Best options?


Hello guys,

I have previously posted, presenting my wish to join the Parachute Regiment. But as any 17 year old lad does, i keep seeing this different regiments or sub units.

I'll give you a brief overview of what i am looking for from life in the forces.
I would like to do the usual travelling the world, meeting good friends Etc. I would also like to be part of an elite unit/regiment. I really want to see action to and be in the thick of it.

When i initially filled in my app (before my dad refused to sign me in) I put my choices down as Para, Arty, Medical.

Within the RA i have seen the sub units 4/73 sphinx and 148 FO. I have a couple friends who have served with these units and they have said they are elite in their own right and are truly in the thick of it too. Would these be a good alternative to the Parachute Regiment if you're looking for something more than just infanteering. Obviously the Artillery are not an infantry regiment but i understand those to sub units operate in a somewhat more infantry centralised role? Long range patrolling or calling in naval gunfire?

The Medical side of things interests my too. With the option to serve with 16AA or 3Cdo Bdge. Also, as medics on the front line you usually are in the thick of it? The only thing that worries me about being drafted to medical is that not many of the SQ's are transferable to civvie street later on in life?

Finally, although i would still love to be part of the Parachute Regiment i am just trying to put things in place so if i get through selection and all the interviews once i am old enough to join without parental consent, that if the recruiter gives me a call and says for example "Parachute Regiment intake is in 6 months, but there is a Arty/Med intake in 3" I could then make an informed decision that i would still get the 'action' side and the travel/experience side from the forces too? Along with an elite status?

Thank you in advance for any replies.
Just out of interest, you say that the medical is that not many of the SQ's are transferable to civvie street - What part of being a Para transfers?
I think you need to look harder in to what role you want to do, rather than being able to brag about what regt you're in.
Most lads I've known in the Para's enjoy the role they do, rather than screaming "I'm a Para".


I understand what you're saying, and its not that i would want to brag about being a para or a commando or anything for that matter. Its just that i've read a fair few threads on here where people have been a CMT class 1 2 or 3 and have then been told they couldn't transfer that SQ into civvie street. I know that being able to jump from an aircraft isnt a civvie qualification. But if i was going to work through the RMAC and get to Class 1. I would feel a little gutted if i couldn't then get into a medical profession on Civvie Street.

However, i understand your initial comment and being a 'para' for me isn't about telling everybody and anybody that i am. It is about being one of the best in an infantry role.

Thanks for your reply
While I think I understand what you mean by saying that you want to join an "elite unit" (I was 17 too once!); you should understand that this is quite a subjective view. Most Combat or Combat Support Arms units are considered in some way elite by those who are in them.

Nowadays, this is well justified. For instance, no one can quite remember when the Paras last did an operational drop and we don't have the aeroplanes to enable one at the moment. Likewise, the last time the commandos did a beach landing was probably in the Falklands. Right now PARA battalions and RM Cdo units rotate through Afghanistan, doing exactly the same job as line infantry battalions.

Having said that, by virtue of the additional selection that para and commando trained units (not just PARA Regt and RM) do and their general mystique, they do tend to get some very capable soldiers and both maintain a very unique ethos.

You will find that in any unit there is always something to aspire to move on to. So in an infantry battalion or armoured regiment the Recce Pl/Tp may be seen as being somewhat elite. In the RA, the special OP Bty (4/73 I think) or the Cdo or Para trained RA regiments (29 RA and 7 RHA) are probably seen as elite. In a BRR, the BRF sqn is likely to be seen as elite by the regiment and so on.

Like yourself, everyone wants to be seen as a bit special (in a good way). My advice to you would be to speak to a recruiter, who will be able to advise you. A few words of warning, if he is from the local infantry regiment, he may try to get you to join that (not necessarily a bad thing). Secondly, if you join the medics, you could as easily end up supporting an RLC regiment in Germany as supporting a para unit in the UK and are likely to rotate around quite a bit (I stand by tone corrected).

From what you have said, I would advise you to look at: the infantry (PARA or your local regiment), the RAC (probably BRR, used to be Formation Recce) or the RA (you can ask to go to 29RA or 7RHA from the offset). You could also consider something like the medics or REME, which will enable you to move around and see a bit of everything.


Thank you for that very, very interesting and informative reply. Gave me alot to think about and the Recruiter that i deal with is from the local Regiment but said he could see i wasn't going to listen to him and his stories of them being the best ha ha. Although from what i understand PWRR are seen as a good Regiment and highly decorated. So if it came to it, joining them wouldn't be the worst thing to do. Joining the RAF Reg would be ha ha.

Again, thank you for that reply, i'll look into what you said and i'll look up the BRR. Thank you