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E&M

#1
i'm already a qualified draughty in civil engineering. reinforced concrete, steel, timbers, bridges etc is what i do. there is no intake for DD this year though, only E&M has a few spaces.

i would welcome the chance to expand my draughty horizon, so to speak, and get some extra building expertise. so like the idea in principle.

what are the ins and outs?
-the website said that i'd be doing electrical and plumbing work during basic? is this true and to what level? sounds good to me. what i didn't like the look of is the pictures of guys behind a plotting table drawing by hand. is that really part of the training?

-promotion prospects?

-could i still do CoW construction? or would i be limited to CoW E&M?

-what are the pros and cons of E&M compared to DD?

that's all i can think of right now...
 
#3
As an ex E&M draughty I can tell you about the course, however it may be a bit out of date as to what you do on the class 1&2 but the subject content will be the same.

As an E&M you will be able to produce machine drawings, structural steel drawings including welding, building services drawing for both M&E and basic building services design.

Promotion will depend on the route you take, the fastest is CoW as you mentioned.

Normally most E&M's go CoW M, a few go CoW E, however you can also go CoW C. I did serve at Chilwell with an ex E&M draughtsman who went CoW C, according to him it is quite easy due to the wide range of trades that go on the course, they start from the very basics of construction.

The other advantage of E&M is that it sets you up for Building Services when you leave if you wish to carry on in civvie street, there is a major shortage in Building Services which means better pay (when things pick up from the recession).

Hope that helps.
 
#4
thanks for the responses RE_Sam and W_C!

i have noticed that mechanical draughties usually get paid more in than civ-eng draughties in the UK.

it seems like a solid route with the added advantage of not being as bored as i probably would be doing DD, what with learning new stuff and not the same stuff again. :)

what about deployments? how much of your trade did you guys do compared to soldiering?
where could i be stationed?
 
#5
Deployment can be as trade or combat engineer. If you are posted to Chilwell then you will do your trade all the time and a lot of tours (certainly at the moment from what I am hearing for old comrades who are still serving).

There are also other postings to what used to be DCRE Airfields, I am guessing they are still going but in fewer numbers.

One thing to be careful off is postings to regiments, I can't say if they still do this but they used to put draughtsmen in the regt trg wing to perform the duty of producing seating plans for mess functions, total waste of a good education.
 
#6
Deployment can be as trade or combat engineer. If you are posted to Chilwell then you will do your trade all the time and a lot of tours (certainly at the moment from what I am hearing for old comrades who are still serving).
how can i understand "a lot of tours"?

my dilemma is i'm not leaving the office to end up in an army container doing draughty work for half the money in dpm. ;)
i want to get out more, do green stuff, but also have the oppertunity to pick up some experience that's good for civvy street should i decide to leave some day.

One thing to be careful off is postings to regiments, I can't say if they still do this but they used to put draughtsmen in the regt trg wing to perform the duty of producing seating plans for mess functions, total waste of a good education.
:(
 

wedge_cadman

War Hero
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#7
If you are lucky/unlucky enough to get posted to Chillwell you will find that there is a works group permanently on tour, they rotate with another works group every 6 months. If you're at a regiment you'll be on regiment specific role, out on tour some time in your service.
Not sure if you can get trade postings straight out of training as they used to like you to have been to a Field squadron for a few years before your class 1 then off to a trade post if they need/want you
 
#8
You'll do hand drawing and sketching for 2 weeks (definately on the Design Draughtsman course and I'm pretty sure E & M's are the same) and be tested on that to ensure that whilst you're out in the field and a computer isn't near by then you can a) do some formal hand drawings and b) if the drawings on CAD aren't getting the picture across then you can do some quick hand sketches so the fieldies/bricky etc can do what you've designed them to do.

Nearly all postings at the moment for draughty's are into Field Squadrons, with the exception of the odd few going to Chilwell or HQ Sqn's doing their trade.
Also know alot of lads that have been in the most part fieldies, but whilst on exercises abroad or on op's will get called in by the Clerk of Works to do a little bit of draughtying.
Therefore, most likely to be doing the green stuff, although, as is pretty possible with your experience etc, you'll be shit hot at your trade, then you'll get that Chilwell posting doing it all the time.
 
