Uniform Allowance

As one of the newly commisoined TA types, I'm looking to purchase my sword etc, having found one on a certain well known auction site, with strong links to my unit, I need to know how much money I can spend...thus how much uniform allowance I get in this post JPA era, and how it is granted, I know my Sqn AO is looking into it when she gets time but she doesn;'t have much and this is 'none urgent' - until about a week before rememberance sunday anyway.....Anyone got any ideas?

Many Thanks


I don't know the answer but... as a regular, my uniform allowance turned out to be exactly the same as the cost of SD, mess kit, blues and hats (they told me I needed No 1 cap, SD cap, side hat and 2 dark blue berets - I actually needed 1 Int Corps beret from the QM at Ashford) from Gieves & Hawkes who were then the Int Corps' sole regimental tailor. Being a subversive type even then, I went to Goldings who were the new-ish kids on the block at the time, and did me SD and mess kit, some shirts, a decent pair of veldtschoen and a bespoke civvy suit (I've never needed blues) and still left me with enough change for a kebab and a bag of chips on the way home.

I don't know what the TA uniform allowance is, but make sure you ascertain from your unit exactly what you need and why, because the military tailors will bullsh1t you from here to Christmas.
As I understand it the allowance for TA Officers is £300 - not enough to cover anything unless you are able to source uniform from within your Sqn / Regt. Also, expect it to be slow in coming!

Owning one's own sword is a pleasant affectation / source of pride, but one that is increasingly rare among regular regiments, let alone TA ones.

As a newly commissioned TA 2Lt you are likely to a) change unit and b) be relatively poor. There is no need for you to have your own sword, and it would be wrong of your peers to pressurise you into buying one.

Unless a relative has kindly offered to purchase a sword to celebrate your commissioning, I'd reccomend that you wait to settle and accumulate cash before purchasing.

Believe me, appearing on Rememberance Day parade in well fitting SD, with a well polished Sam Browne is of much greater importance, and will be a far more worthwhile use of your cash. I suspect that such moderate aims will also cost more than £300!


edit - As per CPunk's reccommendations. Unless you are extremely comfortably off, stay well clear of Military Tailors. They are ( almost to a man ) expensive and unreliable. Not too much of a drama for a regular officer ( large allowance and time to harrass them ) but for a TA Officer, a nightmare. Incidentally as a Scots Div officer the cost of my kit considerably exceeded my allowance. And I wore Blue Patrol a good deal more than I would have preferred as Piquet Officer :oops: .
Dirks and broadswords are bloody expensive as well!
Goodness knows what it is precisesly. However, a couple of years ago it was £300-odd quid, and I cannot believe it has changed much. This is more than enough to buy SD, mess kit and a No1 hat second-hand, be it ebay, YO shop or regt'll magazine. As a rule of thumb SD is £50-80 in the RA YO shop.

However, if you are an awkward size, or simply tall, you are probably stuffed. Cheque books at the slope. Find out what pattern SD your regiment has and then get it from ebay. If you can get a large one tailored down it will still be much, much, cheaper than getting one new, which starts at around £500.

However, if you ever need a sword your regt should be able to get you one. They have provided them when I have needed them (for weddings). Do you need one for remembrance?
Just a quick one. Perhaps I'm wrong ( only been in the TA a short while ) but if you're expected to wear SD and sword your troops will be wearing No2 dress and be reasonably practiced in Rifle Drill.

Since No 2 dress and Rifle Drill seem to be in very short supply in the TA, I suspect that you won't need SD mit sword anyway.

If you do - great - as I feel that SD / No 2 Dress is the only way soldiers should approach such an important occassion. As the cliche goes, you don't go to a funeral in jeans and tshirt do you?

( or do you? I'm thinking of the corps types here... :D )

My Sqn Officers mess all wear SD plus swords to all remembrance day parades, and I have already obtained everything except Sam Browne (currently on eBay awaiting auction end) and need my SD's tailoring (good friends with an RAF Tailoress who has volunteered to tailor for free) :D .
As I say this sword also has historic links to my unit so will be willing to slightly overspend and perhaps keep it in the mess when I'm not wearing it (belonged to a Col. from the unit ours descended from). Right now to set up the Auction sniper section in an over watch position!
Talk to your regiment or corps HQ. They should have service dress, mess kit and possibly swords for sale from retired officers. They may have No1 but I would be really surprised if you needed this (and, if you did, you would probably get it on temp issue).

However, before you part with your hard-earned, or even your mod.co.uk doled out, you must sort out, from your unit, what they expect you to own. It probably won't be that much. The rest you can deal with later.
A sword would be a waste of money and is certainly not covered in the allowance.

If you need one, borrow one.
Oh, and I'm a collector too, so will probably buy anyway, just wondering how much i can afford more than debating whether to spend or not.

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