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Part-time defenders of the Realm : is the history of the Territorial Army a likely indicator of Future Reserves 2020 success?

June, 2017
Article:

This thesis investigates whether the UK Army Reserve can become a more integrated, efficient, better trained and more deployable force then previous incarnations. This thesis explores historical, social, economic, cultural issues and the impact of the family unit, to explore the development of the Territorial Army through time to its current manifestation as the Army Reserve.

Abstract

This research investigates whether the Army Reserve (AR), the new name for the Territorial Army, can become a more integrated, more efficient, better trained, and more deployable force, as intimated by the government, than their previous incarnations. The hoped-for better-trained AR is expected to take a far greater role, taking over some Regular Army roles, providing better trained part-time soldiers for overseas operations and filling capability gaps left by the retrenchment of 20,000 Regular soldiers by !he year 2020. To investigate whether these aspirations are achievable, and whether it is possible to train volunteer soldiers better than they have been in the past, this research completes an historical analysis of the history of the AR's antecedents, the Territorial Force and the Territorial Army, their training, kit and equipment, and overseas deployment record. The thesis also explores historical social. economic and cultured issues ·which have had an impact upon Territorials, such as civilian employers' attitudes towards the volunteers and their organisation (and a sense of what wider society thought about the Territorials). Furthermore. research into the Territorial's family issues, support or otherwise also sheds light upon the influence the family unit has upon the volunteer's decision to join and how long he/she stays in service. Coupled with family support is research into the support the family received from the government when their Territorial was deployed and what happens when the part-timer returns from war, from 1908 to 2012. This historical comparison ·will help highlight past struggles and.failures inherent in the framework for training and making ready the volunteers of the past with today's AR, which uses the same structure for training, filling in civilian commitments and family life.

Full Reference

Allan, S. M., 2017. 'Part-time defenders of the Realm : is the history of the Territorial Army a likely indicator of Future Reserves 2020 success?', PhD thesis, University of Hull.

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