Territorial Army soldiers to be ordered to fight

#21
What a bunkum argument,

The TA does support the Regular Army in the way that the Regular Army has asked for support to be delivered. i.e by Opt in Volunteering for Ops, intelligent mobilisation or whatever description you prefer.

If the requirement becomes something else, then there is a name for it. It's called Conscription. If thats what the terms of engagement in the TA become then fair enough, the rules have changed and Terriers or Part time Regular Reservists as they have effecively become will make it work.

What really hacks me off is the inference that those not volunteering at present are War dodging, when in all truth they are probably looking after careers and family first, which is part of the current sevice contract.

Compulsion is still part of the options available to the powers that be right now, but few think it would actually be exercised as this is a tacit admission that the Regular Army cannot cope with the current operational demands

Given the option of going on fairly arduous ops or staying home, I wonder what % of Regular soldiers would actually choose to deploy?
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
#22
I personally dont think for one moment that either sandpit can honestly be justified, NI was neccesary and it cost a lot in lives and £s, yes the Army looked on it as useful training but the truth is that we would have been somewhere else doing something similar if NI hadnt kicked off, Rhodesia perhaps?
So using the excuse that fighting terrorism there stops it happening is is also pish, that money we gave to Pakistan will possibly waste away but its the right place to spend the money. Support them and the border could be sealed, nutters with exploding underwear will have to train elsewhere and certainly wont be getting on the No9 at new street.
As for Iraq well not only should we not have bothered but it seems Bush told Blair not to bother but we all know where egos get us dont we?
The TA when its needed to defend this country wont be there. Why have an insurance policy that is worthless?
 
#23
Looking at it from the government's point of view they would love reservists they could deploy as and when with no questions being asked. Bit like a police authority that only had to pay a cop from the moment of arrest to handover in a police station. A military force that you (basically) only have to pay when they are operational - wow. No paid football on a Wednesday afternoon, no months stretching into years of relative peace - it's either quiet and you are on your own, find a civvy job, or there's shooting and you're on the payroll. For bankrupt Labour the advantages are obvious.
 
#24
xmal said:
I was a stab before I joined up. At that time (1985/86) the TA hadn't been on active service since the Second World War and most of the guys in it thought that situation would carry on forever. Although a lot of them were army-barmy, there was a sizable minority that regarded the TA as a drinking club and a chance to earn some extra beer tokens. I don't think that those guys would last now with the additional commitment being placed on the services. Quite right, though. They take the money the same as the regular forces. They should be getting called up. That's the whole point of having a territorial force.
Hi Xmal,

You state that “the TA hadn't been on active service since the Second World War.” I would like to highlight an inaccuracy in your post above.

In 1965 The 1st Battalion the Royal Sussex found itself posted from Malta to Aden for 6 months [Radfan camp]. On the deployment The Battalion took with it 120 'Ever Readies' soldiers, they had been called to the colours they came from in and around Sussex and remained with us for the whole tour.

They were fully integrated at all levels throughout the battalion, my platoon sergeant, my section 2ic together with my machine gunner were all TA. Every one of them after the inevitable steep learning curve performed admirably. One TA platoon Commander in my company was awarded the Military Cross after leading a successful platoon ambush ‘up country’.

You can read a much more detailed account here. Having read the link, apart from new and modern weapon platforms/systems - have things changed that much since 65?
 
#25
xmal said:
I was a stab before I joined up. At that time (1985/86) the TA hadn't been on active service since the Second World War and most of the guys in it thought that situation would carry on forever. Although a lot of them were army-barmy, there was a sizable minority that regarded the TA as a drinking club and a chance to earn some extra beer tokens. I don't think that those guys would last now with the additional commitment being placed on the services. Quite right, though. They take the money the same as the regular forces. They should be getting called up. That's the whole point of having a territorial force.
People join(ed) the TA for different reasons. I joined when still at school a couple of years before you. I had an eye for going into the regs after school, but then didn't. I had several reasons: mainly a sense of duty to Queen, Country and those who served before; and a desire to die a glorious death on the German Plain rather than be evaporated in my bed. The TA was very much a force of last resort to protect UK's national survival.

