Hi to all, newbie here joined site to get info on ta etc, currently working in construction but joining local TA unit, my mate is ex guardsman, and the only advise he can give me is - Get used to being called a crow bag!!!!
I've been a proud STAB for 26 years ( plus 5 in regs ) , go for it, just ignore the politics which unfortunately creeps in, don't worry about yer age I'm 49 and can beat most of the new ones at phys in our unit, been on ops a few times and can soldier along with the younger lot wether STABs or regs plus STABs and regs get on together now ( even on here ) ( most of the time )
Just have a sense of humour, train hard in yer free time, volunteer for competitions and do stupid stuff - I sparred with some Marines last year-got beaten to fcuk but did me best against bods half me age, oh and the extra dough comes in handy as well-good luck
First up, good on you for thinking of going for it. I'm ex-London Regt (did six years with them), and have no regrets whatsoever. At the risk of telling you stuff you already know, bear in mind the following.
(1) Find out how long the recruit training process goes. It used to be four weekends, but in London District in particular it's now 8. Also ask how long it takes for you to get the 2 week CIC course in Catterick sorted out. Delays can be frustrating, and may make you ask why you bothered in the first place. Stick with it.
(2) According to the great and good in the MOD the TA is going to become more of a priority for the armed forces. I'll believe that when that happens, as the last time I heard from my old capbadge the training budget had been cut to buggery for all but recruits, and those preparing for a HERRICK tour. Things may change, possibly post-2014, but be used to the idea that everything you do will be done on a shoestring.
(3) Treat it as more or less inevitable that you will go on an operational tour. HERRICK is supposed to be winding down, but if the MERCIANS are like the Londons your Bn HQ will be looking for people who can deploy. So I'd think now about whether there'd be a significant difference between what you're earning now in your day job, and what you'll get as a Pte on ops. Can you cover mortgage/rent/other outgoings for family if you're sent on ops?
(4) From that, if you haven't spoken to your nearest and dearest about your intentions to join up, do so, and do be frank with them about prospects of mobilisation. I was fortunate in that when I went on TELIC I was single and care-free, but other lads did have family issues to deal with. Tours are probably tougher for your people at home than they are for you, because they worry themselves sick. Your wife/girlfriend may also get used to the idea of not having you around, and there were a fair few divorces/splits as a result of our deployment.
(5) Theoretically your boss should keep your civvie job open for you, but if you talk to him/her and he/she starts humming and haa-ing about your plans to enlist, that might be worth bearing in mind.
(6) You may get the STAB insult thrown at you, either by those in the regs who remain pig-ignorant, or from those who want to get a rise out of you. But then to take the words of the CSM in charge of the PJNCO cadre I did in 2002, 'We need the TA, the TA needs us, and we all need the public'.
Anyway, if you want to know more feel free to PM. Till then, the best of British.
I would suggest you PM someone who is up to date and actually knows what he is talking about when it comes to the details of training and mobilisation.
Your initial training for non-Para TA Inf will be 9 weekends, wherever in the country you are (6 "common" weekends, then 3 Inf specific ones).
If you are mobilised, you will be paid your civillian salary if it is higher than your military one, up to a very generous limit. You can also make a few claims on top of that for specific costs directly attributable to your mobilised service.
Yea I was told that as long as I can prove my salary (I'm self employed) with something from the accountant all should be fine.
Got to be honest like most its not about the cash (but ill gladly except it) I want to do it too do my bit, however big or small, I'm going to do the summer challenge if I can and do as much training as poss between now and then, and fingers crossed I'll be a reasonably fit crow bag !
As for mobilising abroad, well you don't join the scouts not to go camping, if it happens I'll do my best, listen up and do as I'm told.
Medical on the 8th of nxt month, fitness test at the unit and weekend selection, fingers crossed !
Bobby - you'd be better off posting follow-up questions, which are specifically about joining the TA here TA (Part-time) Recruitment
Bravo-Bravo - leave the guy alone. We encourage new users to post here to introduce themselves and then they usually get pointed in the right direction if they've not already found it. Maybe you could have helped with that instead of jumping all over the guy?
Oh and the forum's not called not "social events". Have another look... spot the comma? See the word "networking"?