#9
I would not be too confident about it being a given that you will do well having been a civvie draughtsman, I had an ex civvie draughtsman on my class 2 and he came 2nd from the bottom, this was most likely due to him picking up bad habbits as a civvie, mil draughtsmen are trained to a very strict standard.

Now working in civvie street I do not allow the CAD Monkeys in my office to do any drawing for me, they are just not up it.

When I left the Corp I found my drawing skills where well above the standard used by civvies, most of the guys who got pit at the same time as me also found the same.
 
#10
I would not be too confident about it being a given that you will do well having been a civvie draughtsman, I had an ex civvie draughtsman on my class 2 and he came 2nd from the bottom, this was most likely due to him picking up bad habbits as a civvie, mil draughtsmen are trained to a very strict standard.

Now working in civvie street I do not allow the CAD Monkeys in my office to do any drawing for me, they are just not up it.

When I left the Corp I found my drawing skills where well above the standard used by civvies, most of the guys who got pit at the same time as me also found the same.
Fair one, I can remember being told on many an occasion that we were trained to much higher and stricter standards. I suppose the old one of doing a course that takes most up to 3 years to do in a year can be a shock to the system as well.
 
#11
You'll do hand drawing and sketching for 2 weeks (definately on the Design Draughtsman course and I'm pretty sure E & M's are the same) and be tested on that to ensure that whilst you're out in the field and a computer isn't near by then you can a) do some formal hand drawings and b) if the drawings on CAD aren't getting the picture across then you can do some quick hand sketches so the fieldies/bricky etc can do what you've designed them to do.
i can understand the logic behind it, but i've done a year of hand draughting in my first year as an apprentice back in 2003 in a computerised environment. (ie. surely it won't take a second to mirror that....)

so not to keen on it, but if it's only 2 weeks... pfft. not bothered.

Nearly all postings at the moment for draughty's are into Field Squadrons, with the exception of the odd few going to Chilwell or HQ Sqn's doing their trade.
Also know alot of lads that have been in the most part fieldies, but whilst on exercises abroad or on op's will get called in by the Clerk of Works to do a little bit of draughtying.
what kind of work can i expect if i'm in a field squadron?
may be a dumb question but want cold hard facts.

Therefore, most likely to be doing the green stuff, although, as is pretty possible with your experience etc, you'll be shit hot at your trade, then you'll get that Chilwell posting doing it all the time.
i'm a modest guy normally and play down my skills.... but i am shit hot and am not sure if being sent to Chilwell is a good thing, ie what i'm looking for in the short term. if you know what i mean. ;)

my recruiting sergeant was quite thrilled with me. when i asked him if i would have to do the whole trade course (being experienced) he said that with my experience, i could (emphasis on COULD) not only be fast tracked but could also help in the course as an instructor.

RE_Samurai said:
I would not be too confident about it being a given that you will do well having been a civvie draughtsman, I had an ex civvie draughtsman on my class 2 and he came 2nd from the bottom, this was most likely due to him picking up bad habbits as a civvie, mil draughtsmen are trained to a very strict standard.
don't get me started.

i was trained as a draughty in switzerland. i have a bit of decent work experience. working on stuff like this:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_fMtl8DCWPZM/TUsaFcxXD8I/AAAAAAAAAZA/wq9FAtHwY9E/s1600/Elbphilharmonie.jpg[/img[

on that occasion it was only menial tasks, i'm only posting it because it will become a european landmark in the near future.

but i know exactly what you're on about without having the military draughty experience. most are useless, either because they're lazy, unexact shits or because they don't know the software they're working on. (mainly because they're lazy shits) not to mention the headguys who have absolutely know idea about good draughtsmanship. they just see the shit on paper and don't have to pick up the crap work of others on the PC.

shit i'll stop right there before going into a 56 paragraph rant of how cheaply draughties are sold on the continent.

still, i'm not joining to be a draughtsman. i'm joining to get my hands dirty and do stuff that i wouldn't do otherwise. having been brought up in cheeseland means they can't equate my grades to GCSE's and the draughty option is the only one open to me (apart from the "no quals needed" jobs).
that's okay though.

but essentially, if/when i leave the army i want to end up with more than being a draughtsman, because i am just that already.

i was even offered a 3yr construction management course by my former employers, but i declined for reasons that would be too long to go into now, aswell as me not wanting to be rotting away there until i'm 30-something.

excuse my rambling and spelling/grammar. i've had a couple. blame the champions league!

anyway... as you were.
really appreciate the info you guys are giving me, keep it coming!
 
