ok here it is i'm in a rifle coy in an infantry battalion an have been appointed pl signaler for an up coming bn exercise any advice on TAMS, things that will keep information organised and any tips and tricks to help etc plus how bad is the comBAT green kit?
You're in the wrong forum here mate; these guys are trunk comms, not combat net radio. You won't need flashsticks.
Get an aide memoire for a contact rep and a sitrep and laminate it. Practice putting a contact rep and a sitrep together, so when your Pl Comd turns to you in a panic you can hand it to him or send it for him. Be prepared to write stuff down, either stuff coming over the net or stuff you think will need to be sent, e.g. the exact time a contact happens - 'cos your boss won't remember it, he'll have too much on.
Check with your Coy HQ what (if any) returns they need over the net on a routine basis (e.g. what the platoon ammo state or personnel state is as at 1200 or 2359 or whatever). Send a sitrep EVERY 20 MINUTES once you are in contact. Even "no change" is fine, at least people will still know you have not been wiped out.
Know the password. You'll be the only cvnt that does, and it will impress people. Know your callsign, your platoon callsigns, Coy HQ' callsign and the OC's callsign - 0A. WHEN 0A COMES ON THE NET FOR YOUR BOSS GET TO HIM QUICK! Nothing pisses of an OC more than wanting to bollock one of his Pl Comds and having to be patient with a pl signaller instead! Have a handset to hand to the Pl Comd so he can use your radio without faffing about with headsets.
If you are using BATCO, pre encode anything useful when times are quiet - nobody will care if you re-use a key setting. In particular, pre-encode "break radio silence", if imposed. Frnkly, though, no-one will give much of a damn if you don't encode things at platoon level.
If you are using BOWMAN,don't expect to know how it works. Your Bowman System Manager will set it up, you press and speak.
Always, always carry a spare battery (even if you have to leave something else behind).
Always have a GSA (big antenna, sticks in the ground) with you. Put it up if you go static and can't get comms.
Stay close to your Pl Comd, right up to the point he does something suicidal. Someone has to be alive to send "Sunray's down" over the net. The rest of the time, try and look after him a bit, you're his oppo.
Finally, it may not feel like it, but you have been chosen from a cast of, well, probably about 20. Someone thinks you can do it, and so they're probably looking at you as potential JNCO cadre material. Either that or you're overweight, and they want to load you up with radio kit and run you till you melt.
Good advice yet these guys are trunk comms? I remember distinctly being trained on CNR otherwise what was I doing for those 6 months in Blandford.
ComBat isn't that bad once you know how to get it all set up right and as for the rest of the stuff I was going to say on the subject I won't bother because im not actually sure how much im allowed to say on Bowman or ComBat, so I won't say anything.
You rightly pointed out to the lad that he's on the wrong forum but to point out the obvious.... Higround said he remembered being taught CNR for 6 months - I distincly remember blagging a career of twenty odd years working and managing CNR. Where do you think your extracts etc. come from and who provides the comms from hicom? Admittedly I never worked further forward than BG HQ - that's where the inf are kings.
A great speil about BATCO etc and I'm sure all very relevant to those that need it but jepprob87 mentions ComBAT (note how it's written) so I'm not so sure he'll need it.
Best bit of advice I can give is - with all this electrical kit around your battery management is absolutely crucial. Foul up there and you're in big trouble. So that's radio and IT kit power, keep it warm and and get it organised.
Oh if you do share the kit around other blokes to carry make sure you know who has it and and they know what they are carrying .Having some numptie hand in a battery on endex after you have been
trying to find it isnt funny espically if numptie say says "sorry didnt know what it was just carried it "
Try and get a handset and headset with the 'wiggly' wire (not sure of the technical term for the leads). Also you should get a good daysack and be able to get all the radio kit inside it, plus ancillaries (ditch the ancillaries bag), at least (minimum of) one spare battery plus your goretex and warm kit. This must remain with you at all times and act as your grab-bag when in the top of your began.
Clear plastic bags are good for keeping CEIs clean, dry and visible.
Waterproof note pad paper for when it rains or gets humid and get the retractable pencils with rubbers on.
Put your pens and pencils, rubbers, etc, in a clear pencil case with a bit of mine tape with your name on and a piece of para cord to attach it to you.
I second the black tape and leatherman suggestions for fixing and mending breakages.
On a personal note, ensure your VP is up to scratch and that you are confident in using pro-words and talking accurately, briefly and concisely on the net. If not, you will soon get found out!
Also don't just listen out for your callsign(s) - listen to everything so you can be "Johnny on the Spot" with all the good news for your boss.
Good luck too, that was my first job in the TA. I was so good they made me the CO's signaller. I still remember asking him which Rover he wanted his kit put into, having searched the TAC for it. "The black 3.5 V8 one Cuddles..."