Officer Recruiting

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by MrTracey, Dec 7, 2009.

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  1. The numbers of Officers in post within the current structure of the TA is currently significantly less than establishment.

    TA Officer numbers have been dwindling for some years (many units have only one or two) changing the dynamics of the Officers Corps - more LE, less young blood, more SO2/Majors and above, SNCOs in command positions - with consequent impact on structures, ethos, credibility.

    Heads have been scratched as to how to improve this situation and msr has banged on about this relentlessly in the past.

    We've 'made do' in the interim.

    The Graduated Commitment Model is being done to death elsewhere will have an impact on the demand and attraction of a TA Commission, as will Hybrid Units, funding, scale of the TA, the OCP etc.

    Questions then:

    If you have commissioned of late - was it worth it?

    Should the Commissioning Training course be adjusted - to Commission earlier subject to ongoing training up to substantive Lieutenant?

    Have you looked at a Commission and decided it wasn't for you and why?

    Why would you join as an Officer these days?

    Is the economy an issue?

    Does the IR generation machine offer Officers anything?

    Should the TA make an effort now to recruit Officers? What's the point?

    The UOTCs are still not paying the Cadets following the recent cuts - they were excluded from the add back. Were you an Officer Cadet and are you still turning up?

    Is there a role for Officers on Ops - really?

    How do you get to be a TA 2 Star?
  2. msr

    msr LE

    If anyone in recruitment in civvy street hit only 25% of their targets they would be sacked. Clearly this is not the case in the public sector.

    Until it appears on someone's OJAR, no-one is going to give a toss.

  3. I was commissioned a loooong time ago. Not at all sure I would bother now. Why?

    (1) Process much more lengthy and tortuous than before
    (2) Limited chance to mobilise as say Pl Comd or equivalent (i.e. in the role I trained for)
    (3) No additional financial advantage as the Army would pay me my civ salary (on mob) anyway.

    Flip side to the coin: some of my best mates are those I served as a TA Pl Comd with 20 years ago. But that would probably still apply if I had been a Rfn rather than 2Lt.

    Now however, I could join up as Rfn, do a couple of years, have a pretty exciting tour somewhere, then retire and tell war stories to anyone interested. That's a pretty decent alternative to years of OJARs, Boards of Officers etc etc.

    So maybe there would be a positive side to GCM after all. But that's another story (and for another thread...)
  4. It is clear that the Army does NOT have an attraction strategy for TA or reserve officers. I would like to think that this is because it’s been filed in the "too difficult" box, however I suspect it’s in "can't arrsed and why should we bother" box.

    I suspect that no one wants to articulate the non existent (by the standards of today’s society) benefits of gaining a commission.

    When asked I asked a certain 2 star the question about attracting PO's, his reply was couched in terms of "serving Queen and Country", which might have worked 20 years ago. Enquiries with other 1 star and 2 star officers have met either a similar response or promise to “look into it”.

    I can only conclude that no one gives a stuff, other than the TA.

  5. msr

    msr LE

  6. One idea I've heard was making the UOTC's strongly push OCdt's to commission. Due to the time commitments for commissioning at the moment people are less likely to commission if they have a full work/family life, so instead people should be pushed to commission at uni. After uni the commission can be put on hold for up to 5 years while the subject settles into their job, before eventually returning to the TA as a relatively young officer.

    There is of course the problem of cost and the potential for many people allowing their commission to lapse instead of re-joining.
  7. Is this a 'casual labour' versus 'part time labour' point? I mean, if you were a proper part timer and attracted pro rata benefits, would it not be fairer?

    Is there an honour and privilege issue here - a commission sets you up for life?

    On the recent Continuous Attitude Survey, 'challenge' and new skills were right up there at the top of the 'reasons for joining' (scant mention of operations by the way).

    Maybe YeoMan is right - maybe no-one actually gives a stuff - a bit like the attitude to the TA until they needed us.

  8. My thoughts are similiar. Personally I just don't see the benefits of commissioning in the TA anymore. I did my MOD 3 of TACC in my last year of uni, was injured and couldn't go on to RMAS that summer. Then I managed to find a pretty full on job and just couldn't commit the time required to go through MOD 3 again. From what I can gather from friends of mine whom are now commissioned they seem to spend an awful lot of time doing admin and paperwork (admittedly very important).

    To me that just isn't going to swing it for me, why would you want to go through the long process of commissioning to end up doing loads of admin, when some of us already do that for a day job. And as your man says there are limited chances to mobilise in the role you intially train for. That said good luck to those who go for it but for me i'd rather stay in the ranks and work my way up the NCO route, its more hands on, gives you a bit of responsibility and isn't asking too much of you(well maybe not for sgts and above) after a long day at work. I'm sure MSR or The Duke will find many faults with my thinking but this is just the way I perceive it as a former ocdt.
  9. msr

    msr LE

    I think you are right.

  10. Bugger me!! 8O It is an ever increasing problem though, one observation I have is that when I did my RCB (Briefing) my syndicate DS said being a YO was a lot like being a rugby (or any other sport) captain, leading & doing some organising of the players and some good fun thrown in. It would seem that that isn't the case anymore. (although I'm always happy to be proved wrong)
  11. No structured.

    I gave up because it looked like it was going to take years. Like it or not, it's not attractive for graduates
  12. msr

    msr LE

    And with the cancellation of Mess Dos, it's looking increasing like the fun is evaporating.

  13. Heh. This reminds me of a conversation I heard in the Fembot Club the other night.

    • Show again braincell Show again braincell x 1
  14. Spot on - Wingles where are you?
  15. What about pushing leadership skills training? Works for employers too. "Personal Development" (Currently as a grunt... err, I mean "Other Ranks") is how I sold the TA to my employer and it seems to go down well, even if itat's largely because they're not any good at providing it themselves.