Hi all, I've been thinking about joining the TA, but the more I read the more dubious I become. From other posts on the message boards here, and what I am reading scattered around the internet, I'm coming to the conclusion that it's not really a "Territorial Army" but more of an unofficial reserve force, and is rapidly becoming part-time regular (if there is such a thing) The BBC report on the TA turning 100 today stated "If you join the TA you can expect to go to war." Well, no, I'm sorry, what's the point of the TA then? If I expected to go to war, or had the burning desire to, then I would join as a regular soldier. I would have the expectation as a member of the TA that I would be called upon in times of need to support regular troops, but not just as a general supplement to the main army. From the same article, it states that the TA was originally established "as a means of expanding the ranks of the regular army at a time of national crisis ", which I (and probably most civvies) would take to mean invasion of our territory or major war (i.e. world war 3). Speaking as a current outsider - I can't understand why most people would consider joining the TA. In my opinion, the TA should serve 3 purposes: 1. Provide a pool of skilled, combat ready troops and the necessary support for those troops to defend the UK or any overseas territories from hostile action. 2. Allow interested and willing TA soldiers to volunteer for and join military operations in support of the regular troops. 3. Provide a recruitment conduit for civilians wanting a "taste" of the military life but unsure of whether they would be suitable to become a regular soldier. The impression I get from these forums is that the culture and attitude is that while "volunteering" for operations may be technically voluntary, it is socially mandatory within the regiment you join (there has been mention of "pressure to volunteer"). A lot of the comments border on genuine contempt for the TA soldiers who are not interested in doing a tour of duty unless it's a genuine crisis - along the lines of "well, what value are you then?". I would contend that having a large, trained force of partisans which could supplement the main armed forces when necessary (this is key - when necessary) who are only trained on a part-time basis would be highly cost-effective. So, can anyone help me - why should I (or anyone) join the TA instead of the regular army? Please note, this post isn't intended to be deliberately inflammatory, so apologies in advance if I get anyones' hackles up - I'm just having doubts as to whether I should actually join the TA, or just wait until I'm ready to actively serve and then join the regular army.