RMR as aspirational model for the integrated TA?

#1
On another thread:

jim30 said:
The RMR tend to do things differently to the TA due to the inherently different nature of the way in which they are employed. To my mind the RMR is the aspirational model of integration that the TA should be pushing for in the Army 2020 construct and one that perhaps solves a lot of problems.
Now, I already have a frock at the bottom of my bergen and so I see merit in this proposition.

What is there to learn from the wise men of the senior service's boutique Army about the integration of regular and reserve? Specifically, how does the RM and RMR integrate in "training" (per the reservist definition, which includes normal in-barracks life as well as exercises) and on operations?

Could the lessons be scaled up and reshaped to fit the TA? Might need trousers with a bigger waist ...

What problems would it solve?

What problems might it cause? In particular, from my own experience (anecdotal, obviously), it seems that RMR officers' deployment opportunities are more limited than those available to STAB wooperts, which if applied to the TA would make the UK-side drudgery of being an officer even less appealing.

Finally, it is now nearly two years since the Future Reserves Commission published its report. Any gen on what the RMR has already done to implement its key recommendations would be ... er ... hoofing. Have I done that right? As a reminder, here are the recommendations:

Future Reserves 2020 Commission Report said:
Stabilisation and Betterment. Resources are needed immediately to arrest the severe decline in the state of the Reserves. Included in this is the need for a revised Proposition which provides the challenge and reward that makes Reserve service worthwhile and sustainable. This will require enhancements to individual, collective and command training. It will also require increased command opportunities, in peacetime and on operations. The Reserve will require new roles, more viable structures and better mechanisms to integrate with the Regular component. We estimate that a betterment package, when coupled with the need to abate other savings measures against Reserves, will cost £590M over four years.

Revised Roles. The National Security Council should examine the breadth of roles which Reservists undertake. We recommend that Reservists should play a greater part in Homeland Security (for example maritime coastal protection) and UK Resilience. We are not advocating a third force, rather that Reserves should have a more formal role in support of specific security tasks and their local civil communities. More widely, specialist tasks should expand, specifically in areas such as cyber, stabilisation and medical roles in humanitarian crises. Beyond individual operational augmentation, Reserves should be able to meet some operational tasks as formed sub-units and units. And our Reserves must form the framework around which military regeneration can be effected.

Enablement. The availability of a larger and more usable Reserve has to be guaranteed. Such a guarantee has to be underpinned by legislative changes which permit greater ease of mobilisation, better employee protection and greater recognition of employers, perhaps through a nationally endorsed Kitemark. We should exploit the potential for innovative partnerships between Defence, Education and Industry to optimise the sharing and development of human talent. And we need modern administrative systems for enlistment, processing and transfer between the Regular forces and the Reserves.

Adjusting the Regular: Reserve Balance. Defence should adopt a Whole Force Concept which optimises the most cost-effective balance of Regular, Reserve, Contractor and Civilian manpower. Within this, the Reserve element should proportionately increase. By 2015, the trained strength of the Reserves should be: Royal Navy Reserves/Royal Marine Reserves 3,100; Territorial Army 30,000 and Royal Auxiliary Air Force 1,800. Thereafter the size of the Reservist component should increase further to maximise the cost effectiveness of having a larger Reserve component within the Whole Force. The Commission’s view is that, in the future, the trained strength of the Army – Regular and Reserve – should be about 120,000.

Force Generation. In order to improve the efficiency of Force Generation, the Reserve estate should be rationalised in a way that is sensitive to maintaining geographically dispersed local links whilst providing access to training. Once we have rebuilt the officer and non commissioned officer structures, and in the context of more effective Regular:Reserve twinning, the requirements for Regular Permanent Training Staff should be reviewed. And the overall Force Generation ratio within the TA should be optimised so that, if required, a 1:8 ratio of mobilised to non-mobilised Reservists
could be sustained.

Governance. A revised governance structure for the Reserve is recommended to: first, oversee the implementation of recommendations arising from this Review; second, to provide an independent mechanism to report to the Ministry of Defence and Parliament on the state of the Reserves; and third, to help ensure the appropriate influence of certain Reserve appointments.
 
#2
From what I've seen and known of the RMR, they tended to mobilise for full jobs - almost FTRS like - rather than specific tours. Obviously under HERRICK this changed somewhat, but I suspect it'll go back into that.

The upshot was you had no idea who was RMR and who was RM. As an example, our Boarding Team's Sgt was a RMR RO Sgt. The lads didn't care, and there was certainly no 'rubber dagger' bollocks either. He'd mobilised for nearly 2 years, and was on his second trip.

Secondly, there is not 'RMR' HQ - they come under the RN Reserves chain for (R) stuff, but are squarely and fully owned by CGRM for anything else.
 
#4
Was talking recently with an RMR type about the way they get used. The main difference is that they are used individually, rather than "en masse" (sic) which is the way TA guys tend to deploy.

