Big reserve forces cuts inbound


War Hero
Am I missing something here? Would it not be the case that if the regular Armed Forces were fully manned (increasing manning if required). All fully deployable, there would be no need for reserve forces anyway! Just a simplistic thought.

Karma said:
[...] So far as the RNR are concerned there are a significant number of retirements by age due in the next couple of years, and I'm not convinced that there is the recruitment throughput to compensate.

Where have I came across that before..... regular RN perhaps? :roll:

Looks like they'll get rid of as many as possible then have severe recruitment problems in the future. :threaten:


Book Reviewer
Purple_twiglet said:
Actually WD as much of this review covers in my day job, I do know what I'm talking about. The R Sigs (Reg) are vital - totally agree there.
The R Sigs (TA) are a legacy ORBAT based on provision of national communications in the event of a post nuclear strike scenario. They have no deployable role, no role in the UK at present and 2 (NC) Bde doesn't know what to do with them. A review is essential to clarify why we have multiple units with no role, and despite have keen members, no valid need to train, retain and pay for them.

You're orginal post was far from clear, my apologies, it sounded as though you were trashing the whole of the mighty corps.

Indeed, some parts of TA RSigs have a dubious requirement - the Dundee crowd I think are great, one balloon launch a year. Their OC loves that!

Anyway, the rest seem to have a variable contribution to current Ops - The _____ comms are provided by TA units at the moment and there seem to be ever more TA siggies out in both Sandy Ops. _______ still has its uses as there just isn't enough _______________ are still a long way away.

If they were reorganised properly they may find a better matching requirement, I suspect though that LAND will resist because they'd need to find lots of new GFE/GFI that they can't afford.

2(NC) Bde, nice Brigadier!

Edited as requested


Book Reviewer
If the figures are correct, at a time of significant stretch, we're deploying 840 reservists (across the board as I read it), out of 30,000+ reservists then surely there is problem.

Perhaps it is time for another deck chair shuffle to clear out the Reserve Forces and concentrate on the elements we need. 30,000 people will be very expensive to maintain/support.

Perhaps we need a differing form of Reserves, one to support Contingent Ops and another less well trained, who would only be used in time of National crisis/all out war? Not really thought that through but a huge body of people paid a retainer and trained to a very low starting point (or all ex regular).

I can see the need for Reserves just can't see how much/what but common dog tells me if I were in charge I'd want a large number of bodies just in case. Probem is the piggy bank doesn't allow nice to haves these days.

Tough one - I suspect the TA will be slimmed down and the RNR/RAFAux will escape for the time being...


Book Reviewer
Purple_twiglet said:
According to Hansard last week we had 140 join last year and 280 left...

I take it that was just in the RNR. Given time to get onto the trained strength that is quite a number.

I suppose a question that will be asked is are the Reserve Forces fit for purpose? Is the requirement correct for todays Defence Assumptions.

I wonder how the future Reserves will be recruited given the increasing risk of deploying and hence injury. Its a different mindset to the last 20 years when the chances weres far smaller.

I wonder if I were outside, would I join the Reserves (again)?


Lantern Swinger
I can answer the above NO, and Brigadier Holmes has made a very public admission expressing the same. If the top Reservists wouldn't do it all again then what chance have we got of encouraging the right people to join our happy throng.

Maybe the RN could mention in their adverts that we exist, the TA and RAF openly use reservists in theirs.


War Hero
The problem the reserves have is getting the unit structure right. Broadly I think the RNR and RAUXAF are in the right place - we've moved towards a good structure of penny packet deployments of niche capabilities rather than a mass of people. This works well and the only issue as I see it is the role of the units rather than the branches.

The TA is in a different position - a lot of it is Cold War legacy, some of it is very useful, while other parts of it struggle to have a role. We need a long hard and objective look at what we need, what we can lose and what we need to bolster.


War Hero
Only in Britain are we so stupid. Britain has established an Armed Forces reserve of ~40,000 (inc. RNR, RMR, RAuxAF) and has managed to generate widespread public knowledge of what the TA is - tell someone you're in the TA and they will have at least a general idea of what that is. Now there is an idea being mooted that it's sensible to cut that number in half.

While everyone's caught up in musing over what the uses of such a large force are, nobody is considering the effects the cut will have on two things - public awareness and recruiting. For one, if you lessen the "footprint" - as the popular term seems to be - of TA units in a large region of the country, this will have obvious ill effect on public perception of the Army in that region (the army, particularly the TA, will become ever further from the public psyche). Secondly, through that lack of awareness, recruiting will be hampered greatly - if you want 15,000 gung-ho part-time soldiers eager to fight in wars that the British public don't care about, then you're going to have to look far and wide in that British public to find the people you need. To look far and wide you'll need TA units everywhere - exactly as the system is now!

Is it not clear that the system needs spare capacity, and our regular forces are currently suffering for the lack of it?

Cut back the numbers enough to the point that large numbers of servicemen leave the military out of dejection that their careers are going nowhere, and you will quickly have very few young men left interested in the defence of the United Kingdom.


Lantern Swinger
For all the promise of consultation, political speak of the vital role etc. etc. note that the Review starts on April 1st.

Do they think we are all fools?



well whats going on? Ceres is growing and then you get this 'reserve forces face cuts' thing....whats going on? Joined up government thinking????