Post - TELIC TA?


Book Reviewer
Just to get a thread going -

Today's Telegraph has letters from the AMS (TA and Reg) on TELIC complaining about being misused.  In my Unit, I was contacted by 2 of our mobilised troops, who complained bitterly that the Units (LADs) that they had served with / bonded with for the past 3 months were going home, but that they, as individuals, were being re-deployed to other LADs.  The reason seems to be in order to get the last 'pound of flesh' from a 6-month mobilisation period.

This raises several questions about the future of the TA.  The first one being retention - those 2 guys will leave the TA on their return - no doubt about it. Without their having been b***ered about like this they would have come back full of good stories, and be the SNCOs of the future.  As it is, I've lost 'em.  Secondly, it shows a blatant picking on TA, in order to help ease the overstretch plight of regular LADs.  Nothing wrong with that , in the short term, but it will kill the TA, and who knows when we'll be needed again.

Finally, I've heard rumours that TA personnel should now plan on one deployment every 3 to 4 years.  that will mean no sensible employer will want them - I bloody wouldn't :)


Plenty of griping on these boards about how the TA have been used for Telic.  I guess the paperwork told the guys 6 months when they got the brown envelopes but I can completely understand them being totally hacked off when the regs they've been with are going home and they're staying on...

Putting my civvy hat on, as a seasoned employer if things go the way implied of a tour every 3 - 4 years then if I had 2 candidates without much to chose between them and one was TA and the other not then I'd most likely select the one who wasn't going to keep popping off.  Not that you can guarantee to hold onto anyone for a particularly long period these days but.  Unless of course some legislation can be introduced so we can't discriminate in that way - it's not that different from the case of women who may be at the "family" age.

Be interesting to see where it all leads, I can see recruitment and retention becoming a problem for the TA though....



Book Reviewer
Further to my original post, the reason they are staying out there is, according to Comd Theatre Troops, that they must do their 6 months to avoid a further mobilisation liability within 3 years.

However, there's nothing to say that they can't complete their time in the UK!  It's definitely a case of 'get the last effort out of these beggars'.  Pretty shameful.
This is going to be very interesting to watch:

How many will come home and hand their kit in?

How many will have enjoyed their time so much they transfer to the Regular Army?

What is the best way to welcome back those who have deployed (e.g. promotion, using their skills/experience to best effect)?

was speaking to a CO last week (who had a ta inf coy out). he was of the opinion that all his boys should have qualified themselves for promotion and bo**ocks to those who reckon they still need to do some sort of cadre. i agreed with him.
unfortunately Quiller, i think he will be in the minority and the more unenlightened will insist on people getting ticks in boxes and sod their has been the story for decades and will sadly continue on

Mr Happy

Tosh and toss,

Sorry guys, I disagree with you.

A 6 month deployment is for 6 months (or 7 with post op leave), I went to Bosnia in 96, exactly at th halfway point my new Regt. left and a another new Regt. arrived.  Why should this be a problem?

I was there to fulfill a role, I didn't go out with the unit I was with because they had already been in country 3 months when I got there, why would I EVER expect to go home with them?

If these guys are intending breaking track on their return then I would describe that as a pretty poor attitude and perhaps a little premature, after all, they might like the new unit even more!   I did.  Sure it is disheartening to see/hear all your muckers start planning spending X months savings, drinking again, having s*x with their partners and so forth BUT they were mobilised for a certain period so any expectations of getting home early should have been managed by themselves/Chillwell/their current unit/their TA unit ages ago.

Assuming they don't exit at the same time as their new unit (e.g. their new unit will be in for >3 months) they will receive the ribbing and "useless STAB half tourers" comments when they come to leave in August.  Hopefully they'll be happy enough.

Quiller, Reference your CO.  I def. disagree with you.  Sure 6 months Op Tour no matter what where (in fact not even an Op Tour) will take a STAB and make him better.  BUT, that doesn't mean that he will be qualified to do his next promotion levels job.  Just that the course which he should be given ASAP if wanted will be easier AND THAT is how it should be.  None of this "promotion automatique" business.  

