Mortars?

#1
Just wondering if anyone knew ANYTHING about TA mortar courses? There seams to be some debate (at least with out uninformed rabble) wether it is nessary to do the "infantry" promotion courses, ie the Brecon types, or are the MFC/CPO etc ones enough? As spending any more than one two week holiday per year on the TA will result in physical violence from Mrs McBride (ive suffered a lot at her hands recently as a result!) I would rather not spend the next 5 years on courses! Any informed information will be greatfully recieved! Failing that, just make something up! Cheers
 
#2
Depends what you want. If you want quick promotion then do the Brecon courses, but if you want to progress through the Mortar platoon then you have to go to Warminster. Unfortunately mortar courses only run once a year and you technically need to do MFC, CPO and Mortar section commander to qualify for Sgt. However, if you're already a Full Screw you could probably bypass MFC. That bergen is just too heavy.
 
#4
If you just want to get away from the rifle platoon and aren't fussed about promotion do the mortar numbers cadre and stay on the mortar line as a det commander.
 
#6
If you are posted to a Support Platoon then you need to do the relevant course for your rank i.e If your a Sgt

In Mortars you need to be Section Commander/MFC (depending on role)
In Signals your need to have done the modern version of the RSI course (Regt Sigs Senior?)

If you are then posted to rifle pln you can retain your rank for a certain period but should look at doing Senior Brecon soonest (without doing Junior Brecon). Obviously with Mortars/Sigs you have to complete the relevant Cpls course aswell.

Pity they had to split the Section Commanders course into two, the 3PWO & 5RGJ found the course quite easy but 3 Cheshire and 3 BW always sent sub standard candidates who struggled and so Warminster created the CPO course to help them.
 
#7
Polar your last paragraph is a bit rambling, but I think its wrong...

BB
 
#8
Ah 3PWO those where the days.

As said above it depends what you want to do. If ytou fancy being the CSM or moving over to the rifle PLT you should maybe think of going to brecon, however if you want a career in the Mor Plt dont do it. You will only get spammed to be a inf sect comdr etc if somebody does not turn up for a weekend, thus spending less time training the lads or getting trained yourself in Mortars.

We dont get enough time to do mortar drills/lessons as it is. Its better to be good at one thing than ok at two.

S
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
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#9
Well how do you do young Willie McBride
Do you mind if sit down here by your graveside?
 
#10
I was an OC Mortars once, and was able to promote solely on the basis of the TA mortar courses, either down the mortar line route (CPO) or the MFC route. That worked up to corporal. The question never came up for a sergeant, although the sergeant I promoted also had SCBC in the past, as well as MFC A, and this was important to the Bn board. I couldn't say if it was the clincher or not as, frankly, he was the only worthwhile candidate at that time. Later I did an add-on to regular CATAC called the 'Manoeuver Support Company Commander's Course and it was the SO1's opinion that all support company NCOs should be dual qualified in rifle coy and support weapon - whether recce, Milan, mortar etc. The (few) TA officers on the course stated it would be unworkable and the regulars didn't seem keen either. It wasn't really resolved at the time and there didn't seem to be any hard and fast rule.
Does that help you? B@ggered if I know.
 
#11
All very helpful.

This is a whole new toy for the Bn to play with so lots of uninformed speculation flying about! More than likely will do "proper" infantry courses eventually, but in the short term some qualified mortar ranks are needed to fill out positions!
While im on here, anyone know what time of year the courses are run? Can easily go into the center and ask psi to find out, but im impatiant like that!
 
#13
The numbers cadre is generally run in November, I think, but all others (MFC, CPO etc) are in April.
 
#14
scott8629 said:
however if you want a career in the Mor Plt dont do it. You will only get spammed to be a inf sect comdr etc if somebody does not turn up for a weekend, thus spending less time training the lads or getting trained yourself in Mortars.

We dont get enough time to do mortar drills/lessons as it is. Its better to be good at one thing than ok at two.

S
Three things.

1. Mortars are the senior platoon in any Inf Bn. They provide 70% of the killing power available to an OC and SHOULD BE an invaluable asset to any mature Company Commander.

2. The only time you will get spammed to be Inf section etc is if you have a very poor turnout by the mortars and the Headshed are too weak to say "No, we are mortars and training / deploying as such." This will, of course, require ExCon actually to plan for mortars....ahem....

