Territorial Army Potential Officer training

#1
I am probably going to 'blow my cover' with this thread but if it helps to clarify/demistfy or tell the plain facts about TA officer training, then I don't mind. I should point out that in my TA capacity I work at the centre of officer training and have sight of both policy and practise. I am happy to answer any questions arising from this.

POTENTIAL OFFICER TRAINING SCHEMES

1. Direct Entry Potential Officer (DEPO). No previous or current military experience required. The 'recruit' is to be directed to a Regional Training Centre (RTC) where he applies to join the TA. He is placed on the strength of a TA Unit but completes Modules 1-3 of the TACC with the RTC and Module 4 at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Must be under 35 to complete Module 4. Commission is confirmed by completing Module 5, a Special to Arms course (where available), a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 2 years commissioned service.

2. TAPO/Unit PO. A soldier already serving with the TA may volunteer or be selected for PO training. Assuming he has already completed Phase 1 recruit training, he will be posted to a RTC until he has completed Modules 2 and 3 and Module 4 at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Must be under 35 to complete Module 4. Receives Type A probationary commission on completion of Module 4. Confirmation of commission as per DEPO.

3. University Officer Training Corps (UOTC) officer. Students attending some universities may join the UOTC. Over a period of 2-3 years he must complete Military Test Qualification (MTQ) 1, 2 and 3 with his UOTC before attending Module 4 of the TACC at RMAS. UOTC's are 'Type B' Units in the TA and have no mobilisation liability.

4. Territorial Army Sponsored Officer (TASO). An individual at university and serving with a UOTC may transfer to a Type A TA Unit (i.e. independent or specialist unit) and continue to train at the UOTC. He/she will adopt the dress of the TA Unit which provides the LSN for him/her. Completes MTQ 1-3 and Module 4. This scheme is not run by all UOTC's (sadly!) but some make very good use of it.

5. Late/Soldier Entry Officer. A soldier aged over 35 is selected for a Late Entry Commission. He should have achieved the rank of SSgt or WO2. His selection is conducted by a Brigade/Divisional board and he is awarded a commission in the rank of Lieutenant (I am aware of discrepancies here but they are being closed off) without further training. Post commission he must attend the Late Entry Officers Course (TA) at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Changes on the way to Commissioned employment will result in restrictions in employment to Combat Support/Combat Service Support roles in a Unit e.g. QM, MTO, OC HQ Coy, Recruiting Officer, Welfare Officer, Unit Employer Support Officer, etc. At present no probationary period required but this is a work in progress.

6. Professionally Qualified Officer. Individuals with professional qualifications may volunteer for selection and training as a Professionally Qualified Officers (PQO) in the Royal Army Chaplains Department (RAChD), Royal Army Medical Corps (RMAC), Adjutant Generals Corps (Army Legal Service), Royal Army Veterinary Corps (RAVC), Royal Army Dental Corps (RADC) and Queen Alexandras Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC). They are commissioned in the rank of Lieutenant and/or Captain. TA PQO's may attend Modules 1a at 2 Med Bde (Strensall) followed by Module 1b at RMAS. Alternatively, they may complete the 4 week Regular Army PQO course at RMAS. Further details can be found at http://www.army.mod.uk/atra/idt/schools_courses/rmas/professionally_qualified_officer.htm

POTENTIAL OFFICER ASSESSMENT

7. As early as possible in training, DEPO's, TAPO's and UOTC Cadets should attend the Territorial Assessment Board (TAB) at the Army Officer Selection Board (Reserves). This is a one day briefing/assessment of a PO's ability to pass the Territorial Army Main Board (TAMB). A poor performance on TAB can result in a PO being held back in training for upto 24 months before being allowed to attempt TAMB - hence the importance of sending Cadets to TAB early.

