What to do, what to do?

Hi All,

I would like some advice please!

I WANT to join the TA and WANT to go on deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan.

(Sounds "mental" you may think but as an ex reg (3 Royal Irish) I feel as if I haven't seen enough action and I am sooo, sooo bored!! plus I feel unfullfilled).

I am 40 at the moment and a highly qualified IT Pro, (MCITP/MCP/MCTS).

I am fit and healthy and can't think of any reason why I shouldn't get into the TA.

My question is:-

Where should I go?

Should I use my skills/trade or should I go back as a soldier in 2 Royal Irish?

What job option would allow me to deploy quicker?

What roles are there in the TA for IT Peeps?

I have a meeting tomorrow night with the recruiter for 2 Royal Irish and I was thinking of popping along tonight to the local RA Unit for a chat!

Any advice is MOST welcome!



The DS solution is always the same - visit them both (2 R Irish and your nearest R Sigs unit) and see where you feel most at home.

There are others from the unit on here to give you more info, but elements 2 R Irish will be way to Afghanistan with 16 Bde again in 2010. In view of your history, that is probably your quickest route to an Op tour. It also avoids the issue of doing your usual day job in the TA as well. That said, some people like doing that!
Rockhopperst4 said:
How long have you been out?
Been out of the Regs since 1996.

Went to the ACF as an Instructor in 1997 and left in 2001.

I applied to re enlist in the Royal Irish HSPT in 2005 and got all the way to the selection day in Ballymena.

Arrived on the day and got sent home because recruiting for the Royal Irish Home Service had been binned, about an hour before all the bods arrived they got a call from HQNI!

I couldn't believe it!!!

Anyhow, I rang the TA the following week and was told I was "too old" (was 36 at the time).

I only recently found out that the age of joining was raised to 43, to which I immediately put the wheels in motion!

I think I will be ok, I'm obviously not as fit as I was previously but I will try my best!

If there is anyone from 2 Royal Irish here I would love to get the inside scoop on vacancies etc.

Is there a shortage of soldiers or is that just a rumour, I heard the TA was desparate for recruits as much as the regs.

I think because of the length of time you have been out that you will have to start your TA training right at the beginning plus you will loose your rank as well. That might restrict your options for a tour plus it could take 18 months to get through your training (well it did for me!). Join a specialist unit then you could go on tour a few days after you fininsh CMSR (one of our lads did).
What do you mean by "Specialist Unit" exactly?

Surely the best chance of getting deplyed to Afghanistan is to be a rifleman in an infantry unit I would have thought?

I don't mind at all starting from scratch, will feel a wee bit wierd but not a problem.

I suppose it's a matter of time really, I work for myself so I can go anywhere at the drop of a hat so I guess I could get fully trained quite quick!

I'm in what used to be called a specialist unit (now called nationally recruited TA), i'm a CAD technician in civvy street and thats the job i do for the Army. I need no further training by the Army to do my job, i did CMSR then i could deploy the day after (and they are desperate for CAD people so thats not a lie).
I suspect that to deploy to the front line then the unit taking you would expect some serious proof that someone fresh out of CMSR would be able to hold their own, from what i hear its about 12 months after fininshing training that you should be looking at deploying (if you do well as a TA soldier), you'd then need to do your three months pre deployment training, then six months away then three months POTL.
Specialist unit means geezers with niche skills. "Key enablers", people who speak local languages, police skills, loggie skills (especially wierd ones like postal and shower and bath units), rail, movers, chippies, sparkies, etc etc. Most of which are REALLY badly undermanned and SCREAMING for blokes to fill the gaps on tour.

The specialist TA are generally corps units and have a reduced commitment of 19 days a year, generally do not have local TA centres but gather occasionally for training at a central national location (eg Grantham in the case of the loggies.)

To join a specilist unit all you would have to do is the phase 1 and CMSR again. Piece of pi$$. Alternatively...

If you want to go flash to bang in the teeth arms in minimum time then get yourself on to a "summer challenge" this is a TA infantry course that takes you from civvie to completion of your CIC in 7 weeks. You are then able to deploy immediately, and many do.

Good luck, whatever you decide to do. Your best bet would be to look at all the different jobs that you could do and take an informed choice. ACIO should be able to help.

Went and had a chat at 2 Royal Irish (Javelin Platoon).

I seriously couldn't believe how things have changed with the application process!

NO security vetting (unless you seem like a dodgy chap and they want to check you!), this knocked me sideways cos I was used to waiting for 14 months (that's how long my ACF Adult Instructor's clearance took!).

I'm thinking that this is because:-

1. They need the soldiers for the Infantry.
2. To appease the so called "ceasefire" over here, might allow ex nationalists/loyalists to live down past stuff - blah blah.

