Longish post, looking for insight and advice.

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by kentuk20, Jun 20, 2006.

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  1. Hello,

    First off I'll explain the last bit of my life, sorry if it's boring...

    Last November I started training at ITC Catterick, I finished phase 1, but decided the full time army wasn't for me. There were parts of the Army that I loved, and parts (IE the huge amounts of time away from home, for the next 4 (if I'd have only stayed 4) years, that I wasn't so keen on.

    Now I am out and I do sometimes regret leaving, and find that whenever I do talk about the Army, I talk about it quite fondly.
    Well this year in september I am starting an Access course at college, which will allow me to go to university, the course is full time and will apparently require roughly 30 hours of my time a week, 16 hours in college and roughly 14 hours personal study.

    Last night I met a guy at a party that has just completed and passed the LC course at ITC Catterick (maybe that's slightly irrelevant) and I was speaking to him about the army, and how I miss the chance to have got to go on tour, and he started telling me about the TA.

    After speaking for a while he said (I believe, I was quite drunk at the time..) that it takes roughly a year to complete TA training as an infantryman, so I did some thinking today and worked out, if I started training soon, I could do my course at college, complete my training shortly after college, and take a year out between college and uni, in which time I could hopefully get to go on a 6 month tour?

    I have no idea if this sounds realistic, as maybe the TA won't want me having quit the regs..But I'd love to give a shot and get a chance to go on tour.

    I also have a few questions about the actual training process.

    At ITC Catterick the CIC lasts 6 months, and it's an intensive 6 months where you train basically all day every day (bar weekends after phase 1), so how do the TA get soldiers combat worthy, after just a year with 2 hours training a week?

    How would locker inspections work, I thought they were essential to training as it is a huge part of the discipline, how would you do that if you're living at home?

    Where is kit kept? At ITC we used to keep our kit in our lockers, how do the TA handle this, is your kit constantly kept on barracks?

    How does fitness work, with 2 hours a week training I'm guessing you're expected to do fitness entirely in your own time?

    Last question now..Do the TA ever see much action, and get to do much..Will I get anywhere near the amount of chance I had in the regs, to tour?

    I hope I havn't bored you too much with this post, and thanks very much to anyone that can reply!
     
  2. Drop into your local TA Centre. Just by looking around, the answers to your questions will become obvious within seconds.
     
  3. Yes.... you'll be hit on the head and wake up on a C130 doing a Tactical Air Land somewhere dodgy....
     
  4. Already got an appointment booked. From previous experience I know AFCO recruiters like to bullshit, so I thought I'd get it from people that aren't quite so biased.
    I know some of the questions can be answered but I'm also hoping for some genuine answers about how difficult it is to maintain commitment to the TA while at college, and I also know the chances are if I say to the recruiter that I want to go on tours he'll say 'Of course you can go on tour, you can go wherever you want blah blah blah'
     
  5. Your college commitments won't affect you and you will not be liable for deployment as a student (Mores the pity fecking layabouts!) You are just going to have to make the effort to get fit in your own time. The TA boys will lead you to water but you'll have to be the one that drinks. Most of them will probably have been on tours anyway so notwithstanding the exagerated salty war stories, will give you the truth. Your entire TA commitment is only 28 days per year anyway (I think) but the more you attend, the more training you will receive.
     
  6. Hi,

    I can only speak from personal experience and not for the TA as a whole as it's different at every unit. The way I see it, there is a difference in outlook between the TA and the regs - there has to be if you think about it because we spend more of our time being civvies than squaddies and aren't in the military atmosphere 24/7. You need to bear this in mind when you join.

    I don't know much about the CIC but getting "combat worthy" as you put it, is more of a challenge in the TA for the obvious reason that you don't train for as long. We do 2hrs a week, plus 1 or 2 weekends a month, plus a 2 wk camp and maybe even a two week trade course, so it all adds up. Our courses are two weeks long and are more intense than regular courses because we've got to cram everything in in a shorter time. This means we miss out on experience as they have to get the theory across. Annual camps and then pre-tour training are opportunities to put theory into practice and to get more combat ready, but it will always take a bit longer to adjust to theatre for the TA because of the lack of experience of big exercises, or long training courses. You have to do more reading in your own time, put lots of effort into weekends and camp, and learn from the more experienced unit members.

    I've never been subject to a locker inspection. I've never had to do a bed block. I think they're both complete bullshit in fact. I've had to keep the block clean and tidy and do shitty cleaning jobs until early hours of the morning on my recruit course but that's it. Most of the TA will be in the same boat. Discipline is rarely an issue at my unit and the ones who do get into trouble would do so with or without locker inspections. In fact, if you think lockers inspections are the main way to create discipline I think you're very mistaken. Discipline depends on good leadership within the unit, a firm but fair RSM (or SSM), junior NCOs that set an example and a sense of unit pride, or pride in your job. Then you get discipline. Of course, keeping uniform tidy and doing drill are all part of creating a disciplined environment, but are definitely not the sole contributors. You get a lot of older privates (30yrs plus) in the TA too, and they keep the younger ones under control! This of course doesn't happen in the regs.

