TA in the Times

#1
msr said:
This rather neatly encapsulates the recruiting/retention issues of the day:

Sir, As a former Territorial Army officer, I found the TA manpower issues highlighted in your report (October 31) of absolutely no surprise.

The TA that I joined in the early 1980s had a clear mission, which was well understood by all ranks. We trained for a European war which thankfully never happened, as a contained unit with specific responsibilities, rather than a top-up for the Regular Army. When we exercised in Belgium and Germany we were familiarising ourselves with our theatre of war, should the unthinkable happen.

The end of the Cold War and the Options for Change reforms in the 1990s changed the role of the TA. Units were cut and formations which had been served by local communities for many years disbanded. Friends still serving tell me that the TA is now little more than a convenient pool of manpower to replenish overstretched regular units.

The TA should never have been a source of cheap manpower. It is no wonder morale is low.

PAT PEARSON
Former Captain
Royal Military Police
London N8

www.timesonline.co.uk/..._1,00.html

msr
OldSnowy said:
By TELIC 2, deployment was via 'intelligent' mobilisation. We went, as part of over 100 TA REME, to join a Reg Bn. Officers went too (after a fight) and proved absoutely essential. We had 2 weeks training, but as the Reg Bn was on pre-Tour leave, there wasn't a lot, apart from ITDs, that we could do Smile

By TELIC 3 and 4, we were again down to providing smaller groups (e.g. about 25 from our scattered TA Bn to join a Reg Bn). No officers, but much longer work-up training, actually with the Troops. This worked pretty well, but the lack of TA Officers was, in my view, a problem - it certainly led to a some of my Soldiers leaving after that Tour, proportionally far more than from TELIC 2.

In the longer run, though, the trend is definitely for the mobilisation of Soldiers, but not Officers. This has been done to death in earlier threads, but the effect on TA training, officer recruitment and retention, and longer-term viability can only be imagined.
Back to training, not sending officers/SNCO's means that we are not capturing a decent lessons learned. Maybe it would be an idea to also send a PSI, who will be able to act as an interface between the TA and regulars. They could also be backed up more senior TA members ensuring a valid 'lessons learned' comes back to units.

Maybe it does but I've not seen anything where we are training people incorrectly or where we are suceeding, which is wrong as I in theory could be setting the training
 
#2
polar said:
msr said:
The TA should never have been a source of cheap manpower. It is no wonder morale is low.

PAT PEARSON
Former Captain
Royal Military Police
London N8

www.timesonline.co.uk/..._1,00.html

msr
Back to training, not sending officers/SNCO's means that we are not capturing a decent lessons learned.
No, it means that the Regular Army has no need for their services in exactly the way Pat Pearson has described.

msr
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#3
We had PSIs on TELIC 2, and bloody good they were too. Mine was particularly fine, and explained the facts of TA life to many Regs, both Offr and (mainly) SNCO. He was absolutley necessary, but AFAIK there haven't been any PSIs deployed since. He only did six weeks, but it was enough (and he got his Medal!).
 
#4
We had one on telic 3 was very good even though he hated the ta (went absloultely beserk after we convinced a guilable
pte to ask how long he was on ftrs for :lol: )definatly needed in ops room at times .