NG style Officer Commissioning - simple

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by msr, Jul 3, 2011.

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  1. msr

    msr LE

    My BC has just come back from an exchange visit to the US and it seems (once again) the septics have got Officer commissioning sort out rather neatly.

    It goes like this

    2 weeks, followed by 12 weekends (can be done from one per month to every single weekend for 3 months) followed by a 2 week commissioning course.

    So you can get your camp in year 1 and in year 2 and each weekend is learning a different skill.

    Why can't we make it this simple?

  2. Never, I tell you. It should be two weeks, followed by eight to ten weekends, followed by a nine day battle camp, followed by a two week commissioning course.

    You know, like the DES of the 1980s, or the TAPOC of the 90s. Heretic.

    Next you'll be suggesting that we allow candidates to do it all in a concentrated eight-week course; perhaps called Ex FAST TRACK, or similar...
  3. How much resources, that we don't or would ever have, would it require to do that? Considering the RTCs already struggle to maintain their current frequency of training! Otherwise its pretty close to what we do anyway.

    I think everyone would rather be in the NG than the TA, but we don't have the money or will to do stuff like this.
  4. MSR, isn't that just the same as doing 2 weeks Mod 1 (lets call it the first 2 weeks of a Summer Challenge or any other concentrated Ph1 cse, e.g. run at the same time as unit annual camp) followed by Mods 2 and 3 over weekends followed by TACC? With options to do the Mod 1 as weekends alongside CMS(R) recruits, or to do Mods 1,2,3 in one 6 or 7 week block (lets call it Summer Leader) and get it all done in a oner as well?

    Any way you cut it, it should be easy to get your Mod 1 done one summer, and to do 2 and 3 in time for TACC the next summer. I have heard of folks doing 1,2,3 (Summer Leader) and TACC all in the same summer...

    Perhaps redesigning courses isn't the answer, but some sort of effort at getting more UOTC types who should be doing plenty of these sort of Modules to come into the wider TA/Reserves once their student days are over would strike me as the obvious place where we are losing people with training. That said, I'm not convinced all of them would want to be in the TA proper, nor that the TA would necessarily want all of them. Worth considering though.
  5. That is but one option for completion of OCS, run at state level. They also do a straight 8-week couse of the summer/winter, and the federally-sponsored OCS at Ft Benning, which is 14 weeks long. Many people choose the latter optins to get it over quicker!

    And don't forget, in order to complete OCS, you will have also done 16 straight weeks of OSUT (phase 1/2) when you join!
  6. How about something radical? Why not train TA officers to a level where they can actually do their job on mobilisation? That's not going to happen in 52 days.
  7. Nope, nor does it. I reckoned that I did well over 100MTDs worth of stuff to do with commissioning and becoming even mildly useful (and that was back in the 1980s) - not all TA training happens on centralised courses.
  8. How exactly does TA commisioning work?

    For RAuxAF it is 2 weeks, 5 weekends, followed by another 2 weeks. Then you are commisioned and off to do trade training. Is the TA version alot more convoluted?

    As to R_H point, it is certainly a consideration for alot of the youngsters we try and convince. Why should they commision if they will never deploy, when they can stay as a boot on the ground, and go deploy in role?
  9. I am sure that if the balloon went up and the GSFG descended onto the North German plain, the TA would have acquited itself well.

    But, times have chagned. In the COE (and that goes beyond HERRICK) very few reservists will deploy who have not received training equivalent to their regular counterpart. A TA officer can manage without some of the RMAS CCC academic package and 95% of the drill, but that will leave at least at least 5-6 months of full time training to complete. [Funnily enough, that's not much short of the old SGC / SMC.] Of course, then we have to add on special to arm training. For TA Inf that means regular PCBC (some TA officers are already attending).

    If the future role of the reserves is to deploy (maybe as IRs or as formed sub units), then we will have to start training officers sufficiently to do the job. Perhaps the way ahead is an old style (3 years incl RMAS) SSC followed by a period of reserve service.
  10. WatchingWater

    WatchingWater Old-Salt Book Reviewer

    Funny thing is, I was talking to an American soldier the other day and he said he preferred the British way of commissioning ('it has more common sense about it').
  11. I agree with Gravelbelly on this one...I kept a record and it took me around 120 days to become useful, and this time did not include the 10 mile run in boots once a week in my own time, with lots of subsidiary runs in between, and plenty of cross country night navigation with my Silva among the fields and farms of the West Midlands, and sitting in a blacked out room packing and unpacking a large pack, among other distressing and faintly disreputable things. :)

    That was back in the 1980's too; of course, we were a drinking club then you know...
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Except that a TA OCdt starting the commissioning process is expected to be trained soldier standard when he starts the process - much like his NG equivalent going through OCS.

    I do agree however that a relatively common deplyable (following STA) standard is required at commissioning, although I also think that the Regular Army might also reconsidered how much of the Regular CC is really needed to turn out the required standard of 2Lt...

    As an example, whilst NG officers might have the option of a 'weekend and camp' based OCS, far more of their professional development occurs post-OCS. In the case of armor (sic) officers, this includes the full (6months?) of Armor Officer Basic, whilst infantry Officers will find themselves sampling the full delights of Ranger School...

    It's a big investment upfront in training time, but IMHO opinion, worth it for a career of payback, and makes for a far more flexible regular-reserve transition capability, without the mind-baffling situation where TA officers who have completed frontline tours in AFG being forced to go back to day 1, week 1 at Sandhurst if the choose to make a regular career of it...
  13. Well, let's take 'trained soldier standard' to be term 1 of the CC; that still leaves at least 6 months of training to undertake similar to R_H's proposal.
  14. Actually, I thought R_H was proposing to remove 95% of the drill, and much of the academic studies.
    So assuming term 1 = trained soldier, as you say, removing drill and academics as proposed would reduce 2 x 14 week terms to something like 15-20 weeks?

    My proposal would be that Sandhurst removed most of the academic coursework, drill beyond term 1 standard, and much of the work relating to formalised 7 question estimate (in the US, this is not practiced below Bn level) and teach this at STA level and post-JOTAC (in fact, where JCSC used to be).

    I agree with the contention that a TA commissioning system that doesn't align with a regular commission borders on useless, especially if the Army is trying to encourage greater mobility between the active and reserve components, but I think we also need to take a long hard look at the training aims and objectives of Officer Training in general.
  15. Not sure if I'd agree with the removal of the estimate process. The equivalent 'combat appreciation' as it was known in my day was an eye-opener for a 19-yr old ocdt, and helped put things into proper perspective after two years in the TA ranks, where the question 'why?' was not encouraged. As a logical thinking skill it was easily transferable to civvy work and personal life and I have to say that I still use it pretty much to this day (only now without so much smk on the right flank).