TA voting with their feet?

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by abacus, Jun 14, 2005.

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  1. Relevance to whole army as relates to TA reinforcing Regular so posted here rather than Just TA. Mods feel free to move if you think appropriate.


    Now is it the case that they are resigning "en masse" or is it just that recruiting is not keeping pace with natural wastage?

    I think mostly the latter, especially as most TA Units best soldiers have been mobilised. These are typically the ones who get wheeled out for recruiting events so obviously can't do that if they're in the sandpit.

    ARRSE views please....
  2. Impossible to tell without better analysis of figures. the headlines dont tell you much.

    The TA has always had a 1/3 turnover rate. Therefore the figure that really matters is how the last couple of years has affected the numbers available for mobilisation. Do we have less Fit For Role? do we have a lower number of recruits? Have the numbers available for mobilisation gone down or has a new batch of joiners replaced those who have been mobilised and now left?

    I havent seen these figures and perhaps the army hasn't bothered to look at them in depth yet. If anyone knows and can post I think we would all be interested to see (or am I just boring?)

    My thoughts from my own unit are that Telic has had two effects.
    1. A lot of the old and bold, the corporals, lance jacks and potential long servers left after mobilisation leaving a hole which will over the next few years be felt in the lack of sergeants.
    2. Recruiting has dropped off. Reasons for this have been discussed ad nauseum in the TA forum.

    Sadly I think both points could have been avoided to some extent by decent training and motivation from the top over 2003 and 2004. People seemed to take their eye off the ball though.

    Anyone who saw the numbers tip up for the recent Regimental FTX can testify to the effect.

    Re the article though, this Scottish idea sounds great. Take a bunch of people for 6 weeks and, I assume get them right through basic training so they can join units in September. If it works and they get a return on invetment then hopefully they'll starting thinking of it for the rest of the country and for other arms.
  3. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    I agree with Purple - turnover has always been around that level, on average.

    We aren't losing the old and bold more rapidly than normal, we just aren't getting the new blood in fast enough - and those that do come in, aren't staying.

    Personally, I don't think the TELIC tours are the problem - I blame the TAFS Recruit training syllabus. It may take us closer the the 'Real' Army, but it now takes more than three years before anyone here can do a Camp with the Unit, or before they can be usefully mobilised. We must get them training with their mates within weeks, not years, or they'll just leave (as is happening).
  4. Unfortunately they never had their eye really on the ball even before Telic as the slide (in our unit) started well before 2003. The Scottish idea is good and if it works should be extended elsewhere.
  5. I'm interested in re-joining after a long hiatus, but as I've posted elsewhere I don't think the TA is hitting the right motivation buttons. I'm not joining the TA to (A) facilitate Blair's foreign adventures or (B) fly a glider at the weekend ("More Pepper!").

    National Guard system please: proper basic training, closer integration, pension and medical rights, job protection that means something and cut out any wasters who aren't prepared to go on ops. An organisation that asks a lot (like the modern TA is) should be giving more back. Sorry, but it's the 21st Century and the Wehrmacht isn't camped out at Calais, looking hungily at Walmington-on-Sea through their field glasses.

  6. One very real problem is that the metrics that would allow you to make a decent analysis are not being collected. The system as it stands encourages, erm, gaming the numbers. More numbers on the books means more MTDs means more training for the regular attenders, especially as the allocated MTDs aren't enough. More numbers also means kudos for COs rather than being criticised for failing to recruit.

    Equally, given the turnover etc for soldiers and the time taken in training them to mobilisation standard there's no way that any unit can ever be full to establishment of trained soldiers. If you want 600 trained, establish at 900+ and so on.

    There is still a lack of money and resources for training. The switch to regular CMS has raised the quality of training but does mean many recruits are left in limbo for long periods. My view is these factors directly drives the wastage peak we see during the first engagement period. Soldiers do not feel engaged or that they are being properly prepared. We need to get them in on day one and get them playing with all the kit and have more than five blanks each per weekend.

    However, that only applies to those who come in through the door. Many more are put off because they do not see regular peacetime mobilisation as compatible with a decent job and a family. Plus that whole highly unpopular illegal war thing. Either use the TA infrequently or put in place real job protection and a proper package of benefits.
  7. In my company we have about 10 JNCOs and craftsmen who just haven’t come in since they returned from Iraq.
    Recently we lost another JNCO, who regularly used to come in, because he didn’t want to be called up again.
    This has resulted in us becoming top heavy. We now don’t have enough people to do the jobs of a craftsmen or a JNCO, and this has made one of our sergeants feel that we’re falling apart and so she has now left.
    I’m the only recruit that has joined in since September 04.

