TA Commission

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by abacus, Sep 20, 2005.

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  1. I received a pm asking me about issues relating to gaining a TA Commission which I thought deserved a wider audience. Resisting the temptation to change names to implicate the innocent I have anonymised the original:

    1. Non Graduate

    Not a problem, graduate calibre is acceptable although it may cause some initial difficulty if there are no school quals either.

    2. Age

    22 ideal. Youngest I've seen Commission was a few weeks shy of 19, oldest 36 and average 24.

    3. TCB

    Preferably done before starting Module 2 (modules explained in other threads - try search until I can edit a link in). Most seem to fit it in sometime during Module 2. The Regional Training Centre (RTC) or District Specialist Training Team (DSTT) you are attached to will handle all the bookings.

    4. TCB Assistance

    Some units still run "prep" w/es for RCB. A bad, bad idea IMO. Westbury are VERY good at their job and they will instantly identify anyone who has been schooled in how to pass. All they do is set the pass mark that much higher for that individual. Everything (and I mean absolutely everything) that you need to know to achieve a pass can be found here:


    For TA read RCB - it's an identical pass standard (although not an identical qualification). If you think some help would still be of use, find a PTI and get him/her to help you with as much extra phys as you can take on.

    Edit to correct youngest age - see post later in thread
  2. I know this guy is probably well meaning but I personally feel the DEPO scheme is a bad idea. I feel that to go for your commission you should have experience as a private. Look at the low retention rates of the TA. The DEPO will encourage people to come in with no military training, do a few months of PO training and then leave because they decide the work is not for them.

    My personal opinion is that the person should join the TA as infantry. If he still likes it after finishing all his recruit training then he should go for his PO training. I would respect an officer far more if I knew he had done that.
  4. How do you know he doesn't? And for the record I spent time as a private before I Commissioned. The pressure from the other Ptes NOT TO was phenomenal. And I've seen a large number of Ptes and JNCOs who would have made cracking Officers fall by the wayside because they came under the same pressure. Remember, this is the TA - you are (very) likely to serve as an Officer in the same Coy/Sqn/Bty in which you were a Pte/Sig/Gnr/Fus/etc. Not ideal for someone who is still effectively a trainee unless they are very strong characters indeed (which, of course, is a reasonable measurement of Officer potential in itself).

    The drop-out rate from DEPOs with experience in the ranks is higher than the drop-out rate from those who don't. That is a simple fact and remember most Offr drop-outs leave altogether so it is a double loss. Having said that we positively encourage people of the right calibre to join from the ranks so for those who do, where else would you suggest they get their pre-Sandhurst training? The term DEPO in this instance is nominative, rather than descriptive.

    The DEPO scheme is now 3 years old in its current form and ran VERY successfully for over a decade up until the early 90s. The evidence suggests that it is in fact rather a good idea.

    Yes it will. It then requires something in the order of 60 to 70 MTDs plus 2 full weekends at Westbury as a minimum (some do even more) before the individual gets anywhere near Sandhurst. How many Ptes in year 1 would be allowed to rack up that MTD expenditure? By the way, the Regular Course still gets more leave than the TA get training ;)

    As I mentioned above, it also encourages individuals who are already members of the TA to join from units - some of the posters we distributed 18 months ago are still in evidence in TA Centres in my area.

    And I hope it continues to encourage ex-Regulars many of whom have significant Operational experience, which also applies to an increasing number of DEPOs from TA these days.

    The concept of recruiting TA Soldiers encourages (we hope) people to come in with no military training. We then train them how to be soldiers. I don't see the difference between that and what DEPO does with Officers, save that the raw material is normally - but not always - different.

    So surely that means the DEPO scheme is ideal because it will filter out the ne'er do wells far more effectively than a 36 days in the year new recruit?

    Why Infantry, what about the rest of the TA, most of which is Corps?

    ChrisV, you need to look at all the other threads on this subject. The DEPO needs to do EXACTLY the same initial recruit training as the Pte soldier PLUS additional Officer specific training. Trust me, he or she will not make it through Sandhurst if Sandhurst thinks they won't be able to earn the respect of their men.
  6. You may find that the 18 year old sprog had gone for a group B commission with the OTC?, although I am not sure what the rules are as they have changed quite alot since I did my stint at Sandhurst to get my group A.

    I have a Cpl in my troop who is an ideal candidate for commissioning, and he is a graduate with loads more academic quals than most of the people in the regt put together. He really proved himself on Op TELIC IV and would be more than ideal. He has a stressful job in civy street and uses the TA to still use his leadership skills but also to relax with the occasional burst of excitement (and to get away from her indoors). The idea of getting bogged down in the volume of paper work a Tp Comd has to contend with (that only the Army can provide) does not appeal to him. Who can blame him. I remember how nice life was as a private.
  7. Just noticed that we've had this discussion before ChrisV:


    And your reply then:

    And I note you are in the DEPO system. Was your post above a test or is there a chip on the shoulder you want to share with us?

