What has the RFCA ever done for you?

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by Ed_Straker, Apr 8, 2008.

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  1. Will the much heralded review of the reserves put the various RFCAs under the spotlight? I hope so.

    From where I am sat they seem to give very poor value for money and levels of service and have very little of a role anymore

    TACs are left to rot due to lack of money exept when they sell one to Tesco for a new car park and blow the section 61 cash on a smaller 'purpose built' facility.

    A range of apalling amateurish copy and paste websites with well out of date info.

    The odd glossy vanity publication but never any public statement of accounts, list of staff etc which I find most suspicious seeing that every man and his dog in the MoD and its agencies is capable of publishing reams of glossy brochures about what they do.

    I have never seen any job adverts for RFCA posts which makes think that it is just an old boys club and its if your face fits rather than whether you can do the job.

    After all these are multi million p0und estates we are talking about. Who would you rather look after it a professonal property manager or Col Buffy-Trumpton (Retd)?
  2. How right you are! Left of arc would get them and their people/functions into the Regional Bde HQs, sell their property and bring the whole lot kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Right of arc says that they perform a vital independent function which keeps the reg army's hands off TA and res real estate and cash.

    The truth is that they do perform a small independent role that could be subsumed in the RFR CofC with one or two checks and balances. The very old and bold would be irritated by this because it would reduce the opportunities in the old boy net for comfy jobs involving labradors and slippers.

    The Review of Reserves is tasked to examine the RFCAs and the Chief Exec (a Crab by the way) is already bulding a defensive position that makes the Great Wall of China look like it was made from Lego. :twisted:
  3. I appreciate the need to stop the TA being plundered by the regular army, but as I have made clear I personally have concerns about RFCAs being the correct vehicle.

    Another concern is their actual name, 'Association' gives out all the wrong signals IMHO as being a prime example of Op Old Rope.

    If it was even a slightly professional organisation surely it would be an agency, department, directorate, anything other than an association!
  4. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Given that the RFCAs spend very nearly £100m a year, it's only fair and proper that they provide justification for this massive spend of taxpayer's cash. They would like to think that they are independent, but they aren't, they are MOD Quangos like so many others - but in their case, one that's been going for 100 years.

    However, they wield vast powers of local patronage, so I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for major change from the Reserves Review - at least once the politicians get involved.....
  5. Well put, BTW have you ever seen any sort of statement of accounts/annual report from any RFCA?
  6. Accounts and all that good stuff are available fm each Assoc and fm the CE in town. All you have to do is ask.

    One of the other issues surrounding TA/RFCA property is that of ownership. Just because it says TA on the front gate does not mean that the MOD owns the real estate. It can belong to a Livery Company, a private individual or the MOD or even some sort of trust fund. So even if this review comes up with the good idea that we do not need 5 (or is it 4?) TACs in Hull, there is no gurantee that flogging one or two will get us some cash.

    Even if the wretched thing belongs to the MOD, the cash raised will not necessarliy be available for re-investment in a shiny new TAC. It goes to the centre and has to be bid against along with everybody else who is trying to get their dibs on some loot to finance our Govt's overseas adventures.

    Just another day down on the dole queue!
  7. Very interesting, however it is the asking part that worries me as naturally you will get asked, "who are you?", "what do you want them for?" and I am sure that they will bang on at aleast a £10 'admin charge' to try and dissuade you.

    Why can't there be a PDF be on their website like most reputable charities/companies and dare I say it associations do?
  8. Ed you answered your own question in funny way,

    "like most reputable charities/companies and dare I say it associations do? "

    When I was at the helm in my TAC, I can think of very little they did but they were happy to take credit when they thought they had an opportunity. I appreciate thet they use the old argument of ringfencing the TA's money but ultimately what we require is stronger TA representation within the regional brigades. I had a very understanding PSAO who, although perhaps not willing, attended RFCA meetings in my absence thus preventing me from engaging mouth before brain and causing upset by me telling them what an ineffective and archaic dinosaur they are.

    One army - lets get under our respective brigades, have stronger representation and put these associations to bed.
  9. Harry very interesting post.

    In this this era of the TA being used primariliy for IRs - especially amongst the junior ranks - perhaps the future of the TA senior officer is to increasingly populate the local brigades and so ensuring strong TA representation at this level whilst removing all TA units from the dead hand of the RFCAs.
  10. RFCAs would work better and TA members would get a better picture of what they actually do if more TA officers took time to attend meetings. I know I did when I commanded a TA subunit, but others find it too difficult to take time off during the week, or do not treat the meetings as a priority. This becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  11. Inviting TA officers to mid week meetings speaks volumes about who RFCAs are for and their priorities.

    Hint, it's not the TA!
  12. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    Which would be helped by RFCAs ensuring that all meetings requiring TA attendance are planned at a time when TA officers can attend without having to take a large amount of time off work.

    Every half day I have to take to sit through yet another lengthy meeting, of which only 20 minutes is relevant to me, is another half day of leave lost to my family or other TA work.

    Heaven forbid they plan them to start at a time which allows people with normal jobs to finish work at a sensible time and still get to the meeting without having to waste valuable annual leave.
  13. Ed

    I firmly believe that there is still a place for the TA Regt structure, for training and administration. The issue arises in terms of satisfaction at the Off/SNCO level and the fact that the higher we rise, the less the compatibility between the chain of command and the boys in terms of role and deployability. As a major, I would never command an armd sqn, as a lt I would never command a CR2, as a sgtI would never be a CR2 tp sgt. Statistics show that there is an abundance of major+ in the TA Offr Corps and therefore it makes sense to pool these serving officers in a regional bde where they can make better used in assisting with funding and policy decisions opposed to the retired old bumbles in the RFCA. It could be a double hatted position between BRT and Bde TA Policy for example. This would therefore allow a continual posting through of fresh blood into the Bde TA pool and would also reduce the high number of senior TA Offrs in the BRTs who are only there to keep themselves in green whilst not committing to the same extent as the remainder of us.

    Just a suggestion but it gives greater accountability and responsibility by serving officers in keeping the TA credible within a one army concept.
  14. Sorry poor use of language. I wasn't putting forward the case of the removal of all officers from the TA Regt structure.

    I totally agree with your comments as a way forward.

    I am sure that Regional Bdes well staffed with motivated TA offrs could easily - and equally importantly - more transparently do the job of the RFCAs.
  15. The RFCA spent a couple of million ( AIUI ) on renovating Fulham House, their HQ. Showers where in rag order, so you'd think - hey, new showers!

    From memory the only money spent on the TA bit of the building ( then home to a very fine Mortar platoon ) was on carpet.

    On the floor of the Drill Hall.

    Nice, thanks for that.