TA Retention (Tin foil hat required)

#1
I was talking to a few mates who are in the TA the other day who say these days because of current cuts on training, decreasing of the budget for Adventure training and curry nights etc that alot of the old and bold are knocking it on the head.

Their units are apparently losing the experienced old hands left right and centre and given the current operational tempo the only people stupid enough to be in the TA are the young and skint who just want to do an operational tour then knock it on the head (Maybe a few tours if they're really skint/stupid).

Could this all be part of a wider plan to re-structure the TA?

If you think about it the TA as formed units running throughout the year and deploying as such are expensive beasts. The TA as junior ranking battlefield casualty replacements and backfills for regular units keeps the training budget down and the cost and effort of training large units to deploy to a minimum.

One of my biggest gripes that I had with the TA after leaving it was the amount of stale SNCO's/CAPT and above getting paid far too much money to do very little on the weekends. By comparison my regular Bn seemed to be the opposite and you couldn't find someone above the rank of sergeant with both hands and a map unless you were in the sh1t. Maybe the government has the same gripe.

Discuss (Or tell me I'm talking bollocks).
 
#2
Might all change with the CRF and election
 
#3
I'm doing my bit to help the TA save money - I'm handing my kit in next month. I've had enough.

I don't think this is 'tin hat' time; It most likely has been looked upon as a 'bonus' to the cash savings the MOD is making on MTDs.
 
#4
GreenSlime said:
I'm doing my bit to help the TA save money - I'm handing my kit in next month. I've had enough.

I don't think this is 'tin hat' time; It most likely has been looked upon as a 'bonus' to the cash savings the MOD is making on MTDs.
This I fear is what alot of people are doing.

I find it remarkable people are still willing to attend when they're talking of budget cuts whilst there is a war on. The fact that this campaign is the most difficult challenge our armed forces have faced since the Falklands (My opinion) seems to have passed this lot by.

I only hope the next government make efforts to repair the damage done to the organisation. If only because I've been considering giving it a go now that we're all skint :wink:
 
#5
The damage is done and will continue to be done right up to the point of a general election. And when this bunch of incompetents get the boot you can bet the next lot will do sweet FA to rectify any damage done, if their past has anything to go by, they will probably continue with defence cuts till the next GE.
 
#6
I've only recently joined and still going through TSC (A) so I'm not too fussed that some are considering leaving. In my unit there are a load of recruits joining but are being held back by lack of places at Donnington but there is no letup in recruitment!

Maybe it is un-official policy to revamp the TA. Less AT and more operational tours to backfill for the regs.
 
#7
Born_Again_Stab said:
I've only recently joined and still going through TSC (A) so I'm not too fussed that some are considering leaving. In my unit there are a load of recruits joining but are being held back by lack of places at Donnington but there is no letup in recruitment!

Maybe it is un-official policy to revamp the TA. Less AT and more operational tours to backfill for the regs.
Which in turn means no retention which eventually results in lack of experience and hard earned knowlegde being passed on.
 
#8
Born_Again_Stab said:
I've only recently joined and still going through TSC (A) so I'm not too fussed that some are considering leaving. In my unit there are a load of recruits joining but are being held back by lack of places at Donnington but there is no letup in recruitment!

Maybe it is un-official policy to revamp the TA. Less AT and more operational tours to backfill for the regs.
the fact that you are just joining means you will be forgiven for your blinked and somewhat naive attitude.

Just one question for you. Who is going to train and teach all these recruits when you eventually turn up at your parent unit?
 
#9
devilish said:
Born_Again_Stab said:
I've only recently joined and still going through TSC (A) so I'm not too fussed that some are considering leaving. In my unit there are a load of recruits joining but are being held back by lack of places at Donnington but there is no letup in recruitment!

Maybe it is un-official policy to revamp the TA. Less AT and more operational tours to backfill for the regs.
the fact that you are just joining means you will be forgiven for your blinked and somewhat naive attitude.

Just one question for you. Who is going to train and teach all these recruits when you eventually turn up at your parent unit?
Sprogs!
 
#10
Closet_Jibber said:
devilish said:
Born_Again_Stab said:
I've only recently joined and still going through TSC (A) so I'm not too fussed that some are considering leaving. In my unit there are a load of recruits joining but are being held back by lack of places at Donnington but there is no letup in recruitment!

Maybe it is un-official policy to revamp the TA. Less AT and more operational tours to backfill for the regs.
the fact that you are just joining means you will be forgiven for your blinked and somewhat naive attitude.

Just one question for you. Who is going to train and teach all these recruits when you eventually turn up at your parent unit?

Sprogs
!
Obviously :roll:
 
#11
Any military unit, Regular or Territorial will by its very nature be partly a sausage machine, turning new soldiers into more experienced soldiers, then into NCOs, etc. Everyone will work their way up the promotional ladder or leave. If you look at a regular infantry Bn, you can see this far more clearly as there are probably somewhere in the region of 250 18-23, 150 24-30, 100 31-35 and no more than 50 35+. (Ok, so maybe these figures are only a guess, but a guess based on my Bn). People come, do some time and then go. The system doesn’t want all its pte soldiers to all end up as WO2s, but it does want some of them.

