TA numbers

#1
OK get this.. my weekend exercise has been called off because only TWO PEOPLE showed up to the TAC ready to go! What are numbers like in your TA units, and are there many "active" soldiers in your unit or lots of wasters like in my unit. I am just sooo fed up with current commitment from soldiers in my battalion I cant wait to leave to another more professional unit like the marines or paras.
 
#2
Im not whining.. I was interested in what troop numbers are like at other TA units and if all TA units are having a recruitment problem, as it does seem like it!
 
#3
I don't suppose it's anything to do with the sheer numbers about to go on T7 is it Cannon?
 
#4
cannon fodder said:
OK get this.. my weekend exercise has been called off because only TWO PEOPLE showed up to the TAC ready to go!quote]


If soldiers are not turning up for the weekend, there is a very simple explaination in my experience. They probably know that the exercise will be sh1t! If a unit cannot organise good imaginative training that incentivise their soldiers, they will get poor turn outs. The TA competes with everything else people want to do on a weekend and if the other activities are likely to be more fun and more rewarding they will do that.

Soldiers will turn up if they know it will be fun / rewarding. So plan it well in advance, have clear aims, ensure there is something that will leave the troops with a sense of achievement and en then communicate it well i.e. sell it! Janet and f*cking John really.

Cannon fodder, you can either leave and find another unit or you can do something about it yourself. Speak to your Pl Comd / Pl Sgt. Make your views known. Is this a one off or is it a trend?
 
#5
Mudfoot said:
They probably know that the exercise will be sh1t! If a unit cannot organise good imaginative training that incentivise their soldiers, they will get poor turn outs. The TA competes with everything else people want to do on a weekend and if the other activities are likely to be more fun and more rewarding they will do that.
So true, we've just gone thro a phase where we had an appalling PSI, ARAB throu and throu. He was a I know best etc .... when he took lessons the content was aimed at 1st week regular recruits. I didn't attend weekends he ran until he was replaced.
 
#6
My two p worth. I agree about attendance. It is a sine qua non for the TA. It is A TA PROBLEM not for the PSI or regulr staff to deal with. When I was a sub unit commander it was dealt with by me and my troop commanders by phoning up. In an ideal world it works bottom up but in the real world it works top down. Every weekend those who did not turn up when expected got a phone call. The wasters soon figure they dont need the hassle and leae and more importantly it empowers those who do get off their arrses and turn up and will lead to a hardcore of regular attenders rather than a full establishment of dead wood.

Further if people think the training is not worth the effort then they leave. To not turn up for cetain weekends because in their judgement they do not rate it is unacceptable. It is the whole package or nothing. If numbers remain derisory disband the unit.

Without wishing to increase regular TA schism I cannot blame the regular element for calling it a hobby if only 5 percent of the establishment turn up on a weekend without sanction. That sounds like the type of commitment of a hobby not a part time job.

Two p worth over.
 
#7
What happens when the whole package is bonk extrader?

What happens, when there isn't enough interesting and varied training to keep the guys interested? It's a cyclical problem, and in my time in the TA , is invariably boils down to budget, not bosses. Or maybe we've just been lucky to have always had good OC's . Can't say the same about Training Majors and Co's though.

As for telling people , "It 's the whole package or leave" even the regular attenders will tell you to ram it if call their loyalty into question in that fashion.

It's Family, work, TA . Or more correctly , Family, Iraq or some other sh*thole, work (assuming you still have a job when you return) , TA . The TA is still a voluntary organisation , and right now, a lot of guys are taking every spare minute to guarantee their businesses if self-employed (like me) or getting a war chest together just in case and working every hour god sends , or if they are about to depart on T7 or Kiplingland , spending every spare moment they have with their partners and kids.

When you're about to spend 6 months in the sand or gadding about on Afghan mountains any training that has a distinct whiff of pants to it, is not going to be attended. Anything that isn't well advertised as a pre-deployment weekend , and essential for skills polishing, and SOLD as such, is going to have a poor attendance. We did a weekend a few weeks ago , the SPSI didn't have a lot to play with, but what he did have , he used, and made it a bloody interesting and informative weekend. It was also reasonably well attended , especially by people about to go on T7.

Maybe it would help if the weekends were declared "pre-deployment skills" and that was what was done. Not "oh we can't think of anything , let's CFT the idle fcukers" or "We can't get a range package , I know - CFT" or "Not really sure, what we can do . I know let's train like we're up against 3rd Shock, and throw in a 4 miles in 58 minutes advance to contact"

The Boys and girls want bangs, bullets and Break-ins. Why do you think OBUA weekends are by far the best attended weekends in the Infantry?

