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 544.

    Whatever happened to the so called 'sacred covenant'

    I remember 'call me Dave' giving lots of nice speeches on this. What happened, is all that so called covenant stuff just forgotten now the headlines have been spun.

    How are we supposed to trust any of our politicians when our PM is apparently so cavalier with his 'sacred covenant' to our Armed Forces

  • rate this

    Comment number 543.

    520. Graeme
    Get rid of these private contractors.

    I agree but mercenaries also have another advantage for MPs, they don't have to stand up in parliament and say how 'sorry' they are that yet another soldier has been killed. They conveniently (if you believe them) hold no records on private contractors who are killed so of course they are unable to comment on the numbers. Handy that, isn't it?

  • rate this

    Comment number 542.

    I was quite happy with the title TA. As a RGN I was part of the RAMC and our unit was a front line Field Ambulance facility, destined for front line service. The Army Reserve was what I joined after I left. Our kit was pretty standard and our fitness and training were on a par. The nick-name I liked was the SAS as we were 'Saturday and Sunday' soldiers!

  • rate this

    Comment number 541.

    19 Minutes ago
    Can we have some reporting on the military march on London this week please?

    Won't happen. The Bolshevik Broadcasting Service is against anything that doesn't fit their agenda. If it's controversial it doesn't get on here.They hadn't reckoned on ex-squaddies speaking out as we're all thick . Some of us however are well educated and eloquent and I was an NCO!

  • rate this

    Comment number 540.

    Well it appears from comments the TA are the main force as they get all the right stuff to play with. When as a country are we gonna get wise and stay out of everybody elses problems and just look on...... let the US be marshalls they love it...cant afford it but love it....

  • rate this

    Comment number 539.


    Maybe it's just me, but I still do not see the point in having a war.!
    Having a war is what happens when the political twits stuff up worse than usual.

  • rate this

    Comment number 538.

    'Travel to and from their units is also subsidised...'

    As a TA soldier, it's no wonder my son has been denied two weeks holiday pay at the end of his tour of Afghanistan. He also has to fund the cost of his travel back from the West Country to Edinburgh for the Medal Parade and 'Freedom of Edinburgh' march. On top of this, he's expected to pay £15/guest attending that parade. I'm disgusted.

  • rate this

    Comment number 537.

    Can we have some reporting on the military march on London this week please? You know, as you're SO unbiased and SO focused on important issues here in the UK. There are suggestions that hundreds of serving and retired servicemen and women are expected to march, it's a historical event we haven't seen for 300 years. Your silence on this is deafening, much like your silence on other protests.

  • rate this

    Comment number 536.

    Sussed it! You cut the regular infantry btns back to nothing (Afghans an infantry war) therefore reducing the amount of people you have to pay 365 days a year whether they're being shot at or not. Instead you mobilise a reservist Btn to go,who get shot at for 6 months (lot cheaper however more will die due to lack of training/experience) then go back to civvy street till next year

  • rate this

    Comment number 535.

    The TA has been and should be a reservefor emergencies.The army's been short since options for change in the early 90's, .Now there's more chance of getting shot under a new rebranded name."Ammo?Sorry we've run out due to the rebranding costs.I know it's a firefight but needs must eh. You've got a bayonet. Oh sorry I forgot it snapped last firefight when you ran out of ammo and stuck a Talib"

  • rate this

    Comment number 534.

    Considering 5 RM Commandos are facing a court martial for killing an insurgent (highly qualified professionals who've completed an arduous course not many pass) does expanding the size of the newly named TA cause Mr Hammond to think he'll get nice fluffy people who wouldn't hurt a fly? As an infantryman it was my job to engage the enemy and kill him or will that change with the name?

  • rate this

    Comment number 533.

    This will cost them less, and it allows them to use a military force to quell protest on British soil too. Two birds with one stone. Interestingly, the BBC is silent on the hundreds of serving and retired military marching on parliament this coming Thursday, the first time that's happened in 300 years. Have they been gagged by the BBC's government lackeys?

  • rate this

    Comment number 532.

    2weeks after the shuffle it's good to see mr hammond is now a defense expert, Hmm how much experience does he have for this role? answer's on a back of a stamp please!

  • rate this

    Comment number 531.

    Very little of your "tax dollah" is actually spent funding the TA. So please stop acting so precious over your contribution when it would likely be wasted elsewhere anyway.

  • rate this

    Comment number 530.

    They do like to look busy and give ,money to their consultant freinds, don't they?

  • rate this

    Comment number 529.

    Why can't the Tories do something useful rather than this unneeded & wasteful excercise? Have they still not learnt the lessons that cuts, cuts & more cuts in defence costs many lives & encourage aggression against us? If we had not so periously cut the regulars, we would not need to rely so heavily on the T.A.. The comments about the risk of inadequatly trained TA soldiers are telling.

  • Comment number 528.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 527.

    This looks pointless and confusing.. The term Regular Reserve is currently used for members of the Regular Army who have left the service, and still liable to be recalled in times of need. The TA isn't the same thing. The Territorial name is a key link to the communities which have raised TA soldiers. This new TA looks like more like "zero contracted hours" scheme.

  • rate this

    Comment number 526.

    "Avaggdu" - calling people "unemployable", "illiterate", etc implies that you've clearly not met many service men or women (reserve or full time).
    Those that I meet as a civilian are intelligent, well mannered and a pleasure to work with! I suggest you think about those you criticise before making sarcastic remarks. I just wish I had passed the medical to join such a great bunch of people.

  • rate this

    Comment number 525.

    The reliance on reservist soldiers is worrying. I can't imagine any way a 'weekend warrior' could be adequately trained before being sent to war unless they spent many years in training before being sent (which is not the case), we should be paying for full time professional soliders! It would be nice to see recruits advised more about the risks of fighting in wars with such little training.


Page 1 of 28


More Politics stories



  • Mukesh SinghNo remorse

    Delhi bus rapist says victim shouldn't have fought back

  • Aimen DeanI spied

    The founder member of al-Qaeda who worked for MI6

  • Before and after shotsPerfect body

    Just how reliable are 'before and after' photos?

  • Woman with closed eyeStrange light show

    What do you see when you close your eyes?

  • Sony WalkmanLost ideas

    What has happened to Japan's inventors?

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. 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.