Couple of Questions

12357

Crow
Hi,

I've been toying with the idea of joining the army reserves for a little bit. I have discussed it with my wife and done reading on the army website/here, and I will get in touch with my local recruitment office. But I thought that before I do that I might ask a couple of questions here.

For me the pros would be:
  1. I like the outdoors/adventure stuff
  2. Something to do - my wife is away for work a lot
  3. Little bit of extra cash in the bank
The cons would be:
  1. Sounds like I could get shot (esp. w/ this Iran stuff going on)
  2. Have to give up free time could otherwise spend with family
  3. Not 100% sure what they day-to-day experience is like - could turn out I don't like it
My job involves a lot of projects where I'm the sole person responsible for delivering a lot of work. Although my employer seems to support ex-forces and reservists (they even asked people to wear military uniforms on Armed Forces Day) I am wondering if my boss would be upset if he found out as I understand there is a good chance I could disappear for extended periods. Is this something my company would have to deal with or could I expect flak at work for it?

I work as an electrical engineer and have a degree in it. I would like to go in as an officer. I understand techy types usually go into the Signals or the REME? However they do not have any centres near me, so do the "normal" regiments need Engineering Officers or would I need to do something different?

Much appreciated.
 
You’re right, you could get shot, blown up, captured by the enemy and a multitude of crap things happen.

As a civilian you could get stabbed, fall bang your head and die, get involved in a car accident and a multitude of crap things happen.

That’s life, at least in the Army you’ve got a fantastic support network should anything happen, even then the chances are slim.

Don’t worry about Iran, it’s years down the line before you would be adequately trained to take part in anything and by then it’ll be something else. Chances are you’ll never go on tour, but if you join I bet you’ll want to.

It sounds like the company you work for have signed up to the corporate covenant and would be supportive to you joining the reserves, but why not discuss it with your boss?

It‘s possible your employer could give you time off for yearly camps and other training days.

Go for it, if you don’t like it you can always bin it.
 
You don’t have to do the trade you do in civvy street, it’s probably more interesting if you don’t, the reserves have lots of options.

Have you looked at what units are close to?
 

Fake Sheikh

War Hero
You might want to look at something completely different as a role in the reserves.
A way of letting of steam & enjoying a trade or role.

Not all Reserves deploy in fact most do not unless the trade they are in is required or they volunteer for a tour.

As an officer you would be leading so perhaps not so technical or hands on.
 
You don’t have to do the trade you do in civvy street, it’s probably more interesting if you don’t, the reserves have lots of options.

Have you looked at what units are close to?
Sound advice. I’ve kept at it as a way of escaping what I do for a living.
 
I work as an electrical engineer and have a degree in it. I would like to go in as an officer. I understand techy types usually go into the Signals or the REME? However they do not have any centres near me, so do the "normal" regiments need Engineering Officers or would I need to do something different?
You've fallen into the trap. As an electrical engineer, your target unit is RE rather than REME. In particular, 170 Infra Support Engineer Group. That's where you'll use your design skills.

It's a nationally-recruited unit so has a minimum commitment of 19 days including a 2 week Annual Camp, extra weekends are available.

Take time to decide whether to join as a soldier or officer. Designs are usually produced at SSgt to WO1 level and signed off by an officer but that doesn't preclude a Sapper taking the lead by virtue of specialist knowledge.
 
Hi,

I've been toying with the idea of joining the army reserves for a little bit. I have discussed it with my wife and done reading on the army website/here, and I will get in touch with my local recruitment office. But I thought that before I do that I might ask a couple of questions here.

For me the pros would be:
  1. I like the outdoors/adventure stuff
  2. Something to do - my wife is away for work a lot
  3. Little bit of extra cash in the bank
The cons would be:
  1. Sounds like I could get shot (esp. w/ this Iran stuff going on)
  2. Have to give up free time could otherwise spend with family
  3. Not 100% sure what they day-to-day experience is like - could turn out I don't like it
My job involves a lot of projects where I'm the sole person responsible for delivering a lot of work. Although my employer seems to support ex-forces and reservists (they even asked people to wear military uniforms on Armed Forces Day) I am wondering if my boss would be upset if he found out as I understand there is a good chance I could disappear for extended periods. Is this something my company would have to deal with or could I expect flak at work for it?

I work as an electrical engineer and have a degree in it. I would like to go in as an officer. I understand techy types usually go into the Signals or the REME? However they do not have any centres near me, so do the "normal" regiments need Engineering Officers or would I need to do something different?

Much appreciated.
I have been out since '86 but in my day techy types did techy jobs in the ranks.
Officers did admin etc. (it is more complicated than that).
A commission may look good on your cv but may not be what you actually want.
Just thinking out loud.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
Posts deleted, points awarded.

If it says “recruiting” on the board, don’t post unless what you have to add is accurate, current and helpful to the OP. Dragging childish, dull spats around the boards will just earn you a nice long rest from the site.
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
As an electrical engineer Dingerr's trade may or may not be interesting for you.
Although if not keen to get shot at, perhaps not...

