TA whilst with OTC

Discussion in 'OTC' started by SANDY CHEEKS, Aug 30, 2010.

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  1. hello all

    A few questions

    Firstly I'm currently with wales OTC in swansea (easily the best coy...) and really want to join a TA unit aswell, but am unsure whether I should look for one near my home in sussex where I spend most of my summer, or near swansea where I obviously spend the majority of my time. Does anyone have experience with this? And what commitments would the TA unit want from me?

    Secondly i've heard a rumour that someone in another company did a tour with his TA unit as a Pte, then tried going for mainboard when he returned but failed, and felt his tour somehow put him at a disadvantage. Could there be any truth to this?

    I've thought about the possibility of taking a break from my 4 year course to do a tour, but obviously don't want it to effect my career should i choose to later try for RMAS.

    Hopefully someone can help, and sorry if I've come across as a mong at all

  2. Well, few years ago I was WUOTC, whilst in Aber, so you're wrong about the company.

    Regards to which TA, I wouldn't bother. I did, joined my local yeomanry regiment (hence my SN) but unlike the OTC its hard to fit a decent amount of weekends in around your uni course. By all means go TA, but i'd suggest you do it after you have a degree otherwise if nothing else you're wasting whichever TA unit you join's, time unless you really put a lot of effort into travel, and accept your degree will suffer. Just my experience, anyway.

    No idea about the main board chap, sounds like a gash dit to me
  3. PM inbound
  4. Yeoman_dai didnt do interpol by any chance? but thanks alot for the input, out of curiosity did you go RMAS after uni? and if so which prepared you better, OTC or TA?

    fraudstar thanks, replied
  5. Neither, popped out of uni, looked at all three services and the FAA looked the best bet. Best choice I ever made
  6. Sandy, my 2 penneth, while probably outdated now (OTC 96-99) is here:

    I was always told by people I was at Uni with who were TA that TA was harder to fit around uni (or more realistically the other way around).

    OTC is geared towards being a uni activity or "club", so is designed around the terms etc. so is easier to manage. There should be summer activities happening for OTCs, depending on your Special to Arm stuff - are Wales OTC all infantry? Can you attend a summer camp and a special to arm summer camp? We used to do both (I was in a gun troop). I also managed to do extra days helping out the PSIs over summer leave either side of the camps etc. (I was local and it was beer money).

    Again trying to join a TA unit for you 2 or 3 month summer break doesn't seem worth while. Also binning or suspending your studies to go on an op tour seems a bit odd - why not get your study done and then go.

    Also, I assume you do want to go for RCB after or during your time at uni. I found OTC helped, because it was one of the aims of OTC - to prepare people who were interested in a military career, but also foster a military understanding in those who had no interest in joining later. Joining the TA as a private may give you a military insight and they may be able to prepare you for RCB as they will send people on the TA Commissioning Course, but having TA experience shouldn't disadvantage you.

    The dit about doing a TA tour then leading to someones failure at RCB is probably only partially true. I have know a few TA guys (including those who have TA commissions) fail RCB and even a few fail RMAS, as they have become too entrenched in the ways of the TA unit they served with and aren't as receptive to ideas or don't show the flexibility they look for at RCB. If you can do a tour with the TA and then not got to RCB expecting to get an easy ride because of it, you should be fine. You would not be failed purely for going on a tour.

    I hope this helps a bit! Good luck, but my advice would be stick with OTC. I don't know if they still do them but they used to offer TA commissions to OTC students with a slightly increased return - this may be an option. You could then do attachments to a TA unit or arrange to be attached to a regular unit, even for a tour.
  7. Thanks for the comment django_strikes

    Is the special to arm summer camp TA? This year i did both OTC summer camp and 3BN Royal Welsh summer camp as they were low on bods, and the offer of a suntan in cyprus seemed pretty good. Yes wales otc is infantry, so both camps were essentially the same. Maybe ill just stick with the OTC, but like you said extra beer tokens are always helpful.

    Think ill just talk to the PSIs back in swansea and see what they suggest, thanks again.
  8. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    The only realistic option for doing OTC and TA is to TASO to a local TA unit. In theory this should mean that you get to do leadership training with the OTC and more specialised training with your sponsoring unit when you can. In reality, the funding situation for TASOs is very unclear at the moment and it is becoming increasingly difficult to arrange. In any case, it is likely that there will be big changes to the way OTCs (and, indeed, the TA) operate in the near future so it might be best to sit tight and see which way the wind blows.

