TA Review Combined Thread

#1


March 16, 2008

TA to expel soldiers who won’t go to war

Michael Smith

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article3559757.ece

The Territorial Army is to force out thousands of weekend warriors who refuse to go to war. Defence chiefs want to turn the TA into a fully fledged fighting force of about 15,000 soldiers.

Although the target strength requirement of the TA is 42,000, the actual numbers are much lower at about 35,000 and it is haemorrhaging soldiers.

Data from a survey being compiled by King’s College London will be used to work out which members should go.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) wants to get rid of what it sees as weekend warriors happy to wear the uniform but unwilling to fight, a Whitehall source said.

“The most worrying thing about the planned cuts to the TA is that a lot of those who have been prepared to serve in Iraq or Afghanistan are the ones who are leaving,” a source said.

“They are coming home and saying, ‘That’s it. I’ve done my bit, I’m off’. They are precisely the ones we want to keep.”

The MoD will this week announce the review of all four reserve forces: the TA, the Royal Navy Reserve, the Royal Auxiliary Air Force and the Royal Marines Reserve. A spokesman said it would focus on operations but denied that TA soldiers would be dismissed simply because they would not go to war. Some would still be required for training.

Of the 850 reservists serving on operations abroad, approximately 700 are in the TA, the highest number on overseas operations since the Korean war of the early 1950s. About 3,500 TA members employed in training will not be hit by the cull.
 
#2
Kicking out TA members who won't deploy is not necessarily a good thing.

My Unit deployed 2 whole Squadrons and a Headqaurters squadron on Telic 1 and 2. We operated entirely as formed units and did well, despite lack of kit and equipment. When we were first given ammunition we were given 100 rds because we were TA. Regulars were given more. Needless to say our Colonel had a few words and we were given the correct scales.

We had very few RTU's, the few that did go, were not missed at all.

Now, most are eligible to be called up again, what does our parent unit do? It requests only a few IR's to make their numbers up. So much for proving ourselves, our Regular twinned unit is not interested. That same unit mistreated our first Sqaudron badly on Telic 1. who were deployed a couple of months earlier than my Sqaudron, attached to our Regular counterpart

Quite simply, most would happily go again, but only as a formed unit. We don't trust our Regular counterparts

I am self employed with a client base. I lost thousands of pounds in income when I came back, trying to rebuild my business. The MOD does not compensate me for this. I lived on my savings from the tour. Yet, I would go again if part of a formed unit
 
#3
rampant54 said:
My Unit deployed 2 whole Squadrons and a Headqaurters squadron on Telic 1 and 2. We operated entirely as formed units and did well, despite lack of kit and equipment. When we were first given ammunition we were given 100 rds because we were TA. Regulars were given more. Needless to say our Colonel had a few words and we were given the correct scales.
Are you sure it was because you are TA? 2CS regt had 60 rounds per man.
 
#4
The Territorial Army is to force out thousands of weekend warriors who refuse to go to war. Defence chiefs want to turn the TA into a fully fledged fighting force of about 15,000 soldiers.
This, in my view, is the key. The TA was predicated on the Cold war-doomsday scenario. In that circumstance one would reasonably suppose that all shoulders to the wheel would not be an unreasonable stance to take.

Today however, we are a busybody thirdrate power trying to fight on the cheap when, in real terms our national survival is not at stake.

Is it then any wonder that the exmilitary types who, in many cases are ill-trained for civvy life after being ejected from the forces and have carved out a niche for themselves in this DGAF country, are unwilling to sacrifice it for the sake of clowns like Blair, Brown et al.

BTW Well done rampant54, but I'm sure you'ld agree. not all are in your position to go back again(ad nauseaum)

Those that would argue that we are already involved in the opening exchanges of WW3 may well be right.

Unforntunately, the idiots in power are fiddling away sticking plasters on our defence policy while throwing petrol on the flames... and breath.
 
#5
Thank's PE4rocks

In answer to STacker1's question, that's what we were told.

Now, to be honest, there is good and bad in all walks of life, Civvy Street, Regular Army and TA. Maybe we were unlucky in who we were working with.

