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TA Forum FAQ

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Which unit should I join?

  • Short answer: Your local one.
  • Medium answer: If there is more than one TA Centre in your locality, then go and visit them all and see which one you like the most.
  • Long answer: The reality is that it doesn't much matter what type of unit you join, what you get out of it is proportional to what you put in. If you have a skill that is ready-use to the unit you join, it's a bonus for them, but a lot of people join something completely different to their civvy career - just for a break.

As a newcomer, you'll find any unit strange at first. It will take weeks, if not months, before you truly feel at home. It's a case of putting up with it for a while as friendships develop. As such, even if you feel that your chosen unit is a bit uncomfortable, after a few weeks you'll settle into a niche. It just takes time.

If you're not particular about what you do, just join the nearest. It's convenient and, if you don't feel settled after a couple of months, you can always transfer. The fact is, until you've been to Camp with your unit, you don't really get to know the personalities.

If you have a particular skill that you'd like to develop in a military environment, especially if your job precludes training during mid-week training sessions (Drill Nights), you may want to consider joining a Specialist Unit. These have lesser training commitments but still provide an essential contribution to the Armed Forces in general.

AND.... DON'T ever jack straight after Camp. Even if your Camp has been the most miserable experience that you've ever had, it will have been the same for all your mates and will provide a talking point for years afterwards. Equality through adversity and all that, time will cause you to laugh at the bad bits and you'll look forward to doing the same next year.

(Thanks to putteesinmyhands)

Joining the TA

See Joining the TA and the TA Recruiting Process.

How old is too old for the TA?

There are age limits set in TA regs but they are flexible, especially if you have previous military experience. Basically you can join up to the age of 43 with no previous military experience (although you may find yourself in a squad of 18 year olds). If you have previous military experience, then it is by negotiation with the Unit. In either case, get yourself down to your local TA Centre and ask.

I have a medical question...

See here.

I have a criminal conviction...

The best thing do to is go and speak to your local unit - they will have the most up to date info.

Also see here.

I am rejoining the TA and am looking to get myself booked on loads of courses

The_Duke says:

First - have you actually fully rejoined yet? Paperwork done? Phase 1 completed?

If not, don't be surprised that people are not falling over themselves to give you course information. Many fail to complete, many more jack soon after rejoining because it was "not how it used to be". They may want to see you back and working for a time before they invest too much effort in finding courses for the future.

If you have done, then ask for an interview with the Pl Comd or PSI (however you run it at your unit) as they will give you clear direction about what courses you need, and equally importantly, which courses they want you to go on. The PSI will the dig out the course details for you.

It is hard enough to manage careers and courses within the TA without every single soldier running wild and loose on the courses book and deciding that they must attend the next Underwater-knife-fighting ninja pistol course, or that they need to be the 18th PTI in their unit instead of the only SAA Inst (that the unit desperately needs).

There is a chain of command, and it is responsible for career management, which includes courses. Use it.

I want to know about every course the TA has to offer

See here.

Questions about joining a specific / national unit

Is there a list of National Units?

Where is my local TA unit?

Thinking about joining 4 PARA? [1]

Thinking about joining the Honourable Artillery Company? [2]

Thinking about joining the SAS? [3] [4]

Thinking about joining the RMR?

Thinking about joining the RAF Reserve?

Other questions about joining the TA

I am a student, can I join the TA?

Upcoming recruiting events in your area

What levels of fitness do I require?

The_Duke sums it up: If you need bribing to train for the most basic of skills required of a soldier you do not deserve to wear the uniform. You volunteer to serve, you understand that fitness is a basic requirement (although many seem keen to forget it), and you get paid a bounty if you pass the required tests. If you want to earn your bounty, go for a run. If you do not want to do some exercise, you must be willing to forgo the money. Simple really! Running is free, as are press ups and sit ups. Gyms are a matter of personal choice, and as such the army has no requirement to pay for them.

What is the commitment to the TA?

What are the rates of TA pay?

Think you might be mobilised?

I want to join as an Officer

What happens on xxx weekend?

Ask your PSI.

What happens during Phase 1 training?

Click here for the details of TA Phase 1 training.

I am having difficulties balancing TA, family life and work...

Easy: your priorities need to be family, work then TA. If you can't fit it all in, drop the TA.

Alternatively, consider a Leave of Absence: Make an appointment with your OC, explain the situation and write a letter confirming your sitaution and you will be given leave of absence for up to 12 months. Your unit should stay in touch with you, as you should with them, so that you are able to return when your circumstances change.

Alternatively apply for a transfer to the Unposted List for up to 2 years. Apply as you would for a transfer to another unit, see TA Regs.

What kit will I be issued with?

Your recruiting staff will explain it all to you. Don't panic!

I've just been issued clothing / webbing. What as I supposed to do with it?

Your recruiting staff will explain it all to you. Don't panic!

Rejoining the TA

Rejoining after 15 years......

Different rifle, different cleaning kit, different uniform, different boots, different vehicles, different rules for driving vehicles, different food, different tactics, different emphasis, different organisation, different commitment, different respirator, different cannister, different First Aid, different enemy, different friends, different training areas, same characters.

Where can I get a copy of TA Regulations?

Log on to ArmyNet. Search for "TA Regulations" and click on the first link it returns.

