Permanent Staff Instructor.
The font of all knowledge, especially courses.
I did 2 years, I would say 3 is long enough and probably better than 2, but 4 is too long.
I found after 2 years coming back to the Regs I hadn't really missed out on much and would say I benefited from my 2 years at the TA as I was involved in a lot that I would not normally have dealt with.
Now I can confidently take on tasks that are outside my job spec and actually find some of the panic that goes on in planning exercises etc quite amusing as I was involved in this sort of process week in week out at the TA.
Niff naff and trivia such as getting : ammo, rations, compo and fresh, POL, sourcing local LPG gas suppliers, booking trg areas/camps/accommodation, port a potties, dirty water disposal, rubbish disposal, obtaining trg aids, weapons, vehicles or eqpt, comms eqpt,setting up camp sites, getting several hundred TA wallahs into a trg camp, fed, watered, orientated, briefed, re-fueled, leagered up and basically 'admined', then moved to several other camps over a 2 week period, jacking up entertainment for them, nearly all with minimum time frames, as well as teaching lessons when instructors had failed to tip up. Running RSWs, organising PT, even organising drill nights, last minute.com, as key personnel had not been able to attend that night and the scrotes would be stood around directionless. Getting an e mail on a Wed morning asking if you can jack up something for that weekend, without any pre-planning, all achievable if you are positive about it and make the right contacts.
Doing the above 2-3 times a year, then at least 2 weekends of each month on a smaller scale, soon teaches you a lot.
All of the above would normally be done by all of the following, MTWO, RQMS, CSM, RSO, OPs Officer, CQMS's etc etc, all of these in my Bn where TA 'enablers', who were not always (and to be honest, in my case, rarely) available, beyond the original planning stages,so it is a steep learning curve, but also beneficial to you as a SPSI, so long as you are willing to give it a go.
It was hectic, annoying (why can't people plan more than 3 days ahead!!!) and frustrating, but looking back good fun. I would definitely do it again, or recommend it to anyone thinking about it.
The PSI is the only member of the Sqn who is not actually permanent, unless you mean sniffing after the only fit girl, and after an initial period of wearing in will soon mellow to be your mentor and guardian at which point he will be posted out and the next permanent staffie will take over the cycle.
Advice for aspiring PSIs