"Yes", and "not a hell of a lot". Back in the mists of time it was about 10% of the amount that the Regulars got.
Fortunately there was someone leaving the battalion just as I was joining. Between Dave B and the Regimental thrift shop, I managed to get myself all of my headdress, mess dress, service dress, and mess undress for less than my uniform allowance. Lucky B that I was. My blue patrols jacket promptly went out on loan for the next three years to the various ill-equipped subalterns short of mess dress.....
Equally fortunately I've managed to stay roughly the same size since then, barring some strapped trews that were just, err, slightly too old and thin, and "too tightly toleranced". Made my Ron Hills look baggy....
Yes, but as with all things TA it largely depends on how well informed and motivated your PSAO is. Some newly commissioned officers seem to have no trouble at all getting it, others (self-included) gave up a long time ago. Bounty makes life a bit easier for us TA sorts of course....
Fred, you can get by without Service Dress and Blues. Mess kit is the one to buy. Get it from a good tailor and make sure he puts enough cloth in to be let out when you are older and the thing has shrunk in the wardrobe.
The outfit allowance, not uniform allowance, is worth Â£378. No one asks what you have spent it on! As previous posts, it wonât go very far
Your RAOWO or officers docs clerk will have the form. You must have handed in your old No 2s in order to get the full amount. Just needs one other signature and the dosh turns up within the month. You need the reference number from your letter giving you your first star.
The bit I am unsure of, if you leave within 'n' years, they want some of it back.
Don't let any one say you cannot have it (well unless they know something about your future that you do not!)
Quite a bit of this is down to luck, similar to Gravelbelly I bumped into someone in the street when unloading my car after a TA weekend we got chatting and I found out he'd been in the Bn and still had his kit which he wanted to sell. Anyway I subsequently managed to acquire Highland Mess Kit, Review Order, Jersey, Trews etc etc for Â£200 (subsequently got a kilt of the QM and Patrol jacket of OC HQ Coy for a further Â£25) .The lad said "I paid Â£200 quid for it I've used it you can have it for Â£200" can't argue with that and thats how it will be passed on IF its still usable.
As for what to get first suggest you talk to the Adjutant or 2IC, many units have a suggested order from memory our was Review Order as a 2Lt add Blue Patrols at a Lt then Mess Kit as Captain/Major I think probably on the basis Mess Kit was, normally, the more expensive item and if you'd stayed in long enough to make Captain you were probably going to be in a few more years and get the use of it.