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  • Originally posted by trellheim View Post
    Kill the reserve as it is - something else is needed . At the level it is at, can anyone come up with a viable plan to return to establishment numbers within 3 years or less thats not cuckoo crazy ?

    Further, at the moment it is helping the Department, because we are helping the PDF and so, if we were not there, political pressure on the department would be far more. Look at what PDF have said even here about them having large issues if we were not helping.


    Yes I know its radical
    I think there is a whole lot of merit in what you are proposing but I'm going to play Devil's Advocate here.

    I'd worry that there would be a large drain of expertise and knowledge from the committed few who remain in the current rump organisation if we killed the reserve as is.

    If the reset button was hit, would you rejoin in the morning if that meant relinquishing your commission and at least initially going back down to Private? Killing and restarting should be total.

    Comment


    • I think there is a whole lot of merit in what you are proposing but I'm going to play Devil's Advocate here.

      I'd worry that there would be a large drain of expertise and knowledge from the committed few who remain in the current rump organisation if we killed the reserve as is.

      If the reset button was hit, would you rejoin in the morning if that meant relinquishing your commission and at least initially going back down to Private? Killing and restarting should be total.

      Great question. Dodge it by saying I'd be over-age to join. What expertise is worth holding on to though that can't be recruited off the street ? Medical, IT and the like - what is required - easily found out there.
      "Are they trying to shoot down the other drone? "

      "No, they're trying to fly the tank"

      Comment


      • Originally posted by trellheim View Post
        Great question. Dodge it by saying I'd be over-age to join. What expertise is worth holding on to though that can't be recruited off the street ? Medical, IT and the like - what is required - easily found out there.
        The DF isn’t just short of very specialists (eg Cyber etc), they are also short of Corps specialists (eg coach drivers, MOWAG drivers). But they are also short of generalists (ie bodies) and that is even if up to establishment. The DF & DoD now realise that. They just have to treat them correctly.

        I noticed in reply to one of the Ministerial questions this week about what the max that could be processed was and no real reply but priority to PDF.... still siloed mentality.... 2/3 RDF into Competitions Section and same at Bde Manpower offices and problem solved

        Comment


        • From my viewpoint, the PDF has no shortage of "grunts" to use the colloquialism. The need for a reserve, in modern society is rarely to put more boots on the ground, but more so to put more white coats in labs, more overalls in workshops and machines that go "ping" in the hands of those who know what the "ping" means. A re-imagined first line reserve could provide the necessary extra boots on the ground, and have done the same training and have the same military experience as their full time equivalent. I know a number of veterans (recently departed from PDF) who would jump at the chance to assist the DF in times of crisis, but there is no mechanism to welcome them back, without them losing all their skills gained in military service. The recently departed from service exer is still more than able to do all of the duties currently carried out my the present day reservist, and a lot more than most.
          In this regard, press reset, and rebuild, from the top down a specialised 2nd line reserve. Recruit people with specialised civilian skills that will quickly translate to the military world, whether in wartime or peacetime. First get past the reluctance of some corps directors to recognise skills not attained within the Defence Forces. If you operate a teleporter or mobile crane on a building site with the appropriate tickets you shouldn't need to do the full 154 to let you drive one painted green with black and silver numberplates. Fill the Transport, CIS & Engineer units with a reserve of civvy truck & bus drivers, telecomms technicians and heavy plant operators . You'll find their real world skills are probably more up to date than many of those working in the organisation. These are the people the country has needed more of in recent years during times of emergency. Give them all the basik military skills and let them do what they do for a living, only while wearing an FF badge on their forehead.
          German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
          German 2: Private? I am a general!
          German 1: That is the bad news.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by trellheim View Post
            Great question. Dodge it by saying I'd be over-age to join. What expertise is worth holding on to though that can't be recruited off the street ? Medical, IT and the like - what is required - easily found out there.
            Haha, even better answer. I'd be overage to rejoin myself.

            Personally I think some form of reset would be useful but maybe not a total one as who would resource restarting the organisation? The PDF clearly doesn't have to resource to do it.

            May be best keep what you need in their current ranks (but not roles) and possibly use the opportunity for a bit of cull.

            Regardless, I don't think we will see anything that drastic from the final report.

            Originally posted by DeV View Post
            The DF isn’t just short of very specialists (eg Cyber etc), they are also short of Corps specialists (eg coach drivers, MOWAG drivers). But they are also short of generalists (ie bodies) and that is even if up to establishment. The DF & DoD now realise that. They just have to treat them correctly.

