Soldier’s view on Territorial Army’s name change plan

Armed Forces Day on Scarborough Seafront.Organiser John Senior Picture Richard Ponter 122566c
Armed Forces Day on Scarborough Seafront.Organiser John Senior Picture Richard Ponter 122566c
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A Scarborough man who has served in Afghanistan as a Major in the Territorial Army said the planned name change to “Army Reserve” could cause complications for soldiers.

John Senior, who started the Heroes Welcome scheme in Scarborough, is concerned that the name change, suggested this week by Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, could “blur the lines” between the two organisations.

He said: “I very proudly come from three generations of Territorial Army soldiers and would happily serve alongside TA or regular soldiers at any time, but people have to recognise that there is a difference between them.

“There is a difference in the level of training and I think the boundaries need to be very clear.

“When I served in Afghanistan I did so with territorial experience, which is not on the same level as someone in the regular army. I could still be a useful person, but there is a difference and people need to recognise that.”

According to Philip Hammond, territorials would also get regular Army kit, and train with full-time forces. He said the reservists would become an “integral part” of the army.

Asked on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show if he was trying to get an “army on the cheap”, Mr Hammond said cutting the size of the regular army was “unfortunately one of the steps we had to take to rebalance the defence budget”.