Combat trades? Surely our trade groupings are as follows:
Communications Logistics Group
Royal Signals Driver
Royal Signals Technical Supply Specialist [/marq] Technician Group
Royal Signals Systems Engineering Technician
Royal Signals Installation Technician
Royal Signals Information Systems Engineer Electrician Group
Royal Signals Electrician Operator Group
Royal Signals Communication Systems Operator Electronic Warfare Group
Royal Signals Electronic Warfare Systems Operator
Regarding the "backbone" of the Corps, that's an interesting supposition. I'm pretty sure the CS Ops would argue that they are the backbone of the Corps, as CS Op is the most mainstream of all the CEQs. I would probably tend to agree with the logic.
The backbone of the corps is the CS Op. WIthout it there is no point in laying line, fixin' genes and ther'd be no kit to fix.
Every trade likes to think its self as important and beleive the corps can't function without them but its a team sport this comms malarky and if you are missing elements of the team the end result becomes more difficult to obtain.
When is everyone going to realise that the backbone of the corps is all its trades. Without every trade in the Signals the others would seriously struggle to function to full effectiveness so lets stop all this crap of trade bashing and actually praise each other for once. You may actually feel good about yourself.