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Recruits attending exercises

#1
Following a recent discussion at our TAC, I thought I'd ask here for peoples' thoughts and experiences. As the process to become a trained soldier can be a long, drawn out affair (particularly so for potential officers, who may easily take a year or more), at what point should recruits be able to take part in normal TA weekend exercises to keep them motivated and interested?
 
#2
As soon as they're in uniform. They'll be keen, eager to learn and fairly well disciplined. I did my trade training before I had completed my recruits course and I wasn't hindered by it.
 
#3
I took part in an exercise after having been in the TA Royal Signals only a few weeks back in '97, I'd not even done my basic training at Blandford at the time, I didn't have the slightest clue what was going on beyond what little I'd learnt in cadets, I spent a lot of time stagging on, making brews and pegging out camnets, but it did give the opportunity to get to know the other lads a bit better and the Puma doing evasive maneuvers was quite impressive when you've not seen it before...
 
#4
troopie said:
Following a recent discussion at our TAC, I thought I'd ask here for peoples' thoughts and experiences. As the process to become a trained soldier can be a long, drawn out affair (particularly so for potential officers, who may easily take a year or more), at what point should recruits be able to take part in normal TA weekend exercises to keep them motivated and interested?
When they have completed their trade training. Any time before that and you could be facing a large liability in the event of injury.

msr
 
#5
msr said:
troopie said:
Following a recent discussion at our TAC, I thought I'd ask here for peoples' thoughts and experiences. As the process to become a trained soldier can be a long, drawn out affair (particularly so for potential officers, who may easily take a year or more), at what point should recruits be able to take part in normal TA weekend exercises to keep them motivated and interested?
When they have completed their trade training. Any time before that and you could be facing a large liability in the event of injury.

msr
Interesting one, I've done Phase 1 and Phase 2 but I've not completed my trade training by a long chalk and that won't probably be done until the next training year with MTDs the way they are.

That does rather imply that you shouldn't be going on exercises for a good number of years.
 
#6
msr said:
troopie said:
Following a recent discussion at our TAC, I thought I'd ask here for peoples' thoughts and experiences. As the process to become a trained soldier can be a long, drawn out affair (particularly so for potential officers, who may easily take a year or more), at what point should recruits be able to take part in normal TA weekend exercises to keep them motivated and interested?
When they have completed their trade training. Any time before that and you could be facing a large liability in the event of injury.

msr
Why trade training? Surely if insurance is the issue then completing their 1c should be sufficient for most military type exercises.

Unless the weekend is trade specific (eg driving big JCB type things) I personally can't see why this would be needed - but I'll bow to your better knowledge in this.
 
#7
To msr - I assume you're guessing? For the recruits, surely once they have an Army number they are covered for insurance? It's then a case of ensuring they are briefed thoroughly. Once a recruit completes his 6 weekends and 2 week camp they're a trained soldier, are you saying they still can't go out on exercise? As a Tp Comd in Germany I had potential officers attached to the Tp, and they came out on exercises, rode around in 432s, and generally got stuck in.

Thanks for everyones experiences. I'd be grateful if anyone knows any references or policy documents on this issue.
 
#8
troopie said:
To msr - I assume you're guessing? For the recruits, surely once they have an Army number they are covered for insurance?
It is not about insurance, it is about whether the person is competent to do the job you are asking them to do.

If they are injured and have not been correctly trained, then stand by.

msr
 
#9
Way back in the late 80's I had been out the regs for a few years and decided to join the TA.

I was on my first range weekend that very week...wearing my own kit and a "crap hat" as I had not been badged so no TOS for me.

It took them another 6 months before badging (a rather remote TA unit so things were rather slow) and I went on several exercises..with no pay.

But, it was great..I got respect for turning up each week, not being paid for it and mucking in...I think it did me some good.

But as for insurance these days, although I was a "trained soldier", I had not been "trained" by that particular unit and they had no documentation to say I had until it all came through. That could have been a nightmare if I had shot someone!
 
#10
As soon as possible. Even if they cant participate in certain activities they should be brought along to be shown how the soldiers are trained. inaddition it keeps them keen and goes obove and beyond the training plan for SUT's at their regional training centres. Moreover the recruits who have come along with our battalion die weekend syllabus found it puts their skills and fitness levels in higher standard compared to others at RTC.

I cant stress enough how important this can be in any unit and it would definitely improve pass rates for recruits undertaking infantry training on weekends 7,8,9 and CIC.
 
#11
msr said:
troopie said:
To msr - I assume you're guessing? For the recruits, surely once they have an Army number they are covered for insurance?
It is not about insurance, it is about whether the person is competent to do the job you are asking them to do.

If they are injured and have not been correctly trained, then stand by.

msr
Right but if I've done phase 1 and 2 and my trade training has me get a driving Licence, do a LR fam and a signals course how does that disqualify my from tabbing around the ex area doing CTRs? Or more importantly perhaps, how does it qualify me?

