The future of the TA.... what next?

#1
I have read with interest the various threads regarding the cuts and supposedly death of the TA but until now I have resisted to post.

First of all I would like to offer my extreme gratitude to all of the TA members who have put themselves forward to be mobilised over the last 8 years. As a regular soldier I have been hugely impressed by the quality and commitment of the TA soldiers that I have seen on OPS. It therefore saddens me by the way you have been treated by the government and also by some of my regular bretheren. I can assure you that the majority of regulars do appreciate what you do and are very grateful for your contributions.

From what I have seen of the TA over the last 8 years it seems to me that the TA has been coinstantly reacting to the changing needs of the government and the army and therefore is completely different beast from the cold war stereotype. By being a reactive organisation rather than a proactive one the TA has been negatively effected, no longer will the majority of you mobilise as formed units and some of the roles within units have disapeared. Less choice of roles and opportunities will undoubtedly have a negative effect on recruiting and retention.
During this period of standown the TA now has the opportunity to re-invernt itself and make the changes that will bne positive for themselves. I believe thgere are changes that are needed to be made which will make the TA more cost effective, better trained and less likely to be cut in the future. ( i do not believe for one minute thaty this is the end of the cuts).

I have a suggetsion of what I think I should happen and I would like to hear your thought, these are summarised below.

1. remove all RHQ's from the TA and put TA units under the command of regular units that they support similar to what happens in CAnada. This closer relationship should help remove the them and us attitude and it would enable regulars to see hopw good there part time counterparts are. This would hopefully then lead to whole troops being mobilised as opposed to IR's. I believe this would encourage more TA soldiers to volunteer for OPS as they will be with there Oppos etc.

2. Make space within the parent unit garrison for the TA sub units equipment and vehicles (only leaving the minimun with the TA sub unit) this is no slur on the TA but it would enable vehicles to be serviced more regularly etc. I have seen first hand civi mechanics within TA units and I was shocked by how little they do and I have also seen a number of VM's in my unit who claim to have nothing to do. THis is therefore a win win situation., The government saves money by sacking lazy civi mechanics, VM's get mopre tiome on the vehicles and the TA get better maintained vehicles.

3. At weekends rather than sending the TA off tgo sub standard training camps run by contractyors whre they either conduct another weekend of matts or deployment training. Invite them to the regular unit. In my unit we have some excellenty traijning facilities and assets that would aid the TA soldiers and make them better soldiers and moree capable of conducting there tertiary role. We also have a gym and swimming pool which are rarely used on weekends and therfore we should open these up to TA soldiers. While the TA soldiewrs experiencing these perks I belive it is not to much to ask for them to take part in the various duties in the barracks whilke they are there thus relieving some regulars and it would give the TA some experience of barrack life.
4. Make the TA menbers fully welcome into there respective messes and theredore forge ties with the regs, this would also encourage people to mobilise and give greater understading of what the TA do and why they do it.
5., Remove the post of NRPS has the majoprity of the kit will be held by the parent unit .
6. Exstend the role of PSAO give them the responsibiltiy of talking to the employers of TA soldiers. One of the main reasons why TA soldiers leave is due to unsympathetic employers and because of there lack of understanding of what TA soldiers do and how they can benefit them.

I have many m ore suggestions but i have rambled enough so would now like your opinions.
Thanks
 
#2
Some interesting points, and many that would appeal to the budgets peoples as well!
My only reservation is point 6, SABRE are supposed to do that now... and protect the TA soldiers interests, mind you I'll leave others to praise their efficacy, because I'm not convinced they justify their budget (to put it mildly :roll: )
 
#3
The future of the TA ?

Many of these ideas have been discussed previously.

Whilst I know of a local Air Defence which has close ties with a regular unit, many other units, do not have a similar arm for many miles. TA Sigs and the nearest reg sigs may be miles away.

I foresse that in future, an individual will join, attend basic then sit at home until required. He will then attend an extended training period before deployment and fit into a regular unit as a replacement. Thus there will no longer be any requirement for TA centres and the highest rank will probably be a L/Cpl.

Bounty will no longer exist, but instead a tour bonus for being fit for and completeing a tour

Just a thought
 
#4
well my squadron is fully twinned with a regular unit and we did most of our training using their facilities rather than going to the rlc national hq, which is a waste of tax payers money as there are no real training facilities their.

the ta would benefit if we did link up more with the regs, just think how much mr brown may save money then!

the biggest way to improve the ta is to do what i have heard maybe happening.

