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 304.

    @288.Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells

    If we go back to the days of local Militias, it would involve arming the citizenship, allowing for small / medium arms in the home, and heavy weapons in accessible caches, this is “never going to happen” as this would allow for an insurgency, as the establishment has been toppled throughout history when the poor are pushed too far like the poor are today.

  • rate this

    Comment number 303.

    why not call it what it will become and that is the Army. Because time DC & co have finished with their cuts that is all that will be left.

  • rate this

    Comment number 302.

    With this sleazy government, I have to ask "why are they doing it?" There MUST be an ulterior motive. Who will gain the most money from this change? for example.

  • rate this

    Comment number 301.

    I just wish politicians would leave the armed forces alone. All the changes and the loss of lots of famous regiments are a disgrace.

  • rate this

    Comment number 300.

    Give Hammond and all his chums guns and let them contribute something tangible - not just a name change, which will costs millions (payable to other chums in marketing)

    These people are obnoxious in their attitude to the army, whether full time or volunteer.

    My plan has the advantage that a percentage of them will end up being shot at.

  • rate this

    Comment number 299.

    What a superb way to save money! Ah, but hang on a minute, how many millions is it going to cost to change all the various bits of paperwork, offices, government departments, etc, etc? As Fagin would say @I think they better think it out again!'

  • rate this

    Comment number 298.

    What an utter waste of money! Debate in the commons, rebranding colsutant fees, and changes to way the forces and the TA work. All at a time when they're trying to cut the effectivness of our force by reducing numbers!
    Stop wasting my taxes!

  • rate this

    Comment number 297.

    It may all be very different now ,but in my time in uniform 1965-1979 Royal Air Force ,we were very suspicious of "civies" who wanted to wear a uniform,I still am.

  • rate this

    Comment number 296.

    As an ex service man a think this has to be the very worst idea that this lot has had. The cost in human life will be a heavy one to pay,lets not forget this are part time soldiers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 295.

    Being in the TA in the seventies,Thatcher made sure we had old kit and all Tory government ran the TA on a shoe string, it is no difference now, the Tories sees away of cutting by not having to pay pensions, at our last TA reunion we were saying that what they were up to.
    And as for protecting their jobs, that is a none starter as a self enployed ex regular said to me, he would not employ TA.

  • rate this

    Comment number 294.

    Just thought, the name thing might just be to throw us off the scent.

    Whilst we are debating this the Tories are quietly dismantling the Army.

  • rate this

    Comment number 293.

    Very happy to see the TA renamed the Army Reserve if we can rename the Tory Party as the Con Artists.

  • rate this

    Comment number 292.

    Whatever Philip Hammond decides to call them the features of the part timers will still be the same in that they will be badly underfunded, allowed limited training time even when going on active duty, have no guarantees about their civilian job while on active service and very little support for their families if they are killed in action.

  • rate this

    Comment number 291.

    hells teeth. We have traffic lights all over the country but no-one is rushing to rename them multicoloured sequential traffic flow regulation devices.

    The TA is the reserve for the Army we dont need to waste shedloads of money renaming them to know that !!

    Stupid idea Mr Hammond.

  • rate this

    Comment number 290.

    Should hold off re-naming a few years longer then can probably just use 'The Army'.

  • rate this

    Comment number 289.

    Whilst still trying to work out why people fo into the armed forces for a chance to be killed, at least the regulars get paid for it.

    Even though the TA etc, are "weekend" forces they are true volunteers but I find it even more baffling that they put themselves in jeopardy for less.

    I could think of a name thats factual for them but hey it's their life. As it it makes them happy enjoy :-(

  • rate this

    Comment number 288.

    . . . we have only maintained a large standing army since WW2 . . . previously we had reservists aka TA and Militias that moved into and out of regular service as required, with a relatively small standing army. Having spent many years on heavy armour in north germany, I can see no point in keeping hundreds of men idle for 9 months of the year with 3 months training - reservists can do that

  • rate this

    Comment number 287.

    The current TA - in particular those who are 'specialists' practising their civilian trade in uniform - already have the same kit and do the same training and the same job as full-time soldiers; and are increasingly liable to be asked to undertake overseas full-time service.

    At least we won't have to change the name of the Volunteer Reserves Service Medal!

  • rate this

    Comment number 286.

    Don't agree with the name change gives the impression they are not on a par with the regular army.

    Tories are simply retaining and increasing a part time military force on far less pay and conditionsing for use in any future conflict.

    Getting "regular army kit" made me laugh, regulars have been buying kit and boots privately for decades because the British versions are absolute cr@p.

  • rate this

    Comment number 285.

    I rember at the Falklands war some of the TA members refused to go and escaped punishment. A condition of service should be that if called they must go or forfeit a least a year's wages.


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