Yes there are going to be bonk weekends, but when the bonk weekends outnumber the busting ones, you will lose people.

One last thing. Weekends start on Tuesday nights. The Tuesday night prior should be spent in briefings,task rehearsals and building excitement and anticipation. Not moving tables and fcuking chairs from A to bloody B. If you want to guarantee piss-poor attendance on a weekend, fcuk the lads about on Tuesday night.
 
#8
And post deployment the idea of turning up for peace support training seems pointless .It must be hard to motivate people to do weekends when you have guys who have done iraq ,those going to iraq , and those who aren't never been .
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
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#9
Good training = Good attendance. we are just coming up to a reasonable level of attendance - and recruiting - after a long dip, and it is due to effort by the TA personnel, Permanent Staff, and major use of the imagination....

That said, the normal state of affairs in most of the Units I have trained with is, Company level training turnout is better than Bn/Regt level, simply as you don't get fecked about so much. This has been the way for many, many years, so we should be used to it by now.

And one of the best weekends for ages was peace support training - petrol bombs, riot shields, etc. THAT's the stuff to bring 'em in :)
 
#10
Good communication is the way forward, I've just set up a private forum on armynet for my sigs troop, one of the problems we have is that there is only one phone line to the TAC and if the psi are down the garage then it goes straight to the fax or answerphone. Most people have the web in one form or another, use it to communicate. Also helps to have a "young thruster" for a boss or psi , the troops don't get motivated by the old sweat on his last tour, still don't understand why that happens , not their fault
 
#11
OldSnowy said:
Company level training turnout is better than Bn/Regt level, simply as you don't get fecked about so much.
I find the complete opposite but thats mainly down to lack of numbers and having a significant part of the middle management being away somewhere hot.

Training at Sqn level tends to focus on the recruits and 'fun' weekends.
 
#12
Part Time Pongo we are in violent agreement. You are right that when bonk weekends outweigh the good weekends then people wnt turn up/ also the point made when an ARAB PSI TM etc turn up and give rubbish lessons and slag the TA (which I would say is sometimes the individual externalising his own inadequacies as in my experience a lot of the crap PSIs when you dig into their regular side are the ones who no=one has any time for in their parent unit) we can retaliate with the \back in two years when you are gone wnker/. I was just pointing out that attendance needs to be kept on top of certainly for weekends which are arranged at sub unit level. If a regt weekend is crap then the chain of command ie field officers should warn the CO before and after the fact that attendance will mirror the standard of the weekend.
Regards
 
#13
Mudfoot said:
cannon fodder said:
OK get this.. my weekend exercise has been called off because only TWO PEOPLE showed up to the TAC ready to go!quote]


If soldiers are not turning up for the weekend, there is a very simple explaination in my experience. They probably know that the exercise will be sh1t! If a unit cannot organise good imaginative training that incentivise their soldiers, they will get poor turn outs. The TA competes with everything else people want to do on a weekend and if the other activities are likely to be more fun and more rewarding they will do that.

Soldiers will turn up if they know it will be fun / rewarding. So plan it well in advance, have clear aims, ensure there is something that will leave the troops with a sense of achievement and en then communicate it well i.e. sell it! Janet and f*cking John really.

Cannon fodder, you can either leave and find another unit or you can do something about it yourself. Speak to your Pl Comd / Pl Sgt. Make your views known. Is this a one off or is it a trend?
This is a really good point. In my unit, there's a definite difference in level of attendance between whole unit and sub-unit training weekends. On unit weekends, you can bet your bottom dollar that they'll have found a camp convenient for RHQ but that entails a 7 hour coach trip for my squadron (So approx 14 hours on a coach out of two days). The training is shambolic and boring. On Squadron weekends, the training area is geographically close and the training (planned and organised by the TA members rather than RHQ) is top notch.

Now they wonder why so many people are opting for alt annual camps.
 
#14
Suppose my point was not put across to well. People I have spoken to, 4 Para and 131 Commandos has regular and committed numbers, very professional. My unit is suffering majorly with recruiment, and getting numbers to stay. I am trying myself to get more people to join my unit. Since I started, around 2 1/2 years a go, only myself remains from the 10 I done basic training with.

Can any1 help with recruitment ideas that have boosted numbers at their units.