BIN THE BIFFS!!! all they do is a minmum days, no work an claim the bounty, fuckin wasters
 
#5
Some points in response to the original post:

Firstly the idea of shared facilities between T.a and regs is a very good one, the idea of the T.A becoming a part of the regular units formation is equally appealing. I see this working in my local unit, in which a detachment of T.A soldiers form part of the regular regiment. However, one of the benefits of the T.A centres is that they are spread far and wide accross the country, some towns like Birmingham for instance don't have a functioining regular unit nearby. Also, the capbadge of the T.A unit may not always be compatable with the unit who operate from the nearest regular camp.

In terms of duties within barracks; it would be hard to rely on the T.A to meet these duties as scheduled, especially with work and family commitments there are often instances where T.A soldiers have to cancel attendance at a weekend at short notice, thus mucking up any guard roster or Duty Drvr list. You might be less likely to find willing volunteers to come in on their weekend off to stag on at short notice becasue of such a cancellation, even if the same people could find time to use the gym and pool!
 
#6
D99 - I see where you're coming from - the creation of the army reserve. For what we will gain, I think we will lose too much. The T in TA is for Territorial. In many parts of the country there is no regular footprint at all. The TA is all there is. These people will not be able to train in the way that they do now (and have done for a century - it works) Drill nights, vital for continuity and development of professional relationships, would be impossible.

In Tidworth/Bulford we have an abundance of Regular Units representing every cap badge but the TA can't even recruit a Company around here as the local population isn't large enough to support it.

Territorial is their strength. Recruiting from the entire country from all walks of life. A reserve that you envisage would be a form of regular army light.
 
F

fozzy

Guest
#7
These are all good points. However, there needs to be some weapons grade legislation around employment protection and the like. I can see a lot of sense in going down the US NG model - especially in their new BCT structure. But we don't have the level of protection that our US opposite numbers enjoy.
 
#8
fozzy said:
These are all good points. However, there needs to be some weapons grade legislation around employment protection and the like. I can see a lot of sense in going down the US NG model - especially in their new BCT structure. But we don't have the level of protection that our US opposite numbers enjoy.
... which would require grown up government, funding and a deal of CBI buy-in too. This old gin soaked volunteer isn't going to hold his breathe, however much he would like to see it.

Disappointed of the Eastern Marches
 
#9
smudgegs said:
Some interesting points, and many that would appeal to the budgets peoples as well!
My only reservation is point 6, SABRE are supposed to do that now... and protect the TA soldiers interests, mind you I'll leave others to praise their efficacy, because I'm not convinced they justify their budget (to put it mildly :roll: )
I suppose you could level the same criticisms at the RFCA's.
 
#10
dana99 said:
I have read with interest the various threads regarding the cuts .............but i have rambled enough so would now like your opinions.
Thanks
OK, Here are mine.

1. You are not a Regular or you would not post such pish. Either that or you were the dimmest PSI I've ever met.

2. No RHQs, TA attached directly to Reg units. Total nonsense, the Regular footprint just does not work unless you expect to recruit the TA from around the "Super Garrisons". Also fails to train any TA Offrs or SNCOs. Strangely enough a lot of TA in ranks up to Majors are on FTRS or Mobilised - even a couple of Lt Col.

3. Vehicles held by the Regulars, more work for the Regular VMs. I though the idea of Whole Fleet Management was to reduce the load on units ? Maybe I missed something.

4. TA not to go to Trg Camps but to train in Barracks at weekends. - use of Gym & Pool etc. Great, but the only Regular soldiers they will see will be on the gate. Then you suggest we stag on on the gate instead l.... what part of "training weekend " are you failing to understand ? The reason for going to training camps is to use facilities like Ranges & Training areas you plank. Better idea - bin going to Camps or Barracks and basha up on the area or behind the range. That reduces admin, toughens folk up, loses the fat knackers with the clipboards and is cheaper all round.

5. Messes. Your only good point - but only works when units are close. Nearest Reg RA unit to Arbroath ?, Nearest Reg R Sigs Unit to Aberdeen ?

6. Bin NRPS. See 3 above.

7. PSAO to take on Employer Support. I suggest you take that up with your PSAO when you see him next. You may want to have recced a route to the door before you broach the subject.

Not even a good WAH.
 
#11
I totally agree with increasing the integration between TA and Regs.

As a Specialist (sorry, I forgot, I'm "Nationally Recruited" now) I am unconvinced of the value of Drill Nights. Far better to concentrate on training weekends, starting on Friday evening and ending mid afternoon on Sunday. And train with the Regs.

It would cost more in T & S, but the TAC's could be sold.

Let the Regs do the Advance / Rear party stuff.

Offer a maximum of 9 weekends in a training year.

The only problem I could see is that the Regs may not want to do the weekends...
 
#12
A lot of good stuff in the original post and it used to work for some inf units at least, however the various corps never seemed to quite get it together.

