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Commitment

Hi folks. Just looking at joining the Royal Engineers Reserves and have searched on the internet but prefer to ask someone already in the Army reserve as you get a better answer.

What commitment is it really? I’ve heard minimum 19 or 27 days, depends if it’s a National Unit. Is RE national? What is the commitment for RE?

Is it 1 weekend a month and 14 days away which makes the 27 days?

And is there something on every weekend and you pick which one a month you attend or do they? (I do on call at work you see 1 in 5)

What do you do on those weekends? Are you away every weekend or at the barracks some of them and go home of an evening? Eg 75% of time you’re away but sometimes you stay at local HQ and go home or not? I know this might sound like a daft question but is it Catterick every weekend or do you set up camp beds at the local unit HQ or go home after a certain time and back the next morning?

Does parade night count as a days commitment?

Only reason I ask, me and the Mrs have just had a baby. I just want to know what commitment I’d be making should I join now or in a couple of years.

Also, I’m a time served plumber/gas engineer, what training would I do if joined as a plumber? Basic training and combat engineer only and then be done or would they have to do some type of plumbing training?
 
First off, get in touch with the unit you’re interested in. Just giving them a ring and asking questions does not commit you to joining. They’ll have a PSI or recruiting SNCO whose job it is to answer your questions and discuss how it all works. Most units will be happy for you to go along to a drill night and see for yourself what they do and have a chat with the troops to find out what’s what.

The minimum commitment is 27-days annually. That’s a 16-day annual camp with the rest made up of drill nights and training weekends. It’s the minimum requirement to get your annual bounty. You get the bounty (a bonus) at the end of the training year if you’ve done minimum days and passed all your Military Annual Training Tests (MATTs). Don’t meet the commitment, no bounty. Some people do a lot more than this, some hardly turn up, some only go to drill nights, some only do the weekends. There aren’t any disciplinary sanctions if you can’t turn up, most units understand that people’s prioritt is the job which pays the bills not the AR. It’s very flexible and as long as you communicate clearly and in good time to your CoC you won’t have any dramas.

Drill nights are quarter-day pay. Some units give an extra quarter (so half day total) if you come in early to use the gym.

Training weekends are usually once per month and advertised well in advance (hopefully!) and give an opportunity to do the hands-on training you can’t fit into a two-hour drill night. It could be at your ARC, a training camp or out in the field depending on what the training objectives are.

All your questions can be done in a phone call so give them a ring; they’ll have a guy who fields questions from potential recruits like you. It’ll be more accurate than people on here giving general advice about their own unit because every unit is run slightly differently. As I said, phoning for information is not signing up. If it sounds good, ask if you can go along to a drill night to find out more.

Get stuck in and take advantage of it.
 
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First off, get in touch with the unit you’re interested in. Just giving them a ring and asking questions does not commit you to joining. They’ll have a PSI or recruiting SNCO who can answer your questions and discuss how it all works. Most units will be happy for you to go along to a drill night and see for yourself what they do and have a chat with the troops to find out what’s what.

The minimum commitment is 27-days annually. That’s a 16-day annual camp with the rest made up of drill nights and training weekends. It’s the minimum requirement to get your annual bounty. You get the bounty (a bonus) at the end of the training year if you’ve done minimum days and passed all your Military Annual Training Tests (MATTs). Don’t meet the commitment, no bounty. Some people do a lot more than this, some hardly turn up, some only go to drill nights, some only do the weekends. There aren’t any disciplinary sanctions if you can’t turn up, most units understand that people’s prioritt is the job which pays the bills not the AR. It’s very flexible and as long as you communicate clearly and in good time to your CoC you won’t have any dramas.

Drill nights are quarter-day pay. Some units give an extra quarter (so half day total) if you come in early to use the gym.

Training weekends are usually once per month and advertised well in advance (hopefully!) and give an opportunity to do the hands-on training you can’t fit into a two-hour drill night. It could be at your ARC, a training camp or out in the field depending on what the training objectives are.

All your questions can be done in a phone call so give them a ring; they’ll have a guy who fields questions from potential recruits like you. It’ll be more accurate than people on here giving general advice about their unit. As I said, phoning for information is not signing up. If it sounds good, ask if you can go along to a drill night to find out more.

Get stuck in and take advantage of it.

Thanks for that. So in realty you could just go to parade night every week but no weekends? Not that I’m shirking, I do weekends at work as part of my job.
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
Thanks for that. So in realty you could just go to parade night every week but no weekends? Not that I’m shirking, I do weekends at work as part of my job.

To paraphrase G-F-P
get in touch with the unit you’re interested in. Just giving them a ring and asking questions does not commit you to joining
give them a ring
;
phoning for information is not signing up

I suppose in theory you could make your 27 days with evenings and the training camp, no weekends, but its unlikely you would get much out of it and the unit wouldn't be that impressed.
Try not to think about the minimum you can put into it, but the maximum you can get out of it.
 

Cheopp

Swinger
The short of it (apart from go speak to the unit is):

- Royal Engineers are not a National Unit. There are (I believe) National Units that belong to the RE but if you're wanting to join a local unit that does parade nights, that's not a National Unit. National Units don't do weekly parade nights.
- There will be weekends on, with the frequency varying by unit. 1 or 2 a month is common, I've heard sometimes you get the opportunity to do more, depending on the unit. There will also be opportunities with the wider army to attend weekends or weeks or whatever on other tasks outside your own unit.
- Usually a certain number of weekends will be designated as required weekends and you're expected to attend a proportion of these. Not all. These weekends are usually the ones where the unit will undertake certain training tasks that Reservists need to do on a yearly basis to be certified as competent and get their tax-free bounty.
- Annual camps (the 2 week camp) are also usually listed as mandatory, but often there will be one or more options for "Alternate Annual Camps" that will count as your camp commitment if you can't make the dates for the normal Annual Camp. Soldiers can also sometimes propose their own Annual Camps (eg finding exercises or courses ongoing elsewhere in the Army that meet certain criteria required to be suitable as an Alternate Annual Camp) but that's at the discretion of whoever's in charge of the unit.
 
The short of it (apart from go speak to the unit is):

- Royal Engineers are not a National Unit. There are (I believe) National Units that belong to the RE but if you're wanting to join a local unit that does parade nights, that's not a National Unit. National Units don't do weekly parade nights.
- There will be weekends on, with the frequency varying by unit. 1 or 2 a month is common, I've heard sometimes you get the opportunity to do more, depending on the unit. There will also be opportunities with the wider army to attend weekends or weeks or whatever on other tasks outside your own unit.
- Usually a certain number of weekends will be designated as required weekends and you're expected to attend a proportion of these. Not all. These weekends are usually the ones where the unit will undertake certain training tasks that Reservists need to do on a yearly basis to be certified as competent and get their tax-free bounty.
- Annual camps (the 2 week camp) are also usually listed as mandatory, but often there will be one or more options for "Alternate Annual Camps" that will count as your camp commitment if you can't make the dates for the normal Annual Camp. Soldiers can also sometimes propose their own Annual Camps (eg finding exercises or courses ongoing elsewhere in the Army that meet certain criteria required to be suitable as an Alternate Annual Camp) but that's at the discretion of whoever's in charge of the unit.

Regards the annual camp, what does the average one look like? Home or abroad? Whereabouts with both?
 

Snapper 25

Clanker
The army reserve is very flexible. Some people do the minimum, others do it full time. You won't get the militery police coming for you if you don't turn up. All that happens if you don't do the minimum is that you won't get your bounty or be able to go adventure training.
The minimum works out to be a two week camp, 4 weekends and 4 drill nights. It's really not hard to do.
 

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