8. Assuming a pass at TAB, the PO must successfully complete Territorial Commissions Board (TCB) before attending Module 4 of the TACC. This is a 2 day assessment of a PO's aptitude, intelligence, leadership, fitness to be a Potential Officer. Important note here is that is provides an assessment of 'potential'. A pass at TAMB does not mean the PO will automatically pass Module 4 but means that he has the potential to be an officer in the TA. A PO can receive a clean pass (go straight to RMAS!) or a pass deferred for up to 24 months requiring him to attempt TAMB again. TCB will dissappear in the near future to be replaced by AOSB (R).

TACC TRAINING

9. Module 1. 2 week residential course at a RTC, essentially it is Phase 1 soldier recruit training but with additional leadership training.

10. Module 2. 10 weekend course but some RTC's run this over 3 x long weekend courses. Focuses on the command tools (Combat Estimate and Orders), Tactics, Officership, Leadership, Doctrine, Navigation, etc.

11. Module 3. Takes the 'theory' taught in Module 2 and puts it into a 9 day Battle Camp. It is the application of the theory and tools to leadership in the field with all the additional pressures that brings.

12. Module 4. Lasts 21 days and takes place at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. All Cadets must pass the (entry) Personal Fitness Test and successfully complete a number of other tests during the course. Training and assessment delivered by the same Regular Army Officers and SNCO's who train the Regular Army's Cadets. Over 50% of the course spent on exercise with leadership and use of the command tools continually assessed in series of tactical and non-tactial scenarios. Long hours (18 hour days), little sleep and a series of testing 'command appointments' serve to test the Cadets ability to command effectively when under pressure. 20% fail to complete Module 4 successfully although most are invited back to try again after a period of further training. At the end of the course, the successful cadets parade at RMAS and march up the steps of Old College as per the long standing tradition of Regular Army officers.

13. Module 5. Post commission training. If serving in a 'Type A' TA Unit the new 2Lt must complete 4 weekends with a RTC with training in CBRN, Mobilisation, Managing Soldiers and Planning Training. If serving in a Type B Unit (UOTC) the 2Lt must complete all of Module 5 less the CBRN weekend. If a UOTC 2Lt wishes to transfer to a Type A Unit, he must complete the CBRN phase of Module 5.

CONFIRMATION OF COMMISSION

14. On completion of Module 5, a Special-to-Arms course, 1 - 2 years commissioned service, the CO of the officer concerned must apply to the Commandant RMAS to have the subject officers commission confirmed. I should add at this point that you cannot be mobilised without a confirmed commission unless your Unit can put a VERY compelling justification to Comdt RMAS.

DISPELLING MYTHS AND BENDING THE RULES!

15. All RTC's have been directed to run Module 1 instead of sending Cadets to Phase 1 Recruit Training.

16. Since January this year, on commencing training an individual is referred to as 'Officer Cadet'. This has done away with the confusing array of ranks/titles. On passing TAMB, the Cadet is formally appointed 'OCdt' and Part Two orders action should be taken to ensure that he/she is recognised/remunerated accordingly.

17. On launching the Direct Entry scheme, we were all (incorrectly) given the impression that the DEPO scheme was the panacea to all our officer recruiting ills. The result has been that it seems that Units in general (though not all) have neglected or stopped producing Unit PO's. This has resulted in a situation where we now depend on the UOTC's for upto 80% of our officers. Given that so few UOTC officers transfer to the TA, this may (in part) explain why we are so short of officers. Units are being encouraged to 'look inwards' for Potential Officers whilst also accepting the DEPO scheme, cajoling UOTC officers to transfer and commissioning some LE officers.

18. Before anyone from the RTC's replies to say that I am talking through my very large green hat about the number of weekends each Module takes, the facts above are from the book. However, what is also a fact is that running Module 3 over 3-5 weekends has resulted in Cadets not having enough experience to survive anything more than 24 hours in the field without difficulty - a real problem given that in Week One of Module 4, they spend 72 hours on exercise and many are struggling with basic personal administration let alone doing estimates, orders, etc!

