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  1. #7026
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    Commandant Lar Joy (AR) delivering the lecture "Stepping together – a history of the reserve defence forces 1929-2019" at 2000hrs on Friday 6th of December in Griffith College.
    A look back might help us find a way forward...

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  3. #7027
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  5. #7028
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    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/irel...eral-1.4185805

    Army reservists struggle to conduct exercises with their counterparts in the permanent Defence Forces due to a lack of physical training, according to a senior army officer.
    Brig Gen Dave Dignam, who commands the Defence Forces Training Centre in the Curragh, said the problem surfaced during a recent 24-hour exercise involving reserve and permanent troops.
    “The sheer physicality of what they were trying to do overwhelmed many of them because it’s very difficult to train reservists on two or four hours a week to actually manage and operate in that sort of environment,” he said.
    “Notwithstanding their efforts and their commitment and the determination and so on, they struggled. They struggled when we put body armour on them, when we put battle vests on them when we gave them weapons.”
    Brig Gen Dignam said the troops were “game as you like”, but that 18 hours into the exercise it was apparent they could not keep up.

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  7. #7029
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    That's a pretty damning comment on the state of the reserve. When there was no such thing as fitness tests I could understand, but the gulf shouldn't be noticeably wide any more.
    German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
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  8. #7030
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    It think this is disgraceful. What about the PDF who cant pass a fitness test? We are about to start recruitment and it only bad news and from Generals it's not good enough. This should be challenged and he should be forced to correct the record. Today the RDF figures would not be the same. Again a disgraceful statement which will only do more damage, maybe that was the intent. Who knows.

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  10. #7031
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    Now I'm gone from the reserve since 2011 but could it be the case that the reason the troops struggled with body armour etc is that the reserve are not given the same access to them as the PDF?
    Could the failure in training then fall back on his lap, him being the one responsible for it?
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  11. #7032
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    Unfortunately, the Generals' comments seem to be fair and balanced. He was a pains to highlight the reservists commitment and efforts to complete tasks and dedication to their roles. And positively commended those carrying out comms and sigs duties.

    The reality is the Reserve doesn't get access to enough physical training to adequately prepare for tactical exercises that are prolonged within the current training structures.....which haven't changed in decades despite integration, re-organisation and comparible clothing and equipment. It's still an evening or day a week for the most part.

    There's also a massive difference in the type of fitness needed to pass IT's in shorts and t-shirt and what's needed for continuous endurance events constantly carrying weight. Even the fittest person has to train up to exercising with weight carried, whatever their discipline.

    And don't forget PDF units will regularly have combat PT sessions building up weights carried long before major exercises, ops are due to make sure troops are fit for them. And even then some troops struggle. How do you factor that level of PT training into the current Reserve training timetables without reducing all other training requirements?
    Fate whispers to the warrior, "There is a storm coming"

    And the warrior whispers back "I am the storm".

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  13. #7033
    Moderator DeV's Avatar
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    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/irel...sEnabled=false

    The Brig Gen is not one to mince his words and tell it like it is

    He is right to do so

    If it puts off people who aren’t suitable good
    Last edited by DeV; 27th February 2020 at 12:29.

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  15. #7034
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    Paywalled.
    German 1: Private Schnutz, I have bad news for you.
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    German 1: That is the bad news.

  16. #7035
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeV View Post
    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/irel...sEnabled=false

    The Brig Gen is not one to mince his words and tell it like it is

    He is right to do so

    If it puts off people who aren’t suitable good
    Problem is for the people who are good enough the Reserve is not fit for purpose as it stands.

    Compared to any other first world reserve component it still bears comparisons to Dads Army
    Fate whispers to the warrior, "There is a storm coming"

    And the warrior whispers back "I am the storm".

  17. #7036
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    https://www.facebook.com/64482377562...7255250380556/
    Well done, great reply. Were RDFRA reps at the nssi.

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  19. #7037
    Commander in Chief apod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by batterysgt View Post
    It think this is disgraceful. What about the PDF who cant pass a fitness test? We are about to start recruitment and it only bad news and from Generals it's not good enough. This should be challenged and he should be forced to correct the record. Today the RDF figures would not be the same. Again a disgraceful statement which will only do more damage, maybe that was the intent. Who knows.
    Dry your eyes.He is 100% Correct. As for PDF not passing fitness tests. Typical response. Instead of dealing with the problems in your own house divert attention from the problem by pointing the finger at others. PDF pers who cant pass fitness tests usually don't get put on arduous exercises whereas RDF pers will volunteer to go on exercises even though it's plain as day they shouldn't be there.


