4 PARA reputation/relationship with regs?

Big_Shep

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A lot of the negative perceptions stem from one harsh but fundamental fact: Regulars do not have civilian jobs! They are in effect single role, always under 1 and 2-up scrutiny, receive 100% investment to the degree that even the family ‘comes a close second’- something most civilians have never quite got their head around. Some of them can’t relate what it means to earn a living outside of wearing kit.
Conversely, most Reserves have a civvie career that is their primary source of income. When they are not ‘working in Tesco’ they only train on weekly ‘drill nights’, fortnightly weekends, and an annual concentration leaving very little civilian-job allocated leave for Regular battalion OTXs, career courses and adventurous training, and of course not necessarily in that order!
In my experience though the relationship between our bosses and regular bosses was a bridge well gapped by fantastic regular training majors and top SNCO PSI’s. Every 4 PARA company usually generated a third of their strength for drill nights and training weekends at any one time during my time. So the regs could always plan for one full platoon per Sub-Unit who will be well-trained and current to form the deployable Coy Gp.

Shep
 

Nutter

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Makes a hell of lot of sense. How does it work with regards to who gets to work/deploy alongside the regulars on the regular exercises? Is it a case of first come first served? Good eggs? Regular attenders? Does phys play a part?
 
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Big_Shep

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Believe me for low-level ‘green skills’ the old hands and your PSI will ensure that the regular attendees are up to scratch for when they operate with 2 or 3 PARA. Those who fail to attend regularly tended to be filtered out of Regular battalion exercises until they were deemed ‘interoperable’. End of the day it comes down to not just pride but risk.
As for Phys. The standards were high. The Reserve P Coy timings were about 10% slower than the Regular times. At least this was the case in 2017 when I left. I genuinely believe unnecessarily so and you’d be surprised how impressive 4 PARA candidates preform. It’s important to remember that the amount of organised PT carried out in a particular month is probably about half that of a Regular company where fitness is conducted almost daily. I’m sure a regular would crack about 20 PTI led sessions a month. In my old Reservist company we did PT twice in a weekend, and every Tuesday so generally 10 sessions per month. There’s a great reliance on your own personal fitness with 4 PARA. It meant those that attend regularly are never too far behind the fitness of 2 or 3 PARA soldiers. What is impressive is that some NCOs are in their 40s and take great pride in being the fittest lads of all and really hammer it.
 

Aldo

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Thanks Shep!

Are 4 PARA able to attend regular courses?
 

RunnerChick

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Really interesting thread and glad I found it. It looks like on the outside that attitudes have improved thanks to Afghanistan and Iraq?
How much exposure to the regular battalions do you really have in 4 PARA?
 

Mishy

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I think that’s it. @Oyibo posted elsewhere that the general feel is don’t try to assume that you can achieve the same level of skill as a full time para.

Just do your best and everyone is a winner essentially! :cool:
 

Mac_t1lt

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I think that’s it. @Oyibo posted elsewhere that the general feel is don’t try to assume that you can achieve the same level of skill as a full time para.

Just do your best and everyone is a winner essentially! :cool:
I understand that res aren’t afforded/don’t have the time available to be as up-to-date as regs in terms of skills etc but aren’t reservists encouraged to bridge that gap when/if applicable? Would a regular prefer a reservist who is equally capable at the job or are they happy knowing they’re only half capable?
during times like this it makes perfect sense that reservists just aren’t capable of racking up the same level of experience due to job nature/civi commitments but once mobilised I suspect a reservist is expected to put the work in just as much as a regular?
(Apologies for the noob-style questions, I just can’t comprehend how a reservist envisions himself as a full timer and is able to act as such)
 

Big_Shep

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I understand that res aren’t afforded/don’t have the time available to be as up-to-date as regs in terms of skills etc but aren’t reservists encouraged to bridge that gap when/if applicable? Would a regular prefer a reservist who is equally capable at the job or are they happy knowing they’re only half capable?
during times like this it makes perfect sense that reservists just aren’t capable of racking up the same level of experience due to job nature/civi commitments but once mobilised I suspect a reservist is expected to put the work in just as much as a regular?
(Apologies for the noob-style questions, I just can’t comprehend how a reservist envisions himself as a full timer and is able to act as such)
I’ve said it before that the undeniable negative perceptions about Reserve Vrs Regular stem from one simple fact- Regulars do not have civilian jobs. Despite committing to the High Readiness Reserve contract my civilian job remained my primary source of income and therefore, ultimately, my priority. Never get the balance of civilian income, family and 4 PARA mixed up.