PS> The weekend was live firing on GPMG, should of got a lot of numbers for that! Numbers in general are quite poor for drill nights and weekends.
 
#15
..Also two deployments for Op Telics has seen many not return for various reasons. These people are needed to provide valuable experience to new recruits.
 
#16
cf, are you trying to get the Londons on this site to bite. I can't believe they wouldn't have turned up for a LF w/e

or r u a fake CF
 
#17
I don't think CF is Londons. Guns is wonderful, they are big, they fire lots and lots and they make a nice meaty thumpy sound. Sex on a tripod so they are.
 
#18
I have to admint ive bailed out of the last 2 weekends. Once from diorreah and once from just being lazy. The problem with the weekends is that you get ragged all over the place. It seems like the aim of a lot of these weekends is to rag you as much as humanly possible, instead of training you.

Whilst I was out teaching skiing in America I was taught a simple thing called GCT (Guest Centred Teaching). Essentially the guest is the centre of the teaching (the person being taught is taught what they are interested in). If the guys at the top listened to what the guys at the bottom wanted, we would get far more varied and interesting weekends. Instead, the officers have a ball of a time working out estimates and orders, constantly knowing what is happening and the plans for the weekend. As a private, the vast majority of a weekend is unknown to me. Very little is explained, such as: why we are attacking a position, walking several miles, wandering round in the dark till 2am doing patrols only to get up at 4:30am to do a dawn attack. Now, I have no objection to doing any of this but I would prefere to know why we are doing them.

On the subject of recruitment: tell the police that your unit is going to be in the area with weapons (so the armed response don't turn up). Head down to the local shopping centre and stand there in full CEFO and weapon. Have a TA table with information and a large board with the key benefits of the TA in bullet points so people can clearly see it. You will get a huge response.
 
#19
ChrisV said:
On the subject of recruitment: Head down to the local shopping centre and stand there in full CEFO and weapon. Have a TA table with information and a large board with the key benefits of the TA in bullet points so people can clearly see it. You will get a huge response.
You will get a huge response, but, I'll wager very few recruits.

msr
 
#20
Thank God the ARAB vs STAB shi-ite has stopped on this thread and a serious discussion started... It is very true - In my detachment only a handful of people are turing up for drill nights and it's embarassingly poor to only make 2 ranks on parade. One of the main problems in my own unit is that it's RAMC and therefore rather top-heavy with PQO's who have their own work commitments (being on call etc...). In the ranks we have a lot of paramedics and so on a weekend they're usually not free. Also the TM and a couple of the PSI's are true ARAB's and are constantly demeaning our efforts - so there's very little point in turning up when all you get at the end of the night is 'y'know - it's nothing like the real army... y'all a bunch of amateurs etc...'. The past couple of weekends have been pretty p1ss-poor to be frank - due to a lack of effort and direction from the PSI's and especially the TM. I would, (personally) love to concentrate on our role as cas evac and do a lot more FIBUA based training. Also drill nights are woefully wasted moving scrim around and counting canvas sacks. We're trying to improve this by having lectures and demonstrations on medical matters, but unfortunately some of the corporals do not have the required knowledge to take these lessons and it's all very disheartening. Some of QA's are pretty cr@p as well. On a brighter note, infantry skills are well taught by my unit, although if I have to do another vehicle recognition ITD I will fecking scream! PT is also an issue and the majority of my unit have not passed their BFT since their basic. It would help if us volunteers were more consistent with our commitment, i.e. instead of getting pissed off and whinging then handing in our kit - try and do something positive about the s(h) ituation, but it's the attitude of the TM and the PSI which really needs to be addressed. LIke I said the RAMC is really bad for it as many of the PQO's have just done the 2 week vicars and tarts course and have no idea of what true command actually is. Many of them have a firm belief that they are fully equiped to lead an infantry section in a war and sadly - that's not the case. Even though I am a STAB (army buffet and all that) I was a true pad brat - growing up on the patch in N. Iron, Germany and England - my Dad was in the ranks. I (alas) left it too late to sign up to be a regular the normal way and am planning to sign up full time during my first op (dodgy back-door entry - but hey). I have to say I am disappointed with the quality and the consistency of the training I am getting and I will be discussing matters with the TM ASAP... but I have a job to do in civvie street and he's not there during drill nights. I have no plans to hand in my kit as I truely want to serve, but I feel undertrained, underprepared and undervalued... (whinge over).
 

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