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RN to mobilise reservists to do exercise for 5 months...

trehorn

War Hero
Boys and girls.

People join the RN knowing what is involved. The RN is your life and if you have to go away for six months then 95% of your life is prepared for it. You have no employer to worry about, because its your employer who is sending you.

If you spend months on an exercise you knew about it before you joined.

We joined the the RNR. We have employers who require us 5 days a week or more. We have families whose life is built around our being there.

If we have to be mobilised for some reason then our families and generally our employers have to accept that if there is a need then we have to go. However i do think that mobilisation for an exercise is taking the p*ss a bit.

As for being mobilised for an exercise - while our remit is to support the Navy in times of stretch crisis, tension and war i would not deem an exercise to be important enough to require mobilisation. With all the commitments worldwide why is this exercise so vital.

More protection needs to be given to reservist and employers during the mobilisation process. When this comes then i'm sure you would find more than enough volunteers to fill the empty positions.

I too look forward to seeing the results of the recent questionaire, although i'm not sure that the report will be as accurate as we would like. I can see the focus being on the pride associated with being a reservist etc as opposed to the frustrations with pay, expenses, training, mobilisation, communication, organisation.

Call me when you need me. Dont ask me to volunteer. I volunteered when i signed on the dotted line and i've heard too many horror stories from those who have been mobilised to want to put my own head in the noose.
 

TF110

Lantern Swinger
"If it was a business you would be sacked.

All of which begs the obvious question with regard you wanting to be part of it.... "

Sacked for saying the truth? Sorry Ninja but you have no idea. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy what I do in the RNR, I put as much time into it as I can. BUT the Naval Service as a whole is badly managed and has very poor HR practises. You wait ages for money that never shows up, its constantly expecting you to drop everything but then never fulfills its side of the bargain. Its a haven of little empires for bitter twisted staff officers with no idea on how the real world works.
 

trehorn

War Hero
PINCH said:
TF110 said:
"This will be the same employer that pays some of your part-time wages, will it?"

Yup, and I'd quite happily describe the RN as one of the worst employers I've ever encountered. Abysmal HR, no idea on pay and generally treats its staff poorly. If it was a business it would have gone bankrupt decades ago.

Well take your hock... and or the money What do you want?

Just the parties and the uniform :rambo: :rambo: :rambo:

I despair :pukel:

ITS NOT A PRIVATE COMPANY ITS THE MILITARY its not there to make money it's there to protect and defend. get a grip.

There are things that you don't like about being in the RN, but there are also things that make you stay. Its exactly the same in the RNR. The pay is crap - but if we wanted money we'd work at McDonalds.
The organisation can be crap.
The communication is beyond a joke.

BUT - Our mates are the best we could wish for, the experience of the training and deployments is more than we would get to experience elsewhere, and the pride we have in "prancing about in our uniforms in front of our friends" is also a great draw :thumright:

I have some friends who are currently mobilised. I speak with them regularly. If i could tell you the sh*t they've had to put up with since they went you would be shocked and probably disgusted, i know i am. I'm not going to go into details but if the RN thinks people will be queuing up to volunteer ater what i've heard they will be sorely mistaken.

We sign up under our circumstances and the RNR remit. You sign up to your circumstances and the RN's remit. They are two completely different examples.

Don't get bitter about it.
 

Chaz

MIA
trehorn said:
If we have to be mobilised for some reason then our families and generally our employers have to accept that if there is a need then we have to go. However i do think that mobilisation for an exercise is taking the p*ss a bit.

As for being mobilised for an exercise - while our remit is to support the Navy in times of stretch crisis, tension and war i would not deem an exercise to be important enough to require mobilisation. With all the commitments worldwide why is this exercise so vital.


.