    On your second point, you don't fail AOSB because you've done a tour, you fail it because you're a knob.
  9. I went OTC - TA. OTC - more leadership/Cmd based exercises, better socials. Tailor made to fit around the term structure. TA - better more realistic exercises as a whole, and the option to exercise with real troops rather than a plt of p*ssed up studes. However, Cmd positions limited - the existing 2Lts in the TA Bn need the chance to play and with limited MTDs this will normally be the priority and you may find many stints as Coy signaller to shadow the OC etc.

    As to AOSB and a tour prejudicing it, I could see this happen - if someone came back with a big chip of 'I survived the stan, clealry I can pass the hurst' on their shoulder.

    Going to AOSB with a tour behind you, I would probably think would be like being ex cadets/OTC/TA - use the experience to help you and others where you can, and don't billy big-time it, winding up DS and synidcate alike.
  10. I know of 2 guys who did a tour while at uni as Ptes (both Swansea Coy, Pete H with R WELSH and Dave B with RE) but transferred to local TA units to do this. One smashed his AOSB and commisioned (Reg), the other is happily going along being a Pte and learning the ropes and enjoying himself.

    I think it depends which unit you transfer to as to how they support you. RLC, RE, R WELSH and Medics (off the top of my head) are all there for the asking.
  11. Thanks for all the replies, given me something to think about.
  12. TASO up, plenty of units down that neck of the woods who are always looking for bods. Cpunk is right about the funding situation, so get in before the SDSR cripples everyone. I did something similar back in the day, cracking laugh with both units.

    Also, i remember the days when PERSEC and internet annonymity weren't dirty words. Took me all of one e-mail to know who you are.
  13. Just got this to the 3rd degree from my local OTC unit... I'm TA and want to stick that way.

    Basically your options are out-and-out join the TA OR join as a TASO. If you join the TA straight you can do TA commissioning (obv. now through AOSB so good for regular commission too, though if you go regs you'll probs have to do RMAS again). This takes a year and is a hell of a lot of weekends to commit to, esp. if your degree is high-intensity. Unless you plan on remaining in the TA for a while, this is probably not the best of ideas... that said they're crying out for 2nd Lts, so you will get pushed to go for commission.

    Second option is TA as OR, what I'm doing now. I get occasional PO weekends but otherwise do normal pte stuff. This will get you a trade and a bit of OR experience, really depends on how much time you've left in your degree as to whether you want to do this. IMO it's a good laugh and much more professional soldiering than the nearby UOTC, but YMMV.

    Third option is go TASO, or TA Sponsored Officer for the uninitiated. This means you join a TA unit at home, who sponser you (and pay for you!) to do UOTC stuff while at uni. The key point is you attend your local TA unit in the holidays and your UOTC in the term time. Bear in mind money is tight right now and as has been said getting TASO status may be tricky. Another thing to remember is that TA soldiers generally don't look too favourably on OCdts so be prepared for a certain amount of hostility. You can defuse a lot of this by not making the standard OCdt mistake and thinking your position is a rank - it's not, as cpls and senior toms will take much joy in reminding you.

    Finally, you're non-deployable as a student, whether in the TA or not, and you will either have to take a year out or bin your degree entirely to do an Ops Tour. Consider this very carefully before you go. I can't see AOSB holding a tour against you, but bear in mind what other posters have said - you may get stuck in certain mindsets and make yourself ineligible.

    Further questions fire me a PM. Better yet, talk to your Adj.
  14. Sorry to dig up an old thread but it is probably the most relevant to my question.

    I'm in a national TA unit and going into my final year of uni in August, the long and short is that I won't be able to do much training for a substantial amount of time due to the training dates that are pre-planned by my unit and my course structure. The guysat my unit are fine with this.

    Is there an option to attend OTC nights as a TA 2Lt, assuming all goes to plan and I receive permission from the CO and the local OTC CO? Keep up with some training and drill instead of being completely out of the loop and get some socialising on as well.
  15. As young thrusting 2Lt why don't you ask your CO and the OTC CO?