Confusion over what regiment to join

Hi all

Currently a candidate for reserves. My local unit is Infantry with a Field Hospital Detachment. I was looking to join either Signals or RLC. So I attend my local barracks for my recruitment talk and they basically said I can't do RLC but I can do Signals as they have an attachment there however the only way I can join them is to join Infantry, do ITC at Catterick and then do the Signals training. This is obviously another kettle of fish and although my fitness is improving greatly to join, it's not at infantry level yet as was a bit of an unexpected level. As much as I hugely respect this role, I have to be realistic about what level I can train to and also sustain to be useful.

They said they are no longer taking Medics for their Coy as they are full.

The majority of medics at this barracks are female. Does this mean they all did their Infantry training to be able to attach themselves as Medics at this barracks? I can't believe they all managed that fitness level..... I had a female infantry warn me that they are just aiming to get the figures up and if they can get another female in the Infantry for their stats, they won't always tell you the full options available. Whether this is true I don't know but I don't want to be told this is my only option and fail my assessment centre for Infantry on the fitness issue etc.

I've been told I can't be at their barracks unless I take this route and it's 5 mins from home yet any other is over 1.5 hour away minimum, most of which are also Infantry and same issue. So not many options.

I randomly came across a YouTube video of a woman who recently applied as a reserve to to be a medic, is looking to join her local Rifles unit and be attached to them. However she said she only had to reach the fitness level of a medic, not the fitness level for Rifles/Infantry to be able to be in their unit.

I'm not able to attend my barracks due to Covid to have a proper discussion with someone but last time I spoke to them, it was Infantry or nothing and I was quite surprised. Can I not join their attached Signals unit and be attached to them without the infantry ITC route?

Any clarity on how this all works would be amazing help as I am not sure I am understanding the difference etc. Thanks.
 
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My only advice is to edit your post and remove your name from the end.
 

We don't use names, or anything which can identify you, or your address, email, facebook, etc, etc, etc. For example, do you honestly think you will find the SAS and members of MI6 would give out their personal details.
 
I understand. I removed it as requested. It’s not actually my name i just made it up but it was more to indicate I’m a female writing from the post from a female perspective.
 
Hi all

Currently a candidate for reserves. My local unit is Infantry with a Field Hospital Detachment. I was looking to join either Signals or RLC. So I attend my local barracks for my recruitment talk and they basically said I can't do RLC but I can do Signals as they have an attachment there however the only way I can join them is to join Infantry, do ITC at Catterick and then do the Signals training. This is obviously another kettle of fish and although my fitness is improving greatly to join, it's not at infantry level yet as was a bit of an unexpected level. As much as I hugely respect this role, I have to be realistic about what level I can train to and also sustain to be useful.

They said they are no longer taking Medics for their Coy as they are full.

The majority of medics at this barracks are female. Does this mean they all did their Infantry training to be able to attach themselves as Medics at this barracks? I can't believe they all managed that fitness level..... I had a female infantry warn me that they are just aiming to get the figures up and if they can get another female in the Infantry for their stats, they won't always tell you the full options available. Whether this is true I don't know but I don't want to be told this is my only option and fail my assessment centre for Infantry on the fitness issue etc.

I've been told I can't be at their barracks unless I take this route and it's 5 mins from home yet any other is over 1.5 hour away minimum, most of which are also Infantry and same issue. So not many options.

I randomly came across a YouTube video of a woman who recently applied as a reserve to to be a medic, is looking to join her local Rifles unit and be attached to them. However she said she only had to reach the fitness level of a medic, not the fitness level for Rifles/Infantry to be able to be in their unit.

I'm not able to attend my barracks due to Covid to have a proper discussion with someone but last time I spoke to them, it was Infantry or nothing and I was quite surprised. Can I not join their attached Signals unit and be attached to them without the infantry ITC route?

Any clarity on how this all works would be amazing help as I am not sure I am understanding the difference etc. Thanks.

Right let me have a go at this:

1. My understanding is that you want to join a signals unit if possible. If that is not possible then you want to join a RLC unit.

2. You have been told that you have to join an infantry unit to get to the signals.

To me that sounds a bit kack handed, my immediate answers to the above are:

1. There are a multitude of opportunities out there in a multitude of units. Find the specific unit, or type of unit, you would like to join and then tell them you would like to join, ie Sigs, or RLC.

2. Someone telling you that you NEED to join and infantry unit to get to Sigs, or RLC, is, in my opinion, trying it on and trying to fill vacancies.

Everyone has to do a level of basic military training so that they know their left from their right.........so that they can amble in step when the shouty man is shouting left, right, left, right. But, unless things have dramatically changed then you don't need to do infantry training unless you are going to be in the infantry, not attached to, or working with, but actually in the infantry.

