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Reserve Forces: Training

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 8th February 2016.

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Photo of Lord Touhig Lord Touhig Opposition Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Defence)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what military training is given to reservists throughout the duration of their tenure as a reservist, and how that training compares to the military training given to those serving in the regular forces.

Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords

The Military training given to Reservists throughout their Service as a Reservist is specific to each Service and this is detailed below:

ROYAL NAVY

On completion of initial (Phase 1) training, Maritime Reservists will undertake training specific to their Branch or Specialisation. This training has been developed through the Defence Systems Approach to Training using Operational Performance Statements which identify the duties and tasks required to be operationally capable. Reservists also undertake CMS/MATTS and (military) Command, Leadership and Management courses to prepare them for promotion and higher ranks. Specialisation training is usually tailored to the Reserve requirement for blended delivery at Unit training nights, weekends and two-week continuous packages, or if the Reservist has time, then they can attend the equivalent and often longer Regular Service courses. Reservists will also undertake On-Job training attending exercises or working in various Naval Service employment areas ashore or afloat.

ARMY

In the Army a Reservist, having completed basic military and trade training, which broadly covers the same content as the regular equivalent training - with recognised areas which are enhanced during Mission Specific Training (MST), will undertake continuation training to maintain and improve their military and trade skills. For most Reservists, training is augmented by periods of on-the-job experience where their trade skills are put to good use in delivering military outputs.

Further training on professional or development courses maps exactly those courses offered to Regulars but are delivered to fit with the Reservist’s levels of availability and commitment, potentially using a blended learning mechanism with distanced learning, computer based learning and shorter residential training courses designed to fit in with the Reservist’s civilian employment. All courses are designed, delivered and accredited in the same way as Regular trade training and career development. Different training categories are utilised to differentiate between the depth to which Reserves and Regular training will be delivered. Integrated training will be conducted where appropriate and achievable. A specific example is the mandated course for qualification for promotion to Captain, with Reserve students attending the Junior Officers Tactical Awareness Course alongside Regular students.

Training and education opportunities include developing trade skills, preparation for promotion and also physical and adventurous training.

Many military courses are accredited to civilian bodies, bringing benefit to both the individual and employer.

Where Reservists are deployed in support of operations, a period of MST will be undertaken to ensure individuals are suitably prepared to undertake that mission (this training is delivered to Reserve and Regular alike). Historical examples include deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq, flood relief work, activity in support of the foot and mouth outbreak and support to the Olympics.

Royal Air Force (RAF)

An RAF Reservist will attend for training to maintain or improve both their military and trade skills. Normal attendance in any given year is around 35 days including a period of continuous training. For most, training is augmented by periods of on-the-job experience where their trade skills are put to good use in delivering military outputs. Further training on professional or development courses maps exactly those courses offered to Regulars but are delivered in a Reservist friendly way with distance learning, computer based learning and shorter residential training courses designed to fit in with the Reservist’s civilian employment. Again all courses are designed, delivered and accredited in the same way as Regular trade training.

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