"Recruit or die"

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by bubblechaser, Feb 7, 2007.

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  1. Thats right, the immortal words of my units PSAO a couple of weeks ago at a manning conference.

    This is the same PSAO who makes it tremendously difficult to get lads in during the week to assist in recruiting activities - no MTDs.
    Will not tell you or assist in getting you all the correct allowances that you are entitled to, missed meal etc.
    Is perfectly happy for the CSM to work full time all year on MTDs under the guise of 'Recruiting activites' whilst really he runs the company...badly!
    Is perfectly happy to show the command how well we are doing manning wise because 'on the books' we are full, yet training nights and weekends are badly attended and when the books are interrogated they are full of names of guys who showed an interest in joining a year or so ago.

    Who are these people trying to kid?
  2. OUr unit has a simple policy
    Miss one weekend, ok, work
    Miss two weekends, ok, work, tut tut
    Miss three weekends, letter from Unit Commander / adjt, either give excuses, take leave of absence or hand kit in
    Miss six weekends on the trot, kit in, no excuses.

    Result, trimmed out the wasters and hangers on.
  3. But surely as long as an individual completes his 15 days in camp and 12 days out of camp, plus all MATTs, then he is Bounty qualified and therefore effective. How he does that throughout the year is his own business.

    Has TA Regs changed? Is more than 12 days out of camp training now required? I think people need to remember that it is the TA.
  4. Further to what mr_logic has just said surely any unit trying to enforce this would be on dodgy ground??
  5. To be honest during term time I can't make it because I have teaching commitments that mean during the week I work 13 hour days. I do get your point though. but your statement assumes that regular attenders are the best soldiers. In my unit (at least) some of the most regular attenders only turn up because they haven't got a civvie job.

    <rant off>
  6. Most units operate a policy monitoring and actioning non attenders. The simple fact is that, when a TA soldier starts non attendance without letting his CoC know the reason, it is often a slippery slope to handing kit in.

    While the above could be regarded as draconian it does not refer to discharge proceedings, only to handing in of kit. This can be one of the most fraught parts of pursuing non attenders as plenty of effort needs to be put into trying to recover the issued equipment before write off action is taken; it therefore seems perfectly reasonable to expect a long term non attender to surrender their issue kit - they certainly have no legitimate use for it while not attending.

    Much of the approach is dictated by manning levels and Bde MTD policy. We had a Bde policy a couple of years ago where a unit got a pot of cash for every soldier that attended in a month. So people were encouraged to book in for at least a drill night in the month to make up numbers. Bdes can also allocate MTDs on recruited strength, in which case it is worth hanging onto non attenders and sharing their MTDs out amongst the attending strength, although the point about kit remains.

    If a unit is fully manned with recruits coming through the door then the CoC can operate a more robust policy. Yes the minimum commitment stands but there is no 'right to membership' of the TA. This kind of fair but firm policy can work wonders pour encourager les autres.

    On the other hand an understrength unit with attendance problems across the board should adopt a more supportive and encouraging approach, with NCOs being proactive about chasing up the less reliable attenders and preventing them becoming yet more statistics.

    As has been pointed out in many threads before the TA is, at its heart, a habit; and it competes with a wide range of other work and leisure activities. If a soldier gets out of the habit it can be difficult indeed to get them back into the rhythm of TA training. As ever, a varied, interesting and challenging training programme is central to any units retention policy.
  7. Blyth, excellent post (as always). 'Retain or die' should be the main call.
    However, what can you do when you have an excellent TM who has laid on an amazing training programme yet the bods still don't turn up?
  8. msr

    msr LE

    Then you have to get amongst the blokes and tell them. Get the 'war stories' going in the bar on drill nights, put some pictures of the ex up in the TAC. Interview your blokes and find out why they are not showing up. Are they getting enough warning / reminders?

  9. Had a similar discussion on Armynet today with the TM, with much the same outcome. The onus is on us JR's to get our mates attending.
  10. our unit has a policy of attending 3 out of 5 battalion run weekends a year if you don't attend you don't your bounty. it means you get good numbers on some weekends but not all.

    its very difficult to get enough guys these days, people don't really want to be away with the army at weekends when they could be sat around getting pissed or doing normal weekend things.
  11. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaghhhhh!

    It's not the job of the soldier to RECRUIT!!!! (gnashing of teeth)

    You don't join a bl00dy golf club and the captain says 'thanks for joining but I'm afraid you can't play a round until you've gone out and got yourself some new members'. On this basis, you'd leave and find a golf club with enough members aready.....

    The TA Soldiers role (and even this is tenuous) is to assist in retention but then as he's being retained in his own right anyway, you could argue even that.

    When will these PSAO's, et al realise that it's THEIR bl00dy job to recruit along with the whole OAR thing - engage and 'engage', not pass the buck and the blame.

    It is the systems role to recruit (hence the huge recruiting budget), not that of the ordinary soldier. Sure, he can bring a friend on the odd occasion but when that's the main recruiting plan, we're sunk.

    I'm off for a pint.
  12. msr

    msr LE

    That's illegal...

  13. I really think the issue of people turning up is to with "sheep."

    If people think no one is going to turn up for a drill night or aren't going to sign up for a weekend, then they'll follow suit. It's just a vicious circle.

    More "cool stuff" needs to be added. One example would be my units SPSI: he mentioned grenade tossing on a forth coming event and nearly everyone put they're hands up. Why? Because when the hell else do you get to do something like that? Anyone can go camping and wake up at silly o'clock in the morning, but not everyone can watch live dems and play in assault boats.

    If we end up with the same old weekends over and over again, then people will naturally lose interest. Yes, you've got to revise training regularly in order to get well-trained soldiers, but just adding the simplest little thing to spice up a weekend can get more numbers.

    You can't produce amazing TV ads and then expect people to stay when none of that stuff seems to happen...

    If I came off a weekend and told all my mates I'd been messing about with all kinds or hardware, they'd all be dying to have a go! :D
  14. Time for a 'cat amongst the pigeons' methinks. Can anybody table a valid / tangible argument as to why the CoC of units entertain people like this? When CO's are under immense pressure from brigades and people like CRF, why do they tolerate these people who live in the WHENI era?

    A later post suggests that the thread should be 'Retain or Die' as opposed to Recruit but these 'obstacles' and their antiquated attitudes are what's driving people through the exit.

    Recruiting has never been a problem per se, but retention always has, or at least it has gathered momentum over the recent past. It p1sses me off to see good, honest TA jocks putting so much into the system, to be constantly buggered about by these people, to the point that they either find another 'less bullsh1tty' unit, or they go.
  15. msr

    msr LE

    Because until the OC has an input into his PSAO's OJAR, nothing will change.

    It's 'jobs for the boys' (not to say that all PSAOs are bad) and a until recently a 10 year sinecure. Has anyone ever come across a PSAO sacked?