TA Recruit standards - a hole in the net?

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by crouching_tiger, Sep 11, 2006.

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  1. I know of a girl who did her CMS(R) TA, failed the BFT, CFT and weapons test 4 times, despite her section dedicating hours each night taking her through it. On the final Ex forgot to bring her weapon and webbing for night stag, and couldn't find her way back to her basher despite help and ended up sleeping in the stag hole. She couldn't carry a full bergen on her own. She still passed. I don't mean to dis the process, she was an absolute exception who was carried all the way by her section who were generally of a very high standard. CoC's response when this was revealed? "Well, she's her Unit's problem now, and if we pass her they can't send her back to us."

    Much discussion followed the incident within the coy. The section couldn't work out whether they did the right thing by helping her or not. The worst thing is she left the place completely unaware of the nature and degree of her incompetence.

    I'd hate to think that talking about this in any way damages the cause, and I know there's no such thing as true anonymity on here but even months on, every time I think back to this I get incensed. It makes a joke of the stigma the TA (and women in the forces) are trying to dispel.

    Lord knows what would happen if she was ever deployed anywhere. I doubt she could find the airport without help.

    It made me thoroughly ashamed to be a part of the organisation. Please, tell me this is not common in the TA?!
  2. Its a numbers game unfortunately. I've recommended that people should not be passed but the powers have be have not heeded my advice, and hence a number of mongs get through the system.
  3. There was one lad who just could not get to grips with weopon handling on my Basic and he was sent home, and he passed all the phys too. I am really surprised that the parent unit even sent this student to CMS (R) as certainly we never send anyone who can't already handle a weopon and manage the PT/fieldcraft etc. In many ways the parent unit is as much to blame. I do agree with you Crouching Tiger that to pass a student of that calibre and give them the status of "trained soldier" is wrong and not helpful or safe for them, their unit or the TA.
  4. Crouching Tiger: May we ask as to where the CMSR was passed?
  5. When I was on my CMS(R) 2 course I overheard the DS talking about how they were not allowed to fail anyone on the course.
  6. Stab, Oooh, that might be a bit like pointing the finger too much. Let's just say it was a very big one somewhere in Hertforshire. And it has a big airfield to run around. And begins with the letter B.

    Ok Yater, but there's mong, and there's absol-fcuking-utly abysmal.

    Morally, should the section have helped her or not? By helping her they managed to mask the severity of her ills, but how could they not try and help someone who was dragging the section down? Moreover, it really shouldn't be their problem.

    An old boy said they should have unleashed a bit of 'soap in a pillowcase' action to straighten her out, but I pointed out this was the TA, and not the US Marines, and besides bullying has no place in Her Majesty's modern Army.

    I could see his point though, there was that much frustration.

    Edited once for being a pu$$y about revealing the ATR.
  7. I should in fairness add, that the course report will form a better and lasting record of individual performance, so in that sense there are degrees of a 'pass', of which her unit will be made aware.
  8. While this is no doubt controvertial (and will probably result in the usual Stabtiffy is a w*nker type comments); the people that get an easy pass from CMSR (and training in general) are female.

    Case 1: On my recruit training, there was a girl who got a biff chit on day 3 of the course. Yet she still passed out and came 5th in the platoon. Despite doing no drill, phys or fieldcraft.

    Case 2: Mobilisation at Chillwell. The girl who failed the BPFA, CFT, WHT, Ranges and got bollocked for a poor attitude. Still mobilised and promoted in theatre (WTF???)

    Case 3: Telic. MTMS (Crab version of a VM) female cannot change a wheel on a Rover because it's too heavy. Has to get blokes to do it.

    Case 4: Female who fails sandbags 3 times. Gets another go despite the rule about only being allowed to fail three times.

    These examples are only TA ones. They don't include cases like that Female Captain who had 10 squilion goes at the AACC.
  9. Of course the section should have helped her. She was part of the team, and you're only as strong as your weakest member.

    OK, party line over, but it's still not for the section to decide who is going to pass and who fail. She may have had some redeeming features, other than her weapon handling. Just don't give her job where she has to carry a weapon or walk anywhere. Should also add that we have all had our mong patches, and at times like that when mates need to help. I'd bet that the section pulled together quicker as a result of her being around than not.

