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Planning to join the TA

Hello all, new to the site. Thinking of joining the TA initially with a view to signing up for the regulars if all goes well. Based in Cardiff, so will be joining one of the South Wales units, considering infantry, artillery or medics.

I'm a Glasgow Uni Politics graduate, so I'll be aiming to join as an officer in the regulars. Any advice will be gladly received, especially anyone in the TA in Cardiff.

Fudmonkey, welcome to the forum.

You've got a great idea but I'd make one modification. If I were you, I'd bypass the TA bit.

They are two very differently painted kettles of wildly varying sized fish -in fact, fish in one kettle, badgers in the other.

Just go Regular mate and do it before TA paperwork destroys your will to live.
Ah, but which kettle has the badger in it? I think I want that kettle.

I understand what you're saying, and in some ways it makes sense to just bite the bullet and sign up for the full show. However, I really want to get a feel for what the army will be like. Right now I haven't a clue, most of my family are Navy and those who have been in the army I haven't spoken to in a long while. I mean if its everything I hope it to be, then great, if its what I fear it could be like then I don't know if I'd hack it.

Joining the TA would simply be a case of dipping my toe in the water, if all goes well I'll sign up very shortly afterwards.

By the way, what are my chances of being deployed in the TA?
tiger stacker said:
Speak to jagythistle he will be able to aswer any questions
A Partick Thistle fan I assume? Can they be trusted...

Yes they can actually, very nice bunch, I used to live next to Firhill so all my locals were Jag pubs.


I personally think joining up with TA first is good idea, and being someone who was thinking like you a year or so back I couldnt reccomend it more. The only thing that stopped me going regular straight away were certain issues in my home life.
After joining the TA, I've stuck with it now and will for some time as I really connected with a few guys from the unit and after doing phase one with them i've got some good friends - Plus I have a tour in the works now so I don't see any real reason on joining the regs just yet, for me anyway.

I would say for you to go for the TA and enjoy it, it will certainly help you make up your mind.
Cheers for the reply Hedphelym. How old are you if you don't mind me asking? Its just I'm somewhat concerned that, at 23, its time for me to get a move on. A brief stint in the TA then sign up for the full deal.

I would be interested to know what level of fitness is required for the TA as its one of the main things stopping me from joining immediately. I know they will help you improve, but I'd rather start strongly.


Fitness - unless you are joining a unit with specific physical selection procedures (Para, Cdo, UKSF(R) etc) then it is a very basic level.

Under 14 minutes for your risk reduction run, standard PFT and 6 mile CFT by the completion of recruit training. Details are all on arrsepedia, or google for them.

For Inf, you should aim to be considerably fitter than that, as the job is physically demanding. For the gunners, make sure you have arms like Garth. For the medics, as long as you are fit enought to fight off an obese nurse, you are fit enough.

On reflection, I am not sure which is the most demanding!
Go for it mate, but you should really avoid TA Officer like the plague, unless you like the admin side of life.

If you actually wish to pick up some experience prior to going regular, get on tour. One of my mates has just done a tour as an OR, and then passed RCB after it. He's off to Winchester in january on some pre-course thing for 'cultural awareness'.
Thanks for the advice Duke. Under 14 minutes, thats the 1.5 mile? I'm fairly sure I can do that in 11 at the moment, without much practice I can push to 10. Having said that I need to do massive work on my upper body strength, but I need to do that anyway. I've got a bit of damage to my spine and I need to build up the muscle in order to fix it. Been putting off this fitness malarky for far too long. Anyway, I've certainly not got arms like Garth, but maybe lugging a mortar around a field will fix that.

eSel, a number of people have put me off doing the officer bit. Firstly, I'm joining the army to escape working in admin. Secondly, if it takes a year or so to get the whole TA Officer thing moving, well I'd plan to be signing up for the full show by then.

As for going on tour with the TA's, I hope I am able to do that. In order to get an idea of the whole deal before signing up fully I think I'd have to be deployed. Is it just Afghanistan that the TA is deployed to (other than Iraq of course, which won't be an option by then...), or can you end up elsewhere? Not that I want to go elsewhere, in fact I'd be rather disappointed if I did.

As for your mates 'cultural awareness' training, can he now tell his Bach from his Schubert?
Fudmonkey said:
Is it just Afghanistan that the TA is deployed to (other than Iraq of course, which won't be an option by then...), or can you end up elsewhere?
There are a number of different theatres on option - however, the vast majority of TA troops deployed end up in Afghanistan, either on Helmand in many roles or in Kabul on force protection duties.

Fudmonkey said:
As for your mates 'cultural awareness' training, can he now tell his Bach from his Schubert?
Dunno, he's yet to go - it's not january :D
Just to update, I've got in touch with the TA in Wales. Going to speak to them later on the phone and probably make arrangements to have a look around. Also, some people from my office are in C Troop, 211 Battery of 104 Regt, so it looks like I'm heading to the Artillery. Will clearly need to get my arms more Garth-like, pronto.

If I'm honest, the nerves are jangling a bit. I know its not signing up for the Regulars, but I still don't want to make an ars* of it.

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