Tuesday, 1 April 2008

A century of reserve forces

Today is the 100th anniversary of the Territorial Army, an often forgotten resource of the British armed forces. I never joined the TA but an ex-colleague of mine did and she was posted to Iraq on the first phase of the war. Over 15000 reserves have served in Iraq or Afghanistan since 2003, and a further 1500 will be deployed on operations this year making up 8% of the total number of troops deployed.

Sadly recruitment is falling and the number of TA personnel is at its lowest level since its formation. The role of the TA has changed and often troops can be deployed several times a year. This naturally has a huge impact on employees who are not always as supportive as they could or should be because of the managerial nightmare that regular and sometimes lengthy absences can bring. However those who look more positively at these matters know that reservists can bring a very different set of skills to their job and organisations like SaBRE try to promote the value of employees in the TA.

I hope that after a 100 years the TA remains a strong reserve force and continues to provide value to the regular army, employers and society as a whole.

1 comment:

Geoff said...

I'm a strong supporter of the TA and an ex-small business owner who employed two members of the TA I applaud their service. Tracey, do you think that with employers who resent TA service that there is something more our incoming Conservative Government can do to address that issue?

There are companies which will unofficially not employ women of a childbearing age. That is unlawful but it happens all the time. The same happens with the TA.

Could we consider business tax breaks or something which means that TA members actually don't have to think twice about putting it on their CV for fear of instant rejection?