Letter in the Times

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by msr, Nov 3, 2005.

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  1. msr

    msr LE

    This rather neatly encapsulates the recruiting/retention issues of the day:

    Sir, As a former Territorial Army officer, I found the TA manpower issues highlighted in your report (October 31) of absolutely no surprise.

    The TA that I joined in the early 1980s had a clear mission, which was well understood by all ranks. We trained for a European war which thankfully never happened, as a contained unit with specific responsibilities, rather than a top-up for the Regular Army. When we exercised in Belgium and Germany we were familiarising ourselves with our theatre of war, should the unthinkable happen.

    The end of the Cold War and the Options for Change reforms in the 1990s changed the role of the TA. Units were cut and formations which had been served by local communities for many years disbanded. Friends still serving tell me that the TA is now little more than a convenient pool of manpower to replenish overstretched regular units.

    The TA should never have been a source of cheap manpower. It is no wonder morale is low.

    Former Captain
    Royal Military Police
    London N8


  2. Yep, I remember that too...it was called the tuesday night drinking club with an annual trip to germany for your duty frees! Cheep beer, free money, shooting and even a free uniform to impress your mates down the pub!

    20 yrs on, time for a reality check.

    I'd be interested to read how many yrs the average TA soldier has been in versus how many tours they've done.....we had people on Telic who'd been in for 15-18 yrs and never done a tour, ever.

    That's an awful lot of bounties. Guess what, the insurance policy has just been cashed in

    now fcuk off and stop dripping. STAB.
  3. msr

    msr LE


    You just don't get it do you?

  4. MSR- rant not aimed at you, aimed at the whinging TAs. I am biased though after the sheer cluster fcuk of TAs we had on TELIC.

    PS I'm ex TAs myself
  5. msr

    msr LE

    cluster fcuk in what way?

  6. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Cluster fukc of TAs? Which capbadge was that? Were they used in their Trade, or sent to do something completley different? I know of many good lads - R Sigs springs to mind as a prime example - who were mobilised and used for something that they had never been adequately trained for (or even trained for at weekends).

    For Telic 1, the mobilisation process was a shambles - for example, we had our single worst Tradesman mobilised, while better men champed at the bit to go.

    The letter writer raises a valid point. The TA is not the same, but the training, conditions of service, and support, remain as they were.

    The two just don't match, with the results we are seeing.
  7. If you want me to bore you with individual details i can and will, but pull up a large well padded sandbag, you'll be here for a while. A few example include.

    1. Individuals refusing to soldier on the eve of the invasion.
    2. 'Soldiers' driving over their personal weapons prior to crossing the LD.
    3. People losing their repsirators when the 'Threat' from WMD was at its highest.
    4. JNCOs some of the worst I've ever experienced in 16 yrs.

    As I said, the list goes on and on.......

    Finally, I remember walking into the TA recruiting office as a 16 1/2 year old and being given the patter by the then CQMS, a true old sweat who had fought in Korea. He told me that as soon as I took the Queen's shilling I could be called upon to fight and die for my country. This scared the sh!te out of me, but i did it anyway - he made it clear that it wasn't a social club and we were there for a purpose and that may involve getting called up.

    What strikes me now is that alot of the TAs have taken the shilling for too long and now they're being called upon and they don't like it. If we have a problem with TAs resigning after a tour or 2, good, we don't want there sort anyway. We talk about a one army concept, imagine if every Regular resigned after a couple of tours...

    Like I said before, they need to stop dripping or fcuk off....
  8. msr

    msr LE

    Do go on. You seem to be tarring and awful lot of TA soldiers with the same brush.

    Then what sort do you want? You seem to be missing the point about the TA being a 'reserve'.

  9. My dear Goon, to take your approach to its conclusion we would soon be without a TA at all. Many of the complaints you level at the TA could be applied to the Regs, and yes I'm ex Reg of over 20 years. I don't doubt those clumbsy incidents happened with TA soldiers attached. Did any Reg soldiers make mistakes? Did any of the TA lads do anything right? Were you spared longer stags on radio/gun post or other duties because there were more men to share the load?

    The letter might be a winge but it appears a legitimate winge. If complaints are not considered how can things improve. Or would you prefer not to hear about problems and hopefully they will just go away?

  10. Regular Soldiers on Telic 2 and 3: Basrah and AlAmarah

    1. Individuals refusing to soldier during the riots/uprising
    2. 'Soldiers' driving over their personal weapons or just loosing them.
    3. People loosing phos and pyrotechnics
    4. ND's on opperations
    5. Shooting themselves in the foot or leg
    6. Shooting up on morphine in the bogs

    Fck me, your embarrassing GB...
  11. No. We need that reserve now. Our regular forces are already well overstretched, hence we're calling on our reserve. If we didn't use this reserve we'd simply see the Regular Army bouncing from back to back tour, then we would have a proper recruiting and retention crises...

    The final turd in the steam pipe came at the end of a hugely successful tour when one of my TA NCOs tried to smuggle an AK out through BIA in his weapon bundle. Left me with a sour taste.
  12. As OldSnowy mentions what cap badge, many of us are ex-infantry and detest quite strongly your remarks. Drinking clubs exist but they belong to certain capbadges and you'd really need to convince me that regulars don't have them (as the main TA drink club members are ex regular).

    STAB? now your really showing your intelligence
  13. msr

    msr LE


    That's only five examples. You did say that the list went on and on.

  14. 48% able to pass bpfa
  15. only serious RTA caused by TA on TA by driver error
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