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

Related Stories

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.


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 104.

    Do we really need to use yet another US term? Isn't our English version good enough? We know who the 'Terries' are.

  • rate this

    Comment number 103.

    >89. hew-and-cry
    >In his interview- hammond said of the TA "we don't want people plying
    >at soldiers any more".

    A lot of this country doesn't want people "playing at politicians" any more.

  • rate this

    Comment number 102.

    There is no doubt the MoD is full of bureaucrats, who would be made redundant if they weren't working SO hard creating absolutely pointless interference in the work of the people who they control. The Territorial name is historic, British history is being removed by these people. Changing things such as uniform and methods of working should be left to the Army. No change in law is needed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 101.

    No matter what the title let's make sure that they are properly trained, by men who are up to it. Years ago I was breifly a member- enjoyed it butleft due to imbecile instructors, with the IQ of a gnat, having learned nothing about soldiering but knowing how avoid the corporal who tried pour tea in your food (what a wag), throw a bed out of a window 8 times, pick on those who weren't quite 'right'

  • rate this

    Comment number 100.

    27.David Bale
    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.
    Agree.. past short sighted western Govts allowed the jobs to go east. Self imposed EU CO2 targets have driven many industries east as well.
    Single parents alone costing 3 times more than the Royal Navy
    Says it all to misguided policies

  • rate this

    Comment number 99.

    Stoic in cas you hadn't noticed we are in Island nation that relies upon safe sea trade routes if anything we should bolster the RN.

  • rate this

    Comment number 98.

    Why, is there a war coming?

  • rate this

    Comment number 97.

    Hammond, as well as spending extra ordinary amount of time defending the undefendable (Mitchell)m still does not seem to recognise that he is destroying our military and heritage. Renaming exercises are not what we, stupidly, elected this Government for. Defending the realm and maintaining a military force is supposed to be one of the Government's main responsibilities. Another U turn

  • rate this

    Comment number 96.

    Would such a move make the Lib Dems the "Government Reserve" ?

  • rate this

    Comment number 95.

    I thought an Eaton Mess was a self serving corrupt, cronyistic bunch of incompetents, turns out it's a desert.

  • rate this

    Comment number 94.

    Seems very sensible. Only the Conservatives can make cuts to the Army - same as Labour and the NHS.

  • rate this

    Comment number 93.

    The next move will be sponsorship so we will have squaddies receiving op briefings being reminded to smile as your shot,ask if you want fries with that and to enjoy your war!

    A disgraceful government that needs to shuffle off into the dustbin of history as soon as possible.

  • rate this

    Comment number 92.

    Lions,led by lambs...

  • rate this

    Comment number 91.

    Well, it may not be the most momentous decision; it may not bring world peace, or resolve the banking crisis, but a decision has been made: I THINK? Maybe not - needs legislative change.
    Army on the cheap? Mr Hammond said cutting the size of the regular army was one of the steps we had to take to rebalance the defence budget.
    So it may or may not happen; the decision is just too big!

  • rate this

    Comment number 90.

    25. hew-and-cry

    . . . apologies for bursting your bubble, but Harry H Corbett was the other half of Steptoe & Sons . . . but I guess you could have made some mileage out of a Rag & Bone army :)

  • rate this

    Comment number 89.

    In his interview- hammond said of the TA "we don't want people plying at soldiers any more". As someone who served 30 years in the TA, I think we should now also change the title of Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Defence to "insulting, patronising bean-counting weasel".

  • rate this

    Comment number 88.

    Just as long as he doesn't send them to Afghanistan on the cheap, I don't care what they're called. In fact, if we really need all these cuts at home, it really begs the question why are we still there?

  • rate this

    Comment number 87.

    So one minute we have Coalition MPs whining about maternity rights & the insecurity they cause for British companies, the next they want more people to be on an ever more unpredictable stand by mode to be called out at a moments notice for god knows how long.....

    ....joined up Govt? I don't think so......

  • rate this

    Comment number 86.

    At a time when the Army has been making redundancies, this is a slap in the face.

    But hey, when you can shut down libraries then expect them to be staffed by volunteers to open, or when you can make people redundant then force them to work for their benefits, it at least shows consistency with Civvie Street.

    How about we close down Westminster and let it be run by volunteers?

  • rate this

    Comment number 85.

    Just wondering how much money would be left over if all these politians & top bosses didn't accept thier bonuses ,this could be reivested back into theforces & NHS.


Page 23 of 28


More Politics stories



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.