Last minute cancellations!

#1
After almost an hours drive to the ranges last night, we were met with a nice little note stating ' Shooting cancelled'. As always, range time was booked well in advance, and confirmed with the rangemaster last week. I am shall we say 'a bit' annoyed about this.

Now as an NCO, I always try to focus on the positive when talking to the guys about even the worst exercises, but it's going to be difficult this time! This type of thing really hits retention hard.

Have any of you had similar experiences?
 
#2
How about a group of SNCO's turning up at a 2 week staffy's course only to have it cancelled on the morning they arrived.
 
#3
Oooh nasty! What was the problem, numbers?
 
#4
After reading a topic about course cancelations I had a momentary flash of inspiration.

If course numbers are coming back with low returns ie: 13 senior ranks turning up for a staffy's course and 28 junior ranks turning up for a JCLM, why not combine the 2 courses thus killing 2 birds with one stone?

I believe both courses expect to hold 40 personnel.

2 JCLM courses run each year from Blandford.
2 staffy's courses ran from Blandford.

Why not run 3 combined courses and you get the numbers up and no poor attendance?

Comments and views please.
 
#5
Yep numbers. I see the DS's point you simply cant run a staffy's course with 13 bodies, so I point you to the topic "joint courses" for your views.
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#6
Course cancellations are sadly common, and very annoying. I lost an excellent Sergeant last year, after she twice turned up to a course required for her promotion, and twice found it cancelled. She got peesed off, and left. I couldn't talk her out of it, sadly. The courses weren't my Cap Badge, but at a certain Really Large place beginning with 'Gr'.
 
#7
We've lost quite a few good people due to cancellations as well. Nine times out of ten, it's down to low numbers.
 
#8
But WHY do LOW NUMBERS cause a problem? If the DS are committed to running that training course, why does it matter if there are less than they wanted? Why not make sure the few who do turn up are the best administered students ever? Or do the DS see it as an excuse to get a lazy admin w/e or fortnight?

And if the numbers are required for critical mass - say to train for Sect, Pl or Coy attacks - why not make sure the few who turn up get the command appointments and get the infil as real Jocks for them to practise with?

Why do we continually kick the few who turn up for the many who don't? Why are we surprised that we are now in vicious circle land when we could so easily be in virtuous circle?

edit for typo
 
#9
devilish said:
How about a group of SNCO's turning up at a 2 week staffy's course only to have it cancelled on the morning they arrived.
Not that again :twisted:

Seriously, do you know if any of the attendees have managed to get promoted (without the course)? (Coz some units are severly lacking on the Staffie front)
 
#10
It really must be as easy to plan a course for a low numbers option as it is to plan an even event with a fly/no fly or dry/wet programme.

The problem is that some people seem not to realise we are often giving up half our annual leave to go on these courses. And then they wonder why people sack it.

msr
 
#11
Totally with you on that abacus. That's why I suggested a joint course. Combine the requirements of a seniors course with the requirements of the juniors course and kill 2 birds with one stone. You would effectively have a dozen staffy's with a possible plt strength of juniors to command/give orders/run plt attacks.
Your section commanders at the lower level then take their section through the requirements that are expected of them on the same course.
 
#12
devilish said:
If course numbers are coming back with low returns ie: 13 senior ranks turning up for a staffy's course and 28 junior ranks turning up for a JCLM, why not combine the 2 courses thus killing 2 birds with one stone?

I believe both courses expect to hold 40 personnel.

2 JCLM courses run each year from Blandford.
2 staffy's courses ran from Blandford.
Surely the solution is to run 1 SSgt course and keep the two Cpls courses. Many courses @ Blandford are consistently running with poor numbers e.g. AS Radio Relay, AS Switch/Bitch, RS Ptarmigan, roughly around 3-4 per course.

Maybe the solution is to run these courses every other year and give a guaruntee they will run.......