It also seems clear that the notification period for a mobilisation seems to be much less than for TA, so RMR skill and fitness levels need to be higher than that which is usual across most TA units.

To bring TA to that level would require increased budget in terms of MTDs and an obvious increase in fitness standards ( something I'm very much in favour of, and bleat on about constantly at my TAC.
 
#5
From what I've seen and known of the RMR, they tended to mobilise for full jobs - almost FTRS like - rather than specific tours. Obviously under HERRICK this changed somewhat, but I suspect it'll go back into that.

The upshot was you had no idea who was RMR and who was RM. As an example, our Boarding Team's Sgt was a RMR RO Sgt. The lads didn't care, and there was certainly no 'rubber dagger' bollocks either. He'd mobilised for nearly 2 years, and was on his second trip.

Secondly, there is not 'RMR' HQ - they come under the RN Reserves chain for (R) stuff, but are squarely and fully owned by CGRM for anything else.
Radio operator, Recce Operator? is this purely an RMR SQ/TQ or new to the Corps? Out of interest was he ex reg?
 
#6
I see it now, you mean he was a Sgt that at some stage it the past had been a Recce Operator = Sgt RO, Not From the "RO's branch". I didn't see it at first glance due to RO's normally going ML on passing JCC.

I shall go and take my head for a shite now....:mrgreen:
 
#7
As in common with most teams from 43/FPGRM, the Sgt was a Cpl with his 3rd stripe for the trip. They (nearly) always pick-up afterwards. I'm not sure if he wanted to go and do his MLs course - there is no such thing as a RMR equivalent course, they just do the proper course.

This is also why most RMR Officers don't act as Troop Commanders: they haven't done a full Troop Commander's course.
 
#8
As in common with most teams from 43/FPGRM, the Sgt was a Cpl with his 3rd stripe for the trip. They (nearly) always pick-up afterwards. I'm not sure if he wanted to go and do his MLs course - there is no such thing as a RMR equivalent course, they just do the proper course.

This is also why most RMR Officers don't act as Troop Commanders: they haven't done a full Troop Commander's course.
Not an unusual situation.
What is interesting to me, is a Cpl/ASgt with no SQ/TQ (a GD Cpl presuming he had done JCC and wasn't local, acting), with the demise of the GD branch within the RM, RMR would follow suit would they not?
So RMR ranks will have to SQ/TQ when moving from Mne to Cpl, if not now then in the future? You also say "they (nearly) always pick up afterwards", on completion of SCC and a 1's course I presume?

much of this thought process stems from "I'm not sure if he wanted to go and do his MLs course"? I'm now curious as to how much artistic licence there is within the RMR promotion and it's "seamless fit" into the RM.
 
#9
Was talking recently with an RMR type about the way they get used. The main difference is that they are used individually, rather than "en masse" (sic) which is the way TA guys tend to deploy.

It also seems clear that the notification period for a mobilisation seems to be much less than for TA, so RMR skill and fitness levels need to be higher than that which is usual across most TA units.

To bring TA to that level would require increased budget in terms of MTDs and an obvious increase in fitness standards ( something I'm very much in favour of, and bleat on about constantly at my TAC.
Fitness has to be inculcated into the unit - Barrow in Furness was not East London and so a trip out on a Bedford and run back to the TAC as a formed unit might be a difficult act to re-create in London over 5 miles but then the Reg MP Sgt who came over to Tulse Hill and gave us medicine ball football in resi.s... or the London Irish Sgt who ran with a 30lb pack everywhere...

IMHO, it is up to the individual to be fit. The reserve forces need to be seen as a place to be and a place that society values - don.t get kicked out for being a slob.

Fitness therefore is a personal thing and not one for MTDs.
 
#10
What is interesting to me, is a Cpl/ASgt with no SQ/TQ (a GD Cpl presuming he had done JCC and wasn't local, acting), with the demise of the GD branch within the RM, RMR would follow suit would they not?
So RMR ranks will have to SQ/TQ when moving from Mne to Cpl, if not now then in the future? You also say "they (nearly) always pick up afterwards", on completion of SCC and a 1's course I presume?

much of this thought process stems from "I'm not sure if he wanted to go and do his MLs course"? I'm now curious as to how much artistic licence there is within the RMR promotion and it's "seamless fit" into the RM.
No idea. But on the basis ML2 or 1 is a 9 month course, I can't see many of them in the RMR, whereas a Sgt with a RO background would be ideal for the RMR. I suppose it depends what you want out of the RMR - for that you need to go ask CGRM!
 
#11
I dont see that many differences between 4 PARA and RMR, both have a good image, arduous courses broadly approximate to their reg counterparts (though not as tough as the real thing of course), and are well integrated with their regular oppos.

Is it a model for the wider TA? Well, not in terms of trg and selection as the higher the standards and greater the difficulty of the initial training, the higher the wastage. We need warm bodies, DCLF does not want us to lose them in basic, so 14 min PFAs here to stay.