3. If you dont have enough time to do mortar lessons / drills then you should clarify your main effort - is it ti provide BCRs for the Bn or to provide fire support? Any biff can be a BCR, very few can even set up a mortar, let alone use an MFDC / FCA or give an accurate Fire Control Order.

Better indeed to be good at one thing - provision of organic fire support to the OC / CO...
 
#15
Bravo_Bravo said:
Polar your last paragraph is a bit rambling, but I think its wrong...

BB
What is the course structure these days (did mine in Nov/Dec 9?), I've seen someone mentioning numbers cadre being run @ Warminster?
 
#16
I have to agree with Bravo Bravo there.
If there is any pressure to fill out a rifle coy hit by poor turnout it reflects on the OC of that coy. Any decent, thinking OC will regard his mortar platoon as mortars first, coy second. Personally I think it worked well post SDR in this respect; we got the spt wpns back, and also had the coy infrastructure, coy culture and socials with the rest of the boys. Everyone was a winner.
I also saw our role as educating a whole new generation of officers in the rifle coys about the role mortars have to play - but it also depended on the CO. During my time as OC Mor one understood how to use spt wpns, one didn't, and under the latter Bn FTXs were an exasperating experience (can we adjust? Er, no Capt Stabtastic, it's a silent atack. Righto......... you can't use mortars then because your LD's 100m away from the enemy....oh, and you told your OCs to "bung the MFCs with the CSMs at the back somewhere" anyway...)
 
#17
stabtastic said:
I have to agree with Bravo Bravo there.
If there is any pressure to fill out a rifle coy hit by poor turnout it reflects on the OC of that coy. Any decent, thinking OC will regard his mortar platoon as mortars first, coy second. Personally I think it worked well post SDR in this respect; we got the spt wpns back, and also had the coy infrastructure, coy culture and socials with the rest of the boys. Everyone was a winner.
I also saw our role as educating a whole new generation of officers in the rifle coys about the role mortars have to play - but it also depended on the CO. During my time as OC Mor one understood how to use spt wpns, one didn't, and under the latter Bn FTXs were an exasperating experience (can we adjust? Er, no Capt Stabtastic, it's a silent atack. Righto......... you can't use mortars then because your LD's 100m away from the enemy....oh, and you told your OCs to "bung the MFCs with the CSMs at the back somewhere" anyway...)
Wunh???!! An interesting opinion, but one that possibly does not stand close scrutiny: how the feck is the Alfa MFC going to call Last Safe Moment when he is sat with the numpties and Godfrey bags???!!!
 
#18
I think that was Stabtastic's point, Grumpy. The CO didn't have a scooby about Fire Sp.

Edited to remove evidence of latent dyslexia.
 
#19
stickybomb said:
I think that was Stabtastic's point, Grumpy. The CO didn't have a scooby about Fire Sp.

Edited to remove evidence of latent dyslexia.
........which leads me neatly onto my next line, sticky.......................I always found that, if you start with a couple of keen section commanders and their troops, persuade their boss that '.......hey, sir, how about a bit of Introduction to Fire Control for the troops?'

A couple of lectures on the conventions, a quick practical (a couple of crewed mortars with the section passing fire orders by radio - the sections are side by side with the mortars so that they can see WTF happens when some loon says 'Fire mission 2 mortars........') and then a double period in the UFCT. If you put your mind to it and introduce some jolly japes and manly laughter and bonding, you have them for life.......and Sir will follow!

Even better if you can convince the CO that a simple fire plan should actually do what it says on the tin.........and allow him to say 'Dwell on.......' at least once during the shoot.

My laboured point is that to raise and maintain an effective Mortars, whether Regular or TA, you need to get the blighters young (a bit like the Hilter Youth, I s'pose?) and at ALL ranks. I've seen full screws on the (old) Mortar SNCOs Course struggle like a struggling thing 'cos somewhere they once did a unit cadre and spent 6 months as a No3 a few years back: then some balloon decides to drag said full screw out of MT (honest to God, I kid you not!) and send him to Netheravon Open Prison for 2 months (without remission).

The guy imploded!
 
#20
You tube monkeys wouldn't know real firepower if it skiffed you at a wedding! SF is the only way to go: it's no coincidence that 'machine-gunner' rhymes with 'hard, handsome and well-hung'.
 
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