Reference retention ("Shoota") I know you mean more of a problem!  Yes, exposure to ARAB units will be attractive to many, they will have made friends and so forth and Im sure many will extend if poss/go reg for ever and many will also hand their kit in as they realise that 6 months with the flies in sh*tsville Southern Iraq is not for them having left their partners/kiddies and so forth.   That's life.  A regular mobilisation of STABS will Im sure create a nucleous of blo*dy good blokes that will make the TA stronger in the long run, wittling out the deadwood as it were (because, believe it or not, turning up regularly on Tuesday/Wednesday nights (unless you are training team/on gaurd/recruiting) is not doing the job.  Being able to deploy for X months is and that is what the army needs).

With that I'm off for a smoko.

Mr H


Book Reviewer
Mr H -

A couple of problems remain especially as these guys were not on a (relatively) quiet 6 month FTRS in FRY.  First off, they were mobilised - and to be honest not many TA expect to be mobilised.  Ever.  That's traumatic enough - given a week's notice, rather than volunteering (for the second time in effect) for a FTRS.  Secondly, they have been through a real, shooting, dying war - and that must mean they 'bond' with their reg counterparts.  To see them all go home, and stay with a new Unit just to fulfil the short-term requirements of an Army short of tradesmen is not right.  

As to promotion - I would have expected most of these guys and girls to have the experience to put themselves at the front of the queue - not automatic promotion, but they will have learnt/seen more in three months warfighting than 25 years TA service.  As it is, they may not even stay in, but we wiill all do our best to persuade them :)  Having to organise our own Welfars services hasnt' helped - but that's another story...
First off, they were mobilised - and to be honest not many TA expect to be mobilised. Ever.
I'm sorry, I'm going to have to take issue with this statement as this is certainly not the case in my unit. We were on a few days notice to move for Kosovo, have had blokes on FTRS in Bos and other places and are proud to have bods out in the Gulf right now.

It is made clear to all who join that mobilisation is getting more and more likely. After all, wasn't that the starting point for the RFA '96?

"Further to my original post, the reason they are staying out there is, according to Comd Theatre Troops, that they must do their 6 months to avoid a further mobilisation liability within 3 years"

That doesn't agree with what we've been told - namely that the limits are 18 months between mobilisations (regardless of length) and 12 months in any 3 years.  

Anyone know any different ?

I know that the RAF reservists I was working with who were called up for TELIC were told that they might be going home early now that everything was over as the RAF saw no point in keeping them on now the conflict was over.  

On another point raised, retention has been a problem for us for a while now but recruitment is so good that on paper at least we are near or at our establishment.  However, all the mobilisations wanted trained experienced soldiers rather than people a year or two out of basic so it will be interesting to see what happens as a result.

Mr Happy

When I joined that was certainly the case (mobilisation only if the bear comes west) but that was turned around in 1995 I think for my unit BUT I can understand how and why people might think that the TA doesn't get mobilised given the last 50 years lack of use or perceived lack of use.

Most of the Bos/Kos experience came about from S types/FTRS and not mobilisation didn't it?  This War On Terror was really the  first time that most STAB personel were mobilised to be there rather than volunteering - or am I once again mistaken?
but those who volunteered, were told to go the comp mob option. that way they were (?) guaranteed the employer backup which they would not get by volunteering.
Let me put some FACTS down at this point. I am a regular on TELIC working very close to the plan to recover reservists for demobilisation.

There has been very little communication on policy prior to May 03 and so a lot fo reservists have been stiffed out here and moved from one unit to another. THE plan now is for reservists to recover with their unit (having done 3-4 months) unless there is an operational requirement for them to remain. Even then there will be very few complete a 6 month deployment as most were called out in March. Those being looked at to remain for op tasking are RLC trades in particular.