    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    Now I'm gone from the reserve since 2011 but could it be the case that the reason the troops struggled with body armour etc is that the reserve are not given the same access to them as the PDF?
    Could the failure in training then fall back on his lap, him being the one responsible for it?
    Every RDF Company in my Unit has access to GSBA both for ranges and exercises. The problem is getting them to wear it! Old school FCA officers and NCO's will go to great lengths to avoid it. TM623 2015 really shook them up as did the requirement for the primadonnas to have to wear it for shooting competitions. AS for fitness testing RDFRA don't make me laugh. Every year the return for the Annual training inspection requires us to list out who hasn't met their Fitness test KPI. For the PDF Coys we list the people who have not completed the Test or failed it and the reasons why. For the RDF Coys it's easier to list those who HAVE attempted or Passed the Test than those who have'nt. It's a lot shorter! The amount of time that has been spent on finding loopholes to say the RDF only have to pass the IT's if they are going on career courses is ridiculous. Most RDF at my callsign do NO annual test. FACT.
    Last edited by apod; 27th February 2020 at 19:50.
    Infantry Corps - An Lámh Comhrac


    "Let us be clear about three facts:First of all.All battles and all wars are won in the end by the Infantryman.Secondly the Infantryman bears the brunt of the fighting,his casualties are heavier and he suffers greater extremes of fatigue and discomfort than the other arms.Thirdly,the art of the Infantryman is less stereotyped and harder to acquire than that of any other arm".
    -- Field Marshall Earl Wavell.1948

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  21. #7038
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    I believe you needed to be there to understand the context in which the statement was made. My understanding is that he believes that there is limited time available to reservists to prepare and obtain the fitness levels required for SIA/PIA, so the focus on the reserve should not be on infantry tactics but focus on the value add to the reserve / PDF from industry and enterprise specialists. I dont disagree with that.

    Passing fitness tests is one thing but even with Grade 1 in All 3 tests doesnt not prepare you for the fitness level required to do a SIA/PIA or operate in the field for 72 hours IMHO.
    I went into an Italian restaurant and ordered dessert and they gave me tiramisu and a blindfolded horse and I said No, I said mask a pony (mascarpone)

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  23. #7039
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    There was an LOI circulated just after the RDF reorg tonthe effect that RDF pers were not allowed to use theirnparade night as a fitness training session.

    I think the fear at the time was that parade nights would become a training camp without adequate supervision from PTIs & PTSs

    Other than line units, I am not aware of anyone that gets time to train during their working day. Everyone else trains before work, at lunch time or after work.

  24. #7040
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    I believe that units can arrange PT lessons and will look into it, there might be an instruction on it. I'm pretty sure that rdfra issued a letter to members a few years years ago telling them they had to have it by end of march each. If I can find them I will post here. I think the availability of Putin's might be the issue if the pt lesson is to intense but it would not stop from arranging normal runs etc.

  25. #7041
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    Quote Originally Posted by batterysgt View Post
    but it would not stop from arranging normal runs etc.
    Minimum of PTS required now to bring a group for a run, unless it has changed again

  26. #7042
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    Its confusing isn't it. H & S.....

  27. #7043
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    Quote Originally Posted by apod View Post
    Dry your eyes.He is 100% Correct. As for PDF not passing fitness tests. Typical response. Instead of dealing with the problems in your own house divert attention from the problem by pointing the finger at others. PDF pers who cant pass fitness tests usually don't get put on arduous exercises whereas RDF pers will volunteer to go on exercises even though it's plain as day they shouldn't be there.




    Every RDF Company in my Unit has access to GSBA both for ranges and exercises. The problem is getting them to wear it! Old school FCA officers and NCO's will go to great lengths to avoid it. TM623 2015 really shook them up as did the requirement for the primadonnas to have to wear it for shooting competitions. AS for fitness testing RDFRA don't make me laugh. Every year the return for the Annual training inspection requires us to list out who hasn't met their Fitness test KPI. For the PDF Coys we list the people who have not completed the Test or failed it and the reasons why. For the RDF Coys it's easier to list those who HAVE attempted or Passed the Test than those who have'nt. It's a lot shorter! The amount of time that has been spent on finding loopholes to say the RDF only have to pass the IT's if they are going on career courses is ridiculous. Most RDF at my callsign do NO annual test. FACT.
    Absolutely agree and fitness is absolutely a personal responsibility.

    But the system is doesn’t really facilitate reservists (there must be a common standard but how that has to be achieved is a different matter).... you could be the fittest person in the world but if you can only do ITs at a weekend and you aren’t on the BPEO’s list...

    That is however ZERO excuse for people being unfit (just that they DF can’t say they have passed ITs).


    Quote Originally Posted by Liachta Cultaca View Post
    I believe you needed to be there to understand the context in which the statement was made. My understanding is that he believes that there is limited time available to reservists to prepare and obtain the fitness levels required for SIA/PIA, so the focus on the reserve should not be on infantry tactics but focus on the value add to the reserve / PDF from industry and enterprise specialists. I dont disagree with that.

    Passing fitness tests is one thing but even with Grade 1 in All 3 tests doesnt not prepare you for the fitness level required to do a SIA/PIA or operate in the field for 72 hours IMHO.
    Combat fitness is VERY different from ITs

    I don’t know but imho it is a (very justifiable) dig at people who aren’t maintaining a basic level of fitness (ie ITs), I would say the numbers are shocking but they won’t show the people who turned up to do ITs and couldn’t completed them because their unit had not clicked “fit for ITs” (I’ve been that soldier).

