The Proposition / The Offer of being in the TA

#1
A year ago, there was a lot of chat about improving "the Proposition" put to potential joiners of the TA (particularly potential TA officers) and of improving "the Offer" (ie, making being in the TA more fun/worthwhile/rewarding, less tedious).

I haven't seen or heard mention of either the Proposition or the Offer for quite a while.

Those issues have been resolved in my unit, by dint of inspiring leadership (mainly involving lifting one's chin and staring off into the middle distance, rather than additional resources, better kit, less admin ballache, VPN access to the IT systems needed to do the job, or anything of that sort; it's all down to the way we roll).

Given the radio silence on the matter, both on official means and these, can I take it that everyone else is sorted too? Has the promised "better integration with the Regs" and "improved training" happened already, in which case could someone please PM me a copy of that memo?

Just want to put that one to bed, in case (say) someone tells us all to set about offering the TA to the populace in an effort to greatly increase its size.
 
#2
We are going to do exactly what we did before - only more of it, with a greater sense of urgency - and expect something different to happen.

Or wait for the wheels to fall off and hope the Army has got beyond the denial stage of coping with loss by then.
 
#3
I expect the answers are currently on a white board/flip chart in Andover, as staff officers from Army HQ scratch their chins, rub their foreheads and wish they had paid more attention to the downtrodden STABs in their platoon/troop last time they were on HERRICK.

They do seem a bit short of ideas above re-hashing advertising campaigns (STAB applying cam cream, on AT, never seen that before), talking about it a lot in briefings and including a 'token STAB' (much like a 'token Chinook' around 2007 when they were short of a helicopter or 2) in as many MOD press releases as possible.

But as long as they get a good OJAR at the end of the year who cares?
 
#4
From what Ive been able to gather, there's a lot of flapping going on at Andover to try and reconcile oft-repeated grand aspirations with the current very sketchy staffwork. Part of the answer, apparently, is appealing for TA officers to help out on 4-day-a-week ADC contracts... hmmm.

You'll be pleased to hear that the new, improved, bigger, better, non-TA reserve will require its soldiers to attend the same education courses as their regular counterparts. So that means a week of CLM as a minimum for those promoting to CpL and Sgt. Logically followed through, this would also mean requiring attendance on the full JOTAC by junior officers etc.

So, unless theres an outbreak of sanity, I wouldn't expect a lighter paperwork burden anytime soon.
 
#5
In terms of the proposition, it seems to "either accept a TA commitment of glacial activity & progression, or turn up for large chunks of the year without any employer protection."

Short of the attraction to the unemployed & underemployed of bags of courses / opportunities to go on what regular army exercises and operations a limited overall budget will bear post-herrick, I don't see much carrot to compensate for the stick of greater commitment.

The stats for TA recruitment and retention trends are pretty dire. The one good thing I foresee is more units like MSSG which form an effective pool of professional specialists accustomed to contract work.
 
#6
#7
Simply put, we have to get back to basics. Officers have to have real ownership of their commands, with adequate support from their (but not interfering from) higher command, be it sub unit, Regt or Bde, and with adequate resources. The paperwork element should be largely taken off their hands and a return to the concept of a YO actually leading and training his troops not spending his entire time filling out all sorts of nugatory paperwork that just shouldn’t be applied to a 27 days per year beast.

Everything else is window dressing
 
#8
You'll be pleased to hear that the new, improved, bigger, better, non-TA reserve will require its soldiers to attend the same education courses as their regular counterparts. So that means a week of CLM as a minimum for those promoting to CpL and Sgt. Logically followed through, this would also mean requiring attendance on the full JOTAC by junior officers etc.

So, unless theres an outbreak of sanity, I wouldn't expect a lighter paperwork burden anytime soon.
So will that apply to all ranks courses? I.E. would tpr bloggs-smythe have to a month long CR2 loader course rather than the 2 week condensed TA course? The more and more I read on the TA forum about where the TA is going organisationally the less i'm inclined to want to stay.
 
#9
I believe that it will apply only to educational courses. That alone, though, is a fair burden for units and disincentive to retention unless employer protection is in place, which it won't. The AGC are also finding it very difficult to plan how they will deliver the courses - especially given that - according to the plan - the teachers will be TA ETS officers. Currently there are about two. They will also need to have PGCEs in adult learning to deliver the courses.

It can all happen, but it's a fair way off.
 
F

fozzy

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#10
The more and more I read on the TA forum about where the TA is going organisationally the less i'm inclined to want to stay.
Which is why, (amongst other things) I'm calling it a day. Time to leave and do something else. I genuinely wish the new TA all the best.
I shall watch progress from the outer reaches of the UPL and RARO.
 