19. Cadets cannot mix and match the Modular system provided by the RTC's and the MTQ system provided by the UOTC's. If serving in a 'Type A' TA Unit you should be doing the Modular system with an RTC. If you are in a 'Type B' TA Unit (UOTC) as either a Cadet or a TA Sponsored Officer you may do the MTQ system. There is a considerable training gap between Module 2 and MTQ 2 (in favour of Module 2) and it is only at the end of Module 3/MTQ 3 that they are supposed to be mapped but I suspect that there is still a traning gap given that the UOTC requirement for MTQ 3 is to spend 7 days on battle camp as opposed to 9 days on Module 3.

20. Right, let the 'incoming' come in! :D

TBS
 
#2
What about UOTC types who go to a TA unit as a tom at the end of their uni time with MTQ2 under the belt and then later go for comission. do they start the RTC system from scratch or carry on to MTQ3 at the nearest OTC as a TASO?
 
#3
TheBlackShamrock said:
On passing TAMB, the Cadet is formally appointed 'OCdt' and Part Two orders action should be taken to ensure that he/she is recognised/remunerated accordingly.
TBS, could you explain this bit further, especially the part I have highlighted in bold? Being a money grabbing student my ears perked up...
 
#4
Bearing in mind the pay system has changed, but on passing MTQ-2 I went from Pte class 3 to class 2, and on passing TAMB and the putative module 3 I went to class 1.
 
#5
wessex_warrior said:
What about UOTC types who go to a TA unit as a tom at the end of their uni time with MTQ2 under the belt and then later go for comission. do they start the RTC system from scratch or carry on to MTQ3 at the nearest OTC as a TASO?
I will try to answer this one by setting in context what UOTC's are increasingly aiming to acheive:

MTQ 1 in Year 1, MTQ 2 and MTQ 3 by the end of Y2. Module 4 in Jul/Sep before starting Y3. This leaves the UOTC with a 2Lt for up to 2 years and the Cadet/2Lt without the worry of trying to achieve MTQ 3 and Module 4 in either his final year at university or Module 4 when trying to settle into a new job in civvy street.

So, if a Cadet has only completed MTQ 2 by the time he has completed university, I would be asking when he did MTQ 2 and why he did not complete MTQ 3 and Module 4 when at university.

MTQ 2 pass does not equate to Module 2 pass although that is likely to be addressed in the future - but not yet!

The rules are such that on joining the TA, the former UOTC cadet should do Module 2, then Module 3, etc. However, (rightly or wrongly) I know of some instances where the rules are being bent and even broken. I have seen the product of this on Module 4 which is a disadvantaged Cadet who can struggle more than those who have remained within their intended systems.

If this is a question about a specific individual, I would rather take it out of this forum, speak to you about it and make a decision based on wider facts. But going back to do MTQ 3 is not an option!

Hope this helps.
 
#6
antphilip said:
TheBlackShamrock said:
On passing TAMB, the Cadet is formally appointed 'OCdt' and Part Two orders action should be taken to ensure that he/she is recognised/remunerated accordingly.
TBS, could you explain this bit further, especially the part I have highlighted in bold? Being a money grabbing student my ears perked up...
I thought I might be opening Pandora's Box with this one! Check with your Unit Pay Clerk but I think the formal appointment as an OCdt (successful completion of TAMB) makes you eligible for a pay rise.

However, if you really are a 'money grabbing student' then why not go on to your university's TASO scheme where you will be eligible for an enhanced bounty as opposed to the fixed bounty which I believe you get as a member of the UOTC? You can still train with the UOTC and do all the AT expeds, qualifications, etc.
 
#7
TheBlackShamrock said:
antphilip said:
TheBlackShamrock said:
On passing TAMB, the Cadet is formally appointed 'OCdt' and Part Two orders action should be taken to ensure that he/she is recognised/remunerated accordingly.
TBS, could you explain this bit further, especially the part I have highlighted in bold? Being a money grabbing student my ears perked up...
I thought I might be opening Pandora's Box with this one! Check with your Unit Pay Clerk but I think the formal appointment as an OCdt (successful completion of TAMB) makes you eligible for a pay rise.