I am a big fan of the "Contingent Component" I know of 3 different Units that have successfully sent formed multiple contingent components from Troop to full Company size, on consecutive deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq over the last few years. Personnel have been identified early, extra training weekends laid on, and then they joined their Parent units for their pre-tour training.

It can work with a bit of thought. Some Regular Units see the TA as a means for IR's and don't want the Senior NCO's and Officers, just Juniors to fill their own ranks. Therefore, in some TA units, Officers and SNCO's will not be able to deploy and do the job that they were trained to do. I, and many of my friends felt a real sense of pride when our Sqaudron held a medal parade after our tour. Many are still in the Sqaudron and have formed deep friendships. I am not sure how an IR would feel, it would be interesting to hear the views of some IR's on their tours to add balance to what I am saying.

I have served both in the Regular Army and the TA. I believe that when you sign on the dotted line, you should be prepared to go if called upon to do so. But I also believe that with proper training a TA soldier should be able to hold his/her own on operations. Incidentally, we had 21 days from Chilwell to Iraq. We literally hit the ground running and had to get on with it.

Now, a very important factor is, for a Regular, when the tour is over, you get leave, then back to your job, either training or whatever duties that you may have to do. For a TA soldier, you return to Chilwell, get booted out the door after a day, and then are expected to carry on with your life. Wives and family are not used to having loved one's away for such a long period, and sometimes it is very hard to cope when you get back. Luckily I was single at the time. You may or may not have a job waiting for you, despite what Sabre says

Later down the line, you get back to normality, and the call comes back again. You may have been promoted at work, you may have set up your own business, you may have completely different circumstances than when you previously went on Ops. Basically, the timing could not have been worse. Do you bin the Soldier or do you wait until circumstances change in order to allow the said individual be deployed again?

The TA units themselves will very quickly find out who is there on false pretenses and should get rid of them. As for those unable to deploy at a certain time, they can still contribute in training, leadership and the running of the TA unit. They will always get another chance
 
#6
Interesting - I think we will see a lot of emotive calls from ex TA to keep the force at the size it is. I've also seen a lot of senior serving officers actively look forward to this review as they can cut the deadwood units which while manned by keen and capable troops, have no real role to play in the current environment. A slimmed down, but integrated and sustainable TA is exactly what we need right now.

Starter for 10 - rebrand 2(NC) Bde, lose most of the TA comms units, lose the CCRF and take a long hard look at the RLC role too. Rebadge all reservists as having UK Ops liability with revised call out rules and set it up as a UK Ops plus sustainment in theatre force.
 
#7
stacker1 said:
rampant54 said:
My Unit deployed 2 whole Squadrons and a Headqaurters squadron on Telic 1 and 2. We operated entirely as formed units and did well, despite lack of kit and equipment. When we were first given ammunition we were given 100 rds because we were TA. Regulars were given more. Needless to say our Colonel had a few words and we were given the correct scales.
Are you sure it was because you are TA? 2CS regt had 60 rounds per man.
I was attached to 1ADSR and I got 100 rounds.
 
#8
jim30 said:
Interesting - I think we will see a lot of emotive calls from ex TA to keep the force at the size it is. I've also seen a lot of senior serving officers actively look forward to this review as they can cut the deadwood units which while manned by keen and capable troops, have no real role to play in the current environment. A slimmed down, but integrated and sustainable TA is exactly what we need right now.

Starter for 10 - rebrand 2(NC) Bde, lose most of the TA comms units, lose the CCRF and take a long hard look at the RLC role too. Rebadge all reservists as having UK Ops liability with revised call out rules and set it up as a UK Ops plus sustainment in theatre force.
Long as you can guarantee we will never fight another full scale high intensity war anywhere in the world ever. Or can guarantee the supply of lots of third world truckers willing to drive in a war zone.

A review of the TA is feeble penny pinching to rob Peter to keep Paul alive.
 
#9
TA shouldn't exist seperately to the Regular Army - in fact, all Battalions and Regiments should have TA Coys and Sqns as part of their Orbat, and the TA should come in a train on the weekends in regular barracks, and be given all the kit they need to train with. Summer camp should be as part of the regimental/battalion summer exercise (MM/Ulan/Swabian etc). That way, they could be fully integrated, and every time a regular regt deploys, the TA part of it could supply a Coy or Pl as required. Never mind cutting the TA, just integrate it properly rather than leaving it out on a limb.
 