    Hescoheed, the 18 year old (as he was at Sandhurst) is a regular ARRSER, I'll let him reply if he wants ;)
  8. Chrisv. If you check with MCM div in Glasgow, you'll find that you can be enlisted into the TA from 17Yrs. From personnal experience I have enlisted two 17yr olds in the last 6 months. Both with the approval of Kentrigen House. 8O

    There is an ammendment to TA regs Which also supports this, Oh the joyful discussions with the PSAO on that topic. :wink:
  9. TA entrants 17-171/2 That as long as they are not enlisting into Group C (sponsored reserve) they can enlist. They have rounded of the age to become more in line with the Regular Army. As long as they have parental consent they will be accepted.

    CHAP 5

    :D :D
  10. cheers abacus, a reply from him would be great so he can share with us how he went through the system so quickly so I can pass this onto our SRTT.
  11. ^Not a difficult formula:

    He joined TA as a 17 year old, no previous experience. Got involved with Cambrian Patrol and had his first taste of Leadership. Decided he wanted to be an Officer and then didn't miss a single day's Officer training until he went to RMAS.

    Factors which helped:

    A BRILLIANT PSAO who supported him all the way, working closely with a superb TA Clerk who liaised directly with the RTC AO and ensured no stupid screw-ups with pay and paperwork (how many people do we lose through simple admin failure?)

    An interested RHQ and an Adjt who phoned routinely for progress updates (I am astonished at the NFI attitude from so many RHQs)

    He was incredibly fit - if there is one factor above all others which tells me if an OCdt is going to make it or not, it's physical fitness.

    An understanding that he was training for a purpose, he didn't just want to be OCdt, he wanted to DO OCdt. Now he wants to DO TA Officer and I bet he goes regular before he's 21.
  12. Don't get me wrong. I completely agree that Sandhurst and all the other hurdles will get rid of a lot of the people who don't have the ability to lead. The problem I have seen though is that people are beginning Module 2 training as their first ever weekend with the TA. Other people have joined from units where they have spent one weekend in the field for their recruit training. I feel that through attending recruit training, the person who sent you that message, would definately have all the basic skills needed before they began their PO training. It would prevent people going on exercises without adequate training of the weapon system. I know of one girl, who was given a rifle on exercise, yet had never been taught any weapon handling skills. I thought that seemed a little dangerous to me.

    It's not DEPO that I dislike, its the way people havn't done Module 1 when they do module 2. I do however, think the PO training is excellent and everyone who works on the training is excellent.
  13. Me and a few of the guys went recruiting. We have been told no 17 year olds. Only 17 1/2. If the age has changed I was not aware.
  14. Thanks for that one abacus! Are you sure that is all real? sounds like your RHQ et al are perfect examples of how it should be. Sounds like I need to transfer into your outfit!
  15. I know that you have some input into the advertising/recruiting process, do you have any influence over the material that's sent out to those interested in the TA? (E.g. if you fill in the form on the web site) What gets sent isn't that complete and can be a bit confusing, particularly concerning physical fitness. (I still don't know what's green/amber for situps/pushups even after TAFS2, although I'm vaguely aware green across the board is a good idea for a potential officer) There seems to be a lot of variation between units as to how they handle POs - the brochure implies you apply as a PO whereas most units seem to take you on as a Private first then make their minds up, which is then rather offputting when you get letters from units inviting you along to see what being a TA Squaddie/Specialist is about with no further explanation and the L/Cpl you meet on your first night knows nothing about it either. Doesn't need the brochures redoing, perhaps just a covering letter explaining that different cap badges do it in different ways and some template text for individual units to put in the letters they send out?

    (Apologies if this is an old/much whinged about topic, but it seems that by the time most people are in a position to have influence or even make constructive comments about the process on weekends away they've forgotten about problems right at the start)

    The DVD is good though. Strangely lacks mention of endless drill and PT at 0600. ;-)

    (Haven't forgotten I owe you a phone call per our PMs a while ago - Civilian life has got in the way recently, plus sudden panic over fitness due to unexpectedly getting a place on ATR this year)

    I think this is the area that's going to let me down - unless I can really make progress on my upper body strength (Pushups most notably) pretty quick I'm going to struggle with ATR, let alone anything else - Although I'm now consistently within a few seconds of green on the 1.5 mile run even on my bad days, which is a good morale boost. (Now I need to do it after an extra 15 mins of PT that morning and being made to run up and down stairs for the rest of the day... which is how the *real* BPFA works ;-))

    Unfortunately our troop doesn't have a PTI but the L/Cpl I/C recruitment is a top bloke and works really hard to help us get fit even though lack of a formal army PTI qualification limits what we can do quite heavily.