Territorial Army... is it a misnomer?

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by SilverBullet, Jun 29, 2005.

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  1. I was spurred on to write this after a rather frank discussion with my Bde DComd.

    What does the name 'Territorial Army' mean to most people outside the Army/TA?

    I pose the question because although the TA does get quite positive press due to the mobilisations etc. my personal feelings are that the name TA draws people to think about Dads Army (I know the Home Guard and TA were different but most people may not), Gareth from The Office, Mike from Spaced etc.

    Also, are we still a Territorial Army? Is the TA now not 'the Army's reserve of first choice' therefore should we not be rebranded as such?

    The only TA units to be regularly fully manned are the SAS (R) and SBS (R) and they brand themselves as UKSF (R).

    I personally would love to see the Organisation rebrand. I think this would improve the image of the TA, and also help with recruitment. I can imagine a 17/18 year old being quite chuffed at telling his mates he was training to be an Army reservist, or UK Land Army Reservist (make your own names up, it's fun... but don't choose British Army Reserve Force, for obvious reasons) rather than say he was joining the TA.

    EVen if the realities of training etc didn't change, the rebranding would have a huge impact on reserve morale etc, as it would show further evidence of a closer integration between regulars and reserve forces.

    I presume this argument has been brought up before so if there are links to previous threads then please point me in the right direction.

    Cheers SB
  2. The rebranding has been placed on hold, but is in the pipe-line, recognising that we no longer have an exclusively territorial role.

    I think it's going to end up being the Army Reserve (Volunteers) and the Army Reserve (Regulars) fo those who have left t'army but are still in the regular reserve pool.

    That's what my RSM told me, anyway.
  3. I thought they were trying to get rid of the term 'volunteer' as part of army unit titles so why would it be deemed alright to use it for the TA as a whole? Personally, I don't like the sound of the Army 'Reserves' for the TA. Although I don't believe rebranding is necessary (cost, practicalities etc.) the TA definitely needs an image change.
  4. For many units/corps the term 'Territorial Army' or 'volunteers' is incorrect, the correct term would be 'militia' or 'special reserve', that more clearly (and historically) defines their current role. It incorrect as 'Territorial' means UK Defence (as formed units), whereas militia/special reserve traditionally provided individual replacements in regular units.

    I dislike 'Reserve' it means your on the bench, i.e. your a sub on the bench and not good enough to be on the pitch.
  5. For God's sake - NOT anything including the phrase "Land Army!" Apart from the obvious (Army = land, RAF = air Navy = sea), the Land Army was a bunch of women farmers during WWII!

    How about a return to the title "Ever-readies" if there is that much need for a change (I don't feel it's necessary). It would bring a new meaning to "Shock Army" or "Chaaaaaarge!"
  6. Special Reserve would make us sound like a fine wine, or port. Marvellous! Bwah!

    Hang on ... maybe it would be taken to mean this kind of special:

  7. If bliar has his way probably "National Guard" :(
  8. Whats wrong with Forces Armed Reserve Troops.? :D
  9. From what I've been told my squadron, and I believe a good part of the regiment, is at the target of 110% for Officer and Other ranks. Bar the chaps off in telic.

    This is not to say there is an awful shortage of both in some locations. My first unit was shut down after the one officer, a Lt, left for HQ and there were enough soldiers for a section left. I also know of chaps who are in high responsibility posistions with their white tab, and those who will have even more with the first pip. The shortage seems to be higher in the infantry and some corps. It would be interesting to know if there is a chart/graph showing which arms are suffering the most...

    As to the main issue, I've never really seen the issue with the name. I joined the TA not because of the name but because I wanted to do something with my time. I then joined my unit because of it's role.

    As far as I'm concerned I'm a Yeoman in my bde of 2 division. The TA is just a collective name. Much like the Army is a collective name for any of the regulars in their Regiments.

    To the point of someone on the outside looking in? Well if the name bothers them that much, how will 0530 PT look to them? In the end all that wil concern them, I'd hope, is whether they'll be away from their families for 9 months+ every 3 years.

    And that is the issue that needs to be tackled.
  10. I think the man is spot on. You can be wary of marketing as much as you like, but Territorial Army as a brand is unfortunately associated more with Captain Manwaring than it is with the reserve forces doing key operational work.

