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Summer Challenge; is it worth it?

#1
From the point of the TA, not the students.

It strikes me that the sort of person that can spare seven weeks is either unemployed, or a student looking for some summer cash.

I DS'd on one of these for a week last year, and to be honest was spectaculary unimpressed with the quality of attendee.

Am I alone in questioing the effort: result ratio here?

Look UP...
 
#2
Surely the point is the challenge improves the quality of the attendee?

And being unemployed or a student does not automatically = dross.
 
#3
PartTimePongo said:
Surely the point is the challenge improves the quality of the attendee?

And being unemployed or a student does not automatically = dross.
Agreed. Lets not write off people simply because they are students or unemployed. In my view anyone that is willing to commit such a large chunk of their time is more than likely going to be a regular attender when they get to their unit.

Students and the unemployed tend to do most drill nights and weekends and as many courses, camps and adventure training jollies as possible. Why? Because they have the spare time available to do it. And of course there is the fact the we provide with them a fun to do means of income.

Bravo_Bravo said:
I DS'd on one of these for a week last year, and to be honest was spectaculary unimpressed with the quality of attendee.
In my personal point of view (and in no way, shape or form a dig at yourself Bravo_Bravo) it is the responsibility of the training staff to mould the individuals into soldiers fit and able to go on either operations or serve to a good standard in their chosen units. If this doesn't happen then the blame lays squarely at the door of the training team.

I understand that some people may feel that the people that attend Summer Challenge may not be as well motivated as say those with major careers in civilian life but as DS we should be motivating them to the appropiate level using all the tools and means at our disposal. To me it matters not one jot wether the Recruit is a Barrister, Bus Driver, Unemployed or Student it is their willingness to learn and enthusiasm thats important in my eyes.

I know this may sound a bit harsh but with Army Development & Selection Centre (ADSC) now running to the same standard as the regulars there should be now less chance of getting utter mong children in the system.

I do accept there will always be those ones that slip through the net however that chances of that happening should now be fairly slim.

The Recruit that turns up at the start of either Summer Challenge or the traditional RTC route will now have the same raw potential as they have been selected to the same criteria.

At the end of the day new Soldiers in a unit are priceless and Summer Challenge is just one of a number of ways of achieving that.
 
#4
BB, do you have a better way to give people a flavour of TA life and enhance recruiting?

msr
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
brecon_billy said:
I know this may sound a bit harsh but with Army Development & Selection Centre (ADSC) now running to the same standard as the regulars there should be now less chance of getting utter mong children in the system.
I'm going to agree that the new ADSC system really has filtered out the non-hackers and the worst of the 'Möngenkinder'.

Bravo_Bravo - it would be interesting to see if you a notice a difference this year, because of that.
 
#6
I agree with BB on this the people in the main who will be able to attend the 7 week course are students/terminally unemployed. There is a worry amongst certain units that student participants will see it as a 7 week jolly and extra cash and may not turn up again once training has been completed. We have guys crying out to get onto phase 2 cic and it would make sense to accomodate these on the phase 2 part as there will be the inevitable drop outs plus the training will be more realistic as they will be in a fully formed plts/sections. But no attendees must do the whole 7 weeks and from our unit I think we only have one person who could possibly meet that criteria, the rest have to do the long slog that is attending 9 weekends at the RTC.
 
#7
Bravo_Bravo said:
From the point of the TA, not the students.

It strikes me that the sort of person that can spare seven weeks is either unemployed, or a student looking for some summer cash.

I DS'd on one of these for a week last year, and to be honest was spectaculary unimpressed with the quality of attendee.

Am I alone in questioing the effort: result ratio here?

Look UP...
I was the only person on my RSW who wasnt on summer challenge and they all were desperate to get trained and get on a tour. as PTP states, it wont be a jolly for the terminally unemployed, it would be the same training as everyone else.
 
#8
yater_spoon said:
We have guys crying out to get onto phase 2 cic and it would make sense to accomodate these on the phase 2 part as there will be the inevitable drop outs plus the training will be more realistic as they will be in a fully formed plts/sections.
I agree it would make far too much sense to load people on a provisional basis on the CIC phase that have already done their Phase 1 at an RTC. There WILL be dropouts and that means that there will be vacancies. I'm sure every unit has individuals that given 1 or 2 weeks warning would be able to go onto CIC.

