Can we sell the AT trade any better?

Discussion in 'RLC' started by farmaggeddon, Apr 12, 2005.

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  1. I have to admit that after all the moaning we do about the state of the AT trade, I am curious as to why the hell we don't sell our trade any better. The majority of the green army has worked with an ATO at some stage or another and they would be the obvious source to target for experienced NCO's to be brought in to retrade and units could do more to promote the trade and their own existance but we constantly shy away from the camera and the corps limelight, then winge about how the RE are trying to steal IED.

    Stand up and be counted or ask for a P45?

    Then again we could just whack it on e-bay?

    Fatty, Lord F - Being the trade equivalent of Adonis, why are you two would speak volumes about us 8O
  2. Sorry - good England on that last sentence
  3. General Melchett

    General Melchett LE Moderator

    You can edit your posts to make it proper England yous knows.

    I agree with you on this one. Maybe the excuse of secrecy so as not to compromise the identity of ATs is the reason. Trying to create an air of mystery about the trade. Which will only serve to kill it off.

    You say about recruiting from other Regts. When I was with 11 EOD we used to sell the trade to said soldiers who expressed an interest. I think in 3 years we managed to get at least 8 guys to apply, of whom 3 passed the cousre. Not many, but without our input to their units they would have been stopped by their chains of command. Lets face it no unit wants to lose a good soldier to another trade.

    Don't forget that there is an AT SNCO on the RLC recruiting team.
  4. I've told most of the possible recruits the truth - that's why we don't get many :lol: We have had 2 prospective ATs with us this week and one is going for it, the other may but may be too far along in career term (15 years already). They seemed to enjoy it and were interested in the whole job not just the EOD, but as I said the pill was not sugared. They also saw the cluster of man/post management, the undermanning and the poor comms. :evil:

    We tend to play that secrecy thing from the days when the 321 boys were actively targeted - hopefully not the case anymore, especially as I'm going back out soon! 8O RE press management has always been better than RAOC/RLC for similar tasks but they're better known - we still get the Royal what Corps? I thought the Engineers did that. :roll:

    The Trade still has advantages over the rest of (admittedly not all) the RLC, and is being actively pressed in the areas that you press thing like that. We need to show we can fwd think and let them in on what could be... :idea:

    Alternatively we could just continue to fill 821, retain all the continuance to slow promotion and p1ss people off enough for them to jump ship telling all the youngsters how arrse it is :x

    I'd love to try the day..... but the latter is more likely when I can afford it :!:
  5. Fatblerk, one huge problem with your, admiitedly, lucid and eloquent statement've missed the point! 821 is being expanded as it is "The future of the trade" i.e. expeditionry Ops etc., the drawback being that C & D Tp really require experienced ATs who can do Unit liason (or telling RQs and QMs what they can or cannot do with thier ammo) and EOD and all the other stuff ATs need to do in the "Boonies". ATs can only get this experience by doing it in a Task Squadron, and then get posted to 821 - well that was the initial plan when all the roles and establishment of C & D Tps was written (and E & F TP now). The problem was Morale Counter Measures at Glasgow not following the script, and lots of Ops quickly. These two facts alone accounted for a massive clusterfeck of manning, and MCM paniced when they realised what a mess they had made when the number of ATs was increased and so offered continuance (even to well known TVs) to try and fill some of the gaps.

    IMHO the extra bodies should have gone to Task Squadrons and 821 should have been left with minimal manning (C & D Tp, forget E & F for now) and personnel for Ops "blagged" when required, much as now, but with a bigger pool to choose from so overstretch wouldn't be quite as bad as it is now.

    The offering of continuance to slow promotion is IMHO not a bad thing as let's be honest some SNCO ATs shouldn't even be Patrol Leaders in the Scouts! The trade has always had fliers, e.g. 5 year Sgts, but these tended to be guys who were exceptional and invariably ended up commissioned, nowadays it seems to be the rule and a lot of them don't have the technical knowledge/ability to do the job (which after all is why Rank is aligned with technical responsibilty in the trade) :?

    Wibble over :oops:
  6. The arguement wasn't how to solidify the top of the trade with continuence, but more, how to fill the trade from the bottom up. GrumpyOG pointed out that we've always had a high flyer here and there, but it does seem at the minute that everybody is attaining that altitude because of the short falls in manning.

    I also agree that 821 is currently the future because thats were the eye of the trade has fallen but it still doesn't stop us getting out there and recruiting more people.

    FB - you siad that you had 2 guys and only 1 went on the course. Did you try to source anymore? I agree with the principle of telling them the trut but 50% is detremental to the cause.

    Again I put forward my point of the fact that we do not sell the trade sufficiently and that we are our own worst enemy. Granted, there are those few out there getting in the papers by trying to kill people on CMD shouts but that is not something new. Can we do more?

    I'm still on for e-bay though.
  7. General Melchett

    General Melchett LE Moderator

    Try the ebay thing, but remember you have to actually sell something on the auction page, even if it's an old carrier bag for 1p, otherwise ebay will remove the auction.
  8. Melchers my old chap go steady with the Ebay advice! Didn't we nearly empty a certain troop location up north.