    Quote Originally Posted by Fantasia View Post
    There was an LOI circulated just after the RDF reorg tonthe effect that RDF pers were not allowed to use theirnparade night as a fitness training session.

    I think the fear at the time was that parade nights would become a training camp without adequate supervision from PTIs & PTSs

    Other than line units, I am not aware of anyone that gets time to train during their working day. Everyone else trains before work, at lunch time or after work.
    To be honest I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t used by some (possibly RDF) to prevent ITs coming in, that or to prevent RDF requesting PTIs/PTSs/PTLs.

    I was on a (non-physical) DF course where there was 90 min lunch breaks (ie allowed for personal training time) and a 1600/1630 hrs finish. That is not an excuse for a lack of individual reservists lacking basic physical fitness but reality.

    Reservists (like everyone) have busy lives.... we must to find the time to do it (that’s a dig at those who don’t find the time).

    Quote Originally Posted by Fantasia View Post
    Minimum of PTS required now to bring a group for a run, unless it has changed again
    PTL can do a basic (no intervals etc) run in PT gear of up to 60 mins.

    It would want to do it in boots - has to be a PTI
    Last edited by DeV; 28th February 2020 at 09:48.

  28. #7044
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    I don’t know but imho it is a (very justifiable) dig at people who aren’t maintaining a basic level of fitness (ie ITs), I would say the numbers are shocking but they won’t show the people who turned up to do ITs and couldn’t because their unit had not clicked “fit for ITs”.
    Or some idiot who thought it would be cool for RDF to spend their own money to get medical'd if they wanted to do IT's - for example if I want to do IT's I have to put my hand in my own pocket to pay for the privilege , if I ring bricins or the DFTC CMU I will be refused an appointment for a medical so dont bother slagging RDF off, its not an even playing field.
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  30. #7045
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    That's a pretty damning comment on the state of the reserve. When there was no such thing as fitness tests I could understand, but the gulf shouldn't be noticeably wide any more.
    Quote Originally Posted by trellheim View Post
    Or some idiot who thought it would be cool for RDF to spend their own money to get medical'd if they wanted to do IT's - for example if I want to do IT's I have to put my hand in my own pocket to pay for the privilege , if I ring bricins or the DFTC CMU I will be refused an appointment for a medical so dont bother slagging RDF off, its not an even playing field.
    In fairness, I’d rather pay the €120 to my GP (that I’m charged and only receive €45 back) and take an hour off work.... than have to take 3 half days (bloods, audiogram, medical) off work for a free DF medical.

    The admin on the other hand

  31. #7046
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    Dry your eyes.He is 100% Correct. As for PDF not passing fitness tests. Typical response. Instead of dealing with the problems in your own house divert attention from the problem by pointing the finger at others. PDF pers who cant pass fitness tests usually don't get put on arduous exercises whereas RDF pers will volunteer to go on exercises even though it's plain as day they shouldn't be there.
    There is of course a very serious side apart from the training implications in that someone will suffer a very serious injury or even death because of something that either went undiagnosed because of a proper medical or because a particular physical challenge couldn't be performed due a basic fitness and someone dies !

    Yes the individual is responsible for their own fitness levels either RDF or PDF and acceptable levels of what is required is freely available. In my own time annual medicals had vanished and fitness was something you prayed to your god you had enough to get you through the next exercise.. and if you made it you went home with a sense of relief that it would be another year before you were challenged again.

    There are now no excuse for person not having the required levels of fitness to partake, take a look at Ultimate Hell Week on the TV and see that people will push themselves with no requirement other than a bit of self worth.

    But ,and the big but, is the level of proper medical evaluation prior to attaining these fitness levels for the reservist.... turning up fit as flea able to do a run with a bit of weight is a well and good if the guys has been declared fit to so by someone who is aware of the stresses and fatigue that goes with it.

    There shouldn't be any loopholes to get out of it, shit got serious with the introduction of heavier loads for the basic infantry tactics and people need to take their health serious and realise the serious of the job , it can no longer be just a hobby
    Time for another break I think......

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  33. #7047
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    A DF medical involves bloods, eyesight, audiogram etc (plus I think ECG if over 40/50 ?)

    Other than that it a routine physical examination same as the GP will give the RDF.

    Now in fairness, the bloods and ECG could show up something but on the other hand of all the doctors in the country the one that should no you best is your own GP.

  34. #7048
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    Some are not using their own Gp. I know of a few units that fill a mini bus and go to the same GP and all get signed off. PDF don't know about it. Or do and that's worse as someone could get very badly injured.

  35. #7049
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    Last time I needed a cert from my GP, it took me a week to get an appointment. There is a chronic GP shortage in Ireland.
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  36. #7050
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmiti View Post
    Last time I needed a cert from my GP, it took me a week to get an appointment. There is a chronic GP shortage in Ireland.
    Its pre booked. And yes there is a shortage, it's getting ridiculous.

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