OTC Funding to be reduced

#1
Apparently it has been dedided to reduce funding of OTCs. This may curtail camps, skiing and other expeds. Is this the thinend of the detah of OTCs completely?
 
#2
I have never been part of an OTC so forgive me for asking but in these days of Defence cuts and overstretch at all levels of the Army, what does the OTC do?

Can we deploy them like the TA and therefore get value for money for them?
 
#3
Hopeso, theya re a waste of cash. Money that should go to the front line troops. If they want the perks then they shouldn't be paid. Simple. They will get enough benefits out of us as it is, with all the training, etc.

I remember my Sqn OC eying some with distaste, because his lads were lumbered with those handbag bergans and iron sights whilst deployed where as these muppets were cutting about with all the gear....
 
#4
There is a lot of money thrown at UOTCs. The budget for some of the high standard unis such as Cambridge, Oxford etc is huge. The reason behind it is to attract 'high standard' candidates for Sandhurst. As far as I know a few years ago the PSIs weren't allowed to drive because if they had an accident they would get billed but if the OTC guys had an accident no further action. Another rumour I heard was that after the OTC guys had finished uni their 1157s were written off. These are just things I've heard so I'm waiting out to be corrected.
One thing that really p155s me off is the amount of adventure training the OTC gets. A couple of years ago I went to Bavaria to do some skiing (first bit of adventure training in 5 years) and there were 8 or 9 UTOC there. I went on my MLT course 2 months ago and again there were about 8 or 9 OTC there doing different courses. How come OTC guys get on adventure training courses both in the UK and abroad so easily when the rest of us struggle to get a week in Wales every 2 years? I'm not bitter (honestly) but why should the OTC get all the perks of being in green kit (RESPOSD, adventure training etc) when we work our balls off doing back to back tours, a hell of a lot of exercises and don't get the gizzits because the slots are filled up with OTC?
 
#5
The criticisms (envy) being thrown at otcs here are reasonable (apart from the 1157s stuff, that is bollocks).

However, when all said and done the OTCs are an excellent recruiting tool, both for getting new people in who would not have thought of joining, and keeping people whose interest over uni might have wained. I remember reeading (I think in the RUSI journal) that it takes £10000 in recruting to get a soldier to the first day of basic. I don't know about officer recruiting, but presumably it is similar, and OTCs are not bad value when compared to this.

Certainly the OTCs could do with having their fat trimmed a little. There is absolutely no reason why OTCs should have dpm plce for instance, especially when some group A units still have combat handbags, but other than these superficial things their scales are not that offensive to the defence budget. Also there is criticism of the amount of mtds OTC cadets are allowed. However, these large numbers of mtds usually become available because of the drop out rate in the first year, so there are pools of mtds at unit level.

It is sad to hear that the Gunners are going to cut UOTC gunnery. Although this represented a large financial and manpower commitment 'in my time' it produced a steady flow of officers and Gunner officers. To give a quick stat. In one year at KGVI all 4 members of our CP became officers (2reg/2TA) 3 of whom became gunners.

The next year all six of the command appointments (foo, bro, 2 x no1s, CPO, cP sgt) became officers, 5 of whom went gunners. That year also produced another 1 x reg gunner officer, 1 x ta gunner officer, 1 x rmp officer, 2 x ramc officers (non-med), 1 x hac trooper, 1 x agc officer at least (there may be others I don't know about or can't remember). Although it is possible to prove anything with statistics, and one cannot say how much the OTC played in these people getting commissioned, and it was clearly a bit of a freak year it is clearly indicative of the possibilities. Not a bad return on a few mtds and 50 rds of HE.
 
#6
I've recently completed my 3 years in the OTC. During my time, I felt there was a definite shift towards trying to put people through the TA Commissioning Course, as well as increasing the number of TA Sponsored Officers (TASO).

Perhaps this is the future of the OTCs where by they take Officer Cadets from various local TA units and put them through the specific Officer training, before sending them off to Sandhurst for 3 weeks after which they return to their parent unit? TASOs are paid by their parent unit so that would allow OTC budgets to be reduced.

Plant_life, I was always under the impression that when it came to AT courses OTCs were at the bottom of the pile, indeed I only got on a sailing course this summer as a reserve because someone else pulled out.
 
#7
All the old reasons.

OTCs promote the Army to future "Captains of Industry", how true this is these days with degrees in basket weaving and Lego studies I don't know.

