STAB baiting (TA acceptance)

#1
Having been a regular many moons ago I look back and cringe at the way in which I judged and treated part time soldiers.

Especially in the modern climate with our men and women dying in two theatres, why are the TA getting such a hard time?

STAB baiting is fair game when its meant as banter and to get a slight rise or a bite. I know TA soldiers who work a full time civillian week, with all the pressures that go with it, homes to run, famillies to cater for, no cookhouse to square away thier scoff etc.... Then after all this, commuting and general earache that goes with being a grafting civvy they put on green kit at the weekends giving they're all.

I know amongst them there are walts, wannabes and w@nkers, but I can recall plenty of them from regular Army life too....

TA soldiers are dying, getting seriously injured alongside our regular forces... What are the views of the current regular Army towards the TA?

TA Military Cross winner

Was this chap greeted with 'Get off me you big timing civvy walt cnut' when he rescued him platoon commander?

Is the TA still sneered at or accepted as a good and welcome thing?

Surely its a good thing? they wan't to be there, not biding thier time to sign off, not whining about how crap everythign is, just simply giving thier own time giving and sacrificing to serve in the same army as the regulars...

I don't understand why the fangs are out....

Is it jealousy, knowing they can do 'your job' and do so as a hobby? and manage to run a totally seperate life on the outside?

Thoughts?
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
Hello, I'm new here, and hope I'm not going to get grief for saying this but I think the TA is underrated for the very reasons you have mentioned.

I'm sure that TA members are valuable additions to our armed forces and as your posts shows, are no less brave or enthusiastic for the tasks they get involved in.

As you state, they work full time, and even though their TA service might be seen as a 'hobby', they still do the training, they still do their service in what would otherwise be their spare time, and many of them sign up to go on tours, to wars or become regulars.

Their civilian roles can also bring valuable skills and thought processes.

Having said this, the banter/insults between them and the regs is surely no different to banter/insults and even full scale punch-ups between regular units. Ie: Crap Hats etc.
 
#3
I for one give up my weekends because I love it. Sometimes I really don't look forward to it, after a ball-bagged week knowing I'll not get a rest and face another ball-bagged week on the Monday, and on it goes.... but it's worth it in the long run, and I look forward to if I deploy, helping where I can.

It only becomes an issue when some TA personel have an over-inflated opinion of themselves or their capabilities, which is rare in my experience. That's also why my ears prick up whenever I'm being instructed by a regular, because they have far more experience and knowledge than most people you meet for 2 hours on a Wednesday evening. In summary, we know our limits, but can offer much as part of a team. Not to mention the perspective and additional skills some of us can bring to it.

I for one look up to my regular counterparts (and family) out of respect for those attributes mentioned above, however civilians are just as good at spotting w@nkers and bullsh!t, so such respect has a limited warranty.
 
#4
The main difference I noticed between us and the regs is that the general level of fitness is lower (we don't get paid to run during the week), and slightly less communications between privates, in small groups.

It tends to depend on who they have worked with in the past. If your a reg and have only worked with one or two TA and they were total throbbers, its going to put you off. If they were good blokes you'll think better of them all.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#5
TA baiting is inevitable, and understandable - but not always right.

The young soldier who has been thrashed through 26 weeks of basic training is bound to look down on someone who had done 8 weekends and 2 weeks to get to the same qualification.

The SNCO who has spent 12 years reaching that position after numerous long courses, and a massive amount of experience will probably doubt the experience of someone who may have served for the same number of years, but has considerably less experience during those years.

Same goes for officers.

The more open minded regular soldier looks through the level of training, and tries to see the person underneath. Do they have non-military experience which makes up for their shortfalls in military experience? Does their age/maturity give them strengths in other areas than their regular counterpart? How can I put this to best use?

More importantly, they should recognise that they are looking at twice the volunteer. Once to join the TA, and once to be on the Op/exercise. They should be keen, and willing to do/learn as much as they can. The onus is on the regular soldier to recognise this, and treat them as the raw material which they can turn into the finished product - a quality soldier.

The old addage about no such thing as a bad officer, just bad SNCOs who taught them goes the same for the TA/Reg debate. Find out their strengths and weaknesses and teach them well, and you will get a decent result. Treat them like rubbish, and the TA soldier will learn nothing, become demoralised, and leave regular service with a bad experience.

