I encourage all of mine to join ,we have a good relationship with our parent unit who in turn get our cadets involved in lots of good stuff where possible ,
To a point it's the instructors at detachments who need to form a closer bond with their parent unit (in cases where the instructor has no previous service this is difficult)and on the other hand the TA units sometimes see cadets as too much trouble.
As an example PARA reg are very good with their detachments they hold a weekend centrally every year without fail for PARA badged dets and as in our case with 4 PARA dets are very well supported which in turn encourages recruitment to said units.
I understand that the London Irish and london scottish do a similar thing
On a flip side I have attempted to contact numerous other units when taking other badged cadets away (no name and shame)and people don't even bother returning a phonecall or letter.
I think the best route is get on the REGT family bandwagon and catch em that way ,make them feel like they are part of it from the start and it's natural transition but that is as much down to ACF staff pulling out their fingers as the TA
I'd agree with the pimp as it stands. Closer ties with the affiliated regiments TA units are probably the best we can do.
Some other things that did occur to me, bearing in mind the age group we are thinking of.
Those 16-18 year olds who are really keen on soldering invariably go for the regular army. So if they want the keenest than in some ways the TA is in competition with the Regular Army. The Regular Army offers an opportunity to join as a junior, the TA does not.
I can't imagine that anyone is going to leap at the idea of Junior TA soldiers, but with good cooperation between affiliated TA units and Cadets one can go some way towards replicating that idea for the TA.
Cadets and the TA are very different beasts and anything that eases the transition of cadets into the TA must be a good thing for TA recruiting. If they feel part of the regimental family, know the NCO's and officers they will serve with and know that they will be valued and respected for making the transition that all has to help.
Fellas on a point reference fostering relationships with your parent TA unit get out there and talk to the staff at these units sometimes it is an unawareness of what you as a cadet detachment are capable/willing to do over weekends.You will benefit from what the TA offers and in turn it is a gentle push in the right direction for cadets who may aspire to continue their service as an adult
As proof in the pudding we have recently completed a weekend with our parent unit 4 PARA who were outstanding in involving cadets and their attitude towards them.
A big cheers to all at 4 PARA for a great weekend
when i was a cadet my detachement was badged to a regiment that has no TA unit or element so it was left down to the Royal Anglian Regiment and the Paras to support us which they didreally well to be fair but thoose cadets badged to units with no TA element mostly guards and cavalry badged cadets unless they are near the barracks of said units are always going to struggle passing cadets on to the TA for those that dont want to be regulars
Regardless of capbadge, it may be an idea to pop down to your local TA unit to get chatting to the staff. Tell them that if all else fails, you can help out playing enemy etc on their weekends. That will be the first thing to get them hooked. See how it goes from there. Nothing ventured.....
Ben I know which unit you are at and perhaps you may want to expand your horizons a little by going out the back of the drill hall (door to the right) and turning right, walk approx 10 metres go through the door get to the stairs then look left, see that blue door? they are RA badged cadets you loon!!!
failing that go up the stairs in the drill hall through the door at the top turn right see the glass door? that is the cadets county headquarters!! not in on drill nights I hear you cry ?? try coming in the week or go via your psao who i know is very onside
Not sure about the majority to be honest, most that gain a TA Group B Commission either sack it off or go regular. Out of "our" lot that left last last year, only two went Group A. The rest to RMAS or to be a hippy.
I suspect the UOTC provide far more regular officers than TA, but as someone has pointed out previously; a lot of those were going to RMAS anyway...
In my day the uni students joined the OTC coz they lived in cold bedsits but were issued with a greatcoat and sleeping bag which meant that they could save on heating costs.
They then got their degrees and for the most part fcuked off.
Kids joined the ACF becoz they wanted to play soldiers and once they got a stripe they could then boss junior kids about and pretend to be drill pigs.
When kids turned up at the TA centre gate to join they wanted:
1/ to continue playing soldiers
2/ to play soldiers with their mates who were already in
3/ the money
4/ The cheap drink
5/ something else
The prob was that the TA which had (some time ago) a 33% turnover nationally but about a 25% turnover in NI always had two problems...
1/ recruiting & training, so the TA was ever full of untrained soldiers who became pi$$ed off coz they were never trained to play soldiers properly
2/ retention coz the recruits in 1/ above became pi$$ed off & left
It is fair to say that the TA had a very strong cadre of old hands who were very capable but was about one third trained although I understand that this has changed somewhat recently (recently being over the last 10 - 15 yrs or so)
Where the TA failed was that it never actively sponsored the ACF but where it won was if it somehow managed to keep a recruit for the magic period of three years it had him literally for life
The TA is a marvellous organisation but is it's own worst enemy in many ways.