216 parachute signal sqd

The army.mod.uk site gives very little info about the para sig sqd, so im hoping i can get some info here.

Im stuck between 2 decisions about the army, theres the one side that im realy mentaly interested in, which is the installation technician trade of the signals since i realy enjoying computer networking and maintaining. And then theres the physical challange/excitment side of me that would like to join the paras, and after looking on the army.mod.uk site, i find that there is a parachute signal squadron that would be the perfect ballance between the 2 things i think i would enjoy.

How does the parachute sig sqd differ from other squadrons? im guessing they do actully parachute and not just support parachuters because on the army.mod.uk site it shows a picture of a person with para wings, so im guessing they do para training and actully do jumps.

Is parachuting as a signal an irregular thing? i dont see there being much need to parachute as a signal, since its unlikely you could bring much equipment with you on a jump that specificaly requires a signal, that cant be done by the normal paras.
Thankyou roadster280.

If its unlikely that i will be able to get into the 216 for quite a while then then ill guess i will have to do as you said and join a mainstream unit and apply to the 216. This will at least give me some time to get some experience under my belt, as going right into the 216 could be a bit overwhelming with both all the para training as well as sig training.

I want to make a career in the army, not just a stepping stone to a better job in civilian life, so if it takes time to get where i would like to be, then thats the way ill have to do it.
Dist said:
Im stuck between 2 decisions about the army, theres the one side that im realy mentaly interested in, which is the installation technician trade of the signals since i realy enjoying computer networking and maintaining.
On the parachuting side, all members of the RSIGNALS regardless of trade are eligible to apply to serve with 216 in an airborne role or to serve with 18 as a special forces communicator. There are some standards you need to meet regarding age and years served but they are fairly reasonable.

Regarding your choice of trade, Installation Technician is a good trade and I know a few who are serving in both Airborne and SF role...but you might also want to consider the Communications Systems Engineer trade, as there are differences which may be relevant to you. The difference is that the Inst Tech majors in network infrastructure i.e. fibre optic and copper cabling, telephone systems and installation design (much like a BT engineer), while the CS Engr covers computer network switching and routing, operating systems, security and so on. That's a very broad brush description, but you can say that Inst Tech does the communications medium (physical wires etc) and phones, while the CS Engr does the engineering and maintenance of the bits that are on the end of the wires (video conferencing, computers, radios and so on).

Your other alternative is to join the Parachute Regiment and get some soldiering done then become a Regimental Signaller and get to know the Bowman combat radio system and its computer applications. If you want to know more about that role, ask about it on the Infantry forum I reckon.
Thanks for the that bit of info about the trades, i thought the installation tech not only installs the cables but actully sets up the routers/switches and manages the software side of networking too. Ill have to have a read into CS Eng because if that deals with the network routing and switching and such as that may be more suitable for me.
Dist, check your PMs.
You CAN apply for 216 direct from training.

If you enjoy computer maintaining and networking don't join the Signals!!!! :twisted:

Inst Tech is not the trade you want if the above is true. The brand new and still smelling fresh trade of Communications Systems Engineer (CS ENG) is what you want. A combination of the old Systems Eng Technician (or tech as they were known) and the still reletively junior trade of Info Sys Eng (nee Operator).


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I'd suggest you need to be a more 'robust' character to contemplate 216 Sig Sqn or 18SR. Spending some time post factory getting to learn the ropes of your chosen trade and (probably) growing a bit yourself won't be a bad idea and will give you a bit of perspective too; then you can decide whether 216 or 18 are for you.

There is also the LEWT at 14 to consider they have quite a special role thats well worth considering too, again post factory all of this becomes clearer.

Good luck with whatever you choose.
Im currently posted at 216. Its a very fast paced unit and a good challenge. As far as jumps are concerned we lob as regularly as the para reg and the backlog of people waiting for jumps courses has almost vanished within the last 6 months(not quite sure why!!).
If you show an early interest in 216 whilst at phase 2 you shouldnt struggle to get posted, we are largely undermanned and alot of the people coming here did so against there will, therefore the unit is always looking for keen, fit individuals who would be up for the challenge.
I'd definately recommend coming here if you get the chance, that said, everyone wants something different from the army and/or the signals so its not suited to everyone but after reading what you have wrote I think it would be your best choice.
Stick to what you want to do, theres alot of bitching in the corps and people will try and put you off. If you have any questions pal dont hesitate to give me a bell.
I was an install tech until 2004, comms engineers didnt exist but IS (PC/routers) ops did as did sys engineers, comms engineers are a combination of the two it seems. Install tech is a great job as back up if you ever want to leave the army as most of the skills transfer directly into civilian life however as far as life in the army goes comms engineers is the better choice due to automatic promotion out of training (more money) and more variations in postings, although install tech is probably a more enjoyable job. I have mates still serving who are in airborne units and they all love it, biggest regret i have is not trying it. Good luck anyways and hope that helps in some small way.

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