4/73 (Sphinx) Bty; help please

Apologies if this is the wrong place for this.

Anyway, what I'm after is a bit of gen about preparing myself for going for it, and ultimately, should I bother?

I'm a crab, but not RAF Regt, instead an aircraft engineer. I'm above average RAF fitness, which to be fair is not difficult, and I do get out into the hills fairly often. The main downer really is the fact that, military skills wise, 5 days pre deployment and guard training every year are pretty much it. Am I fooked in that department, or is there hope?

Would be very appreciative of any tips, hints and/or advice on what to do to prepare myself for giving it a stab even if that advice is to give it a miss because of my lack of soldiering experience.

Cheers in advance, krusty.
4/73 Special OP Bty is part of the Royal Artillery, performing a wide range of roles from forward observation and fire control to intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR); couldn't really be more different to what you're doing at the moment.

It recruits mainly from serving soldiers who've already done basic and had a few years in. Most applicants on the courses, which start with 100 and end with about 10, are lance-bombardiers or bombardiers (corporals to everyone else).

You'd probably have to leave the RAF and join the army rather than straight across, although that is just a guess. You will certainly have to start again skills-wise and pass some very strenuous fitness tests.

Is this a long-standing desire, or are you bored with the RAF and just happened to hear about 4/73, and thought "Yeah!"?
According to DIN's, it's a tri-service trawl for volunteers.

To cut a long story short, the Army is what I originally wanted to join many moons ago, but due to a couple of factors, the RAF is where I found myself. So, in answer to your question, yes it has been a long standing wish for me to do this, and I now find myself in a position to at least look at it as an option. Hopefully with info that I may gain on here, I will be able to decide whether it is a viable one.

Go for it, no doubt there will be a selection process anyway where you will be tested on fitness and mil skills.

Pop down to the GDT chaps for some 1 to 1 on map reading weapon handling etc. The DIN should give you a contact where you can get the required test info so you know which area to train in.

Good luck.
It is worthwile looking in the gunner forum as there are a number of threads on there.

I'm not up to date but you are correct re the tri-service nature of the trawl. If you pass the patrol course and do two years IIRC you may at that point decide to transfer - but that's a long way off.

With the big caveat that I'm a few years out of date but I can't think of many non Army successes on the course. You need to not just get fit but also need to be robust and have good basic infantry skills. Authough the latter are taught on the course you will be at a disadvantage against somone with an army background. That said a number have passed directly from Phase 2 so it's by no means impossible.

I would suggest that in addition to working on your fitness you should try to find some way of working on your basic mil stills as well - all I can think of off hand is your Regt Flt but that a bit hit or miss.

Hope that helps if only a little.
Depending how long term your ambition is, there may be some merit in becoming a rock-ape first,as a means of getting your skills up. If you go straight for 4/73 selection, you may well find yourself constantly playing catch up. Fitness is only part of the requirement.

Who knows, you might have your head turned and change course towards St Athan.

Give the Bty a ring, I'm sure they'll give you a steer.

Point to note, 4/73 don't stay at the Hilton when they go to war. (Sorry, couldn't resist a crab air dig)
Good luck, go for it.
Just go for it! Get fit and learn everything else while you are there, Phase 2 recruits go on the course, they struggle but sometimes pass! Anything has to be better than RAF! (Sorry, couldnt resist!)


Putting yourself forward for 4/73 Bty is not something to be entered into lightly. You will find it both mentally and physically extriemely demanding.

To that end, any pre-course preparation that you can make now will save you heart ache later.

It would be a good idea to ring the Battery, they would certainly give you a steer. Speak to your unit Physical Training Instructor(s), get them to sort you out a programme.

Try working on your load carrying ability and bags of fitness.....You will find it much harder due to a lack of mil skills but can learn as you go.

Enough said. If you want to pass it you can, it's not impossible just damn hard!

Good Luck!!

Similar threads

Latest Threads