Perhaps the TA tends to keep people too long, and not push people through quickly enough. Perhaps people all stay on until they realise they can’t do the job anymore (or don’t want to) whereas the regular army there is a finite time frame that everyone works to. There is a case perhaps for capping the time spent in each rank and if an individual has been a Cpl for x years, and isn’t going to be promoted, then he should be told thank you and good bye. However, if he is still capable of doing the job, it would be a brave unit to get rid of someone who would probably been the most qualified NCO in the unit. We have all seen the effect to training that a well qualified instructor who leaves can have, particularly in a remote outstation. It would be nice to just fill the spot with a new up and coming thrusters, but what if there isn’t someone available?

As to decreasing budgets etc, it is a question for the chain of command. If there is less opportunity to train, the training you do has to be the best organised, implemented and sold that you can possibly do. SNCOs and the old and smelly officers need to be given something to do as well. As there isn’t a lot to clash with (due to reduced mtds) there is no excuse for them not organising it. If they are just floating around then the Coy Comd/ Sqn Ldr needs to grip them. In the regular army, training can be a certain amount of time filling (if you don’t believe me see the life in Inf Bn thread) whereas; in TA Regt it can never be that. It has to be exciting, interesting and relevant or the soldiers won’t turn up next time. It can take the regular attachments some time to fully understand that. If you don’t think your sub unit is organising enough sport / social, why not step forward and ask the OC if you can organise a Cpls mess dinner, all ranks Curry night, Officers this that or whatever. Leaders have to step forward, rather than just complain that its not as good as it used to be. After all, if a Pte shows that he can competently organise a social event, then it must show the CoC that he has the ability for further responsibility and promotion.

I wouldn’t be too depressed about the state of the TA, there are far more opportunities now than there have been for a long time, and it is still a good and noble thing to serve ones country, even if only part time. However, perhaps the TA should implement some form of manning control of the old and smelly.
 
#12
the underlying question is " is this organisation fit for purpose?" (i.e. the TA as a Whole ) - what does the wider Army want the label on the 'tin' to say

when you know that then you apply the 'Ronseal test' - does it do what it says on the tin ?

ultimately the answer will be at some point rebuilding the TA in the shape of the reserve force the Army wants , rather than trying to provide the reserve the army wants from the framework of the TA

a similar exercise is happening in a variety of organisations in the voluntary sector

the terms used there are perhaps clearer " rebuilding the organisation in the framework of a modern charity, rather than building a modern charity in the framework of the organisation.


One risk witha regular Army led approach to such restructiuring is that the people involved simply don't 'get' the way in which the reserve forces work ...

interesting this has been magnified in it's impact where senior Regular Army personnel have been appointed into Senior Volunteer roles within other organisations with a strong 'non compelled' component to it's work force ( volunteers and /or casual staff)
 
#13
devilish said:
Born_Again_Stab said:
I've only recently joined and still going through TSC (A) so I'm not too fussed that some are considering leaving. In my unit there are a load of recruits joining but are being held back by lack of places at Donnington but there is no letup in recruitment!

Maybe it is un-official policy to revamp the TA. Less AT and more operational tours to backfill for the regs.
the fact that you are just joining means you will be forgiven for your blinked and somewhat naive attitude.

Just one question for you. Who is going to train and teach all these recruits when you eventually turn up at your parent unit?
Maybe I am being naive but I don't see many examples of experience being handed down from SNCOs at my unit. I'm talking more about the people who are gnashing their teeth over a reduction in MTDs and are feeling the squeeze because they only turn up for two weeks skiing once a year and other AT that is now C1.
 
#14
Closet_Jibber said:
I was talking to a few mates who are in the TA the other day who say these days because of current cuts on training, decreasing of the budget for Adventure training and curry nights etc that alot of the old and bold are knocking it on the head.

Their units are apparently losing the experienced old hands left right and centre and given the current operational tempo the only people stupid enough to be in the TA are the young and skint who just want to do an operational tour then knock it on the head (Maybe a few tours if they're really skint/stupid).

Could this all be part of a wider plan to re-structure the TA?
Maybe. However, it's not as bad as it sounds. Some troops are sadly on C1 training now due to having used all their MTDs up (which actually is invariably the fault of the hierarchy not the soldier) however where possible extensions have been sought, and are being granted; the caveat being that justification is required individuals needs extra days.

I see the budget restrictions and for my unit restructoring of the Orbat, a good opportunity to ditch the old & bold who no longer contribute (not that there are many left, since we've discharged the majority). The requirement now for a PFT to be passed twice a year for MATT Level 3 in order to achieve ones bounty means that a lot of the fat, lame and lazy will probably be leaving after they discover that despite their pitiful efforts on the CFT, it ain't going to count this year and they won't be signed off. Personally I'm looking forward to seeing some very indignant faces towards the end of March 2010 :-D

The guys coming through the door now are keen, and though I guess we only keep one in three, maybe one in five for a period exceeding 3 years, they are still good enough material to work with. Some will mobilise (voluntary I expect), others won't, but they're not joining for the curry nights or the AT. And for that matter, we'll continue doing AT as C1, but regardless of whether it is trekking in Canada, diving in Belize or only skiing in Switzerland, the value for money will far exceed anything they could get on civy street.

