The Army reserve now compare to 2010

Bold... No, I'm still in.

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And don't forget, it was the old school TAs that sent tens of thousands of troops to Iraq and AFG, and we all volunteered to go, we can't have been that bad.

Talk about massaging the figures.
 
Talk about massaging the figures.
According to evidence presented to the Defence Select Committee in 2004, there had already been 12,232 individual deployments on OP Telic alone (excluding regular reserves), so not really massaged at all given the duration of both OPs.
 
I enjoy seeing the screenshots on FYB from jumped up NCOs etc threatening blokes via WhatsApp, or demanding to be called by their rank in the group chat.

Cyber sign of the times I suppose.
I’d love to share some of the stuff on my Cadet Unit staff WhatsApp. Brings tears to the eyes!
 
I'm still in (just about).

Compared to 2010, recruits coming through are fitter, more robust and probably better resemble their regular counterparts, very few fat knackers or much older recruits these days. Whereas in 2010 they would generally bang out after a Herrick tour, they seem to hang around a little longer these days. Clearly, fewer gongs and mobilisation opportunities are available, but if they were mobilised I would expect today's reservist to be better able to cope with it.

Overall a much more professional organisation but the fun seems to have gone out of it. Very little AT, bars quiet and relentless admin and watsapp messages. I hear people say they do it for the pay but you could earn a much better hourly wage as a part time HGV driver. Constant change programmes, relentless KPIs from higher formations and 'transformation' wear people down. Also, I wonder if its possible to combine the reserves with a meaningful civilian career now, particularly as an officer or SNCO/WO. The reservists I see today are less the reflection of society's broad church and more those that can fit it in around their day jobs. Tellingly, very few are married or have kids, and fewer come from the relentless grind of the private sector.
 

the_creature

War Hero
I'm still in (just about).

Compared to 2010, recruits coming through are fitter, more robust and probably better resemble their regular counterparts, very few fat knackers or much older recruits these days. Whereas in 2010 they would generally bang out after a Herrick tour, they seem to hang around a little longer these days. Clearly, fewer gongs and mobilisation opportunities are available, but if they were mobilised I would expect today's reservist to be better able to cope with it.

Overall a much more professional organisation but the fun seems to have gone out of it. Very little AT, bars quiet and relentless admin and watsapp messages. I hear people say they do it for the pay but you could earn a much better hourly wage as a part time HGV driver. Constant change programmes, relentless KPIs from higher formations and 'transformation' wear people down. Also, I wonder if its possible to combine the reserves with a meaningful civilian career now, particularly as an officer or SNCO/WO. The reservists I see today are less the reflection of society's broad church and more those that can fit it in around their day jobs. Tellingly, very few are married or have kids, and fewer come from the relentless grind of the private sector.
I couldn't agree more with the above, it reflexs what i have seen across various units. Thanks for your input
 
I couldn't agree more with the above, it reflexs what i have seen across various units. Thanks for your input
No problem. I'm glad it is not only me making these observations.

Despite the increase in professionalism over the last 10 years, I think the reserves are still very poorly understood by the regular army at all levels from Private to General, and this hasn't improved since 2010. The concept that you have a full time job/career outside of the reserves is something that only seems to click into place when regulars are on resettlement, as is the concept that the day job has 'first dibs' on your time. I sense senior reserve officers (DComds or Reserve Command Sergeant Majors - if these exist) have not succeeded in communicating the reservist perspective to their regular counterparts. This is kind of their job to do, and they are not doing it properly.

The reverse also applies. The few that mobilise these days are taken aback by the relaxed but professional working environment and relatively short working hours in the regular field army. There is an annoying habit in the reserves of playing up to the role and thrashing people with long working hours, or 'bad lads army' style bullsh1t.

It will be interesting to see where the reserves are in ten years time. You can only increase professionalism to a certain point beyond which a normal person finds it impossible to achieve the standards required. I also question the need for creeping excellence. Unless held at short NTM times, a reservist would have a 6 month beat up in MST to get up to standard and this now seems not to be factored in.
 
Even in the bad old immediately post-Cold War days up to the beginning of the second Iraq War when I was still serving Regulars posted to TA Regiments had little concept of a Territorial’s life outside camp.

At one point I had a weekly drill night & was doing two weekends a month. There was a new CORGI* which meant yet more work for TA Officers. I asked when I was supposed to do this & was told, “in your free time…”

*Commanding Officer’s Really Good Idea
 
I'm still in (just about).

Compared to 2010, recruits coming through are fitter, more robust and probably better resemble their regular counterparts, very few fat knackers or much older recruits these days. Whereas in 2010 they would generally bang out after a Herrick tour, they seem to hang around a little longer these days. Clearly, fewer gongs and mobilisation opportunities are available, but if they were mobilised I would expect today's reservist to be better able to cope with it.

Overall a much more professional organisation but the fun seems to have gone out of it. Very little AT, bars quiet and relentless admin and watsapp messages. I hear people say they do it for the pay but you could earn a much better hourly wage as a part time HGV driver. Constant change programmes, relentless KPIs from higher formations and 'transformation' wear people down. Also, I wonder if its possible to combine the reserves with a meaningful civilian career now, particularly as an officer or SNCO/WO. The reservists I see today are less the reflection of society's broad church and more those that can fit it in around their day jobs. Tellingly, very few are married or have kids, and fewer come from the relentless grind of the private sector.