If anyone is involved with the training side of things in the Btns then it may be worth speaking to your friendly local RTC SPSI to investigate this option. After all more recruits on the CIC phase means better quality training. Its a bit hard to simulate decent platoon attacks with 12 bods!

I doubt it will come out as an official option but some of the best things are normally done outside of the normal channels.
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
brecon_billy said:
If anyone is involved with the training side of things in the Btns then it may be worth speaking to your friendly local RTC SPSI to investigate this option. After all more recruits on the CIC phase means better quality training. Its a bit hard to simulate decent platoon attacks with 12 bods!

I doubt it will come out as an official option but some of the best things are normally done outside of the normal channels.
As yaterspoon pointed out, it's a non-flyer. And we have tried.
 
#11
RP578 said:
brecon_billy said:
If anyone is involved with the training side of things in the Btns then it may be worth speaking to your friendly local RTC SPSI to investigate this option. After all more recruits on the CIC phase means better quality training. Its a bit hard to simulate decent platoon attacks with 12 bods!

I doubt it will come out as an official option but some of the best things are normally done outside of the normal channels.
As yaterspoon pointed out, it's a non-flyer. And we have tried.
Hmm.... I thought it made entirely too much sense for it to work!! At least the option has been explored and if the CIC phase isn't as good as it may have been due to the number of recruits on it at least the local units can turn round and say that they did offer to bump up the numbers with their own backlog of individuals waiting for CIC dates.
 
#12
yater_spoon said:
I agree with BB on this the people in the main who will be able to attend the 7 week course are students/terminally unemployed. There is a worry amongst certain units that student participants will see it as a 7 week jolly and extra cash and may not turn up again once training has been completed.
Fair points. But as someone has already stated above, what's wrong with attracting students / unemployed? They seem pretty good material generally, with a bit more spare time to boot. As to your second point I can tell you (and there is proof!) that 6 months after our 'Challenge' 75% were still regular attendees. Of that 75% 18% are currently deemed good enough for ops and will shortly deploy; not bad for some scruffy civvies kicking their heels last August!
 
#13
You are not alone! I was there for 2 weeks.

The admin issues have been the same for the last two years and the end result is not that great!

Most of the ones who 'passed off the square' have dissapeared and more than a few were given what you could describe as a 'deferred pass' simply because they are not suitable.

Waste of time and money and for what??

More emphasis on CMS(R) in 51 Brigade required and units should not rely on Summer Farce to deliver!
 
#14
Cholmondley-Warner said:
I can tell you (and there is proof!) that 6 months after our 'Challenge' 75% were still regular attendees. Of that 75% 18% are currently deemed good enough for ops and will shortly deploy; not bad for some scruffy civvies kicking their heels last August!
That's a different argument. Just because someone turns up regularly doesn't mean that they're not a good soldier. Similarly, there are some awesome soldiers who don't attend many drill nights.

Don't get me started on "deemed suitable for ops". The standards for mobilisation are below shite.

Back onto the thread, it seems to me that anything that can cut the length of recruit training is a good thing. Many people leave because they get bored halfway through, wait too long for CMSRs (or whatever they're called this week), etc. Keeping momentum on training can only be advantagous.

As to attracting Student scumbags and filth with no jobs, I am slightly torn. Yes they are often available and can gain skillsets that are either harder to gain (time constraints) or are unwanted by most (crypto custodian and the like). Some also make very good soldiers (I can think of one from my unit but don't tell him I said so). Unfortunatly, one of the key advantage of the TA soldier above the regular is the experience they bring from outside the Army. Those who have no jobs will be bringing sod all to the party apart from their free time, and as for students...Well. enough said about those oxygen thiefs :wink:

have I made a point? I'm not really sure. To summarise:

Keep this Summer challenge malarky and judge everyone on their own merits? I sound like a right Hermo. Who wants some abuse?

Edited to add:

I meant to mention something about having the same standards accross the whole country and the regs/TA, as being good. I can't be bothered to go back and insert it, so make something up for yourselves.
 
