Let down

Well, ive hung my boots up, after 12 years of soldiering. I did finish on a high, a six month tour on Op Telic 3. which, i did enjoy. I was a multiple commander and returned to Blighty happy, except for a great feeling of let down. Ive always been so proud of the British army. The best fighting force in the world.
How disapointed i was after seeing for six months an incompetant army, not just a single or even a couple of incidents, but day in, day out shambles. very disillusioned. I wont name any units, but i just had to ask, has any other TA soldier felt this way.
Now, im not an idiot, i was a platoon sergeant, have two teenage girls and i run my own Successful company.
So before the muck chucking. iv'e heard it all before with the STAB rubbish.
If you feel it was that bad then you have done the right thing. No more tours for you. i wouldn't wory about it. How come you have waited from when you got back from Telic3 ( May 04?) to post this?? Bit strange
Because he's still waiting for his medal?
yes, not for the want of trying, all Platoon sergeants are six foot tall and bullet proof, but this was way above the platoon , coy level.
Onahi , are you ex-Reg as well?
Onahi2002 - Similar position to yourself mate. Returned from a tour I thoroughly enjoyed(?), had the privilege of being platoon sergeant to a fantastic group of lads, felt really proud of what we had achieved, felt pretty good about the a lot of individuals within both of our companies out there, BUT felt massively let down by the Regiment and the larger army.

I also have children and felt they were really neglected by the welfare system. My wife still has "issues" now over the way they were treated. My family are my first priority, but the welfare at our regiment seemed not to understand when I got very unreasonable about the way I felt they were treated. TA partners put up with a lot because of our committment, but are treated as an embuggerance by some at regimental level. In fairness my OC was a top bloke and tried to sort things for all concerned. We should be mobilising a quality individual to handle these matters, it should not be jobs for officers "between jobs".

I also felt a tad patronised by some in command out there and back here. I also have a reasonably successful civilian career, dealing day after day with some quite complex issues, but saw some (reg and TA) out there who would fold given a reasonably taxing days work.I think there is a certain amount of arrogance still prevalent in the TA upper management. I've forgotten more about man management than some at the higher level will ever know, but I'm still told what I can and cannot do. I know I'm not alone, a lot of ORs, JNCOs, SNCOs and officers hold very senior management positions in civvy street, but are still talked down to by their TA superiors.

I stayed out of loyalty to my blokes, because I want to deploy again and because I think I can make a difference to any unit I go out with. I thoroughly respect you and understand your decision.
I thoroughly enjoyed my tour as a corporal. I would not say I was let down except at the demob by Chilwell (but that is another forum). However, i was disillusioned by the units I saw in theatre. I don't know what I was expecting - extreme professionalism in every aspect, especially from the officers. What I found was back biting and empire building in both teeth and support arms. I think it boiled down to mentality. The TA were largely "intelligently mobilised" i.e they volunteered to get called up and were willing to do the jobs happily. The regs do it as a job day in, day out and see nothing special about the fact they were doing the job in Iraq, Germany or Aldershot and so weren't as keen as the TA to put themselves out.
I would disagree with Onahi2002 in that it is an incompetent army and am sorry that you feel that. On Telic 4 the troops i.e. ORs did their job and did it well. It is the officers that seemed to mess things around. Not having a diss at all the officers, mainly the very junior captains who thought they knew it all. Out of interest Onahi2002 where were you on Telic 3? Maysan, Basra or Shaibiza?
Am staying in and can't wait to go to Afghanistan (as soon as I can get out of being under the wife's thumb!).
I must have been somewhere else. Apart from a handful of posers, all the bods (Reg, TA and other UK services) were pretty switched on. On Telic 2, most people had little idea of what to expect. Consequently there was a steep learning curve in the first weeks, but people adapted and worked together. Unlike the situation in UK and non-operational foreign deployments, there were little, if any, problems between different cap badges - everyone was pulling together in more or less the same direction. If anything, the experience has enhanced my perception of what the British Army can achieve.

