exercised or if you are part of a larger formation like an infantry Bn and you struggle to put 2 companies worth of troops in the field for a Bn weekend.

I have a point. Major units in the AR are in my view (at the moment under formation this view) a fairly pointless exercise and troops would be better recruited/formed into reinforcement companies attached to major regular units. This would of course mean an end to AR Bn command appointments but surely that money could be better used for more troop training?

I have over the years espoused ideas where we have a dedicated system of reserve companies located with regular Bns (for the infantry) and these troops are committed legally to a reserve commitment in a similar way to the Israelis but without the life time listing (unless you want to stay).
This isn't about that, this wouldn't require a law change just the MoD to turn around and say thats it No more Third Bn the loamshires (V) they are now 4 reserve companies for the 2 regular Bns and may be used to form a cadre come a long conventional war!
The Yeomanry seem to be moving slowly in this direction, there is no reason why it cant happen apart from jobs for the reservists protection!
It could work, would your minor unit be more interesting if it spent every other annual camp with its regular Bn exercising in Warriors?
 

Pob02

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
Sorry, but you get an old as this is an opinion that has been expressed many times before, in various other threads, and just results in the same old circular arguments.
 
#3
I'll cut you short right there.

Training together doesn't work unless it's at Annual Camp. The AR can't train midweek because they're at work. Regulars won't train at weekends because it's their time off.

If Regulars are compelled to train at weekends, they'll spend the time moaning and not just not being enthusiastic but actively throwing spanners in the works so that they don't get stiffed again.

Regular bosses don't want to compel their blokes to attend weekends because their attitude spills into weekdays.

Not having a dig at anyone, everyone should have time off and choose what to do with it, but this is something that has been tried for more than 40 years to my knowledge and it has never been successful beyond perhaps two weekends.
 
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ugly

LE
Moderator
#4
Wait let me put you right. I'm not advocating changing drill nights and weekends but cutting away the Bn command fat and using it to fund more recruiting at company level. The training still follows the same pattern i.e. weekends and drill nights but camp is spent (or every other camp) with your regular unit exercising. This would allow those who can get more time off to spend more time on battlegroup sized work ups such as Canada or Eastern Europe and would allow you to work with your regular component when available.
 
#5
Wait let me put you right. I'm not advocating changing drill nights and weekends but cutting away the Bn command fat and using it to fund more recruiting at company level. The training still follows the same pattern i.e. weekends and drill nights but camp is spent (or every other camp) with your regular unit exercising. This would allow those who can get more time off to spend more time on battlegroup sized work ups such as Canada or Eastern Europe and would allow you to work with your regular component when available.
Just copy the National Guard model over here. It works well for us.
 
#6
One small problem with this:

The Regular Army's attitude towards the AR can be described as completely ambivalent at best. At worst, the AR is considered by some as a complete waste of resources. Most sit somewhere between the two. It is a recipe for disaster to try to get soldiers who are already busy to give up time to try and train some civvys who are unlikely to ever deploy anywhere, and if they do, will no doubt be utilised in the least stretching job that can be found. By keeping the AR away from the Regular Army, you limit the amount of reputational damage that can be done by forcing soldiers to give up their weekend to watch some civvies be extra shite at soldiering.
 
#7
Some Regulars really struggle with the whole concept of the Reserves and can't understand you have to treat them differently...

Giving your AR Bn a year's notice of a trip to Africa is fab, as it gives the AR blokes enough notice to warn off their employer, OC Domestic etc.

But when you tell them three weeks before that date that its being moved two weeks to the right, they did seem surprised when a large proportion of the AR blokes said "Can't do it..."
 
#8
Some Regulars really struggle with the whole concept of the Reserves and can't understand you have to treat them differently...

Giving your AR Bn a year's notice of a trip to Africa is fab, as it gives the AR blokes enough notice to warn off their employer, OC Domestic etc.

But when you tell them three weeks before that date that its being moved two weeks to the right, they did seem surprised when a large proportion of the AR blokes said "Can't do it..."
I assume your Reserve forces don't have the same employment protections that our Guardsmen and Reservists have?
 
