Personnel Today report on TA in Iraq

#2
Crossed axes, thank you very much for starting this thread and pointing this article out to us. I think that the opinions towards the TA and the regular army are changing rapidly. These opinions started to change I think in the late 90`s and the increasing requirement for TA to deploy to the Balkans, now since Telic, it is now almost common practice to have TA soldiers, deployed amongest a regular Battalion/Unit. Even reservists, seem to swell the ranks, and become the norm. I would be interested to know what the % of TA in Afganistan, currently is, I was under the impression that over the last few years, it became a predominatley TA manned area, but I`m not sure how correct this information is and whether if it was correct, it still is? Whats happening in places like Ireland, Bosnia & Kosovo these days, given the strains on the regular forces?
antiwar.
 

stab

Old-Salt
#3
antiwar said:
Crossed axes, thank you very much for starting this thread and pointing this article out to us. I think that the opinions towards the TA and the regular army are changing rapidly. These opinions started to change I think in the late 90`s and the increasing requirement for TA to deploy to the Balkans, now since Telic, it is now almost common practice to have TA soldiers, deployed amongest a regular Battalion/Unit. Even reservists, seem to swell the ranks, and become the norm. I would be interested to know what the % of TA in Afganistan, currently is, I was under the impression that over the last few years, it became a predominatley TA manned area, but I`m not sure how correct this information is and whether if it was correct, it still is? Whats happening in places like Ireland, Bosnia & Kosovo these days, given the strains on the regular forces?
antiwar.
Very few TA in Afghanisatn and only the RRV going with ISAF in April.

Read the end of the report:

The Volunteer Reserve Forces


Members of the VRF are civilians who train for their military role in the evenings, at weekends and for a two-week period each year.

In times of need, the government can mobilise them for full-time military service alongside the Regular Forces.

There are 40,000 members of the VRF, of which 86% are in the TA, with the remainder split between the Royal Naval Reserve, the Royal Marines Reserve and the Royal Auxiliary Air Force.

How many reservists?

Since January 2003, approximately 12,500 reservists have been mobilised for full-time service, mostly in Iraq.

As of January 2006, there were approximately 823 reservists mobilised to support operations in Iraq.

According to research conducted in November 2005, one in four (24%) of employers of reservists are unaware that compulsory mobilisation exists.

How the Army is made up

* 105,000 regular soldiers
* 36,000 voluntary reserves
* The Reserve makes up 25% of the total of the Armed Forces
* The Medical Reserve makes up 63% of the Defence Medical Services

What law governs mobilisation?

* The Reserve Forces Act 1996 (RFA 96) provides the powers under which reservists can be mobilised for full-time military service.
* The Reserve Forces (Safeguard of Employment) Act 1985 (SOE 85) provides protection of employment for those liable to be mobilised, and reinstatement for those returning from mobilised service.
 
#4
Personnel Today said:
In addition, how do employers measure the skills their employee brings back?

"It would be really helpful to have some type of template to say what someone has done and what skills they have gained," says Sinclair. "Even just a debrief, transposing military skills into a business context, then our personnel department could see how what they have done fits in."

While the Army is working hard to align its learning programmes with civilian ones, it will remain up to the individual to arrange an explanation for their employer, according to captain Johnny Longbottom, the escort officer for the MoD's Employers Abroad programme.

According to Longbottom, a soldier can request a civilian version of their "post-operational report", but employers are not entitled to demand a copy.
I've never heard of this before.

In firms that take HR seriously, having a "civilianised" post-operational report would be very useful indeed. For one thing, it would fill the box-ticking and form-filling gap left by a 10-month absence from work. It could help in appraisals and decisions re promotion made after the TA soldier's return to work, which (in part to address issues of sex and race discrimination) must have paperwork to back them up.

If civilianised op inserts exist, then their existence and usefulness ought to be brought to more people's attention.
 
