OTC Review Interim Report

#1
Some of us may already be aware of this, but as I found a copy on the web, I thought I'd let you know where it is.


http://www.enm.bris.ac.uk/staff/RRClements/mec/OTC-Review-Interim-Report-Oct-06.pdf

Some interesting figures and quotes, not least this

Set against this background, there had been a consistent net outflow from the TA, whose
strength had fallen from 43,000 in January 1999 to 31,700 in May 2005. It was very clear in
early 2005 that urgent and fundamental measures were required to stem the decline and
restore TA manning to a healthy level. Since then the downward trend has been arrested and
there has been a small net inflow, but there is no cause for complacency.
as the report is dated days before TA manning had dropped even further to a new low of 31 030.

Note to Mods - this document is already in the public domain. Thanks Bristol University !
 
#2
TA Manning stood at 34360; well that is how many were enlisted when we started JPA cutover.
 
#3
2.29 For some, this drive to better advertise the opportunities in the TA and encourage OCdts to consider a TA commission is an uncomfortable development.

Is a more worrying quote for me. Still? When will people grow up?
 
#5
The apparent drop in TA manning is due in main to the weaning of dead wood and removal of some counting anomalies found on transfer to JPA. It is (I am told) not an actual drop.

The OTC report makes some good points. One of the most important is the need to pursue Gp B commissioned officers who do not join the Regular Army at the end of their universtiy course and many of whom simply drift away and get discharged. Certainly this is how I joined Gp A TA many years ago but many of my former colleagues DID simply drift away as the TA made no attempt to follow them up.
 
#6
The apparent drop in TA manning is due in main to the weaning of dead wood and removal of some counting anomalies found on transfer to JPA. It is (I am told) not an actual drop.
Whatever the reason, if the numbers are genuinely lower, it is a real drop in reported manning. The "dead wood" argument has been trotted out year after year as a reason for falling numbers, yet at the same time the numbers qualifying for Training Bounty (which remains the only publicly available measure of Fitness For Role) has also dropped year on year.

One of the most important is the need to pursue Gp B commissioned officers who do not join the Regular Army at the end of their universtiy course and many of whom simply drift away and get discharged. Certainly this is how I joined Gp A TA many years ago but many of my former colleagues DID simply drift away as the TA made no attempt to follow them up
There is a different view that could be taken here. Given that around 50% of TACC places are taken up by UOTCs with such a small proportion ending up in the TA, perhaps someone ought to be questioning why the UOTC Gp B commission exists at all. I would assume that most of those undertaking TACC do so between 2nd and 3rd year meaning that they serve as (UOTC) officers during their final year only and then disappear never to be seen again. The fact that the Regular Commissioning Course is the same whether or not you are a graduate (most of whom do not actually join the UOTC anyway) would add weight to the argument that the whole business of UOTCs running any form of officer training scheme is an irrelevance which only exists because it might have made some sense years ago.

Of course once we go down that route, the justification for UOTCs becomes even more difficult!
 
#7
So in summary:

1) Keep the fun stuff
2) Join the TA afterwards


I really hope that there is time to include Dr Evil's idea about a condensed 'Summer of Love' approach to prep people for the September RMAS course.

msr
 
#8
The benefits delivered by the OTC to regular Army officer recruiting are considerable.For the past 5 years, approximately 45% of the RMAS (regular Army) Commission Courses(RMAS CC) has been ex-OTC
Interesting, I would have thought the figure to be higher, potentially in future will more presure be put on the bosses of UOTCs to get cadets going up the steps at sandhurst? Or has that already occured? It certainly has for the TA commisions,
Interestingly, there is no evidence to suggest that there have ever been quotas for regular
Army officer recruiting, but quotas have existed for TA commissions which were set out in the
OTC Directive12 and reported upon in the OTC Annual Report for at least 4 years. The targets
have been 10 passes at TACC for standard UOTC and 20 for London UOTC. This included a
further 6 Group B to A transfers (12 for London) in each reporting year.
 
