Shorter tours = more volunteers ?

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by IDONTNEEDAHAIRCUT, Feb 19, 2008.

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  1. Talking to a colleague at work today and he asked if I had been deployed anywhere since my stint on Telic 2, and I explained how all tours have been voluntary since 2005 (or whenever, the date isn't important) and that obviously I hadn't been jumping up and down trying to go on a tour since.

    This made me think of the reasons why I wouldn't volunteer (as opposed to being compulsory mobilised) and top of the list is that I wouldn't want to spend 6 months away from the family. I did have a brief look at the details for Op Tosca and taking in pre-deployment training I think you would be looking at 9 or 10 months away in total.

    Obviously I don't imagine there will be a shortage of volunteers to spend 6 months in Cyprus and presumably the army are able to fill any gaps in the orbat for Telic/Herric through volunteers anyway, but would people be more willing to volunteer if there were 3 month tours available say, instead of having to do the full 6 months. Are there any operational/logistical reasons that would stop it being cost effective from a budgetary point of view ?
  2. Since it's supposed to be a 'One Army' concept now (or so I keep hearing), why should you go away for 3 months whenever and wherever you feel like it, when I and all the other chaps round here do as they're told for 6 months at a time?

    Try looking at it from that point of view - it's simply a question of perspective.
  3. Units that have PQO's (Professionally Qualified Officers - Nurses, Doctors, Padres and IT) have been known to do short tours. I think some of the Sigs have spent their annual camp on Ops.
  4. I think for the TA 4 months would be ideal.

    The units PSI's could get the troops trained up and fit to fight (As in Tested properly/8 mile CFT's/WHT's etc)

    They deploy on a months OPTAG, 3 months on Ops come home to appropriate leave. With two TA soldiers covering one position thats a slot filled for ops.

    However the army would say why train 2 when we can train 1.

    If the TA could maintain a higher state of readyness inluding soldiering ability and Fitness then this would be possible. Sadly most leave it to Chillwell to sort everything out for them! Not a dig at the TA just facts!
  5. Whats your problem with it?

    Short tours fit my units remit as a specialist we go, do the job, come home.

    How does a TA soldier doing a 3 month tour as apposed to 6 affect you?
    Don't argue continuity because people are being posted in & out all the time.

    The Army is not our main employment, if you dont like your job - change it.
  6. Bad_Crow, I agree. Why train 2 soldiers? Why run 2 training packages when 1 will do?

    There is enough crowding on training areas and facilities as it is, without trying to squeeze another quart into that pint pot, and that's before we consider whether the training providers can lay on additional courses in for this. 3 month tours may seem attractive to some, but they will simply become a divisive factor if adopted.

    FFS, even the RAF do 4 months away.........
  7. I would have thought that shorter mobilisations (including pre/post op training) would result in a larger pool of supportive employers and thus more TA bods able and willing to deploy.

    How many employers have objected to staff being away from their day jobs for almost a year?
    Would those objections still be there if TA mobilisation could be dropped to six months or less?
  8. Try looking at it from this point of view;

    If TA soldiers were willing and able to deploy more often (perhaps shorter tours could help there), then the regulars wouldn't have to do so many tours.
  9. I agree that short tours = More volunteers

    Like Cait said, as long as the gaps are filled and the job gets done, on tour people are moved around all the time.
  10. I disagree. All the TA I have worked with on Ops have been augmentees attached to regular Units/Formations, al;though I have come across formed sub-Units on occasion (FP Coy in BAS, for instance).

    The only way your idea holds any water is if entire TA Units deploy instead of their regular counterpart, taking their place in the operational cycle, and as it stands I don't see that happening.
  11. Yes there is that but with shorter tours you will increase the ammount of poople required therefore you can probably expect a greater frequency of tours.

    However saying that if people want tours and are only able to commit a short term then this may be and is an option.

    A current tour of 6 months at the moment is more like 12 months mobilisation in total. In the last lot for our 2nd Bn they brought mobilisation forward a month and they wont deploy till April/May + 6months thats October November before they return and then add POTL. I'll see them all in 2009 then
  12. I think you're missing the bigger picture. A bloke that does his months (or whatever the figure would be) OPTAG would then be current for a year or so. Therefore enabling quicker mobilisation for the future/emergencies.

    You'd also open up a pool of people who would be more willing to go. I, for example, would love to do another tour but am conscious of spending that much time away from the boy.

    The booties can do 2 month tours and they loved it.
  13. Prophet/Bad_Crow - I can see the logic behind the argument of why run two courses when one will do and presumably whilst the volunteers continue to be there that is one reason to continue with the standard 6 months. However there will surely come a time where all the 'keen' (for want of a better description) individuals have had their taste of excitement and the pool will dry up. At that point do we revert to compulsory mobilizations with the headaches that come with it or try to increase the pool of volunteers.

    The three month suggestion was just that, a figure plucked out of the air and wasn't what I consider to be an ideal tour length.
  14. There is a certain part of the army (it’s joint and deals with helicopters) that is increasingly sending IR’s away for 3 month 3 week tours.

    This seems to suit the individuals and saves on R&R flights in and out of Theatre, this policy would seem to support the shorter tour theory
  15. Happy with that, Haircut. With other threads discussing the potential to extend tour lengths to 9 or 12 months (something I was asked about on a TELIC by the Deputy Corps Commander) giving the TA the opportunity to do an abbreviated tour is going to be emotive.

    3 month tour? Get up to speed by about the 6 week point, be of full effectiveness for 6 weeks, go home. Get replaced by a newby, let the regulars nursemaid them until they're up to speed, then they go home. StabTiffy, you may want to try that for a bigger picture. Plus who's going to be given a month off work for OPTAG, just to train for the prospect of a later deployment at a time TBC?

    While it might raise the number of volunteers, I guarantee it'll raise the hackles of others. If you want to be in the TA, then you have to be ready to deploy when needed, for the period of time needed. if you aren't prepared to do that in this day and age, then hand the kit back in.