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Reserves continue successful flexible training regime

Soldiers attached to the 9th Brigade will benefit from the Reserve Accelerated Training Scheme (RATS) which is now in its second year following a successful pilot in 2023.

Soldiers attached to the 9th Brigade will benefit from the Reserve Accelerated Training Scheme (RATS) which is now in its second year following a successful pilot in 2023.

As part of the successful pilot run for the first time in 2023, the 10th/27th Battalion, the Royal South Australia Regiment (10/27RSAR), provided 37 soldiers with the experience of being members of a full-time platoon inside a combat brigade.

The RATS initiative provides reservists with a flexible training option, emulating the successful “Gap Year” program, by allowing reservists to undertake full-time contracts over 3–12-month periods.

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Private Lachlan McCulloch, who began his full-time contract as a RATS recruit, explained the importance of this program for rapidly upskilling the capability of the individual warfighter, saying, “The RATS has given me unparalleled experience. The training and community has been excellent. It has inspired me to make a career out of what I thought was just a job.”

The RATS training regime allowed participants to accelerate individual training and complete a number of corps qualifications, combat behaviour training, and promotion courses.

It also allowed the individuals to complete specialist qualifications including protected mobility vehicle driver and direct fire support weapons training.

Commanding Officer 10/27RSAR Lieutenant Colonel Aaron Jackson explained that the RATS initiative provided greater flexibility for part-time soldiers to complete training on a full-time contract in order to accelerate capability delivery.

LTCOL Jackson said, “The Reserve Accelerated Training Scheme is a fantastic opportunity for Australians interested in serving their community to get a taste of the rewarding careers available in the ADF.

“Participants gain valuable skills in leadership, working in teams, as well as developing professionally. This initiative also demonstrates the battalion’s capability and how we can be employed effectively for exercises and operations,” LTCOL Jackson added.

Defence stated one-in-five participants from the 2023 RATS program are now transferring to Service Category 7 full-time service, but many, such as Private McCulloch, will return to Service Category 5 part-time service after the completion of their contract.

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