Then how on earth are you mean't to prepare for going on Operations? We do exactly the same, if you don't like it then leave - simple!
 

chieftiff

War Hero
Moderator
Well the debate rages on, at least it's good to see that the RNR took notice of the NAO's report last year into Britain' Reserve Forces:

Recommendation 1: The Department should clarify
and communicate better its policy regarding the use
of Reserve Forces when its commitment to operations
is within the levels it plans for and when it nears full
manning in the Regular Forces. It should develop
and implement detailed guidelines about how Royal
Naval Reserve personnel are to be used on enduring
operations and for routine standing tasks.


Full report here: NAO report

I should just read the Executive summary and conclusions, the rest is smoke and mirrors.

I take it all of you guys and your employers know of this outfit: SaBRE
 

TF110

Lantern Swinger
"Then how on unearth are you mean't to prepare for going on Operations? We do exactly the same, if you don't like it then leave - simple! "

ORT, exercises and training.
 

Chaz

MIA
TF110 said:
"Then how on unearth are you mean't to prepare for going on Operations? We do exactly the same, if you don't like it then leave - simple! "

ORT, exercises and training.

Tell you 'puddle pirate' oppo Trehorn that, its his quote I was referring to moaning about going on exercise.
 
while our remit is to support the Navy in times of stretch crisis, tension and war...quote

err...are the armed forces not in any of the three above?
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
TF110 said:
Sacked for saying the truth? Sorry Ninja but you have no idea...

....Its a haven of little empires for bitter twisted staff officers with no idea on how the real world works.

Your opinions speak volumes.

Well done.
 

GSSR_Vvd

Lantern Swinger
Well reading this is very interesting. Interesting in the fact that just about 5 weeks ago i had a call from a CPO reservist filling in for a PSI who was on leave asking if i could join a deployment fro 4 months. I turned the chance down as i only see my family once a year a christmas and am joining up full time anyway. His reply was "can you go for a short mobilisation of 2-3 weeks instead?" this was at 0900 and by 2300 i was traveling to meet the team in a port in a hot sunny place.

Within 14hrs had been given all my jabs, collected the CPO's kit as stores was closed and was about to fly out. Now my point is that we may have full time jobs and commitments but there are an element of reservists who use the RNR as their main job. Why do they always find it hard to fill drafts? Since coming back i have found out that i have a long wait to join up and that i am available to go on deployment/exercise but my PSI has told me and others within the unit in the same position that there is NOTHING for us to do!!!

Yes communication may be bad but as a thought could it be the PSI's communication which needs sorting out? I havent even heard about the EX that was being talked about at the start of this thread. Yes it may be an EX but surely it will be an experience that you can take with you into further Deployments?
 

chieftiff

War Hero
Moderator
wet_blobby said:
while our remit is to support the Navy in times of stretch crisis, tension and war...quote

err...are the armed forces not in any of the three above?

Uh..........stretched but not overstretched I believe is the party line!
 
chieftiff said:
wet_blobby said:
stretch crisis, tension and war...quote

err...are the armed forces not in any of the three above?

Uh..........stretched but not overstretched I believe is the party line!

Stretch Crisis: Don't call it a crisis as it may give the impression that we're only just coping. o_O

War: I think they call it "supporting the local civil powers" - "war" sounds too violent and militaristic! ^~
 

PINCH

War Hero
Quotes
" We joined the the RNR. We have employers who require us 5 days a week or more. We have families whose life is built around our being there."

Well spend more time with them then!

"I have some friends who are currently mobilised. I speak with them regularly. If i could tell you the sh*t they've had to put up with since they went you would be shocked and probably disgusted, i know i am. I'm not going to go into details but if the RN thinks people will be queuing up to volunteer ater what i've heard they will be sorely mistaken."

Life in a blue suit, If you don't like the ideas or methods LEAVE. You don't think that the system goes out of it's way to make posting any more worse for the RNR than for other members of the forces DO YOU? The military have NEVER been in the top ten for accomodation, or working conditions. But seeing as YOUR MATE has told you the awful truth, Then the next move you make will be an INFORMED ONE
 

itsamuppet

Lantern Swinger
If the RN think its so great and cushy being in the RNR then how come we don't have many joining. Grass is always greener.

