Keep calm and carry on

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by Dr_Evil, Oct 21, 2009.

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  1. As megalomaniac-in-residence, I am allowed to start my own new thread rather than put this on page 47 of another one.

    Seems that there are several ways to analyse what was done to the TA last week. It was:

    (a) an accident of poor budgetary planning
    (b) a misfortune due to the fact that TA MTDs are a discretionary spend and easy to stop
    (c) part of a deliberate covert plan to get rid of, or significantly shrink, the TA
    (d) the natural consequence of making Afghanistan the Defence main effort
    (e) a personal and/or institutional affront

    Statements of the bleeding obvious. Time for some platitudes: each one of the above is plausible on its own; the truth is likely to be a combination of them; the weight we give each varies from person to person; no one has yet expressed what the correct mix is - and I will not say that I am equipped to do so. However, it is worthwhile to have a go at trying to make sense of them all, together.

    The affront. I will not criticise those giving greatest weight to explanation (e): how you have reacted to all this is a personal matter and there has indeed been a certain callousness shown, especially in how the decision has been relayed to the media (essentially by implying that the bulk of the TA does not train for operations, so the cuts will not have any detrimental impact).

    Chuck 'em out. I am a bit surprised by the level of shock that the affronted display. The Army and the nation have never been particularly kind to the TA (witness the use to which the TA was put at the start of WW2 and the rapidity with which the regular Army reasserted itself after its end), or to Tommy generally. That is not to excuse the affront, just place it in context.

    Taking stock. The affronted are quite right to take this opportunity to think hard about whether the MOD is the best recipient of their wish to contribute voluntarily to the benefit of the nation. A large number of voluntary organisations would grab anyone prepared to commit a large chunk of their free time plus a dedicated evening per week plus one weekend per month plus two weeks per year. OK, so it would be unpaid - but we're not really in it for the money, right?

    Volunteer and be valued. I am not suggesting that you be kicked out - just that now might be the right time for you to take stock and consider whether your efforts would be better spent, and more valued, elsewhere. Just Google "volunteer UK" and you are away.

    Fast changes arriving. For those who decide to stay, the message must be: expect radical change, and make it work. But the same is true for Defence generally. Notice how the message has finally got through that the MOD cannot maintain the fiction that it will ever be able to procure all those bits of kit it wants. No longer can it keep them all in a permanent vegetative state by drip-feeding funding rather than cancelling them. If we cannot get the kit then the things we can say we are able to do will have to change.

    Pish and pie. Given the budgetary state, the change is likely to be very significant. The TA has simply been unlucky in that it has been hit early by the financial impact. Those in the regular Army who are currently taking the pish should stand by for a nice big plate of humble pie. Both they, and those in the TA who have been shocked or affronted, simply have not grasped the extent of radical surgery required by making Afghanistan the main effort.

    TA in the ER. The surgery that will be inflicted on the TA is, as anyone can see, going to be very significant. If you were put in charge of designing a new TA from scratch, capitalising on specialist/civvy skills for the current war (rather than to provide a reserve capability in case of future war), what would you have? Medics, CIMIC, Military Stablisation Support Group, PsyOps. That would pretty much be that, especially if the chaps in LAND were telling you that the regular Army is fully manned. It's nothing personal, really. It's just that the situation has changed. Those people (medics, CIMIC, etc) do not need a TA chain of command above them, nor (necessarily) a TA support system. They can be trained and sustained by adjuncts of the regular system and by expanded RTCs.

    Stuck on you. Now, you are a smart type with a load of transferable civvy skills (as people in this forum have maintained they have all this time). Why not sit tight, see how things pan out, embrace the change and be good at it? Get stuck into the COIN effort we are part of when and where you can produce the greatest benefit. Win the current "battle", if we can call it that, or at least do your best to ride it out.

    And be there in five years' time when they need to re-establish the TA for the coming LSDI.
  2. msr

    msr LE

    I suspect, like the process of grieveing, we are all somewhere on your spectrum and many will end up in the final paragraph.

    I also suspect that unless there is a clear indication of what is going to emerge budget-wise from the tatters of the current TA in April next year they may start to move towards 'volunteer and be valued'.

  3. For this forum this is a surprisingly cogent thought through piece of (staff) work. Well done, you have summed up my view and feelings entirely

  4. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Now copy it to your MP - or let him know how you feel. There is a Commons debate on the TA on Monday - see my new thread.

    Get in touch with your MP NOW :)
  5. Excellent work! summed the situation up nicely and argued a few points i'd been saying for a while... of course what comes of it all who knows; i just hope "they" are basing future decisions on facts and not building castles in the sky!
  6. ................

    Attached Files:

  7. Ssshhhhh hobbyist.
  8. Again, sshhhhhh.

    I'm tempted to induce cardiac failure by hurling a pair of running shorts towards you.
  9. "That would pretty much be that, especially if the chaps in LAND were telling you that the regular Army is fully manned. It's nothing personal, really. It's just that the situation has changed. "

    Ohh, that Enron accounting trick.

    It's complete bollocks of course.

    Lets see. The FT reports about 15,000 bods joined the Army up to June 2009. Whilst the Guardian reports losses of 28% during training. So only 10,800 will actually make it to service in a unit.

    Outflow for OR's up to June 2009 was 9,560 Officer's Outflow 1,050: Total 10610.

    Try for this figures.

    See what I'm saying..? The intake only adds another 190 odd extra blokes this year at the VERY begining of their career. The average length in service of those leaving is about 10 years....

    Since everyone thinks that the reccession is over, the increase in numbers coming in will drop again in the next 12 to 18 months and the numbers leaving will creep up. The current full manning date is supposedly 2011, which just is not going to happen.
  10. Kit, I choose my words carefully: "everyone in LAND is telling you". Might not be correct.
  11. I heard a very credible rumour about the size and shape of the humble pie being baked now in Main Building.
    Its going to leave a very nasty taste and indigestion for certain capbadges.

    COIN is right where its at for now.
  12. I'm confused why there seems to be so much glee and hand rubbing amongst the TA that the regular army may be facing more cuts?

    Coming across as pretty pathetic and self serving to be honest.
  13. msr

    msr LE

    There isn't. It is aimed at those who have been having a pop at the TA only.

  14. Don't be so thin skinned

    For the hard of thinking - exactly where in this thread does anyone express glee? If you want another Regs v TA slanging match - see the other 4567 threads on here.

    Dr Evil is absolutely correct - people at all levels and across all capbadges have failed to understand what the Army will have to do to itself, in order to meet the new ME. In business terms its called "eating your own children".

    He is also correct in that those that are laughing at the TA now, will soon be having to eat their own words as capabilities are shelved, programmes cancelled, sacred cows slaughtered etc.

    I'm certainly not relishing any of it or expressing glee.
  15. BuggerAll

    BuggerAll LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    I'm confused about why this is seen as a regular v reserve issue and why there should be glee on either side. The enemy here are Brown and his cronies. We should not be squabbling amongst ourselves.

    That said I will carry on because at the end of the day the defence of the nation is too important ta be allowed to go hang because of the incompetence and spite of Brown.