Defence secretary Phillip Hammond has backed plans to rename the Territorial Army (TA) as the Army Reserve, which would become an 'integral part' of the army. 17/10/2012
The size of the regular UK army is set to shrink from 102,000 soldiers to 82,000 by the end of 2020, as part of the Future Force 2020 programme recently announced by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
However, the number of reservists - made up of TA soldiers, as well as the Regular Reserve - is set to double to around 30,000, which may be of interest to graduates considering a career in the armed forces.
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Hammond explained that the TA has an extremely important role to play in the future of the army.
'In my head they are the Army Reserve and they will be an integral part of the regular army.
'We are changing the pattern of equipment and kit, bringing them in line with the regular army with whom they will train and work, and under our new construct each territorial battalion will be paired with a regular army battalion, so they'll be in a permanent twinning arrangement.'
He added that the name change would require new legislation.
TA soldiers currently attend training sessions in their leisure time, and get paid per session attended. Most already have jobs.
They must commit to a minimum of 19 and a maximum of 27 training days each year. Those who meet their commitment get a tax-free lump sum, known as a bounty.
Under the Future Force 2020 plan, reservists may instead have to commit to a single six-month commitment over five years.
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