Could it be that an inf 'family' is first & foremost a family, without a 'them & us' attitude?

Will say no mere in case I get shouted at
 
#13
redfibee said:
I totally agree with increasing the integration between TA and Regs.

As a Specialist (sorry, I forgot, I'm "Nationally Recruited" now) I am unconvinced of the value of Drill Nights. Far better to concentrate on training weekends, starting on Friday evening and ending mid afternoon on Sunday. And train with the Regs.

It would cost more in T & S, but the TAC's could be sold.

Let the Regs do the Advance / Rear party stuff.

Offer a maximum of 9 weekends in a training year.

The only problem I could see is that the Regs may not want to do the weekends...
Could work for you specialists - who aleady have the basic trade through civvy street. Fails completely for the rest of us. 9 weekends a year is laughable for Inf. As a Coy Comd I ran 2 weekends a month, every month. Any soldier who fell below a running average of 1 a month was considered a waster.

....and damn right the Regs will not want to play at the weekend - unless they are part of some sort of specialist training team and are guarenteed TOIL. If its just an extra duty imposed on a Reg unit the boys will see it as a total balls-ache, palmed off on training wing and anyone who upset the RSM last month.
 
#14
Much of this is not the future of the TA, it is the present, at least within the AMS.

dana99 said:
1. remove all RHQ's from the TA and put TA units under the command of regular units that they support similar to what happens in CAnada. This closer relationship should help remove the them and us attitude and it would enable regulars to see hopw good there part time counterparts are. This would hopefully then lead to whole troops being mobilised as opposed to IR's. I believe this would encourage more TA soldiers to volunteer for OPS as they will be with there Oppos etc.
C (220) Med Sqn (V) partof 4 Med Regt and C (64) Med Sqn (V) part of 5 Med Regt. Seems to work well in both cases.

dana99 said:
2. Make space within the parent unit garrison for the TA sub units equipment and vehicles (only leaving the minimun with the TA sub unit) this is no slur on the TA but it would enable vehicles to be serviced more regularly etc. I have seen first hand civi mechanics within TA units and I was shocked by how little they do and I have also seen a number of VM's in my unit who claim to have nothing to do. THis is therefore a win win situation., The government saves money by sacking lazy civi mechanics, VM's get mopre tiome on the vehicles and the TA get better maintained vehicles.
Already happening. In fact the VMs from 220 have spent weekends sorting out not just their vehicles, but also those of their 'regular counterparts'.

dana99 said:
3. At weekends rather than sending the TA off tgo sub standard training camps run by contractyors whre they either conduct another weekend of matts or deployment training. Invite them to the regular unit. In my unit we have some excellenty traijning facilities and assets that would aid the TA soldiers and make them better soldiers and moree capable of conducting there tertiary role. We also have a gym and swimming pool which are rarely used on weekends and therfore we should open these up to TA soldiers. While the TA soldiewrs experiencing these perks I belive it is not to much to ask for them to take part in the various duties in the barracks whilke they are there thus relieving some regulars and it would give the TA some experience of barrack life.
Again, happens on a regular basis, but can't happen every weekend.

dana99 said:
4. Make the TA menbers fully welcome into there respective messes and theredore forge ties with the regs, this would also encourage people to mobilise and give greater understading of what the TA do and why they do it.
Already happening.

dana99 said:
5., Remove the post of NRPS has the majoprity of the kit will be held by the parent unit .
6. Exstend the role of PSAO give them the responsibiltiy of talking to the employers of TA soldiers. One of the main reasons why TA soldiers leave is due to unsympathetic employers and because of there lack of understanding of what TA soldiers do and how they can benefit them.
Neither of these suggestions would work. NRPS would still be needed as often the geographical distance between the regular HQ and the TA Unit is often great for them not to have much of their equipment on site. Complete nause trying to get things out at short notice etc.

PSAOs are often busy eough without adding the extra stuff that's already covered by SABRE to their duties.
 
#15
saladin said:
.....only works when units are close. Nearest Reg RA unit to Arbroath ?.....
I can't answer for the scaleys but RM Condor in Arbroath harbours light gun Commandos...
Extremely close I'd say :wink:

(Or was that a WAH? I take your general point anyway :D )
 
#17
Im sorry if i was unclear with my original post and therefore let me clarify a few points.

1. I believe drill nights and local TA centres are extremely useful and therefore I would not want to see an end to either of these. From what i can gather one army has worked well for the regs i.e they are getting more TA on ops and more people are doing ftrs with their parent unit which can only be a good thing. However the relationship in most part only seems to be working one way and the TA do seem to get the short end of the stick.

