Some questions about joining the TA

Afternoon everyone,

I am hoping you guys may help me with regard to my queries , I am 28 years old and not the most confident of individuals and therefore am finally looking for something that will develop my self confidence, self esteem and character.

It seems as though the TA could be just the thing, however firstly I was wandering what everyones individual motivations were for joining and also I admittedly at this stage have no life passion for becoming a soldier but feel the lifestyle being a bit daunting to me could be exactly what I need to change my life – is that motivation in itself or do is it really something that you need to passionately want to do for its own sake? . Furthermore, is there a place for me , ie shy and unconfident or rather quickly would the TA help.

Also, I am confused (despite receiving the info pack) about all the various regiments and trades etc – I live in Reading now and don’t know whats best to do so any help or explanations would be great , also some kind of explaination of the pay would be of some help !.

Finally, I don’t drive but have been told that’s something the TA can help me with , and apparently there are lots of other courses etc I can do – please can someone explain !

Many Thanks
Particularly if you don't drive, your best bet is to visit the two TA Units based at Brock Barracks in Reading and see which one you like most. The infantry unit will probably have a variety of roles on offer.

I think that they both train on Tuesday evenings and you don't need an appointment but I'd suggest phoning first to check the best time to visit.

Combat (Infantry):
Brock Barracks
Oxford Road
RG30 1HW
Tel: 0118 953 0231

IT / Comms:
94 Sig Sqn Det 31 Sig Regt
Brock Barracks
Oxford Road
RG30 1HW
Tel: 01753 860 600
A quick goggle shows reading not only has an infantry unit you can join but a royal signals unit ( they do communications not just radio ,it systems , etc ) . The infantry basic job is to close with the enemy and kill him .Training is hard physically and you get cold and wet tired ,but you do get to shoot guns and blow up stuff . I ve done it for over 10yrs and have throughly enjoyed it on the whole it
certainly pushed me beyond my limits .You get to be part of a team ,you get to play with guns ,And they pay you :lol: Ok you might get
sent to iraq /afganistian but it was an experince I mostly enjoyed looking back at it .
The army might teach you to drive .If the courses become available and you are a regular attender .The RRV (the infantry lot) also
has the HQ element there so they have other jobs availble other than plain infantry which might appeal .But best advice is phone them
and go to a drill night good luck what ever you decide.
The TA will give you all you desire and more, if you put enough into it!
It is like UNI, the TA wont force you to do anything, therefore you need to have enough self motivation.
However it will give you the opportunty to do things, devlope leadership, push yourself, sail here, ski there, marthons the works, but you need to put 110% in to get 100% out of the TA.

You should be able to obtain your licence through a Driving Cadre however you would have to complete your Basic Phase 1 training and your Phase 2 training before they let you doing anything gucci.

Infantry is a good laugh, everything is built on infantry, however if you have no desire to get wet, stag on, close in, engage and destroy the enemy......i suggest you look at Royal Signals, Royal Engineers, RLC etc. However they also do basic Infantry training as part of phase 1 and at least you will get a taster.

Pay, when you start, expect £70-80 a month assuming 1 weekend and 4 drill nights.

Any other questions, PM me.
Thanks everyone, my profession is Insurance Broker - not sure whether there is a call for that in the Army ! - anyway just wondering (and sorry if this is repeating myself) but in terms of getting the most benefit in terms of physical and mental would the Infantry be the one , or do you need to be a bit tougher to start with ?

Doesn't matter what you join you'll only get out whatever you put in, be aware most of you physical training will be done in your own time.
Edited to add
A sense of humour is of utmost importance :D
The infantry is the backbone of the army .Supposedly every soldier is first and foremost an infantryman :lol: . All you need is the ability to keep going :) .If you show willingness to give 100% at what ever it is they want you to do the infantry will take you .
Thanks for all your responses guys, I went to the TA meeting last night and had a brief introduction and have been asked to come back on 7th Feb for a formal talk about life in the regiment.

I have been given some forms to complete and one slight concern I have is I have a poor credit rating - will this effect me ??? I am in the process of setting up an IVA with the help of the Consumer Credit COunselling service but was just a bit concerned as to whether my poor credit history will be a problem

Many Thanks
Swindonman said:
Thanks for all your responses guys, I went to the TA meeting last night and had a brief introduction and have been asked to come back on 7th Feb for a formal talk about life in the regiment.
The power of ARRSE - Awesome! :D

Swindonman said:
I have been given some forms to complete and one slight concern I have is I have a poor credit rating - will this effect me ??? I am in the process of setting up an IVA with the help of the Consumer Credit COunselling service but was just a bit concerned as to whether my poor credit history will be a problem.
Won't make any difference at all for joining up as long as you have some kind of account that your TA Pay can be paid into. It presented a problem for some of our guys when they were mobilised for Telic1 as they weren't able to get a cheque account at first but we soon discovered that bank managers become ever so friendly when faced with 200lbs of angry PSAO ;)
Well done, Swindonman.

