Electronic Warfare Systems Operator - Royal Signals

#1
Hi lads
Im currently looking for job roles which have entry requirements of some GCSEs (as i have A levels) but dont involve sitting behind a desk. The EWSO has appealed to me but the Army Roles page on this contains little information on the training and what happens after training, is there anyone with more knowledge on this job role that could just give me abit of a better idea,=

Made a new thread as no one has said anything on this for a good few years

Cheers -
 
#2
There is a reason why it contains little information dear boy
 
#4
#5
If you really don't want to sit behind a desk, there may be better options than EW Sys Op, and all of them will lie outside of the Royal Signals. I'm yet to meet any of the trade that are breaching doors and bayonetting muj on a regular basis.

As an EW Sys Op you'll have to go through a fairly academic (by army standards) trade training course, that will have you sat in a classroom for the better part of a year. Once qualified and posted to your first unit, the trade has some quite contrasting roles.

There are young operators who are nowhere near a desk, and possibly conducting some of the punchiest tasks the Corps has (but to manage expectation, this is still the signals), while others are working in technically challenging jobs that involve long days behind a desk, with no natural light for weeks at a time. Which job you'd end up in would be down to where the demand is. That said, those who want to complete P Company / SFC selection can usually get to the more "outdoorsy" postings if they articulate a strong desire.
 
#8
Hi, just a quick question. Would I be right in thinking that after completing phase 2 you would be more likely to be out on the ground, rather than on attachments and the like until you’ve proved yourself or is it just down to where people are needed?
Thanks in advance
 
#9
EWSO training is, in short, Phase 1 at Pirbright or Winchester. You'll pass out from there, big parade, proud families - genuinely one of the proudest days ever - and then you'll be carted off to Blandford, Dorset. The course is markedly different now than the one I started in 2011, but it's essentially about 20 or so weeks if you factor in leave and stand-downs. You'll learn all about communications, signals, and the basics behind it all, as well as other Electronic Warfare focused elements. There are a couple of weekend exercises to attend, and a lot of rifle cleaning. None of it is particularly 'warry'.

You'll then go to Chicksands, which is the home of Defence Intelligence training. Commonly referred to as Disneysands, as it is markedly better than Blandford, you'll spend about 18 weeks in a bunker learning about Signals Intelligence. You are sat at a computer the entire day, and you'll learn all about sneaky sneaky things and the nitty-gritty of transmissions. It's a good course, but is pretty full-on academically as far as the army goes.

When you get back from Chicksands, you'll do your Military Annual Something Training (MATTs), so a fitness test, a lesson on how not to abuse prisoners, an Annual Combat Marksmanship Test (ACMT), a combat fitness test (8 mile tab with 15kg in a bergen and a rifle), and a map reading and first aid assessment. Oh and CBRN. After that, you'll be straight onto your PNCO (Potential Non-Commissioned Officer) course, which is two weeks long. May only be one week now after the changes to the courses. Either way, you get to be a little bit more fighting-focused as you'll be assessed on your ability to lead a section, and primarily serve as the 2IC of it. You'll learn to drive around this point if you can't already. Free license? Don't mind if I do!

Once you've done that, you'll sit around at Blandford waiting for a posting. It's a decent time, as you're wandering around with your free LCpl tape drawing resentment from regular operators who have to work for it. You can stop marching at this point and you'll feel marvellous.

You'll receive a posting to one of a few places. This is 14th Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare) in sunny Brawdy, Wales, where you will end up no matter what at some point in your career. The camp is pretty run down, and the town leaves a lot to be desired, but some of the views are decent and it's not that bad a place to work. Upon arriving, you'll be back to being intimidated by everything, and you'll learn once again that you're back to being the lowest of the low having just arrived fresh out the packet. I couldn't tell you what each of the squadrons do nowadays, but they're generally aligned with a larger brigade, and will sort of match their roles. There's an airborne squadron, which you can push to join, and as such will be able to have a go at P Company. The other squadrons do different things, and there's even a cyber element now. You'll basically do a lot of garage sweeping, and then some exercises. You're by no means 'out on the ground' in the infantry sense for most of the time. There's just as good a chance you'll end up working behind a desk doing Signals Intelligence stuff, as that is a large part of our role.

The alternative is you'll be sent to one of a number of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) units around the country. Options include Northolt, in North West London, Ashchurch in the Gloucestershire area, Edinburgh, and Catterick. Or Carver Barracks, in Saffron Waldon, somewhere in Essex, serving with the engineers. It's at this unit that will give you one of the exceptionally limited opportunities to undergo the All Arms Commando course and get a green beret instead of a maroon one. Not sure if that's still the case, but it certainly was in 2016. At these units, you'll go through a whole load of other courses (that are pretty good, to be fair) learning how to stop bombs exploding remotely. You'll then be sat at one of said units keeping bomb disposal trucks maintained and waiting to get called out so you can drive under blue lights and get revenge on all the traffic. You'll do stints in Northern Ireland periodically to supplement the manpower.

All the postings are what you make of it, but there's a lot of sitting around, so don't be under the illusion you'll be second man on the balcony. It's not a bad job, and there's plenty of room for (relatively) quick promotion if you put the effort in. Given the rather shoddy morale levels that exist of late, it's not a huge amount of effort to stand out from the crowd by going the extra mile, and doing the extra courses.

I'm sure someone more in the know at Blandford can give you better information on the EW course there as it exists now, as it was 2012 that I did the bulk of my course and it was a lot different then. But that's the jist of it!
 

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