Army or RAF? VM or Air tech?

#1
Ok, so i've passed selection for the army as air tech, but have been told i could be waiting a while for my start date. I have also applied for the RAF and could be in for August. But that doesnt particularly bother me. Im just wondering what your opinions are for the job in each force because i cant make my mind up. here are some points i thought of
-raf has better postings for air tech, more bases
-raf has more aircraft
-army seems to have better promotion aspects, so better pay faster etc.
-army has quicker route to being fully qualified, so get on to tech pay faster.
-the "green" side of life of the army appeals more, but would i get much as an air tech?

So to make things more complicated, im also looking at VM in the army because i have been told there is more of a chance to get more stuck in, so to speak.

im just wondering what your opinions are on the trades in both services, and which would be better in terms of variety, and (forgive the cheesyness) adventure.
 
#4
If you are unsure then join the Army over the RAF.

The simple rationale behind this statement is that if you find that you have chosen the wrong trade\capbadge in the Army after experiencing a bit of service life then there are significantly more options open to you.

I will caveat that by saying that you should embark on a career that you (are sure as is possible) think is the one for you and absolutely commit to success. You should not really be too concerned about plan B.

Oh and RAF postings are pretty tripe according to my RAF brethren so don't get too excited about that aspect! :D
 
#5
ah ok. Im just worried that i might get bored with staying at one base all my career, and seeing that the AAC is nowhere ner as big as the RAF, im guessing the postings will be very limited. But i do like the outdoor aspect of the army. i went on a look at life course, and it just seems alot more outdoors and adventurous than the RAF, but im guessing as an air tech i wont see too much of that. anybody else with opinions or experiences that may help? cheers.
 
#6
SGTsaladfingers said:
ah ok. Im just worried that i might get bored with staying at one base all my career, and seeing that the AAC is nowhere ner as big as the RAF, im guessing the postings will be very limited. But i do like the outdoor aspect of the army. i went on a look at life course, and it just seems alot more outdoors and adventurous than the RAF, but im guessing as an air tech i wont see too much of that. anybody else with opinions or experiences that may help? cheers.
A tradesman in the RAF can end up 'fixed to the spot'.
Get qualified on VC-10/Tristar and it's life at Brize Norton.
C-130 and it's Lyneham ... and lots of happy time in sandy places.

Suits some people, but you can end up stuck in one place almost forever, as you have already identified. Still, the accommodation's better ... and a lot of other aspects as well.

Hard call.

ex-Crab :wink:
 
#7
Simply put, if you join the REME you won't have time to worry about all these little details, you will be far too busy spannering, getting spammed for crap jobs that divert your attention away from your trade then explaining why your work is not finished to the person who took you away from your job in the first place to complete their bone task. Vehicle fleet must be at 100% for the upcoming exercise where one Land Rover is required, all 351 inspections must be redone despite the fact they were done 2 months ago. They only have 10 months left on them and who knows what might happen in 8 months time, you never know!
 
#8
Im not in the forces but have been looking at possible careers in all three. Raf have alot more aircraft and travel to offer from my own research. Army only have helicopters and Ipswich to offer you but promotion is very good. Very very slow promotion in the RAF.

The Fleet Air Arm has good promotion prospects and also fly harrier jets aswell as Helicopters.
 
#9
so confused haha. its only two options! :p the thing is, if i was to join the RAF i would want to be on fast jets or something like the merlin, but i am aware you do not really get to choose. If, as mentioned above, i was to be stuck on something like the tristar i would hate it.
 
#10
So im guessing because of the very slow promotion in the RAF, this means lower pay than in the army too. not gonna lie, pay would obviously be one of the factors in choosing which to join, but by no means the highest priority.
 

samm1551

Old-Salt
Book Reviewer
#11
harris921 said:
Im not in the forces but have been looking at possible careers in all three. Raf have alot more aircraft and travel to offer from my own research. Army only have helicopters and Ipswich to offer you but promotion is very good. Very very slow promotion in the RAF.

The Fleet Air Arm has good promotion prospects and also fly harrier jets aswell as Helicopters.
Bold is incorrect. I am not in the Army either, but my Dad was REME, and is chief instructor for Atil who deal with Apache engineering training. They are currently based at Arborfield Nr Reading. The Army has NOT decided to move to Wattisham (Ipswich) yet, and are actually looking in other area's. Once you qualify you are normally posted as an individual attached to other units which could be anywhere in the world.

Your travel ability is probably greater than that of the crabs (yes I am biased) and the promotional aspects are good because you have to be a lance jack to enable you to work on aircraft unassisted. Not sure how long it takes for the training because my husband is not Reme, and my Dad came out in 1989. I suspect you'd be able to find a rough estimate on the Army website.

Whatever you decide, good luck.......but remember girls always prefer the men in green :wink:

Edited to add: If you can I'd go airtech, apparently they are screaming for them at the moment. Also IF the Army do move the air tech engineering to Wattisham it will not be for another 5 years minimum....too complicated.
 
#12
The promotion to Lance Corporal was to bring the pay inline with the civilian sector, subsequent promotions are found in packets of cereal. :)
 
#14
RAF promotions are staggeringly slow in many Trades.
i have mates who have served to 55 and never made it beyond Chief Tech [halfway between Sgt and SSgt].
Cpls in their 30's are not unusual.

But ... there's a longer career possibilty in the RAF.

Glad I'm not making the decision ;-)
 
#16
vertical gyro your just the guy i need. so whats a typical day/week as an air tech? and what are wattsham n dishforth like? near any club towns ;)? haha. always useful. how often will i be sent on ops etc? i can imagine pretty regularly.
 
#17
Haha, i think i can handle living there then. Just didnt fancy being in the middle of knowhere for 2/3 years. Do you get to choose your postings and what aircraft you work on? obviously my preference would be the apache. is there much scope for travel other than the base and afghan?
 
#18
so you been pretty far then. question is though, have you enjoyed it? are thier aspects you hate...and would you trade for the RAF if you could go back in time with what you know now.
 
#19
haha. ive always leant towards the army, plus ive passed selection so i have done the hard work to get in, although there will be alot more to come i imagine. But you know how it is, my mum and everyone has said the RAF will treat you better, less chance of being shot....all that stuff, but they dont know what its really like. Im thinkin of joining the TA until i get in because it looks like im going to be waiting till Jan. Is there ever any opportunities to travel to the states or Australia, or get something like a placement with them for a couple of years?
 
#20
Gutted, just rang AFCO for my start date. There are no vacancies, the earliest it will be is this time next year. So, do i take VM in the army or go Avionics tech in the RAF. Thats proper gutted me haha
 

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