Discussion in 'OTC' started by minicoin, Nov 3, 2006.

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  1. hello i am in the TA, and thinking of transferring because i cannot take time off for my degree which i am studying in Soutampton.

    im also interste din PTI, i am also pahse one trained, can i trasnfer now or do i have to wait unitl the next intake?
    thanks, plus

    can anyone PM on the Southamtpon unit personally?

  2. Yes but I had a bad experience with them, so take what I say with a pinch of bitter salt. I too did my degree at Southampton whist a member of the TA and found myself in a similar situation to yourself.

    I joined SOUTC and initially enjoyed it very much. There was a lot of training time, the staff decent and I enjoyed the company of the other students (on the whole) The RSM and CO at the time were Para. Exercises and trainig were interesting and had lots of backup, helecopters, armour etc.

    When the RSM and CO changed so too did the unit but it remained good but a bit less, well a bit less something. Also the demands of my degree were increasing.

    They got another TA soldier in doing the same job as me but he was an ex rupert (I dont know the logistics of this ex reg rupert to TA Cpl) anyway there was a mix up over med cover for a weekend. I had been on holiday in the USA with my family for the previous three weeks and returned two days early. The morning I got back the phone rang at 05:00 asking why I had not been in to provide med cover at ranges in Kent. The simple fact was I had not been asked to do so.

    Someone had asked the other medic and when he had not turned in the "collective" had decided to blame me rather than someone who had been an officer. I saw the Adj had a blazing row and then the RSM, he said he had been told it was me who had been asked to provide cover. Since I had been in the USA for the previous three weeks he was faced with a stark choice, either he had been lied to by one of the officers who had forgotten to ask at all, or had asked the other NCO on the staff. The only other choice was that SUOTC had been able to reach me in the USA and detailed me for cover.

    I stated my case, saw the CO and applied for transfer to another TA unit. Which has worked out very well indeed.

    SUOTC? I have mixed feelings about it, its fun, fits in with the academic year and has as much training as you want to do. The PSI's were good so too were most (but not all) the TA staff.

    But if there is a problem just remember Ruperts always without exception close ranks and will happily see you shafted rather than see one of their own undergo interview without coffee. OTC's are all about officers.

    Best of luck whatever you choose.

  3. Cardinal I do not know when this took place as I am in SUOTC at the moment and this my fourth year in it. I am now on my third CO in the SUOTC and have never had a Para CO. Yes at present are RSM is a para but not the CO. Also we have only just done our first weekend not including our recruit weekend. I wonder if you are talking about Southampton or Sheffield OTC. I also know that the medic at the moment went to Sandhurst but dropped out due to injury. Cardinal I do not deny what you say but just question it.

    As for minicoin it is best to get in contact with the unit. I know we have taken a couple of TA transfers who have skipped phase one and have gone straight into our "A Coy" to take MTQ 2. I hope this helps minicoin all the information for the unit are on the UNIT WEBSITE
  4. It would have been 2000 that I left, the CO changed from Para to Cavalry around 1999/2000, the RSM from Para to LI about the same time. Take a look at the plaques in the entrance if they are still there naming all the CO's and RSM's.

    As I said, apart from the events which caused me to request a transfer it was a mostly positive experience. Most of the staff and officer cadets were good to work with, two I didn't care for much several I liked very much.

    As for the other medic, I would claim to know him at all well, we met only a few times, though he seemed nice enough. He got my job I got his old job and I hope things turned out as well for him as they have for me.

    My experience certainly shouldn't put anyone off SUOTC.

  5. Cardinal
    Sorry to hear about your experience; I have to say that nowadays the reverse may apply, certainly at one of the SW OTCs. The NCOs get a little slack if they drop a ball (not so much the WO2s!) whereas the TA officers are held to account if they muck up, especially on attendance where officers are expected to lead by example and are culled if they do not do so.

  6. Thanks, but things worked out OK and as I said it was a mostly positive experience. SUOTC was, for a while, good fun and I did some stuf outside the scope of any TA unit I have been in.

    I dont think anyone should be put off joining UOTC as staff but must be aware that whilst part of the TA its also quite different.

  7. Minicoin, assuming you are talking about Southampton UOTC and not Sheffield (although most of the information is generic) then:

    Yes as a TA soldier who is also a full time student at Southampton (or one of the other universities the unit supports) you can apply to transfer to the OTC. The application to transfer is treated like any other application to transfer between TA units.

    SUOTC have taken several TA transfers this year ( ie during October). In all cases an individual assesment is made of where they should fit into training, but in most cases this is going to mean going directly into second year (MTQ 2) training.

    Some of these TA transfers remain on the strength of their parent unit (and are paid by them) and are treated as TA Sponsored Officers ( or officer cadets) others have transfered directly to SUOTC.

    A TA Group A soldier who formally transfers to a TA Group B unit - ie an OTC will only qualify for Group B bounty, which after the second year is a lot less.

    SUOTC in common with all other OTCs has one recruiting period a year at the start of the October term. The unit has also, in common with other OTCs, had a restriction on numbers and a cut in MTD budget imposed on it by LAND. Therefore there are limited places which essentialy were all filled in October.

