One ARmy concept - myth or fact

Having a bit of a "pissing contest" with those stalwarts of the Corps who reside in certain Med Bde somewhere up North.

Basically it boils down to the "utility" (don't you just love that word - seems to crop up everywhere) of the TA on Ops and whether a TA professional and his Regular counterpart are totally interchangeable? I have my own opinion, it's "horses for courses", in some cases it works e.g. in most clinical areas, and in others it ain't ever gonna work, nor should it be attempted. You can't compare years of experience in uniform with a comparably professional qualified TA guy, whose service experience consists of annual camps, a couple of courses and the odd attachment. It will end in tears and it ain't fair on the TA guy, or the system.

Anyway that’s my view, any others?
The TA members I worked with on telic 1 were to the most part as - if not more enthusiastic than some of the regulars that I served with. I do agree that for the majority of the time, in their areas of clinical expertise they will beat our 'general duties' staff hands down.

But in the field? Having spent the majority of my time stuck in MDHU's, (Thanks mostly to the respective top corridors egnoreing my requests for tours), the really keen and swiched on TA soldier (and the occational officer) would beat me hands down at being green, but the rest of the soldier's and officer's unfortunatly gave the TA a bad name. Who else in thier right mind would topless sunbath in a high NBC threat? :?

It also comes down to a lifestyle/career choice. Some of my 'outside' friends joined TA (non medical) becase they were either a skint student, or so it would look good on thier CV's. In all cases as soon as it got potientially near having to do anything serious, they very quickly got out. Its a question of commitment. :roll:

In a hospital unit it works better with a 'mixed bag' of regular/TA, but I can not comment on levels above Role 3.
It is an absolute requirement in certain specialist areas to use the TA to compliment the Army's requirements.Examples of this are surgeons etc who are ther solely for the brilliant skills, other examples are STRE Royal Engoneers who bring in civilian Engineers to work on tasks similar to that being undertaken in Iraq of rebuilding etc. There is limited opportunity in the Army to train and keep competencies up in these fields. But what must be remembered here is that they are specialists in specialist fields and to a certain extent it doesnt involve core military skills or military management. Where the TA sometimes fall short is in that area core military skills. Of course there are ex regs who can be excellent with lots of experience but in the main I think the TA miss out on basic military understanding. Regulars spend more time on leave in a year than the TA spend in uniform. Just going away regulaly is a skill some TA find difficult. The regs sit in the NAAFI generally talking army, live in rooms together talking army, its there life not a hobby. Civvies are generally individuals so given rank they dont fully understand that those below are there priority. That certainly isnt the case in civvie life.

Just one final point with the TA. Its seems sumwhat strange that the Army pensions its regulars of at 40(22 years) whilst we can be replaced on tour by TA equivelants of 50 yrs and above. How can that be!! Wheres the parity there?
Good points by all the above. TA have a very important clinical role & there support of the regulars is vital to the effective running of the AMS.

However, with the regular field units leaning towards the 'combat support hospitals' & the resposibility of the role 3 field hospital going to the TA, I have to wonder about thier ability to build, support and run a 200 bed hospital from scratch.

Having recently met with a number of TA from my cadre, I have to say that I do not feel they are up to the job. Working effectively within a field unit is alot more than being able to perform your technical speciality in a field environment.

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