#12
As an E & M you will end up doing a load of B & CE work because we don't tend to do much in the way of complex E & M work. As an E & M you will do a lot of hot and cold water pipe runs and electric cable runs and that's about it. You will often be called upon to do isometrics and 3d because E & M's tend to be better at this than DD.
 
#13
To go for CoW they will still want you to have some sort of established time in a field regiment. All helps to being able to hold down the rank of S/Sgt after completion of CoW tng, I guess.

Not everyone wants to be CoWks- the problem there is taht promotion then becomes very poor indeed in all Draughty trades. Why should that be?

Why should a POM of same service and standards etc get quicker promotion. Very unfair to me that.
 
#14
As an E & M you will end up doing a load of B & CE work because we don't tend to do much in the way of complex E & M work. As an E & M you will do a lot of hot and cold water pipe runs and electric cable runs and that's about it. You will often be called upon to do isometrics and 3d because E & M's tend to be better at this than DD.
a better chance of more complex installation drawings at Chilwell.
 
#15
As a recipient of a lot of the Bricks and sticks and M&E stuff that comes out of Chilwell, it seems to me that the draughtsmen seem to have a great deal more complex work to do these days than previously. Not sure of course content these days but from my dealings with drafties previously, they were design draughtsmen and consequently were taught a great deal about design, be it B&CE or M&E. On my COW (E) course we did not have any but I do know that quite a number went either COW (C) or COW (M), not many did the E course, understandable really as the background is not really there.

One thing to really understand is that there is a life outside the military - the majority of engineers leave at the 22 yr point or before. So a great deal has to do with what you wish to do, you can get out at various points during service and become a cad man - a bloody boring job I am told by my CAD men, or you can move up the stream whist still in the military and get a job as an engineer when you retire. As an engineer on the outside, you need CAD skills anyway - I do all of my own drawings - as do my engineers, we only have a couple of draftsmen (CAD operators) who are used by the operations guys for change orders etc.

So in a nutshell it depends on what you wish to end up as when you retire from the Mob - and by the way, having a knowledge of Civils and Building services (M&E) helps if you are going to enter the construction industry. (which is where the money is)
 
#16
Taz. All good info and advice I am sure. The problem as I see it is that a drafty of whatever discipline has to go for CoW. However, surely acceptance is not guaranteed for whatever reason. I know of one young soldier who had been well recommended for Cpl but was turned down on interview(having done well on the tests) because he had no real experience in a Field regiment as a JNCO.

He was very disillusioned and was eventually posted to a Field Unit where a 'Drafty' was part of the establishment. Expecting to do 'drafty' work- he was in for a complete shock-- needless to say he did absolutely nowt! What does that do for the morale amd motivation of the soldier??

I'll tell you what it does- it disillusions them completely. Obvioulsy their main duties become comabt engineer and no-one can argue with that- but WHY have a drafty as part of the establishment for a Field Regiment. That particular soldier even contemplated leaving. How sad is that and really-- would anyone have cared less. I doubt it. Of course, he could apply for CoW now but has lost 3 to 4 years of experience and has got rusty.

Also, what if the 'drafty' does not want to go for CoW- they cannot take everyone-can they?? Basically they are left to fester with virtually no hope of promotion.

It appears to me that it is all down to where you are and what and whom you know. Has anything changed??!
 
#17
Taz. All good info and advice I am sure. The problem as I see it is that a drafty of whatever discipline has to go for CoW. However, surely acceptance is not guaranteed for whatever reason. I know of one young soldier who had been well recommended for Cpl but was turned down on interview(having done well on the tests) because he had no real experience in a Field regiment as a JNCO.

He was very disillusioned and was eventually posted to a Field Unit where a 'Drafty' was part of the establishment. Expecting to do 'drafty' work- he was in for a complete shock-- needless to say he did absolutely nowt! What does that do for the morale amd motivation of the soldier??