            I noticed in reply to one of the Ministerial questions this week about what the max that could be processed was and no real reply but priority to PDF.... still siloed mentality.... 2/3 RDF into Competitions Section and same at Bde Manpower offices and problem solved
            Agree on this point too.

            Should the RDF become more of a pool of specialists and manpower similar to the way Royal Navy Reserve and RAF Reserve operate? They do have their own formed units but that's more to facilitate basic level training and administration. Their units aren't deployable but the individual personnel are.

            Here is an idea.

            - You want to take up a reserve cyber role or as a driver say.
            - Join up and complete your recruit training with your local unit. Local unit also ensures you keep up to date on KPIs (range, fitness testing, etc).
            - Local unit assists with admin so you can attend courses and training relevant to role.
            - Cyber exercises or a driving course completed at national or regional level as required.

            Take for example the reserve infantry company based in Limerick.

            Repurpose this as a more generalist AR unit. Limerick AR company (similar to how the NSR do it).
            Joiners aren't limited to the infantry specialisation but can also provide 'bodies' and support for the co-located PDF unit as required.

            (I also accept not all RDF units are co-located with PDF units)
            Last edited by Auldsod; 5 February 2021, 11:29.

            Comment


            • We are in an extremely unstable (climate events, geopolitical (Trump, Russia, Brexit, United Ireland etc etc), terrorism, Panasonic) world

              The reality is that if the CoDF see a need to go back to a PDF establishment of 11,500+ with a 3 Bde structure, enlarged NS & AC that is more than likely the best case. That will require massive increased spending on the DF which is extremely unlikely to be forthcoming and without major improvements in pay, terms and conditions within the next 1-2 years will be impossible.

              The smaller the DF becomes the more they will need grunts. Among the most cost effective means is a capable RDF (as we know it).

              That Cyber specialist could very well find them self on the border with a rifle.

              My 2 cents is along the lines of the current makeup with major improvements with terms and conditions and how business is done.
              Last edited by DeV; 5 February 2021, 12:58.

              Comment


              • From my viewpoint, the PDF has no shortage of "grunts" to use the colloquialism. The need for a reserve, in modern society is rarely to put more boots on the ground, but more so to put more white coats in labs, more overalls in workshops and machines that go "ping" in the hands of those who know what the "ping" means.
                Then you would be wrong. On both counts. There is always a shortage of us Grunts.A Battalion NEVER has it's full strength available to the C.O let alone it's establishment. You take out Pers Overseas,On Courses,TRR's,Detached as Instructor Staff,on Portlaoise duty,other ATCP Tasks,on leave and out sick, and finally Regimental's and the numbers available for anything else unforseen like ATCA dwindle.We are often able to scrape together enough Bods to throw at a task but if it goes on and on sustainment becomes a problem.
                Being able to use the Reserve to plug gaps to free up Bods to carry out taskings is what the Reserve is all about. My unit has done that very well last ,and so far this,year. Reservists doing Duties and TRR's to free up Bods for ATCA and also to give them a chance to rest off. We loose that capability at our peril.

                Take for example the reserve infantry company based in Limerick.

                Repurpose this as a more generalist AR unit. Limerick AR company (similar to how the NSR do it).
                Joiners aren't limited to the infantry specialisation but can also provide 'bodies' and support for the co-located PDF unit as required.

                (I also accept not all RDF units are co-located with PDF units)
                You do realise that that INFANTRY Company has been the busiest AR sub-Unit in the Country?? With the most amount of Mandays used.Just doing Duties and TRR's and a bit of Contact tracing? So they are doing just fine providing Bodies without having to be specialists. I often find that the more specialised someone is the more special they think they are and the less likely they are to want to do the donkey work.
                "Let us be clear about three facts. First, all battles and all wars are won in the end by the infantryman. Secondly, the infantryman always bears the brunt. His casualties are heavier, he suffers greater extremes of discomfort and fatigue than the other arms. Thirdly, the art of the infantryman is less stereotyped and far harder to acquire in modern war than that of any other arm." ------- Field Marshall Wavell, April 1945.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by apod View Post
                  Then you would be wrong. On both counts. There is always a shortage of us Grunts.A Battalion NEVER has it's full strength available to the C.O let alone it's establishment. You take out Pers Overseas,On Courses,TRR's,Detached as Instructor Staff,on Portlaoise duty,other ATCP Tasks,on leave and out sick, and finally Regimental's and the numbers available for anything else unforseen like ATCA dwindle.We are often able to scrape together enough Bods to throw at a task but if it goes on and on sustainment becomes a problem.
                  Being able to use the Reserve to plug gaps to free up Bods to carry out taskings is what the Reserve is all about. My unit has done that very well last ,and so far this,year. Reservists doing Duties and TRR's to free up Bods for ATCA and also to give them a chance to rest off. We loose that capability at our peril.



