Ideas about the reserve forces please

The Strategic Defence and Security Revue left a gap where the policy on the Reserve Forces was meant to be.  Apparently Liam Fox and David Cameron weren’t happy with how much thought had gone into reserve forces policy and wanted to give themselves more time to get it right.  I welcome that decision.

Julian Brazier TD MP
Julian Brazier MP, a friend and former officer in the TA, is working on the policy development in this area with Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nicholas Houghton.  I will be putting some ideas forward in a short report and I’d like some help from the online community.
Some questions which might help stimulate your minds are:
  • What structure should the reserve forces take?
  • In which roles should/could the reserves be used?
  • What should be the balance between commitment to the military and to their civilian employers?
  • Should employers of reserve service people get any kind of “payback” from the government?
  • What support/welfare structures should the reserve forces have?
  • How should the reserves be recruited/trained/retained?
  • Could there be a role for reserve forces bursaries for degree courses etc?

Please don’t feel constrained by these questions, any ideas gratefully received.  Don’t worry about the structure of the ideas either, I would like your feedback in any form that you would like to give it.  And don’t feel that you need to have served in the forces to contribute, friends, family, employers etc. all have an important part to play in the life of the reserves and will have something useful to contribute.

Either use the comments section below or email me at the contact details here.

Thanks in advance.

2 responses to “Ideas about the reserve forces please

  1. In which roles should/could the reserves be used?

    I think this is the most important question of them all.

    In 2003, we called upon around 500 reserves and sent them to the conflict in Iraq.

    That is an example of when not to use them.

    In 1939, Britain declared war on Germany. That is an example of when to use them.

    I appreciate that policies require their i's dotted and t's crossed, but as far as I am concerned, this outlines the fundamental rule.

    Honesty and integrity in conflict.

  2. James,

    Maybe slightly off track, but …
    I don't know if the UK has anything like this, but in the US (well my home state Oregon anyway) has a fund that provides discounted mortgages to service personnel and veterans. It also includes reservists. I've just finished voting for tomorrow's (Tuesday) Mid Terms, and one of the local ballot measures is to expand the scheme to remove some eligibility thresholds and to include surviving spouses.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2010/08/yes_on_measure_70.html

    You'll be glad to know I voted Yes. In fact not a single person registered disapproval in the election's voter guide.

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