Weekend Warriors no more....??

#1
'The TA was at one time dismissed as 'weekend warriors', but now the military admit they couldn't do without them. Martin finds out what makes ordinary people want to give up their civilian life to fight in Afghanistan.”

Transpires Martyn Bell is doing a two programme series on the above. Radio 4 (the one with the Archers).

'Weekend Warriors No Longer'

11:00 – 11:30

Feb 3rd and 10th

“Martin Bell investigates how the part-time Territorial Army is surviving full-time warfare.
 
#2
I was expecting a thread about the TA being scrapped!
 
#3
Pork_Pie said:
I was expecting a thread about the TA being scrapped!
Give it time...this could be a clever part of the MOD conspiracy in paving the way for changes to TACOS, infrastructure and CofC. I know!, let's call it the Reserve!

The reality is that whatever the programme says, it's unlikely to be helpful (unless you're in 4 Para - oh my God, it could be about 4 Para!!) as it may expose one of the great lies (akin to 'cheques in the post etc) in that the TA soldier volunteers twice to go on Ops.

I wonder who MB spoke to?,,,,, wasn't me.
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#4
MrTracey said:
The reality is that whatever the programme says, it's unlikely to be helpful (unless you're in 4 Para - oh my God, it could be about 4 Para!!) as it may expose one of the great lies (akin to 'cheques in the post etc) in that the TA soldier volunteers twice to go on Ops.

I wonder who MB spoke to?,,,,, wasn't me.
I've volunteered and been on tours twice, and so have many in my battalion. So it's not a 'great lie', but then perhaps we're just an exceptional group of 'lemmings'.

I'm not in 4 PARA. MB didn't speak to me either.
 
#7
The_Duke said:
MrTracey said:
I wonder who MB spoke to?,,,,, wasn't me.
Why would they? I though the programme was about TA soldiers volunteering to serbe on operations overseas?
Nice one - you really need to get a hobby.

Hope you feel better after that.

Are you in the programme?
 
#9
RP578 said:
MrTracey said:
The reality is that whatever the programme says, it's unlikely to be helpful (unless you're in 4 Para - oh my God, it could be about 4 Para!!) as it may expose one of the great lies (akin to 'cheques in the post etc) in that the TA soldier volunteers twice to go on Ops.

I wonder who MB spoke to?,,,,, wasn't me.
I've volunteered and been on tours twice, and so have many in my battalion. So it's not a 'great lie', but then perhaps we're just an exceptional group of 'lemmings'.

I'm not in 4 PARA. MB didn't speak to me either.
Sorry, I should have perhaps made myself clear.

'A Lie' in that the Army fails to make this clear to employers that mobilisees went of their own accord...'an inconvenient truth'?
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#10
MrTracey said:
The_Duke said:
MrTracey said:
I wonder who MB spoke to?,,,,, wasn't me.
Why would they? I though the programme was about TA soldiers volunteering to serbe on operations overseas?
Nice one - you really need to get a hobby.

Hope you feel better after that.

Are you in the programme?
Thank you, but I already have several hobbies. Reading and replying to the "we're doooomed" posts emananting from the non-deployables in regional forces HQs is but one of them.

I was feeling fine anyway - a nice weekend with the family, then away on MST this weekend so some good training to look forward to. You?

No, I am not.
 
#11
The_Duke said:
MrTracey said:
The_Duke said:
MrTracey said:
I wonder who MB spoke to?,,,,, wasn't me.
Why would they? I though the programme was about TA soldiers volunteering to serbe on operations overseas?
Nice one - you really need to get a hobby.

Hope you feel better after that.

Are you in the programme?
Thank you, but I already have several hobbies. Reading and replying to the "we're doooomed" posts emananting from the non-deployables in regional forces HQs is but one of them.

I was feeling fine anyway - a nice weekend with the family, then away on MST this weekend so some good training to look forward to. You?

No, I am not.
Indeed - thank you.

Not in Reg Forces old chap - bigger fish to fry.

I don't think a devils advocate is a bad thing in these troubled times - not least when there is so much a stake.

Hopefully, the programme might discuss the 'twice a citizen' piece in this debate that is so crucial. Without this aspect of the 'reserve' then we might as well all join up permanently. Trust me, the future of the TA hangs in the balance at the moment as it inexorably drifts into a force of part time regulars. Not 'doomed' as such, but let us at least enter into the new era with both eyes open and make sure that whatever the outcome (I doubt that we can influence it that much). we at least are aware of the implications for the force and for the individuals in it.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#12
Don't worry, I am facing it fair and square.

How far do you push Devil's Advocate before it becomes incessant bleating?

Why do you give the impression of someone who believes that units who meet the current demands (ie mobilising large numbers) are "lemmings" who are doing harm to the never to be deployed TA of the old and bold Utopia, rather than the element that has actually managed to give the TA the credibility it never had during the non-deploying eras?

Why does every piece of PR have to become a vehicle for your own hobby horses, and not accepted for what it is?
 
#13
I see that we're having another go at this thread :)

Let's see what MB has to say, he's extremely pro-forces and I expect this to pay tribute to the part played by the TA in Afghanistan. Whether he gets into the twice a citizen piece will be telling, if not it will only because it was never mentioned by his MoD sponsor or indeed anyone he spoke to.

