TA Recruit Training: Do We Ask Too Much?

#1
I've helped out on a couple of recruit training weekends; in case anyone does not know what happens this now consists of two wwkends TA Foundation Scheme ( TAFS ) and then eight weekends one on, one off over two months. Recruits ( Infantry anyway ) then go to catterick for two weeks CIC.

In the training I've seen, the one thing that really stands out, for me, is the length of the day for the recruits. They are usually up at 05.30 on saturady for PT, and then wash shave etc and have lessons until the early evening. Friday night is late waiting for the transport to disgorge them so its more often than not gone 0100 before they get their heads down.

The result of this is that come saturday afternoon, they are ( understandably ) starting to nod off. Sunday sees another early start, same nodding head result. The DS have an uphill struggle particularly with classroom work - I think the days are just too long. I know that as Trained Soldiers we are expected to get along on minimal / disrupted sleep, but for new joiners its a very difficult task and their assimilation of information suffers.

What can be done?

Am I alone in thinking, "what can be cut?" Do we really need quite such an emphasis on NBC instruction, for example?

I'd welcome comment from both RRTT staff and recently trained soldiers.
 
#2
Personally I am a firm believer of the two week recruit course. I have seen nothing in this modular system to change my mind. 7 or even 8 weekends of 1 1/2 days each does not equate to 15 whole days.

It would interesting to see how the 7 weekend programme pans out against the 2 week programme.

I do not think anything needs to be cut.
 
#3
Had a brief from the Chief of General Staff people last month, they mentioned a large number of TA NCO's had complained about the length of recruit training and it is being looked at (with a view to shortening it).

In my corps they do the TAFS, 2 week recruit course and then gap training (the gap training is mainly shooting and NBC)
 
#4
Redcap said:
Personally I am a firm believer of the two week recruit course. I have seen nothing in this modular system to change my mind. 7 or even 8 weekends of 1 1/2 days each does not equate to 15 whole days.

It would interesting to see how the 7 weekend programme pans out against the 2 week programme.

I do not think anything needs to be cut.
Redcap

Its 7 weekends ( 8/9 actually ) PLUS two weeks....
 
#5
It used to be "in unit" training for the basics , ie TAFs, then two weeks CMS(R), then another two weeks. Much better system.
 
#6
Assuming recruits can get 4 weeks off to do so.

Also, as alluded to by Polar, what about the DS? I assume you are talking about RMP btw: my experience is Infantry
 
#7
Unfortunately it is a choice, long hard days doing it modular, two weeks residential or dumb down the training and pass out undertrained soldiers. There is not enough time to reach things properly as it is, to cut subjects out would make it worse. (except drill).

Maybe some subjects could be taught in unit then tested at a RTC and the unsucessful back squadded to try again.

No easy answer.
 
#8
Isn't recruit training going to regional teams as mentioned in this (in Apr 2006) threadBSTT (RTC) and recruit training

This should get the gap (support arms) with adequate number of DS, also wouldn't this mean Bde could run more courses, hence a better thoughput (recruits missing a weekend could easily be back squaded)
 
#9
Redcap, please read my original post. The recruits do 8/9 weekends and THEN two weeks.
 
#10
Bravo_Bravo said:
Redcap, please read my original post. The recruits do 8/9 weekends and THEN two weeks.

I can read and understand that..

What is the alternative, miss out half the content so they can get an early night?

If that is how they want to do the courses then they have to accept it is a long weekend.

I was suggesting they shift some of the training back to units and the RTC only tests then on that knowledge, that way it will reduce some of the content of the course and enable it to be shorter.
 
#11
Guys, we have two different types of recruit training inf as mentioned by BB and none inf as mentioned as Redcap

Redcap I think you'll find the 2nd two weeks is called The training Gap.... or I could be wrong
 
#12
Redcap -

Actually, yes: what value does NBS training have to the TA, for example? On mobilisation Chilwell assume you know nil...

Its not a matter of "an early night", its a matter of the blokes falling asleep in lessons.
 
#14
Im currently doing my Phase 1 training, Just coming up to my 3rd weekend. I dont think the days are too long, there are enough breaks to split the day up (Although- our Cpl smokes like a chimney so small breaks are v frequent! so no complaints there!)

I also go by the Work hard - Play hard philosophy so my saturday night normally drifts into sunday, but then not every one has the same idea- they get their heads down early. i never seem to be any worse off than them on the sunday (as this is a fairly short day anyway).

I just see it as: its ONE wkend, surely you can push your self 100% for that fairly short amount of time. I have sunday afternoon to recover & get back to work on Mon - in the scale of things its not that much to ask for. Im fairly fit & healthy so maybe thats half of it sorted, i have no real experience so i have to take in all the info aswell...but it aint rocket science.....is it?.

I think that a 2 week course would be great for continuity & will enhance group dynamics & motivation. but we all have jobs & i cant see my employer being too chuffed if i f***ed off for 2 weeks & then had to F**k off for another 2 weeks not too long after to do phase 2.

this is just my perception, as long as the recruit training staff are doing their job on a tuesday night & keeping us all up to scratch (which they are) the weekends will then run more smoothly.
 
