Discussion in 'Royal Signals' started by simpsonp, Feb 16, 2010.

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  1. Hi all

    I am booked in for my careers interview at Bury St Edmunds on Thursday this week. As you may have guessed, I am applying for the role of CSE.

    What I would like to know is, what should I expect that it doesn't tell me on the website or brochures. What is life really like down in Dorset? What sort of life does a CSE live? Can I choose to further my education even if I am not lucky enough to be selected to take a degree? Anything that anyone can think of really, I am just trying to build a general picture up in my head.

    I have been reading the forums for a little while, and I've enjoyed some of the posts.

    Thanks :D
  2. By the way, I'm 29 and a married father of one.
  3. Depressing! So bored down here, at least we can get down to Bournemouth etc nice and easily.

    As for the rest of your questions, I can't really answer, only a nod going though phase 2 myself at the moment.
  4. You've opened yourself up for quite a bit of stick here fella asking the dreaded 'What's it like in Dorset?' question. However having served there twice I can speak from a slightly different perspective. I am married and have lived in one quarter in Blandford. Some of the quarters have recently been refurbished to a good standard. Dorset is a beautiful part of the country, however you must be willing to drive anywhere in order to see anything. As has been previously mentioned, you have Bournemouth down the road as well as Poole. Salisbury is quite nice for shopping. There are a lot of small villages around the Blandford area, but I would suggest that these are the sort of 'Sunday Drive' areas. Wimborne is a short drive away from Blandford; a small town but quite nice all the same. Blandford has its own Royal British Legion which is excellent for Remembrance Day since they do have a nice pint....or three. There are a selection of pubs in and around Blandford. It is up to you which one you prefer since you've got to remember that Blandford is only a small market town and there are a lot of soldiers that drink in a small amount of pubs. Shopping and restaurants are also quite reasonable however I personally would prefer to find a decent pub somewhere and enjoy what the pub menu has to offer.

    As for being a CSE, you will learn your trade quickly assuming you have the necessary aptitude. What are your current skill sets? Have you looked at any alternative trades? I would consider making a second choice of trade if your first choice doesn't 'come off' which I am sure you've already been advised to consider.

    Finally good luck with your interview tomorrow. If you've got any questions regarding Blandford then please don't hesitate to PM me and I will try to answer as many of your questions as I can.

  5. Goodfella

    Thanks very much for your detailed reply.

    I like the sound of the area, I am from rural Suffolk and love a good Sunday drive!

    As far as my skill sets are concerned, I know enough about computers to be able to take them apart and make hardware upgrades fixes etc. I can install / uninstall software, set up networks, use decoders and move satellite dishes to find frequencies. TV signal amplifiers, dongles, internet signal boosters are all familiar to me. I have decided that operator Military Intelligence would be my second choice, I feel that I can communicate confidently and articulately.

    I have just been in touch with the local ACIO, I'm off tomorrow morning and can't wait to get the ball rolling.
  6. As said Blandford is not too bad. I too have spent sometime there, and hark from rural Suffolk too. To be fair Blandford is not too far removed from the rural areas of Suffolk. There are meccas of civilization within drivable reach, although the small town as a high number of troops for relatively few pubs and shops.

    As far as the trade goes, you should be fine but as said make sure you have a back up. I have some experience of the trade group and Blandford if you want to PM me.

  7. This is probably the best place to ask this since you seem to have experience and a good knowledge of this job role.

    Was just wanting to know a few questions:
    - What's the daily life like for a CS Eng? ( Thats not on tour )
    - Where are situated on tour. Are you stuck in Camp Bastion for 6 months?
    - Do people in the signals really get all the sh!t jobs. ( seems abit stupid to ask but allot of people have been saying this and I'm unsure)

  8. OK, with regards to the daily life of a CS Eng, it all depends on what unit you go to. In my experience life in a Brigade Signal Squadron used to involve using civvy kit and a lot of standalone kit. You may be involved 'small time' in the management of DII(C)/(F).

    I've not personally gone out to Afghan just yet, however I did work on a networked computer system in Iraq. That was quite challenging.

    As for 'shit jobs', we all get them sometimes no matter what rank you aspire to. The Royal Signals is no different to any other cap badge in the British Army. Just take it as it comes. That's the way the cookie crumbles. Don't let that put you off your application for the Royal Signals since the answer above will more than likely be exactly the same anywhere else you go.
  9. Thanks for the help, Just trying to get as much info from people who have experience because my interview is with a staff sgt who is in the signals and he was dropping hints that he expects me to know allot about the job and the corps.

    how many times have you been deployed then to Iraq and other countries?
  10. I',m a serving Tech and have been for some time! I have lots of mates who are CSE, most of them are transfers from Tech. They say its great for courses and you get some quality courses! all free! What we find is the young lads get qualled up and sod off back to CIV street and get better money!
    If you want a challenging job which isnt 9-5 then stay in, yes it is bullshit sometimes and you do get f**ked about and thats across the rank range, but if your into computers and all that goes with its a good choice!

    Havent been to Blandford for a while but last time i was there it haddnt changed much still a nice town with good places to visit near by. I believe the phase 1's are no longer allowed out much but thats not confirmed.

  11. There's always going to be an element of that and it's up to the chain of command to try and balance it so that we (the rest of the army and also the taxpayer) get value-for-money and return-of-service. They should definitely keep civvy quals going but just make sure that it's relevant. Civvy quals and other continuing professional development stuff is great for recruiting and retention. I'd still rather someone left with a good experience and was willing to recommend the army to others, rather than someone who leaves with nothing but a sour taste (and a drink problem obviously).

    There's an old business saying - "it's better to train people and lose some of them than to not train people and keep all of them". What we find in all walks of life is that people leave because of the organisation that they belong to rather than the qualifications they have achieved. I regularly see comments from lads on facebook saying how much they hate their job and want to hit civ div, or often under pressure from Zero Alpha. You rarely get anyone saying "I can't wait to get my Cisco qualifications so I can leave".
  12. I didn't think Techs had the choice? I thought it went something like this:

    "You're a CS Eng now."
    "But... I'm a Tech. I fix radios."
    "Not anymore, we're dumbing your trade down and amalgamating it with IS Eng"
    "So what does that mean for us long in the tooth Class 1 Techs?"
    "It means you're now called CS Eng."
    "But... I fix radios."
    "Not anymore. Now you just sign off the paperwork and backload them. So we're making you maintain computer systems instead now."

  13. What's the alternative?
  14. Operator
  15. Hell!!!!