I have a JPA related / Bounty and / or pay question...

Ask your unit admin / pay staff in the first instance.


The Trg Year ends on March 31st.

Certificates of efficiency are issued up to this point but unsurprisingly, are not valid for JPA (nor were they before JPA) until after the end of the trg yr - 1st April onwards

In April, pay is put forward as usual up to half way through the month for settlement at the next TA pay run (end of the month - as it is every month) and paid on the 1st working day of the following month.

So, finish the trg year with a certificate of efficiency, pay gets put in along with Bounty claim during frst two weeks of April, and you get it on the 1st working day of May!

Other Frequently Asked Questions on the Forum

How do I become a PTI?

What additional items of kit do I need to buy?

What does basic training consist of?

I have a question about MATTs

Where can I find a list of the best threads from the TA Forum?

Where can I find a list of current FTRS vacancies?

Where can I find a copy of TA Regs?

Go on to Armynet. Under 'Quick Links' go to Army Electronic Library. On the 'Reference Portal' page, click on 'All Documents'. Under 'Documents' Click on 'TA Regulations'.

What is life like after a tour?

I was medically discharged from the regular army, can I join the TA?

It depends on the reason for your MD. The best thing to do is speak the to the Doctor at your local unit.

I have a Group B commission, can I convert it to a Group A?

See this thread

Where can I get Office 2007 for £17.31?

You can't. The MOD Enterprise Licence has run out. In the dim and distant past, you could get it from a DII terminal by visiting:

I have a question about the TA AFT (Formerly CFT)

Is it going to 8 miles next year?

No, it will remain at 6 miles until you are mobilised, at which point you will have to do eight.

I am over 50, can I do the CFT (TA)?

Individuals aged between 50-65 are exempt and should only attempt the AFT for Operational reasons. Such attempts must follow the completion of an appropriate and progressive programme of PT.

Whinge, whinge, blah, blah...

Read the MATTs Documentation

Will I be compulsorily mobilised?

Since November 2005, all TA mobilisations have been voluntary. The reference for the letter from LAND is Land/RF8201 dated 14 Nov 05.

I have a question for SaBRE

SaBRE_helpline is a user set up by the SaBRE campaign HQ in London so that we can provide information and advice on any employer issues which are raised on ARRSE.

The answers to most common questions can be found on our website ( but if any Reservist or employer needs more information you can email us through the website or call our helpline, 0800 389 5459.

We will also respond to any PMs sent to SaBRE_helpline. We know that some Reservists are concerned about contacting SaBRE directly in case information is passed to their employers or back through the chain-of-command (neither of which will ever happen except with your specific agreement). The PM system on ARRSE provides you with a way of contacting us for advice anonymously.

Should I mention the TA on my CV / at a job interview?

CV Interview

Has anyone got any information, stories, pictures or any other top tips that would be of use to me about...?

Use the 'Search' facility - link at top of forum page, before firing away in the forum.

Where can I get the right inserts for my Nirex folder?


I want to go on tour, but don't want to tell my company I have volunteered

O_o_t_s again: Don't do it. When your boss googles around a bit, gets to the SABRE website and reads the bit about current mobilisations being voluntary he (or she) will realise you're lying. And that may well be all the excuse they need to sack you.

And don't expect the Army to help, there's no way at all they will try and defend you lying to your employer. Frankly they should be looking to chuck you out for lack of integrity.

The harsh reality is that if your employer won't support you you can either jack the job in, join the regulars or don't go.

Are we really going to be restricted to x MTDs this year?

One_of_the_strange puts it succinctly: Oh dear God, not this one again. MTD limits can be - in my experience - imposed at almost any management level within the TA for a variety of reasons. They are a waste of time and energy and a symptom of management who don't understand how the world works.

My advice ? Ignore the limit. Attend all the weekends you were planning to regardless. And watch as more days magically appear from where they've been hidden. If you plan for the limit and don't attend weekends then when some bozo pops up around January time and tells you there's a load of days left in the budget and they've got to be spent or we don't get them next year, you'll be sad.

What is a 'Sign of the Times'?

A thread started by Wingletang where reflections on how the TA has changed due to 'rebalancing' are voiced. This is frequently referenced when others raise similar thoughts.

Why can't we have a pension?

Pay your bounties into a private pension scheme and there you have it - a pension for your military efforts!

MrTracey sums it up:

We've been through this before.

a) there's no money

b) there's no 'will' to do it by the MOD

c) the bounty will go and I'd rather keep it

d) on a part time basis, it'll be worth diddly squat anyway and fewer and fewer TA are lasting more than 10 years.

e) if you had a pension, they'd want you to sign a contract to stay and I'd rather have the freedom to hand my kit in whenever I wanted.

f) if you kept up to date, you'd know we are going to get one. At some point. In the future.

There is a thread on the matter here

Where can I find the best TA Forum threads?


How do I get the Officer's clothing grant?

It's been scrapped and replaced with an annual grant. Ask your RAO for more advice.

Why has my post been deleted / my thread locked / people are telling me to stop being boring?

  1. It's a buoy we have been round before. Use the search function.
  2. It has already been answered in these FAQs.
  3. You posted something which was factually incorrect.
  4. To prevent it straying any further off topic