HC Deb 28 June 1995 vol 262 c678W
Mr. Duncan Smith

To ask the Secretary for Defence if he will make a statement on senior appointments in the Territorial Army. [31904]

Mr. Soames

Territorial Army officers regularly command TA units at lieutenant colonel level and there are at present 39 TA officers at colonel level in staff appointments. At brigadier level, there is currently one dedicated TA post at Headquarters Land Command. Following consultation with senior military advisers, we intend that in future suitably qualified TA officers should have the opportunity to be considered for a range of staff and certain command appointments at brigadier level. Specifically, and subject to the availability of candidates of the appropriate calibre, we shall be establishing a post of brigadier (TA) development and doctrine within the Army's directorate of development and doctrine from 1996, to be filled by a TA officer. We also intend, probably from 1997, and subject again to the availability of suitable candidates, that the post of director reserve forces and cadets in the central staff of the Ministry of Defence, currently filled by a regular officer, should be filled by a one-star officer from the volunteer reserves of one of the three services.

I know that this will be welcomed by all reservists as further evidence of our commitment to the reserve forces.