TA, Hobby or Profession?

Simple question.

Hobby has connotations of stamps. Profession has connotations of pensions.

Is it a hobby, a committed hobby, other, secondary profession, or profession?
Depends what your reasons for joining are. Mine are to gain experience, where does that fit in?
Being ex Reg and therefore being a pro STAB baiter, it guts me to point out that not too many hobbies get you spread accross several grid squares in a nice Burberry / grey / red/ burnt charcoaly colour.

The TA is a different animal today that it ever was in any of our (except CP's) living history.

I stopped baiting them the second they started dying with the rest of us.


gung_hobo said:
Simple question.

Hobby has connotations of stamps. Profession has connotations of pensions.

Is it a hobby, a committed hobby, other, secondary profession, or profession?

Its the Army, regardless of terms of service.
Google said:
Define: Professional = A person who practices an occupation involving high standards of intellectual knowledge after successfully completing the required education and training.
A profession being performed by a professional.

Hmm, for me it's a secondary career (possibly even third since being such a devoted lover as oneself.. ahem), with a verrry long term game plan - the original 30 year lance jack. In it for the fun, but also for the opportunities it provides. I guess for some it's a hobby, rock up at weekends just for the fun or to escape the office. Some are full time part timers, constantly mobilised or on FTRS or some such.
I consider army service be it Full Time Regular or Part Time Reserve the same

It is neither a profession nor a hobby

Its a calling
the only thing is,we have proper jobs beside the army as well :wink:
In civvy street there are parttimers too, do we call them less civvies?

Like Winston Churchill said; to be a reservist,is to be twice a civvy...


Kit Reviewer
Having worked with a number of excellent STABs, (often but by no means exclusively ex-Regs,) and an even greater amount of utter fcuking nightmares who are an embarrassment to the regular army, I'm chuffed with the effort, enthusiasm and high standards that these TA blokes offer.

Those regular soldiers who put in a lacklustre or less than 100% effort know full well who they are and should be ashamed that the 'amateurs' outclass them.

This comment does not of course cover all the TA, just those of note. In general the Regs should be better at their jobs as the STABs only train in their 'free' time, but individuals being what they are...

Further to TA_sig's post I'm put in mind of something a Colonel well known to certain members said:

As the English language continues to "evolve," we note a curious tendency to use the term "professional," when what is meant is "expert." One is a professional when he is paid for what he does. That does not mean that he is particularly good at it. It is probably safe to say that people who do things really well do so because they love doing them. This makes them amateurs in the precise sense of the term, though "amateur" has come to mean clumsy in much common usage.
The idea of 'professionalism' in regular service may well come from the old recruiting ads, "Join the Professionals."
(Which did not mean Bodie & Doyle)
I think you'll find it's a cult:

A close-knit organisation with strict rules and requirements for membership

Dynamic leaders who exercise control and influence over members' lives

Numerous activities which take up significant amounts of time

Ritualistic activities, possibly including the wearing of special clothing

Training and other activities which may be physically and emotionally draining

Strong peer pressure in the group to achieve specific goals and obey the leader

Requirements to make sacrifices for the good of the group

Active recruiting efforts

Promises of rewards, and other benefits for complying with the demands of the group

Many cults teach their followers to be completely open and truthful within the group, while at the same time they are encouraged to be secretive and evasive when questioned by people outside of the group

Members are taught that outsiders wouldn't understand or that they would only make fun of the ideas and practices and requirements for living within the group.



the cult thing goes for regular units just as much. Especially for units with special jobs, weird headgear or such things...

My old unit had a very strong 'us and the rest' attitude, even to other units in the brigade!

as for the question of this topic: When you're a reservist, you're in the Army. Thus it is a job, a fun job, but a serious commitment for which you get payed. If you do not see it as such, stay away!




Book Reviewer
MSR is right - the TA met the Cult criteria every time (begging the question of what he was doing on a Mormonwbsite in th first place?).

