PSIs in a TA role

In years gone past, taking up a PSI role with the TA was seen as an end of career posting prior to 22 years then discharge.
The new role of the TA, Home Defence (is there any change) and support to the ARRC (lets go to Germany) has changed.
TA soldiers are no longer expected to man PTARMIGAN dets and HF radio systems, they are now multi skilled, with no extra pay, and expected to be fully trained to fulfil the role.
The problem is that the TA soldier (who can now be mobilised) still has to be trained by the PSI.

The PSI is expected to be the chief trainer (in all system), the nominal roll expert, answer to the part time OC,CO serve the PSAO who does a great job, but does not deploy on training weekends, be a strong mess member (even though the mess is a few counties away), send more returns than a dodgy littlewoods catalogue, and basically do all the work for the TA Sqn officers and watch them turn up on a weekend and get paid £100+ a day for it, whilst they ask 'what do you want us to to Staff'
If you want promotion then dont come to a TA brigade, if you want an easy life dont come here either. You will work 2-3 weekends a month, and guess what its no different for the regs, the CO will be aiming for promotion and he will love you for it, but he wont be able to get you promted. enjoy life as a reg
whilst i agree with nearly all of that, you can get promoted, and it isnt that difficult, i have done 3 years with the TA already and got an extra year with them to give me a chance to sort some civvy stuff out before going back to the real Army :D but in that time i have gone from PSI in a troop to PSI of a Squadron, it is exactly how you describe, in that you get stiffed with lots of weekends, no real appreciation for doing the job of Troop corporal, Troop Sergeant, Troop Staffy and also in most cases SSM and then when you take on board all the Officers tasks it becomes an endless mountain of work (and did i mention that is only what you do within your Sqn? :D )
My troop PSI has what seems to me an endless and thankless job, as an ex reg I can see what your digging at. Unfortunate if your a career man but apparently you can put in for a preference posting after 18 months. iF your not too fussed about your career and your on the way out it could have a plus side though especially for those SPSI's in signals and the likes as many of the TA soldiers civvy jobs are often the civvy version of their army one. Handy having someone put a good word in for you. Ive seen a few permanent stafff at our place leave and have jobs lined up courtesy of one of the TA bods. (often on better pay too) but lets not get into that!
anyway who wants to work full time for a company who drives around during the day with its headlights on and then switches them off at night?
beats me!
Agree with Copey, Unfortunately in these modern days, The PSI is not always guaranteed that bumper payment when transferring to civ div. The pension is what makes up the pay packet. However the job is no longer easy money. Most have to jump out of the frying pan and into that big fire of contracts that can see us move from job to job. Suddenly we are way behind the curve and someone else has more qualifications (less experience) but still given the job infront of us. Civ Div does not always mean easy life. There are however some cracking employers out there who want people of our calibre who are going to drive them forward. Just got to find them.
Dig in, its what we are used to!!
Does anyone else feel like the fall guy for the civvys in green?? I wondered if it was just my sqaudron that asked questions like "can you ring and get some accom for tommorow night". I do not exactly relish ringing QM's on a friday afternoon and saying`"You know that accom we cancelled two weeks ago, can we have it back? .......etc...etc". Also on rememberance Sunday some of the members of a certain TA sqn (SNCO's included) ran off when we arrived at the church and went to the burger van to avoid the service. Is this normal?
280brooklands said:
Also on rememberance Sunday some of the members of a certain TA sqn (SNCO's included) ran off when we arrived at the church and went to the burger van to avoid the service. Is this normal?
No, it's a disgrace and words should be had....

i think a bit more than just words should be had to be honest :D

again i suppose this comes down to the whole management issue between regulars and the TA, i have found that my guys are pretty much on the ball most of the time and give me very few headaches.

With the TA its always "fast balls" and you soon learn that to be proactive beats having to be reactive in so much as you tend to cover for all eventualities earlier :D it doesnt solve all the dramas but you at least have a head start.