I think you're talking out of your hat here.
 
#13
WhatAmIDoing said:
msr said:
troopie said:
To msr - I assume you're guessing? For the recruits, surely once they have an Army number they are covered for insurance?
It is not about insurance, it is about whether the person is competent to do the job you are asking them to do.

If they are injured and have not been correctly trained, then stand by.

msr
Right but if I've done phase 1 and 2 and my trade training has me get a driving Licence, do a LR fam and a signals course how does that disqualify my from tabbing around the ex area doing CTRs? Or more importantly perhaps, how does it qualify me?

I think you're talking out of your hat here.
Calm down dear.

You can do CTRs, but you can't drive a LR. That's what I mean about being competent to do the job.

msr
 
#14
msr said:
troopie said:
Following a recent discussion at our TAC, I thought I'd ask here for peoples' thoughts and experiences. As the process to become a trained soldier can be a long, drawn out affair (particularly so for potential officers, who may easily take a year or more), at what point should recruits be able to take part in normal TA weekend exercises to keep them motivated and interested?
When they have completed their trade training. Any time before that and you could be facing a large liability in the event of injury.

msr
I have to disagree with you on that MSR ..

I think you will find a lot of people standing about then hot footing it to do something else if that was the case ...

example: someone opts to go FST, how many FST courses have there been in the last year ? How long would people be willing to wait to do the course? mean while they miss out on exercises ..

or the York salute last week, some guys on the guns havn't been gun trained let alone have qualifications ..
 
#15
In our unit as soon as a keen recruit has his uniform and mabey one or two weekends he can come along to help out behind the scenes or get involved depending on the nature of the exercise. May i ad he\she are getting paid for it. It does help them improve on what they have learnt. As the recruit progresses on his RTC weekends they can really start to fill their boots e.g SUT who has done weekend 6 can start playing enemy or some on weekends 7-9 can come to the ranges.

Groom your recruits for bigger things it really is important for the future of your units(nonsexual grooming they dont like being touched :D ). msr its not hard to give recruits a bergan and weapon after a tad of training and give them a direction to run in.
 
#16
3_Peco_Seconds_GO said:
example: someone opts to go FST, how many FST courses have there been in the last year ? How long would people be willing to wait to do the course? mean while they miss out on exercises .
That's why the people calling the missions were all qualified ;)

3_Peco_Seconds_GO said:
or the York salute last week, some guys on the guns havn't been gun trained let alone have qualifications ..
Very worrying...
 
#17
Back in the Dark Ages I went on a Company training weekend having done no recruit training at all. Hadn't even been issued uniform, just a boiler suit. I asked to go and as I had my own kit and knew how to handle na SLR from being a cadet they just took me along. I learned how far in the deep end I was! It was good though and certainly encouraged me a great deal.

This time round, I was taken on one Bn training weekend once I'd done Phase 1 and INfantry weekends 7 & 8. Once I'd completed the Inf Phase the Coy was quite happy to take me on Coy and Bn weekends until I was due to go on CIC. I think this is a suitable balance.

My Bn had pre-CIC blokes on our last weekend from other Coys too.

I would say that once someone has completed phase 1 (w/e 1-6) they are fit to come along on Coy / Bn training with the caveat that there will be some skills they don't have so they should be employed accordingly. It may well actually encourage recruits who are not enjoying the recruit phase to see what life in the Coys is like.
 
#18
I fully agree with the Creature.

I can testify that it does take a fair amount of time to get through Phase 1 and 2 even if the recruit attends every weekend/course on schedule - a lot dont and slip behind. Blokes can spend well over a year getting through the system. After finishing ph1 in particular it can be many months until the next ph2 training course during which skill fade kicks in, and to be honest, a lot drift away from the TA due to a percieved lack of progress through the system.

During phase 1 the guys in my cadre that had been on non recruit training exercises with their units were at a markedly higher standard than those that did not (i.e. myself) in terms of military skills. They also seemed better integrated into their units and happier with the support provided to them.

Out of interest is there any official data on the 'attrition' rate through an initial contact with a unit through to completion of Phase 1/2 training? When I rocked up on the first open evening a year ago there were 15 blokes there of which 4 entered Phase 1, and 2 including myself came out the other end. Is this typical?
 
#19
In lieu of official direction on this, our Squadron (TA Sigs btw) is proposing the following policy:

1. Recruits may attend Sqn exercises (though not annual camp) once they have completed weekend 3.

2. Recruits cannot take a weapon on ex until they have completed the 2 week camp. For potential officers, once they have completed weekend 9.

3. They will be assigned to a suitable individual who will 'mentor' them during the exercise.

4. They are to be personally supervised until the mentor is happy they can carry out a task without supervision.

5. They are not to carry out tasks they have not been trained for and briefed on. If in any doubt they are not to carry out the task.

What do people think? Hopefully it balances the question of competency with the need to keep everyone interested and involved.
 

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