85% of TA Officers come through the OTC system therefore, no OTC a lot fewer TA Officers (although why regular officers couldn't be posted to TA units, like the PSIs are I don't know).

IMHO the wings (Engineers, Sigs, RA) some UOTCs have are un-necessary the kit is expensive and the money could be spent on other things. Sheff UOTC is all infantry and while chatting to a lass from Cambs UOTC (The most highly funded UOTC) on our summer camp she said Cambs couldn't go on exercise with anything like the numbers we (Sheff) do and Sheff is the lowest funded UOTC but year on year sends one of the highest numbers of OCdts to complete TACC.

Hmmm not really justifying their existence, well perhaps it is time for change.

Or perhaps the government should increase the budget to all parts of the Armed Forces if they expect to continue the current level of global commitment with the BAF.
 
#8
Bennett said:
85% of TA Officers come through the OTC system
I'd love to know where this figure comes from because I think you're talking balls.
 
#9
Why do they need to be paid though? I can understand some of the stuff they do, it is only the same as Cadets just for older people, but why pay them?

If these people are truely interested in becoming tomorrows officers then there should be some sort of incentive other than a bit of cash during a lean period.

I have family members, right now, in the OTC taking all htey can get, including AT abroad, who have no intention of joining up. I can't blame the player (good on 'em) but I CAN blame the game.

As mentioned there should be no unit out there with better kit than any of the regular or even TA units.
 
#11
If OTC are responsible for 85% of TA officers the question has to be asked as to why they didn't join the TA from the off.

What about their contribution to the Regs?

As for the captains of industry drivel, when a degree actually meant something, aye, maybe. All it means now is that you ahve not washed and smoked pot for three years and maybe swanned off around the world on a "gap year" and smoked pot in different countries.
 
#12
Bennett said:
StabTiffy2B said:
Bennett said:
85% of TA Officers come through the OTC system
I'd love to know where this figure comes from because I think you're talking balls.
It comes from a TA Captain I was given a lecture by, on "Why UOTCs are important".
Then I would suggest that if he didn't provide a source, he too is talking balls.

In responce to chocolate frog: My assumption on why they are paid is to aid those that would have to get a job, otherwise. If little billy needed to cash to work, his weekends would be taken up with serving slop in Maccy D's and a potential recruit would be lost. Not all students are sent to uni with a blank cheque from mummy and daddy and want to play at being soldiers for a couple of weekends.
 
#13
chocolate_frog said:
Why do they need to be paid though? I can understand some of the stuff they do, it is only the same as Cadets just for older people, but why pay them?
Most OCdts couldn't do OTC and a part time job as well as thier degree, and as most part time jobs at uni require you to put in a significant part of your hours in on weekends, it would be near impossible to go on exercise twice a month as well, rendering being part of a UOTC pointless.
 
#14
Having just left OTC....

I agree to some extent (ok quite a large extent!) that UOTCs recieve a disproportionate amount of funding.

However, the graduate job market is the most competetive its ever been, the Army is having to compete with companies willing to pay far higher wages than they are. The key weapon in the British Army's recruiting arsenal is "lifestyle": no other employers offer the same opportunities for travel, adventure training, using Gucci kit, shooting big guns etc.

It is all well and good spouting the usual career chat at potential offficers and boring them with power point, UOTCs provide the opportunity for potential officers to see the various perks and benefits first hand.

I can understand why Reg/TA units get annoyed when they see OTC guys cheesing about with better kit and on AT courses, but its a bit of a bigger picture thing, yea they may not recruit every OTC member into the forces, but perhaps a few good officers is worth the cost of some webbing and a week skiing in France?
 
#15
Having just left OTC....

I agree to some extent (ok quite a large extent!) that UOTCs recieve a disproportionate amount of funding.

However, the graduate job market is the most competetive its ever been, the Army is having to compete with companies willing to pay far higher wages than they are. The key weapon in the British Army's recruiting arsenal is "lifestyle": no other employers offer the same opportunities for travel, adventure training, using Gucci kit, shooting big guns etc.

It is all well and good spouting the usual career chat at potential offficers and boring them with power point, UOTCs provide the opportunity for potential officers to see the various perks and benefits first hand.

I can understand why Reg/TA units get annoyed when they see OTC guys cheesing about with better kit and on AT courses, but its a bit of a bigger picture thing, yea they may not recruit every OTC member into the forces, but perhaps a few good officers is worth the cost of some webbing and a week skiing in France?
 
