TERRITORIAL ARMY (TA)
COMMAND STRUCTURE AND
There is no longer a
separate Territorial Army; there is just one Army, with the TA units
dovetailing into the Army's organisation and Order of Battle.
The role of the TA is to
provide units and individuals to reinforce the Army, many of whose
Brigades and Divisions have a proportion of both Regular and TA units.
The basic command structure
and organisation of TA units is the same as for Regular units, by way of
Regimental or Battalion, Brigade, Divisional and District Headquarters. In
addition, the Directors of the various Arms and Services have the same
responsibilities for the TA as their Regular units. At the Headquarters of
Regional Forces, the Commander is also Inspector General of the TA.
Variety in the TA
There is as much variety in
the TA as there is in the Regular Army, which provides a series of
military functions, each represented by a Regiment or Corps. The Army is
divided into Arms and Services. Arms consist of those units and soldiers
who are actively involved in the fighting of any battle, and the Services
are all the other Corps in the Army who provide, as their name would
suggest, a service to the combat arms.
Although some Regiments or
Corps may appear to be more glamorous than others, none of them will
function effectively without the support of the whole. Just as a Regular
Army Regiment or Corps has its special role, so does every TA unit.
OF TA UNIT
The most familiar type of unit is the 'Regional'. This will be found at
the local Territorial Army Centre (formerly called the Drill Hall). One
or more Army units will be accommodated at the centre, varying in size
from a platoon or troop (about 30 Volunteers) to a Battalion or Regiment
(about 600 Volunteers). These units will have their place in the Order
, and as with
Regular Army units, are equipped for their role. Most of the personnel
will be part-time. Volunteers parade one evening each week and perhaps
one weekend each month in addition to the annual two-week unit training
Some staff at each TA Centre will be regular soldiers. Many units have
regular Commanding Officers, Regimental Sergeant Majors, Training
Majors, Adjutants and Instructors. The Permanent Staff Instructors (PSI)
who are regular Senior Non-Commissioned Officers, are key personnel who
help organise the training and administration of the Volunteers.
the main, TA Infantry Units have a General Purpose structure which will
give them flexibility of employment across the spectrum of military
operations. All Infantry Battalions, including Parachute Battalions,
have a common establishment of three Rifle Companies and a Headquarters
Company. Each rifle company has a support platoon with, mortar,
anti-tank, reconnaissance, MMG and assault pioneer sections under
type of unit is the 'National'. These are located centrally, usually
at the Headquarters or Training Centre of the Arm or Corps. Their
members, spread across the country, are mainly civilians who already
have the necessary skills or specialities, and require a minimum of
example of these can be found in the Army Medical Services Specialist
Units whose doctors, surgeons, nurses and technicians from all over the
country meet at regular intervals, often in
York, or at a training area at home or
abroad. They are on the lowest commitment for training, which is the
equivalent of just two weekends and a two week camp each year, or it can
be even less for some medical categories.
RECRUITING AND TRAINING
The ages for joining the
TA are 17-43 except for UKSF(R) who have a cut off age of 32 (34 with
previous military experience). In some exceptional cases it has been
known for people to join the TA over the upper age limit if their
trade/occupation is sought after by the Army.
Under a new incentive,
ex-regular soldiers joining the TA have a reduced training and
mobilisation liability for 3 years from discharge, this equates to only
having to complete 19 days, have reduced MATT's and are required to
attend a 15 day camp.
Under this incentive they also cannot be mobilised within the 3 year
period. This is to help encourage ex-regs to join the TA, also if
joining within 2 years of leaving regular service a soldier could be
entitled to the full 5 year bounty (£1556) instead of starting at the
The TA soldier training is now split between the unit and the local
Regional Training Centre where phase one training is conducted. Phase 2
training is conducted at an ATR or ITC Catterick for the Infantry.
Recruit Selection also takes place at the RTCs and is a day long version
of what Regular Army candidates undergo at the ADSCs with the exception
of doing the BARB test while on selection.
Officer recruiting and training may take one of two forms. Officers can
be recruited from the ranks, and appointed officer cadets by their unit
commander, before taking the TA Commissioning Course at the Military
Academy Sandhurst. Alternatively the
new direct entry officer training scheme allows potential officers to
enter officer training right from the very start of their time in the
TA. Initial Officer Training is designed to produce officers with the
generic qualities to lead soldiers both on and off operations and
includes three weeks spent on the TA Commissioning Course at the Military Academy Sandhurst.
Following the 1998 Strategic
Defence Review, an extensive restructuring of the Territorial Army took place
with the aim of making it more relevant, more usable and more fully integrated
into the regular armed forces. As a result of the restructuring, the
establishment strength of the Territorial Army reduced to 41,200, while some
35,480 personnel were on strength in September 2004 compared to an establishment
41,820. The Territorial Army was restructured to:
allow it to meet new
operational demands - the sort of demands it is likely to face in the 21st
maintain close links with the
community and society at large through a broad presence across all regions
of the country
provide a degree of insurance
to allow the generation of a larger force if required at some time in the
The restructured Territorial Army
became less focused on the traditional role of home defence and placed a greater
emphasis on more relevant tasks such as supporting and sustaining deployed
regular forces in operational areas like the Balkans. In order to do this, the
Territorial Army now concentrated on roles such as artillery, air defence,
signallers, logisticians and particularly medical services.
The restructured TA is:
more closely integrated with
the regular Army
more able and responsive in
meeting changed operational demands
trained to operate modern
battle-winning equipments including Challenger 2 tanks and AS90 heavy
more demanding of, but also
more rewarding to, those who volunteer – providing wider opportunities for
service and recognition of skills and training acquired.
More recent operations like
Operation TELIC (Iraq) and VERITAS ( Afghanistan) have marked the emergence of the TA as the reserve of first choice to support
British land forces on operations. Between
1998 and December 2004, 18,979 statutory notices of compulsory mobilization were
issued to TA members, and there have been 14,813 acceptances into mobilised
service in support of operations overseas. This represents approximately 45%.
and 35% respectively of the current TA establishment of 41,820. A small number
of personnel have been accepted into mobilized service on more than one occasion
during the period.
Army recognises that, at any time, there are some volunteers who are unable to
deploy owing to personal circumstances and others who are still under training
and not yet ready for operations. TA units will therefore be established so that
they are able to recruit and train additional manpower at their peacetime
are paid for every hour of training. They also receive an annual bonus,
known as a bounty, subject to achieving a minimum time commitment. Travel
costs for training are refunded. As of April 2007, daily rates of pay are
the same for TA personnel and their Regular Army equivalents. The latest
2007 rates are £39.80 (starting rate) for a Private to £125.75 for a Major
(mid rate). The exact rate also varies according to particular trade and
type of commitment.
Hourly income is taxable, but the Annual Bounty is a tax-free lump sum.
The value of the bounty depends on the specific unit and individual
training requirement but, on a higher commitment, TA soldiers and officers
start by receiving £395 in their first year. After five years satisfactory
service, this rises to £1,556.
The annual training commitment to qualify for bounty is:
In each case, individuals
may attend one or more courses aggregated to at least eight days duration
in lieu of camp, with the balance of seven days being carried out in extra