Volunteering for Deployment

A letter has come flooding in which I know the esteemed members of this forum will be only too pleased to answer. Please offer as constructive comments as possible folks as my reason for posting this in such a form is that I know there are many people interested in this but who may not wish to ask openly at their own units.

Remember a key part of the TA's role is to provide support to our Regular counterparts and so anything we can do to encourage more of the same must be a good thing in my opinion.

Abs Inbox said:
Dear Aunty Abacus,

I wanted to ask around on arrse about deployment with the TA. I appreciate these are broad questions but I wanted ask outside of my unit first because if you mention you want to be deployed they don’t leave you alone and I would need voluntary deployment to fit with my career plans.

I am a trained soldier in an infantry regiment with the TA and have a spare 6 months window in the near future. I have been recommneded for a place on the JNCO cadre but I am keen to volenteer for deployment first in order to gain experince.

Am I able to volunteer to be deployed for a set period of time, ie tell them i have six months free and so would be willing to be deployed.

Also how long are deployments in reality? With Chilwell before and wind down after, when they say 6 months do they actually mean 8 months or even a year?

Finally, I have only been a trained soldier for around 4 months now, as a rule is it better to wait a while longer, maybe a year, and then be deployed because you’re more experienced or is it acceptable for newer TA soldiers to be deployed?

Any advice would be gratefuly recived


Pte Eager-Willing
The TA Centre
Its now 3 months predeployment training 6months tour +post op leave so at least 9months away from civvy career /family
or thats the ideal .Might be able to get a short tour somewhere non hostile doing something in stores or suchlike but if you want to go to afgan/iraq its big commitment thats for the infantry anyway. if he is some sort of specialist who is in short supply they might take whatever time he offers imho.
Cool cool, keen to go on Ops is good!

Okay a Op Tour could be 4 months but typically is 6 months (unlike the spams which is 12 months YAWN), and this is the time spent in Theatre.

You would genreally have 2 months pre deployment RTMC, OPTAG etc and then 1 month post operational leave.

So all in you could be looking at either 7 months (4 month tour) or 9 months (6 month tour) with the later being more common.

I am currently looking to be mobilised for Op HERRICK this year, as part of a Coy deployment so PM if you have any further questions.

3 months Pre-deployment? What the Finger do they do for three months?

Mine was 4 days :D
Gent drunk..........

I know, 3 months seems like a long time, funny how your pre deployment training is in UK, great for acclimatisation?!?!

If you want six months only, wait until April then go for a last minute.com bid and hey presto! Just six months in the sand pit.

I would offer some cautionary words for volunteers, not necessarily relevant to the chap who asked:

Make sure your work know and agree to your volunteering. If you lie to or mislead your employer as to the nature of your mobilisation then they could dismiss you with impunity, as they would anyone who told them porkies of any kind. RFA doesn't cover it (dismissed for lying not for TA membership) and the MoD will point out they never asked you to lie for them so it's all your fault.

Ditto for the other half of course.
I did OPTELIC 5 which consisted of the following

1.5 weeks at Chilwell (Medical 2 days,BPFA,CFT,skill at arms,APWT, many forms and PowerPoint presentations!)

5 weeks at STANTA (driver training, pre-deployment training, lots of PT!!)

2 Weeks OPTAG training consisted of some great live firing.

2 weeks pre-deployment leave inc travel :x

6 month deployment inc 2 weeks R&R inc travel :x

up to 8 weeks post deployment leave I think only 1 months actually paid

obviously that was my experience, I'm sure people have different experiences and stories
Op Telic 1

1 Week at Grantham
2 Days in Catterick
Flew out to Kuwait to join Bn.
4 Month tour then home for 4-6 weeks off

Op Telic 4

2 weeks at grantham
4 weeks in Bullford
3 weeks pre deployment leave
1 week in bullford
7 months in theatre with two weeks leave and 2 days OSD in Kuwait
8-10 weeks Post tour biff
^Bad_Crow a lot of heat has been generated in these forums about STAB/ARAB relations particularly as a result of bad experience on both sides during Telic 1.

In your experience how did Telic 4 compare to Telic 1? Was the working relationship better, worse or just the same?

I hope you will all agree a worthwhile question for anyone considering mobilising now as the early Telics produed some pretty "anti" stories that I hope we can now show are ancient history and not what the mobilisee today can expect.
Your always going to get that rivalry between TA and REG, I found a lot of the regular guys are alright but you do get the bitter moaning bastards. When I was out there I counted about 5 instances when a regular solider ND'd in the loading bay due to slack drills and these guys are supposed to be better than us!!.

The other thing you've got to remember every tour is different, Telic 1 was based around more conventional war fighting now its all about the IED threat searching people and vehicles, the big thing when I was out there was the elections.
I'd like to say that once the bullets started flying on Telic 1 nobody cared. That would sound cool and Warry. However the truth is as soon as the STAG list came down and they realised instead of six names they now had eight to play with they immediatly started to appreciate us. The biggest problem was the Reg lads didnt really know what the T.A was. They thought the T.A was Cadet instructors or a bit like dads army (which it is). But when they realised that out of the 8 that went to the platoon 3 were ex reg 4 had done two tours each and one was a trained Paramedic they realised that we were useful... Although they still kept the banter up im glad to say.

By the time Telic four came around we had been given time to integrate with our host battalion played enemy for them during their Optag etc and did CFT's and BFT's with them so they had enough time to realise that "not all" of us were Fat useless walts. Those of us with ex army and prior tour experience were still treated better than most though. I wouldnt have liked to have been an 18 year old fresh out of training TA lad on ops. I would advise any TA lad going to lay the law down early that he may not be as up to scratch on soldiering but he still knows how to throw a fist/brick/shovel if any bullying starts!
Many thanks Bad_Crow and fully supports the experiences of my own Regt's mobilised personnel.

MODs in view of relevant experience and advice available to us from many of the regular contributors to this forum maybe mobilisation should be a subforum along with Recruitment & Retention.
Bad_Crow said:
I wouldnt have liked to have been an 18 year old fresh out of training TA lad on ops. I would advise any TA lad going to lay the law down early that he may not be as up to scratch on soldiering but he still knows how to throw a fist/brick/shovel if any bullying starts!
Can you elaborate mate?


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