TA and regular army on tours?

#1
Just seen the other thread asking about what can be expected with going on tour. Just wanted to ask in terms of trades and jobs TA hold, why is this not transferred to Op tours?

What I mean is it sounds to me (from trawling Arrse) that whatever TA unit your part of, ie Signals, artillery, engineers etc, you wont be doing that job (the one you chose when you joined the TA) when you go on a tour. Why cant TA people just slot in to a reg unit and do their best and also learn what you can from the regs and the whole Op tour experience?

Instead it sounds like there's alot of force protection going on (which obviously is important and needs to be done by both TA and regs) but your in trade skills are'nt relly wanted.

I dont mean to sound negative and am still very interested to join the TA myself. But I got the impression (from this site) for example, REME techy jobs ie VM/armourer etc could'nt really achieve the same level of expertise as regs due to time available to train, combat medics arent allowed to do anything unless supervised by a reg class 1, TA officers dont really command regular troops (at a junior or senior level?),
and everyone else combat engineers, infantry, signals, artillery types will be used on force protection.
Are there any units where TA do the same individual trade jobs side by side with the regs as I thought it was all the 'One army' thing. :?

JOTS
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#2
johnnyonthespot said:
I dont mean to sound negative and am still very interested to join the TA myself. But I got the impression (from this site) for example, REME techy jobs ie VM/armourer etc could'nt really achieve the same level of expertise as regs due to time available to train, combat medics arent allowed to do anything unless supervised by a reg class 1, TA officers dont really command regular troops (at a junior or senior level?),
and everyone else combat engineers, infantry, signals, artillery types will be used on force protection.
Are there any units where TA do the same individual trade jobs side by side with the regs as I thought it was all the 'One army' thing. :?

JOTS
All the REME I've seen have done their Trade jobs - Recy Mechs, VMs, Etc. It really depends what is needed. On TELIC 2, over 120 REME went as a bunch (I won't say 'formed body') and very few were used out of trade - and then usually only if they had a skill - aircon engineer, for example - that was in shorter supply than their REME one. The reason you don't see many TA VM(A)s is because there aren't many of them! Almost all are VM(B)s, and most are useful enough to fit in with a Regular Unit somewhere.

So, the answer is Yes, there are plenty of jobs - certainly REME - that TA can do alongside their Regular comrades.
 
#4
Perhaps the misconception comes from the early days of TELIC? In the lead up to TELIC 1, nobody really knew what trades would be most useful, therefore a wide selection were mobilised. While some were used in-trade, many (whose trade was found not to be that essential) ended up in strange jobs.

In later versions of TELIC, when those trades were more in demand, soldiers with them had already been mobilised, resulting in shortages.

With the Army a bit more stable, it should be more likely that a trade will be used properly although if twenty farriers (for example) volunteered at the same time and only one were needed, the other 19 would find themselves stagging on.
 
#5
With the Army a bit more stable, it should be more likely that a trade will be used properly although if twenty farriers (for example) volunteered at the same time and only one were needed, the other 19 would find themselves stagging on.
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#6
I think you'll find that now, if 20 farriers volunteered, 19 would be turned away (or at least quite a few would!)

Also, with Specs like Medics/Field Hospitals, they have a pretty strict rotation of whose turn it is to be mobilised next, and they try to stick to that.

Anyway, as a Siggie, you've more chance of going on TOSCA to Cyprus - something that plenty of Regulars have done, and almost all have been non-Infantry in recent years, operating out of trade - so the TA is just playing catch-up.
 
#7
JOTS,

Its the TA infantry that do force protection coys. Sigs may provide IR's but the skill gap between regular and TA is far higher than the infantry and these posts are limited. Yes Sigs have provided Sqns for low threat regions, obviously small risk of employing TA in these theatres. Sigs also have a number of specialist groups/sqns that routinely deploy soldiers to do their civve job for the army.

I believe TA Sigs deploy less soldiers to Afghanistan/Iraq than every other corps, TA Inf/Medics the most
 
#8
105 regt ra have sent people on heric with 4 regt and they are doing the jobs they were trained for in the ta
 
#9
As Inf on Op Fingal (03-04), we slotted right into the Cycles with the Gurkha's, we had two platoons of TA, which with the three Pl's from C Coy 2RGR, we had a Coy of five. The Gurkha OC used us exactly the same as his own troops, and we got stuck in with all the surge Ops. The only thing we didn't do were the specialist searches, for which one of the Gurkha Pl's had recieved additional training.
The same went for the Coy we sent to Telic 4, who were just added to 1 Cheshires Orbat complete.
Coincidentally, I'm led to believe that the Field Hosp from our place are deploying on mass to a theatre near you in the near future.
 
