Hi Everyone,

Having just completed TAFS2 this weekend , I know it is still very early days for me and my TA career but I was wondering as an Infantry soldier if all operations would be for 6 months ? - dont get me wrong Im quite aware of my obligations and if the call comes I will go thats fine. What Im getting at is Ive not long had a promotion at work and career wise things are going great the company will be a supportive as they can in terms of TA but for the next year or so if I was to say Im going away for 6 months I think my future prospects will be hampered - I know people say it shouldnt but Im sure there are members on here who know the reality. Equally though after having a very brief taster and being around experienced TA soldiers for a short time I am keen as soon as trained to 'play my part' in some way - I would say pretty much all the lads in our company have been to Iraq or Afghanistan or Kosovo at some stage and I really dont want to be left out !.

When I get through my CIC are they shorter deployments available not just Iraq and Afghanistan but somewhere I can go be a part of it for a month to two months and then in 18 months time when my career is settled down I can follow the shorter deployment with an Iraq or Afghanistan tour ?. Also incidentally after the CIC what options in terms of courses and training will I have ? - I must admit this trade training etc is confusing me and no one at my centre seems able to give a definitve answer !!

The six month tours that you hear talked about actually turn out to be up to 11 months when you add in the beat-up trg and the post-op leave. This figure can vary though but going as a formed coy or pl will be unlikely to be anything other than 6 months in theatre. Individual mobilisations can be for less but tend to be for skilled and ranked posts within regular formations.

At the present, it is highly unlikely that you will be compulsorily mobilised in the absolute sense. The current policy is supply-led and I think our lords & masters realise that they can't force people onto ops and expect to have a viable TA left in the UK.

I'm sure there will be plenty of advice along shortly but in the meantime, I hope this helps.
If you are part of the M4 Infantry Regt then you might be safe for the moment but on the face of it you could expect something at the back end of next year. Dont believe it is normally possible to be mobilised for an operational tour for less than 9 months as an infantry soldier as pre training package plus post tour leave take up at least a couple of months plus 6 months in country.
Thanks for the responses so far lads, like I say Im not looking to dodge getting called up but we were advised at attestation that in real terms RRV where Im from operate a policy of 'Intelligent Mobilisation' and therefore they normally get sufficient volunteers. What my concern was was that I want to keep face with the lads so for the next year to 18 months when they ask for numbers for Telic and Herrick Im not seen as someone shirking responsibility - ie if I was to go to Cyprus or whereever for a shorter period or even Iraq then when I am able to spare the 9 months away from work I can go again having already had a shorter tour under my belt.

If I can ask a seperate question which now comes to mind, one of the 'thrilling' TAFS lectures was about all the various aspects of the armed forces - I joined an infantry section purely because of its locality but there were other areas such as Intelligence that sounded very interesting and the instructors were sort of suggesting these are areas we could move accross to ? - where / when should I be asking about other roles ? - I am assuming we would all do Phase 1 training so I intend to wait until then before saying anything but where would I find more info on non Infantry roles in the meantime. The last thing I want is to speak the people at my centre as Im enjoying Infantry so far but Im the kind of person who likes to satisfy my curiosity as to other aspects before I press on.
Swindonman said:
...if I was to go to Cyprus or whereever for a shorter period or even Iraq then when I am able to spare the 9 months away from work I can go again having already had a shorter tour under my belt.
Firstly, Cyprus -- aka Ex LION STAR -- is not a tour for the RRV, it is your two-week annual collective training period.

Secondly, DO NOT let yourself be pressurised into mobilising just because everyone else has. If you don't want to have to find another civvy job then my advice is to get yourself settled there first then worry about getting a tour in. The chain of command should not be putting any pressure on you so do it when you are ready, not when others think you should.

Someone mentioned the other day that if you haven't earned two bounties, you will not be eligible for the full financial package attached to an RFA96 mobilisation. Can anyone shed more light on this?



Your basic training is exactly that - basic. If you spend the next 12-18 months at your unit, your skill levels will be significantly higher than they are after TAFS and CIC. You will then be more useful (and safer) when you do deploy.

As for moving across, why not spend a bit of time with the Inf and see how you enjoy that first? If you do decide to transfer, at least it will be a decision based on experience rather than an instructors opinion. Was the instructor Int Corps by any chance????


Thanks for your comments mate - not sure what background the instructor was but the problem was unlike a lot of lads coming into the TA I was totally naive to the set up and basically wasnt aware of the other options-as it stands Im enjoying Inf certainally its beginning to fulfil my primary reason for joining ie being very challenging for me and acting as a confidence builder. I think I assumed after CIC would be time to make a reason judgement for the future but from what your saying Im going to look to stay with my Inf for at least a year before making a decision

If you want to go to Cyprus you will have to get your skates on. When are you down for CIC?
Well LION STAR is June so that's out.
I think your OC is planning an Assault Pioneer cadre later in the year but I don't know when. That would be a good larf.
Swindonman said:
Sorry mate , what does the Assault Pioneer course involve ?
APnrs are basically infantry engineers. They provide the integral mobility, countermobility and survivability capability (what a lot of 'bilities') to the BG Comd (CO).

You would train in:
Mobility: Infantry Bridge, minefield breaching, boat handling & demolitions.

Countermobility: Mine laying (AT not AP), demolitions (again), booby-trapping (on higher authority only)

Survivability: water supply & field defences

...and you get to play with power tools like cobra concrete breakers, wacker power saws etc. and occasionally molotov cocktails depending upon how persuasive your pl comd is.

You probably won't do all of those on the same cadre but there'll be a fair smattering. The RRV needs keen pioneers - that's why the establishment has 46 of them. 8O
Sounds spot on mate ! - it rings a bell now as last Tuesday there was word of a forthcoming course in the future where people will learn how to make molotov cocktails !

Will this course be open to recruits ? or do I have to get through the CIC first ??
swindon man
welcome to the rrv - don't worry about the mobilisation your job etc comes first. Get some experience in the platoon at least 12-18 mths to sharpen up your basic skills before even thinking about mobilisation. People would rather mobilise with experienced soldiers who know what they are doing rather than inexperienced people straight out of CIC. That said there are a few mongs in Swindon and Reading who have years of experience :D You will know who I am talking about when you see them.
The pioneer cadre is on 13-26 Oct @ Wyke Regis nr Weymouth, and will cover the same subject matter as the TA cadre run by the RE as they have to validate all the tests etc. It is an excellent course to go on and one of the best as a private soldier.
I'm afraid you can't do a lot without a CIC pass...but let that be a spur to you!

I have a sneaky suspicion the course you are thinking of was the G Coy w/e at Copehill Down at the end of this month which was cancelled. Sorry.
Yater, I didn't mean your course, I meant the one Swindonman was on about. As far as I know the cadre at Wyke is still on.

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