Regular CO of a TA battalion - career kiss of death?

#1
i am wondering is being a regular CO of a TA battalion/regiment is a career kiss of death? Are there any former regular COs that have gone on to bigger and better things?
 
#2
No and yes.

Clearly a Regular Bn/Regt is better - and will obv aid progress, but it is still a major unit command.
 
#3
Strongly disagree that it is a career kiss of death. If you want to progress you must command a Bn/Regt, therefore any command must be considered good...there are not enough to go around so if offered a TA unit command I am sure you would be happy (if not the happiest!).
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#4
I have seen a few that were excellent and dealt well with the part time lads. The worst TA CO I ever encountered was a TA man through and through. He seemed to lack the necessary charm and tact.
 
#5
I only ever knew regular COs (Reg & TA) and I only know of the Reg going on to Brigadier and commanding a formation (Multinational).

I know that there are dozens of appointments that need to be filled and a Reg who gets a DSO/OBE for his stint must be seen as the better option for the sexy ones. I have never heard of a CO of a TA unit getting a gong either
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#6
Yes and No. Thinking back through many, many COs, I cannot think of one that has even got to 1*, although one or two of the TA ones may do so eventally.

Edited to add - of course, it's not the TA that's the kiss of death - it's the selection process. Command of a TA Regiment/Bn for a Regular simply does not have the kudos of its Regular counterpart, ergo the 'high flyers' will not get posted there. This may be denied in some quarters, but it is an undeniable fact.

Now, those who have been TA Adjutants is a different story!
 
#7
The-Daddy said:
I only ever knew regular COs (Reg & TA) and I only know of the Reg going on to Brigadier and commanding a formation (Multinational).

I know that there are dozens of appointments that need to be filled and a Reg who gets a DSO/OBE for his stint must be seen as the better option for the sexy ones. I have never heard of a CO of a TA unit getting a gong either
I believe a previous one of ours in 4 PARA did - he oversaw the reconstruction and development of the Bn in its new form post summer 1999 and did an excellent job of getting it to a position where numbers and morale were up and the foundations firmly laid for the Bn later being able to supply so many blokes at short notice for Telic 1 and subsequent operations.

He was an excellent CO, very popular with the blokes and put the miles in getting out and about and hearing what they had to say and, wherever feasible and possible, doing something positive about it.

The_Duke will be able to clarify if i've missed out any pertinent details.
 
#9
The-Daddy said:
i am wondering is being a regular CO of a TA battalion/regiment is a career kiss of death? Are there any former regular COs that have gone on to bigger and better things?
My old CO is now my Bde Comd
 
#10
I know of one regular Inf officer who was CO of an OTC. Hated it when he arrived, but at the end he said it was one of his best ever postings. He is now full Colonel, a DCOS at Div level, and will probably go on to get his 1* at least.

I hope he does. He was my best ever CO!

HVMB.
 
#11
What kind of gongs/better things are we talking about here?

The current CO of the Royal Yeomanry is a regular. The last one was TA and got an OBE for his stint and is now Colonel Yeomanry. The one before that was a regular and went on to command some EUFOR thing in Boz. The one before that was TA and got an OBE. Before that, things get a bit hazy (a) because it's before my time and (b) the internet was still a twinkle in Berners-Lee's eye, although this looks like a probable.

I genuinely thought that was the pattern!

Anyway, point is I don't see much evidence of career death there.
 
#12
The-Daddy said:
i am wondering is being a regular CO of a TA battalion/regiment is a career kiss of death? Are there any former regular COs that have gone on to bigger and better things?
Comd 2 (NC) Sig Bde?
 
#13
More than a slack handful have moved on to Red Tabs. Not so sure about the 1 Star statistics. Plenty have gone upwards and onwards within the Regional (or “Infrastructure”) Chain of Command, schools and the General Staff. I have not, however, seen any evidence of former Regular COs of TA Battalions hitting the headlines in the fighting Divisions.
 
#14
I'm not talking about TA COs - I know they have a different career path and do reach star status (Richard Holmes, the Duke of Westminster). This is purely about regular army COs who command a TA battalion/regiment.

It seems that in the R Sigs it isn't a problem, but as Ned Seagoon says you don't see any in command of fighting brigades/divisions - or am I wrong?
 
#15
Personally I do not think it is the kiss of death for the career of a capable commander, but an opportunity to show their abilities whilst waiting for a position in a Regular Unit to become available.

I see it as of benefit to all parties - The TA get a Commander with Regular experience and with a desire to bring the unit up to (or to maintain) the highest possible standard.

To CO get command earlier than potentially possible with only Regular units available, and the "big army" gets commanders in both roles who understand the differences and difficulties of both Regular and TA soldiers.

My last regular CO came in and had just managed to get the morale and the enthusiasm of the unit back when he was promoted to Brigadier he was with us for less than a year, but Bde were so impressed with the way he turned the unit round after our previous (quite poor) TA CO that he never got to finish his tour..

in the 18 years I have served with the TA I have only twice known a Regular CO who's career stalled when they took over a TA unit, and in both cases they were very much of the attitude that they must have been given a TA unit because they were not considered good enough - they behaved as such and never made the grade.

With the number of regular Regiments being reduced there are limited numbers of CO positions available, so it is more and more likely (IMO) that a Reg Lt Col. will be given a chance to prove themselves ,to sharpen their skills, and prove their ability and suitability for promotion by commanding a TA unit.

The same was being looked at for TA bands, where Bandmasters fresh from Kneller Hall would get a TA Band as their first posting so that both sides could benefit, rather than being posted as an ABM to a regular band and waiting for the current BM to retire or get commissioned.
 
#16
zovat said:
I have only twice known a Regular CO who's career stalled when they took over a TA unit, and in both cases they were very much of the attitude that they must have been given a TA unit because they were not considered good enough - they behaved as such and never made the grade.
Good observation.

msr
 
#17
didnt general sir michael walker command a ta bn? 7 r anglian 1984-86
 
#18
It seems that in the R Sigs it isn't a problem, but as Ned Seagoon says you don't see any in command of fighting brigades/divisions - or am I wrong?
There are currently, I believe, 9 x Type A 1* Commands i.e. the 3 Bdes each in 1 and 3 Div, 16 AAB and the 2 Log Bdes (101 and 102) ( I'm not sure whether the Tartan Mafia have managed to up the status of 52 Bde yet but no doubt they will in time).

Anyway, the point is that there are only 9 jobs in total with 7 basically being filled from the teeth arms and 2 from CSS (RLC/REME). The guys who get these jobs will be the Army's "High Flyers" and it is a glimpse of the obvious that they are highly likely to have had a decent Regular command appointment to have got there - i.e. one where your 1RO is himself someone who is going places. Hence, it is exceedingly unlikely that a Regular CO of a TA unit is ever going to get one of those jobs or similarly become GOC 1 Div or 3 Div.
 
#20
Given 'Army, Be the Best, regular or territorial', joined up recruit training, MATT standards, and all that Sandhurst nonsense, one wonders how long it will be before a TA CO commands a Regular Battalion.
 

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