TA Commission - Operational Tour

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by theheartbreakkid, Jan 12, 2011.

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  1. I am a TAPO who is going through the process of (hopefully) getting my commission in the TA. I am with an infantry battalion at the moment, and as with all things Army-related, i've heard contradicting stories about pretty much everything, so I am looking to build on this on a new subject!

    Once commissioned as a platoon commander in the Infantry, should I complete an operational tour, which I hope to do, what would I most likely be doing?

    Alas, I have heard it's unlikely a junior TA infantry officer would be given responsibility for a platoon of soldiers in Afghan, so would I most likely be looking at armoury/other similar sort of jobs, or does it just depend on what is needed at th time?

    Standby for a mixed bag of replies!

  2. You wont be allowed to deploy operationally in your role for a year at least.
  3. Have sent PM.
    You will not be likely to get a platoon to play with, and I doubt you will end up in the armoury either!!!
    What you will be doing will depend on who you go with and what they need. Typically you will be looking at a watch-keeper type role but there are many others involving training the ANA and influence etc. These roles are vastly more interesting than they sound at first. If you do a good job and you theatre unit they can trust you then who knows what might come your way.....
  4. On the other hand I had a TA officer under command in Afg, the plan was that he would command a platoon: but he was far better than that and was employed as Coy Ops Officer.
  5. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    The chance of you commanding a rifle platoon on operations is slim to **** all, biaised heavily towards the **** all end of the spectrum. When the TA sent formed composite companies you would have commanded one. They mostly did force protection, but some lucky souls ended up commanding their blokes in more demanding roles. Now it is primarily IRs spread amongst the rifle platoons you should expect to be doing company 3ic (think Coy level watchkeeper), Coy int rep, non-kinetic type tasks. You will almost certainly get a chance to get on the ground, but as a bearer of heavy kit rather than in command of anything.

    If your deployment opportunity is likely to be limited to one go at it, you may be advised to hang on to Capt rank where your will find more options open to you.
  6. A very good question.
    With the death of TA formed company tours, I suspect that your chances are reduced, but not impossible. A regular unit may not deploy you as a Platoon Commander to begin with but might use you to replace a casualty.

    I would suggest that (if you have the time to invest) you attempt to spend a year with a regular unit prior to their mobilisation so that they get to know you, and you get to train with them. If they think you suitable, I am sure they would welcome you.

    You will be more likely to occupy a watch-keeper role, or a junior intelligence type job.
    You would certainly need to have of done Brecon to go out leading troops in an Inf role.

    MK1, and JOTAC would be preferable. As would other theatre relevant courses. UIO, TIC, TQ prehaps.

    Food for thought, good luck!
  7. Relax. As you are not yet commissioned, there is very little chance of you deploying in role into theatre unless you
    a. successfully commission
    b. carry out all the mandated PCT (post-commissioning training)
    c. do all your mandated special to arm training
    d. volunteer to be deployed and be selected (for which under the GCM you have to have an officer PID to go into 22-24 months before mobilisation)
    e. carry out HFT2 training
    f. be selected to carry on into MST1 training (the ratio of volunteers to actually mobilised drops from 2:1 to 1.25:1 - saves money!)
    g. be mobilised
    h. carry out MST2 with your receiving unit and then deploy.

    Realistically, unless you have a magic wand to short circuit this process, you may scrape in on one of the later Herricks at which point you will be a Lt.

    In the meantime, the good news is that you will be classed as an enabler of the GCM and receive additional MTDs!

    One of the aims of the GCM is to ensure that Reserves are used in useful, identifiable jobs for which they are suitably qualified.

    Re waiting until making Captain to get more choice, the Regulars realise that they are over-manned with available officers now that there is only one medium scale show in town, so it seems to be policy that OCE officer posts are filled by Regulars now. I would not put money on there being many Capt (or Maj or Lt Col) posts being filled by TA (except in exceptional circumstances), unless the officer PID is identified on the TAOR and is resourced under the GCM with the individual committing 2 years out to do a tour.

    If you bin yourself off officer training and be a bayonet instead, you have much more of a chance of getting a tour in future.

    SDSR warning! The above could be totally contradicted by the Reserves Review in 6 months time!!
  8. A couple of points:

    1. Reserves Review is rapidly becoming Future Reserves 2020 and so any significant changes much before 2015 unlikely (mores the pity).

    2. It is my understanding that a TA Officer would need to complete the regular Platoon Comds Course to be considered accordingly.

    This is a key element of the TAPO dilemma as until the 'offer' is properly articulated and delivered, then recruiting TA Officers will continue to be a buggers muddle.
  9. msr

    msr LE

    By which time we will have scaled back our presence in Afghanistan and there will be no requirement for the TA*, less for specialists...

    *Unless we get bogged down in another wacky adventure.
  10. Agreed; I suspect any recommendations of the Reserves Review will not be implemented as quickly as the PR09 savings against the R SIGNALS TA were, for example. Unfortunately, we are already seeing some unintended by-products of the centre taking savings against Regular structures up to 2015 which are impacting some TA (potential liability reductions) before the RR reports in the middle of the year.

    AIUI, the RR might look at up to 2015 and do some quick fixes (bearing in mind there is no money to build big, mult-cap badge TACs, so the Volunteer Estate is regarded as a constraint in the planning process, the regional big multi-cap badges are a non-starter, the hybrid regiments are not the model to follow etc.). All bets are then off for the period from 2015 - 2020 and there will have to be another rebalancing/further review/more cuts if we then don't have another medium scale enduring op!-

    If an Inf TA Pl Comd has to do the Regular Pl Comd Course, he may as well take the AOSB pass, go to Sandbags as a regular, do 3 years (which will include one tour) then PVR and join the TA. He will get to Afghan in role more quickly by that route than trying as a TA officer.

    The GCM is directing us down the low-level force gen route which sadly excludes SNCOs and officers from tours - but they can enable!!

    And clearly the "buggers' muddle" is consistently failing to produce sufficient numbers of TA YOs, thus ensuring that in years to come there will be a bow wave of gapped posts at Capt/Maj level........
  11. Some great replies here gents; many thanks for your insight.
  12. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    The replies on here seem to be giving the impression that if one did NOT want to do tours yet still wanted to strut around in green then getting a commission is the way to go.

    Not a very good recruiting tool for the right calibre of person.
  13. Auld Yin, you misunderstand. The desire of the TAPO to deploy may well be strong; it is the opportunity to do so that is lacking at the moment due to the factors we have listed above.

    TA YOs of all cap badges will continue to play a significant part in the Firm Base, Community Engagement, Force Generation and many other valuable areas of the wide spectrum of service. Leading a pl or tp in peacetime is what the vast majority of TA subbies in the last 60 years have done - only a very few have mobbed and done it on ops in role.

    Strutting around as you put it is slightly derogatory, even if your tongue was in your cheek when you posted. We are generally getting good quality YOs, but there are way too few coming through the system.
  14. msr

    msr LE

    Although this point does now seem to have landed on CGS' desk...
  15. It does not help that Westbury seem to think that any TA officer applicant will just jump over to the regs upon getting a main board pass, so are making the board harder because of this perception and the extra economic applicants these days.

    They need to realise that some people actually want to be a Stab Officer.