TA recruits to be fast-tracked to the front line

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by gaijin, Apr 28, 2009.

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  1. Overly sensational headline obviously. Is this a sensible strategy (yes I know it is the result of an MoD review - but that aside)? Or a mask for cuts/amalgamations?

    A review of Britain's military reserves published on Tuesday will recommend an enhanced training regime for members of the TA, to allow them to work more closely with regular troops on operations.

    The change is part of a plan to create what ministers will present as a more professional reserve force. Critics will focus on the prospect of some TA units being cut or amalgamated as part of a "streamlining" exercise.

    Currently, new recruits to the TA have no fixed timetable for being trained to full operational standard, leading some regular commanders to raise questions about the military value of reservists.

    Tuesday's review will effectively set a six month limit on reservists to complete full basic training.

    New members of the TA will also do more of their training alongside regular soldiers and be taught to use the most modern weapons systems and other military technology.

    The changes in the training of TA soldiers will be part of a wider attempt to update the status and role of reserve forces.

    A Ministry of Defence review will make clear that reservists will play a central role in Britain's future military operations, but will have to be modernised in order to do so.

    As part of the overhaul, TA units will be more closely integrated into the regular Army, and reviewed to see whether they are providing military functions that can be useful to frontline operations.

    In some areas, like military intelligence, that could mean an increase in reservist numbers.

    But other reserve units that are judged to be not structured to provide a useful frontline military capability will be cut or amalgamated.

    Some reservists fear that will be mean reductions in the number of TA signals units.

    According to MoD manning targets, the TA should have 38,500 members overall, but the most recent figures show it has only 28,920 people.

    Rumours have suggested that the review of reserve forces will effectively order a 10,000 cut in reservist numbers by saying that gap should not be filled.

    However, MoD officials have insisted that such rumours are well wide of the mark and it is understood that today's review will not set any figure for the future size of the reserves.

    There will also be a renewed charm offensive aimed at private-sector employers whose staff include reservists.

    Despite laws preventing discrimination, some reservists still complain that their careers suffer because of the time they have to spend away from work because of their military role.

    To encourage co-operation and make use of growing public regard for service personnel, ministers are known to have studied US schemes where employers of reservists are allowed to use the fact in advertising and marketing materials.

    The All-Party Parliamentary Reserve Forces Group, which was consulted on the MoD review, has also recommended that medical authorities like the royal colleges of medicine should encourage young doctors to spend time in the reserves to help fill key gaps in military provision.

  2. I was fast tracked to deploy and have to agree that having a totally different TA role from that i'd have on ops has hampered me slightly in the sandy place. The focus on MATTS in training means I can pass them all with ease, however this only gets you so far. Trade training for instance has to match that of our role on ops if we are to be worthwhile IR's.
  3. Give a few tax breaks to the companies who employ a reservist, and see the love flow....
  4. All well and good, but it doesn't take away the fact that you are classed as 'Casual labour'.

    Most members of the TA have to balance there comitments between home, work and TA.

    There are many in the TA who are happy to go on Ops but there must be more support/backing from the MOD.
  5. Expect a statement in the House of Commons this afternoon.

  6. Question from a civvy POV. Is this just new recruits becoming easy cannon fodder or or is it a way of getting rid of the 10,000 TA that the government have decided that they don't need anymore ?

    (edit: Seriously though) Take care guys.
  7. a 6 month turnaround in basic trianing would be great but myself and many other recruits keep on getting our basic put back due to double booking and i high demand for basic training.

    will we see a reduction in current serving TA numbers?

    will we see a cap badge change for TA units?

    will serving sigs be given the option to change cap badge plus additional cost in retraining for other regiments / trades?

    will there be a clear out of older soldiers and a reduction in the maximum age for joining?

    will i get load of abuse from you lot for posting these questions?
  8. Agreed. Something I suggested in the consultation 14 years ago prior to RFA 1996! I seem to recall that I put forward an argument involving National Insurance.
  9. Good luck with that one. We've not yet recruited up to the last establishment increase and given the way we haemorrage anyone under 40 we never will. And that is - if the juniors I chat to are to be believed - because being in the TA is incompatible with a civilian career these days. That's why the Sgts/Officers mess all either work for SOCA or the defence industry.

    I would advise anyone looking at the official lies, sorry stats to stick their head round the door on weekends to gauge actual effectives strength and compare to the official line. Thought provoking, and I do not believe for one moment that we are unique. If we were infantry though it wouldn't be so bad, but we're not. Not a dig at the inf of course, their main product is young lads on their first tour and their wastage thereafter has always been ferocious.