So personally my view is that it's not all doom and gloom, rather an opportunity to exploited :)
 
#15
C1 is laughable. Pushing their luck and taking the "Volunteer" bit a bit too far I think.
 
#16
Closet_Jibber said:
C1 is laughable. Pushing their luck and taking the "Volunteer" bit a bit too far I think.
Maybe and certainly far from ideal, however little choice right now and for most soldiers I think with some careful management from the CoC, won't exceed 50 MTDs in a training year. Certainly the average for the majority of troops seems to be around 50 to 60, and there is always fat which can trimmed. The issue of course will be if that fat is considered important enough that troops will leave if it for the lack of it.

My personal bet is the juniors don't but it may have some impact on the senior echelons. As I have said extra days can be requested and despite a few knock backs, I've seen all the requests that I have submitted for troops granted with the ranks ranging from Pte to Capt. Not ideal but not so bleak either.
 
#17
Born_Again_Stab said:
devilish said:
Born_Again_Stab said:
I've only recently joined and still going through TSC (A) so I'm not too fussed that some are considering leaving. In my unit there are a load of recruits joining but are being held back by lack of places at Donnington but there is no letup in recruitment!

Maybe it is un-official policy to revamp the TA. Less AT and more operational tours to backfill for the regs.
the fact that you are just joining means you will be forgiven for your blinked and somewhat naive attitude.

Just one question for you. Who is going to train and teach all these recruits when you eventually turn up at your parent unit?
Maybe I am being naive but I don't see many examples of experience being handed down from SNCOs at my unit. I'm talking more about the people who are gnashing their teeth over a reduction in MTDs and are feeling the squeeze because they only turn up for two weeks skiing once a year and other AT that is now C1.
And the less of them the better the TA will be. I really really hate these type of people, who only rock up for skiing, polo etc etc and bugger all of the exercises. Fair enough if you're job is getting in the way and you're attendance isn't great but those who only motivation to stay on the books is so they can turn up once or twice a year for the christmas party/skiing trip/polo tournament/basket weaving competition need to be SNLR'd and MTD's spent on keen soldiers and experienced NCOs.

Moving on from that point, the new restrictions on MTDs and C1 training is trading on people's goodwill and will, if not checked, do a fair amount of damage across the TA in terms of structure, morale, experience and long term future. I fear that the experienced NCOs and officers that I'm lucky enough to be trained by won't be there for future TA soldiers, or there will be fewer of them. I like to hope that when the economy recovers it will all go back to normal, but the cynic in me thinks we'll never get the old MTD limit back.

People will get hacked off and the pool of experience will dwindle and be short lived. And sadly I don't think MTDs will be the end of it, travel and expenses, perhaps even our subsidised bars! 8O
 
#18
Countrylad said:
People will get hacked off and the pool of experience will dwindle and be short lived. And sadly I don't think MTDs will be the end of it, travel and expenses, perhaps even our subsidised bars! 8O
Well, in a few hours I shall be back in uniform after a few months away and I'm really looking forward to it. Freshly reinvigorated self, new oppurtunities, new equipment, stronger unit, more professional training.

I have no doubt recent organisational changes and lack of MTD's is going to benefit some soldiers. A good time to temporarily leave '50 MTD sink' slots and take up 'swim' slots (and I'm not the only one thinking this).
 
#19
i've made the point before that the TA simply don't represent good VFM. it's almost impossible to actually capture the totality of the cost of the TA and the oft quoted figure is only tha manpower costs at salaried rate, not capitation.

the TA in the current guise are not fit for purpose and there needs to be some radical restructuring...add to that some major financial constraints and its unlikely the TA will survive the imminent SDR.

shame really as there are some great individual soldiers in the TA
 
#20
Danny_Dravot said:
i've made the point before that the TA simply don't represent good VFM.
You've made that statement, certainly, and you clearly believe it. You haven't, anywhere I've seen it, actually made the point.

it's almost impossible to actually capture the totality of the cost of the TA and the oft quoted figure is only tha manpower costs at salaried rate, not capitation.
And running and maintenance costs for TACs, T&S etc - anyway - that's just one side of the balance.

the TA in the current guise are not fit for purpose
What purpose exactly? Do we have a statement of requirement from CGS and his immediate circle. Err, no.

and there needs to be some radical restructuring...
If in doubt, reorganise. It'll hide the fact that you haven't got a clue what we're actually needed to do until your in your next job. That may be a solution but it's not one to any of the problems the TA is actually facing.

add to that some major financial constraints and its unlikely the TA will survive the imminent SDR.
Expect to see some very, very expensive consultants on ops then. And that's just the medics.

shame really as there are some great individual soldiers in the TA
And there are some great units. And there are some less great ones. A bit like the regular army, really.
 

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