Joining TA in Northampton

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by dannyc, Jul 3, 2008.

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  1. Hi,

    Could anyone point me in the right direction. I've been to my local TA for a meet and greet. Filled in some forms and now I'm awaiting a letter to say when i have to go for my fitness and medical tests.

    When i went to my local TA there seemed to be two groups of people (my sincere apologies for my lack of military terminology knowledge) both the REME guys and the East of Anglian Infantry. I was told that i will have to decide which one i would like to join and what job role i would prefer. After reading through some threads on this forum a lot of people recommend that you should choose a group before your job role. Could anyone tell me the benefits of the Infantry? REME seems to be based around engineering and i don't think i would be suited for that.

    Also i have looked at the jobs available and i definitely want it to be under the combat section . But the job role i would like doesn't come under the TA, does anyone know of a similar job role to the "GUNNER SPECIAL OBSERVER" in the TA (i think also you have to have 4 years in the army under your belt for that job)? I know that this job comes under the Royal Artillery does this mean that my local TA won't be able to provide this?

    Sorry about all the questions. Any help appreciated.
  2. They way things work (as I discovered when finding out about TA) is that local TA centres are alligned with different regiments or corps of the army. So for example, your local one is part of the Royal Anglian Regiment? If you went to another town, you would find the local one there might be Royal Signals or Royal Artillery.

    What this means is firstly they offer trades specific to their affiliated regiment/corps eg in your case infantryman or perhaps for example at a signals regiment radio/comms type jobs. What all the TA centres also seem to have is whats called an LAD (light aid detachement).

    These are a selection of support trades who help the unit function and who wear the capbadge of the relevant corps they belong to. The LAD typically has mechanics, armourers and recovery mechanics to deal with the technical side of things and they belong to the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) and also chefs, storeman (Royal Logistics Corps), clerks (Adjutant General Corps) and medics (Royal Army Medical Corps). So if you joined as one of these, you would wear the relevant cap badge of that particular corps.

    What this means is you could join the trade specific to your unit or join the LAD section and do one of the other trades.

    Whatever you do dont get hood winked or pressured into joining as something your not really interested in. In my quest to find the best trade and TA centre for me around my area, I was bombarded with all sorts white lies and selective answers to questions I already knew the answers to having searched Arrse.

    Anyway, coming back to the 'special observer', as I understand it, that type of job is only available at the 'Honoury Artillery Company' in London who I think are part of the Royal Artillery??
    Am not sure but the other TA artillery regiments may have the 'Gunner OP Assistant' trade available but I dont know and you'd have to ask them but that might be abit similar in terms of spending time doing sneaky beaky secret squirrell stuff in a hole in the grond somewhere secret (ssshhhhh).

    What I did was basically decided how far I was willing/able to travel, then had a look at the TA centres and trades available in that radius and visit some and take it from there. Hope this helps.......

  3. dannyc,

    No, obviously neither the infantry or REME have an artillery observation capability. Your nearest units should you be interested in that role are at Nottingham or Hertfordshire. You can find more info here:

    Can I ask why you are particularly interested in the Special Observation role? For a start it is likely that the RA TA units I mentioned train more for the light gun with very few vacancies for Special Observers. In the regular army it is a specialised role available to those few who have passed a demanding selection course. If the idea of sitting in a hole and shitting into a bag for days on end does as a Special Obsever does not appeal then the RA would train you in standard Observation techniques.

    Secondly, my advice would be to start with the 3 R Anglian at Northhamton. 3 R Anglian are a very decent unit with plenty of opportunities for challenging excercises and operational tours. The benefits of infantry - the chance to do some real down and dirty solidering and not have to ponce around barracks changing wheels and eating pies!