Edited to add my perspective. Like others, I use the reserves to blow off steam. At the moment, I am being pressured to move to a different job which resembles my civilian one - not massively keen on the idea to be honest.
 
In terms of deployment risk, as stated above when the reserves have been required over the last 17-18 years (e.g. TELIC, HERRICK) people have generally been mobilised on an 'intelligent' basis i.e. those that are able to deploy can go. I believe there was a series of compulsory mobilisations for TELIC but any such move going forward would require an act of parliament and all things considered is currently highly unlikely. If it makes you feel better, there are several Seniors at my location with a peace time chest of VRSM, and battles of diamond jubilee only.

In terms of roles, you have a really wide range of choices. If you want to manage soldiers doing engineering type tasks then you could look at REME or RE officer. If you want to do the engineering type tasks yourself then RE or REME soldier. If you want to employ your civilian trade then 170 Works Group as stated above would be a rewarding and interesting role with probably much quicker impact and greater professional satisfaction than the two tasks above. If you have no interest in doing anything engineering related then take a look at your local units.

There's a list of other national (e.g. specialist, lower commitment) units here which includes a phone number for 170 Works Group - Army Reserve units - British Army Jobs
 
Hi,

I've been toying with the idea of joining the army reserves for a little bit. I have discussed it with my wife and done reading on the army website/here, and I will get in touch with my local recruitment office. But I thought that before I do that I might ask a couple of questions here.

For me the pros would be:
  1. I like the outdoors/adventure stuff
  2. Something to do - my wife is away for work a lot
  3. Little bit of extra cash in the bank
The cons would be:
  1. Sounds like I could get shot (esp. w/ this Iran stuff going on)
  2. Have to give up free time could otherwise spend with family
  3. Not 100% sure what they day-to-day experience is like - could turn out I don't like it
My job involves a lot of projects where I'm the sole person responsible for delivering a lot of work. Although my employer seems to support ex-forces and reservists (they even asked people to wear military uniforms on Armed Forces Day) I am wondering if my boss would be upset if he found out as I understand there is a good chance I could disappear for extended periods. Is this something my company would have to deal with or could I expect flak at work for it?

I work as an electrical engineer and have a degree in it. I would like to go in as an officer. I understand techy types usually go into the Signals or the REME? However they do not have any centres near me, so do the "normal" regiments need Engineering Officers or would I need to do something different?

Much appreciated.
I spent many years in the AR and had a surprisingly satisfying (part time) career, even though I didn't go on an Operational tour. In my experience you will get back in proportion to what you put in.

Do a bit here and there, you'll not that much in return.

Then again, the order of priority HAS to be Family > job > AR. If your employer actually has a bit of a sad on about serving in the AR - despite saying they like HM Armed Forces, think very carefully before you sign up. One clue could be them offering extra leave for training? That would be A Good Sign.

The reality is that it will take you best part of a year to be trained, and even then, its very unlikely you'll actually be mobilised on a compulsory basis. This last happened in the Gulf War when some units where genuinely called up - 131 (Cdo) Sqn RE for example.

Once you are qualified / trained, there should be a wide range of opportunities for you to sped time away. Plenty of guys in my old unit would do two weekends a month and 2-4 weeks a year on annual training and / or a career course. You'll get paid, and will also accrue a bloody good pension ( that came in five weeks after I left, after twenty years in... Aaaargh)

Trying for a Commission is admirable but its a bloody long slog and I respect anyone that manages to complete it. The value of a Reserve commission is actually quite high; AIUI the management training is deemed to be worth some tens of thousands. But don't go in looking to take, take take. The role of an Officer can get swamped with paperwork and while on the face of it sounds glamourous, there is a fair bit of tedium as you will be expected to do all sorts of dull stuff - try matching the serial numbers of over a hundred SA80s and their sights to a list every week...

The overall commitment is quite low, some 27 man training days, but many do more. As and when you sign up, you can if you want drop out pretty much at any time - why would the AR want someone who doesn't want to be there?

You may find value in doing something other than your "real world" trade - the number of Coppers who joined the RMP always amused me. Busman's holiday, anyone?

I was Infantry and saw plenty of opportunities. The fact you have a degree does not necessarily mean the AR will want you to go for a Commission; plenty of the Other Ranks have quite demanding jobs and join the AR for a bit of a change.

I suggest you go and have a look at a few units; ensure you do so on a drill night and get a feel for the people.

Your instincts will most likely be correct.
 
In terms of deployment risk, as stated above when the reserves have been required over the last 17-18 years (e.g. TELIC, HERRICK) people have generally been mobilised on an 'intelligent' basis i.e. those that are able to deploy can go. I believe there was a series of compulsory mobilisations for TELIC but any such move going forward would require an act of parliament and all things considered is currently highly unlikely. If it makes you feel better, there are several Seniors at my location with a peace time chest of VRSM, and battles of diamond jubilee only.

