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 464.

    Conservatives accused Labour of wasting taxpayers monies while in office so what is this proposal if not a waste of Taxpayers Monies? How say you Cameron.

  • rate this

    Comment number 463.

    Greg@452, I got back from tellic 4 and got sacked within weeks, and the support from Sabre, non existent.Reserve service only makes sense if you work part time or agency work. That will be why my old unit now recruit the unemployed who can't get work in Cameron's empire. Basic to first deployment in 18mnths part time training, cannon fodder I'm afraid.

  • rate this

    Comment number 462.

    Why would anyone want to join what is nothing more than an Elite mercenary force? Long gone are the days when State troops are working for their country.

  • rate this

    Comment number 461.

    The last incompetent 'government' left the defence budget many billions overspent.
    Something has to be done to sort the mess left by the previous incompetent mismanagement of our money.
    If, the 'rebranding' costs money, it will minuscule to the huge debt left by La La Labours liars

  • rate this

    Comment number 460.

    Two people train for the same job. One trains full time, the other trains for 27 days a year. Which one would you choose?

  • rate this

    Comment number 459.

    A bit of an ambivalent thought...I'm all for public sector jobs, but what service does the MOD provide other than war and big profits for companies producing weapons (and jobs for the otherwise unemployable, illiterate and people who tend towards violence that would otherwise be on benefits or, at best, work in fast-food or DIY) ?

    Perhaps a semi-professional army is best from both perspectives

  • rate this

    Comment number 458.

    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".

    What? Sack experienced soldiers, force them to sign on and then have the temerity to ask them to join the territorials on a pittance? That is the most appalling insult to our armed forces and a betrayal of our soldiers and our tax money.

  • rate this

    Comment number 457.

    I'm a former University OTC and Territorial Army soldier, and my experience of both was depressing. They both attract a bunch of half-mad right wing psychopaths and bullies who appear to have half a brain missing. Needless to say, I didn't stay around for long. These part-time wanna-be warriors are more of a threat than a safeguard.

  • rate this

    Comment number 456.

    Can anybody please tell me where these politician cranks come from? They always want to fix things that aren't broken, and waste our taxes along with it! Utter idiots! STOP WASTING MY TAXES IDIOTS!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 455.

    Could someone explain the difference between "The Territorial Army" and "The Army Reserve"?
    Know it means a change of name.
    But what else is different?
    Will it be the same men.The same objective.The same uniform.The same Generals.
    Will the re-brand save us money? Or cost us money?
    Will it make Politicians appear smart?Or appear silly?

  • rate this

    Comment number 454.

    The sooner the UK government realizes that we are no longer a world power the better, at least Salmond is planning a small defense force if Independence is gained, for national defense and fisheries protection only.Cameron and Co will ruin this country with everything on the cheap I doubt whoever gets in next can fix it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 453.

    Perhaps if they spent less time on pointlessly making vacuous suggestions apropos nothing to nobody in particular, the job they are there to do might get done. Spreading confusion to keep the "enemy within" busy with the endless drivel of suggestions has ceased to work a long time ago. Perhaps the rebrand could be done at personal cost to the Minister. If it works out we could buy it off him.

  • rate this

    Comment number 452.

    @mm 440, spot on.. I was an RAF Reservist, came back from a tour of Afghan to be faced with redundancy.. Put your life on the line for Queen and country and that's the thanks I got.. Still now working for a far better firm so it worked out ok for me in the end!

  • rate this

    Comment number 451.

    I wouldn't do it. Now then now then.

  • rate this

    Comment number 450.

    @ 418. Alan B

    They didn't really have an alternative other than "an army on the cheap"

    The confirmed budget black whole in defence spending was 38 billion after the last government. Thats the cost of over 300 eurofighters. So basically the same cost of outfitting the RAF from scratch with an entire force of multirole fighters

  • rate this

    Comment number 449.

    Are we being conditioned for war?

  • rate this

    Comment number 448.

    Part of the risk register on the NHS the govt refused to publish was apparently about medical treatment for seriously wounded ex service personnel who would need extensive often life long treatment at different locations and who was going to guarantee that treatment when hospital trusts are being run by for profit guess who will suffer wont be ex MPs on the boards of said for profit bussiness.

  • rate this

    Comment number 447.

    mm@440, you are spot on, TA are now expected to deploy twice every 5yrs, and even public sector employers are dropping a quiet word in employees ears about promotion prospects if you are away so much. It's became that reserve service is frowned upon, and you can't blame them. Staff at work 2/3 of the time is not on.

  • rate this

    Comment number 446.

    And we all know why they want to call it the "Army Reserve" don`t we, so that nobody is in any doubt that they are the army with army responsibilities and will be called up to fight alongside the regulars. It`s disingenuous re-branding. Cutting regulars by 40,000 and doubling territorials to 30,000 tells us all we need to know, killing on the cheap.

  • rate this

    Comment number 445.

    As part of the European Defence Force we will be commited in Mali next. Best Hammond sort that strategy out before he cuts the forces too far.
    (I wonder how many civil servants or even MPs are in the TA?)


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