TA COs attending weekend Regt / Unit exercises

On weekend Regt / Unit exercises my CO...

  • ...is TA and usually attends

    Votes: 26 36.6%
  • ...is TA and does NOT usually attend

    Votes: 4 5.6%
  • ...is Reg and usually attends

    Votes: 31 43.7%
  • ...is Reg and does NOT usually attend

    Votes: 10 14.1%

  • Total voters
    71
#3
Its their unit... whether they attend is up to them. Ours is always on Regt weekends, but not Sqn weekends, which is good, as part of the attraction of Sqn weekends is that the RHQ hoi polloi are not there...
 
#4
Perhaps I am demonstrating my ignorance here, but how can the Regt/Bn be fully exercised if the command element (including the Commanding Officer) is not present in full?
 
#6
I think CO's (regardless of TA/Reg) should be present but got differing responses when I raised it on our latest weekend which surprised me, hence the poll.

(and yes I've realised the poll could have been designed better - it's my first time! Be gentle...)
 
#7
If I understand the scope of the reserves review correctly, this may raise some interesting questions for the future. As I see it, one of the options for the TA is to make it more like the US National Guard, in terms of getting more and better training and other resources but probably with lower overal numbers. The pay off for this that attendance at training events will be compulsory for all ranks, with failure to attend being treated the same as a regular soldier going AWOL. I'd be interested to hear thoughts from the serving TA.
 
#9
If I understand the scope of the reserves review correctly, this may raise some interesting questions for the future. As I see it, one of the options for the TA is to make it more like the US National Guard, in terms of getting more and better training and other resources but probably with lower overal numbers. The pay off for this that attendance at training events will be compulsory for all ranks, with failure to attend being treated the same as a regular soldier going AWOL. I'd be interested to hear thoughts from the serving TA.
Generally in favour, although NG is huge and TA small. However NG have a package including immense employee protection and other support for the soldier. If the package improves, ie enabling the soldier to be an active TA soldier, then I am in favour of compulsory attendance.

Cardinal
 
#10
Generally in favour, although NG is huge and TA small. However NG have a package including immense employee protection and other support for the soldier. If the package improves, ie enabling the soldier to be an active TA soldier, then I am in favour of compulsory attendance.

Cardinal
Very much agree, although if the package improves it will have to improve for the employer as well otherwise it just won't work. If we go down the NG route we're going to need a big buy in from the employers and the positive benefits of hiring reservists reinforced with some tangible benefits. If this isn't done well enough companies will avoid employing reservists and the TA will be made up of the self employed and un-employed.
 
#11
If I understand the scope of the reserves review correctly, this may raise some interesting questions for the future. As I see it, one of the options for the TA is to make it more like the US National Guard, in terms of getting more and better training and other resources but probably with lower overal numbers. The pay off for this that attendance at training events will be compulsory for all ranks, with failure to attend being treated the same as a regular soldier going AWOL. I'd be interested to hear thoughts from the serving TA.
Fine as long as there is some sort legal protection to stop TA personnel being disadvantaged in their civvy career and lives because of it. Both promotion wise and financially. The main problem with moving to the system you describe ,as I see it, is that not everyone works Mon-Fri 9-5 or even regular hours in their civvy job and quite often people earn more than their daily rate at rank.

As an example I jave a young lad in my Tp who gets paid £80 a shift, his daily rate is around £40 as a newly passed out Spr. To attend a Tuesday training night at 1/4 days pay (£10 odd) he may have to give up a shift (£80) leaving himself £70 worse off. With 2 young kids and faced with the same choice what would you do?

It would certainly make management easier. But faced with the reality of matching civvy pay and bringing in specific laws to protect peoples livelyhood I cant see it happening.

Edit - Im not saying it couldnt be done, just that the financial implications of doing so would be rather large and the point of the review is to save money.
 
#12
Regardless of whether the whole TA are forced to turn up or not, applying for and accepting the CO job should mean you have committed to, in the vast majority of cases (SWMBO birthdays, Brigade Conferences & open-heart surgery are acceptable excuses. Only just, in the latter case :D ), gracing us with your august and esteemed presence.

Whether you quickly, then, bugger off and let people get on with work / training / faffing around or whether you stay and "help" or "encourage" is, I suppose, a matter of your personality and particular knowledge.
 
#13
Very much agree, although if the package improves it will have to improve for the employer as well otherwise it just won't work. If we go down the NG route we're going to need a big buy in from the employers and the positive benefits of hiring reservists reinforced with some tangible benefits. If this isn't done well enough companies will avoid employing reservists and the TA will be made up of the self employed and un-employed.
While it is not my area of expertise, I'd say you have identified the main sticking points. I would suggest that the incentives to the civilian employers would be the vital ground, but clearly this also lies outside the MOD's control. Perhaps David Cameron's Big Society plans hold the answers...
 
#14
My experience has been that TA COs turn up nearly always whereas Reg ones have appeared less keen.

I'm NOT pointing the finger at TA COs - more just wondering firstly if guys think COs should be on weekends or not but also if any Reg / TA CO difference held across the board.


I personally feel v strongly that we should be more "part time" Regular / "full time" Regular rather than simply TA / Reg. Training and planning are v heavily affected by not knowing until you actually start a weekend or even drill night who will be there. Progressive training is difficult. Sldrs could apply for leave in the same way as Regs to not be at some trg.
 