In terms of roles, you have a really wide range of choices. If you want to manage soldiers doing engineering type tasks then you could look at REME or RE officer. If you want to do the engineering type tasks yourself then RE or REME soldier. If you want to employ your civilian trade then 170 Works Group as stated above would be a rewarding and interesting role with probably much quicker impact and greater professional satisfaction than the two tasks above. If you have no interest in doing anything engineering related then take a look at your local units.

There's a list of other national (e.g. specialist, lower commitment) units here which includes a phone number for 170 Works Group - Army Reserve units - British Army Jobs
Just to clarify a few points...

"people have generally been mobilised on an 'intelligent' basis i.e. those that are able to deploy can go." Intelligent mobilisation selects the most appropriate people for the anticipated tasks but allows for the potential need for people with similar abilities on later tranches.

"I believe there was a series of compulsory mobilisations for TELIC but any such move going forward would require an act of parliament and all things considered is currently highly unlikely." Must have changed since I left. I was under the impression that legislation had been changed to make it easier to mobilise people. Intelligent mobilisation still applies so it's unlikely that people would be compulsorily mobilised unless they were really, really needed.

"170 Works Group" 170 is an Engineer Group. It is divided into Works Groups according to specialism (power distribution, ports, railways, airfields, fuel, water etc.). The Works Groups are formed of Specialist Teams which are the basic working (sub-)unit. Some Specialist Teams are Regular, some Reserve. To convert the nomenclature into a form that other soldiers may understand better, the Engineer Group is akin to a regiment, the Works Group to a battalion and the Specialist Team to a company. The major difference is the size - like a company, a Specialist Team is run by a major but has only about 20 people instead of 120. And within its ranks could have three or four WO1s, three WO2s and several SSgts. Allowing for perhaps five officers, that doesn't leave many junior ranks. Therefore, there's much scope for promotion.
 
its very unlikely you'll actually be mobilised on a compulsory basis. This last happened in the Gulf War when some units where genuinely called up - 131 (Cdo) Sqn RE for example.
I think you'll find that almost everybody who attended Telic 2 was compulsorily mobilised. The call-up papers said nothing about it being optional. Even those who sought deferment were told in no uncertain terms that they'd receive a second invitation within a year. When our Regular CO thanked us all for volunteering, to a man we looked at each other and silently shook our heads.
 
I think you'll find that almost everybody who attended Telic 2 was compulsorily mobilised. The call-up papers said nothing about it being optional. Even those who sought deferment were told in no uncertain terms that they'd receive a second invitation within a year. When our Regular CO thanked us all for volunteering, to a man we looked at each other and silently shook our heads.
Indeed, but I was talking about the more recent situation.
 

12357

Crow
Hello,

Thanks for all of the responses - all very valuable.

Without giving too much away, I live in a fairly remote part of England, there is only one barracks less than 1.5h away, which is for what I would, in my ignorance describe as an "infantry regiment"?

The RE sound like they could be interesting too, I don't do design in my day job. Although I am a soft-handed university graduate, my job is basically babysitting electricians. If I could do most of my time away in big blocks during the week I'd be open to traveling for hours, but I'd get annoyed if I had to keep doing that after work or with my weekends.

Guess there's still lots more to find out about how it all works.
 

Slime

LE
The decision to go the officer or other ranks route is something worth spending a good deal of time looking into.
Having a degree etc is no reason in itself to go for a commision in the reserves, but what could be important dependant on role is whether you want to spend your time ‘doing’ or ‘leading/overseeing’

For the sake of mentioning it. As you have an electrical background you could also look at the RAF, they are recruiting heavily for part timers too at the moment.
 
Hello,

Thanks for all of the responses - all very valuable.

Without giving too much away, I live in a fairly remote part of England, there is only one barracks less than 1.5h away, which is for what I would, in my ignorance describe as an "infantry regiment"?

The RE sound like they could be interesting too, I don't do design in my day job. Although I am a soft-handed university graduate, my job is basically babysitting electricians. If I could do most of my time away in big blocks during the week I'd be open to traveling for hours, but I'd get annoyed if I had to keep doing that after work or with my weekends.

Guess there's still lots more to find out about how it all works.
This remote part of England in which you live, might it be possible for you to get to Bath for weekends or to commence exercises? If so perhaps you’d consider joining the only dedicated TACP unit in the army, regular or reserve.

Go on, you know you want to
 

12357

Crow
I've had a look at the Wiki, very informative! Even managed to answer a few questions myself...

I had a look at my contract and I can get 10 days paid leave for army reserve stuff, which is just enough to do two weeks.

This remote part of England in which you live, might it be possible for you to get to Bath for weekends or to commence exercises? If so perhaps you’d consider joining the only dedicated TACP unit in the army, regular or reserve.

Go on, you know you want to
Unfortunately Bath is 6 - 7 h away, so probably not.

Would it be better for me to contact the Recruitment Centre or unit I'm thinking of joining first? The former is more than an hour away, the latter about 15 minutes. I suspect I already know a lot of what the Recruitment Centre would tell me anyway by reading the army website and ARRSE wiki?
 

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