    I keep my kit at home in a BIG cupboard, but most keep it at the unit in the kit storage room where you get issued a personal locker. You can take webbing home to pack for weekends etc.

    Fitness is done once a month (usually) and this will be something like running or circuits. PT usually features on weekends and definitely on annual camp, however, you're right in saying that it's your own responsibility. You can always get together with other TA members and go running or do circuits and stuff to make it less tedious.

    The TA are being mobilised once every 3-5yrs depending on your role, and it's usually for 6-9 months (including pre-tour training and post-tour leave). This is pretty much guaranteed. You can always volunteer to go on tour inbetween those times as they are always trawling for volunteers.

    Hope that was of some help. Being a stab is good fun and good experience. But if you join, keep an open mind and don't expect it to be like the regs. It's better :wink:
     
  7. You actually sound like the sort of person the TA would fall over themselves to get their hands on. Particularly the infantry. Your post deserves more of an answer than I've got time to give now, but before the walts arrive and tell you the TA either is (a) the SAS or (b) the girl guides, here's my 2 penny'th.

    You will do more than that. The 2 hours a week is mostly admin and a little training, you train at weekends or on camp. CMSR TA is about 9 weekends or a 2 week course at the moment, plus a 2 week CIC after that. Then there is (currently) about 3 months work up before deploying anywhere.

    I hope you are joking, Moqtada ain't going to be inspecting your locker. There might be a bit of this sort of bullshit - the TA is the army after all - but it's hardly essential.

    Different for different units. Ideally you will sign it out and take it home so you can personalise it. Obviously not your bayonet or rifle though. That would be silly, particularly during a knife amnesty.

    Pretty much, although some units will pay you for some phys, and the TAMAP (ask later) plans to introduce payment for fitness training in your own time.

    Yes they do: Clickety

    Yes you will. Maybe more, as you can pick and chose.

    Anyway, stop farting about on the internet and get yourself down your nearest TA Centre. You don't want to be a civvi. It's shite. :wink:
     
  8. PS. I'm a student on a high committment course and still manage to be a regular attender at TA and get on some good courses so it is more than possible to balance college and TA. And the annual tax free bounty comes in VERY handy.
     
  9. Let me get this right, you couldn't handle being a real full-time soldier so you jacked it in. You miss bits, you wanna go on ops, play war and get a medal or two, but couldn't handle doing it as a full-time soldier?

    If you want to do something to serve your country, give a pint of blood, at least that has some use, the rest of you hasn't!

    I feel you have a lot of growing up to do and need to get some backbone. Sign back up, grow a set of balls, do your 4 years, see what tours come your way..... the TA and uni will still be there afterwards and you'll make a better student and person from the experience too (and you can join the UOTC, get a TA commission and pi$$ it up in the bar with the PSIs having been a 'real' soldier!)
     
  10. Nail on the head Paoli; however a few points:

    They don't happen. Simple. It's bull designed to break you, not something the TA need to do.

    You'll keep your uniform in the house, but most units keep your PLCE.

    Yep, also don't moan about fitness either, have a wee look at this http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/t=31101.html Duke's statement says it all (under fitness question)

    Good luck, TA is a great choice, and you can expect to be mobilised swiftly if you so desire.
     
  11. CheekieNorthernMonkie, you can throw insults around if you like, and I suppose to a certain level they are founded. I explained I left the Regs because at the time I felt like it wasn't the life I wanted to live 24/7 and yes, I often regret leaving.
    But with that said, I know I'll make a good, commited soldier in the TA, and perform any duty the NCO's or Officers throw in my direction. And nothing you tell me will make me think otherwise.
     
  12. About locker inspections, I never really did get the point of them..My section leader used to throw our lockers all over the room while pissing himself laughing..And we'd me laughing too..
     
  13. Probably more for the benefit of the respondents, than for kentuk20:

    This query smacks of something more ridiculous than anything that even 5.56mm would post.
    Guessing that he's 20 from his username, he has done Phase 1 and quit. He said he couldn't handle long periods away from home. He goes on to ask, apparently keenly, whether he can dive straight into ops after 1 year of training. This is a bit contradictory.

    Locker inspections at home? Doesn't even merit comment.

    Do the TA ever see much action, and get to do much? Obviously doesn't read the newspapers, watch TV , listen to the radio or speak to people.

    I'd pose the question - Did he leave or was he pushed? Or is this a Wah?
     
  14. No worries, bud, but you'll make a better TA soldier by growing a set of balls and be a full-time soldier for 4 years. Youve alread 'failed' that part of army training that takes you away from home (whats the matter, couldnt you make mates in phase 1?), just how the hell do you expect to cope with an ops tour!

    Will someone PLEASE inform this young man just how much time is spent on a mobilized ops tour inc trg before even getting to play in the sand etc!

    I'm starting to feel a 'WAH' coming on......
     
  15. Locker inspections at home? Doesn't even merit comment.---

    I didn't ask whether there were locker inspections at home, read more closely what I said. I asked how do they handle that side of training.
    It looks like I'm going to get a pretty negative reaction from you people here, and you'll all tell me not to bother.

    I suppose this was the wrong place to come to for constructive advice.