    The programme for second year students is to undertake MTQ 2 training. The second weekend of training is this weekend coming (10 -12 Nov). Unless some one transfering in has done some of this training already - (7 Questions, Orders Process, Signals etc) it would be difficult to catch up at this stage of training.

    All OTCs from this year are under a remit to focus efforts on producing, among other things, a number of TA officers each year. A TA soldier who transfered in to the unit would probably be doing so on the understanding that they were an officer candidate. They would be encouraged to attend AOSB (TA) etc. A candidate for transfer who was clearly not an officer candidate would probably not be accepted.

    That said each situation would be looked at individually. If you want to consider transfering in you need to contact the unit as soon as possible and ask for the CO to consider your case. Time is short if you are to stand any chance of getting a vacancy this year.

    I am sorry to hear about your experiences in SUOTC. As you point out however they occured six years ago. All TA units will go though phases where some of the staff are not as sharp as they should be and from time to time individuals will have bad experiences. There will also be cock ups of various kinds in booking staff etc which can be very annoying for those involved. For some people local TA units may also provide more of what they are looking for in terms of training at that time. All I can say is that the staff in the unit 6 years ago have all moved on and the unit currently has a very high retention rate and far more applicants than there are places.
  8. Sympathetic_Reaction

    Sympathetic_Reaction LE Book Reviewer

    I was in SUOTC in 2000, just finishing.

    I have this feeling I know who Cardinal is..;) There were 2 medics one was ex-REME officer I think, double barreled surname I think St.-something I think, and Cardinal was the other one I think..;)

    I'm pretty sure we spent a very long night journey from the OTC to Aborfield for a shooting comp, and then on up to Lancaster in a Landy in about 1999ish. Was the Adj the 'old Adj'? (all I should need to say is ABBA) or the new one (REME Major?)

    Anyway, I enjoyed all my time in SUOTC but as everone says the feeling of an OTC changes when the Boss changes, personally I liked the Para CO better than the one that followed, but that was just me.

    Armyair221 - any of the TA staff still there? Used to be a short arrse staff sgt, green hat, nickname was stumpy....great bloke could walk you into the floor. Last I heard he made WOII. Should try and get a Re-union going......some damn good drinkers back than.

  9. Hello SR I remember you we stopped at your house in the Midlands on the way up. How are you?

    Your right culture in units change, especially with CO's and RSM's changing. At the time I was annoyed about the reasons why I moved on but with hindsight it was a good thing.

    You were headed for REME wen't you either that or Sig's. Drop me a PM sometime.

  10. Hi all!

    Does anyone know if you can stay in the T.A and join UOTC?

    I'm going to Uni in Portsmouth in Septemeber 2010 and want to join SUOTC but I also don't want to loose out on T.A cause I have been in for over a year now, so considering that training nights for the T.A are on a tuesday and SUOTC will be on a wednesday, some weekends will most likely clash and annual training... but surely it's possible to be in both?

    If so, does anyone know what happens to rank? I'm a gunner in the RA so if I join SUOTC, will I remain a gunner in the T.A and be an officer cadet at SUOTC, or will I have to wear a white strip at T.A.. cause I'm definitely going to get bullied for that! lol

    Hope someone know the anwsers to my questions!!


  11. chimera

    chimera LE Moderator

    SUOTC runs a TA Sponsored Officer programme. Just ask. I assume that you are in a Portsmouth TA unit? PM me if nec.
  12. Basically, no.

    Your TA unit will be a Grp A establishment, and the OTC will be a Grp B. Technically, no matter which you join you will remain a Pvt soldier, but you will be given the status of Officer Cadet on joining the OTC. You will then transfer to Grp B on joining the OTC.

    The implications will be:

    1. Pay. Grp B pay and bounties are less, however there may be a bit more flexibility on MTDs in the OTC as generally there will be a small surplus for course bids and the like as well as off-setting people with lower attendance (usually third/fourth year students who drop off towards the end of the year because of exams/dissertations). Depending on the situation in your TA unit you may be more restricted in the number of MTDs you can claim so it may be possible to off-set any financial loss.

    2. Call up liability. As a Grp B OCdt you will be ineligible for call up. As a Grp A soldier you may get an exemption/deferral from call-up as a student, but this is by no means guaranteed.

    Things to consider:

    3. Deciding whether to join the OTC depends on what you want and why you want to do it. My advice would be that it would fit around your studies better than the TA which makes no allowance for term times etc. Also you will get to see more of the army and it will give you a much broader look at all of the various layers, i.e. command structures. The TA is designed for the primary purpose of being a reserve force and won't offer this.

    4. You can re-join your TA unit at the end of your stint in the OTC, by which time you may even have considered/progressed an option for a commission.

    5. The OTC isn't about hard-core soldiering and the challenge will be winding your neck in and fitting that programme. You have to remember that it serves an entirely different purpose and your fellow OCdts will probably not be in awe of your superior warrior skills when they view their involvement as a 50/50 split between socialising and training.

    As has been mentioned, the other option is the TA direct entry scheme which is run by the OTCs. You would join SUOTC as an OCdt on your TA unit's nominal roll, wear the RMAS ca badge (not the SUOTC), do training modules alongside the OCdts under the supervision of the Dist Trg Team, and then head off to the TA CC at RMAS.