As for life in a blue suit, thats exactly the attitude that is making so many RN leave early resulting in a need for RNR to be deployed. If the MoD and RN can't improve Housing, working conditions to stop the rot and encourage new growth then the need for the RNR during exercises will never go away.

I think half the trouble is when most of us joined we had a Trade/Branch i.e minewarfare, Comms etc. and we knew that in conflict or exercise thats what we would do and be an integral part of the team and we spent lots of time with our regular counterparts to ensure we knew what was expected and also let the RN know what we could do. We even did the same courses.

Now all we do is walk around a STUFT/RFA ship with a gun. Its mind numbing stuff for 6 months. At least the RN can go and do other jobs at sea.

When I was deployed before, I had an RNR job to do that my boss recognised needed to be done by somebody well trained and competent. All he see's now is me being an armed security guard.

Again I will hear the cries of "if you don't like it leave". But I stay for my friends,The laughs and the management training I recieve, but above all in the hope that it will get better.
 

Karma

War Hero
TF110 said:
ORT, exercises and training.

Indeed, and some of those exercises don't fit into ORT and would involve an activation.

I've thought about this quite extensively before responding, and can see it from both sides of the fence; although I haven't deployed in an RNR role as yet it is an option.

I've also seen one of these emails, and it contains the same last line about compulsory mobilisation that every email contains. It's clearly something that has to be stated, where there is a requirement to support Fleet, PJHQ, LAND, STRIKE or the LCC and the billet cannot be filled by a volunteer there may be a requirement for compulsory mobilisation. Nothing new there.

I recognise the concerns outlined about the impact of a mobilisation on ones employment, whilst the act should in theory protect employment the reality is that organisations change and being 9 months out of date presents a significant challenge in terms of promotability, bonus achievement etc. The service will match ones salary, but for some the bonus element of a reward package is a considered element of income. Home improvements and the like could be predicated on it, and the service won't make good the financial loss.

The main point at issue appears to be around how the service decides when it has a requirement for a compulsory mobilisation. I wouldn't wish to go into the details of the example quoted, although I did note what it was before it was moderated. I'd suggest that it is unreasonable to make the assumptions being made about the validity of this requirement without having been sighted on the preparations. That's all I'm going to say on the specific.

In terms of the more general case of RNR support to exercises, I would argue that large scale exercises bring with them significant opportunities for the service, the units concerned individually and as part of a task group and the individual. The impact of these activities goes far beyond what is conveyed by the descriptionexercise.

And finally I'd echo several of the other sentiments here, the RNR aspires to be an integral part of the regular service. It's not there yet, by any stretch of the imagination, but that brings with it a commitment which doesn't always suit ones personal life. Yes it's badly run, internal communications is abysmal, administration is poor and frequently the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. I'm finding that it is worse on this side of the fence than it was before.
 

hammockhead

Lantern Swinger
Haven't seen the email, so can't comment on the specifics.

Reservists are protected from dismissal by the Reserve Forces (Safeguard of Employment) Act 1985, but the fine is only £1,000 plus up to 5 weeks pay as compensation. I don't know when an employer was last prosecuted under the Act, but anecdotal evidence is that it is so much hassle trying to prove that reservist liability was the reason that the employee was dismissed (rather than redundancy for financial reasons, etc.) that many reservists who are dismissed don't bother trying.

However, the Act does not:

a) stop your employer from not hiring you in the first place
b) stop your employer from refusing to promote you or give you a pay rise
c) force your employer to give you any time off for training

Therefore, it is clear that if your employer really really doesn't want you to be in the Reserves, there is little you can do about it. With compulsory employer notification, there is no way to prevent your employer from knowing. This means that those of us who are reservists have to keep the employer sweet.

While most employers will put up with compulsory mobilisation if they think it is something that is exceptional and necessary because additional people are needed than the regular forces normally maintain, e.g. a war, they will not put up with their employees being mobilised for things that are routine, normal, and that they see as being something the regular Navy should be doing, e.g. exercises.