The biggest problem with working with the TA is that we move on every couple of years, so with each new PSI comes new ideas, where in reflection your average TA bod gets set in their ways and inevitably you hear "we never used to do it like that?"

As far as the Rememberance service goes, that is and has been the only time i have ever actually taken the TA for a drill session, and all's i did then was to make sure they got from A to B smartly, simply because as like the regulars, new recruits dont see the importance of it and tend to mess about. As i said i am fortunate i suppose with my lot, i have a really good working relationship with them and its rare i have to get on their backs for anything other than chewing gum on parade :D
["we never used to do it like that?" ]

"I can remember in 1968 when this used to be a troop store..... etc etc etc."

I think we are all aware the quality of life and predictability of TA work is something we are all gratefull of. If not I think we would hear a lot more of "I'm a regular soldier, Get me out of here!"
Its interesting you should mention that about not hearing the PSI's screaming to get out of the TA units, because i havent come across one that has actually wanted to stay there, in fact every PSI in my unit apart from me (and its for my own benefit ;) ) and another guy have all asked for their tours to be reduced to 2 years and all have been successful with their requests.

Again its horses for courses, maybe in some cases they are posting guys into PSI slots that are newly promoted and want to cut their teeth as a Troop Sgt only to find that most of the week they are the only poor sod in work to run everything (something which all PSI's will relate to)

This is reflected by the fact that SNCO's that tend to have at least 1 tour under their belt as a Sgt always tend to last longer with the TA mentality or at least put up with it a bit more.

My unit has seen 3 PSI's sacked since i have been here and at 3 years in the job i am the longest serving Regular in the Regiment :D

When all is said and done it doesnt take anything special to be a PSI with the TA it just takes a lot of patience, the quality of life isnt that bad even when you weigh up the amount of weekends you work and in some ways you do tend to adjust toward a more civilianised way of managing (is that such a bad thing? :D ). I wont knock it but i have asked to go back to a Division after serving here with the proviso that i never go to a TA unit again :D
I have been a PSI for 3 years now and please please please don't make me leave! I am having a wonderful time! I work longer and harder than I did with a regular unit but I get 100% suopport and recognition for all my efforts.

I also have my own company now and earn considerably more from that than my wages as a SSgt in a TA Unit.

I don't want to move and I don't want promoting! I have turned down promotion for 3 years now simply because I want to stay where I am...Endex!

I have 5 years left to serve before my 22 and if I can spend them with the TA I will be one very happy soldier.

On the other hand if I was moved to a GS/CS Regiment I would be very unhappy and an awful WO2, hearts just not in it!

Just leave me Happy!

I can dream...
Perhaps Records need to have a look at the guys they are posting into TA units.

From the replies here, it would seem that it suits some and not others, perhaps if they asked for volunteers for posts in particular areas they would get a response from someone who wanted to be there - the best person for the job could then be selected from those who volunteer. It would seem a better idea than posting an individual who's heart isnt in the job to do something they are probably going to hate for 3 years.

Also if 280brooklands is who i think he is, i wouldnt have posted him anywhere - the Corps would be far better off locking him in a bar and throwing him a case of brown ale once a day :wink:
I am in complete agreement, i think there is a misconception out there that the PSI is a job to steer well clear of, unfortunately its not the case but you tend to find not many will volunteer for it.

The real problems arise when you get a PSI that is just there to pass the time until his next posting, recruiting for the Troop etc can suffer, Training can lack realism and any benefit and you soon learn that the less enthusiasm you put into the job the less enthusiastic about the job the TA become, which ultimately means more work for you.