    I personally see nothing wrong with being called "Army Reserve." After all, the US has army reservist units as well as the National Guard and they get by OK. As Antphilip says, the bread and butter of how the thing is run is the real issue, but having an image that gets the interested through the door can be no bad thing either.

    As for names for the TA...hmmm "Auxiliaries" (Regular Army Auxiliary or RAR) sounds too Roman. "Ersatzkommando" is too politically incorrect. Nope Army Reserve (with "AR" replacing "V" in unit names) seems OK to me, and does exactly what it says on the tin.

    Lastly, let's keep the TA alive by creating units with a disaster relief/ static security role (like the old Home Service guys) that is deployed solely in the UK.

  11. My spies in the US tell me that their Army Reserve is regarded as less cop than their National Guard. As if to prove that point, a quick Googling reveals that PFC Lynndie England of Abu Ghraib fame and Col Tim Collins' accuser Maj Re Biastre were both members of the Army Reserve. Better to avoid them drawing the wrong conclusions by not using an identical name.

    Second, my spies in the UK (or was it a previous arrse thread?) tell me that the rebranding idea was dropped on grounds of cost and because the marketeers said that "TA" and "Territorial Army" was a highly familiar, well-recognised brand.

    For once, I think the goatee-wearers are right. There is a huge amount to be proud of in the name "Territorial Army", both in terms of our current use and what our predecessors achieved in the first and second world wars.

    In an earlier thread, Rifle-Green-Sex-Machine put it brilliantly:

    What needs to happen is that the Great Unwashed should be given a more accurate picture of what being in the TA now involves. It's interesting that MoD press releases tend to gloss over the fact that the TA are used as front-line troops as well as in the scoff-provision and lorry-driving roles.

    So, for instance, press releases currently say "800 soldiers of the Black Watch BG deploy to Camp Dogwood". They ought to say (somewhere in the detail, at least) "... among them 100 reservists from the Territorial Army and Army Reserve". (NB Figures given are mere guesses)

    That alone would do a huge amount for the TA's profile. Also, an ad every now and then on TV about the combat arm roles of the TA might help.
  12. But... That's what we are... Reservists I mean, not incapable of doing the role.

    The Army calls us it's (first choice) reserve element, in the TA mission statement it states that we are to provide a reserve...

    If you look at this in terms of the TA being a Private Sector Organisation, could we continue to attract new 'customers' in enough numbers to actually move forward if we didn't rebrand? You can draw comparisons to a very famous retail organisation Marks & Spencer, who have carried on regardless with the same image right into the 21st century and now are struggling to stay alive.

    People still come through the doors of TA units regardless, but not in enough numbers. Units are constantly trying new and innovative ways to recruit, but this is squeezing blood from a stone (well, not exactly, but it's as good an example as I can think of).

    This activity is usually very man intensive and reaps on average a poor crop of people who either joined up without a great deal of conviction and then leave without passing their training or who really are at the bottom of the food chain in terms of applicable skills (i.e. Logistics :D )

    Getting keen young soldiers in the door is what it's all about, and the numbers of these could only improve if the Army recognised that the perceptions of the TA within their target market is having a detrimental effect on recruiting numbers.

  13. On an emotional point TA should be kept, but that term was derived from the volunteer movements that sprung up locally, ie territorially.

    Now units are recruited locally (even 4 Para etc) at TA centres, but they are part of larger regiments and Battalions. Maybe it's time for a change to reflect the more integrated role of the TA soldier.

    The Army Reserve sounds logical, maybe The Reserve Army. But as it stands it's not the name Territorial Army that needs to be changed but the attitudes of the Regular Army, Media and even the Politicians. The TA PR machine is woeful when it comes to success stories and publicity. A decent programme about TA soldiers on ops would do wonders for our image and our name, the Territorial Army!
  14. I don't think that it's the name that is a problem. Rather, it's people's opinion of the TA. Most responses I get are either "huh, you're Gareth" or "I was in the TA back in '89. B1oody good drinking club".

    People need to be aware of what most of the TA do and where they go. Unfortunatly, It'd probably give a better rep to the trench dodging wasters that are still hanging on in the TA.

    Can't have everything. :D