I won't deny that there were aspects of the organisation that I thought could have been better, but it's easy to criticise when you're standing on the sidelines. I don't know why some of the things were done the way they were, but then, the person responsible probably did know.

On the other hand, I went out there with fairly low expectations, another example of how pessimists can only get happier while optimists can only go downhill.
I have finally registered after looking at this fine site since returning from Op Telic (didn't have a number). Okay thats a old one, and I have just got my medal. I hung up my boots too as soon as I returned, something to do with losing £10,000 appox.

I had a great time the guys both TA and REG where good (okay there are nobs everywhere). So the reason for leaving was about feeling very shafted over money, lack of kit no plates for body armour with us all running around in Land Rover BFAs over the place. The final straw was the head shed sending two BFA crews out after dark to pick up cas with a boil on his ARRSE. There where quite a few of these non life/limb call outs and it seems the system was unable or did not want to make the basis calculation one boil on ARRSE + six of the world's finest.
Very interesting - very.

In light of the rebalancing discussions ongoing, such information/feedback is absolutely pivotal.

Any more?
The list is long, but can be split in two, Ops in theater and Welfare at home (my family)
Welfare first, It is simple, the TA families left at home, get Nothing. My PSAO did try, but is very limited. The regular wives get everything, EG Briefings on what to say to the press. On the morning of my deployment, all the soldiers got on the coach and waved goodbye to our families. Both my Children were crying. The AO said to all of them, "shut the gate when you leave" MY wife was shocked. this was a good opotuntiy to get all the families together. they were all in the same boat. the regulars have a wives club.
I can go on about welfare, but ill leave it there.

REF: Ops. its already been mentioned kit. On my last week, i was ordered by the new OC taking over, to go out, in soft skin vehicles to search for a reported RPG team in Basrah. I Pointed out that the SOP's for this was minimum of a Snatch, but he insisted we go.
My teams were made to drive through basrah in a minibus, with no ECM or top cover. Both our OC and the Sigs OC (REG) arguing openly in front of the troops about who was more senior.

it goes on
In a f**king minibus????

Just done a beatup on pre-Telic training , where the SPSI used a minibus purely to demonstrate what not to use/do. The JNCO's tasked to be i/c insurgency (ALLUH AKBAR! Ferenghee dogs) did the exercise twice, and we and DS estimated both times we'd whacked everyone before the escort could de-bus,(and Abu Ben PTP's cutoff team zapped 3 of them)

Oh , you didn't have an escort?

If I was tasked to go Jundi hunting in a minibus , I might have to seriously re-evaluate my willingness to obey orders :(
We never got snatch at all just a couple of wolfs .No thats a lie other plt got a snatch but it broke down so never seen again .I expected to do guard & gds and any other crap job that came up .Pleasently surprised that we were treated like soldiers even though
beat up training was a joke whole day on nbc for fcuksakes .And having to buy own binos was a bit of a joke .Seriously thinking about handing kit in force of habit keeps me attending .
Apart from a few t0ssers (TA haters), I found the lads to be both professional and understanding of us stabs. It was a good experiance and I would be happy to go again (although somewhere different would be nice).

However, no matter what the army and Sabre (with their little website) say, it does f*ck your career. Mine has still not recovered and I came back in Feb 04. In fact, I won't be back to the same position that I was in, before I went, for at least another year.

With the amount of potential tours (not many people in my trade) and the future role of the TA, I might have to leave too. Otherwise, I won't have a civvy career.
onahi2002 said:
My teams were made to drive through basrah in a minibus, with no ECM or top cover. Both our OC and the Sigs OC (REG) arguing openly in front of the troops about who was more senior.
Whilst I would never condone these arguments, in front of the lads, QR's does state that regulars have seniority over TA of the same rank.
onahi2002 said:
My teams were made to drive through basrah in a minibus, with no ECM or top cover. Both our OC and the Sigs OC (REG) arguing openly in front of the troops about who was more senior.
Your OC did the wrong thing, he should have disobeyed the order. I know thats wrong but some Support Arms have an inflated opinion of their own ability when it comes to dealing with TA Inf.

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