I think the way they are integrated with the regulars has much going for it, but this is based on respect garnered from broadly eqivalent basic...your Royal and Royal (R) blokes can share dits about the bottom field, but the average regular is hardly going to react as well to Pte Stab gobbing off about the time in weekend 2 at Strensall when he had to live in the field for a Whole Night!!
 
#12
but the average regular is hardly going to react as well to Pte Stab gobbing off about the time in weekend 2 at Strensall when he had to live in the field for a Whole Night!!
Neither is the average TA soldier going to react as well as Pte Fucknuts meekly acquiescing to all the times when he was f**ked about from pillar to post and had to simply suck it up....
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#13
Neither is the average TA soldier going to react as well as Pte Fucknuts meekly acquiescing to all the times when he was f**ked about from pillar to post and had to simply suck it up....
Which has absolutely the square root of F all to do with balancing standards, integration, future use models or anything meaningful.

Pick your teddy up from the corner and try again.
 
#14
No idea. But on the basis ML2 or 1 is a 9 month course, I can't see many of them in the RMR, whereas a Sgt with a RO background would be ideal for the RMR. I suppose it depends what you want out of the RMR - for that you need to go ask CGRM!

How exactly is it Ideal?
I thought you were CGRM :mrgreen:, my mistake, I should have guessed your not, due to your expansive knowledge/experience of the "shop floor" of Bootneck life.
 
#16
Fitness has to be inculcated into the unit - Barrow in Furness was not East London and so a trip out on a Bedford and run back to the TAC as a formed unit might be a difficult act to re-create in London over 5 miles but then the Reg MP Sgt who came over to Tulse Hill and gave us medicine ball football in resi.s... or the London Irish Sgt who ran with a 30lb pack everywhere...

IMHO, it is up to the individual to be fit. The reserve forces need to be seen as a place to be and a place that society values - don.t get kicked out for being a slob.

Fitness therefore is a personal thing and not one for MTDs.
Oh I agree with you on that; I bang on about it constantly.

I did mention skill levels as well as fitness; rasing the base level of skills brings an MTD cost. C-IED uplift to level one is 5 MTDs, for example...
 
#17
Having failed the RMR course, got to the end of it twice and still been unable to pass the ropes and now being TA I can give you one very good reason why the RMR may be considered aspirational but unfeasible as a model for the TA.

A selection weekend that failed about 60%, a first field weekend that then whittled the numbers down to about 25% who had turned up initially. Weekend on weekend off for 6 months, two weeks at Lympstone, then 6 more months of weekend on weekend off yielded an almost unheard off number of people passing about 14 IIRC. That was considered a bonanza of trained soldiers compared to previous years. This was for the area covering the North West and the Midlands.

So you do get a very highly trained soldier but very very few and at a hefty cost. I can't imagine 15 or 42 Brigade being happy recruiting only 14 blokes a year. I appreciate that you could scale it up as not all TA recruits signed up for that but even so you wouldn't be able to hit the4 numbers required, even without the growth in the TA.
 
#18
Fitness has to be inculcated into the unit - Barrow in Furness was not East London and so a trip out on a Bedford and run back to the TAC as a formed unit might be a difficult act to re-create in London over 5 miles but then the Reg MP Sgt who came over to Tulse Hill and gave us medicine ball football in resi.s... or the London Irish Sgt who ran with a 30lb pack everywhere...

IMHO, it is up to the individual to be fit. The reserve forces need to be seen as a place to be and a place that society values - don.t get kicked out for being a slob.

Fitness therefore is a personal thing and not one for MTDs.
The issue of fitness comes up time and time again so why is not more done about it. Little seems to be done at TAC's although I agree that this should be down to the individual. This however should be monitored and tested more frequently.

I also think that more should be done to help. Is there assistance available to pay gym membership? If not, should there be? This is particularly relevant for people living quite large distances from their unit or nearest army gym. Regular discussions with PT instructors to discuss fitness programs could be useful whilst being tested / monitored. Standard across the TA could and should be raised for many with a gentle kick ***********.
 
#19
I have quite a lot of interaction with RMR and we sometimes get some of their number training with us. Always struck me as pretty professional , keen and switched although got to say, never really come across the TA so I can't really compare like for like. I must admit, here fitness is forced down our throats, to have to do it in your own time and up to this level must, in my opinion, take a lot of comittment no matter if you're TA or RMR.
 
#20
The issue of fitness comes up time and time again so why is not more done about it. Little seems to be done at TAC's although I agree that this should be down to the individual. This however should be monitored and tested more frequently.

I also think that more should be done to help. Is there assistance available to pay gym membership? If not, should there be? This is particularly relevant for people living quite large distances from their unit or nearest army gym. Regular discussions with PT instructors to discuss fitness programs could be useful whilst being tested / monitored. Standard across the TA could and should be raised for many with a gentle kick ***********.
Maybe because in the TA it is endemic throughout the ranks, including the movers and shakers who would be required to enforce an increase in standards. It's hard to see senior bods and officers enforcing a policy of increased fitness when their own phys is in shit state.
 
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