My advice to you is: Stick with it, volunteers are always welcome, but do what you want to do and not what someone else is trying to shoehorn you into.

If you keep getting buggered around can I also suggest that you might want to consider looking at being a Special Constable in your local area. I was a Special for a while and it is damn good fun, good mates, and a worthwhile contribution to your local community.

Good luck.
 
I was a Special for a while and it is damn good fun, good mates, and a worthwhile contribution to your local community.

Ttrue dit, one of my nephews was a Special for four or five years some time back. One Friday night he nicked his three best mates for drunk and disorderly*. When I asked him about it later he told me that the D&S collar was just a front, he really knicked them for taking the pi$$.

They were let out of the cells the next morning and sent on their way, fortunately they saw the funny side as well and the friendship endured until my nephew was tragically taken from us and his mates by the worst curse known to man...marriage.

* Apparently nicking them and banging them up for the night for a laugh was the idea of the Constable the kid was with.
 

Rooper

War Hero
Unfortunately what you are being told is entirely correct.

The Field Hospital and the Infantry company in a location are entirely different units with different requirements therefore what one tells you may not necessarily be true of the other unit.

All Army Reserve units have an established strength against which they can recruit and whilst they can recruit to overbear against that establishment there is still a hardstop figure and the medics in particular are rigid about this.

The infantry unit may/will have Combat Medical Technicians (CMTs) within it however there is still a limit on how many they can recruit. In addition to the CMTs they usually also have AGC clerks and RLC chefs attached within the locations. Each of these roles undergo common Phase One training before then completing their own specific trade training (Phase Two Training).

Driver and Signals within an Infantry unit are Infantry soldiers first and then their additional role comes second; they don’t have an ‘attached signals unit’ I’m afraid.

Regardless of the fact of lockdown the vast majority of Army Reserve unit recruiters are still working and should be contactable so that they can explain this to you in greater depth.

If by any chance the unit you are referring to is within Sussex drop me a DM and I will give you the contact details for the person there that you need to speak to.
 
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The_Duke

LE
Moderator
First question - terminology.

Is the “signals unit” at your local barracks cap badged Royal Signals or is it the signals platoon of the infantry unit?

The former will not have to do basic infantry training, the latter will.

An infantry unit typically has a limited number of positions open for other units attached - medics, clerks, chefs etc. It would not typically include Royal Signals. It has a defined establishment, and while there is scope to “overbear” on numbers locally the books have to balance it the end. It isn’t an option to pick and chose which cap badge you would like to wear.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
Unfortunately what you are being told is entirely correct.

The Field Hospital and the Infantry company in a location are entirely different units with different requirements therefore what one tells you may not necessarily be true of the other unit.

All Army Reserve units have an established strength against which they can recruit and whilst they can recruit to overbear against that establishment there is still a hardstop figure and the medics in particular are rigid about this.

The infantry unit may/will have Combat Medical Technicians (CMTs) within it however there is still a limit on him many they can recruit. In addition to the CMTs they usually also have AGC clerks and RLC chefs attached within the locations. Each of these roles undergo common Phase One training before then completing their own specific trade training (Phase Two Training).

Driver and Signals within an Infantry unit are Infantry soldiers first and then their additional role comes second; they don’t have an ‘attached signals unit’ I’m afraid.

Regardless of the fact of lockdown the vast majority of Army Reserve unit recruiters are still working and should be contactable so that they can explain this to you in greater depth.

If by any chance the unit you are referring to is within Sussex drop me a DM and I will give you the contact details for the person there that you need to speak to.
Great minds, etc.
 
Thank you everyone for all your answers, it has really helped clear it up somewhat. It perhaps sounds like I am being told the real situation in that if I wish to be based at these barracks it would mean the infantry route in.

It wasn't made clear if it was a Signals Platoon or Royal Signals attached but they said no one was in it yet and so had room for me. Apologies I don't know the specifics just yet but sounds like it would possibly be part of the Supporting Coy combat attachments, one of which is Signals?

With reference to being a Special Constable, I'm actually ex police of many years and I think doing it voluntarily would be the end of me, I had enough doing it paid! Great suggestion though as it's about doing your bit for the community etc and something worthwhile.

I've made enquires to a barracks over an hour and half away in the Engineers but its search and EOD only, which I don't mind but I think the constant travel wouldn't be ideal.

So I'm limited to Infantry really as to what is practical for attendance purposes so I can commit properly..... best get those running shoes even more warmed up!
 