Times are very different now. The TA is now just a cheap pool of labour: less training, housing and pension costs than a regular. Moreover, the military is NOT being used to defend UK national survival, it's being used as a political tool to suck up to Washington.

Were I in the TA now, I would NOT volunteer for service in Iraq or Afghanistan. I refused to volunteer for Yugoslavia in the '90s. It's not because I'm a coward (I saw my elephants in Angola thank you) or just like wearing a uniform (hated the bullshit), I simply refuse to be used as a cheap pawn in New Labour's political games.

Were I 18 again, I would not join the TA or the Regs. But if the UK was under real threat, I'd be the first outside the recruiting office.
 
#26
xmal said:
I was a stab before I joined up. At that time (1985/86) the TA hadn't been on active service since the Second World War and most of the guys in it thought that situation would carry on forever. Although a lot of them were army-barmy, there was a sizable minority that regarded the TA as a drinking club and a chance to earn some extra beer tokens. I don't think that those guys would last now with the additional commitment being placed on the services. Quite right, though. They take the money the same as the regular forces. They should be getting called up. That's the whole point of having a territorial force.
No, that is the whole point of having a reserve army, not a territorial force!

Edited to add:
As someone has already said! I snap-shot at that one...

Fundamentally, the TA - based on my perspective in the SW at least - seems to be putting a lot of bodies into mobilized service. Certainly in the officer/senior ranks area. Whether the same proportion of soldiers is being mobilized I cannot say.

Personally I would go tomorrow, anywhere. That is not what being in the TA is all about however, merely one aspect. The Territorial Army is one of the last hard-wired links between the community at large and the Armed Forces. SSo few people today think of the Army as part of society. Let's face it, we are fighting two wars at present (or one on two fronts...discuss) but the economy continues as a peacetime economy. Just as the Armed forces are being managed as a peacetime force, which inconveniently is supporting enduring operations across the spectrum of armed conflict!

If you asked the average civilian whether the country was on a war footing, they would look at you as if you were insane. Which is probably fair, because only the Armed Forces and their immediate families are experiencing the force of war. There is a Ph.D in this for somebody, contrasting the experience of today's troops and families with that of the citizen soldiers of WW2 and their families...
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#27
I agree with Ugly on this. Another point I made in an earlier thread on the subject is that if a person wants to join up and go off to fight every war that the gobment chooses to throw people at, then they join the regs, or should do. The regs are a full time, professional, standing army, wars, campaigns, battles for the use of. This is what they sign up for, and this is what they do - full time. The T.A. is not and should not be a trained force who's only role is to be called up because the regulars have been underfunded, and are undermanned for years.

There are many, many members of the T.A. who's priorities and obligations in the UK preclude them serving for most of a full year alongside the regs or doing build-up training to go on ops. Many T.A. members joined to be part of an emergency reserve force in times of national crisis - which we haven't had in 60 years IMHO. There are also many members of the T.A. who are young, with few responsibilities and jobs that they can afford to walk away from while they gain real-world combat experience - many of these lads and lasses are going on almost back-to-back tours, and love it. For those in that situation, the regulars get invaluable back-up numbers of willing guys and ladies who provide, wholeheartedly an invaluable addition during ops.

Does the fact that a proportion of T.A. membership cannot, or will not go on tours in the sandpits at this time devalue them, or lessen their training and potential contribution in a time of national crisis? In my opinion, no it doesn't. Should the day arrive when the Army needs all the people it can get, in a hurry because the sh!t has hit the fan and our nation state is in danger, it will be enormously glad of the large numbers of trained personnel who are waiting in the wings, able to deploy quickly, and without the months of training required for new conscripts. That is when the T.A. and its membership will truly show its worth, over and above the many volunteers for current ops who have well proven their worth, and that was the ethos on which the T.A. was formed. It was not formed to make cheap work for the MOD, or a low-cost labour source to be called upon at will because the government of the day has made cretinously or even criminally stupid decisions on foreign policy, and then refused to fund the services for the job they've been asked to do.