However, if you really are a 'money grabbing student' then why not go on to your university's TASO scheme where you will be eligible for an enhanced bounty as opposed to the fixed bounty which I believe you get as a member of the UOTC? You can still train with the UOTC and do all the AT expeds, qualifications, etc.
I'm actually in a Type A unit already, joined the TA before I went to university, I've been told there is no official rank for OCdt on the pay system so there would be no extra pay. Paid as a pte/tpr.

Having sacrificed all chances for promotion at a soldier level (where courses could have been done during uni breaks!) if there is some distance to this one I'd be very happy to hear it!

(Money grabbing student was just playing to the stereotype :D)

Oh could you also explain the part 2 orders recognition part? Being a bit lost in the world of army admin I'm not quite sure what it meant. Is it a purely clerical thing?
 
#8
antphilip said:
I'm actually in a Type A unit already, joined the TA before I went to university, I've been told there is no official rank for OCdt on the pay system so there would be no extra pay. Paid as a pte/tpr.

Having sacrificed all chances for promotion at a soldier level (where courses could have been done during uni breaks!) if there is some distance to this one I'd be very happy to hear it!

(Money grabbing student was just playing to the stereotype :D)

Oh could you also explain the part 2 orders recognition part? Being a bit lost in the world of army admin I'm not quite sure what it meant. Is it a purely clerical thing?
Looks like I might have got my facts wrong re. pay as OCdt in the TA. The rank of OCdt exists in the UOTC and is paid a slightly higher rate that Private in the TA. However the Bounty in the TA is much higher. For details of soldier rates of pay, check the following link:

http://www.army.mod.uk/servingsoldier/condofserv/mm/annex_b_pay_rates_other_ranks.htm

As for Part Two orders, this is the administrative authority to place on record details such as TOS, course passes, promotions, soldier gradings, etc. Your AGC clerk will give a more definitive answer.
 
#9
TheBlackShamrock said:
So, if a Cadet has only completed MTQ 2 by the time he has completed university, I would be asking when he did MTQ 2 and why he did not complete MTQ 3 and Module 4 when at university.
I did MTQ2 in 2003 but didn't undertake MTQ3 as it wasn't offered. This is because MTQ3 was not previously a requirement for attending TACC. It was therefore thought that, as TA officers were being produced anyway, the demands of running an MTQ3 course seemed of little value. It must be remembered that UOTCs rank below the CCF in the pecking order for training areas and support and so the organisation of a 7-day battle camp is relatively difficult.

As a sidenote, is an RCB pass still valid for not doing TAMB?
 
#10
London_Calling said:
I did MTQ2 in 2003 but didn't undertake MTQ3 as it wasn't offered. This is because MTQ3 was not previously a requirement for attending TACC. It was therefore thought that, as TA officers were being produced anyway, the demands of running an MTQ3 course seemed of little value. It must be remembered that UOTCs rank below the CCF in the pecking order for training areas and support and so the organisation of a 7-day battle camp is relatively difficult.

As a sidenote, is an RCB pass still valid for not doing TAMB?
MTQ 3 was introduced to match Module 3 for entry criteria to Module 4 when the new Course Training Plan was introduced 2-3 years ago. It is now compulsory for attendance at Module 4.

As for your comment re. prioritisation of training estates to CCF, the same is the case for Type A TA units. Some UOTC's are delivering MTQ 3 in alliance with others whilst some are chosing to go it alone. Critical mass is what counts - you can't do Platoon level tactics with only a reinforced Section - UOTC's coming together to deliver MTQ 3 is the answer to that one.

An RCB pass is still good for 7 years and does not require you to attend TAMB if attending the TACC.
 
#11
TBS,

Could you do a wiki page with this in?

msr
 

Sixty

ADC
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#13
TheBlackShamrock said:
msr said:
TBS,

Could you do a wiki page with this in?

msr
I'd be happy to.

Just one question - how do I do it?

TBS

I've set it up for you. Re-edit to your taste :D

Wiki link.
 
