Skill Fade

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by Rawr, Feb 5, 2010.

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  1. I've noticed that since completing my basic training this summer, my drills have gone to sh*t. Partly because of Mr Brown's inspired use of public money, I've only handled a rifle twice since August. When I completed CIC my skills and drills were quite good, I was confident patrolling and generally administering myself.

    Now however, with FTX's coming up I'm worried that I'll look like a tw*t in front of my Company. I'd really rather avoid this. Is there any tips anyone can give as to how to combat skill fade? Any resources that you could point me in the direction of? Any help would be much appreciated!
  2. msr

    msr LE

    Don't worry, I am sure you will be given the refresher training that you need.

  3. Get a qualified NCO to run you through a WHT. Ideally, even though you have completed CIC, you should still do this every couple of months. Not easy when there is only one or two drill-nights a month, but then again it only take a few mins.
    Ref patrolling and admin etc, I am sure you will pick it up again...
  4. I must be getting old. The query on skill fade doesn't worry me but the suggestion to do WHT does. Have standards dropped that low?
  5. Polar: The fact I haven't really had much time with a rifle is down to the fact that we've only recently got a qualified instructor. I don't think my situation is indicative of the rest of the TA.
  6. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    Or have standards been raised that far? The OP has raised genuine concerns, and has the honesty and courage to admit his skill fade and seek advice on how to remedy it. Good for him.

    The advice to get someone to run him through WHTs is spot on. It will ensure that he is safe to handle a weapon, test him on the required aspects of safety and stoppage drills and hopefully give him a little bit of confidence before he goes on exercise. He then only has to worry about fieldcraft rather than fieldcraft and weapon handling.

    The assumption of capability is a problem across the whole of the army, but especially the TA. The "too cool for school" crowd who believe that basic weapon handling, fieldcraft or trade skills are beneath them, and want to leap forward to the more exciting stuff are often the ones who drop themselves deepest in it by cocking up on the basics.
  7. If anything their was a touch of arrogance on my part and I was curious to see WHT and CIC mentioned in the same post. I suspect Duke, you do the same as I and attend WHT test to be seen to be doing so (and I do notice who doesn't).

    I agree with it but I do have a suspicion it's been born from faults noticed with a few capbadges and applied accross the board. I can't help my views, I have a strong desire towards progressive training and raising the bar.
  8. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    The bar can only be raised so far with the training time and budget available. Better to concentrate on getting the basics right, running before walking etc. We run the risk of abseiling towards the balcony but not being able to do the magazine changes, just because the abseiling is fun and ally, and the mag change drills are mundane and routine - so we avoid them.
  9. My concern is that its getting increasingly difficult to get people with the right quals. The "skillies" kick up stink that they are the only folk allowed to test - Fine so far - but also that non qual folk can't teach. I fully "get" the bit about teaching poor drills - but getting even Regular soldiers on the SAA course is not easy. The same goes for a wide range of other courses - I tried for 3 years in a previous post to get folk a particular basic AT qual without success, in this post one of my Instructors has been waiting 18 months for an SAA course "Priority too low".

    I suppose the point of my rant is that its fine to have a nice high bar for qualifications - but we need to make sure that there are enough courses and enough places to enable people to get the qual in the first place !
  10. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    You were doing so well until you started complaining about AT quals...
  11. Duke, I think we're talking on cross 'capbadges'
  12. I completely sympathise with your situation, Rawr.
    I'm in a similar situation, about to get on a APWT/ACMT/Whatever-it's-called-this-week weekend, and I haven't fired a live round since my CIC almost a year ago. It's going to be interesting to see how I get on, at least.

    My coy did an APWT weekend a couple of weeks back, which I couldn't attend. And - bearing in mind this is an Inf unit - I believe two people from the whole Coy passed. My instinct is to give my shake of the head to the training program. Important infantry skills like live-firing are skills that surely should be put into practice on a regular basis, not left to rot for a year. The results speak for themselves.

    The lack of confidence on my part runs the risk of affecting any training that comes up, and it's certainly making me lose confidence about wanting to deploy. However keen I am to get on an operational tour, I don't want to rock up to either Chilwel or a regular unit feeling rusty.
    The_Duke made a good couple of points when he brought up the "Too cool for school" crowd and the ally/mundane training, I certianly see that where I am.

    Rawr, I think you'd be pleasantly surprised how much is in the box when it comes to it, though. And asking for a bit of refresher training from someone at your unit is the best thing you can do.
  13. Given a new version of AOSP was released in January 2010 I expect a lot of additional training will be required to get people through WHT's - the stoppage drills part has been beefed up considerably... remedial training will be required across the board.
  14. There there young sir, every young officer has this fear. It's perfectly rational and, because it's perfectly true, you shouldn't worry about it too much. It's expected.
  15. Thanks for the reassurance, hopefully I'll be able to get a bit more weapons handling in before any FTX's, as for the fieldcraft I intend to blame it on Gordon as much as possible.