  10. Yes, but only because of the shared frustration and incredulity. In short there was no choice, but a quiet word from above that perhaps she was better suited to an alternate spare time activity would have been prudent.
  11. For my money yes, they should. One of the overruling principles we as British soldiers are supposed to live by thet differentiates us from the great unwashed mass of jack civvies is the way we look after our own.

    Granted she was a mong of the highest order but if she's in your section she is your collective responsibility and not to support her would probably have put you in reciept of a well-earned bollocking. It is the DS' responsibility to identify and take action on mongs who allow themselves to be carried by their section.

    On the bright side you may find that your helping of this poor creature was noted and mentionined in your course report thus showing leadership potential and adding another brownie point or two towards your next promotion.

    *puts soapbox back in the cupboard*
  12. Of course the section was right to help her.

    However, I have to say that standards are low. I was at another ATR and there were one or two recruits who should have failed without a doubt - poor admin, dangerous on the ranges, attitude problems, clear personal "issues", very poor fitness...

    ...but of course they passed, which devalued the achievement of everybody else. I don't understand why the TA still has this "everybody passes" culture, which (from my own limited experience) appears to be endemic. Most courses I've been on have people pass when they plainly aren't up to the standard.

    It's hard to understand why this happens. When the mongs get through, they just cause problems for the units who have to provide remedial coaching. It's also bad for everybody else's morale (as it devales their own efforts) and gives a poor impression of the TA.

    This is not just a female problem, I hasten to add, although having females in the team inevitably reduces what you can do physically. Certainly any PT with females onboard ends up as a walk in the park for the fitter blokes.
  13. I totally agree Wessex - and help was dished out earnestly by everyone. She did however begin to rely on it when we knew she could do things, which left rather a bitter aftertaste. By the end of two weeks it was all any of us could do to keep her from being strung up by some of the members of the section. In fact it was good training in maintaining diplomacy and discipline.

    Packing bergen before ex until 3am because she'd been to the NAFFI, keeping everyone else awake? Having to borrow food and water because she's forgotten hers? Having someone else carry her bergen on the tabs? On their own or even a few, not a problem. Coupled with items in the first post, and an emurging stench of laziness rather then incompetance and it would try the patients of a saint, let alone a room full of over-tired, injured recruits who started in the same place as she did, and who actually wanted to be there and try their best.

    I have all the time in the world for people who want to address some aspect they are struggling with, and it took until the night before POP that I finally cracked, with the tired belief that she's got to exactly the same point as me without even trying, and I gave it 110%. I don't like to sound like I'm whinging. It's meant to be hard, and I enjoyed it because it was.

    To Stab, it's a fair comment. On said CMS(R)TA 3 lads were RTU'd for lesser offenses. Not one girl was sent home.
  14. It pisses me off that the CoC allow substandard recruits to pass. It further pisses me off when I see people (male AND female) promoted who patently shouldn't have been (The example of a TA cav Sgt who couldn't read a map if his life depended on it springs to mind). Generally I think we blokes are treated harsher because more often than not it's US who put ourselves forward for ops and so we need to be of the required standard. A double standard exists in some units where they play it safe PC-wise with some of the less able females.

    On the other hand those females that show the willing to put the effort in are usually judged like the rest of the blokes and its those females who tend to actually put themselves forward for the proper soldiering.

    *edited becaause my mysogyny was showing*
  15. Er, I think that might be one step to far there Wessex. Birds can make excellent Soldiers and Officers. Some are as fit and keen and the blokes, some employ other techniques to solve problems because they have to. In some cases they have to go one step further just to be considered at level pegging. Personally I like the challenge :) There are as many dredge blokes out there as dorises, but they stick out more. Further more the chef at my last unit was a bloke, and he made the best curry I've ever tasted, though the admin guy was a shocker.

    Bottom line, I could sleep at night if I thought it was just a one off. If it's common, serious questions need to be asked about the rot that will spread in the TA over the years if it continues.