2. Please forgive me i do not fully understand what a PSAO does I have merely read posts on here and gathered my conclusions from that. The only reason i suggested PSAO's take on this extra role is because they work with the local TA unit and understand how the TA works and have the time to talk to employers. Whereas the permanent training staff may not. Im sorry if that assumption is an incorrect one. However what is clear is that SABRE is failing. TA soldiers that I know feel let down and unprotected by SABRE which is why many of them are reluctant to deploy on OPS. I believe greater TA support would lead to greater mobilisation and in terms of finances I dont believe it would cost much more, just a bit of courage and support from the government.

3. THe point regarding TA carrying out duties on weekends, this wasnt meant to relieve regs of their duties it was merely a way to get the TA to learn more about what there reg counterparts do in the barracks. TA training on weekends must come first.

4. Reference getting the regs to work on weekends maybe we could offer this option to soldiers who had been downgraded and therefore no longer able to deploy with there sub unit/ unit. During there period of recovery they would be actively encouraged to help with the TA training as a reward they would be given TOIL. I believe this sort of backing from the regular soldiers would help the TA and enhance the soldiers learning. It would also help TA fill some of the slots that they find difficult to fill or complete due to having full time jobs.

5. My regt only work with two sub units both of which are AD btys. One of these btys is nearly 3 hours from there HQ and therefore basic admin is difficult for them. However we are approx one and a half hours away and are better able to deal with the needs of the sub unit.

6. Saladin yes i am a regular and i would be happy to pm you my career details, admittedly I am only a lonely nco and therefore I may not fully understand the bigger picture. Ofcourse it is necessary for soldiers to exercise but simply making a TA soldier deploy every weekend does not give as much training value as having them in an Air defence simulator where they can be tested on all the necessary skills such aircraft recce, tac controller drills etc.

7. I only mentioned the gym facilities because i know fitness is an issue for some people and therefore it is a shame the TA are not able to make more use of ours especially when ours is under used at weekends and we are now ONE ARMY.

I am sure i have still failed to address some of the points, and I certainly dont accept that my original post is without fault it was merely a suggestion to help the TA get what is required as opposed to constantly reacting to what is required at the time.

dana
 
#20
saladin said:
dana99 said:
I have read with interest the various threads regarding the cuts .............but i have rambled enough so would now like your opinions.
Thanks
OK, Here are mine.

1. You are not a Regular or you would not post such pish. Either that or you were the dimmest PSI I've ever met.

2. No RHQs, TA attached directly to Reg units. Total nonsense, the Regular footprint just does not work unless you expect to recruit the TA from around the "Super Garrisons". Also fails to train any TA Offrs or SNCOs. Strangely enough a lot of TA in ranks up to Majors are on FTRS or Mobilised - even a couple of Lt Col.

3. Vehicles held by the Regulars, more work for the Regular VMs. I though the idea of Whole Fleet Management was to reduce the load on units ? Maybe I missed something.

4. TA not to go to Trg Camps but to train in Barracks at weekends. - use of Gym & Pool etc. Great, but the only Regular soldiers they will see will be on the gate. Then you suggest we stag on on the gate instead l.... what part of "training weekend " are you failing to understand ? The reason for going to training camps is to use facilities like Ranges & Training areas you plank. Better idea - bin going to Camps or Barracks and basha up on the area or behind the range. That reduces admin, toughens folk up, loses the fat knackers with the clipboards and is cheaper all round.

5. Messes. Your only good point - but only works when units are close. Nearest Reg RA unit to Arbroath ?, Nearest Reg R Sigs Unit to Aberdeen ?

6. Bin NRPS. See 3 above.

7. PSAO to take on Employer Support. I suggest you take that up with your PSAO when you see him next. You may want to have recced a route to the door before you broach the subject.

Not even a good WAH.
Saladin old chap....ahem

Point 1 - no comment

Point 2 - this is already happening (RE, Med) and is a model being looked at for rapid adoption...

Point 3 - is part of the R of the R work and is likely to happen alongside 'super TAC's'

Point 4 - Part of point 3 and is a likely course of action.

Point 5 - no comment

Point 6 - this will happen, as will the drawdown of significant numbers of PSIs as TACs close (as they will - see DE intervention in the R of the R).

Point 7 - Employer sp is in holes anyway, and is likely to be led from the centre - there won't be any senior TA Officers or SNCOs in the future (or very few anyway)

Not a WAH - sadly a glimpse of what may well happen.

Think Graduated Commitment Model, R of the R, Regularisation of RTCs (merely a blink away), mixed Reg/TA Units, and the future becomes a lot clearer..an IR factory, centralised, under regular control.

The TA is dead.
 

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