Joining TA after regular service


I've spent the last couple of days enjoying the old threads here, and the last couple of years mulling over a return to military life in the TA after leaving the Royal Signals back in 1997. As age is no longer on my side, I've decided to stop buggering about and make a decision, so I contacted my local TA Centre yesterday and told the wife (also ex-signals).

Reason: well to be bloody honest I miss it, and I hate being stuck in this office with the aircon, water cooler politics, fat pushy middle managers etc.
I live in Norfolk, and my daily commute takes me through STANTA territory so I regularly get stuck behind long lines of bedfords/DAF's driven by happy smiley faces.

I really want to get stuck in again, be cold, wet, spend hours picking up brass, all that sort of thing.

I never reached the dizzy heights in the regular's, I joined at 16 and went to Germany etc. Came back to the UK, but broke my ankle in Cyprus which resulted in a stint at DKMH and a very long clomb back to fitness which, together with an excessive bullshit routine, killed off my motivation.
I was pretty immature in the Army, and I do think I wasted some great opportunities by 'just getting by' rather than pushing myself harder.
I've grown up now and I want to correct some of that and give it another go, I'm keen, enthusiastic, fit, and not afraid of mobilisation.

The only thing that has stopped me doing this earlier was the 'time' issue. I was concerned I couldn't commit to the drill nights, weekends, annual camps etc. Due ot family and work constraint's. Having discussed this with somone else it transpired that with some simple changes and good old fashioned hard work I could, if I truely had the motivation, manage the time commitment.
I have a very supportive wife who's familair with service life and all it's peculiarities, I work for a large multinational who have a very clued up HR department who are very familiar with the way of the reservist, and indeed the company have supported several employees on recent deployments. They will give me an extra weeks paid leave towards my reservist duties.

So really it's now down to me.

Erm so whats the point of this post?

Well, couple of things really.
Locally I have a squadron of 36 Sigregt, and a Company of East of England Regiment Infantry, plus some others, but these are the two I'm interested in. The natural choice is RSigs, but I really fancy a change of cap badge, more of a challenge physically, and a fresh approach to basic soldiering. But I feel a sense of loyalty towards the Signals, I work in the IT industry and I wouldn't mind catching up with what the Signals do these days.
I understand it's my choice, but I'd be interested to hear opinions on either unit, role, etc. Particularly from people who are familair with these units or have had to make similar decisions.

Secondly, I fully expect to start from the begining, I want no preferential treatment for being ex-full time. Starting at the begining, with the basics, with the rest of the recruits. However, could I still expect certain 'attitude encounters' or would I be forced into a certain role because of my previous experience?

Thanks for your patience, and thanks in advance for any replies, good and bad. :D

Oh, I'm 32, 33 in December. I believe as being ex-full time I can join before I'm 34.
u wants sigs mate infanty apparently isnt much fun. sigs are going through alot of changes its fresh now and intresting.
Perhaps you should think of joining the Army cadets as an adult instructor. They are desperatly short of instructors. You still get to go away and you perhaps could be usefull in chanelling the youth of today away from all the c*ap they are fed theses days. If you decide to join the TA you will (depending on how long ago you left the regulars) find it very different from what you are used to. One good thing about being in the TA is that a lot of the serving members do have civvy jobs that come in handy, bricklayers, plasterers, motor fitters, landscape gardeners etc, these can be a boon to save you money on the jobs that you need doing. Best of luck.
I spent my first 10 years in the infantry (mostly as a signaller), really enjoyed it - it was great fun getting cold, dirty and worn out but always had a smile on my face.

Signals is also good, but nowhere near as much fun (if its raining we ain't training) but does have a good social life.
I completly changed cap badge when I joined the TA after a 2 year break so I had to start from private although I didnt have to go through recruit training.
I went from RA to RAMC, mainly to help with my job (paramedic ambulance) and I love it
A lot of X Regs, like minded people!

Good luk mate
Badgers, it depends a lot on your physical condition but you will be able to decide that for yourself. As for what recruit training you will end up doing, it's up to your unit but FFS you're only 32 (no spring chicken but still many miles left) don't decide to not bother joining the TA at all. I would say go for EER but I am naturally slightly biased towards infantry. You can always go into both units on a drill night and speak to someone and see what they will offer you and what you think. As for 'attitude encounters' you will be unfortunate if you're dealing with one of those and there will, more than likely, be some ex-regs at your unit anyway.
Suggest you check out the posts on "36 Sigs ...The future" Get it from the guys on the ground..
would be wise to see if the unit/sqn/troop is staying put..good luck mate

Similar threads

Latest Threads