Visiting tomorrow msr - seems to be going very well indeed. Of more significance is the retention rate (and attendance rates) for those who went through SC last year - much higher than for those recruited in 1s and 2s and put through the traditional system. If we repeat with this batch of 200 then SC will almost certainly become a template to be repeated around each of the Regional Bdes. Planning for next year's 51 Bde SC is already underway.
You might also be interested in a (hot off the press) MS6 project, "To conduct a study into current TA enlistment processes and to produce options to reduce the time taken from attestation to attendance with pay."
You can bet your boots it's going to be replicated. Most (if not all) HQs down south have started making plans for their own variants next year.
Well done 51 Highland/ 7Scots - take a pat on the head for that one.
As much as it hurts me to say this. The idea of the Summer challenge was originally a 3BW one. This was carried on after the amalgamation into 51 Highland. They were at first a 2 week Phase 1, followed by CIC. The initiative has now been taken over by 51 Bde and includes all units within its AOR. There has been some admin problems during the course but overall, most recruits have enjoyed the experience and many, who I have talked to wish to remain in the TA.
Here's hoping that the recruits who passed out enjoy their trade trg and remain with their units.
The standard of Instructors that were sent has to be addressed, examples are the Bdr (shuffles) who was taking drill. This guy could'nt walk properly, yet was teaching drill (incorrectly) for the pass out parade. Then there's the instructors (Including PSI's), who deployed with a platoon in the field and carried no kit on the insertion tab (lack of self pride there ). I could go on about a couple of Pl Comds, who thought they were starring in Bad Lads Army, but lets not go there.
Also the platoons had no consistency of instructors, this will be hard to achieve, as not many instructors can get 5 weeks of work and keep the family happy.
The in camp admin was a nightmare, the laundry was a shambles with recruits losing most of their kit. Which also leads to there was no clothing stores. When kit gets damaged, as it will during Phase1 Trg. there was no process to get it replaced.
Overall, despite the drawbacks. This was the first on on this scale. Lesons have been learned and planning has started for next year. I've heard that the 'Fort' is the desired loc. The majority of recruits that I talked to are looking to stay in the TA. Over 200 finished the course and passed out. if only 50% stay in. it will still have been a success.
Looking forward to next year
I've heard that FFbox has offered to do the complete Field Phase.
Think the point of the standard of instructors is directly coupled with the lack of consistancy, when you have guys who can only do 1-2 weeks then your gonna have to find a replacement and if its a choice between no instructor or possibly a sub-standard one (or someone who gets pinged for a lesson 5 min prior) then you have to take what you get. But thats the TA in a nut shell.
I was lucky I had to the same platoon for 3 weeks through their CMSR before they went on adv trg, so I got to know who were the characters and who were the weaker ones and they got to know how I worked.
The (lack of) laundry service was indeed a total nightmare especaily with us away from the main camp 3-5 days to get laundry done is not right, especialy when we had our guys come out the field and 2 days later heading south for adv trg, it was a choice between taking your chances with the laundry service, paying for it down town or trying to wash it in the sinks.
But you are right for the first time of this scale it will be considered a success. However lets hope they can iron out the problems before they decide to increase the number of recruits to attend next years.
Yeah, FFbox will have many hours of 'War Stories' from his time in the field!
I thought summer challenge was brilliant I was with the OTW and the it was great although an extra week would have been better for mod 2 just to allow some the direct entrant guys a bit more experience and understanding. As I know some of the DE and some us who had been in the TA a while found that there was a lot to take in in such a short space of time.
as far as the return comments from the support staff it turned out to be a sausage fest for all the recruits and the disciplin was non existant one recruit caught in a females bed 4 times and stll did not get rtud, what chance have regiments got when these people come into their units.
I heard it was a blast from the lads at the 72nd field squadron, i was about 2 weeks out of gettin onto the summer challange as i didnt quiet yet have my armyID because i faffed up something on the application form.
Apparently lack of pay or the consistency of it was a problem also. Some requested pay into their bank accounts and some requested cash, those that requested bank account transfer had to stick with that arrangement for the duration. Not good, some soldiers only needed a weeks pay to keep them going for the seven weeks but if they selected bank transfer then they were buggered.
Pay was arranged through individuals units. Most units had arranged to pay their recruits fortnightly. Some units administered their recruits well and others not so. As for changing payment method. That's pay staff for you.