Army Reserve soldier foundation training reduced to just three weeks

The Australian Army’s 2nd Division is making training more accommodating in an effort to streamline recruit trining.

CAPTION: Australian Army soldier Private Paula Pires, from 4th/3rd Battalion, Royal New South Wales Regiment, during Exercise Waratah Run at Singleton, NSW. Story and photo by Corporal Jacob Joseph.

Lieutenant Colonel Paul Carter, Headquarters 2nd Division, said training needed to be flexible to reduce the recruit and ab-initio training attrition rate, which historically resulted in as many as 40 per cent of people not completing their training.

He said the role of the 2nd Division had evolved considerably in recent years and the Defence Strategic Review (DSR) reinforced its “clarity of purpose”.

Army senior leadership recently approved changes to the Army SERCAT [service category] 5 Initial Foundation Training Continuum to address the attrition rate, including reducing the five-week 1st Recruit Training Battalion recruit course to three weeks for all SERCAT 5 general entry soldiers.

Lieutenant Colonel Carter said training must provide the “agility and scalability” to support the workforce and enable 2nd Division preparedness for domestic and homeland security operations.

“We’ve created shorter training blocks, put flexibility into the system for people to off-ramp at certain points, and take ownership of their individual training through use of the electronic Competency Management Tool, which is current being trialled,” Lieutenant Colonel Carter said.

Once soldiers complete recruit training, they could be immediately deployed on domestic support operations like COVID-19 Assist, and to support flood and fire events.

Combat corps then complete a two-week land-combat module which gives them the skills they need to deploy on homeland security operations.

In the future, trade initial employment training should be modulated, exportable and completed under on-the-job conditions as much as practicable, supported by the electronic Competency Management Tool, which will give ownership of training progression to the individual soldier.

“They can then say to their section commander, ‘when are we next going to throw grenades or do section attacks? Because I want to come along and learn those skills and satisfy that proficiency’,” Lieutenant Colonel Carter said.

“The standard SERCAT 5 soldier doesn’t have the time to do five weeks and then another three weeks, and then another three weeks residential training – their employers won’t release them for such a long time, on top of the family pressures that many people are also trying to balance.

“We have a collection of amazing people contributing to our workforce and we’re making it easier for them to serve because we’re getting smarter about how we enable their training.”

One such person is Private Paula Pires, the daughter of a Brazilian paratrooper, who you could say prepared for Kapooka her whole life.

“Growing up, I hated the military,” Private Pires said.

“Every weekend, Dad would flip our rooms upside down and make us reorganise everything.

“Then I went to Kapooka and it made me feel like I was home — I loved it.”

While Kapooka makes some question their choices, the infantry reservist went the other way and asked to go full-time.

Instead, she was offered a position in the Reserve Accelerated Training Scheme (RATS), a program that can take a reservist from recruit school to private proficient in six months, and provide a lived experience that complements their training.

It’s a process that usually takes years.

Next month, Private Pires and 21 others will be the first to finish at the 4th/3rd Battalion, Royal New South Wales Regiment.

While it may be easier than ever for people juggling civilian life and service, soldiers like Private Pires are going all in.

But when you grow up in a military family with a chin-up bar in your room, it was likely a foregone conclusion.

“I thought it would be a great idea to do RATS for six months to see whether I like full-time Army life,” Private Pires said.

“I was recently accepted for another CFTS (continuous full-time service) contract for six months.

“Once that ends, I’m going to transfer to ARA (Australian regular army).”

 

 


.

.


.


.


.

39623 Total Views 8 Views Today

Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

16 thoughts on “Army Reserve soldier foundation training reduced to just three weeks

  • 22/05/2023 at 5:15 pm
    Permalink

    Its certainly changed. I did 2 weeks recruit training at Bardia Barracks then 2 weeks IET at Singleton and in between every Tuesday night and one weekend a month.
    We had to wait until courses were available
    They were some of the best times of my life

    Reply
  • 21/05/2023 at 3:23 pm
    Permalink

    References there to domestic support & homeland security operations have me slightly confused? Didn’t we just have a Defence Review published that said that from here on, the ADF is going to concentrate on war training, & that the civil powers are going to have to look after themselves in times of disaster, without ADF help?