I'm rejoining the T.A. after a few years of absence, and I'm not joining an infantry unit, even though that was my first choice. The reason for not joining an infantry unit is because my local unit has got a few guys out in one sandpit or the other right now, quite a few more who've been out already and are going out again, and a few who are waiting for their first tour, plus more who haven't done any, and don't plan to. I, myself, cannot go to a sandpit, much as I wouldn't mind, for employment reasons (I CAN'T leave my business for 9 months because I WILL have to close it down for the duration), and also because I have a young baby that needs her dad, and a missus that relies on the income I bring home to run the house.

I'm joining a Signals unit that is mainly UK-role only instead, with strictly volunteer-only service abroad, thus allowing me to train, serve and be a useful member of the T.A. too. If my situation changes, I'm still trained and still willing to VOLUNTEER for ops abroad. In the meantime, if a situation arises in the UK where the MOD is required to provide comms in times of EMERGENCY, I'll be available and earning my keep. To put it simply, I'm joining in where I can serve best, and where it will not destroy my civvy occupation or life - which is the MAJOR part of my life, unlike regulars, who's MAJOR part of their existence is the Army.

Does that make me a walt, or worthless? I honestly don't believe that to be the case, and we should not be lambasting or binning those in the T.A. who are in the same situation.

I'll repeat - the T.A. is not a general-use army on the cheap, it is, or should be, a trained reserve force for emergency situations, that can also provide extra numbers of frontline troops or specialists on a volunteer basis. In many cases, it is only through ongoing civilian work that many of the highly skilled specialists in the T.A. become so - such as medics, comms specialists and the like.

If we want a reserve force that is obliged to go on any and all ops or wars, then make it like the Swiss army, where pretty much everyone has to have military service through conscription, and is liable to be called up at any time. The only difference there of course is that the Swiss people don't vote care-in-the-community spakkers to run the country, and thus are a LOT less likely to start ill-considered wars.
 
#28
halo_jones said:
Sounds like another smoke and mirrors exercise by some of those within "One Eye's" Ministry of Disinformation, encourageing the divide and rule school of not dealing with the real issue, i.e. The the consistant underfunding and poor resourcing of HMF, not to mention the seeming determination to destroy HMF by reducing them too a people miltia.

Or am i being cynical... My question is why is The Times rehashing a story that had previously poo poo'ed! Just after 'Part Time Swiss' annouce's that the CDS is extended in post!

Tin foil time or are the gubiment just a bunch of c**nt**g snakeoil sellers.
Bang on. Why did this story get rehashed now? "Stabs not pulling their weight , well not all Stabs, but we'll phrase it in such a way we can call scorn down on the entire force, after all, we are having a REVIEW and the last thing we need is sympathy when we start closing units and pulling down TACS"

What a sorry shower of mendacious b*stards

Edited to add: Just seen your comments OS - Concur fully , and think we're being briefed against, as per SDR. AGAIN.
 
#29
Did they mention that we are 100 years old?
 
#30
OldSnowy said:
This 'news' shown to be nonsense when first run in March, and the situation hasn't changed. The Strategic Review of the Reserve Forces hasn't even finished taking evidence yet, let alone reached any conclusions. That won't happen until much later this year.
And that is just about the only response needed: certainly no requirement for hysteria. Let's see what the (badly needed) Review brings up.
 
#32
The scurvy doggs!