#9
who_cares.... said:
The apparent drop in TA manning is due in main to the weaning of dead wood and removal of some counting anomalies found on transfer to JPA. It is (I am told) not an actual drop.
Whatever the reason, if the numbers are genuinely lower, it is a real drop in reported manning.
Which is statistically meaningless if the reporting methodology has changed...

who_cares... said:
There is a different view that could be taken here. Given that around 50% of TACC places are taken up by UOTCs with such a small proportion ending up in the TA, perhaps someone ought to be questioning why the UOTC Gp B commission exists at all. I would assume that most of those undertaking TACC do so between 2nd and 3rd year meaning that they serve as (UOTC) officers during their final year only and then disappear never to be seen again.
(my bold)

I think you'll find that a considerable number of people who get Gp B commissions do go on to get a Regular Commission (or even to join the other services - spit!). While you might argue that it isn't necessary for them to do this as all start equal when joining the Regular Army, the fact remains that considerable numbers who would not otherwise have thought of an Army career do so because of their experience in the UOTC.

BTW - the final version of this report is now out and has been circulated, though I have not seen it "in the public domain".
 
#10
who_cares.... said:
There is a different view that could be taken here. Given that around 50% of TACC places are taken up by UOTCs with such a small proportion ending up in the TA, perhaps someone ought to be questioning why the UOTC Gp B commission exists at all. I would assume that most of those undertaking TACC do so between 2nd and 3rd year meaning that they serve as (UOTC) officers during their final year only and then disappear never to be seen again. The fact that the Regular Commissioning Course is the same whether or not you are a graduate (most of whom do not actually join the UOTC anyway) would add weight to the argument that the whole business of UOTCs running any form of officer training scheme is an irrelevance which only exists because it might have made some sense years ago.

Of course once we go down that route, the justification for UOTCs becomes even more difficult!
So, you're suggesting that while TA junior officer manning has been identified as a critical weakness (in this document and elsewhere) that we should scrap the TA Gp.B commission, and reduce the numbers going through RMAS?

Interesting logic. I wonder whether you've actually read all of the report, or whether your mind was made up already...
 
#11
[
quote="scaryspice"]
who_cares.... said:
The apparent drop in TA manning is due in main to the weaning of dead wood and removal of some counting anomalies found on transfer to JPA. It is (I am told) not an actual drop.
Whatever the reason, if the numbers are genuinely lower, it is a real drop in reported manning.
Which is statistically meaningless if the reporting methodology has changed...
Who cares about statistics ? If it turns out I actually only have a fiver when I thought I had a tenner, I can still only spend five pounds.

who_cares... said:
There is a different view that could be taken here. Given that around 50% of TACC places are taken up by UOTCs with such a small proportion ending up in the TA, perhaps someone ought to be questioning why the UOTC Gp B commission exists at all. I would assume that most of those undertaking TACC do so between 2nd and 3rd year meaning that they serve as (UOTC) officers during their final year only and then disappear never to be seen again.
(my bold)

I think you'll find that a considerable number of people who get Gp B commissions do go on to get a Regular Commission (or even to join the other services - spit!). While you might argue that it isn't necessary for them to do this as all start equal when joining the Regular Army, the fact remains that considerable numbers who would not otherwise have thought of an Army career do so because of their experience in the UOTC.
We need to actually establish cause and effect here. What is the proportion of UOTC people going on to RMAS who already have Gp B commissions and are we saying that if they didn't get the opportunity to walk around saluting each other for their final year, they wouldn't bother to go on and join the Regular Army ?

The entire report starts from the standpoint that the continued existence of UOTCs is a given and that they are therefore a"good thing" despite the fact that there is no clear evidence they actually deliver anything very much at all.
 
#12
So, you're suggesting that while TA junior officer manning has been identified as a critical weakness (in this document and elsewhere) that we should scrap the TA Gp.B commission, and reduce the numbers going through RMAS?

Interesting logic. I wonder whether you've actually read all of the report, or whether your mind was made up already...
What I am suggesting is that it is pointless wasting time and money on producing TA officers who have no intention of ever actually doing the job for which they have been trained. Only offering the option of a Group A commission would at least produce individuals who have a clearly defined and understood obligation to the TA (eg they have a mobilisation liability)and even if they ended up going onto the Unposted List on graduating, it would be an improvement on the current situation.
 
#13
who_cares.... said:
and are we saying that if they didn't get the opportunity to walk around saluting each other for their final year, they wouldn't bother to go on and join the Regular Army ?

The entire report starts from the standpoint that the continued existence of UOTCs is a given and that they are therefore a"good thing" despite the fact that there is no clear evidence they actually deliver anything very much at all.
As Gravelbelly suggests you haven't really read it have you? It certainly does not take the viewpoint that the continued existence of UOTCs is a given! The comment above (my bold) shows what a great understanding you have of the whole ethos of the UOTCs. Yes, there really are people who get their first real taste of "Army life" in the UOTC who then go on and join the Regular Army (and the TA) who might not otherwise have done so.
 