    Simply put, incentivise employers or resign yourself to having a gap year culture TA.

    Although I do look forward to having a proper path for recruits to join the unit. The current shambles - caused by lack of co-ordination and funding not effort on the part of those involved - does make getting through more difficult than it should be.

    And finally, if your unit is looking wobbly and you're up to stretching your grey matter then consider transferring to 3 or 5 MI.
  10. Slightly different point of view (RAuxAF, esp. RAF Regt) but for us this has been going on for a while. It's not just ex-Regs that are fast-tracked either.

    I know of lads going out well within six months of attestation last year, but this year it seems to be a bit slower due to the wind-down of Telic, waiting for the wind-up on Herrick and in preparation for the top-secret invasion of Kerplakistan (II Sqn will finally get to spearhead the parachute assault). I'm fibbing about the last bit.

    I may be a bit paranoid, but last years' training was a fortnight 'basic' plus six weekend modules and then a fortnight testing exercise to get badged. This year, the weekend modules have gone down to four.

    As you all know, it's fcuking hard balancing work and family against Reservist training. Attrition (jacking completely) seems really high at the moment. The pace of training has picked up substantially to make up for the missing weekends. Some have realised that the mental and physical demands are beyond them now and the prospect of having to drive even harder in PDT, means they don't fancy it after all.

    Back-squadding due to injuries and missing modules has risen as well, whereas previously people would be kept in their intake and dragged along. Good thing or bad thing?

    Obviously, it's down to the CoC to decide whether individuals are ready to go or not. Most are not flagged as available until they've got about twelve months service or so after they're badged.

    It's drummed into us from very early on in the recruitment phase that we're joining up to deploy. This is reinforced constantly throughout training.

    My Sqn has Regt on Telic and Herrick at the moment and Force Protection (FP) elements on Tosca. There's probably 15% to 20% of the real Sqn strength in theatre or on PDT.
    I say real, because it's fcuking obvious that the paper strength consists of sixty-odd bods who are in the process of jacking or never turn up or all came in on the one weekend that I didn't last year.
  11. msr

    msr LE

    It would be revealing to see the numbers of the TA who have trained in the last 3 months. I suspect that would give a more accurate figure.

  12. From an Infantry POV - 6 months is about the quickest we can get lads through the system anyway.

    9 weekends normally every other weekend = 4.2 months ish.

    CIC - 2 weeks, after that provided they aren't super mongs they can deploy.

    We had a lad from one of our Rifle Coys deploy immediately after the above training times working with a Canadian OMLT on Herrick - He ended up being awarded a Canuk bravary award for saving the lives of 3 ANA under fire! So the 6 month system isn't all bad aslong as the CoC are sensible about who they deploy.

  13. A drama is going to be losing bods who can't get through the training in six months time.

    I was quite lucky in that from attestation to trained soldier happened fairly quickly for me. However some of my lads have had to wait longer than six months from attestation to finishing Ph2/1C/whatever TA CIC is termed now.

    I'm not neccessarily talking about lads failing a course and having to retake it - there are those whose lives were in a bit of a state of flux or who had temporary injuries who just needed to go through on the next course. I have had good solid lads get through it all but they can take longer than six months - an example, if a student must miss a training weekend or CIC due to exams or similar, then things are going to take longer.

    I am all for getting new joiners fully trained as soon as poss. But I'd hate to see them kicked out and not become a productive territorial, just because they can't make a weekend or have picked up an injury that could do with another month or two to heal up properly, and that takes them over this arbitrary six month period.
  14. My problem in my end of the swamp is that I am not seeing recruits through the system in less then 18 months! Over two years in some cases...

    I then have to trade train them before they are of any use, which takes more time.

    I for one, do not see why they cannot turn round recruits in 6 months across the board..
  15. A couple of things strike me from that. The first is that they seem to want to get the lads through and out to theatre quickly, a sign of need perhaps?
    If you join to deploy then the expression used above 'casual labour' fits perfectly. Surely if the rationale of a person joining the TA was to get into action then he should go Reg. Shows how the nature of the TA has been changed by the Government from being an insurance to a cheaper way of keeping the Regs numbers up.

    Also is it right to send a lad to deploy so soon after training when he has little experience? I would have thought that you wanted someone with a bit of time under his belt and who knew a bit more about what he was doing rather than a new lad. If then the wastage is as bad as stated then the policy and/or implementation is wrong.