Edited to add: I realised as I pushed "submit" that I had put two "gees" in dogs. However on reflection I will leave it as such because it gives a nice growling character to that epithet! :wink:
 
#33
According to this:

http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/835016/browns-unemployed-army.thtml

"... the new knife crime tsar, Alf Hitchcock, who tells the Daily Mail that he’d like all young unemployed to do a kind of national service. It’s a seductive thought, but has he thought about the scale? Gordon Brown has raised an army of 686,000 under-25s claiming out-of-work benefits (DWP breakdown here)—more than six times the strength of the ever-thinning British army (105,090) and larger than even the United States army (525,482). Add in all the British under-35s kept on out of work benefits of various kinds and there would be 1.57 million – more than the US Army, Navy and Air Force put together."

Have we got the uniforms for all this lot?
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#34
angular said:
According to this:

http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/835016/browns-unemployed-army.thtml

"... the new knife crime tsar, Alf Hitchcock, who tells the Daily Mail that he’d like all young unemployed to do a kind of national service. It’s a seductive thought, but has he thought about the scale? Gordon Brown has raised an army of 686,000 under-25s claiming out-of-work benefits (DWP breakdown here)—more than six times the strength of the ever-thinning British army (105,090) and larger than even the United States army (525,482). Add in all the British under-35s kept on out of work benefits of various kinds and there would be 1.57 million – more than the US Army, Navy and Air Force put together."

Have we got the uniforms for all this lot?
If they reduce the size of the arrows and put more of them on, it'll be very much like digicam. :twisted:
 
#35
Most in the TA do want to go,however they can't volunteer as they have full time employment, but if they were mobilised they would be more than happy to deploy as this offers some job protection and several other benifits. If you chap the door and say you want to go and start volunteering you may loose some of the employment protectionand other benifits. Its not the soldiers that need a review its the system and the contracts soldiers have that needs reviewing. We need something more along the lines of the National Guard in America but that would mean spending a bit of cash so our lets do it on the cheap government wont go for that!
 

Mr Happy

LE
Moderator
#36
xmal said:
I was a stab before I joined up. At that time (1985/86) the TA hadn't been on active service since the Second World War and most of the guys in it thought that situation would carry on forever. Although a lot of them were army-barmy, there was a sizable minority that regarded the TA as a drinking club and a chance to earn some extra beer tokens. I don't think that those guys would last now with the additional commitment being placed on the services. Quite right, though. They take the money the same as the regular forces. They should be getting called up. That's the whole point of having a territorial force.
I think you’ll find that is incorrect, or else Billy – TA Para – Conolly was telling porky pies about getting deployed to, IIRC, Cyprus when it all kicked off (one time or other).

BPS666 said:
bensonby said:
Wasn't the point of the TA when it was formed to provide terrotorial defence (i.e. defend the british isles) and to be used only in an emergency?

(I don't know the original "mission statement" if there ever was such a thing - but I'm guessing)

Using them on a regular, or semi-regular, basis seems to go against that ethos :roll: - regardless if this "compulsory mobalisation" talk is true or not...
Regardless of ethos, the TA exists to support the regular Army. If they are required to deploy on Operations then they should be getting on with it.


Good on those TA lads who get out there and do the job, my hat is truly 'doffed' in your general direction.
Regardless of ethos Actually, you can’t throw away ethos when having a conversation like this. The TA includes guys who joined in the 70’s still, Most of the senior ranks now joined in the mid to late 80’s and I can assure you, as I have said many times before, the threat then was Ivan with an AK and combined European defence was a very real thing. On the home front I have seen that much of the current training is still Northern European in nature and so when you want to ask why the lads are ‘avoiding’ deploying or perhaps more accurately, not volunteering, perhaps you should remember that the motivator for walking into a TAC x years ago was to defend the UK borders against. Certainly, those now getting mobilised are doing so as a consequence of either an (a) American foreign policy decision (retaining troops in Saudi) or (b) an American foreign policy decision (ousting Saddam, getting a ME base). Whilst I believe both were based on America’s desire to bring stability to the middle east and particularly around Israel. Both are a consequence of a US/Foggy Bottom/NewCon/Friends of Israel view of the world. Which many do not agree upon. Why then should they volunteer for this tour? Because they joined? Fair enough, but don’t expect them to be overly keen when its hardly a national emergency..

