In this age of fiscal recession, global uncertainty, European alliance, and American dominance, the role and mission of the Army has changed and will, most likely, evolve on a routine basis. The threat has changed, and is changing, but it's a sure fire bet that fighting across the plains of Europe is unlikely. A big proper war - or 'Large Scale Deliberate Intervention' as only the Doctrinal pointy heads could call it - is also unlikely as the experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan have proved. The Army is evolving. Op Entirety has sought to point everything that it has in one direction, enveloping all that the Army thinks, does, plans for, or talks about. I'm surprised that I haven't seen Op Entirety mugs in the coffee rooms. Yesterdays announcement was not unconnected as the Army seeks to maximise it's effectiveness. If the role and output of the Reserve Army was a hot topic before, it's positively on fire at the moment. A ready source of reasonably trained and very willing manpower at a fraction of the cost was always going to be attractive, but the decision that 10% of any deploying force would be drawn from the Reserve has focused the military mind. However, whilst the Regular Army has had many changes and adjustments in the past, and continues to go through others as I type (TLOR2, Hyperion etc), the TA has only been tinkered with. In essence, the TA remains in the cold war era in terms of structure, equipment, infrastructure, permanent personnel and TACOS. It's about time we articulated properly just exactly what the TA is for. Once agreed, this would not only inform the Regular Army in how to deal and integrate with it properly, in a consistent fashion, but it would bring clarity and a welcome honesty (internally and to the public, and employers) to build the Reserve of the future - the next 100 years. I know what I think but it would be interesting to hear the views of others. Is the TA just an IR machine? Should it just be structured entirely and only to output soldiers in direct support of Ops? Perhaps the advertising should simply say, 'join the TA and go on Ops but if you don't want to go on Ops, don't join' (there isn't a career for me in Marketing). Does the TA have a role to play in Society? I don't mean CE, it's wider than that. Is it a means by which a lot of people can find some purpose and learn new skills (physical and mental) that they had hitherto missed? Is it a long term game? Training people just in case with a legacy effect to bring added value to the turmoil of the future? Is it an LSDI Reserve? Why isn't the TA just simply responsible for UK Security and Assistance - releasing the regular Army to do Ops. Should the TA be a separate force? Perhaps the time has come to simply surrender the Haldane principal and hand it over the Regular Army lock stock and rusting barrel? Twinning is only a half way house anyway - perhaps better to simply hybrid the lot, do away with most of the TA Centres, and allow the command positions to be held by Regulars? Perhaps the National TA model holds the answer? Single large scale training facilities to which people the length and breadth of the country attend at weekends on a rota basis? No drill nights, and distance learning. TACOS are crap - let's face it. Is it Part time? - in name only. Is it 'casual' - no and this is offensive. It's not full time so no pension, no dental, no support - just a uniform and some basic training. This can't continue - can it? Whatever model we adopt in the future, the TACOS need sorting out. Perhaps it's time to adopt a National Guard model? Maybe the regular Army should adopt a more flexible Part time/Full time approach allowing TA and Regulars to move in and out with ease? At the end of the day - what is the TA for? Until we sort this out, we cannot properly or adequately plan and train, or decide on direction, structure, priorities, scale, equipment, and ethos. Time to sort it out once and for all.