                  You do realise that that INFANTRY Company has been the busiest AR sub-Unit in the Country?? With the most amount of Mandays used.Just doing Duties and TRR's and a bit of Contact tracing? So they are doing just fine providing Bodies without having to be specialists. I often find that the more specialised someone is the more special they think they are and the less likely they are to want to do the donkey work.
                  2 other aspects:
                  PDF leave - either taking up taskings to allow PDF personnel to take leave or leave having to be refused/cancelled/restricted in order to allow taskings to be

                  Depending on the tasking having additional (RDF) bodies that you could throw at a tasking (eg sandbags for floods, clearing snow etc) in addition to those normally available (PDF) could result in the taskings being fulfilled quicker to everyone’s benefit.



                  One really really easy way to improve RDF utilisation would be to allow Unit Comdr to approve up to 14 days instead of over 7 days having to go to G7

                  Comment


                  • One really really easy way to improve RDF utilisation would be to allow Unit Comdr to approve up to 14 days instead of over 7 days having to go to G7
                    nope - not a hassle in the slightest in all the callsigns I've served in. Used to be a point issue in certain units.

                    As APOD points out the line infantry subs in certain barracks are really punching weight on helping the PDF with immediate manpower short term ; but see my comment above, what the DOD are getting on the cheap ( RDF cost fk-all to DOD) means essential tasks get done, hence DOD can avoid having to fix the deep-seated problems in the PDF with any urgency.
                    Last edited by trellheim; 6 February 2021, 14:43.
                    "Are they trying to shoot down the other drone? "

                    "No, they're trying to fly the tank"

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by apod View Post
                      You do realise that that INFANTRY Company has been the busiest AR sub-Unit in the Country?? With the most amount of Mandays used.Just doing Duties and TRR's and a bit of Contact tracing? So they are doing just fine providing Bodies without having to be specialists. I often find that the more specialised someone is the more special they think they are and the less likely they are to want to do the donkey work.
                      I think you may misunderstand where I'm getting at here. I'm not saying that a reserve unit is more useful in a location because they are specialists. I'm also not doing down the infantry either. Being a specialist would have made no difference in helping with contract tracing or duties, neither would greater knowledge of infantry tactics.

                      What I mean is - someone in Galway has a very useful skill in the cyber sphere. They try to join the reserve and are told that it's a signals unit in Brugha or Collins or nothing. I'm saying to keep the reserve units generic so those with useful skills such as HGV licenses (I know the 154 is an issue), medical training, etc could parade with a local unit to maintain their basic military knowledge rather than irregularly travelling half way across the country midweek or more likely not joining up at all.

                      Keep corps training and exercises to weekends or FTT and leave the weekly parades for admin and basic military skills. The average reservist should ideally be completing more man days per year anyway (I'm aware there are many who put in exceptional numbers of days each year). Also, great opportunity for cross training between corps specialisms midweek.

                      Most young people would probably want to join up as infantry anyway and you could always maintain only a certain number of vacancies for each corps so it isn't a la carte.

                      If those who think the are 'special' don't want to do the donkey work - that's a different issue entirely and not related to how units should organise themselves.
                      Last edited by Auldsod; 6 February 2021, 14:57.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by trellheim View Post
                        nope - not a hassle in the slightest in all the callsigns I've served in. Used to be a point issue in certain units.

                        As APOD points out the line infantry subs in certain barracks are really punching weight on helping the PDF with immediate manpower short term ; but see my comment above, what the DOD are getting on the cheap ( RDF cost fk-all to DOD) means essential tasks get done, hence DOD can avoid having to fix the deep-seated problems in the PDF with any urgency.
                        It’s an unnecessary hurdle. In some units that means, personnel only being allowed 7 days because it means extra paperwork but that has improved

                        Originally posted by Auldsod View Post
                        I think you may misunderstand where I'm getting at here. I'm not saying that a reserve unit is more useful in a location because they are specialists. I'm also not doing down the infantry either. Being a specialist would have made no difference in helping with contract tracing or duties, neither would greater knowledge of infantry tactics.

