Shift Work and the TA

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Reserve Recruitment' started by still_standing, Oct 12, 2009.

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  1. I understand that the standard commitments are 27 days for Regional Units and 19 for National Units, but some unit websites state that it is normal to attend one drill night a week, one weekend a month and a two week annual camp. I work shifts that cover the whole 24 hour period and therefore there would be quite a few weeks and weekends that I would not be able to attend. Is this normally a problem or is it something that is understood and accepted by the TA?
  2. just be up front with your unit about your shift pattern and they should be understanding, you wont be the only one that doesn't make every single week.

    are you a potential recruit, sworn in recruit or fully trained?
  3. Exactly what he said.....I work offshore on a 14/21 rota and this was the first thing I discussed with the unit I wanted to join. If weekends or evenings fall during my time on the rig, I'll miss it no question.

    I'm sure it varies from unit to unit. The first guy I spoke to (recruiter at ACIO) was quite negative about my shift pattern and basically told me that I'd have 'problems' if I couldn't make Tuesday nights consistently. Once I actually spoke to someone at the unit, I got a more flexible view. I'm joining Royal Engineers, so I suppose it could make a difference.

    Basic story for me was as long as I can make the 2 week annual camp (which my employer will release me for) then the rest is pretty flexible.

    I am probably looking at no more than 2 drill nights a month and 1 or 2 weekends a month depending on when they fall. Unit is happy as long as I work progressively through training weekends and turn up on drill nights 'when I can'.

    One thing to maybe consider is taking a compressed phase (A) course? NE Brigade run a compressed course over either 9 or 14 days which covers all the material for the first set of weekends. If you can get the time off and get a place, it may be an easier way of doing it.....

    If your chosen unit are happy to be flexible, I would just go for it (I did) and see how it shakes out. If in a year or two's time it isn't working out, you could call it a day at least knowing you had given it your best shot. Better than wondering 'what if'
  4. The problem with the recruiter at the ACIO is they are regular and have very little understanding of the TA. They have a general brief and that is it. You are much better off going to the unit you wish to join (or a few of them) and sitting down and talking with the recruiting Officer there. They will tell you the Hong Kong Book of Kung Foo! It is thier job to know and they want good people through the door to join and most of all, they are TA themselves and know the effect life/wife/job/kids can have on atendance and make allowances for it.

    I'm a shift worker, not in the same level of you but I have to miss 2 out of every 8 Tuesday nights and use my annual leave for weekends. I deal with it and so do the TA.

    Good Luck!