Log in

No account? Create an account

Fencing Sculptor's Diary

The Ramblings of a Reluctant Civil Servant

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
One Army, Regular and Territorial..... Be the Best
According to the BBC http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8300530.stm the MoD has apparently confirmed today that the Territorial Army is to stop all training with immediate effect.

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.

  • 1
I expect they'll say there is no reduction in recruitment or in pre-deployment training, but it doesn't work that way.

If there is no training, then all it is is a call-up list, and the people who do go will be at far more risk than they are now, because the right skills and instincts are delivered by experience, not a quick course.

This policy move is so staggeringingly short sighted I simply can't respond coherantly to it.

It's like taking on Nurses and teachers ...then stopping their training mid way through and asking them to wait 6 months before resuming their jobs.

Thousands of TA soldiers are likely to rock up to their Barracks on Tuesday/Wednesday next week and tell their COs that they've had enough and they're leaving.

The genuinely useless unfit feckwits that the Territorial Army needs to bin won't mind you...they'll continue to be a drain on resources.

I'm not sure it's worth continuing because even when we do get to May 2010 our training days will still be limited to 50 Man Training Days per year which will make it impossible to quailify in a deployable trade.

This is in the very real sense of the military term a complete cluster fuck.

It seems they think that going back to ilitia units that are supplied by area - like they did in medieval times - will work. These are softy politicians whose only experience of military life has been watching the battle of the bulge on a saturday.
The 'other ranks' have been complaining for years about the state of things and now they go and make it ten times worse ar**wipes the lot of them

You absolutely right Ann. It's a complete and utter shambles that will do immeasurable damage to the Armed forces in the short and long term.

Worst of all is the underhanded way that this was announced.

We were told last month our MTDs were cu to 50 days per year, which effectively meant we could turn up for drill nights/weeknight training, but not study our chosen trade, effectively this on it's own meant that all soldiers progressing through training would be effectively undeployable for the next two years.

3 weeks later thy sneak out an announcement that cuts MTDs to 11 days and effectively mothballs the entire TA for 6 months.


I heard last Wednesday that a good mate is jacking it in, like me he's an older sort mid thirties, fit keen on the outdoors. He's fed up by the whole hurry up and wait ethos and is sacking it to spent time with his new baby.

Which leaves me with the 17 year old Rambo wannabe's and a group of very experienced yet despairing COs.

To be honest I may as well bin it to....It's bad enough working for one dysfunctional organisation that's being screwed by Whitehall...

  • 1