#11
I believe that it will apply only to educational courses. That alone, though, is a fair burden for units and disincentive to retention unless employer protection is in place, which it won't. The AGC are also finding it very difficult to plan how they will deliver the courses - especially given that - according to the plan - the teachers will be TA ETS officers. Currently there are about two. They will also need to have PGCEs in adult learning to deliver the courses.

It can all happen, but it's a fair way off.

Positive outlook then!
 
#12
Which is why, (amongst other things) I'm calling it a day. Time to leave and do something else. I genuinely wish the new TA all the best.
I shall watch progress from the outer reaches of the UPL and RARO.
I'm starting to think the same, but I'll wait and see. Enjoy the extra free time!
 
#13
Simply put, we have to get back to basics. Officers have to have real ownership of their commands, with adequate support from their (but not interfering from) higher command, be it sub unit, Regt or Bde, and with adequate resources. The paperwork element should be largely taken off their hands and a return to the concept of a YO actually leading and training his troops not spending his entire time filling out all sorts of nugatory paperwork that just shouldn’t be applied to a 27 days per year beast.

Everything else is window dressing
marabout - sensible enough. But I'd rather we kept this thread on-topic, ie what (if anything) is actually being proposed to improve the Proposition and the Offer?

The wish-list threads about how we'd like the TA to be are fun but I'm sure they take up about 50% of ARRSE's server space, to little real effect.
 
#14
Having said that, if anyone would like to comment on the absence (if there is one) of proposals to improve the Proposition and the Offer, fill your boots.
 
#15
I didn't realise that the TA was supposed to be fun, I thought the hierarchy at Regiment was there just to f**k us about. Surely we can have fun in our own time...
 
#16
Dr_Evil, I'd also love to hear the "Proposition" but I think your topic presupposes that the Army has a fair idea of its future structure & the formal TA contribution to it, from which the proposition will be derived.

From my lowly vantage point as part of a CVHQ the possibilities I've caught wind of are so many and varied that I'd suggest that LAND is still quite far away from a reasonably broad approach, let alone a workable plan.

I think we'll be waiting for a while longer... Which gives us plenty of time to fiddle in the shed, scream at DII & JPA, or perform demented Mengele-like experiments on Fembots, according to taste.
 
#18
You made me doubt whether the Proposition was real, or something I just dreamt.

But here is is:

Future Reserves 2020 said:
Our Reserve Forces are in Decline. By our national historic standards and by comparison with other nations our Reserves form too small a part of our overall national military
capability. The Proposition we currently offer our Reservists has declined; the opportunities for individual and collective training have reduced; the prospects for promotion and command opportunity are less. The offer that we make is ceasing to attract a sustainable Reserve; and the demands of individual augmentation for operations have accelerated the institutional decline of our Reserve Forces. (page 5)

Stabilisation and Betterment. Resources are needed immediately to arrest the severe decline in the state of the Reserves. Included in this is the need for a revised Proposition which provides the
challenge and reward that makes Reserve service worthwhile and sustainable. This will require enhancements to individual, collective and command training. It will also require increased command opportunities, in peacetime and on operations. The Reserve will require new roles, more viable structures and better mechanisms to integrate with the Regular component. We estimate that a betterment package, when coupled with the need to abate other savings measures against Reserves, will cost £590M over four years. (page 6)
The need for the improvements to the Offer/Proposition was identified as immediate in that report, published July 2011. Charlie, are you really telling me that the response to that urgent requirement was to refer it to a committee? How very brave, Minister. Due to report when? And the improvements begin to roll out when?
 
#19
I don't doubt the recommendation was made, and identified as a high priority. But as to what's happened to it since... God knows - we certainly don't, and I doubt LAND do at the moment either.

FR20 was a bold & well received report. It gave very clear direction, stressed the urgency and importance of the task and made it clear that the Army had to thoroughly overhaul its organisation and approach to change. But since then the observable impact has been piecemeal, and major decisions bogged down in the budgeting and politics of implementation. You might draw certain parallels with recent operations, Minister, but I couldn't possibly comment.

This is not unique to the MoD in the current climate though - I doubt many government departments have been able to decisively re-shape.

However, whether you like or loathe Andrew Lansley and his proposed NHS reforms, at least he has had the balls to publicly fight his case & take responsibility for them. The Army used to be rather good at this, but we seem to become pretty poor at it with the result that no single figure or agency "owned" our campaign in Helmand. As for reform, the last public champion of far reaching change I can think of is FM Carver.

FR20 needs a single, bold, persuasive figurehead prepared to be held accountable - as does the regular component.
 
#20
You'll be pleased to hear that the new, improved, bigger, better, non-TA reserve will require its soldiers to attend the same education courses as their regular counterparts. So that means a week of CLM as a minimum for those promoting to CpL and Sgt.
This has been the case for all already hasn't it ?
 

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