#9
I assume your Reserve forces don't have the same employment protections that our Guardsmen and Reservists have?
Nothing like, buddy.
And the social environment over here is very different too. Membership of the Reserves can be seen in a very negative light.
 
#11
Nothing like, buddy.
And the social environment over here is very different too. Membership of the Reserves can be seen in a very negative light.
I have gathered that from the comments. The Guard and Reserves are viewed as a vital part of the total force these days. The Vietnam mindset is dead.
 
#13
I have gathered that from the comments. The Guard and Reserves are viewed as a vital part of the total force these days. The Vietnam mindset is dead.
I spent a coupla weeks with the Rhode Island NG ( A Coy, 1/182 Inf), very good blokes, very switched on.
 
#14
One small problem with this:

The Regular Army's attitude towards the AR can be described as completely ambivalent at best. At worst, the AR is considered by some as a complete waste of resources. Most sit somewhere between the two. It is a recipe for disaster to try to get soldiers who are already busy to give up time to try and train some civvys who are unlikely to ever deploy anywhere, and if they do, will no doubt be utilised in the least stretching job that can be found. By keeping the AR away from the Regular Army, you limit the amount of reputational damage that can be done by forcing soldiers to give up their weekend to watch some civvies be extra shite at soldiering.
On the flip side, the AR is also not over the moon to be tied intrinsically to a suffering brand like the Regular Army. At least when they were TA, the population could see clear water between them and the regs.
The fact that TA as a description is still in common usage by civvies must really rile some SO2 Branding at Andover
 
#15
On the flip side, the AR is also not over the moon to be tied intrinsically to a suffering brand like the Regular Army. At least when they were TA, the population could see clear water between them and the regs.
The fact that TA as a description is still in common usage by civvies must really rile some SO2 Branding at Andover
I think this pretty much sums up public opinion of the TA:

 
#16
I think this pretty much sums up public opinion of the TA:

or more precisely the regular view on public opinion of the TA because it matched what they thought of the TA.
Since the office finished nearly 15 years ago, using "Gareth" as a reference will have resonance with a much older generation ( one that will look like the average FB user...) who will be predominantly gatekeepers of a more regular service focused cohort.
The Territorial element of the reserves is still very prevalent and local populations are more likely to frame their views through those they know attending ARCs now (where they still exist...).
Think of it as a Framing effect - to a complete civvie, Gareth could be seen as a step up from his obvious ineptitude due to his TA time.
Of course, there is the possibility that the civvie could look at the office as a work of fiction with exaggerated characters and characteristics...
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#17
One small problem with this:

The Regular Army's attitude towards the AR can be described as completely ambivalent at best. At worst, the AR is considered by some as a complete waste of resources. Most sit somewhere between the two. It is a recipe for disaster to try to get soldiers who are already busy to give up time to try and train some civvys who are unlikely to ever deploy anywhere, and if they do, will no doubt be utilised in the least stretching job that can be found. By keeping the AR away from the Regular Army, you limit the amount of reputational damage that can be done by forcing soldiers to give up their weekend to watch some civvies be extra shite at soldiering.
Wait, who do you think runs the majority of career courses now for the AR?
I would hope that maintaining the desire and motivation of the trainees either AR or regular would be the same, the AR aren't trained in basic by AR staff are they?
 
#18
I spent a coupla weeks with the Rhode Island NG ( A Coy, 1/182 Inf), very good blokes, very switched on.
I like it that you are lapsing into the vernacular for our US brethren. 'Buddy' ; 'Coupla'. I'll be really impressed if can get 'howday' or 'hitch yer critter to the post and grab yersel some chuck' in to the chat :)

My cultural references may be out of date...
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#19
But when you tell them three weeks before that date that its being moved two weeks to the right, they did seem surprised when a large proportion of the AR blokes said "Can't do it..."
Seen it happen, its tough if the army wont stick to plans then they have to put up with the results. Forget the old the Regs dont understand the AR line, they dont currently have much exposure but its still light years ahead of 30 years ago when I met my first TA troops coming on a regular six week course.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#20
Sorry, but you get an old as this is an opinion that has been expressed many times before, in various other threads, and just results in the same old circular arguments.
links please as I did a search and only came up with my previous ideas which are different.
 

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