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How do we better the 'Army Reserve Offer'?

Vivid_Diver

Midshipman
Fully agree, wearing 1's all day is no fun at all, but if manpower is available, it's certainly handy to rotate the team so that at least one person is recognisable as a matelot at any given point.

One of the biggest bunch of cowboys with an identity crisis at PR events are Divers who wear a mix of desert camouflage, MTP, seamans jerseys, trackie tops, RayBans, chunky watches and nondescript woolly hats. I've even see some wearing WW2 navy-blue battle-dress tops, ffs. So much for a corporate image, then again resembling a bus driver doesn't do much for recruiting and "brand identity" either.

I'm surprised the RNRs 30 divers have managed to make such a negative impact on its 'corporate identity'. I think you also forgot to mention the tight branch branded rugby shorts.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
I'm surprised the RNRs 30 divers have managed to make such a negative impact on its 'corporate identity'. I think you also forgot to mention the tight branch branded rugby shorts.
I wasn't refering to UWFP - just generic Divers. Then again, so far as I recall the RNR employs ex MCDs so I guess they pass on the finer points of Diver Haute Couture. I didn't forget the shorts, just remembered not to mention them. ;-P
 

Subsunk

Lantern Swinger
Book Reviewer
Years ago, the RAF amalgamated the University Air Squadrons and the Air Training Corps Air Experience Flights. I would like to see something similar where URNUs and RTCs are co-located.

Similarly, and this is more of a high-level policy thing, it would be nice to see the RNR more involved in homeland seaward defence. The police and UK Borders Agency have grabbed this role with OP KRAKEN, and UKBA have got themselves a shiny new fleet of cutters as a result.

A unit like EAGLET or CALLIOPE could provide a Pac seaboat presence crewed with Officers and Ratings familiar with local waters (as you may imagine, the RNR has a lot of yachties, boaters and divers in its ranks).

Some branch stability - my recollection of the RNR was that branches came and went which did nothing for morale.

Finally, more detached Divisions. A recruit will travel a long way for something steely like UKSF(R). They won't for something like the RNR unless they are clear about what's on offer and assess it as worthwhile.
 

Der Alte

Badgeman
Pre-URNU, the RNR did used to have List 4 Reserve University Midshipman's Scheme (RUMS) who were borne on the STCs (Sea Training Centres) books. They went to sea with MCM10 and there was a dedicated Midshipman's Cruise organised by HMS Camperdown (Tay Division) consisting of HMS Cuxton accompanied by a Tracker Patrol Boat., as the equivalent to the RN's DTS training.

Then, when the River-class MSFs were rolled out, the Archers were assigned to each of the divisions as a platform for navigation and seamanship training. The issue was that the vessels were under the op control of the RNR/MCM10 and for many of those students attending inland universities, there was little or no exposure to the RN due to the lack of, or proximity to, CTCs who could host them.

When URNU's were created they took over the Trackers/Archers assigned to the divisions (at this time too, the RNR was also losing their MSFs; so a double blow). The officer cadets at the time were put onto List 4 as Honorary Midshipmen.

In most instances the URNUs are base ported with the nearest former RNR Sea Training Centre, with the RNR unit staff officer effectively the CO of the URNU unit. But apart from sharing lodgings, they are not in anyway integrated with the RNR units, In most cases then, they already are co-located, but are treated as separate entities.

As for your comment on branch stability, I agree with your sentiment. Post 1993 there really has been a lack of direction for the RNR. I recall representing them at a Portsmouth Navy Days; prior to re-joining the regular service following university, where I was told by a rating (just out of the box) that the RNR stood for "Really Not Required" and if we were committed, we should all throw in the day job and join up.

Needless to say, with his PO's blessing, I took him aside and told him a few truths about the people I was serving with and in some cases, their distinguished former service records. He soon took the hint and piped down.

But it underlined a fundamental truth; which was that the RN and the RNR had little professional exposure to each other at that time. And I don't see that is really being addressed today, not like the RCNR who did integrate their reservists with their regulars.
 
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Purple_twiglet

War Hero
Moderator
Der Alte - slightly innacurate now - the URNU are not under any form of RNR chain of command when ported in an RNR unit - they are lodgers in what in most cases is now an RN building.

I have zero time for the sea patrol idea - it makes little sense unless you invest heavily in the supporting C2 to get the vessel on to the right place at right time and with reservist appropriate ROE. How you do this on an Archer is a challenge - especially considering the tight limitations on the seagoing state.