Wee Hawken

Old-Salt
So I'm limited to Infantry really as to what is practical for attendance purposes so I can commit properly..... best get those running shoes even more warmed up!
Without wishing to be flippant, the basic standard of fitness required for (most) Inf units is frankly pretty low. If you have a pulse and are not too grossly overweight, you may not find it as challenging as you think. Don't be put off...
 

nsstab

Clanker
The lack of any existing sigs person as part of the unit would be ringing alarm bells for me. Its likely you would be expected to travel to another location where they are for your regular training. Similarly, where are the units radios? If they aren't at that location you will need to travel to where they are to maintain them. You are also looking at a longer training path - you will need to do CIC then be looking at another 2 weeks for the first signals course, then another for the next one up etc.

Fitness wise, signals in an infantry unit, you need to be very comfortable with the standards, as you will do just as much running about, but you'll be carrying a radio, batteries as well as the stuff everyone else is carrying. After a few courses you might end up spending more time near a command post but even then you'll be handling heavy kit like generators
 
The lack of any existing sigs person as part of the unit would be ringing alarm bells for me. Its likely you would be expected to travel to another location where they are for your regular training. Similarly, where are the units radios? If they aren't at that location you will need to travel to where they are to maintain them. You are also looking at a longer training path - you will need to do CIC then be looking at another 2 weeks for the first signals course, then another for the next one up etc.

Fitness wise, signals in an infantry unit, you need to be very comfortable with the standards, as you will do just as much running about, but you'll be carrying a radio, batteries as well as the stuff everyone else is carrying. After a few courses you might end up spending more time near a command post but even then you'll be handling heavy kit like generators
Thanks for this, that has certainly given me more information about it. I was thinking I would be expected to carry the same and more whilst out on a patrol or fire fight etc, so it would make it even more tough for me. I think I will just have to focus on infantry at this time, perhaps put Signals behind me for now and figure out any sort of further role from thereon. I might just enjoy being Infantry.....

This has really helped thanks all
 
Hi all

Currently a candidate for reserves. My local unit is Infantry with a Field Hospital Detachment. I was looking to join either Signals or RLC. So I attend my local barracks for my recruitment talk and they basically said I can't do RLC but I can do Signals as they have an attachment there however the only way I can join them is to join Infantry, do ITC at Catterick and then do the Signals training. This is obviously another kettle of fish and although my fitness is improving greatly to join, it's not at infantry level yet as was a bit of an unexpected level. As much as I hugely respect this role, I have to be realistic about what level I can train to and also sustain to be useful.

They said they are no longer taking Medics for their Coy as they are full.

The majority of medics at this barracks are female. Does this mean they all did their Infantry training to be able to attach themselves as Medics at this barracks? I can't believe they all managed that fitness level..... I had a female infantry warn me that they are just aiming to get the figures up and if they can get another female in the Infantry for their stats, they won't always tell you the full options available. Whether this is true I don't know but I don't want to be told this is my only option and fail my assessment centre for Infantry on the fitness issue etc.

I've been told I can't be at their barracks unless I take this route and it's 5 mins from home yet any other is over 1.5 hour away minimum, most of which are also Infantry and same issue. So not many options.

I randomly came across a YouTube video of a woman who recently applied as a reserve to to be a medic, is looking to join her local Rifles unit and be attached to them. However she said she only had to reach the fitness level of a medic, not the fitness level for Rifles/Infantry to be able to be in their unit.

I'm not able to attend my barracks due to Covid to have a proper discussion with someone but last time I spoke to them, it was Infantry or nothing and I was quite surprised. Can I not join their attached Signals unit and be attached to them without the infantry ITC route?

Any clarity on how this all works would be amazing help as I am not sure I am understanding the difference etc. Thanks.
Simple, join the Infantry Unit, do your training, do it well & once on the Bn, request a course ie BRU RRU Std2 etc. Become an assett to the Unit, volunteer for many courses, you'll have a great time and be appreciated by the CoC. Good luck.
 
Go Rifles and once your feet are under the table, see if you can opt for a specialisation such as signals platoon or a medical role of some description.

I’m hesitant to try and offer advice on recruitment because my time was well back in the last century so the above is just a suggestion.
 

oppoStu

War Hero
Our Infantry Reserve unit is different to this...

Our pre-attested recruits attend the Assessment Centre with the sponsor from our Reserve unit. If they fail to meet the infantry requirements in terms of fitness, so long as they pass the minimum requirements to join the army, they are told to accept any job offered to them (chef, driver etc.) and they will still be able to train as an infantry soldier within our unit.

I guess the unit's incentive is to increase numbers.

But going back to the op's question, surely this goes to show that it is purely down to which unit you are joining as they seem to set their own rules.
 
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