The Chain of Command here have been told there is no 6 month contract attached to this callout and reservists are to recover with their units or even before if they have completed tasks. No one is being allowed to stay if they have finished taskings even if they want to do...LAND want to clear the books of TELIC 1 reservists.

I have to say the management of reservists has not been good but it was a confusing warfighting environment where communication could have been a lot better. Welfare cases are on the increase as we hit the 3 month+ point so more people are returning to UK after requests from the AWS, etc...

As for TELIC 2-  the Inf guys in particular may not deploy for 4 months and are expected to come back with 19 Bde units - no extensions there either.
Boots, thanks for that - very helpful, although I'm a bit concerned that I'm finding out more about what's going on from ARRSE than the chain of command!

You are quite right about it being a confusing warfighting situation and, let's face it, this is what the army is for.  However, I do feel that we need to get a more streamlined and well understood process in place so that it DOES work under those conditions.  We have simple drills for everything else, why not this?

If we all knew that, for example, if 1 RRF is mobilised then the East Midlands Regiment will automatically send them reinforcements (either individuals or formed bodies) and the North East Regiment will automatically back them up, then at least we know who is going.  If those TA soldiers mobilised remain with the battalion up to and including post op leave, then we know when they are coming back - or at least as far as anyone does.   Whichever battalion replaces 1 RRF has a similar arrangement with other TA units and so it goes on.

I can see flaws with this and I'm only putting it forward as a talking point, but everyone wants the TA to be more deployable, including the TA, so it's about time we had an overhaul of the whole process of moving TA and regular soldiers from one part of the army to the other when we need them (why DOES it take so long to enlist an ex-reg into the TA for God's sake?).  ???

Sorry, switched from gratitude to rant somewhere.  Not directed at you - thanks for the info!  :)


Book Reviewer
More worrying stuff - went on a brief for our TELIC2 deployment yesterday (over 70 TA making up numbers for a Reg Bn.) and were told, in passing, that it is now an 8 month trip, not 6 months as previously advertised.  The Regs don't seem fussed by this (they get mucked around like this all the time) but what do I tell my TA Troops?  

And, of course, how do I break it to the Missus?  'Sorry love, I won't be home for Christmas, it's vital that the Op Tour Plot and Force Readiness Cycle get into balance?'

Someone must have known this before, but no-one bothered to pass it on.  Typical, and pathetic.
So is anyone any the wiser on numbers or units?

Had one of our people on the brief yesterday, and there are some confusing (and worrying) messages  :-[
At the moment all the troops from my Bn are being kept in the dark about how long they are going to be in the big sand box. in fact we have one bloke who got his papers then was told he wasnt going and yesterday was told he may be going but waitout till tuesday/wendsday when he will get the final word. Chilwel day....Thursday.
It's this kind of short-sightedness that is making my blood boil - are the TA ready: yes; are we willing to go: yes; are we prepared to be f**ked about: no

I have a sneaking suspicion that this sort of treatment is going to reap what it sows...  :mad:

Yes it will

I don't understand this, having been through a lot of the NATO defence ministry sites today, with the help of , it's almost as if all these countries, with large "Citizen" armies have been through these hoops and solved them. i did find reference to 31 day tours in the Dutch and Norwegian sites, the Belgians have really got their sh1t together, and they spend a lot of time, keeping the employers onside. One of the ways they do that, is short regular tours, but make a fuss of the employer and what a "Patriot" he or she is, in other words, both the reservist and the employer are "Doing their bit"

One of the ways mobilisation is organised, is a Battalion commander will look at his manning requirements, Courses, R+R etc , and request troops to cover those bodies while they are away. In the case of the Dutch, they are expected to do 2 weeks per year at least , with their regular counterparts.

Let's shorten the tour length, spread the load amongst more bodies etc, and make sure the guys have got jobs to come home to, because sure as eggs are eggs, some people have already lost their jobs, and what will the MOD do for them?

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