#11
:twisted:
the_guru said:
stacker1 said:
rampant54 said:
My Unit deployed 2 whole Squadrons and a Headqaurters squadron on Telic 1 and 2. We operated entirely as formed units and did well, despite lack of kit and equipment. When we were first given ammunition we were given 100 rds because we were TA. Regulars were given more. Needless to say our Colonel had a few words and we were given the correct scales.
Are you sure it was because you are TA? 2CS regt had 60 rounds per man.
I was attached to 1ADSR and I got 100 rounds.
Telic 1, we had 100 rnds per man in 3 AAC

Well, I did until I went to see a mate in 3 Para and blagged a box of 900 off him for my callsign...... :twisted:
 
#12
Spanner said:
TA shouldn't exist seperately to the Regular Army - in fact, all Battalions and Regiments should have TA Coys and Sqns as part of their Orbat, and the TA should come in a train on the weekends in regular barracks, and be given all the kit they need to train with. Summer camp should be as part of the regimental/battalion summer exercise (MM/Ulan/Swabian etc). That way, they could be fully integrated, and every time a regular regt deploys, the TA part of it could supply a Coy or Pl as required. Never mind cutting the TA, just integrate it properly rather than leaving it out on a limb.
This is roughly how the French Army's reserve system works.
 
#13
As a senior Tom I think this is a good idea. My unit (which as far as I can see) is rarely/ never fully manned for any Coy/Reg training. There are always people who will have a reason/ excuse to not be there. I fully apreciate the role of 'enablers' and do realise their potential within any unit but I still feel that a fair few Biffs get though under the same name. I'm not saying cut down all the TA Regs but if we get rid of the biffs then not only will we have more money per soldier we will also get better training. Getting rid of the dead wood can never be a bad thing. I'm not advocating dropping TA people for money saving reasons but in some cases (like 18 year Ptes!) they should have to plead there case and prove why the TA should still pay thousands of pounds on them.


T C

(Sorry for spelling and punctuation. It's St Patrick's w/end and I'm cunted!)
 
#14
Just a quick word on this. I see that King's College has been implicated in advising the MoD on 'who should go from the TA'

This is sloppy journalism at it's worst.

King's College does carry out research on behalf of the MoD and has been responsible, by carrying out thorough, rigorous, impartial and well informed research, for a number of positive policy changes that have directly impacted upon troops.

The article implies that the MoD uses King's research data to identify individuals. This is simply not true. King's never, ever identifies individuals. All data is reported anonymously. This is important as King's is currently in the process of carrying out the next large scale survey of the UK Armed Forces and the Times piece might put some off answering the King's questionnaire.

Members of this site will know that journalists can be sloppy and ill informed. This is just such a case. I would have expected more from the Times but there we go! To anybody who is having doubts about filling in the questionnaire - please don't! This is important research that will ultimately benefit the UK Armed Forces.

Any journos reading might want to get into some point scoring as this article is poorly informed and not worthy of the Times.
 
#16
They could start by getting TA units to submit correct maning level reports. My unit still gets empty pay slips for guys who left 3 years ago. There is no money being spent but it keeps the numbers high, on paper any way. They could proberbly cut a few thousand that way and it have no impact. It would require a change from this league table culture that HMG has at the moment.

As for trying to cut 30,000 troops, its fine if you are left with those that deploy all the time, but who is left to train the new guys? TA training isn't as centralised as the Regular Army so who will train 'em?
 
#17
Spanner said:
TA shouldn't exist seperately to the Regular Army - in fact, all Battalions and Regiments should have TA Coys and Sqns as part of their Orbat, and the TA should come in a train on the weekends in regular barracks, and be given all the kit they need to train with. Summer camp should be as part of the regimental/battalion summer exercise (MM/Ulan/Swabian etc). That way, they could be fully integrated, and every time a regular regt deploys, the TA part of it could supply a Coy or Pl as required. Never mind cutting the TA, just integrate it properly rather than leaving it out on a limb.
I totally agree with this. Regular Regt's should have an extra sub-unit which is a TA unit. Although I still think a regional TA Regimental structure should exist to administer the TA soldiers and oversee the training. The subunit could then supply IRs to the regular subunits on ops, or (if possible) deploy as a fully formed unit.

