Commissioning into the HCR

Discussion in 'RAC' started by Powdermonkey, Sep 23, 2010.

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  1. Hi everyone

    I'm currently at uni and also in the TA. I want to commission into the RAC after I graduate (if it's still around....!). I really want to join the HCR but I, unfortunately, have a couple of reservations and questions first. I know that the best thing to probably do would be to go on a regimental visit and get information that way. However in the absence of doing that so far I thought why not ask on here as well.

    My first question is about the Queens Life Guard, in all honesty it was probably this and also Trooping the Colour that first made me want to join the army as a young boy. As I want to commission I was wondering how much of a role do Officers take in the Queens Life Guard, I think I read on here on another thread that it is just the OR's that actually do the guarding part, outside Horse Guards etc. Am I correct in this or do officers have a bigger role than I think?

    Also my only real reservation/concern about joining the HCR is the rumours surrounding the mess bills for Officers. I have spoken to people, some current or ex HCR and some from other cavalry regiments and also a couple of non-cavalry people. All of them, including the current and ex HCR tell different stories about the mess bills. A lot of people have told me that the mess bills generally tend to be larger than your pay packet each month and even that a second income is necessary to sustain the life of an officer in the HCR. However some have also told me that this is no longer true and that it is a thing of the past. Therefore I was wondering if anyone would be able to give me a definitive answer on this? I feel that going along to the Regiment for a visit or interview and asking the same question probably would not go down too well!

    Thanks for any help. Also I am prepared for a bit of flak but please not too much, these are genuine questions! Thanks :)
  2. You could always use the search button, and find the threads were this has been done to death time and again, but well its Arrse and the world wants it to be done for them.

    So, Yes you have to work, no you dont need a mansion in Surrey. HtH
  3. Scarletto, I have done and tbh, it's not helped much. I am not asking whether I have to work as you seem to put it, I am more asking whether officers actually do much with the Queens Life Guard or is it just the OR's as I actually, believe it or not, want to do that, I am not the work shy freeloader you seem to be trying to make me out to be!! I guessed that a mansion in Surrey would not be needed either, seeing as tbh I think provided army accomodation should do for atleast a couple of years..., but was merely trying to get a straight answer as to whether it is still true that for someone with a bit less money than your stereotypical Hooray Henry Cavalry Officer, life in the officers mess of the HCR would be difficult or not when it came to paying mess bills etc, as even though as you point out the subject may well have been 'done to death' on here I still struggled to find a straight answer....!?
  4. Ravers

    Ravers LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Hello mate, a few questions if I may? Your answers will give us a better idea of whether you'd fit in.

    What is your polo handicap?
    Do you run grouse, pheasant or partridge at yours?
    Are you a Purdey or Holland & Holland man?
    Which London club do you belong to?
    Did you school at Eton or the other place? (This will help us determine whether you become a Life Guard or Blues and Royal)
  5. Ravers, given what I've seen of your previous posts I see you can be a somewhat funny guy when posting, I have to admit I laughed a little when reading that last one. Although I do actually have a friend who went for an interview with the HCR and the first question he was asked was apparently, 'Which hunt do you hunt with?'. You can see why I'm curious to know how much truth there really is to this and how much it actually really still matters!! And just for the record :p, never played, no but friends do, Purdey, none but have the opportunity to join a couple, one of the other places, lol!!
  6. If you went to the other place, you'd probably fit in more comfortably in RA, RLC, RAF, that sort of thing. Or have HCR dropped their standards a bit?

    Meanwhile I suspect the whole mess bill thing is probably grossly exaggerated - and don't forget that HCR spend plenty of time on ops where you won't get to spend anything anyway.
  7. Well hats off for being persistent; you obviously want a serious answer so here goes. Bear in mind that I was last a troop leader at Knightsbridge 23 years ago, but not much changes in the Household Cavalry. First of all, QLG. Officers only do QLG when the Queen is in residence at Buckingham Palace, which is actually less than half the year and almost never at weekends. When she´s in, we form what is called a Long Guard. It still lasts 24 hours, but includes a trumpeter, a Warrent Officer (carries the Standard) and an officer. When she´s not in, we form a Short Guard, commanded by a Corporal of Horse and with no trumpeter or standard. If the Queen takes up residence once the Guard has been mounted, we get a call from London District and have to "Make Up". That means, the duty QLG officer, WO and Trumpeter get their kit on and ride to Horse Guards and form a Long Guard. Similarly, if the Queen leaves London once the Guard has mounted, the officer, WO and trumpeter "Make Down" - ride back to barracks.