#15
RP578 said:
brecon_billy said:
If anyone is involved with the training side of things in the Btns then it may be worth speaking to your friendly local RTC SPSI to investigate this option. After all more recruits on the CIC phase means better quality training. Its a bit hard to simulate decent platoon attacks with 12 bods!

I doubt it will come out as an official option but some of the best things are normally done outside of the normal channels.
As yaterspoon pointed out, it's a non-flyer. And we have tried.
and section attacks have not been part of the course for years...

It is quite clear who is, and is not involved with recruit training here...

The new system may well weed out the windowlickers pre day one, but my opinion about the quality of attendee was based in experience not supposition.

I still feel that in general, there will be a higher proportion of poorer quality student, or those along for a bit of a jolly, than the normal 7-9 weekend cadres.
 
#16
to put this into perspective the last cic intake had 40 people which reduced to 30 over a 2 week period. The phase 2 syllabus has changed dramtically with more emphasis on fieldcraft/ops culminating in section/platoon attacks followed by an FOB phase on the final exercise. It is much more intensive. Although the adsc may weed out complete tools of those that do pass very few will be able to attend the full 7 week package and recruits which can take part are left with the dilemma of do I commence training now or wait until summer challenge when there is no guarantee of a place. I presume if someone rtu's from summer challenge will they start from week 1 at the rtc thus delaying their ability to pass out even further.
 
#17
Bravo_Bravo said:
RP578 said:
brecon_billy said:
If anyone is involved with the training side of things in the Btns then it may be worth speaking to your friendly local RTC SPSI to investigate this option. After all more recruits on the CIC phase means better quality training. Its a bit hard to simulate decent platoon attacks with 12 bods!

I doubt it will come out as an official option but some of the best things are normally done outside of the normal channels.
As yaterspoon pointed out, it's a non-flyer. And we have tried.
and section attacks have not been part of the course for years...

It is quite clear who is, and is not involved with recruit training here...

The new system may well weed out the windowlickers pre day one, but my opinion about the quality of attendee was based in experience not supposition.

I still feel that in general, there will be a higher proportion of poorer quality student, or those along for a bit of a jolly, than the normal 7-9 weekend cadres.
I am more than well aware that Section Attacks have not been part of the Phase 1 training for a few years now BUT Section and Platoon Attacks do still feature on CIC which is being run at Summer Challenge for the recruits heading to the Infantry.

I am in no way implying that your opinion was based on supposition but I do feel that the attenders on this years Summer Challenge will hopefully (fingers being crossed) be of a a higher quality due to ADSC.

I have met some Summer Challenge "Graduates" before and was not overly taken by some of them but then again I have said the same things about Soldiers coming through the traditional route.

I do agree with your fears that the quality may not be as high due to it being done in a 7 week block and that by attaching Adventure Training and a "free" civvy driving license for those that need it may attract those who would not have had the same determination to stick a 6 or 9 weekend RTC based course run every other weekend.
 
#18
For what its worth, and with absolutely no knowledge of what standard Summer Challenges turn out, if I had the option of doing a condensed training package to get up to trained soldier level I'd take it

Can't make the full 7 weeks of a Summer Challenge, but the prospect of it taking 14-18 months to complete 'basic' and trade training doing it the long way is niggling at my commitment levels
 
#19
Trust me from what I know the 4 Div Summer Challenge will not be a "jolly" or an easy way to avoid 9 weekends etc BUT it will be fun and a great CHALLENGE - first of all they have to be selected from having passed the normal selection day - only those with a really good attitude, great RRR times (well below 14mins), suitable Barb tests etc will get go and then the pace is going to be relentless especially in the first 10-15 days (depending on cap badge) which will cover the whole of 1A&B
In regard to 1C/CIC - they will run at full capacity, even though bookings are not being taken for individual modules of the challenge, if there are spare places from drop outs, backfills will be inserted & I understand that conversations with units are already happening about this.
 
#20
I can guarantee, you won’t be sent dross for summer challenge. We have between a 70 & 80% pass rate at ADSC (P), by now you should see a better standard of ‘Soldier Under Training’ coming through.

I have been on the staff of a couple of the condensed recruit cadres at the RTC and I simply do not agree that the students were not much cop.

If anything it takes a very special person to complete 9wks at the RTC.
 

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