The worst thing that a TA soldier can do (IMHO) is go in all guns blazing, claiming that "we are just as good as you". The odd exception may be, the vast majority need a period of additional work and training to bring them up to the level of their regular counterpart. This type of attitude is more likely to build barriers than foster good relationships.

But hey, that is just my opinion.

Duke
 
#6
i think this is a two way thing, most regs i have served with show you respect if you can do the job ( after some inital pi*s taking which everyone should be prepared for anyway). just as much there are poor reg soldiers out there too, however TA should always try and learn from their regular counterparts until they are up to speed( which in most cases does not take long).
the problem with the TA is firstly an image one, when are the powers that be going to finally make the change to British Army (R)?
Also a continuing drop in standards does not help either ( no pft at all needed now in MATT's) -ridiculous!
 
#7
TA is no longer (if it ever were) a hobby? Its a second job/career/vocation and maybe sacrifice.

How many hobbies might get you killed? Its certainly not the 'gun club with a drink problem' that some units were during the cold war, but now a 'Citizen Reserve' where the expectation is you will do a real tour, probably somewhere sandy and dangerous too.

ATC/ACF adult staff. That's a 'hobby'
 
#8
These are all very sensible answers from TA personnel. Are there any raging bigots out there who think the TA are a waste of resources/oxygen?
 
#9
Maybe hobby was wrong choice of word, apologies.
 
G

Goku

Guest
#10
Admittedly I could count the number of years I’ve been in the TA on one had, but I’ve met quite a few regs in the guise of both instructors and blokes on the same course and I’ve never come across any problems with them.
There’s always been a bit of baiting but that came from both sides and never with any malice.

Is STAB baiting really a problem or have I just been lucky?
 
#11
Having been both, TA and now currently reg, there are kn0bbers in both and certainly the TA attracted a small amount of Walts but they were quickly weeded out.

Certainly my unit was very committed and 3 others went on to join the regs as a result and a large majority were on Telic 1.

As for how they peform on Ops as longas they do the job, I don't care. I have met some hard working STABs and some lazy regs and vice versa.

I was fortubate in my recruits training to be in the same troop as a very funny RLC lad from Scotland. I met up with him by chance very briefly a couple of years later, me in the Regs with a commission and he a LCpl with a MC. It was humbling to hear him speak, just doing my job type of thing.

see link http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/4721897.stm

Boils down to the character of the individual in the end
 
#12
The majority of the TA I've served with in the past are the cream of society. How many other non regular jobs require you to put your life on the line in spare time. There are a few Kbnos but nowhere near the general Civvy street proportion from which they are drawn.
As far as baiting them goes on, they just aren't up to speed with Army humour, lets face it it takes a while for the Regs to learn the funny side of things some of which are patently unacceptable in civiian life.
TB :numberone:
 
#13
I can recall a discussion in a Regular Sgt's Mess on the merits and pitfulls of the TA with several mess members having served as PSI's.

One of the WO2's described good TA guys as "Frustrated Soldiers".

One thing i have never been able to understand is this -some TA guys give up their marriage and everything to stay in the TA -if they are that committed why dont they join the Regular Army. I think there is a certain "comfort Zone" that the TA gives which you dont get in the Regular Army.

I had a friend who had been in the TA for years and asked the PSI if he thought he would have fitted in with the Regular Army. The PSI said he would have been filled in every day in a Regular Bn -The Reason being he was too keen.

BBM
 
#14
Tytus_Barnowl said:
The majority of the TA I've served with in the past are the cream of society. How many other non regular jobs require you to put your life on the line in spare time. There are a few Kbnos but nowhere near the general Civvy street proportion from which they are drawn.
As far as baiting them goes on, they just aren't up to speed with Army humour, lets face it it takes a while for the Regs to learn the funny side of things some of which are patently unacceptable in civiian life.
TB :numberone:
Special Constables?
 