#14
Sorry, but the argument that the UOTC produces some non-measurable number of people for the Army who "may" not have otherwise joined does not exactly justify its continued existence.

I have read the report and my main concern is that we seem to have a rather inappropriately named organisation with woolly objectives trying to find a job for itself.

The name somehow implies it is there to "train officers" (even though bizarrely this is no longer in its stated mission) and this seems to be its only genuinely measurable output. If the Regular Army completely ignores that training and starts again from scratch
The military training conducted for those aspiring to a commission in the regular Army is
largely irrelevant, as there is no training dispensation at RMAS for previous OTC experience.
(although I believe that this was not always the case when the separate Graduate course existed at RMAS) and very few of the remainder actually end up in TA Gp A units (well under 10% of those who do not join the Regular Army according to the figures in the report), then perhaps a more stringent review is in order.

I am certain that a more accurately named "University Army Familiarisation Club" could be established at very much lower cost and the resources thereby freed up re-allocated to more productive use (ie actually recruiting and training officers) within the rest of the TA.

Clearly this would upset some vested interests in the status quo but the Army needs to embrace change (the "Rifles" approach) rather than bury its head in the sand (I shan't mention who I'm thinking of)
 
#15
WC,

Well said.

Its aim seems to be to provide some sort of background activity whilst at university for those who have expressed an interest in joining the regular army, presumably in order to keep them off pot and other nastiness which would rather sabotage any chance of commissioning.

They need to provide a measurable and usable output. Anything else is just a non-productive diversion of resources and MTDs.

It is interesting that even having spent 3+ years at an OTC, all that training is not given any credence at RMAS.

msr
 
#16
The UOTC's were formed for several reasons -

Provide officers for the Regular Army

Provide officers for the TA

Inculcate into what in those days was an elite, an appreciation of the military in order that those individuals in later life would be broadly pro Army.

The third reason is not measurable but is arguebly the most important.

The current sad excuse for a government knows all about measuring things and no one could call them competent.
 
#17
scaryspice said:
who_cares.... said:
and are we saying that if they didn't get the opportunity to walk around saluting each other for their final year, they wouldn't bother to go on and join the Regular Army ?

The entire report starts from the standpoint that the continued existence of UOTCs is a given and that they are therefore a"good thing" despite the fact that there is no clear evidence they actually deliver anything very much at all.
As Gravelbelly suggests you haven't really read it have you? It certainly does not take the viewpoint that the continued existence of UOTCs is a given! The comment above (my bold) shows what a great understanding you have of the whole ethos of the UOTCs. Yes, there really are people who get their first real taste of "Army life" in the UOTC who then go on and join the Regular Army (and the TA) who might not otherwise have done so.
I rather think that he did:

ASSUMPTIONS AND APPROACH

1.4 One of the fundamental assumptions of the Review is that the value of the OTC is not indoubt and its future not under threat.
 
#18
mushroom said:
The UOTC's were formed for several reasons -

Provide officers for the Regular Army

Provide officers for the TA

Inculcate into what in those days was an elite, an appreciation of the military in order that those individuals in later life would be broadly pro Army.

The third reason is not measurable but is arguebly the most important.

The current sad excuse for a government knows all about measuring things and no one could call them competent.
It might have used to have been important in the days when University students were an elite, they no longer are. It could equally be argued that it has the opposite effect the majority of students, not OTC members, who see and hear about some of the antics of UOTC members.
 
#19
Mushroom,

I am afraid in this day and age that we can no longer divert resources into rumour and hearsay. The OTC are manifestly not providing officers to the TA and how many regulars at RMAS would have gone anyway, with or without the OTC?

When you are neither providing officers nor delivering meaningful training, then you are left with a corps(e).

msr
 
#20
Been along this road before, I have never had the priveledge to go through UOTC, but one or two of my family have. I really can't believe the amount of money that goes in to these things for so little a return.

IMHO the UOTC is sold as a drinking club, where you get a few laughs and pay.... oh by the way you get some skills and an insight in to the Army.

The UOTC needs a drastic overhaul.

Perhaps impossible, as I am pretty sure many of its current high rank defenders will probably remember a much different UOTC.

I also, by the strongest terms, believe the current RMAS policy (building from scratch) is the correct one. Those commissioned from the ranks (as opposed to through them) also experience the full course.
 
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