    As an officer, you really have nothing to do on Guard. Your kit is cleaned for you, your horse is prepared. The CoH takes the morning blanket ride exercise for the guard and their horses (a bare back spin round the riding school). The Adjutant or Orderly Officer inspect the Guard. You just ride on at the command "Fall in the Officer". Irrespective of your rank, you are known as the Captain fo the Queen´s Life Guard for the duration of the duty. Having got to Horse Guards and done the guard mount, your orderly will bring you a spot of lunch and you can settle down to watch the racing on telly. Then at 4pm, you inspect the sentries and the mounted box men are brought in. The only other official duty you have is to turn out the QLG in the quad if a member of the Royal Family is planning to drive through the arch - you will be notified in advance by London District, but it´s suprising how many people **** this up.

    In the evening, having supervised evening stables, you have a choice of activities. Either don your mess kit and walk down to St James´ Palace to dine in some spleandour with the officers of the Queen´s Guard or have a drinks party/dinner party in the Captain´s flat, or just have your bird round and get down and dirty in the Captain´s double bed (I think the only double bed provided for duty personnel in the army).

    It sounds easy, but as I said before, it´s amazing how many people cock it up. It´s a performance in front of lots of tourists, the hierarchy at London District, the MOD over the road and any number of senior royals. As the Captain of the QLG, you are responsible. But the duty only really comes round a couple of times a month and it´s quite nice to spend 24 hours in the Captain´s flat, away from barracks.

    Regarding mess bills, the golden rule in the HCR is that you only pay for what you consume. There is no round buying. The prices are about the same as in any other mess. So if you want to drink champagne with every meal, you´re going to need a private income. Likewise, if you run an Aston Marten and want to go shooting every weekend. There are people who live on their pay - I was one. I just had to budget carefully.
  8. Ravers

    Ravers LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    What do you mean I'm funny? What do you mean, you mean the way I talk? What? You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it's me, I'm a little fucked up maybe, but I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I'm here to fuckin' amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?
  9. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    I have always wondered. Do the Household Cavalry have an official singular for "Blues and Royals". After all "Blues & Royals" is only the nickname of Royal Horse Guards/Dragoons.
  10. Ken, thanks for the half useful answer lol!! Actually on the Ops side does anyone know when the HCR are due to next go to Afghanistan? I wouldn't mind seeing if I could go with them with the TA if there's the requirement, and yes don't worry I can do that with my unit!

    Jorrocks, thanks very much, a very useful post and possibly the most useful one I've read anywhere about the HCR! Sounds like no mean feat with all the potential for cock up!! Thanks for the advice on the mess bill. You say that you were one who lived off your pay by budgeting, is there any divide between officers who 'have champagne with every meal' so to say and those who live 'normally' or is it not really like that anymore!? Not that it would put me off too much, there's always going to be cocks in every walk of life I suppose!!

    Ravers, Just... you know, how you tell the story!!
  11. In about 3 weeks, good luck.
  12. Did you inherit most of the home counties, run a string of racing horses, and are used to having someone else dress you in the mornings? If you can answer yes to these questions, you will fit right in...
  13. No, wasn´t twenty years ago, and almost certainly isn´t now. Occassionally, you used to see a bit of chippiness from some of the ORs, some of whom were quite keen to have rich and stupid officers. Don´t think this happens now.
  14. Jorrocks, the Staff Duty Officer at HQ 2 Div has a double bed supplied as well, just to keep you straight! (no pun intended)
  15. Right, will give the same advice here as I am sure has been given any number of times on other threads:

    Firstly, think hard about why you want to join the HCR. If the main draw is the opportunity to put on victorian uniform and prance around london on a horse then your motivation probably isn't right. The Army is a wide and diverse place but can also be bloody lonely if you don't get on with those you work with. Ultimately you have to feel at home in the Regiment as they essentially become your family while you serve (and beyond).

    Go and visit the HCR and see what you think. Yes of course there are still chinless wonders out there who own half a county etc etc but I also know someone in a Regt that wouldn't normally be considered 'posh' that just spent a 7 figure sum buying and doing up a house!! There are lots of very down to earth cav chaps, without a sniff of a private income, who just like the way their Regts do business.