#15
TBS, would value your advice please.

I am about to attend a Recruit Selection Weekend for a Specialist TA Unit. I am a Chartered Architect and was hoping that my design, project and man management skills would be transferable to the military environment - whilst providing me with new and different challenges.

One of these challenges being able to become a TA Officer in due course. However, as an oldie at 36, with no previous military experience, there doesn't seem to be much scope for me under the new regime to pursue this goal, except via option3?

Any info much appreciated.

Many Thanks.
 
#16
Ref pay as an Ocdt:
Check out the following links:
http://www.armyjobs.mod.uk/TerritorialArmy/Officer/PayAndBenefits/
http://www.army.mod.uk/servingsoldier/condofserv/mm/rates_of_pay_for_ta_officers.htm
seems to confirm that there is a TA OCdt rank.

Print them, take note of the URL's and sit in your pay office until someone moves you to the correct pay band and renumerates you on the correct amount back dated to when you passed Mainboard and recieved recognition of OCdt on Part 2's or from your OC at least. Nothing happens then write a letters to your Sgt, Plt/T Comd, PSAO, OC, Adj, CO, HM the Queen til someone does something. Either that or you'll get a definitive answer as to not only why you don't qualify, but why the Army has published misleading info on the web and recruiting documents (got a load of stuff here from when I joined).

The important bit from serving soldier link -
Rate of pay under normal TA service:
OF1 Range
Level 1
Daily:
35.33

Under FTRS:
OF1 Range
Level 1
Daily:
38.03

Legacy for OF1
OF1
Level 1
RNR/RMR:
Midshipman on appt, includes URNU Honorary Midshipman/Cadets RNR
TA:
Officer Cadet
RAAF:
Officer Cadet
 
#17
First of all, good work there me oul' mucker. Lots of typing, for a start.

A couple of points, though. That's not the kind of point you or I might drink.

TheBlackShamrock said:
Direct Entry Potential Officer (DEPO). No previous or current military experience required. The 'recruit' is to be directed to a Regional Training Centre (RTC) where he applies to join the TA. He is placed on the strength of a TA Unit but completes Modules 1-3 of the TACC with the RTC and Module 4 at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
I don't think the bit in bold above will be universally true. There will be some DEPOs who will be administered by the RTCs themselves.

This needs to be pointed out, in case some poor DEPO asks "Why am I not being adminned by a TA unit? What's wrong with me? *sob*"

Equally, those DEPOs who are adminned by a TA unit shouldn't be thinking: "Those jammy feckers, adminned by the RTC, with their boots and their food - they don't know they're born."

TheBlackShamrock said:
TAPO/Unit PO. A soldier already serving with the TA may volunteer or be selected for PO training. Assuming he has already completed Phase 1 recruit training, he will be posted to a RTC until he has completed Modules 2 and 3 and Module 4 at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
Question: Can the TAPO/Unit PO continue to train with his mother unit?

I say "mother" unit because TA units are warm and nurturing.

And I mention this because a DETAPO has recently told me that TAPOs/Unit POs are being actively discouraged from attending training with their old units in order to achieve distance/authority/haughtiness from their erstwhile muckers before returning. This theory is utter horse shoyte. A lance jack can command and be authoritative despite having been a private beforehand: does the PO have to be smuggled away to some holy sepulchre for a few months, there to be anointed with the magic goo, in order to be able to lead? Bollox.

TheBlackShamrock said:
13. On completion of Module 5, a Special-to-Arms course, 1 - 2 years commissioned service, the CO of the officer concerned must apply to the Commandant RMAS to have the subject officers commission confirmed. I should add at this point that you cannot be mobilised without a confirmed commission unless your Unit can put a VERY compelling justification to Comdt RMAS.
Is the rule stated above new? What reasoning underlies it?

TheBlackShamrock said:
Since January this year, on commencing training an individual is referred to as 'Officer Cadet'. This has done away with the confusing array of ranks/titles.
Yeah. I found it really confusing at Sandhurst when people I thought of as "Strap-On" and "Bilbo" turned out, when we got dolled up for the passing out parade, to be lance jacks.