That being said, don’t read too much into this comparison argument. If you are going to work with regular troops you will be prepared to do so. 4 PARA aren’t a chippy little unit that rocks up to play dads Army. HERRICK killed that dying breed off. Any time I deployed or trained alongside 2 and 3 PARA I felt prepared and didn’t have any issues. Brigade HQ sets, somewhere in the region of, 60 training objectives that each 4 PARA rifle company needs to achieve annually. This is in addition to the standard MATTs and we also train our own recruits at subunit level. My point being your military training days soon get eaten up with intensive training for those that can commit.
Every 4 PARA company usually generates a third of their strength for drill nights and training weekends at any one time and during the HERRICK years this was considerably higher. We have plenty of 4 PARA with real operational experience under their belts, our armouries and stores are full to the brim with new kit on par with any regular company. The allure to commit is there and BHQ know this. It isn’t difficult for 4 PARA to provide a well-trained and current deployable Coy Gp in quick order. There are reputations and expectations to live up to and you’ll work it out.
 

Zozo

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Great insight @Big_Shep . Can you give us any real experiences of working directly with regulars and how you found it ?
 

Chelonian

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Please bear in mind that I'm over forty years out of date but I'll gob off anyhow. 🙂

I've heard the comment in another place that Reserve personnel cannot have the same skill set as a Regular doing the job every working day. Pisses me off a bit because clearly Reserves won't be up to speed with watching repeats of Jeremy Kyle on TV during a typical working day.

It's difficult to generalise but a 'good egg' Reserve deploying with Regular counterparts will almost certainly fit in just fine.
 

Big_Shep

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Please bear in mind that I'm over forty years out of date but I'll gob off anyhow. 🙂

I've heard the comment in another place that Reserve personnel cannot have the same skill set as a Regular doing the job every working day. Pisses me off a bit because clearly Reserves won't be up to speed with watching repeats of Jeremy Kyle on TV during a typical working day.

It's difficult to generalise but a 'good egg' Reserve deploying with Regular counterparts will almost certainly fit in just fine.

This is it in a nutshell. Inevitably you will meet the odd regular who looks at reservists with distain. Be an adult about it and don’t dwell on it. Those who struggle with regulars are the belters who try to out Para the Paras. Don’t be that tool who over compensates and just be a good bloke who does what he needs to do.

I was 33 when I passed P Coy. Therefore when working alongside Toms in 2/3 PARA I was, unsurprisingly, a good ten years older than most. So there can be a bit of an issue with social integration as a consequence but it’s never been such a problem that it turned into a drama. The key is not being a dick and getting stuck in but also not coming across as that über keen people pleaser. Hard to articulate but just be a good bloke.
 

Chelonian

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Just to add to the comments by @Big_Shep there was some negative feedback about Reserves from a very credible source on the RM forum but the context is important.

Two RMR Trained Ranks were loaded onto a course at CTCRM. They arrived poorly briefed and unprepared. The fault for that lies squarely with their detachment in my opinion.

As the story was teased out it became apparent that despite the lack of personal preparation the two blokes could still have had a productive (adapted) course with significant training goals achieved.

But the problem was compounded by the arrogant attitude of one of the RMR individuals who was sent back to his unit promptly for breaches of very basic weapon handling drills.

The behaviour of just two individuals has negatively shaped the attitude of the Regulars who they had contact with. They weren't representative of the wider RMR but shit sticks.
 
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