Drill nights, Weekend Exs, and trade training ceases immediately for all 35,000 TA serving soldiers with the exception of recruits and those preparing for Op Herrick.
The implications of this are considerable and worryingly indicate that neither Politicians nor the Ministry of Defence fully understand the TA or it’s roll.
The TA has always had to put up with lot of stick from the public and our colleagues in the regulars, being widely perceived as a bunch of unfit, unskilled, overweight weekend-warriors, with little or no likelihood of serving on the front line – our nickname even now is STAB or Stupid Territorial Army Bastard.
The truth couldn’t be more different. Throughout its 101 year history TA soldiers have been deployed, fought and died alongside the regular forces. Since 2003 the TA has continuously supplied skilled soldiers to serve alongside the regulars to fill the gaps in specific trades such as drivers, medics, chefs, logistic support, signallers, infantry, intelligence officers, engineers - in fact every in single trade that can be found in the regular army.
In fact all my CO s have served tours on both Telic and Herrick , some have completed several. When I completed selection, it was explained that all soldiers were now expected to serve and that once you’d qualified in your chosen trade, you’d be expected to put that into very real use on Ops. And while that fact both terrifies and excites me in equal measure, I accept it as part of signing up to join the army. Besides absolutely nothing worthwhile I’ve done in my life didn’t excite and terrify me in equal measure.....
However by effectively mothballing the TA for 6 months to save a frankly measly £20m, the Government is effectively cutting off future essential support to serving soldiers on the front line. Because once the Tours of the current 1,500 TA serving soldiers at the front line end , and are back-filled but those currently training for ops, there’ll be fcuk all in the loop to follow them.
Meaning that at some point in the 3rd Quarter of 2010 the regulars fighting on the front line will suddenly find they don’t have the drivers, medics, chefs, logistic support, signallers, infantry, intelligence officers, engineers that they actually need to fight the War that their political masters (arseholes one and all) have tasked them with. Which in all likelihood will lead to more casualties on the front line. More bereaved Mothers and fathers , and widowed partners.
The TA may get stick but increasingly regulars are publicly recognising and praising the professionalism of their TA colleagues who contrary to Whitehall belief do exactly the same job.
One Army, Regular and Territorial...these are operational cuts. That many in the service worry will further affect fighting soldiers whatever the terms of their employment.
"And with this year the 100th anniversary of the Territorial Army, I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the servicemen and women in our reserves who are such an essential element of our nation's defence." – Gordon Brown 19 March 2008
Two-faced, squinty eyed, lying ****ing bastard , just like his predecessor.
I wouldn’t piss on him if he was on fire.
I wouldn't reverse over him in a little tank because as of today I doubt I'll ever get my tank-drivers license.