Also, in another thread on this subject it was suggested that those who are the fat knackers/medically downgraded should be the ones who are binned or should not receive the full bounty cos they can't be mobilised. I disagree. Anyone who is "P7 Home Only" can still be mobilised but may only serve in the UK. There are plenty of vacant posts out there at RTMC/PJHQ/Land etc which need filling. And I'm not just talking admin/desk jobs. I'm talking about training posts, OPTAG, Op support, IT etc.

Unfortunately you dont get a gong for these posts, but nevertheless they are jobs that need done. All soldiers also should be encouraged to volunteer for mobilisastion (or be compulsoraly mobilised??? ) whether abroad or at home.

Surely this is the help that the overstretched Army need in its current 'all hands to the pump' state...???
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#18
The reason why a LOT of people join the T.A. is to gain the skills, around their full-time lives, that will enable them to fight for the defence of this country in its hour of need - as in a reserve 'TERRITORIAL' army.

Many, many T.A. soldiers joined during the cold war, fully expecting to join in fighting off soviet hordes or fight in other MAJOR wars where our nation was at risk. Many today, join for the same reasons.

If a bloke with a full-time job and a family wants to go off and fight in every jolly this insane and incompetent government starts all over the world, then he'll join the regs.

The MOD needs to wake up to some simple truths: Those that want to make a full-time career of fighting and serving join the regs, and those that don't, join the T.A.

If the MOD is going to turn the T.A. into a full-on, any-battle reserve force, I suspect they'll be lucky to have 15k soldiers, let alone 35k as currently.

You can't have it both ways, and you can't have an army on the cheap. If that's the way this gobment and MOD wish to go, why not simply have National Service along the lines of the Swiss, and have done with regular volunteers?
 
#20
HVM_Boy said:
I totally agree with this. Regular Regt's should have an extra sub-unit which is a TA unit. Although I still think a regional TA Regimental structure should exist to administer the TA soldiers and oversee the training. The subunit could then supply IRs to the regular subunits on ops, or (if possible) deploy as a fully formed unit
This would be a feasable idea apart from one small problem: what happens to units in Germany, Cyprus, etc?

At the current rate of operational tempo, units are deploying every 18-24 months. Bearing in mind a 6 month operational tour takes 9-10 months of someone's life, how do you expect the TA to do this? Current employers will sack everyone or shunt them sideways into deadend jobs.

The idea of having a pool of 15,000 Ptes,Lcpls and Cpls is fine. Apart from the issues already raised over training, there is the small issue of retention: who the hell would join an orgainisation where they can never be promoted?

Some people (like Chubb) on a similar thread seem to think this would be grand. The result would be a broken TA within a year.

The scenario would work something like this:

TA reduced to 15,000 IRs. All keen as mustard, and as an inevitable demographic of their rank range, will be aged 18-28. Over the next 3 years they all do at least 1 op tour. Then they will start to age and their priorities change (though they will deny it at this stage in their life). Marriage, career, mortgage, kids, etc.

Recruitment will suffer as employers will cease to support the TA. One of the reasons the TA is supported is that it currently offers leadership development, management training, etc . How will the new organisation do this when all the members will ever be are low level cannon fodder?

What kind of people will it attract? If you want a tour every couple of years then join the regular Army. Such a body would attract more than fair share of dangerous idiots. How will such a body be paid? Will they receive decent medical treatment, compensation for injuries (being offered 50,000 quid for an injury which ruins a 100,000quid a year career isn't much cop). How about pensions? Tax breaks?

Within months of the 'new' organisation numbers will start to tail off. People like Chubb and his bum-chums on the other thread fail to realise that while the vast majority of the TA are very loyal and competent, they would rather not be asked to volunteer for career suicide every two years (maybe that is why certain people are so keen on the idea: they have no careers or family to be concerned with and lack the wit to empathise with those who do).

If there is any truth in the article that generated this thread then there is cause for great concern (even more than normal that is), as it shows now that the MoD just wants soldiers on the cheap (as several posters here recognise).
 

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