While we appreciate that there are two wars going on, many civilians do not. Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan are routine now, and unless you are actually sent there most employers will not understand why you are needed. By the time we finally pull out from Iraq and Afghanistan, we will probably have been in there for longer than WWI and WWII put together.
 

TF110

Lantern Swinger
"
While most employers will put up with compulsory mobilisation if they think it is something that is exceptional and necessary because additional people are needed than the regular forces normally maintain, e.g. a war, they will not put up with their employees being mobilised for things that are routine, normal, and that they see as being something the regular Navy should be doing, e.g. exercises. "

Exactly my point - if my employer found out that I was being mobilised for what is essentially a jolly east of suez, I cant imagine my prospects would be that great.

I'm very happy to go on ops, but I draw the line at being threatened with compulsory mobilisation for 6 months to go do a naval exercise. If the RN can't man itself then fine, but it will quickly exhaust the goodwill of the RNR when we are mobilised for exercises and not the real thing.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
TF110 said:
I'm very happy to go on ops, but I draw the line at being threatened with compulsory mobilisation for 6 months to go do a naval exercise. If the RN can't man itself then fine, but it will quickly exhaust the goodwill of the RNR when we are mobilised for exercises and not the real thing.

Is this the goodwill to which you refer?

TF110 said:
Yup, and I'd quite happily describe the RN as one of the worst employers I've ever encountered. Abysmal HR, no idea on pay and generally treats its staff poorly. If it was a business it would have gone bankrupt decades ago.


Ninja_Stoker said:
If it was a business you would be sacked.

TF110 said:
Sacked for saying the truth? Sorry Ninja but you have no idea. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy what I do in the RNR, I put as much time into it as I can. BUT the Naval Service as a whole is badly managed and has very poor HR practises. You wait ages for money that never shows up, its constantly expecting you to drop everything but then never fulfills its side of the bargain. Its a haven of little empires for bitter twisted staff officers with no idea on how the real world works.
 
Speaking (perhaps rather unfortunately) as a reservist, I can't help thinking that the logical extension of all this is simply not to have an RNR.

The 'operational capability' conundrum raises its head again. "Lets make the RNR more usable, relevant, etc" (and therefore by extension far more likely to be mobilised/volunteers required etc). That being the case, if the prospect of mobilisation for say 6-9 months at a time is causing problems for the reservists in employment/family areas, (and cosequential knock-on effect in recruitment/retention etc) then what on earth is the point of having a Reserve?

I think there are two schools of thought - make the RNR truly 'niche' and perhaps less likely to be mobilised and therefore more open to attack from the beancounters versus the current school of thinking which seems to be to justify its existence by supplying general manpower (as is the subject matter of this thread).

Ultimately the question remains unanswered because the RN has never properly articulated what it expects of the RNR.

And, as always, I enjoy reading PINCH's posts whilst he indulges in his favourite sport of RNR-baiting! :thumright:
 

stumpy

War Hero
What about possibly shorter mobilisations of say 2 months? Not ideal, but you would get a lot more volunteers. 6 months, plus training beforehand and leave afterwards adds up to more like 8-9 months.

I was a reservist before I went full time in the days when you would have been mobilised if Ivan decided to go shopping in Knightsbridge (now he just buys it!). In that situation there would have been no point going to work or university, so an employer complaining would have been neither here nor there as he would have been building a bunker in his basement!

However, the prospect of being mobilised because the RN can't retain people is another matter. The RNR used to (IMHO) retain people for a long time, whereas the TA now keeps people for one deployment. Don't follow down that route!

Why not go bak to having 2 RNRs.

A) RNR: Made of of ex-RN who receive two weeks annual training, weekends etc to remain current in their old job, so they could be surged to help man RN in time of war. Plus the medical side and others such as the merchant navy and chaplains, media ops etc etc whose civilian qualifications are needed.

B) RNVR (standby for groans!) of volunteers who are trained and used more as normal RNR is now for armed security, seamanship plus trained in NBCD etc.

Also, allow ex-RN in RNR to move to RNVR if they want achange from previous job, but still want to be involved.
 
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