I was told that this is the current recruitment process:-

1. Initial meeting - get paper work etc. (Done last night).
2. Fill out paperwork and hand back this Thursday (1 week).
3. Go for Medical (asap).
4. Selection + the interviews etc. (asap).
5. Providing everything goes well, get sworn in etc. on selection day!

I still have to get all my permissions to re-enlist and medical docs from Glasgow but apparently they are a lot quicker than they used to be.

I have put myself forward for Shamrock Challenge so I am hoping that I am through the system by then, gives me about 3 months or so.

I am also "more or less" GUARANTEED OP HERRICK next year with 16 Air Assault.

I am totally and utterly chuffed to bits!

I am busting to get back into uniform again and thank the powers that be for recognising that us "old farts" still have a lot to offer!

I really think that if your Unit is "on the ball" and you can be proactive with your own recruitment process then the application need not take long!

Happy Bunny!
From my experience (and this was two years ago now) the security vetting happens after you are sworn in, two guys on my intake were still wating 12 months after they were attested.
Hopefully things have changed!
I think I got it right mate, at least I hope so!

I specifically asked the recruiter and he told me they only vetted people now who they thought were "dodgy" or who had declared previous criminal convictions.

Although I did see it as a wee bit "strange" when I was told I definately made sure I asked the right question!

I can see the logic behind it.

I took this from the 2 Royal Irish Site.

1) Potential Entrant (PE) speaks to the A COY, 2 R IRISH recruiting staff during an informal chat, and has any questions they may have answered.

2) PE completes official paperwork, and Security Questionaire 1109 (declaration of criminal record) if applicable.

3) PE attends a medical examination.

4) PE attends a selection day to the Army Recruit Selection Centre in Ballymena. Here they take a number of physical tests and are interviewed.

5) PE is 'taken on strength' (TOS'd), issued their Army Number, attested into the unit by method of taking an Oath of Alligience, and issued their personal issue equipment/uniform. PE's are paid from this point on for all training they attend.

6) PE completes Pre-Phase One (known as '1a') training. 1a Training consists of lectures, from how you are expected to behave, the Country Code, the 24 Hr Clock system and so on.

7) PE completes Phase One (known as '1b') training. This is 5-7 weekend periods at the Battalion Training Centre. It covers the basics of being a basic Soldier. You will take part and learn Physical Training, Drill, Skill at Arms, Discipline etc.

8) PE completes Phase Two (known as '1c') training. This is a 2 week course. For Infantry soldiers, the 1c Course is the Combat Infantryman Course (Short) at Catterick Infantry Training Centre, England. The CIC Course is where you learn your trade as an Infantry Soldier, learning to be at the front where the action is. This course is physically demanding and teaches the drills and basic tactics involved in Infantry Warfare. Support Arms (medics, RLC, etc) complete their 2 week '1c' Course in Grantham, England.

9) Upon completion, the trained soldier returns to his or her unit and start unit level (continuation) training.
Will just have to wait and see!

I know I have no probs with vetting/security clearance it's just the bloody delay and annoyance of it!

dont expect glasgow to hurry mate, id been out the regs less than 3 years and they took 3-4months to sort my paperwork out,
id binned the idea untill i got a call saying it was all sorted and could i come in the get attested!!!
You need to be very Pro Active mate!

You are responsible for the enlistment process however the relevant APC Glasgow desk officer will conduct a prior service check for ex Army personnel via the prior service mailbox:
You should submit completed AF B203 to above with soldier’s prior service
This I believe is the contact point.

It would help to give them a little nudge every so often to speed it up!

The relevant recruiter in the Unit should, in my opinion, be "on the blower" every other day chasing them up, if it were me - I'd be torturing them!
Just a quick update on progress!

Thursday, handed in completed paperwork and had a little informal interview with recruiter!

Had and passed medical the following Sunday!

Doing the BARB test tomorrow night, thursday!

2 Royal Irish have a SHIT HOT recruiter!

Only Unit Interview and selection to go now!

Not forgetting Glasgow's part in all of it of course, though I have a funny feeling that my recruiter will be of great help in getting the ball moving with them!

Trying the best I can to get on Shamrock Challenge in Ballykinler as I would love to get the initial training over and done with asap!

"2 Royal Irish have a s*** HOT recruiter!"

Didnt know the Javilin platoon had any proper soldiers at all! Do they keep him in a box somewhere?! :wink:

Shamrock Challenge is an excellent way of getting the training out of the way in one go, rather than draging it out over months and months.

You'll find training will soon come round to getting ready for 2010 so will help focus the mind!


Knew it was too good to be true!

Just handed an MOD1109 to get done asap!

This may have serious implications on me getting on Shamrock Challenge 2009 due to the "time" factor!

I just spoke to a really friendly chap in the Vetting Agency and he told me that the average turnaround is now as little as 30 days!

Will just have to keep fingers crossed!

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