Assault Pioneer

Discussion in 'Infantry' started by cdt_l/cpl, Apr 20, 2007.

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  1. Within the Infantry, there are Assault Pioneer Platoons, how do you go about becoming an Assault Pioneer? Do you have to serve as an infantryman for a few years before and then go away to train to be a Pioneer? And if so what exactly is their job role within the infantry? thanks.
  2. Prove yourself in a rifle company first then tab in to your Company Commander to request a transfer to the Assault Pioneer Platoon. You'll have to attend the Bn Assault Pioneer cadre before you're selected.
  3. Easier way is to transfer to the Royal Engineers.Sapper Parachute and Commando Sqns are expanding into Regiments,and good men are needed.
  4. Ask to go on an Assault Pioneer Course,i done mine at Gib Barrack's in Surrey,it was 4 wk's long and the Engineer's are sound because they are not into Bull Sh*t,they just teach you what you need to know and as long as you screw the Knut they are more than happy to leave you alone in your own time.A good course and a good chance to view Army Life outside of the Infantry.
  5. You mean to tell me there's life outside the Infantry. I wish somebody would have said, I might have gotten something usefull out of the Army.
  6. Hi all, I was an Ass/pnr in 2LI 75-83, I was lucky when I came to the battalion from the depot 2 of us were put in Support Coy into the ass/pnrs we did in house trg and tests upto class2 then 1, and various ex with the RE's, and Battalion then I completed a Combat engr's Instructers course at RE's School Chattendene Kent, I realise things will have changed now, but that is how I got in, but we always had the smallest plt.

    Micky M
  7. I took over a TA Assault Pioneer platoon on the south coast some time ago. Numbers were down to 6. Apparently it had something to do with a pillbox being blown off Beachy Head only days after half the platoon had just come back from their AP course at Gib Barracks....
  8. It was great, Germany we did a lot of work with the Re's in Hamlin 35/38 sqdr, Bridging, demo, minewarfare, watermanship ect, in the battalion normal ex's then getting tasked to do battle sims for advance to contacts for the rifle coys, and any other battalion PR the CO would want you to do.

  9. Having seen some of the answers on the various threads asking this question I feel compelled to offer my experiences.

    Assault Pioneers were (are) a vital asset to any CO or Battlegroup. Their duties include;

    • Demolition (inc explosives using electric or flash initiation)
    • Field defences (plant or manual)
    • Minelaying (clearing, recovery or disposal of)
    • Water purification (making it fit for their BG to drink, an often neglected art in this day & age)
    • Bridgelaying (usually in support of RE)
    • Watermanship (The army’s word for boat handling or rafting)

    They can also expect involvement in;

    i) Search (Urban, Rural, Veh or body)
    ii) Forward Recce for RE (ie where to throw a Bridge, fascine or trackway)
    iii) Just about anything their unit throws at them.

    Modern Infantry Battalions are unlikely to have an establishment for Assault Pioneers therefore manning & getting the right calibre of soldier is a problem (an OC told to provide XX men will send knackers if he can get away with it). Initial training is conducted ‘in house’ but leads to B2,B1 & W/O courses @ Minley Manor & RSME.

    An Assault Pioneer sect/plt starts life as a bunch of misfits & bottlewashers but soon becomes resourceful & able to use its initiative. I recall having to clear a helipad in the jungle using little more than hand tools & the bare minimum of demolition accessories. We managed to fell (HUGE) trees by making shaped charges (enabling us to place a small charge in the centre to bring them down) from compo tins & moving the timber with some virtually useless turfoil jacks to ensure the helipad would be ready on time.

    Ignorance of the trade was annoying. Many a time I found myself ‘dicked’ for mess decoration (camnets on the ceiling) or erecting numerous 24x18’s or 12x12’s because ‘that’s what assault pioneers do!’ In all my years in the Army I was never shown how to erect a f****** tent or camouflage the inside of a building as part of a course & couldn’t understand how anyone thought otherwise

    Having a secondary role is great for any Infanteer. I bounced in & out of rifle company jobs throughout my early (ie infantry phase of) my career (Brecon, Warminster an’ all that) & spent 2 years as a demolition instructor @Sch of Inf before moving elsewhere.

    Re Beards; this came from the Napoleonic era where illiterate peasants would march ahead of advancing armies to fell trees, repair carriageways etc in preparation for their arrival. I fully support the wearing of a Beard by Assault Pioneer Sgts but chose not to wear one because it seemed to me that CO’s wouldn’t promote a bearded bloke with an axe, apron & pointed ‘at because they liked him to stay that way (ie marching in Napoleonic rig at the front of the Regiment). One of my collegues opted for an impressive set of handlebars when he was a C/Sgt but had them unceremoniously removed during a debagging in the mess after about a year.

    Footnote: These events happened many years ago. I can’t help noticing that it’s the SAME BLOKES who now fill their days in welfare roles for the ex service community.
  10. At most in the battalion our strength was 17 including rank during tours of NI we were split up between Mort/Anti-Tank plt, and made up the search teams in Sp Coy, during mid 80's the ass/pnrs were split up between the rifle company's.


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  11. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Angular what year was that?
    I ran the AP section at Eastbourne.
  12. Add to that booby traps, laying and clearing.
    And battle simulation.

    I always wanted to do the simulated nuke that I saw in one of the pamphlets but could never persuade the CO.
  13. assault pioneers are still on the Bn Orbat. at coy level and in some cases are a Pl in the Bn.