#15
I personally feel v strongly that we should be more "part time" Regular / "full time" Regular rather than simply TA / Reg. Training and planning are v heavily affected by not knowing until you actually start a weekend or even drill night who will be there. Progressive training is difficult. Sldrs could apply for leave in the same way as Regs to not be at some trg.
I don't particularly disagree with the aspiration - although "notify absence" rather than "apply for leave" - but it is placing all of the responsibility on the TA soldier and allowing the Army to blithely carry on with the "you're just casual labour" and "please volunteer for mobilisation" cop-outs.

If the Army, corporately, was willing to man up and provide reasonable Ts&Cs, then they could expect more commitment in return. They get the commitment they deserve for the current shambles of fudges.
 
#16
If I understand the scope of the reserves review correctly, this may raise some interesting questions for the future. As I see it, one of the options for the TA is to make it more like the US National Guard, in terms of getting more and better training and other resources but probably with lower overal numbers. The pay off for this that attendance at training events will be compulsory for all ranks, with failure to attend being treated the same as a regular soldier going AWOL. I'd be interested to hear thoughts from the serving TA.
Not a bad idea at all, I would support such a scheme.
 
#17
With regards to the original question - yes, COs should attend all Regtl training, unless they have another military commitment (e.g. Bde Comd's conference). As far as sub-unit training goes, I think they should aim to attend at least one a year - in a purely informal basis to spend some time with the Coy Comd and find out how things are going.

With regards to the comments about the US NG, the more I see of this model, the more I am convinced it is the future.
 
#18
With regards to the original question - yes, COs should attend all Regtl training, unless they have another military commitment (e.g. Bde Comd's conference). As far as sub-unit training goes, I think they should aim to attend at least one a year - in a purely informal basis to spend some time with the Coy Comd and find out how things are going.

With regards to the comments about the US NG, the more I see of this model, the more I am convinced it is the future.
Again, at the risk of sounding ignorant of TA matters; surely the CO must observe Sqn/Coy level training in order to certify it. In the same way that a regular CO awards/certifies CT2 training for regular sub-units?

I suspect the real Achilles heal of the NG model would be the failure to provide sufficient TACOS coupled with inadequate incentives for civilian employers to take on and retain reservists with a mandated higher level of commitment to the TA. As someone else suggested above, the risk is that the TA could be manned entirely by people who are otherwise unemployed, because civilian employers wouldn't want to employ reservists. Somehow I don't think employment protection and anti-descriminatio legislation will be enough.

Also for the NG model to work, it would require a significant reduction in overal manning and some fairly serious restructuring (I would imagine). I suspect that you may find (as is sometimes the case in the Regular Army) that the greatest barriers to progress are often the old and bold who tend to die in a ditch before supporting restructuring, however necessary.
 
#20
Again, at the risk of sounding ignorant of TA matters; surely the CO must observe Sqn/Coy level training in order to certify it. In the same way that a regular CO awards/certifies CT2 training for regular sub-units?
True, to a point - especially if the Exercise is intended to act as a validation of CT2, but this might be better achieved as the culmination of Sqn level training during annual camp. Experience has shown sub-units to require a certain level of monitoring to make sure the CoC are doing their job (thankfully those who aren't are becoming fewer), but I also think they do need some time by themselves to iron out wrinkles with minimal external pressure.

From a practical point of view, the geographical dispertion of many sub-units means that a CO might have to spend his entire weekend on the road just to see 10 minutes of training at each location. Either that, or sub-unit weekends are staggered, which means he spends nearly every weekend out - not condusive to marital bliss in the case of TA COs!

I suspect the real Achilles heal of the NG model would be the failure to provide sufficient TACOS coupled with inadequate incentives for civilian employers to take on and retain reservists with a mandated higher level of commitment to the TA. As someone else suggested above, the risk is that the TA could be manned entirely by people who are otherwise unemployed, because civilian employers wouldn't want to employ reservists. Somehow I don't think employment protection and anti-descriminatio legislation will be enough.
True, and I think TACOS will be absolutley key to this. There should be a carrot as well as a stick, and the one thing we British don't seem to be very good at is translating patriotism into company policy!

Even with all this in place, I think there will still be some employees and employers who will not be able to play ball with the new TACOS. It will take a very brave (but necessary, IMHO) decision to suck it up and admit that we might have to lose some of the current manning and recruitment pool to support a very different one.

Also for the NG model to work, it would require a significant reduction in overal manning and some fairly serious restructuring (I would imagine). I suspect that you may find (as is sometimes the case in the Regular Army) that the greatest barriers to progress are often the old and bold who tend to die in a ditch before supporting restructuring, however necessary.
With regards to manning, just how much of the TA total manning is effective anyway? If every unit blew off their dead wood, hangers-on and useless, would that be so bad?

Part of this will come down to attitude. If you join an organisation in which you know from day one that you will be expected to turn up for the first weekend of every month (or whatever commitment may be) as you would any other regular part-time job, then the time conflicts begin to lessen, because there really is no conflict. In return, the reservist gets to turn up for fully-manned training events with up-to-date equipment, and feels like they are actually part of an organisation with a serious role in the Nation's defence (and perhaps other benfits associated with a job that is not classed as casual labour! ;-) )
 
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