communications systems operator

hey their i looking for a job within the army which involves working close with certain unit, or basically in the field with the infantry but at the same time gaining lot qualifications is this the right job for me. thanks
YOu could also try CS Engineer.
It will provide more chances of getting quals, slightly less chance of working with Inf but still there.

I am guessing the "certain unit" is the Womens Auxillary Balloon Corps' in which case there is chaces of working with them too.
im leaving for pirbright on 26th october for 14 weeks then after that i go on to do my training as a comms sys op, ive been told its good for qualifications, and also progression, ive heard comms sys engineers get a bit more in terms of qualifications but not sure, you should go and speak to your CA
Anyone got more on the day-to-day life as a Comms Sys Operator? On and off ops.

Mikey, is that the first avaliable intake? It looks like that will be my time too all being well.

Hopefully fivetodo will come along as that is his trade....
yeah mate that is the first intake, 26th october for basic at pirbright for 14 weeks, then 28 weeks trade training at dorset, hope to see you there
my 1st choice was sigs (comms sys op) 2nd was RE (military comms) and 3rd was logistics (comms/driver)
I am an operator in the sigs so if there is anything you want to know about the job drop me a pm and ill help you out if i can.

EDITED TO ADD: If it will be easier to post on here, i'll let you know what the job is like, honestly and no holds barred. It is an opinion mind and my experiences may and will not be the same as yours.
Cheers discontented. Yes id say post here as it can be of help in the future to other people, and save you having to answer this one again.........

Main points being:

Day to day life on and off Ops

Future prospects on leaving?

Do you ever get to go up front?
The day-to-day life of an operator when your not on ex/tour/leave etc is very boring if I'm honest with you. A typical week would go something like this:

Monday morning you would first works your vehicle/det etc (make sure it's in working order) then the rest of the day would generally be taken up with testing/cleaning (lots of cleaning LOTS!) your radio/comms kit and chase up things from the techs. All this while making sure the garages are generally swept and kept tidy.

Tuesday you would have PT at some point in the day, usually in the mornings but some places will have PT in the afternoons. PT is usually a run or circuits but can be anything. Rest of the day is again cleaning / checking / testing kit.

Wednesdays are lots of waiting around in the mornings and usually (though not all of the time) sports in the afternoon which essentially means an early knock off.

Thursday will be pretty much the same as Tuesday.

Fridays will be clean up around the blocks, then maybe rifle cleaning or sweeping the garages for a bit, usually to naafi time then PT. Most often will be a tab or assault course or battle PT in some form. All finished in time for lunch then a mad race home for the weekends.

Throw in room inspections on random mornings and thats a typical week.

Doesn't sound great I know but if you think that your getting paid to do nothing then your onto a winner. A working unit really is 100% different to training in every way imaginable.

The seniors at your unit will always try and think up things for you to do because they know that there can be times when there is very little to do other than stick your finger up your arrse. These things will include training , exercises, courses etc.

One thing to remember is every unit will be different and there are specialist units you can join too,such as airborne, commando, and sas. on top of that you have special comms which is grrrrreat!!!!

If your getting ready to go on EX then your week will be taken up with checking everything works, comms / tents etc (if your at a brigade / div then these tents can be mahoosive) and signing for things that you need.

When your on exercise you will move from location to location many times, setup comms and setup the lcoation (tents, cam etc.) It's best to be on an 'out det' such as a rebro because life on top of a hill when there are only two of you is great. If your in the HQ troop it can be very hard work esp at 3 in the morning, you have had no sleep, just come off a radio shift and get told tear down and move. when you get there you setup it all back up again. and its raining.

When your on tour, depending on what sqn / regt / bde or div your with then what you will be doing will vary. Essentially you will be providing comms for your particular sqn etc to higher command You could also be providing a link to the guys on the ground on the choppers in the sky. If your lucky enough (and thats your thing) you can get embedded into an inf unit. Usually though you will be handling comms in the HQ but you will get the chance to get on the ground, esp if your inf skills are s*** hot and your liked.

Being on tour is alot different to being back in the uk/germany/home and as such your treated more as an adult because everyone out there has a job to do. I've done 2 tours of iraq and two of afghan and they have all been different. You do get contacted alot in 'stan esp if your in a forward operating base as opposed to being back at the air base. So for all you war junkie wannabies you can get as much or as little of the action as you want.

As for what you can do when you come out, I'm not in any position to comment because I'm a lifer. I'm sure there will be other posters on here who can give you a better insight on what you can do when you leave.
hope that helps.
carlbcfc said:
...Future prospects on leaving?
I left the Army 3 years ago after 5 years in the R.Sigs as an operator. I'm now an IT Contractor earning more money than I can spend, LITERALLY! When I left I got a job with a company called Sungard Vivista based down south and got in to IT. They took me on because believe it or not the trade side of things (when I was in, there were two types of operator, Area and Radio, of which I was the latter) can come in very useful on the outseide world. It helps if your a class 1 though as you will know more basically.

Got bored there so got a few civvy quals in IT (that cost a fortune but well WELL worth it. You get money to use too, £1000 a year x 3 unless you do more than 8 years in which case you get £2000 which was a great help) and went onto become a network design engineer.

Got some experience working on the design side of things as a permenant employee but the contractors where makeing four times more than me so I left and found a contract with a major defence company. First contract - £270 per DAY.

That was over a year ago and since than have a few more quals and have worked with a few more companies. Daily rate now? £375 per DAY.

PS: I'm 26, own my own home and drive an Audi A7. Not bad eh!
Couldn't tell you about the RE mate, but I would imagine there are alot of simularities. Ask in the RE forum for advice on their trades and see what you get back.
Thank you dicontented & keen_in_green. The info provided is great and sounds like the path I want to follow.

Just a couple more questions if you dont mind.

Are Sigs mostly based in Germany?

If there is different routes you can go as an operator, is that your choice which way you go?
brutalGamer said:
sorry I meant the communications systems engineers.
In a word no. They are the 'brains' behind the kit. They are very IT orientated from what I understand so it's all microsoft this and cisco that. To that end, their job is more like an IT Administrator in civvy street. If I'm honest (and as an op, it pains me to say this) they have a better trade to leave with and the time in the army is better in some respects. They get promoted out of training and can get up the ranks faster your average operator.

They have an easier tour (from what I have seen) than some operators but still get to hit the ground when required. Most trades these days are getting some kind of action anyway, that's how hot 'stan is at the mo.

carlbcfc said:
... Are Sigs mostly based in Germany?

If there is different routes you can go as an operator, is that your choice which way you go?
There are a good few postings in germany for the sigs but there are more in the uk. You can google what units are where because I'm too lazy to list them all here ;)

I don't understand what your trying to get at with the 2nd part of your post, sorry. I think what your asking is are there different career routes?

Not really, if your an operator then thats your job. There is a divide now from the older Radio and Area op trades but you will get to do both. Obviously you also have Airborne, Commando, SAS and special communications (1RBY if you want to google it). If you can, you want to stick to the 'radio' side as it's better, but I would say that being an old Radio Systems Op :)

Hope that helps guys and girls.

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