#16
The TA will pay them though.

I am wondering if the said Capt was an ex OTCer himself. Keeping the thing going sort of thing.

I am aware of the fact that the kids can't all afford things like that. Which of course raises some of my other points for higher education that I wont bring up here.

However, the idea that each recruit costs £10,000 to get to the door is also absurd. What that means is that they are spending so much on adverts that is the measure of the failure.

I wonder how many lads go on leave and spread the word by mouth to their mates on how good the army life is? Or howmany join with out recourse to the adverts. Wouldn't that push up this cost more?

There must be cheaper ways to fill slots than either high cost advertising campagnes or high cost OTCs.

If, say, someone spends three years at OTC and then just naffs off, should we charge them the full rate for all the leadership and development training they have had? The full wack for the Expeds?

Some say that the lads hate the OTCs through envy, no I wouls say it was more disgust that they seem to get a lot of stuff thrown at them, whilst the lads graft hard for what they get.

Apparently (6th sense) one of the best advert campagnes so far has been the combination of Everest and adverts.

Why not? Join the army and go up Everest. Now that is what we are talking about. Perhaps more "reality" averts are the way ahead. No one cares about some engr who gets to blow things up and plumb occaisionaly. Oh by the way his hair belongs to his wife. Boring.

Let's get some adverts out there with lads who are crossing hte atlantic, rowing or in yahts. Or some adverts direct from Basra. Instead of p1ssing about letting the newsies spout rubbish about what we are doing. Lets get off the back foot (the "media" types that is) and start pushing adverts showing the lads building schools and other projects in the communities. The stuff that is usually only published in soldier.
 
#17
I'd be interested in knowing the overall percentage of OTC graduates actually joining as a Regular officer. Not knocking those who join the TA but the Army has a higher need for officers.
I don't think 8 or 9 people would have dropped out right at the last minute. It just annoys me because you normally have to fight like buggery to get on adventure training courses for a good couple of years or have somebody in the know fight for you to go. The only reason why I got the skiing was because I was orderly cpl and my SSM was well into his skiing and got me on.
As for the guy who was going on about the specialist wings being a waste of time I don't know what he's on. The reason for the OTC is to recruit potential officers and give them an insight into what they might do in the Army if they join. If they want to join the RE, Sigs, Arty etc give them the right insight as oppossed to doing just infantry stuff. Also as any OTC graduate who was in the RE wing will tell you, being in a field section constructing MGBs will give you a bloody good idea of what the guys have to do and appreciate how hard the blokes actually work.
 
#18
Instead of wings just ship 'em to a unit of that type and show them the stuff for the week end/week.
 
#19
chocolate_frog said:
I am wondering if the said Capt was an ex OTCer himself. Keeping the thing going sort of thing.
Yes he was.

choc_frog said:
Some say that the lads hate the OTCs through envy, no I wouls say it was more disgust that they seem to get a lot of stuff thrown at them, whilst the lads graft hard for what they get.
True, OCdts get given an awfull lot for very little effort.

OTCs are expensive, perhaps they should all convert to Infantry then put more into attachments to Corps' and Regiments in order to give interested OCdts a wider view of the Army. Currently Sheff only gets around half a dosen attachments a year, this seems like madness to me from a recruiting perspective.

Plant_life I see your point but being from an Inf OTC I am biased.

But this is getting off thread so I will stop now.
 
#20
That would make sense however attachtments would have to be done over summer. Trying to tie everything in so that the guys on attachment would get maximum benifit could be difficult bearing in mind that most units go on leave for three weeks in summer. I think it would just build up resentment if guys were kept back from leave to train OTC guys. One of my mates was in the TA infantry before he joined the Engineers. When he went to do his recruits training at Catterick there were too many there so they had to call in some training full screws from leave for 2 weeks. He said it was the worst 2 weeks of his life because the full screws took out their anger at being called back on the TA guys! Also before going on attachtment the OTC guys would have to have some sort of idea about what the different jobs their role would entail and how to carry them out otherwise they are not really that much use if they don't know anything about combat engineering for example. In BATUS I had two different OTC guys on my wagon (a CV). They were on the CV because they didn't know anything about combat engineering. They just ended up as brew bitch and radio operator. My Tp Staffy and I ended doing most of the rad oping ourselves because they guys couldn't decode BATCO quick enough.
 

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