That's the way the TA do it...

I've just joined the TA after several years in the regulars and I am struggling to adjust.  I have one or two observations:

1.  Officers calling soldiers (including SNCOs) by their first names in public e.g the Coy office.

2.  Officers having no grip on the men and not responding to any form of corrective advice.  Officers trying to be soldiers mates.

3.  FANTASTIC, motivated, dedicated soldiers.

4.  A detachment from real service life and the reality of war fighting.  

I guess this is a function of no operations and loads of pointless training.

Is this typical or can I change things and/or make a difference?
Officers calling soldiers by 1st name off duty but in TA centre when not in front of other ranks acceptable, in uniform and on-duty not acceptable.

Officers not having any grip on men...not good officers..suggest attitude adjustment.

Fantasitc soldiers, but be careful of incestuous nature of TA. Personal/Work?TA life can blur too easily if you aren't careful, and then it can get messy. Not something you see in the reg world, but all too common in TA.

Not a detachment from real service life, just operates by slightly different social rules that you learn and adjust to.
No, just join the club, take the money and drink the beer. Incidentally, first thing loaded on to the trucks on Friday nights was the portable bar, beer and the disco, complete with strobe lights Friday night spent setting up and stagging on then Saturday was the party in the "bush". :eek:
1. never happens in my unit, not even when we are discussing the other ranks in the sole company of other officers

2. I'm not quite an officer yet but I and the two Lt's in my unit always listen to the advice of the oldhands. Whether we always act on it is another thing ;D

3. Couldn't agree more.

4. Yep, but as you say we never deploy and never train for more than two weeks in one continuous period, the majority of training time is taken up with the routine stuff that has to be done for the Army bueracracy and refreshing the basic skills. There aren't a great deal of MTD's left to learn new stuff or develop on the basics.

However all said, it's still worthwhile, and definately go ahaead and try to make improvements, but I'd say to be wary of trying to make changes for changes sake (Although the first name thing should be a no-no, but again it is a slightly more delicate situation than in the regulars and you sometimes need to speak to youre TA bod with a bit more tact and diplomacy than in the regs)

Rant over :D
1.Honestly - depends on the unit & the people.  Some of the small specialist TA units are very small and specialist & so can be overly incestuous organisations - which can be a problem. Also there's the Friday Night syndrome...they have to make a sudden leap & adjustment..from civvie life & rules to military...they sometimes forget where they are.

2. Big big problem - and one identified by the better TA officers. Function of factors that lead to 1.  Depends somewhat on the unit too. Affected by the fact that they are perpetually figthing a retention battle at least as bad as in the regs.  Piss off a STAB too much, and he'll juts walk away (or, worse, just not turn up, but stay on the books eating up many units are as active in weeding out the dead wood as they should be....?)  Also, at some point there has to be a limit to what TA Offrs can achieve - they simply can't have the same level of ongoing education, career development, depth of knowledge etc as a Reg - and this gap widens the further up the rank scale they get.  Maybe beyond Capt, TA units should be all regular's that for a radical idea ?

3. Yes, to a point. But the enthusiasm needs to be chanelled.

4. As correctly identified - a function of the MTDs & bureaucracy problem. Fit in all the crap that District HQ's throw at them (the equivalent of RAAT tasks, wanky march & shoot competitions, PR stunts, equal ops lectures, IIP and the rest) and there's little change left out of the 35 MTD per soldier for much beyond the basics.  Units have managed to get around this to an extent by cross budgeting MTDs - ie, 'spending' them on the 40 - 50% of the on books strength that is actually effective to give them decent opportunities to train.  It looks like Pay 2000 is going to screw that up with people who are willing and able to do 40 - 70 - 80 MTDs a year to get half profficient at what they regard as a second job being told to can it after 35 MTD's worth of sorting out admin, and doing APWTs and BFTs.  If anyone from LAND is reading this - get a grip - either you want the organisation or you don't. Ie, come up with some imaginative ways of making it better (shorter FTRS engagements for example) & lobby during the "SDR Chapter 2" process to make the most of a decent resource, or put it out of its misery.

