TA eMK1

#1
An extract from something crossing my inbox:

EXTRACT FROM TA OFFICER CAREER DEVELOPMENT CONCEPT PAPER

1. TA eMK1. The aim of TA eMK1 is to deliver the underpinning military knowledge required by TA junior captains. It will provide officers with an understanding of the Battle Group (BG) and the context within which it operates to enhance initial appointments in command and to provide the necessary grounding for JOTAC attendance. TA eMK1 will consist of a mandatory 20 hour web-based distance learning package, followed by a formal online assessment. Successful completion of the TA eMK1 formal assessment will be mandatory for attendance on JOTAC. TA eMK1 will be based on the Regular eMK1 course but will consist only of those elements considered essential education for the TA officer. The remainder of the Regular eMK1 course will remain available for reference only and will not be assessed. The mandatory assessed and reference only modules of TA eMK1 are shown at Appendix 1.

2. Mentor Support. Commanders will be required to nominate a mentor for each MK student within their unit. The role of the mentor is to oversee the student’s learning, providing guidance, encouragement and assistance as necessary. Support for mentors will continue to be provided online with the MK courseware and second line support from the Defence Academy MK Help Desk. The mentoring regime implemented will clearly be a matter for the chain of command, but models include commanders mentoring their own subordinates, commanders nominated to specialise in individual MK parts/subjects or an individual nominated to mentor a small group of officers. The MK material has been developed to stand-alone and the mentor therefore acts primarily to support and encourage officers, rather than to tutor or teach. However, the development of a MK Mentoring Plan, with RF chain of command support, will be strongly advised.

3. Additional Notes

a. It is planned that TA Officers will be paid for 20hrs for completing MK1; they can also claim for travel to a suitable site for internet access. DII will increase computer facilities in TA Centres and enable access to eMK. There will also be an interactive CD ROM to enable officers to work offline.

b. Mentors will also have their own on-line or CD ROM package. Their role is not to impart subject matter, but instead to support and encourage.
Furthermore an application has been made for a TA officer post in each RTC to act as ROCC(V)/CLM(V) mentor.
 
#2
barbs,

Looks interesting, I only wish we could access it via armynet or similar, as it would make life so much easier to access the info from home.

What's an RTC?

msr
 
#3
msr said:
What's an RTC?
I abbreviated it believing it to be well known in the other One Army circles - Regional Training Centres (I assume a name change from BSTTs).
 
#5
They've thought of everything ;)

It will be good to see the TA eMK1 up there.

Thanks to Darth_Doctrinus I have a rather useful set of books...

msr
 
#6
20 Hours... that's laughable... It's widely recognised that the MK1 course is equivalent to 60 hours of work done in your own time. The workload in the first year is pretty heavy to say the least... MK1, Mod 5, and the assumption by your Unit that because you are new(ish) you will attend every event the Regt. cares to plan. Frankly when you've done 5 w/e's in a row and someone suggests that you're not putting in the effort because you're missing the sixth for personal reasons, well, it's hard to restrain yourself from driving a bayonet up to the hilt into their face...

It's still the best job in the world but for f**k sake give us a break.
 
#7
SilverBullet said:
20 Hours... that's laughable... It's widely recognised that the MK1 course is equivalent to 60 hours of work done in your own time. The workload in the first year is pretty heavy to say the least... MK1, Mod 5, and the assumption by your Unit that because you are new(ish) you will attend every event the Regt. cares to plan. Frankly when you've done 5 w/e's in a row and someone suggests that you're not putting in the effort because you're missing the sixth for personal reasons, well, it's hard to restrain yourself from driving a bayonet up to the hilt into their face...

It's still the best job in the world but for f**k sake give us a break.
SB,

Before you go off on one, I think you'll find that in future the TA will do a cut down version of MK1, to be known as 'TA eMK1'.

msr
 
#8
IIP said:
An Investor in People develops effective strategies to improve the performance of the organisation through its people.