BPS666 said:
By the way, how do you classify the 'defence of the British Isles'? By virtue of the fact that the British Army has been deployed, then it is safe to assume that we have been deployed under the auspices of British Defence Policy. The clue is in the title. Or do you regard the Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as something else? Are AQ and Terri posing a threat to British security? If your answer is 'yes', then IMO there is an 'emergency'.
.
Errm, no and I never did really. We created anything that may be there now. And as per above Uncle Sam mostly started it anyway.

Pluvia_Plumbum said:
What really hacks me off is the inference that those not volunteering at present are War dodging, when in all truth they are probably looking after careers and family first, which is part of the current sevice contract.
Quite. Using the flex in the system. What the quoted General is not acknowledging, because, I suspect, it is completely beyond his imagination, is that TA soldiers are fathers, employees first and second, soldiers third and last. Deferments are a concept that he won’t understand, because in his 30+ years of service, its never existed and why aren’t we all on side. Go on chaps, over the top. It seems to me that the media doesn’t mind getting quotes from men so distant from Territorial’s that they can serve up something interesting on a slow news day.

In addition, the Good General seems to fail to remember that just because a TA soldier is not on an Op stuffing 5.56 into a rag head somewhere, that the TA soldier may well be doing something equally important back home like, heaven forbid, training recruits, or doing the company’s admin, or carrying a yearly service on a L/R so it can get the CO to the Bn HQ in the next exercise or cooking scan for the families day weekend. By definition, non mobilised TA soldiers are every bit as important to the TA unit as regs are to the army when not on tour. Or are they just useless too? Perhaps the general would prefer it that all soldiers are deployed until dead or retired (thinks longingly back to the 1700’s…), damned camp layabouts…

I have to say, and probably many of us would be in agreement. If you had to volunteer for service in Iraq, Afghanistan or Zimbabwe I bet we’d prefer to go for Zim. It’s a moral thing.
 
#37
angular said:
According to this:

http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/835016/browns-unemployed-army.thtml

"... the new knife crime tsar, Alf Hitchcock, who tells the Daily Mail that he’d like all young unemployed to do a kind of national service. It’s a seductive thought, but has he thought about the scale? Gordon Brown has raised an army of 686,000 under-25s claiming out-of-work benefits (DWP breakdown here)—more than six times the strength of the ever-thinning British army (105,090) and larger than even the United States army (525,482). Add in all the British under-35s kept on out of work benefits of various kinds and there would be 1.57 million – more than the US Army, Navy and Air Force put together."

Have we got the uniforms for all this lot?
When you think of the size of empire we created with a 100000 man Army, just think what we could do with that lot?? Pink on the map anyone?
 
#38
Cuddles said:
angular said:
According to this:

http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/835016/browns-unemployed-army.thtml

"... the new knife crime tsar, Alf Hitchcock, who tells the Daily Mail that he’d like all young unemployed to do a kind of national service. It’s a seductive thought, but has he thought about the scale? Gordon Brown has raised an army of 686,000 under-25s claiming out-of-work benefits (DWP breakdown here)—more than six times the strength of the ever-thinning British army (105,090) and larger than even the United States army (525,482). Add in all the British under-35s kept on out of work benefits of various kinds and there would be 1.57 million – more than the US Army, Navy and Air Force put together."

Have we got the uniforms for all this lot?
When you think of the size of empire we created with a 100000 man Army, just think what we could do with that lot?? Pink on the map anyone?
And most would probably supply their own weapons, thus reducing the burden on the defence budget. It's a win-win!
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#39
Mr Happy said:
I have to say, and probably many of us would be in agreement. If you had to volunteer for service in Iraq, Afghanistan or Zimbabwe I bet we’d prefer to go for Zim. It’s a moral thing.
Quite.
 
#40
Yes indeed PIMH...1.57 million white Gurkhas armed with Sabatier knives and fired up on White Lightning. Surely there must be something in the LOAC against that??
 

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