    As for retrades it'll never catch on you know! 8)
  9. General Melchett

    General Melchett LE Moderator

    No and Yes.
  10. Sorry been away for a while, wet, Irish - you can guess :roll:

    OG, my point about 821 was not whether it is required rather whether it is manned correctly, and as you wrote and I have said on other threads (and loudly near OCs and COs) is that having C,D,E & F tps full for ops is ace - when we have ops on and when there is nothing else to do. 821 man power would be better served on an 821 LSN but at a 5,6,7 or 9 post (or even in BAD/DM/latest rebrand name). Then when it kicks off or they want to exercise, we know who is going and who will replace and who will be next after that. Its like planning! (We could give those poor 6 on 6 off twats in 6 & 9 a rest with some planning!) 8O

    Farmer - said I had two with me that week, the number trying to retrade is far higher and we have a few more coming to the troop over the next few weeks - and a lot of them are youngsters who will sign off if not retraded, so they're prime material. :twisted:

    Continuance is only a bug bear for those that are being held up, and the trade has had fluctuations in course speed e.g. a 90 cse may all be WO in 13 years when a 91 sees the majority taking either more or less. The current ads for the trade state 14.7 years to WO1. It won't be for those joining now or the courses around DRLC's couse skipping years though it will be for those just after that. :?

    The undermanning is army wide, remember - despite what BLiar and Hoon say. The trade will be short of manning for about the next 8-10 years I reckon - that's when dear DRLC's course cuts will have run through. Not a bad bloke. Looked after us in many ways - saw us off in a few! :wink:
  11. The discussion about direct entry and re-trading soldiers into the AT Trade continues apace it seems. Whatever the means of recruitment we must ensure however that technical ability and performance is not sacrificed in the name of manning.

    I know Fatblerk will remember well the three strikes and out rule at ASA when we passed through. How many in the the trade now have heard of individuals completing the courses with multiple exam failures 8O . This is the BASIC T2 AT course, and if soldiers are struggling with the training requirements at this stage, it begs the question how they will fare on attempting their T1 course.

    The current trend of T2 AT Cpls being loaded onto the T1 course automatically after two years service should also IMHO cease. The course should be loaded with personnel who are recommended for the course by their respective SATO in consultation with their SAT. Qualification and Promotion should be as a result of ability and performance not time served in post or rank (which most ATs appear to belive :evil: )

    Let us step back from this precipice of Political Correctness and "not Career Fouling sh**e". If you perform you are rewarded, if not, tough luck.
  12. General Melchett

    General Melchett LE Moderator

    I agree that T2 ATs should be recommended for the T1 course.

    Unfortunatley they are a product of the system, because the system puts them on the course after time served.

    The system needs to change to ensure a level of both competancy and maturity from the soldiers. Not only will this produce a better T1 AT, but a better Cpl. More able to take on the added responsibility of the qualification, and hopefully then spend at least 2 years as a T1 Cpl before any sniff at promotion.

    If only.............................
  13. The two easiest paths for getting more people into the trade is by raising both the standard of ATs and the level of Pay. Other methods have been mentioned in unofficial forums but I can't see them coming in.

    821 is not the way ahead especially as it does not give valued employment "off" tour and the rest of the Regt is similar a poor place to learn the trade and be appropriately employed.

    For those of you out there pre -options for change, -RLC formation, -demise of DLSA and Pay2K, lets reinvent the wheel and recall how 3 courses a year were filled. Why in the late 80s did hundreds of people want to be ATs? Not just direct entrants but re treads too. In my platoon during basic training there were 5 PotATs and some of the others years later attempted retrading. Then ask yourself the question why did all BATs spend their first years in a depot?

    Get the new ATs into a Depot gainfully employed and learning on the job and through continuation training. Perhaps throw in a tour as well. After 3 years, if they are suitable, they do Upgrading and get posted somewhere a bit more exciting.
  14. Working in the depot taught me next to nothing about work in the rest of the trade. It was good prep for working in the depot and little else. (I did my first six years in depots, less op tours). I firmly believe that they were purely holding area's until we promoted to a level useful to 11 Regt.

    At least in 821 the young lad's get a chance to do small amounts of soldiering, lot's of continuation training and when depoyed on CSAT's a bit of experience dealing with units.

    And not to be underestimated, as 821 get a bunch from each course, they will be able to form friendships with thier peers which will help when reffering sideways later in thier careers. This hasn't happened in recent years with the bombburst from the AS of A.

    And they have a good social in 821.
  15. You say you learnt next to nothing after six years in a depot. Maybe you wasted your time then.

    Surely the depot life is essential to BAT's - it introduces them to the basic ammunition items they quickly forgot through their course, gets them into good working practice, learn discipline and about the army structure and allows them to gain an appreciation of what the next 19 years are really about.

    If you ask the majority of AT's who went straight to depots, most will say that they learnt a thing or two.

    As for putting people straight into CSAT's - well thats only good if they do constant tours and get to see ammunition, and not an Office or garage at Didcot. Field them out by all means but make sure that they are working and not just passing time until they get put back on their upgrade.

    Me, I did 155mm de-fuze, re-fuze and as pap as it was, it still built character.

    Maybe you just had a brown sheriffs badge for a boss who couldn't employ you correctly.