I don't agree with your first paragraph, although I sort-of do. In the 2003- 2012 era lots of troops that did one tour went on to do a second or third. Recruits come back from CIC better trained and administrated, that is a good change for sure. SPeaking only for my unit, we never had a problem with fat knackers.
I agree with your second paragraph entirely. My unit now has a large number of ex- regular soldiers in it who don't seem to have 'conventional' civvy income. For example, we only have 1 OC who is through-and-through AR. The effect of this is that this group want the pace to increase, they're trying to replicate the Regular Army, and the troops who work for ABC PLC feel that they are marginalised. How does this affect the unit? I think that it drives standards down. The troops who can do anything on the trg prog aren't necessarily the troops that you want, whereas the troops that you do want are at work. These troops have a bit more about them, they can thrive in the civvy and military worlds but they just can't give increasing amounts of spare time to the Army, so they fade away.
I have a suspicion that Puzzle Palace has a random task generator- if troops haven't had to do something for 7 days or more the task generator comes out with something that they must do, relating to passport/vaccinations/ covid pass/ medical appointment to check something/ proof of address etc.
 
There’s a fundamental tension between part time and professional reservists.
 
There’s a fundamental tension between part time and professional reservists.
As a part-time Reservist I always found the Dole Patrol very easy to manage ;)
 
There’s a fundamental tension between part time and professional reservists.
By professional reservists you mean regulars who are now on different TOC's.

The current slashing of the support structure for the wider reserves (dark blue side) while constantly increasing the admin burden on all ranks and rates is soul destroying for most people. Why be in an organisation you don't enjoy.
 
As a part-time Reservist I always found the Dole Patrol very easy to manage ;)
As in Pvt scroggins who wants as many days as possible in MT and QM's?

The problem is the large number OF3 and above who either haven't had a Civvie day job for 15 years or have come straight into FTRS from regulars.
 
By professional reservists you mean regulars who are now on different TOC's.

The current slashing of the support structure for the wider reserves (dark blue side) while constantly increasing the admin burden on all ranks and rates is soul destroying for most people. Why be in an organisation you don't enjoy.
No - I mean those OF4+ (and PO+) who are on ADC or FTRS contracts (and have been for years) who will loudly exclaim they’re reservists when asked to do something hard, yet for a long time haven’t balanced family, full time job and reserve life…
 
No - I mean those OF4+ (and PO+) who are on ADC or FTRS contracts (and have been for years) who will loudly exclaim they’re reservists when asked to do something hard, yet for a long time haven’t balanced family, full time job and reserve life…
No that's a fair one them as well!
 

potter

Old-Salt
No - I mean those OF4+ (and PO+) who are on ADC or FTRS contracts (and have been for years) who will loudly exclaim they’re reservists when asked to do something hard, yet for a long time haven’t balanced family, full time job and reserve life…
The problem, it's what's being asked for. The ARes OF4 jobs list is littered with job specs that demand 2-3 days per week, during the normal working day, with no regard that that is incompatible with a full-time job. Witness the few roles that don't have that as a pre-requisite, and as a result have 25+ applicants each time they come up.
 
As in Pvt scroggins who wants as many days as possible in MT and QM's?

The problem is the large number OF3 and above who either haven't had a Civvie day job for 15 years or have come straight into FTRS from regulars.
Good point, well-made. I think at the back end of my TA time our Reservist CO did work in civvy street, but IIRC he had a lot of flexible working & did a lot of that on a laptop in his staff car with driver.

There was certainly a stand-off between Reservists & Regulars/FTRS over meetings. The former wouldn’t hold them on weekends or evenings & the latter couldn’t get time off regularly to do so during the working week.

I see a vague analogy with my current world. As a School Bursar I’m expected to organise Trustee meetings which are largely after hours & often involve senior teaching staff. This is why I was on 14+ hour days at the back of last term.

My Chairman says that meetings need to start at 19:00 or 19:30 to allow Trustees with jobs to get to them. I’m inclined to say that, at least for Board meetings, it is reasonable if someone wants to be a Trustee they should expect to give up half a day three times a year.
 
The problem, it's what's being asked for. The ARes OF4 jobs list is littered with job specs that demand 2-3 days per week, during the normal working day, with no regard that that is incompatible with a full-time job. Witness the few roles that don't have that as a pre-requisite, and as a result have 25+ applicants each time they come up.
Interestingly, it is in effect creating a solution to a problem we Regulars say doesn’t exist: the ability to truly flexibly work…
 
Interestingly, it is in effect creating a solution to a problem we Regulars say doesn’t exist: the ability to truly flexibly work…
Is that partly because some people interpret 'flexible working' as a balance between working and not working, rather than between working for the Army, working for a civvy employer, and not working?
 
The problem, it's what's being asked for. The ARes OF4 jobs list is littered with job specs that demand 2-3 days per week, during the normal working day, with no regard that that is incompatible with a full-time job. Witness the few roles that don't have that as a pre-requisite, and as a result have 25+ applicants each time they come up.
And Maj job lists
 
Is that partly because some people interpret 'flexible working' as a balance between working and not working, rather than between working for the Army, working for a civvy employer, and not working?

What the Forces want are some people who actually only need to do 2-3 days of work per week; what they can’t do is fill that job with a Regular, and then roll that person back to “full time” working for their next assignment.

They also can’t work out how to have proper job shares (which is an adjunct to the above).

So they punt it over to the “Reserves” and fiddle it via ADC.

You could hope with the way we’re changing how we account for people in Defence (by cost, not just headcount) might change these attitudes.
 

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