    Or are Reserves (what’s left of them :-() no longer classified as ADF?

    Reply
    • 21/05/2023 at 3:30 pm
      Permalink

      By ‘homeland security’ I think they mean Covid and Sporting operations neither of which need trained killers in any case.

      Reply
  • 21/05/2023 at 3:20 pm
    Permalink

    As an expansion force I’m the S.A.S has its purpose but we all know they are never leaving these shores unless its a full blown World conflict which of course will mean they’re role is non-existent in any case.

    Time for a serious rethink on Defence and there is no way that’s going to happen under the Chinese (oops, Sorry) Labor Government we have right now.

    Reply
  • 21/05/2023 at 2:45 pm
    Permalink

    Wow, when I did my ARES Recruit Course in 1979 with 16 RWAR it was only 2 weeks at Northam Army Camp in WA. The following year I joined the ARA and while at 1 RTB got mailed a please explain from my CSM for not parading! I wrote back “Sorry, I’m at Kapooka and I can’t be in two places at once!”. All that said, my 2 week ARES Recruit Course prepared me very well for Kapooka!

    Reply
  • 21/05/2023 at 2:00 pm
    Permalink

    The choice of the word ‘chocos’ is uncalled for. Most reservists are dedicated to the cause juggling the army responsibilities with their civvy jobs.
    Reservists used to do 2 week recruit FT training then 4 weeks PT, IET training back at their units. Then some idiot decided to change all that to 5 weeks FT at Kapooka plus more FT training for IET They have finally worked out that it didn’t work out, that reservists can’t pull so much time from their employers.
    Hopefully this change will reset the imbalance.
    JR

    Reply
  • 21/05/2023 at 1:57 pm
    Permalink

    Thanks LT COL Carter, and HQ 2 DIV for bringing clarity to ARES Recruit Training and doing something worthwhile, that can prepare soldiers for their future in the Army. Most soldiers only remember their Recruit Training well after they have left the Army and to keep that thought process going in younger members is a really a great endeavor.

    Reply
  • 21/05/2023 at 1:55 pm
    Permalink

    Seems that “chocos” proved themselves in PNG many moons ago…

    Reply
    • 21/05/2023 at 3:57 pm
      Permalink

      Yeah if you believe the myth, sure.

      Reply
      • 22/05/2023 at 6:25 pm
        Permalink

        When I wear spectacles I have near 20-20 vision. Without the glasses I’m shorted sighted – like a minus 4. But I can read problems unaided.
        Will I pass the medical ?

        Reply
      • 26/05/2023 at 10:13 am
        Permalink

        No “myth” there, Sunshine! Records from many sources documented the roles of many “Choco” units, including my 25RQR, in various PNG campaigns, not least Milne Bay, commonly accepted by military historians as the first land defeat of the Japanese army.

        Reply
    • 22/05/2023 at 5:45 pm
      Permalink

      Absolutely the best comment

      Reply
  • 18/05/2023 at 10:40 pm
    Permalink

    Oh boy here we go again 2 week courses are just around the corner. Soldier foundation is a nice quip to political correct B.S. give me a break it’s a recruit course. Probably an idea championed by good old woke eye himself. Great way to increase the divide between ARA and Chocos.

    Reply
    • 19/05/2023 at 3:17 am
      Permalink

      Your wording of Chocos , is demeaning. I had 4 postings with Reserves.
      I found their approach to any task/exercise was commendable, and gained the respect of their fellow ARA RAE

      Reply
      • 19/05/2023 at 1:20 pm
        Permalink

        Dear Sir -. I was a recruit of the Army reserve! Through the Erina branch on the Central Coast N.S.W Australia! The training was first class! I know any condensed officer training will be 1st class training!
        I am a witness, because of the outstanding training I received!
        Reserve, Army training for me changed my life!
        Because these things you learn and retain for life! I am very proud to have been in the Army Reserve !

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.