A good credit rating is not an entry requirement.

A couple of points to bear in mind as you begin this process:

1. The TA is not a monolithic organisation. If things don't work out at the regiment you joined then don't regard the entire TA as tainted: try elsewhere.

2. A sense of humour really is mandatory. Spend a few days reading through the threads in the NAAFI forum for an idea of squaddie humour so that you're not outraged when exposed to it for real. But "sense of humour" is also code for "ability to put up with physical misery without losing ability to take the p1ss". So, try your best, don't be a burden to others, keep up morale, don't whinge.

3. You don't need to be fit and/or tough already to join the infantry, although naturally it helps to be hard as. The recruit training people in the unit you join will give you fitness training plus advice on what to do in your own time. You will get fit! Toughness will come as your soldiering skills improve and after you've experienced the misery referred to in 2.

4. Don't be fazed by all this talk of misery. It's a kind of righteous misery with a purpose, punctuated with great fun.
Thanks everyone for the responses

I am actually excited about going back on the 7th Feb

Would love to hear of any experiences of the first few weeks ?!

i have just beent urned down by the army, for anxiety and someother problems, i was told by someone on here that i could apply for the TA, as they have mroe relaxed medical standards. is this so? im not planning to join until i finish my nurse training, this will be in 3 years time when i am 21. is there even any point applying??

any info would be great


tom c

The medical standards are the same for the regular Army as for the TA.

You might be better off posting your question on the Professionally Qualified, RAMC and QUARANC forum. The medics on there will be able to advise you on exactly what the criteria are and, if you're on medication, how long you would have to wait after coming off it before being able to apply.

Dr E
well if they exactly the same, that would be a no. as the recrutiing Sgt at the AFCO said there was no cahcne of appealing. i did post a topic on there, and thats wrapped up now as i failed the medical.

thanks for clearing that up anyway

tom c
Sorry Guys, just jumping in here, I myself am currently taking a low dose of Prozac for depression. However whilst at this moment I am not confident my reason for wanting to join is to gain the cofidence from the TA - would I be turned down because of my treatment for depression ?
As much as would like to be sympathetic,as in the TA would most likely enhance your self-esteem,you need to address your depression before attempting to join.

I don't know the answer to your question but anxiety and depression are different,I don't want to be curt,but their's people I've met in the TA which I would rather were not in the TA.

Don't want you to be one of them.
tom_c and swindonman:

If you want in, don't give up at the first hurdle. The TA doesn't teach determination, it's something you have to have first.

If you're not sure whether your medical problems will be a hindrance, find out. See your own GP first. If he can't see a problem, then go through the process and see what the Army medics say. If you get turned down, give it a year or so. If your condition has improved, re-apply. If not, wait another year.

Use a bit of common sense. We use stuff that is dangerous in the wrong hands and we do things that if done wrongly, can injure us or our colleagues. If you have any doubts that you can be totally in control 100% of the time (without medication), then please look elsewhere. We'd much prefer a civilian supporting us than a soldier that we have doubts about.

Throughout the enlistment process, be honest, both with yourself and with the staff.

Swindonman: You are not exactly a spring chicken (neither am I, incidentally), so my personal advice would be to join something less strenuous than the infantry, especially as you've indicated that you want to develop yourself physically and mentally. A self-confident, fiercely-ambitious 28-year old may enjoy the lifestyle and develop further because of it, a less assertive character may not. It depends on whether you feel you will get into the groove, or just stuck in a rut.

Tom_c: When you've finished your studies, you may find that your qualifications are much in demand. If you're not thinking of applying until then, join some organisation in the meantime where you can develop a sense of camaraderie (The Camping Club would be an example). If you still get turned down by the Army, you'll still have somewhere that you feel you belong. Finishing your course, and saying goodbye to your mates of the previous 3 years, leads to a social vacuum and it can be difficult to motivate yourself.
Hi Guys,

Thanks for the responses , Im still determined to give it a go, at the end of the day I have got nothing to lose. Perhaps its the wrong reason for joining up but I am fairly fit physically but am looking to toughen up and surprise myself - what better way than in the TA ?. I do take on the points you have mentioned re the depression and lack of confidence but everyone has to start somewhere, I have already spoke to my GP on this and he said if he was asked in his opinion I would be fine so although I know I will find it tough initially I am determined to have a crack at the Infantry

If I dont do it now I will never do it , Im also doing boxing now and I hope both will forge me a tougher mentality
Good luck then Swindonman, for what it's worth I think you are doing the right thing. I have seen quite a few un-assuming people come out of their shells through military service. If it doesn't work out then you haven't lost anything but at least you will know you have tried.

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