#5
Hear Hear Dr Evil it would be a real help for the employers to see what is happening. I am at a presentation where the TA General will be present soon so if i get a chance I will ask him about this. It's an excellent idea.
ET
 

stab

Old-Salt
#6
extrader said:
Hear Hear Dr Evil it would be a real help for the employers to see what is happening. I am at a presentation where the TA General will be present soon so if i get a chance I will ask him about this. It's an excellent idea.
ET
TA General? - do you mean Maj Gen the Duke of Westminster?

It's him thats sending everyone!
 
#7
Crossed Axes,

Thank you very much for the links - my printer is steaming! As you have an in in these areas would it be possible to put links in to other articles etc that have a bearing on HR issues that could affect TA? And especially negative ones so we can work out how to overcome objections.

I already put some of the links/info from here on the notice board IOT inform and spark debate. I want to hold an employers' evening in approx 6 months time, and all of this is grist for the mill.

Do other people 'engage' employers, and if so how. If not, apart from time, why not?

GH
 
#8
Was at a meeting this evening re Soldier Career Management. A visiting SO1 canvassing views on behalf of AG no less! Interestingly, it was a no-holds barred "opinions-on-everything-sought" across the board discussion. I also know (really I do know this one) that AG is regularly briefed on key details from ARRSE.

One of the more interesting discussion points was TA Chefs. Most of our chefs have had to lose a rank or two as a result of the decision to enforce MPC and MPC(A) as pre-requisites for Cpl & Sgt respectively whilst most of them had achieved their ranks by being bl00dy good at their jobs and turning up weekend after weekend after weekend. Seems like there is a problem now that the powers that be wish to mobilise them at up to 2 ranks below what they used to be into an environment where they could deploy themselves as civvy contractors at £50K+ p.a. Our conversation rather revolved around there being no amount of enthusiasm I can bring to an 8 mile CFT and a PFT to replace a BPFA that's going to overcome that one...

Regardless, Welcome back stab! :D
 
#9
gung_hobo said:
Crossed Axes,

Thank you very much for the links - my printer is steaming! As you have an in in these areas would it be possible to put links in to other articles etc that have a bearing on HR issues that could affect TA? And especially negative ones so we can work out how to overcome objections.

I already put some of the links/info from here on the notice board IOT inform and spark debate. I want to hold an employers' evening in approx 6 months time, and all of this is grist for the mill.

Do other people 'engage' employers, and if so how. If not, apart from time, why not?

GH
I am a member of Sabre who can and will help to support you in emplyers evenings plus in London they hold an anual forum for employers who get to ask questions of various staff (last year I believe it was Assistant CGS) and it has been pointed out that getting HR on side and things can only get easier. When it was suggested that soemone attend the HR conference suddenly a little staff officer appears and asked about this but i will wait to see of they actually listended or chose to do anything about it.

Principal objections to employees being TA personnel from HR people are a lack of understanding about what teh TA do and more likely to be cost of mobilisation. Show how much the army will pay towards replacement and it will all go to help the cause as my line managers care more about the effect on the bottom line than the soft skills or even management skills someone has, show them the value (actual cost of management training) as well as compensation and replcement financial support as well and you stand a chance of winning them over! Avoid anything that might suggest people might get hurt (and then take more time off) or will be tired on a Monday.
 
#10
The problem the TA face is that businesses very rarely consider the benefits gained (you can assault a trench then, that's interesting) to outweigh the costs. They see the potential liability as losing someone at short notice for the best part of a year with no real compensation every three years, and the benefits are ... intangible. With the best will in the world it's very difficult to argue that one.

I note the point about some employers not understanding that compulsory mobilisation exists, I would not be surprised if fully educating some about the TA resulted in a more hostil attitude as the implications become clear.

All I can do is point to my experiences in the defence industry. When I joined just after the cold war I got 2 weeks paid for annual camp as standard. Nowadays, I've just been for an interview with another firm who consider themselves supportive as they allow me to be in the TA and use my holidays for camps. And they are by todays standards. I never returned to my job post mobilisation as it was quite clear that I was for the chop not long after I returned. Encouraging noises made by the board and the bigwigs who go to Sabre meetings do not compensate for a line manager who wishes to remove the liability from his books - after all, his objectives are not changed as a result of your absence but he loses an employee. I'm lucky though, unlike my colleagues I've never been asked to choose between paid employment and the TA, or be informed that further promotion requires "committment to the company", ie leave the TA.
 