#10
Have served in FRY and on Telic and Fingal alongside TA as formed units and IR doing their jobs as well as Regs hastily re-rolled to fullfil immediate operational requirements.
Also had TA attached to my unit in BAOR for 12 months in early 90's due to lack of some trades/manpower
 
#11
CMT in my own Regts RAP, deployed on Telic and did the same job with my deployed Regts' RAP. Bit of a steep learning curve at the start but with the other CMTs help, and encouragement from Med Sgt and MO I managed to catch up and stay the course.

From my point of view well worth the hard work. From the 40 or so TA bods that were mobilised, only two of us, a chef and myself, actually did the job that we do in the TA. :) :)
 
#13
I don't know what it's like now, but on Telic 2, the shortage of (just) drivers was tending towards critical. Frequently, people were dragged from time-critical jobs in order to ferry other people about or make up numbers in escorts.

It's well worth having a surfeit of drivers for the odd occasions when it's necessary to make more sorties than usual, especially if they are just drivers and are therefore always available.

It can be knackering, so rotation is good for efficiency as well as morale, therefore I'd be surprised if the Regulars would want to take all the driving jobs. In fact, you could find that it's the other way round, especially if the Regulars have a second trade.
 
#14
We had a shortage of drivers in one of my units on deployment and ended up with a reservist RE driver being put into the RLC troops (upset him a bit at first as we were RE in the same unit)
 
#15
Leccy said:
We had a shortage of drivers in one of my units on deployment and ended up with a reservist RE driver being put into the RLC troops (upset him a bit at first as we were RE in the same unit)
Yer that would have peed me off a tad!
 
#16
From my experience of touring with the Regs I don't think its always the case that they don't want your skills rather than they want you to fill a gap. I and a few of my comrades were lucky to do the same job as we had in the TA but others weren't. There wasn't any discrimination and all attachments were given the same extra training and courses as the Regs in the battalion - even though some qualifications would never be used in the TA - driving armoured vehicles. We couldn't understand why they would train up a TA bod when he would take that training and experience away with him never to be used again, but once we saw the caliber of Regs that should have done the job we soon realised that if the battalion was to perform on ops then they needed the best candidates and that meant using the TA, even if they had other skills and qualifications.
 
#17
Does that mean then that they advertise a vacancy for a gunner, combat engineer, mechanic, chef etc or whatever and if you fill the vacancy, they give you a course so you can do something different if there's others better qualified if they have more than they need. Why not get one person they need then close the vacancy, just like when you apply for a job in everyday life. Sorry 'special one' dont really understand what you meant? :?
 
#18
the army isn't everyday life. If they ran Microsoft like they ran the army it would go bust in no time. Basically, in my experience, when you get to your new Reg Bn (I'm talking infantry now) they will look at the slots that need to be filled rather your quals. Maybe its different from battalion to battalion but from conversations with other cap badges it seems not.

I've seen a trained sniper (reg course) given jobs as a driver, a brecon qualified full screw sent to MT, a Machine Gun section commander posted to Anti Tanks as a driver, and so on. On the positive side an Anti Tank section commander was posted to Anti Tanks as a section commander, section 2I/Cs sent to rifle companies as section 2I/Cs, etc.
 
#19
That all sounds what I'd expect...a bit of flexibility being shown by all concerned.
The impression I got was thinbkinbg particulaly is getting your TA trade quals, for example being a radio op with sigs, comabt engineer with RE, gunner with RA or VM with REME (just examples) then finding cos you were TA and not reg, they would'nt use you in that role and you woulld spend your tour either doing guard duty or something similar. Like I said, I know this has to be done but am just thinkin it would be good if you could do the job you've trained for rather than be used for less interesting jobs JUST because you were TA. Seem s from responses from my post though tTA are are used properly which is good. Have noticed a lot of web sites do say they have people filling in in reg units in aswell like yeomanry and infentry units particularly?
 
#20
As others have said, you may gain that perception because the Regular units are also doing non-role jobs?

If a Gunner Regiment, say 3 RHA, is doing all manner on non-Gunner stuff on TELIC, then chances are any TA soldiers who join it will also do non-Gunner stuff.

On the other hand, where Gunners are in role, attached TA are also in role.


You can, of course, have a Gunner regt doing both at the same time, and TA soldiers therefore either swapping round or some in the same unit doing in-role and out-of-role tasks for their tour.
 

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