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 44.

    For a long time, TA soldiers have been involved in operations that have borne little or no resemblance to the defence of home 'territory', so the change in title appears logical. However, I would have thought that the SofS for Defence had more important matters to be dealing with just now.

  • rate this

    Comment number 43.

    I am frequently amazed at how many people are willing to join our armed forces, and fight, possibly get seriously maimed, worse still, get themselves killed, at the behest of Westminster politicians who in all seriousness, cannot for one moment be worth risking getting a scratch for.

  • rate this

    Comment number 42.

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

    Since youre going to be out of a job in a couple of years just leave it alone and save the country the millions some PR company will charge to change the logo.

  • rate this

    Comment number 41.

    Another below par politian thinking up ways to waste more public funds. Less macho chest-beating and more educated and reasoned thought about international affairs please

  • rate this

    Comment number 40.

    Hammond "which would also see territorials get regular Army kit,"

    Things have obviously changed since the 70s then. As a regular soldier serving in an armoured brigade we were issued with the same webbing they used in WW2, if we wanted the 1958 pattern webbing we had to buy it ourselves 'surplus' from Silvermans. In contrast to this the TA always had the most up-to date equipment

  • rate this

    Comment number 39.

    What about Toy Soldiers ... seems more apt.

  • rate this

    Comment number 38.

    It is an Army on the cheap, I have the greatest respect for all branches of the Armed Services. Hate to see them being sold down the river by Clegg, Cameron and the sleeze gang

  • rate this

    Comment number 37.

    Well on leaving the regular forces I joined the Territorial Army and it was fun, but if asked now would I join and I would say no. The reason is very simple in that the govt see this force as a cheap way to keep an army and start unnecessary wars.

  • rate this

    Comment number 36.

    Why are 'you' - the media- allowing them to away with all this? One of their main election pledges was that there would be no cuts in soldiers, police and nurses.
    They have lied through their teeth to the British public in order to execute an excessive, dogmatic cutting strategy and the media are saying nothing.

  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    9.Rodneys Uncle
    "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"

    Spot on

  • rate this

    Comment number 34.

    Its about time that the TA were integrated in the the Armed Forces. Regular battalions should have formally raised reserve battalions which can be mobilised into the regular army as and when required. A large proportion of the US armed forces are reservists. Many units of the Air National Guard fly operationally in Afghanistan. There should be a seamless integration of both regulars and reservists

  • rate this

    Comment number 33.

    This isn't such a bad idea and reservists make up a much larger percentage of the fighting force of the US, France, Russia, China & South Korea.
    If they are equipped like the regulars, we could still have the same number of people but the force will be cheaper and more flexible. Think of it, we have the 3rd largest defence budget in the world!

  • rate this

    Comment number 32.

    Wow, even the Army gets re-branded! How much did the consultation cost this time and will there be a new logo and uniform too?

  • rate this

    Comment number 31.

    Army on the cheap,oh yes indeedy.
    Sounds to me much like kicking soldiers out onto the dole queue, then calling them back when needed, its not only cuts the defence budget but lowers the numbers of folk that have to be given JSA.
    Two massive savings,one typical tory policy. Value for money in action!

    How long before the unemployed get compulsory call up?

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    sack some soldiers mr defence minister and the spend some of the money saved on changing 100 or more signs and notepaper to army reserve,Can see were your priorities are minister.

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    Another scam of our times, style over substance.

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    Nowt like a good rebranding, them's Talibans will be sure confused.

    Mind they(the Tories) can say with impunity 'We will not be cutting the budget for the Territorial Army'

  • rate this

    Comment number 27.

    This smacks of a future return to National Service, as it used to be.

    Why not give us Work - Employment - Respect and a Future instead.

    Much Easier and Very Much More Acceptable !!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    Can you imagine Billy Connolly telling a joke about the "reservists"? Just doesnt have the same ring to it as territorials does it :-)

  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    And what is the point of changing the name? It shows politicians are "making a change"!. I served in the TA for 30 years, we always had the same kit, trained with the regulars, it used to be the "one army" concept. More patronisng C**p from a useless minister- nothing but a bean counter, playing sooty to George Osborne's Harry H Corbett.


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