For me, a paid Hobby, with the opportunity to play with guns and explosives, break vehicles (and get them fixed for free) and travel to exotic Countries that I would never otherwise visit (Such delightful places as Belize, Khazakhstan, Iraq, Belgium, etc).
Regular Army View: It was a hobby, it's now a profession

TA View (over 5 years service); 'what happened to my hobby?'

TA View (under 5 years service): 'I thought this was a profession? - seems more like a hobby'
:D good one msr and very close to the truth.Its a hobby or a 2nd job .The idea that its a 2nd career/ profesion seems ludricous to me .At the end of the day you cant rely on the Ta to provide a monthly pay cheque nor should you
imho.Though it would be nice to get paid for the work you do regularly.
And I think if your doing lots of tours maybe the regulars are for you .I class
it as a hobby even though my oc says its a second proffesion.Ok getting sent off for telic makes it an extreme hobby .
It is what it is for some it is a hobby some its a 2nd career/ proffesion/ job
as long as they can do what is expected of them who cares how they see it?
approach this like a hobby because it requires professional standards. We have a training obligation, we sign a contract, we get mobilised, we go on ops and some, a few, get injured or killed.

If we dont train or complete our obligation to the standards required we get sacked, if we want to get promoted we have to exceed our minimum obligation and standards.

How does that fit in with a hobby or even casual labour?

Whilst now the average Tom in a unit and almost all the SNCO's and officers treat us just like one of them, on mobilisation/FTRS, it seems the STAB/ARAB thing is alive and well in the minds and hearts of our most senior officers and decision makers, the result being no pension and a few other daft things which only serve to be devisive.

We are soldiers, professional ones and the only ones who dont know it are the senior ones who make decisions.

I like cult - well done MSR - can we get that into rebalancing?
then its the regulars for you"

Nice idea, since 2002 I have done 12 months FTRS and 18 months mobilised service and am just starting a 24 month FTRS engagement.

I would relish the chance of transfer to the regs, since I love the work, as American, Australian, Kiwi and Canadian reservists can.

I spoke to MCM Div in Glasgow about it and was told various things "reservists are a waste of time" "reservists are ruining the career progression of proper soldiers" "if you wanted to join the proper army you should have done so when you were young enough"

OK, lots of that it to do with my Corps which is not all it should be (others, it seems, are a lot more enlightened) but it raises two questions

If we are a "hobby" worthless to the regular army and not proper soldiers why do they call us up and use us on operations as "proper soldiers"?

If we are "proper soldiers" why cant we transfer to the regulars and get a pension as all reservists from nations, who have a similar system to our own, do?

It seems the MOD/Army want the best of both worlds, for us to regard it as a hobby and for them to use us as "proper soldiers"


Seems odd that you haven't actually been approached to go full time after doing so much.

Your tour reports were up to scratch, yes?

Maybe worth speaking to your PSIs and starting a bit of dialogue with any regular contacts they know - possibly sponsoring your transfer.

With the right amount of experience (not just operational) any TA soldier who's up to par (and has the CRs to prove it) should easily land a transfer without the hassle of going through basic again... you just need to speak to the right people.
I think it depends a fair bit on your role... TA Inf? Whole Company being called up for duty, well i'd say thats a profession.

2(NC) Brigade RSigs, well, thats a hobby.

Just playing devil's advocate here...

...you probably couldn't mobilise a full squadron from a 2(NC) Sig Brigade regiment because so many of their soldiers have done op tours within the last 3 years (as individual volunteers might I add).

Doesn't get more professional than that mate.
Yep, not arguing with you there. For Personel on Ops, the TA is defo a profession.

I guess the point i was trying to make (albeit badly), is that when you train for a job you'll never be asked to do, and when mobalisation tasks have nothing to do with your traded role... then going in on evenings and weekends is really just for enjoyment... and therefore is a hobby.


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