Territorial Army 'to be renamed the Army Reserve'

British troops in Afghanistan The reservists will get much the same kit as the regular army, Mr Hammond says

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The Territorial Army would be renamed the Army Reserve under plans unveiled by Defence Secretary Philip Hammond.

He told the BBC legislation would be needed for the change, which would also see territorials get regular Army kit, and train with full-time forces.

As part of the recent defence review, the numbers of regular soldiers is set to fall from 102,000 to 82,000, while reservists will double to 30,000.

He said the reservists would become an "integral part" of the Army.

Mr Hammond said he hoped that a number of those leaving the slimmed down regular forces would join the reserves and "help change the ethos".

Asked on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show if he was attempting to get an "army on the cheap", Mr Hammond said cutting the size of the regular army was "unfortunately one of the steps we had to take to rebalance the defence budget".

'Makes sense'

He said that it made sense for many of the support functions, like logistics, to be done by reservists because there was not such a great demand for them during peacetime.

The defence secretary said he wanted to see a name change - "in my head they are the Army Reserve, an integral part of the regular Army" - but added that the change would need to be approved by Parliament.

TA soldiers usually have full-time or part-time jobs and attend training sessions in their own free time. They are paid about £35 a day for each session.

They have to commit to between 19 and 27 training days a year and if they meet this commitment they get a tax-free lump sum called a bounty, which ranges from £424 to £2,098.

Travel to and from their units is also subsidised and they do not have to pay towards their kit.

Britain has had a reserve of part-time or retired soldiers - often known as yeomanry - since the Middle Ages but the system was only regularised in 1907 with the passing of legislation creating a Territorial Force.

It was mobilised just before World War I and its soldiers fought alongside regular soldiers in the trenches of northern France.

In 1920 it became the Territorial Army and in 1939 it was doubled in size as war clouds approached again.

The TA withered away during the 1960s but in 1971 it was reformed and expanded although its role remained unclear until the 1998 Strategic Defence Review.

As the regular Army became increasingly stretched in the early 21st century the TA became more important and 6,900 TA soldiers were mobilised for the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

In recent years it has also supported regular troops in Afghanistan and the Balkans.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 24.

    Perhapsthe new name should reflect their role in the modern army.

    'Front line troops on the cheap' seems quite fitting

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    Change just for the sake of it.My local council changed its logo to something more 'corporate'.Cost an unknown amount to alter paperwork,cars etc and it made no difference.This is not your top priority Mr. Hammond.

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    Wow, yet another great idea from the government. Territorial can be a bit tricky to spell.

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    As the Name Changes so does the Contract within! volunteers will become conscripts.
    We will need to read the small print before the Act of the name change, but will we?

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    Thre going to need them when the riots start

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    so how much does this legislation cost. When are the government going to see that their own changes are the areas in government that could do with some cutting to save money. Pointless changes which to me seems like a worse name, reserves sounds 2nd hand, TA sounds MUCH better, if I joined I would rather be in the TA than reserves, sounds like I would be playing for the crappy football team.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    There have been cuts everywhere, must the defence be exempt? It It seems the Left oppose EVERY cut: For political reasons more than recognising that we are in debt. One that they played a great part in creating and for which they have never apologised. If they had been more prudent over 13 years, instead of currying favour among the work-shy and their apologists, we would not need so many cuts.

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    'Rent a Grunt'?

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    @ No. 10

    They may not be STABS - but I bet they will soon become Army Reserve Soldiers Eh! I think I'd rather have STABS. As someone else has said - If it ain't broke, don't fix it. There must be more important things than this!

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    The same kit as the regular army? So they will have to buy any decent kit themselves too.

    It is the usual story - he can't make any meaningful changes so he changes the name!

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    Another needless Tory "one size fits all" exercise, which will cost millions and result in a worse service.

    Give it another ten years, and we'll see this getting undone.... Remember the GCSE solution?

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    a short-sighted decision, by yet another short-sighted minister, armed forces on the cheap.
    I applaud anyone who is brave enough to go and fight to keep our political elite in the manner to which they have become accustomed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    3. Julian
    Seems like more mongering of a free or cheap army, where reservists train with the 'real' army. More contempt for Britons by the lovely Tories...
    No one forces anyone to join the TA, they are all volunteers, not conscripts you know - so your point is hardly valid.

    But some people will make a party political point out of anything, even when clearly, none exists.

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    Why not re-name them "Cheap emergency back-up when the bulk of the regular unappreciated under-funded career soldiers have finally woken up and told HMG to shove it!"

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    "Reservists will double to 30,000"? The government can certainly reduce the number ot Regular soldiers, but it can only hope to increase reservist numbers.
    And training with Regulars will require a major change of attitude among the Regulars, including no more calling reservists things like "STABS" - stupid TA B*st*rds.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    "Asked on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show ... Mr Hammond said cutting the size of the regular army was "unfortunately one of the steps we had to take to rebalance the defence budget"."

    Shuffling paperclips. How much will this cost to remarket for essentially the same service. Which marketing company will be paid millions to redesign the logo and reproduce all the literature, stationary, contracts etc.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    The defence secretary said he wanted to see a name change - "in my head they are the Army Reserve"

    In everybody else's head, it's the Territorial Army

    If it ain't broke, leave it alone

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    How all the politicians and senior Officers keep a straight face is beyond me. I am physic and have the ability to look into the future and shall I tell you what I see? A grade A cluster **** of gigantic proportions. This really is funny, honest....I can see the giant genie casting his spell over the armed forces now "SIZE OF THE BENELUX"!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    Makes perfect sense to me, they are not 'territorial' in any way. But what about the Royal Air Force and Naval Reserve, have they been forgotten as usual!

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    I wonder how many millions this will cost.

    It wouldn't of course cost a normal person much, but hey ho any politician could spend half a million changing a toilet seat.


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