Alternatively allow Cpls/Sgts to attend the equivalent course @ Warminster its much harder, more technical and more fun (ok you'll drink less)
 
#13
Are we not trying to solve the symptoms here rather than the cause: now is the time to admit that Ptarmigan is simply too heavy a burden for the TA to maintain and train on and give the 12Gp Signal Regiments a new role?

msr
 
#15
Joint courses r runin the infantry if u go to do the platoon tactics course in breacon u r mixed all in officers as bods sgt as bods commanded by L/cpls and or in any combination the course is allways high in numbers so why cant other courses do the same
 
#16
msr said:
Ptarmigan is simply too heavy a burden for the TA to maintain and train on
No it isn't, many TA dets are maintained to a far higher standard than regular ones - which indicates to me we spend far too much time doing the wrong thing.

The training issue maybe a problem but thats sorted by reducing the maintenance (which is done OTT), we also have far too many PSI's in Ptarmigan regts, they're twidling their thumbs on weekends, jumping into help where a TA SNCO should be doing the job.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#17
I remember getting an Irate Lt trying to bollock me over not attending a weekend. We had all been at the TAC sat outside 30 mins before pick up time and the transport turned up 2 hrs later as we were walking home. I told the driver not to bother as we had decided our time would be better spent at home than sat waiting for him to obey orders (I had deliberately waited for him to turn up before leaving to make my point! It didnt seem fair for him to wait around for us did it?). Usual line of loyalty which was dropped when I spent 2 weeks visiting other TA units offering my services, CO then a reg came to me on the next weekend and asked why I felt the need to leave? I had prepared a list of moans about lack of support from the Coy and Bn for official trg weekends, sending us out with no WOCs, no proper orders and no prep time and the usual gripes about p*ss poor pay etc. Got a few things changed in the short term. Another bollocking about loyalty from the Oc followed, I had to point out that the CO sought me out and asked me, I clearly said that if a cpl cant reply openly and honestly to his CO then why ask the questions. loyalty, pah humbug!
 
#18
Hmmm.

Abacus - you have a point but then I would like to pose an issue for consideration.

A discussion I was having the other day centred around the fact that it is now mandatory (Scaleybacks at least) to obtain Class 1 for promotion to SNCO. My point was that this was a restriction placed on the system possibly with the best intentions but horribly naive to the real reasons that SNCOs become who they are in the TA.

They don't, in my view, want to be a SNCO for the pay - Class 1 or not. Neither do they aspire to be a SNCO becuse they have an eye on being SSM. TA SNCOs become such because a) they're good blokes, b) they've outgrown the Cpl's mess, c) they've matured naturally and it's time to move on, d) they have a broad wealth of experience, and e) they're the backbone of the unit and maintain it's critical mass and momentum. What's this got to do with being a Class 1 ? - bu**er all in my view.

So, is it an surprise that they don't now attend a Class 1 course because it's seen as the final insult or a hurdle too far?

Discuss.

PS - planned attendance on all courses at Blandford for next year is currently woeful.
 
#19
^ I suspect that most no longer see the point of trades courses unless someone can guarantee the troops that they will be mobilised in role, to do the job they've trained for, at the rank they've earned and with equivalency to their identically ranked and (presumably) equally qualified Regular counterpart.

Officer Corps is dying - I believe - because we haven't mobilised them in role, to do the job they've trained for, at the rank they've earned and with equivalency to their identically ranked and qualified Regular counterpart.

How long till the senior ranks go the same way, or have they already: you would think that with so many gapped LSNs the JNCOs would be queueing up at the gates for promotion courses wouldn't you?

Those of us who are left need to just keep on keeping on doing what we can, with what we've got, where we are I suppose.

PS - I've recruited an awful lot of Pot Offrs on the promise that the powers that be got it wrong with my peer group but we won't make the same mistake twice and they will get to go. They will, won't they?
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#20
Further despair creeps in to the TA...

Back to Trade Courses, the one I mentioned that was cancelled, resulting directly in the loss of a good SNCO, was run by TA Troops. The second cancellation time, they sought and found excuses to not allow it to go ahead, by insisting that some of the passing-in tests were perfect (not a problem for my Student, may I add). Fair enough, you may think, but with a bit of leeway several others could have stayed, that would have made the numbers worthwhile, and the course would not have been cancelled. The truth was, the Staff at Grantham did not want to run it, and found any and every excuse not to, and blamed it on "the TA", as if they weren't themselves...

As for Officers and SNCOs not deploying - this is not confined to the RSigs, but pretty much universal. In the future, of course, TA JNCOs and Soldiers will train and administer themselves. Think of the savings there!
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top