Engr Officers

Tell me, do RE Officers specialise in any one 'trade' as such or are they masters of all?  For example, will you get an officer who does only mine clearance and the like for most of his career as opposed to going into bridging, dems,  topo etc..?



 your common or garden Sapper Offr is a jack-of-all and tends not to specialise.  Thats why you can go from Air Sp to Close Sp to amph etc.  The only real specialists are the geo guys and the PET roster and even they are now coming back into the mainstream for tour on-tour off.

Oh, worth noting that there's very rarely any training for the poor sod who's just shifted his job so he really is learning as he goes.

A short note from an Infanteer

Respect goes out to all Armd Engrs.  Yet to meet a bad one.  You smooth our paths, and make them bumpy for the baddies.  Search Engrs in the Emerald toilet?  Cool, they know what bollocs is involved in a route / building search, and make them a whole lot less time wasting.

Have yet to work with other Engrs, but anticipate the same.  

Keep blowing stuff up!


Just to expand a little bit on PIn Man's reply...

Bridgeing, dems and mines are all core skills for every Combat Engineer, regardless of the type of work his Squadron actually does. The specialisations come with the various types of squadron, GS, Air Support, Armoured are the three major roles but there are many other specialisations such as Topographical, Resources, Military Works Force to name but a few.

It is the different roles that require the different knowledge, but dems, mines and bridges are always present in one form or another.

and long may I continue blowin stuff up!!!!!
Very good Humph, but you forgot to mention the 'Jedi' of the Sapper world - EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal for the un-abreviated). Note that Engr Offrs are also posted in and out of this specialisation as well. Is there no end to our 'Corps' capability. ;D


Just to expand a little bit on PIn Man's reply...
Just for info, there are also specialists in the TA STREs.  

The 'petroleum' teams tend to have PQEs as offrs and ASME-coded welders, etc.   Many of these people work in the oil industry.   The Army's Senior Petroleum Offr is a TA half-colonel.

Likewise, the 'railway' team, etc.


If you are interested, may I recommend that you attend a RE fam visit. I have just returned from one and it was excellent. My understanding is that for your first couple of tours you will not specialise, the only specialisation that could occur is if you become a chartered engineer.


Well may it be asked, 'What is a Sapper?'

This versatile genius is not one but all mankinds epitome, condensing the whole system of military engineering and all that is useful and practical under one red jacket.
He is a man of all work of the Army,
Astronomer, Geologist, Surveyor, Draughtsman, Artist, Architect, Traveller, Explorer, Antiquary, Mechanic, Diver, Soldier and Sailor; ready to do anything or go anywhere; in short, he is a 'SAPPER'


How fussy are the Sappers about the type of degree their potential officers have? I've got a semi-technical degree that included some surveying and engineering. Just to gauge their recruitment, do the sappers take people with totally non-scientific degrees?

Aside from the Chartered status, do non-enginnering graduates follow the same trainng and career path?

I've only heard complimants about the RE - having seen the RA and numerous cav regiments, it would be a welcome change to go on an interesting fam visit...


I'm not sure what the criteria is for degrees I can tell you however, that I used to be in a Sqn that had 2 Tp Comds that had degrees in zoology.

Underwater soot juggling is always a good one or maybe Clingon will scrape a place at RMAS. Failing that, turn up from Sandhurst with a crap beret and overly plummy accent, disregard anything your NCO's tell you because it wasn't like that on your final exercise and promise the Troop that you'll sort there career paths out for them, then lose your notepad.

You'll then go far!
I can confirm that you do not need an engineer type degree to get in, in fact you don’t need any degree at all. Non-grads are among the most talented offrs that we have.


I wouldn't agree with all that. It is the individual that counts. However i do agree that just because he (or she) has a degree it doesn't make them a good officer.
When I worked in ERLS somthing like 60 % of Offrs had degrees and only 50 % of them were Engineering degrees. (so most Sapper offrs don't have eng degrees)

Civ Eng degrees required to be a PQE (professionally Qualified Engineer) and by all female applicants (well that was the case anyway)

I have a degree in Botany - dead useful! My first job was Plant Troop Commander! Oh how they laughed at PB7 (Morale Counter Measures now)


Female officers do not have to have engineering degrees. Just in the above example, they happened to have engineering degrees.


One for the book´s , junior officers are called " F.R.E.D.S . " future R.E. Disasters / and when all goes wrong on a dem site , guess who goes in to sort it out , yep the officer , oh to be a officer , NOT , ! oh and hi to all the armd farmers , from amph , :p
You are almost correct except that FREDS was the title reserved for soldiers and in particular the RE Junior Leaders were knowns as FREDs with exactly the same explanation Future Royal Engineer Disaster.

To connect with an earlier thread: I thought that there was a rule that short blonde female officers could not join the sappers on the grounds that they're not big or clever!

(Only joking girls)
Sorry been away for a while. It used to be the case that female officers had to have Engr degrees as they were expected to follow PQE as career progression. However Mary seems to say that has changed nowadays!

Wouldn't surprise me if things have changed. Best bet would be to call ERLS and find out - Call Brompton barracks or look on MoD website for number


Can't believe this discussion is still going on!!

1. Sapper officers do NOT need to have a degree.

2. There is no difference between male and female officer entry criteria.



I thought the only entry requirement for female sapper officers was to make sure they sleep with their Tp SSgts????

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