tac groups

does anyone else find that ops are going downhill due to crewman 2000. Because every one is now streamed into targeting, strike or acs its hard to recruit for the tac group because once a gunner has completed his level 2 course it is hard for him to change trades. this means the ops have to have young gunners straight from training who are not suited to the job . You used to have to complete at least a few years on the gun line before being selected for the tac group
agreed..there is no longer a natural selection process, where the Battery heirarchy could see who was suitable for the Tac group. Not quite sure how recruits are career streamed...any body have the definitive answer???
It's a different kind of soldiering than the gun end, and therefore needs a different kind of soldier. Some of my thoughts on this:

- OPs are the 'Sales Team' for OS and therefore all OP soldiers need to present the RA effectively. They need to be bright, knowledgable and articulate. Mature soldiers will inspire confidence in the supported arm. Company commanders are making difficult decisions, isolated by the command circumstances from their own NCOs. Their platoon commanders are generally very junior (although good). The FOO and Ack provide a vital sounding board and check for the company commander. Several infantrymen have commented on the steady value of the Ack in the Coy HQ. Let's build on these sucesses.

- OP soldiers must be intuitively good at the same sort of soldiering as thie supported arm. I'm in a highly mixed capbadge environment at the moment and conversation is (occasionally) littered with inf/cav references to gunners. These are either highly positive or highly negative, never middle ground.

- The selection of soldiers of proven ability for the OP offsets and complements the inexperience of the average FOO. In a two year tour, the FOO is a beginner for at least a year. He needs a strong team to learn from. The gun end can soak up an inexperienced soldier much better - there are more NCOs about.

Recently the wider army has had much experience of good (and bad) OS. I'd say that respect for the Artillery System is at an all-time high, which we should not compromise by imposing internal frictions in the selection and training of the tac group.

Recenly I heard a presentation from OC A Coy 3 Para about Helmand. He particularly singled out the OP party as a vital component of his combat power and eulogised the FOO as 'absolutely brilliant'. Clearly this FOO was good but the comment reflected the party as a whole, I am sure.

Let's mould the guys on the guns, then export the quality once found.

Yours, J.

P.S I had the very good fortune indeed to have had the late lamented SH as my ack. From my point of view he personified the ethos and quality that our OP soldiers should aspire to. RIP -and let's keep making them in his mould.
Jankers....moulding guys from the guns to become OPs is a thing of the past. It is now often the case (under Crewman2000) that if a soldier retrades from his original stream, this can have a major effect on qualifications for promotion.
erm, am sure that there is no L1 Tgt qualification - merely ACS L1 which the guys come with.

OP personnel can come from anywhere as long as they are prepared to have to go back to Larkhill to complete ACS L1 with the Phase 2 soldiers (or a unit can run one in camp), if they don't have it already, then complete Tgt L2 in Regt. Therefore, the Bty can still select the best for the "shop window" - you just need to think outside the box in order to get them there.

Hope that this is useful. Crewman 2000 is obviously all about saving money but can be used to our advantage.

GBTD is right but this does not get aroung the drama of trying to make the Ops a place people aspire to going in to. If we were to do that we would have to sort out the career progression slots for the Tgts Trade, heaven forbid such a sensible thing should happen!!!!!!!!!
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