1. A strategy for improving the performance of the organisation is clearly defined and understood.
2. Learning and development is planned to achieve the organisation's objectives.
3. Strategies for managing people are designed to promote equality of opportunity in the development of the organisation's people.
4. The capabilities managers need to lead, manage and develop people effectively are clearly defined and understood.
Thought this was an appropriate thread to mention the 1st 4 themes of the 10 themed IIP Standard the Army has signed up for (edit to add - insofar as it applies to this issue). (I'm an IIP(S) Advocate for those who don't know)

Part 1 and 2 clearly satisfied. 4 might be already (and almost certainly will be) when all the Stakeholder Boards have thrashed this out. Part 3, not a chance as long as the TA remain the Unreal Army (as oppose the the Real Army). (edit to add - I might be being a bit unfair there because so many of our senior managers - i.e. Reg 1* and 2* decision makers - do not have the in-depth knowledge of the TA that they would need to get this bit absolutely right and I have no fair means of assessing whether or not they are doing enough to find out)
 
#9
OK... I know this is going to sound contradictory but why do we have a cut down version? I don't mind doing the longer one if a) we have more time and b) we get paid accordingly for it.
 
#10
SB,

A number of complaints were made about the amount of time required to study for the full length one and questions were asked about how valid some of the information was.

msr
 
#11
A young subaltern joins the unit with some crazy idea that he will lead a platoon of men if not on operations, then on exercise in the first two years of his career, before possibly doing some courses...

Instead, he gets dropped straight into Bde level YO development training (this is a gas mask, here's how to put it on) sent on his 2 week Special to arms course. That's his first year in the TA, and he still hasn't seen his platoon.

Then MK1 starts. Every weekend, the regiment takes him away and teaches him about the rotor span of a chinook. Annual camp this year is JOTACC!

So he's been in two years, never seen a Pte soldier, picked up his second pip and, if he's old enough, (because according to this he is certainly qualified) he can promote and drop straight into that desk job that the unit needed filling....

Or he's left the TA, because that's not what the adverts said it would be like.

I'm not saying that TA officers don't need development in order to bring them up to par with regular officers, but is this the way to do it?
 
#12
Burgers said:
Instead, he gets dropped straight into Bde level YO development training (this is a gas mask, here's how to put it on) sent on his 2 week Special to arms course. That's his first year in the TA, and he still hasn't seen his platoon.
First three years more like.

Burgers said:
I'm not saying that TA officers don't need development in order to bring them up to par with regular officers, but is this the way to do it?
So what are your suggestions?

msr
 
#13
barbs said:
An extract from something crossing my inbox:

3. Additional Notes

a. It is planned that TA Officers will be paid for 20hrs for completing MK1; they can also claim for travel to a suitable site for internet access. DII will increase computer facilities in TA Centres and enable access to eMK. There will also be an interactive CD ROM to enable officers to work offline.
[Said in a hopeful manner] Maybe a typo and it should be 20 days? [/Said in a hopeful manner]
 
#14
Why not simply make it a weekend that is run three/four times a year? As TA soldiers, we're used to working longer hours on courses than Regular Units, who simply spread the time over a longer period.

Twenty hours = 2 slightly long days.

If each Regiment herded all their officers into one place, with the Training Major, Adjt and perhaps CO/R2ic being on hand for questions, there'd be none of this "Where do I find the time?"

And perhaps then, CO's/OC's would be able to refute up their chain of command that it "only takes 20 hours" to complete.

They'd also be able to provide feedback on why a longer course might be more suitable, as all I can see happening at the moment, is that this is another reason for the Regular Army to decide that they don't need TA officers for anything other than the jobs that no Regular Army officer wants to do, (or be seen doing perhaps?)
 
#15
If you view it as pre-reading for JOTAC, it becomes an easier pill to swallow.

msr
 
#16
Are they planning to add other courses to MK Online?

Seems to be an excellent way of delivering courses (especially for the TA), are the courses any good?

Lastly this JOTES Mk 1, is it just for DE Lt's only or do LE's do the same training? ... Don't need an answer just interested in following this topic.
 
