TA YOs: what's wrong with the current 'offer' and how do we put it right?

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by msr, Oct 27, 2011.

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  1. msr

    msr LE

    I certainly don't have all the answers, in fact, I don't think I have all the questions, but I'll start the ball rolling with:

    MS: Let's bin CRs for soldiers in the first 3 years. The first report should be from CMS(R), the second from their trade course, the third from camp (these two could be reversed).

    Given that we lose more soldiers in the first 3 years than every other year of service combined, this would make a major reduction in pointless paperwork.

  2. Ok, when does the OTC review actually report? quite soon I think. Then we find out who has listened and who actually gives a toss.
  3. Get rid of self serving officers and the PASO's and coy 2i/c's who make every attempt at stopping people becoming offices because they are so absorbed in their own company.
  4. Open plan offices, or just plain ordinary cubicles?

    Shades of "The Bedsitting Room" there...
  5. From the bottom of the ladder point of few.......

    Many of my peers are massively over-qualified on paper to become officers. I know several blokes with PHD's and MA's serving as Privates,and a much higher number of Pte's holding degree's and other qualifications. Before anyone asks what bearing this has on becoming an Officer, this is the primary qualification of UOTC Ocdts. They are at University, are "educated", and therefore are officer material.

    The main reason that these people do not wish to become officers is not the standard of difficulty of the training (many have Op experience), or failures at main board. It's because of the attitude of Old School TA deciding that they "arn't the right sort of chap", and the lack of desire to be a part of an ageing Officers Mess they cannot relate to, of which the majority of medal ribbons consist of a VRSM and a QGJM.

    The young lads coming back of tour should be the ones being shepherded into Officer training and AOSB, not a combination of naive male students and whorish female ones who wonder why they get fucked off when they try to lord it over the blokes in a manner they have picked up from their Sandhurst CSgt.

    Rant over.

    • Like Like x 1
  6. I think that there need to be better incentives for other public sector employers and suppliers to release junior professional staff for TA service in a manner that will not be detrimental to their careers. Possible mechanisms might include:
    • Tying the rate support grant to Local Authorities supplying a certain number of reserve officers.
    • Including the number of reserves employed by public sector providers(infrastructure, power and water, logistics etc) in government tender applications.
    • Leveraging off the requirement for most members of professional bodies to undertake CPD (Continuing professional development) by providing accredited CPD.
    • Integrating the OCdt Training/Officer development system so that trainees can get credits towards a degree/MBA etc via reserve service (in the same manner as the yanks).
    At the moment, the TA will not attract a sufficient number of "high flyers" as it is a source of too many potential conflicts with a succesful civilian career.
  7. Things never change do they? Good in the field and sneered at in the mess by the ones who are in it for the mess dinners and the ability to boast that they were sat in top notch company.
    Totally agree and always have that a TA officer should put time in in the ranks first. It'll teach him the basics and what the lads want and need in a good officer while deterring the social officers who won't want to mix with the hoi polloi. Nowadays with deployment the lads will know they have an experienced boss to lead them.
    In my experience, when dinosaurs ruled the earth, too many OTC types who should never have been allowed near troops wriggled through the net simply because they were university edjumacated, apparently that hasn't changed either.

    For God's sake we should be encouraging the proven ones who will encourage people to stay by example, by enthusiasm and competence. The other way can easily have the opposite effect especially with soldiers who don't have to stay and won't if they are truly bored or hacked off. In the regs a duff officer has to be put up with until he can be staked out for Terry on a night patrol, in the TA he provokes wastage.

    Rant ranted.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator


    The above descriptions of Officers' Mess members does not fit all units, exceptions exist etc, etc.

    If you are not happy with the officers in your unit, you have a number of choices which include:

    1. Look elsewhere, and see if there is another unit nearby where you feel the experience base is better

    2. Populate the mess with exceptional examples of intelligence, capability, bravery and operational experience by putting yourself up for a commission. Snipe from the sidelines or do something to change the situation?
    • Like Like x 2
  9. What is the TAYO Offer for? If the TA doesn't know, how can potential officers evaluate it?

    1) Providing a capability to slot in as a replacement for a regular YO on Ops.
    2) Providing specialist capabilities to the army that it cannot maintain itself.
    3) Providing the recruiting and training structure to feed trained troops to the regulars, and in return getting to lead their troops in training.
    4) Admin bitch, writing reports on troops in the knowledge that they will probably not lead them on Ops, or indeed be able to deploy on Ops in the role they joined and trained for.
    5) Providing a pool of willing and organised manpower to fill sandbags at home if needed.
    ( my answers would be:
    1 probably not given the level of training achievable.
    2 by definition will be limited in terms of slots and the recruiting pool of suitably skilled civilians.
    3 is how I see an Officer career in the TA on a good day, 4 when the TA mojo is suffering.
    4& 5 would be what TAYOs might be capable of if the focus is on quick commissions to fill slots
  10. As a first effort I would say:

    Recognise that the Challenge, Status, Social and Financial sides of the Officer offer will be competing for time with families, jobs, established social lives, sports clubs and will also have to edge out the TA Soldier Offer in terms of reward for the extra effort.