I'll tell you what it does- it disillusions them completely. Obvioulsy their main duties become comabt engineer and no-one can argue with that- but WHY have a drafty as part of the establishment for a Field Regiment. That particular soldier even contemplated leaving. How sad is that and really-- would anyone have cared less. I doubt it. Of course, he could apply for CoW now but has lost 3 to 4 years of experience and has got rusty.

Also, what if the 'drafty' does not want to go for CoW- they cannot take everyone-can they?? Basically they are left to fester with virtually no hope of promotion.

It appears to me that it is all down to where you are and what and whom you know. Has anything changed??!
In answer to the bold point above:

Because Chilwell cannot be everywhere. I'm currently on a Sqn task, somewhere austere where I have 3 x ME (Dtmn) working to sort out the original designs from Chilwell into something that will actually work and of course in the end reflect accurately what was built. None of the 3 have come from the CSC in their Regtl Sp Sqn. Likewise the other Sqn currently working on the site. The bottom line is that it all boils down to being in a unit that is deployed on a construction task during your posting.

As for being turned down for not having field experience, in my limited opinion nothing but tours in CSC's before becoming a Clk of Wks does not do much for the roster as you have nothing to measure the theory you have learnt against hard earned practical experience on site or on a task. You remember that even minor changes can have a massive effect on the workload of the average Sapper and therefore minimise. As I said, just an opinion.....
 
#18
Taz. All good info and advice I am sure. The problem as I see it is that a drafty of whatever discipline has to go for CoW. However, surely acceptance is not guaranteed for whatever reason. I know of one young soldier who had been well recommended for Cpl but was turned down on interview(having done well on the tests) because he had no real experience in a Field regiment as a JNCO.

He was very disillusioned and was eventually posted to a Field Unit where a 'Drafty' was part of the establishment. Expecting to do 'drafty' work- he was in for a complete shock-- needless to say he did absolutely nowt! What does that do for the morale amd motivation of the soldier??

I'll tell you what it does- it disillusions them completely. Obvioulsy their main duties become comabt engineer and no-one can argue with that- but WHY have a drafty as part of the establishment for a Field Regiment. That particular soldier even contemplated leaving. How sad is that and really-- would anyone have cared less. I doubt it. Of course, he could apply for CoW now but has lost 3 to 4 years of experience and has got rusty.

Also, what if the 'drafty' does not want to go for CoW- they cannot take everyone-can they?? Basically they are left to fester with virtually no hope of promotion.

It appears to me that it is all down to where you are and what and whom you know. Has anything changed??!
I am not saying he should go for COW - I was just trying to give an insight into the fact there is life after the forces, I was lucky enough to get a few trade postings - such as Gibraltar power station etc in my day before moving up to COW, but as I no longer have a feel for what is available for young tradesmen in the Corps, I could not advise because of this, I tried to keep my comments as to what he could expect once he leaves - and in truth there are no "design draughtsmen" left in Civvi street - there are engineers who do the design in Cad and CAD cowboys who make them look pretty - thats why CAD operators are on a low salary throughout the industry these days.
 
#19
I do apologise Taz if I came across a tad cynical. Maybe I should take a deep breath before posting a comment! But hey! I am too old in the tooth to worry about all that!! It is just that it does annoy me when well motivated young soldiers are actually demotivated by the Royal Enginners themselves-- of course, I am only referring to the draughtsman situation.

Your comments and advice Taz wer very sound indeed. Would be good if a current OC/CO or careers officer could comment-- unpatronisingly though!

Would also be good to hear what current CoW's think of it all.
 
#20
I do apologise Taz if I came across a tad cynical. Maybe I should take a deep breath before posting a comment! But hey! I am too old in the tooth to worry about all that!! It is just that it does annoy me when well motivated young soldiers are actually demotivated by the Royal Enginners themselves-- of course, I am only referring to the draughtsman situation.

Your comments and advice Taz wer very sound indeed. Would be good if a current OC/CO or careers officer could comment-- unpatronisingly though!

Would also be good to hear what current CoW's think of it all.
nothing to apologise for - this is a forum for all views - and as did 23yrs in and as of now 24 yrs out - I look at it from both sides - a bit rusty on trade courses etc of course - ye gods I did AIII (9 months in the Kremlin) , AII and AI before my COW course, shows how long in the tooth I am.

The younger serving chaps are better to give advice about what they can expect these days whilst wearing the green - I give advice on what to expect afterwards.
 

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