A FRIEND of mine is now a Reservist having previously been a Regular soldier. I understand the Army’s need to reduce manning costs, but having heard her description of her most-recent training weekend I am unconvinced that Reserve soldiers will be trained to the same level as Regular soldiers.
This concerns me as surely it must affect the safety of all our soldiers not just Reservists? Their three days training consisted of meeting at 8pm on a Friday evening, driving to the training destination, having a run on the Saturday followed by a unit dinner and leaving by 10am on Sunday.
She told me that they had to be let home in time for Sunday lunch or “they won’t come back again”.
Does the MOD seriously expect me to believe that Reservist soldiers will be trained to the same level as Regulars and will be able to competently support Regular soldiers if this is the case?
Name and address supplied
Response from Directorate Training (Army): It is difficult to counter specific comments without knowing the full circumstances. However, as a matter of general policy, Army Reserve unit commanding officers are responsible for meeting their unit’s mandated military outputs.
Army Reservists’ individual performance levels are measured through the conduct of Military Annual Training Tests (MATTs).
Failure to attend key training events could both inhibit unit effectiveness and lead to Reservists failing their MATTs, thereby failing to qualify for the Commanding Officer’s Certificate of Efficiency.
When preparing to deploy, all Reservists conduct additional – usually Regular Army-led – mission-specific training, which is validated before they mobilise at RTMC, Chilwell.
During the last decade or so of operations, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan, some 27,000 Reservists have mobilised successfully to serve alongside their Regular Army counterparts – many for multiple tours – performing their duties professionally and effectively whilst sharing equally all associated risks and dangers.
In the future, Army Reserve units will integrate with Regular units, both in the conduct of increasingly demanding collective training and, when necessary, in preparation for operations.