    1) Decide what the Officer Role is in the TA, and be clear to recruits in presenting this
    2) Present and package officer training & careers as being attractive and challenging: Pushing yourself further than you can as a civilian or would as a private soldier.
    3) Minimise the time taken before POs are used productively in units- this may be by channelling everyone through a year in the ranks (whilst taking AOSB) before officer training.
    4) Use OTCs to channel students/grads to us: they are not the only source of officer material, but they have the time and motivation for it (educated to a degree, plenty of time for courses, the extra £20 a day might make a difference, CV Points, seeking a replacement for the Uni Sports clubs and bars). Don’t neglect the talent pool you have as privates/JNCOs.
    5) Re-balance the burden of paperwork vs leadership between YOs and bed-blocking SNCOs
    6) Cross fingers and hope you get a critical mass of YOs together that might attract others to the social side of the mess.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. 1. outside of Major cities ther is a fair bit of travelling involved to find a new unit

    2. good Idea but I bet they wouldn't have me!!! I'll just have to be content to snipe from the sidelines
  12. Having seen 2lts straight from RMAS (and I mean straight from) in theatre I reckon you're underselling a lotof TA Officers there. There are a number of roles that could easily be covered by TA YOs and a plenty more that could be covered with a little more effort/selected YOs.

    I would actually hope that the paperwork burden is taken on by the PSAOs etc. If not, perhaps we could manuvre PSAOs, AOs and even PSIs to carry out the mundane paperwork where no real achievement is gained and allow the TA YO to develop other skills, ie practice his skills on the exercise area.

    Others have alluded to cutting back on SJAR/OJARs too, perhaps (with exceptions) a system of not reporting on privates for their first 3 years ad not on anyother rank for their first year would reduce the paper work burden. ISTR that when I was a young Reg Siggy you weren't reported on (by exception) until you were a LCpl... if the LCpl is used as a Local rank and no reporting would occur for a LCpl until their first year was completed, then that would remove a significant number of reports. Promotioon to LCpl could be by promotion board/local records ie MATTs passed? Check, Training complete? Check, reccommended? Check. Quick tick matrix for key aspects (outstanding, excellent, above average, average, below average, mediocre), small space for special notes of importance. Op Inserts included.
  13. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    1. And? If you think the unit or role is worth it, then the travel can be managed. TA doesn't automatically mean 15 minute bus ride maximum. Short pain free journey to shit unit or longer journey to somewhere that you really want to be?

    2. Don't bet, ask. If you (generic, not personal) think you could do a better job than the officers you have now, then step up to the plate. If you can do a better job then you will get through the system and will have done something to raise the standard of your unit and improve conditions for those that serve in it.
  14. You really do sound like a bundle of laughs. the words "jumped up, living on another planet ****" spring to mind! Just who do you think you are. If you really think that 'educated' = Officer material and 'University' = educated then what a naive ******* idiot you really are, there is far more to being an officer than being educated and if you are indicative of what you think should be in an officers mess then no wonder you are not wanted there. I imagine there would be few in that mess more condescending and up their own arse than you. Just how do you define over qualified to be an officer? Those CSgts at Sandhurst were lording it over the cadets there, it certainly doesnt mean that they lorded it over there own guys back at their units. I have been truly unfortunate in my time to come across a TA officer who 'transferred' to the regs somehow so he had a grand total of about 2 weeks training at Sandhurst and was now a regular officer in charge of real soldiers, he too was a **** and the guys let him know it. grow up you ******, christ i'm glad i'm due out soon!
  15. I Commissioned after three years in the ranks and yes, its an ideal. Its great to be able to say that you know what you are asking the blokes to do because you've done it yourself etc etc. The reality is that we have very very few decent officer candidates coming forward at all so lets not put any more hurdles in the way.

    As for Quality - that HAS changed, dramatically, since it was accepted a couple of years back that there was one standard and one standard only at AOSB.

    Now, a bit of reality for those who think that TA units should be generating all their own officers from the ranks. YOU ARE TALKING UTTER UTTER BOLLIX. There are not enough decent candidates. Those that do present are often really bad. 75% of unit derived TAPOs I worked with in my last job were uncommissionable. - Thats actually better than the OTC average where I'd say 90% were uncommissionable - but the numbers don't work out. An OTC has an intake of say 100 a year - so potentially 10 useful people. Most TA units struggle to find 1-2 POs a year ....and then only 25% are any good. 1YO every two years per unit is not going to solve our problems.