There is a good reason that this idea trailed in the FR20 paper seems to have died a death!
 

Der Alte

Badgeman
Der Alte - slightly innacurate now - the URNU are not under any form of RNR chain of command when ported in an RNR unit - they are lodgers in what in most cases is now an RN building. !

PT I never said that the URNU were ever under RNR command. I think you were conflating my comment about the inland universities.

However, the permanent RN staff officers who commanded the permanent training staff at the sea training centres were usually the CO for the local URNU with a Lieutenant running the boat. In the case of my old RNR unit, (HMS CAMBRIA) the then staff officer (who had been the 1st Lt on the Type 22 I was navigator on in my permanent career) wore two hats; one as the unit permanent staff officer and one as the CO of the Wales University URNU.

Things may have changed during the intervening time.
 
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Instinct, yep, there are a few, plus several waiting for contracts, however, rather than "help, we have some gaps can you fill", I get the impression that the future concept will be a SOC that will include significant RNR lines!
 

Subsunk

Lantern Swinger
Book Reviewer
From the persepctive of a leaflet or advert for the RNR that challenges the army reserve, some RNR people on a mega fast seaboat, kitted up in Gecko helmets and all the gear, with a White Ensign on the stern makes for a powerful image, alongside the current UWFP divers - you can't build an entire service on steely images but it's certainly how you build up its recruiting profile.

There's bog all difference between the US Army and US Marine Corps as far as I can see except a lot of slick image management by the latter in its recruiting.
 

instinct

Lantern Swinger
From the persepctive of a leaflet or advert for the RNR that challenges the army reserve, some RNR people on a mega fast seaboat, kitted up in Gecko helmets and all the gear, with a White Ensign on the stern makes for a powerful image, alongside the current UWFP divers - you can't build an entire service on steely images but it's certainly how you build up its recruiting profile.

There's bog all difference between the US Army and US Marine Corps as far as I can see except a lot of slick image management by the latter in its recruiting.

Naah thats way to much work. We would rather just stick stock pictures of chefs and ET's all over our recruitment stuff.... :mad:
 
Instinct, yep, there are a few, plus several waiting for contracts, however, rather than "help, we have some gaps can you fill", I get the impression that the future concept will be a SOC that will include significant RNR lines!

I've seen similar things happen in other, for want of a better word, industries. A company's long-term work-force gradually whittled down and the spaces filled wherever possible with much cheaper, short-term contracts. With all the will in the world, and all else being equal, a short-term contractor is never going to match a long-term professional in experience and knowledge (particularly in areas not directly in their contract), and will also not have the same longer-term motivation as the long-term professional; if you're hoping to be around for twenty years (and indeed, if you've been around already for ten), you'll have a different attitude to the guy hoping to be around for six months (and who turned up last week).

If the RN moves to a system with a significant number of short-term contractors, it'll be interesting to see how much this affects them.
 

Der Alte

Badgeman
There's a lot that people with fresh perspectives and new ideas can bring to an organisation full of long-term professionals; new capabilities for a start.

I have just finished an 8 month engagement working within the Civil Service. The department has been extremely successful in what it has previously done and was directed to take on a new role which demanded new capabilities. The organisation was full of 35 to 40 year long term professionals who felt that they knew all that they needed to know. Unfortunately, the world had moved on 20 years; and they had not moved with it.

Sometimes short term contractors bring a vigour and energy which can be eroded or worse, turn to cynicism, in those professionals who have to slog it out day after day.
 
The current RNR has many problems, and huge challenges, but it is probably in the best place it has been since the early 1990's. It now has a fully manned HQ (who have a mountain to climb to deal with the large number of issues that have been left "out of sight and out of mind" for the last 20 yrs), it has a huge influx of recruits, it has money being spent on it. It has the personal attention of the PM, so it might not be brilliant, but it is in a brilliant position to move forward!
 
AFG, mixed compliment, doesn't mean the CO should be RNR, but, even now, there are a number who are qualified to command an OPV, granted they are ex-regulars, but it is possible. However, the fact that we may have sea-going opportunities 365 days a year, is what has been sadly missing since the loss of the sweepers. We could knock the idea, and find many issues with it, but at least it's a step in the right direction. And I'd look fwd to you joining when you leave the regulars, who knows, you might even get a drive! :)
 
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