                        What I mean is - someone in Galway has a very useful skill in the cyber sphere. They try to join the reserve and are told that it's a signals unit in Brugha or Collins or nothing. I'm saying to keep the reserve units generic so those with useful skills such as HGV licenses (I know the 154 is an issue), medical training, etc could parade with a local unit to maintain their basic military knowledge rather than irregularly travelling half way across the country midweek or more likely not joining up at all.

                        Keep corps training and exercises to weekends or FTT and leave the weekly parades for admin and basic military skills. The average reservist should ideally be completing more man days per year anyway (I'm aware there are many who put in exceptional numbers of days each year). Also, great opportunity for cross training between corps specialisms midweek.

                        Most young people would probably want to join up as infantry anyway and you could always maintain only a certain number of vacancies for each corps so it isn't a la carte.

                        If those who think the are 'special' don't want to do the donkey work - that's a different issue entirely and not related to how units should organise themselves.
                        That would essentially lead to you join an RDF unit that is a separate Corps to the rest of the army, locally you have a body of RDF that are then detached to corps. That would be an even bigger loss of critical mass which would make every aspect of service even harder.

                        The only way to make that viable would be to retain the AR infantry coys (more or less as is) and pull all Corps units back into a national unit.

                        That doesn’t fix recruitment which is the major issue.

                        IMHO centralised recruitment and training to gain critical mass is the way. The decentralised recruitment means that the priority given is too varied.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by apod View Post
                          Then you would be wrong. On both counts. There is always a shortage of us Grunts.A Battalion NEVER has it's full strength available to the C.O let alone it's establishment. You take out Pers Overseas,On Courses,TRR's,Detached as Instructor Staff,on Portlaoise duty,other ATCP Tasks,on leave and out sick, and finally Regimental's and the numbers available for anything else unforseen like ATCA dwindle.We are often able to scrape together enough Bods to throw at a task but if it goes on and on sustainment becomes a problem.
                          Being able to use the Reserve to plug gaps to free up Bods to carry out taskings is what the Reserve is all about. My unit has done that very well last ,and so far this,year. Reservists doing Duties and TRR's to free up Bods for ATCA and also to give them a chance to rest off. We loose that capability at our peril.



                          You do realise that that INFANTRY Company has been the busiest AR sub-Unit in the Country?? With the most amount of Mandays used.Just doing Duties and TRR's and a bit of Contact tracing? So they are doing just fine providing Bodies without having to be specialists. I often find that the more specialised someone is the more special they think they are and the less likely they are to want to do the donkey work.
                          Point taken, no question of it. My plan would be to replace the current reserve and all the recruiting and training issues, with a renewed first line reserve. Do your time, join civvy Street but commit to a term of say 5 years after where you return to do duties etc, for appropriate reward.
                          Do you think when you reach the end of term, you would be willing to give an extra 5 in reserve? I'm thinking in particular of those who leave in their late 30s. Steady hands, plenty of experience. Mate of mine gone in last few years left as a battery sergeant. All his experience went with him. Still a young and fit man.
                          German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
                          German 2: Private? I am a general!
                          German 1: That is the bad news.

                          Comment


                          • @apod

                            Do post 1994s, have a reserve commitment?

                            Comment


                            • Oh yeah. Your first term of service is NOT actually 5 years as some people think. It's 12.

                              5 years full time and 7 reserve. Some lad who left and went to try to join up in other Militaries before their 7 years reserve ran into difficulties.
                              "Let us be clear about three facts. First, all battles and all wars are won in the end by the infantryman. Secondly, the infantryman always bears the brunt. His casualties are heavier, he suffers greater extremes of discomfort and fatigue than the other arms. Thirdly, the art of the infantryman is less stereotyped and far harder to acquire in modern war than that of any other arm." ------- Field Marshall Wavell, April 1945.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by apod View Post
                                Oh yeah. Your first term of service is NOT actually 5 years as some people think. It's 12.

                                5 years full time and 7 reserve. Some lad who left and went to try to join up in other Militaries before their 7 years reserve ran into difficulties.
                                Every day's a school day. Did not know that (about the 7 year Reserve commitment)
                                Is that First or Second Line reserve commitment?
                                Guessing First Line...
                                "Well, stone me! We've had cocaine, bribery and Arsenal scoring two goals at home. But just when you thought there were truly no surprises left in football, Vinnie Jones turns out to be an international player!" (Jimmy Greaves)!"

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