#11
Sack_them_all said:
Principal objections to employees being TA personnel from HR people are a lack of understanding about what teh TA do and more likely to be cost of mobilisation. Show how much the army will pay towards replacement and it will all go to help the cause
I'm in a number of business forums including two of the local chambers and will continue to advise strongly against any SME employing a reservist. I make it very clear to any potential recruit that they will be expected to mobilise and that they may end up without a job.

It takes a lot longer than 3-4 weeks to find a replacement and that means a gap and no handover which means a whole world of hurt which will not be forgotten. The last lot we waved off to Iraq in Sep 05 had known since Feb 05 that they were likely to go, but the employers were not informed and more importantly could not start the mod paperchase until the envelopes arrived.

What we are doing is not unlike maternity leave and guess what that has some uncertainty too, especially about the return to work and ability to contribute are the same level, etc, etc. The difference is that the employer is allowed to plan, take time to find a replacement, and engineer a handover at both ends.

Rule One of Management: No Surprises.
 
#12
Which medal will the current Op`s in Afagn be getting the OSM or the NATO one?

Are there any TA units that have been tipped the wick to deploy to Afgan?

What about individual volunteers, from the TA?
 
#13
stab said:
extrader said:
Hear Hear Dr Evil it would be a real help for the employers to see what is happening. I am at a presentation where the TA General will be present soon so if i get a chance I will ask him about this. It's an excellent idea.
ET
TA General? - do you mean Maj Gen the Duke of Westminster?
Are there any others?

msr
 
#14
An impecable source tells me that the number of TA 1 star posts is increasing from 2 to 5. It wouldn't surprise me if we gained an additional 2 star at some future point as well.
 
#17
when i joined the ta a few years ago pre 2002 ,my employer at the time was ok with me being in the ta , i did not get any extra holidays etc to compensate but i could live with that.
But since my first mobilisation in 2002 and subsequent mobilisation on telic 2 i am off again on telic 8 , employers simply won t touch me with a barge pole.Despite all the so called benefits my ta service is suppose to bring to my civillian employer.
So iam between a rock and a hard place not wanting to give up the ta but in order to find stable employment something has to give . I find it very frustrating so much so i retrained as a plumber and now work for myself .
While i sympathise with employers , not wanting to lose people .The ta is required more than ever at the moment . Employers need to be more robustly handled by the mod and sabre to ensure ta soldiers employed by comanies are not unfairly treated .
 
#19
plumbbum said:
But since my first mobilisation in 2002 and subsequent mobilisation on telic 2 i am off again on telic 8 , employers simply won t touch me with a barge pole.Despite all the so called benefits my ta service is suppose to bring to my civillian employer.
But you've almost answered the reason why - you're an asset, but you're only there for 6 months a year. Employers do a Cost Benefit Analysis and realise that they're quite fine with Mr Average who sits in the corner and gets on with the job. They're not getting the added benefits.

plumbbum said:
While i sympathise with employers , not wanting to lose people .The ta is required more than ever at the moment . Employers need to be more robustly handled by the mod and sabre to ensure ta soldiers employed by comanies are not unfairly treated .
It's not that the TA is required more than ever, it's that more soldiers are required, but we're a cheaper option than recruiting another couple of battalions of infantry.

I also increasingly feel that employers could be handled more robustly, if they didn't feel that they were being used as a temping agency.
 
#20
One of the threads say there are 36000 reserves. Fine, but I went to a brief with one of the very few TA Col who is genuinely a nice guy and he said that there is, out of that figure, probably only 8000 that can be called up. He cited, wrong LSN, officer (who in their right mind calls up most officers), single parent, wrong trade, wrong rank (you find a SSgt / WO2 mob LSN, please) recruit, too old, too ill, too fat, too dead, and that number suddenly whittles down.
 

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