Probably similar to the Duke's experience, most of the lads I know who are joining the TA are doing it to do a tour or 2 without joining the regulars, I don't think any of them have given a thought to the noble concept of twice a citizen.
 
#14
Well I am totally confused, which is , admittedly, nothing new.

Gordon in the Times today promising, if re-elected, to keep all the big ticket items in the Defence Budget, 100k Army etc. It would be nice iof he could push Cameron into signing up for that too but I doubt it. Folk on other threads defending high end technologly kit designed for major war-fighting, while others want to chop anything not specific to COIN and Herrick.

Previously having heard others say that the TA will be cut mahoosively, others that the way to retain 100K in total is to have a good proportion of that number in the Reserve.

Bde staff last week with NO idea of what next years budget will be, scrambling after pennies to keep going this year, Regular colleagues still deploying with units back-filled from all over, despite cries of "approaching full manning".

Roll on the election and the new SDR. Frankly all I want is some clarity around an agreed set of priorities. What would be nice would be a deep look at the way MOD does business, to reorientate slim line processes and procedures towards war-fighting outputs. In more parochial terms for the TA I'd settle for a sensible model, something that acknowledges that a Reservist is likely to have a job and family commitments. GCM fails on that one fundamental.
 
#16
The_Duke said:
Don't worry, I am facing it fair and square.

How far do you push Devil's Advocate before it becomes incessant bleating?

Why do you give the impression of someone who believes that units who meet the current demands (ie mobilising large numbers) are "lemmings" who are doing harm to the never to be deployed TA of the old and bold Utopia, rather than the element that has actually managed to give the TA the credibility it never had during the non-deploying eras?

Why does every piece of PR have to become a vehicle for your own hobby horses, and not accepted for what it is?
Calm down, calm down...it is a 'rumour service' after all!! :D

Credibility is an interesting concept. Indeed, one could even argue that it is just that; a concept. In the eye of the beholder perhaps and for the benefit of who?

For my sake, and trying to avoid yet more bile, I have always adopted a thoroughly objective approach which seeks to take a pragmatic view of the inevitable changes that lie ahead albeit sometimes tongue in cheek. On that basis, I'm not sure that you can compare the 'non-deployable era with today. 'Apples and pears' spring to mind.

Perhaps that is the point?

The TA or Reserve or whatever is clearly nothing like it was. My concern is that we are failing to realise that we have crossed the tipping point and that old systems, TACOS, TA Regs, attitudes (internal and external), funding, structures, Regular perceptions, etc etc all need to be addressed and quickly. The danger is that we bend out of shape and 'make do' and in effect, dilute the need for systemic and widespread change. That' OK for the Regular Army (Op Entirity) but I don't believe that it is either realistic or appropriate for the TA.

I want to see the TA endure. I don't want it to stay the same as this is now probably and practically impossible, but I don't want to see it abused and ultimately squandered in yet another ill informed Regular crusade, knee jerking all the way.

The TA elastic band is already stretched to it's full extent. It's time someone either got a bigger band or took the pressure off.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#17
Perhaps that is the point indeed. The past has gone, and is very unlikely to be revisited. Acceptance of that, and the willingness to deal with the changes needed are key to surviving.

That includes cutting those bits that are no longer required, and reinforcing those bits that are, even if it means sacrificing those glorious bits of history that the 25th ((Loamshire)King Wilfred's Own(Yeomanry)) Mess Tin Repair Unit feel so strongly about. It also includes accepting that some potential roles are so unlikely and remote that whilst it would be nice to keep the capability, it is not economically viable to do so. That gap can either be picked up by other units that remain as a "be prepared to" task, or taken at risk.

To see the TA endure, it must continue to add value. Like it or not, that value will be measured and assessed by the big budget holders. Credibility is a key part of that, and is not entirely a "concept". A proven ability to provide operational capability when asked provides credibility. People know you can do what is asked of you because you have shown it. No amount of theoretical calculations or planning assumptions will ever quite carry the same weight at this level of operations (granted, it does at the nuclear level!).

Perhaps we should wait for the outcome of the programme, and see what angle MB takes? I am confident that the personal credibility angle of those who have made the sacrifices needed to do their TA role on operations will be covered.
 
#18
MrTracey said:
Pork_Pie said:
I was expecting a thread about the TA being scrapped!
Give it time...this could be a clever part of the MOD conspiracy in paving the way for changes to TACOS, infrastructure and CofC. I know!, let's call it the Reserve!

The reality is that whatever the programme says, it's unlikely to be helpful (unless you're in 4 Para - oh my God, it could be about 4 Para!!) as it may expose one of the great lies (akin to 'cheques in the post etc) in that the TA soldier volunteers twice to go on Ops.

I wonder who MB spoke to?,,,,, wasn't me.
He spoke to 4 Mercian
 
#19
Don't care which bits they cut so long as I am in the bit that remains (although having only recently arrived at my current unit it would be nice to stop and rest a while). Every unit I have previously served with has been cut, chopped, mashed or changed over the years right back to King Alfred's special trench digging unit.

The trick is to be a man with a chair when the music stops.

Cardicanl
 
#20
Well, did anyone listen?

Don't tell me that no-one bothered

Was it any good?

What happened?
 
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