#15
board_surfin said:
Im currently doing my Phase 1 training, Just coming up to my 3rd weekend. I dont think the days are too long, there are enough breaks to split the day up (Although- our Cpl smokes like a chimney so small breaks are v frequent! so no complaints there!)

I also go by the Work hard - Play hard philosophy so my saturday night normally drifts into sunday, but then not every one has the same idea- they get their heads down early. i never seem to be any worse off than them on the sunday (as this is a fairly short day anyway).

I just see it as: its ONE wkend, surely you can push your self 100% for that fairly short amount of time. I have sunday afternoon to recover & get back to work on Mon - in the scale of things its not that much to ask for. Im fairly fit & healthy so maybe thats half of it sorted, i have no real experience so i have to take in all the info aswell...but it aint rocket science.....is it?.

I think that a 2 week course would be great for continuity & will enhance group dynamics & motivation. but we all have jobs & i cant see my employer being too chuffed if i f***ed off for 2 weeks & then had to F**k off for another 2 weeks not too long after to do phase 2.

this is just my perception, as long as the recruit training staff are doing their job on a tuesday night & keeping us all up to scratch (which they are) the weekends will then run more smoothly.
Are there any topics you have covered so far which you though pointless?
 
#16
Thanks for the comments BS - can you tell us for which Arm you are training? As I've mentioned, my experiance is of Infantry and IMO the days are too long for many of the recruits. I also assume from your post that you have just the one Instructor training you?

BB
 
#17
The problem with in-house training back at the sub-unit, is that for the most part, the training won't get done. Or it'll be done by someone who remembers how he/she was taught it on their Recruits/MPC/MPC(A) course, or recent ITD.

Suspect my unit isn't the only one to have too few trained personnel to run the correct lessons on a given drill night. It's when the sub-units get together as part of a RRTT or BSTT that you'll have sufficient instructors to run courses that will enable the recruit to get to their Recruit Course and get a pass.

Do we ask too much? Perhaps, but in this day and age, all the recruits are well aware that once in and through Basic and Trade Training, they're likely to be doing it Full Time for 6 months or more.
 
#18
Bravo_Bravo said:
Thanks for the comments BS - can you tell us for which Arm you are training? As I've mentioned, my experiance is of Infantry and IMO the days are too long for many of the recruits. I also assume from your post that you have just the one Instructor training you?

BB
Who was running the training you assisted on?
 

OldSnowy

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#19
I used to run the Recruit training for a TA Inf Bn, and it worked excellently, as proved by results. It was never shown to me that the system was broken, before it was decided to repair it. The whole idea of the TAFS system was to ensure that all TA personnel had the same standard of fundamental training. No bad thing, you may say? But...

Many TA personnel are not employed for their military skill, but their civy quals. Why teach them so much stuff - such as Drill - that they will never, ever, use? Do this later on in their career, if they need it.

Also, almost without exception, those mobilised for TELIC and FINGAL went through the 'older' system of training, and I heard no complaints that they couldn't do this or that. Of course we weren't as good as the Regs in many things - but we didn't have to be.

In summary - and as I have said on these Boards many times already - the current TAFS syllabus is too long and too intense. It results in Recruits training for too long before getting a chance to do any Trade training, and too little training with their Units, therefore reducing their Unit cohesion, and also retention.

Rant over - but I do feel strongly about this.
 
#20
Do we ask too much!!!!?!?!?!?!?!?!

In my opinion there are far too many bad TA soldiers. Im not just talking here about the old boys on the gravy train but the likes of young infantry privates with a complete lack of knoledge, skills and drills, awareness, discipline and fitness.

Bravo_Bravo, you mention they are starting to nod off on the saturday afternoon.. Well how will they cope on operations? The TA is no longer a drinking club with guns etc as some people still treat it, it is a deployable force and its members must be ready for deployment perhaps right after their recruit training.

We are soldiers, its meant to be a struggle. I appricate it can be very hard to take in information when tired(The 3 hour AFv lesson is always a great laugh) but its certainly possible, plus that is what revision is for.

I can't comment on RTC etc methods as we are fortunate enough to retain our own recruit training but having worked with TA soldiers from other units recently I was disgusted that some (obviously not all, there were some excellent soldiers) of these men wore the uniform and took the army's pay. Many of these were fresh out of recruit training. I was not expecting them with their lack of experience to be sh1t hot but I would have thought the framework skills, drills and fitness would have been there. They were certainly not.

Yes, we could cut NBC back a bit, but then if we'd done that before telic 1 and one of saddams scuds had chemical warheads and landed right on us would we be saying that?

Anyway, Im ranting. A greater deal of selection in my opinion should be in place, nothing particularly exlusive but completly ineffective soldiers must not be allowed to slip through the net and I believe far too many are being allowed to do so.
 

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