And if there are any units left like the one Strange Voices describes, then for Heaven's sake sack them for being the complete waste of rations (MTDs) that they are.
Just to clarify... this was over ten years ago for that unit. I have heard that such behaviour was quickly stamped out by the arrival of a new (Regular) CO :)
Further, further... Yah, I must say the girly's were good but... wot about yr reputation :eek:
Problem now happening in some units is due to manpower shortages TA units are now getting FTRS PSI'S. On plus side our Adj and Trg Major are FTRS both are the best we've had for years both came from the unit they are much better than the regular officers who filled the posts previuosly who saw the posting as an opportunity to go skiing attend irrelevent but career enhancing conferences go skiing lick up to DG go skiing etc. Now we've Guys in post who are genuinely interested in improving the unit and it shows attendences that were dropping alarmingly have improved. All our senior NCO PSI'S are regular we had one FTRS in last bunch who was a complete waste of rations.
"Posted by: Capt_Crash
I've just joined the TA after several years in the regulars and I am struggling to adjust.  I have one or two observations:

1.  Officers calling soldiers (including SNCOs) by their first names in public e.g the Coy office.

2.  Officers having no grip on the men and not responding to any form of corrective advice.  Officers trying to be soldiers mates.

3.  FANTASTIC, motivated, dedicated soldiers"

Captain C are sure it is a TA unit you have joined?? It sounds kind of familiar.

Yup, sure is the TA if not, I'm getting under paid.  Please expand a little....Is you current unit a bit like the lot I mention?

Come on spread the dirt.

(Edited coz off porr speling)
Not just my current unit but I think if we are hones then it is probably a true reflection of many many regular Army units. In many respects I am also a believer that many of the working practices adopted by the TA are introduced by Regs either those posted to TA units or taken back to TA units by TA pers who have been attached to reg units.
The TA is a culture shock to any Ex-Reg who joins, I have done both, and can see it from both camps.  In a Regular Infantry of Cavalry unit, it still is very much a family, as they tend to join and stay together through most of their service - Corps are different as they operate trickley postings !!

The TA is very much like a Regular Inf or Cavalry unit, people join locally, identify with their TA Centre and have a strong loyalty and family feeling.   This can breed the sort of problems talked about, but firm leadership and example can make it managable, while still maintaining the family feel of the unit.  

In the end, people serve together, stay together, and make friends and permanent relationships.  Most  promotion and  commissions are by internal recruiting, so unlike a Regular who can be posted away for a fresh start, it can be difficult to make the jump from other rank to officer without cutting off your friends of years.

There is good and bad in the TA as in the Regular Army, you just need to accept the differences.   Two world wars in the last century, proved that when the chips were down, the TA fought and functioned as well as their Regular Counterparts along with millions of conscripts.
Well being a member of a TA Troop that is 100% ex-reg and also part of a reg Sqn, I can say that there are none of these problems in our troop. So maybe how the lads are treated from the start when they join has a major part to play?
Having been TA then regular and back to TA again I have had the culture shock twice, after coming back to the TA it took me two years to adjust, a; it wasn't the TA I remebered, b; it wasn't the regular army.
I joined a newly formed unit and to start with it was ok but as time has gone on we have got a hard core of personnel who are in each other pockets in both TA and personal lives, they formed a clique and made life difficult for others, both their peirs and some of the command structure. To my dismay it was never stamped on because rses tried to be popular. It has fallen apart by people going there seperate ways and leaving the unit.
Captain C, it's up to you but I would be hard and unpopular, don't worry about people leaving because they have been diciplined, if they go they were w.anchors anyway. I have seen many good people leave because the unit they were in is not as proffesional as it could and they want it to be.
Be firm, stand in your own corner of the bar for a few months like you just sheigt yourself but the good eggs will rally round soon enough, if dicipline is poor everybody suffers, morale goes down and people leave = end of unit. Good luck :) ??? :)

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