#15
CRmeansCeilingReached said:
Tytus_Barnowl said:
The majority of the TA I've served with in the past are the cream of society. How many other non regular jobs require you to put your life on the line in spare time. There are a few Kbnos but nowhere near the general Civvy street proportion from which they are drawn.
As far as baiting them goes on, they just aren't up to speed with Army humour, lets face it it takes a while for the Regs to learn the funny side of things some of which are patently unacceptable in civiian life.
TB :numberone:
Special Constables?
Only in the Newham area...
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#16
Special Constables don't even get paid - now that Is a hobby! :numberone:
 
#17
My mate at work was in the TA Paras and then he went Reg. His comment was that he got to travel more and do more exercises/ops in the TA than he ever did with the Regulars. Swings and roundabouts...
 
#18
Bondi-Babe-Magnet said:
I can recall a discussion in a Regular Sgt's Mess on the merits and pitfulls of the TA with several mess members having served as PSI's.

One of the WO2's described good TA guys as "Frustrated Soldiers".

One thing i have never been able to understand is this -some TA guys give up their marriage and everything to stay in the TA -if they are that committed why dont they join the Regular Army. I think there is a certain "comfort Zone" that the TA gives which you dont get in the Regular Army.

I had a friend who had been in the TA for years and asked the PSI if he thought he would have fitted in with the Regular Army. The PSI said he would have been filled in every day in a Regular Bn -The Reason being he was too keen.

BBM
Comfort zone!, you are making the assumption that we aspire for regular service, most of us don't , whilst being a soldier is your career choice, it's what you want to do full time and you like the lifestyle, personally I will be happy with being a Stab for many years to come and earning more than your CO in civvy life.
 
#19
mark1234 said:
Bondi-Babe-Magnet said:
I can recall a discussion in a Regular Sgt's Mess on the merits and pitfulls of the TA with several mess members having served as PSI's.

One of the WO2's described good TA guys as "Frustrated Soldiers".

One thing i have never been able to understand is this -some TA guys give up their marriage and everything to stay in the TA -if they are that committed why dont they join the Regular Army. I think there is a certain "comfort Zone" that the TA gives which you dont get in the Regular Army.

I had a friend who had been in the TA for years and asked the PSI if he thought he would have fitted in with the Regular Army. The PSI said he would have been filled in every day in a Regular Bn -The Reason being he was too keen.

BBM
Comfort zone!, you are making the assumption that we aspire for regular service, most of us don't , whilst being a soldier is your career choice, it's what you want to do full time and you like the lifestyle, personally I will be happy with being a Stab for many years to come and earning more than your CO in civvy life.
i agree mark 1234, whilst we dont mind living the life on ops etc i would say most committed TA soldiers enjoy the hectic life that comes with having a busy full time career and a challenging part time one ( nothing at all to do with wanting to get away from Mrs stabspecial of course).
not to mention the money!
 
#20
having been both I can vouch that just because a Reg has years behind him it is not all constructive - the amount of time loafing about in barracks is a scandal with short days and weekends off, while most TA soldiers have very demanding full time jobs and soldier on average soldier 2 weekends. A whole month to get ready for a UEI and the TA do it in a weekend. Regular FTXs going on for a week and the TA do as many serials in a weekend.

I saw the big difference in operational experience, but that is changing with the currant workload of the armed forces. A new member of a battalion, say three years service, Reg & TA, will probably have the same amount of tours under his belt. The gap will widen for SNCOs but not that greatly. The TA SNCOs on ops tend to have done a few already, and not all as Force Protection (which the regs regard as stagging on - tell that to the mothers of the dead and maimed TA soldiers).

The slagging off will never dissapear, but maybe it will reduce in its tone. PSIs when they get together are usually a moaning bunch of elitists who want to elevate their own standing by slagging off the TA. Just as the TA will slag off useless PSIs who bring down standards and introduce retention problems.

Why is it that Regulars volunteer for Rear Party and their places on ops are taken by TA soldiers?

I remember a Regular C/Sgt who went on and on about how he carried his TA platoon for 2 years. After 2 years they should have been trained if he was any good. Funnily enough we had a TA lad posted in from that same unit who despised him for his attitude and ignorence.

We also had TA lads who hyped up their skills, only to be brought crashing down. Everyone gets found out in the end.

I think the main problem is the Reg who accepts a TA replacement and then slags them off when they are gone. The Reg who wishes that TA replacement had stayed is far too quiet.
 

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