#17
SilverBullet said:
20 Hours... that's laughable... It's widely recognised that the MK1 course is equivalent to 60 hours of work done in your own time. The workload in the first year is pretty heavy to say the least... MK1, Mod 5, and the assumption by your Unit that because you are new(ish) you will attend every event the Regt. cares to plan. Frankly when you've done 5 w/e's in a row and someone suggests that you're not putting in the effort because you're missing the sixth for personal reasons, well, it's hard to restrain yourself from driving a bayonet up to the hilt into their face...

It's still the best job in the world but for f**k sake give us a break.
How much time on average does the TA subaltern spend sitting around the Bty/Coy/Sqn office shooting the breeze these days when he/she could be doing some book-larning??
 
#18
Burgers said:
A young subaltern joins the unit with some crazy idea that he will lead a platoon of men if not on operations, then on exercise in the first two years of his career, before possibly doing some courses...

Instead, he gets dropped straight into Bde level YO development training (this is a gas mask, here's how to put it on) sent on his 2 week Special to arms course. That's his first year in the TA, and he still hasn't seen his platoon.

Then MK1 starts. Every weekend, the regiment takes him away and teaches him about the rotor span of a chinook. Annual camp this year is JOTACC!

So he's been in two years, never seen a Pte soldier, picked up his second pip and, if he's old enough, (because according to this he is certainly qualified) he can promote and drop straight into that desk job that the unit needed filling....

Or he's left the TA, because that's not what the adverts said it would be like.

I'm not saying that TA officers don't need development in order to bring them up to par with regular officers, but is this the way to do it?
Sounds like your lot are doing things in a slightly odd way.

You're supposed to do JOTAC (note - no need for an extra C at the end, as the C that's there stands for "course" already) when you're within a year to 18 months of being made up to Capt. So doing it in your second year is a bit early. You should really be in your third year since commissioning - at least - before you do it. Unless your unit is mad keen on getting people to Captain without exposure to troop leading, that is. You could always stall the powers that be and stay a Lt for a while.

MK1 is meant to be done in short sessions of an hour or so every now and then. Trying to cram it into people TA style (in a single weekend) probably leads to the level of retention of information that you usually get with cramming.

The e-learning method should work reasonably well. If you don't have easy access to the internet you can request a CD-ROM (of the new course using Macromedia Flash so that everything looks groovy, rather than big fat PDFs that you have to read by endlessly scrolling). And a shortened version of the course has been created for the TA.

I really don't think you could ask the MK1 guys to do any more than that. Seems eminently fair to me.

The thing with MK1 is that although it is a bit of a pain, the information you pick up is generally interesting and well-presented. Most of all, though, it is useful and a lot of it you would not pick up so quickly any other way as a TA officer.

And MK1 leads to JOTAC, which is a great course. The whole package reminds me of a diploma-level postgrad course by distance learning, with a substantial practical element. But instead of being about boring stuff to do with civworld, it's about green stuff: something of a bonus. Combined, MK1 and JOTAC really do help in achieving that new-fangled objective of ensuring parity of education for TA officers with their regular brethren.

PS They're not paying me to say this.
 
#19
polar said:
Are they planning to add other courses to MK Online?
Steady on there.... :D

polar said:
Seems to be an excellent way of delivering courses (especially for the TA), are the courses any good?
I'll let you know in Dec ;)

polar said:
Lastly this JOTES Mk 1, is it just for DE Lt's only or do LE's do the same training?
I believe that it depends on what rank you commission from, however as Dr Evil said, it's a load of actually very useful info. In any case many things are being reviewed at the moment, so it will all change in the not too distant future.

msr
 
#20
polar said:
Lastly this JOTES Mk 1, is it just for DE Lt's only or do LE's do the same training?
Not sure if it'll be obligatory. However, eMK1 will become available via ArmyNet aswell as on the Defence Academy site and I believe anyone will be able to look at it via the former if they wish (as is the case currently with MK2).

That's, in essence, the reply I got from the DA when I emailed them asking if people who've done the old MK1 will have access to the new course for revision. So if you're interested, check it out when it appears on ArmyNet. Alternatively, email the DA wallahs and ask to be signed up for the eMK1 course mkhelp.dcmt@defenceacademy.mod.uk

Keenness verging on outright geekery from us both, there. 8O
 

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