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 284.

    238. Trendy
    SteveHG I don't know what army you were in but by 1961 I was issued with the '58 kit and so were all the soldiers I met then and thereafter. I left the army in 1968 never having to pay for any of my kit.

    6th Armoured Brigade HQ and Signals Squadron 73-76

  • rate this

    Comment number 283.

    Army Reserve? Barmy Minister and BADLY ADVISED writ large.

    The only people who will be rubbing their hands are Treasury accountants and sign painters. Successful Territorial Army organizations are marked by simultaneous numbers deployed with regulars and the numbers of potential volunteers queuing in the waiting list to join the unit. Hammond Corp's word smithery change will not deliver this.

  • rate this

    Comment number 282.

    I agree with SteveHG, I was also in the regular army in the early 70s to the 80s, and we were not issued 1958 webbing till 1975 I was in the artillery, we were the last to get any upgrades after the TA, we went on a recruitment tour of our Regimental area Strathclyde, and we found out that the local TA unit had been sent to the USA for a 2 week Jolly.

  • rate this

    Comment number 281.

    273 "That's why they should be disbanded! We have no need of troops overseas at all "

    Then they serve alongside the regulars in a defence capacity then,stop being so flaming pedantic, they are needed anyway. Every country has reserve forces, the US used thousands of them to cover garrison duties in Iraq, Germany has 200,000 of them, Israel 500,000, Switz 175,000. What is the problem?

  • rate this

    Comment number 280.

    This is what G4S did when it hires unstable people in to its armour armed security operation which the UK government uses overseas http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvkclnLZy0I
    imagine the company that failed miserably at the olympics given authority to maintain our army G4S must not be allowed to have any part in providing security with armed personnel.

  • rate this

    Comment number 279.

    The renaming is because the TA is now a 'cost-effective' combat force to plug the gaps in a regular army that has been diminished due to money wasted in sloppy procurements. Cannon fodder on the cheap. What they are saying is we don't want to pay you but we would still like to send you to die overseas in pointless ventures to keep our arms manufacturers rich.

  • rate this

    Comment number 278.

    >270. paul
    >Have these lunatics got nothing better to do with their time and money
    >than coming up with silly schemes.

    It's *our* money they play with.
    Their own, they accumulate and stash away.

    Those who can, hide it offshore. Some, like D Cameron's father, run companies and boast of how they can help avoid UK. Some send their children to Eton with their ill-gotten gains.

  • rate this

    Comment number 277.

    Well, they could always make employment in the MoD dependent on 5 years service in one of the Reserve Forces....I'd wager equipment procurement would improve rapidly.

    You can have that one free Mr Hammond.

  • rate this

    Comment number 276.

    Might as well paint number 10 white while your at it !

  • rate this

    Comment number 275.

    The Government is akways penny pinching on defence. When the Ballon goesnup as in 1914,1939, Korea, we are short of men and equipment.

    It would be a good idea to have an itemised account of where the defence budget goes, especialy in Administration. The government could well cut down on the wasteage on the £190billion denefits budget and the money spent by the NHS's levels of management,

  • rate this

    Comment number 274.

    Money well spent!! (not). Why waste the time and money to do this?

  • rate this

    Comment number 273.

    re post 271 "thousands of reservists serve alongside regulars overseas doing a fantastic job. They are a credit to the nation, and absurdly good value for money"

    That's why they should be disbanded! We have no need of troops overseas at all - it's a complete waste of money and simply gives our politicians a chance to meddle and seem self important. With a tiny army we'd have our proper place.

  • rate this

    Comment number 272.

    205. crazydiamond Well said and you are absolutely right. Wars are sold as inevitable and mask a raft of issues those orchestrating them would rather not discuss. Invented traditions of 'remembrance', whilst serving to commemorate and respect lives given, also blur critical analysis and repackages horror as user-friendly. The culture you speak of 'normalises' war and obsessive militarism.

  • rate this

    Comment number 271.

    264 "Rather than renaming it should be disbanded. What an utter waste of time and money it is!

    Big boys playing games at the weekend using tax payers money."

    You utter prat - thousands of reservists serve alongside regulars overseas doing a fantastic job. They are a credit to the nation, and absurdly good value for money, unlike you.

  • rate this

    Comment number 270.

    Pointless rebranding exercise
    What's next
    Troops 4 U
    Have these lunatics got nothing better to do with their time and money than coming up with silly schemes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 269.

    Name changing joins a list of pointless tinkering with the TA. Unless the real issue of retention (pay/pensions/employment status/employer reward) are dealt with, no amount of half truth announcements will fix the decades of mismanagement of the TA by the combined efforts of short term amateurs (Regular Army) and indifferent overpaid and underperforming MoD (Division One) bureacrats.

  • rate this

    Comment number 268.

    The name change is just the beginning of it all, once they become A.R. they will be deploying more often and with less notice. And it will be compulsory mobilizations, not voluntary. Kiss goodbye to civilian employers accepting this. Service to Country is being abused by politicians, who have no concept of selfless sacrifice.

  • rate this

    Comment number 267.

    20k jobs lost @ £15k/year = £300 million saved a year

    15k extra RA @ £2k/year = £30 million extra a year

    Saves £270 million a year. Vodafone 'dodged' a tax bill of £6 billion, which would pay the soldiers losing their jobs for a further 20 years.

    Something's afoot.

  • rate this

    Comment number 266.

    When I left the forces I had to do 6 yrs in the reserve.
    What he's proposing is people leaving the forces and going into the reserve.

    Is this supposed to be new...

  • rate this

    Comment number 265.

    A few of us suggested such a change after the enactment of the Reserve Forces Act 1996 (RFA96), which created flexibility in the way the TA could be used.A change in name was, however, widely regarded as impossible to achieve because of the entrenched positions of those wedded to the title, many of whom had a great deal of influence. Army Reserve describes more accurately what the TA is today.


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