    Is this a familiar story with other TA units?

  8. 8O

    In my day it was four weekends and a two-week recruit cadre camp!
  9. As A member of the HIGHLAND Regiment that is running the Summer Recruit Initiative. I have some reservations about the way it is being run. While it is an excellent idea which our Bn has used in the past, there are a couple of problems with the whole escapade. Firstly our recruiters have been told to inform potential recruits that they will receive £1500 for the camp, when part of the money is the annual bounty, it has also been published in the press that they can leave any time. Which in itself is true, leaves the problem of not doing enough time to receive the trg bounty. over two weeks ago we were told that the adventure trg phase ( which attracted a lot of applicants) was being binned in favour of a field firing phase.

    While I ramble on my point is that while it is attracting a lot of interest, it shows the Army as a whole in a bad light by mis-informing the applicants about the course. I may add that my Coy RRTT staff have been questioning this to no avail. Hopefully I will be proved wrong because at a drill night average of 10 Pax. We need the fresh faces.
  10. I pretty much agree with Veg above, I am interested in joining and would like to volunteer for a tour BUT I will/cannot not because:

    I could kiss my current job goodbye, yes there would be no role for me upon returning and trusting the MOD to cover my back... no chance

    On a selfish note, I'm not sure if given my age and experience (mil & civvi) I would be keen to end up being the Q's bitch or any other such useful use of my skills :roll: I know that appears very self centred and we all have a job to do but the horror storys I have heard about men trying to join, being dicked about to an olymipian level and ending up doing jobs that are the complete opposite to skills and experience they could have brought with them. And no, they were not expecting for a busmans holiday, fills me with dread.

    I dont think the individual TA soldier on Ops should get special roles because they are bankers or lawyers but some creative thinking on their allocation could maximise their skill sets. Some of course would like to be a Tom once more but it all becomes a bit bitter if they have no job/security to go home to.

    The cost of joining versus the benefits all seems very uneven. This is a mess the MOD has created (no support against rapid redeployment and no job security) for things to improve they must stop taking mens loyalty for granted and give something back.
  11. And

    The RTCs are now (slowly but surely) being equipped with TAFMIS. From what I've seen of it so far I believe that it can be used to solve both problems identified by OOTS & OldSnowy.

    I believe that TAFMIS has been in use in Reg Army for years now. Anyone from an ATR care to comment on whether it is as good as I hope it will be.
  12. You've hit the nail on the head. As a long term TA guy, do I really want to lose 1 year in 3 (or 5) when my civvy workmates have no such issues? Does my boss? I saw a recent survey on the net (www.recruitermagazine.co.uk) that said 75% of recruitment companies would find it difficult to place TA. That doesn't exactly fill me with confidence, just makes me want to protect my own job, not disappear for a jaunt to the sandpit. However, protect my job properly, give me a decent benefits package and it might be different.
  13. Ababcus,

    Tell us more. Just googled TAFMIS and it just says it is a database. This may make targeting potential recuits easier (although that would be a bit too subtle for the army probably) but wont change the fact that 'ghost troopers' are kept on the books so units dont lose their MTDs nor the fact that training to an 'acceptable' level now takes far too long with GAP training and TAFS

    ..or will it?

    Not being argumentative, just interested! :D
  14. Shorter tours maybe? 2-3 months rather than 6?

    More TA training and quicker e.g becoming a useful soldier in a year not 2.


    free beer?

    More attractive female recruits with a relaxed approach to 'morals'?

    ok maybe the last two are unworkable
  15. A regular army perspective on this would be helpful.

    Would you, as regulars, prefer possibly older, more experienced (transferable civvy-skills wise) TA people deployed alongside you who were better trained and motivated but in smaller numbers? These guys have protected jobs so can actually deploy on ops more than without the "bee-with-one-sting" syndrome kicking in.

    Or the current set-up where you get more people but after ops they bugger off for the reasons posted above?

    I can see, as ever, inf (being a young man's game) being a problem. But everything else seems in play. The RAMC is taking a pasting on this, they are prime candidates for Rolls Royce treatment by the MOD in my view.