Still, an odd decision can still be right.

TheBlackShamrock said:
On passing TAMB, the Cadet is formally appointed 'OCdt' and Part Two orders action should be taken to ensure that he/she is recognised/remunerated accordingly.
So this means that until a TAPO passes TAMB, he can be mobilised in his substantive rank (private, lance corporal, whatever)? What fun that would be. Tip to TAPOs: don't pish anyone off.

Next up is my favourite bit:

TheBlackShamrock said:
On launching the Direct Entry scheme, we were all (incorrectly) given the impression that the DEPO scheme was the panacea to all our officer recruiting ills. The result has been that it seems that Units in general (though not all) have neglected or stopped producing Unit PO's. This has resulted in a situation where we now depend on the UOTC's for upto 80% of our officers. Given that so few UOTC officers transfer to the TA, this may (in part) explain why we are so short of officers. Units are being encouraged to 'look inwards' for Potential Officers whilst also accepting the DEPO scheme, cajoling UOTC officers to transfer and commissioning some LE officers.
A slight misdiagnosis there. I would say that fewer TAPOs are coming forward because fewer TA soldiers want to be TA officers. We've discussed this issue before. Equally, the subject of the UOTC's actual usefulness came up recently.

Also, the word on da street says that many DETAPOs got disenchanted by the faffery involved in getting courses lined up, getting paid, getting kit, etc., leaving them feeling cold and unloved. So they jacked it. That's a systemic flaw in the scheme: not necessarily the TA units' fault.

But the key point, I feel, about the DETAPO scheme is that it has been deliberately designed to keep TA units at arm's length. In my view, that's misguided. They are actually told just to rock up, demand kit, and fck off again. I can only guess why.

Well, here are my guesses: it is either

(a) in order to keep DETAPOs in larval form, uncorrupted, and then propel them, on commissioning, to whichever arm requires officers (in other words, to deprive them of the means with which to make an informed choice about what to do next, so that they are more malleable); or

(b) in order to keep them away from the temptations of life in the ranks.

You see, the cunning Dr Evil has long since reconciled himself to the benefits of welcoming DETAPOs. They turn up, saying "Hello. I'm going to be an officer, dewnt you knew? Give me stuff." To which my reply is: "Why, be our guest. Now, just go down that corridor, open the door in front of you ... yes ... don't worry that it's dark inside, just step in ... *sound of muffled thuds*" A week or two later, they emerge as devotees of my beloved unit. Huzzah! The point is, you've got to catch these DETAPO guys early and drag them in. Otherwise they just go.

TheBlackShamrock said:
What is also a fact is that running Module 3 over 3-5 weekends has resulted in Cadets not having enough experience to survive anything more than 24 hours in the field without difficulty - a real problem given that in Week One of Module 4, they spend 72 hours on exercise and many are struggling with basic personal administration let alone doing estimates, orders, etc!
That's hilarious. Shouldn't their pre-Module 1 prep (ie, the equivalent of the pre-CMS(R) prep recruits do) plus Module 1 plus their nine-day battle camp teach them how to live in the field? If they can't get to grips with it in that time then maybe they should join as recruits, spend a couple of years in the ranks and go forward as TAPOs.

And while I think of it, is anyone making sure that those who "fail" the DETAPO scheme stay in the TA? If fieldcraft, etc., is letting them down then a couple of years might cure them.
 
#18
Sixtyfootdoll said:
TheBlackShamrock said:
msr said:
TBS,

Could you do a wiki page with this in?

msr
I'd be happy to.

Just one question - how do I do it?

TBS

I've set it up for you. Re-edit to your taste :D

Wiki link.
SFD - added to the FAQ section. Many thanks.

Dr_E - please can you make the changes in the wiki?

msr
 
#19
Will do, mizzer, once the BS answers some of my (genuine) questions.
 
#20

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