To get on with the TA you have to lead by example and put the hours in, it pays dividends as you go from being in a job where you know you have to do everything to being a job where you know you can ask the TA to run with stuff and its going to get done because they want to do it :)

I think its called reverse psychology :D

As with Soxmis2222 i would very likely happily see out my 5 years with the TA but for some strange reason although there is a shortage of SNCO's that want to work with the TA, manning and records who guide our careers seem to think its detrimental to our career if we stay in one place too long? quite how that theory came about i am not too sure but such is life :)
soxmis2222. Good on you if you can run your own company and earn more than your wage as a PSI. Unfortunately for most of us running your own company is a pipe dream as the demands on day to day (including evenings) work, more often than not would not allow us to run small businesses that generate that kind of cash for the commitment we can give. I say this from own experience as I run a small business, attached to my college course. This takes one night a week, plus several hours of background preparation. I struggle in my own time between weekends and drill nights to commit. Therefore the business is given the minimum commitment, whilst the TA take up all of my working hours and the vast majority of my so called free time.
Again good on you and all the best, no wonder you enjoy both jobs, I wish we all could.
PSIs have it good- Guaranteed Christmas leave and summer leave. Guaranteed at least half of all weekends off. **** all chance of spending months away from home on Ops and no long EXs. Plenty of adventure training and don’t forget the Thursday knock-offs on closed weekends and bank holidays. Also as long as you don’t **** up a TA posting guarantees you a promotion.
As a long haul STAB I've seen my fair share of PSI's and SPSI's come and go, and they have been a mixed bunch.

Some were:
1. Outsdtandingly committed soldiers who raised the ethos of the unit,
2. Others were"good blokes" who really got the TA thing and increased recruiting.

However, some were:
3. Lazy toerags who did no work as soon as the STABs were out of the building,
4. And others were out-and-out ARAB tossers who though they were superior (but were mostly pretentious and thick).
5. While some merely worked hard on acquiring a drink problem.

"There are no bad units merely bad officers"
If you think the TA or your unit is s**te. Then your leaders are s**te. Take a good look at how high the tossers go (if its all the way I suggest you RTU fast before they sink your career) and start one above. As a PSI you have access to the RSM and Training Major as a matter of course. Get them to sort it.

Get a mirror and take a long look at yourself. If you are in category 1 or 2 above, I hope you can do something to sort out your scabby unit (its what the ARAb staff are there for!!!).

If your in category 3-5, be a good chap and sod off. We've got enough tossers in the TA without the regs sending us theirs!!!!!!!!!

I've just noticed I've got a gong!!!

Doesn't that mean as a STAB its compulsory for me to brag and bluster about how many meaningless attentendance medals I have, getting on the ARABs tits?????? LOL
APSED said:
PSIs have it good- Guaranteed Christmas leave and summer leave. Guaranteed at least half of all weekends off. * all chance of spending months away from home on Ops and no long EXs. Plenty of adventure training and don’t forget the Thursday knock-offs on closed weekends and bank holidays. Also as long as you don’t * up a TA posting guarantees you a promotion.
hmmm in a word..........carp :D

Guaranteed Christmas leave.........only if you have the days left

Guaranteed Weekends off.............17 working weekends on the bounce and then i got 2 off.

Sod all chance of doing tours.........only because the Regt wont send us even though they do get tasked with sending us, i have been asking constantly and they wont give you the time to go.

Thursday knock offs...................yes but you knock off after all the troops have gone home after the drill night, which in my centres isnt until 10pm and then you still have some admin to do before you can leg it.

And TA postings guarantee promotions?> thats the biggest one i have heard yet, if that was the case then why are MCM div trying to actively sell the PSI job as a good career move, its quite simple for years the PSI job hasnt really been recognised, out of trade and out of sight and mind, i have been at my Regt coming into my 4th year and i have seen some top class soldiers who are well known across the Corps, serve as PSI's here and in all that time i have seen 3 SNCO's leave on promotion.

Some units get Mondays off to compensate for working weekends and drill nights, at ours you get it off only if you work the weekend.

Its all water off a ducks back to me, i enjoy the job and wouldnt really change any of it, but to try to make out that PSI's have a cushy time is absolutely ridiculous :D

if you want to know what a PSI does then try ringing one up, you will find that more often than not if he is not at his desk effectively doing a Troop Staffy/SSM type job (and we are talking about running a troop single handedly with no bods to do it for you) or he will be in the garages maintaining the kit that the TA come in on a Thursday to break
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