EWSO/Troop Commander?

Hi there, first post so I'd best introduce myself! I'm Josh, 20 and from Lincolnshire.

I'm hoping for some advice about joining the signals. Firstly, do any of you happen to know what the current state of recruitment is? I realise that certain areas are being threatened by the SDSR but I would hope that the signals will not be affected by this?

Secondly I'm looking for some inside information on the operational differences between EWSOs and Troop Commanders in the signals. I'm really interested in EWSO but I have the qualifications to apply for Troop Commander.

I've heard from a number of people that Troop Commander is much more a managerial role than it is a practical one - heavier on the theory but not so much on the practical side. Coming from a sound engineer background I do have an aptitude for learning and a real passion for the theory behind electronics and communications equipment, but I want to be able to work with this stuff hands-on in an operational environment. I appreciate that all Officers need to be managers, but how much of the fiddly stuff do you guys do? I mean absolutely no disrespect and I hope it doesn't sound in any way condescending, just looking to clear that up.

I'm looking for a life-long career in the forces so progression is another important deciding factor for me here.

So - what could I expect in terms of career progression from either route?
Am I being stupid to consider not applying as an officer when I have the qualifications?
Am I completely wrong in my assumptions that Troop Commander would not match the level of practical work I'm looking for?

I'm visiting the ACIO tomorrow to ask the same things, but I'd really appreciate some advice from those of you on the inside.

Thanks and best wishes,
I was going to ask a similar question, could you forward the email to me aswell.

Much appreciated.
buenavida - thanks for the reply. That's good to hear. The Sgt. in the ACIO told me that they're currently looking and that they would be starting the drive in March. In the meantime I'm working hard on my fitness and keeping up with the news. I'm really excited and it's giving me a lot of motivation to really push myself.

I'd also like to say thanks once again to Scaly_Officer for all of his invaluable help. What a great forum!
Scaly_Officer knows his bacon, if you have any questions then ask him directly instead of the forum! I'm sure he would not mind me saying so.
J Mac, if you are a qualified sound engineer, I believe that you may be a tad over qualified for life as an EW Sys Op.
I'm not a qualified sound engineer (bit of an oxymoron if you ask most of them!)

I'm studying Sound Technology at a certain well-regarded institute (and in my spare time I'm studying how not to sound like an overweening bumbaclart.) Unfortunately, despite how utterly irresistible my chosen degree is to potential employers (of which there are increasingly many in this rapidly expanding and lucrative industry...) the first part of this sentence was pure arrse gravy and I'm hoping to leave this year to join the Queen's finest.

I decided well before going to uni last year that I wanted to join the forces, but I was encouraged by everyone I spoke to to get a degree. I had the results and I wanted to be sure that the military would still look as enticing to me after 3 years of er..."studying". I've learnt a lot this year, and I'm good at what I do, but I don't want to make a living doing it and I'd rather not waste another 2 years and spend another £15k on being here.

I'm assuming that there may be certain crossovers between what I already know and what I would be taught as an EWOp. But it's more that the Signals ties in (in a general sense) better with my interests, and that I'd like to bring some transferrable skills to the role that I apply for (after all, I'd like the Army to want me to join as much as I want to join). After discussing the different Sigs trades with an ACA we both agreed that EWOp sounds the most right for me.

I have not yet discounted applying for Officer entry, but I feel that my various adventures as a live sound engineer might not cut it as "useful life experience" (except that my experience has taught me that there is very little useful life in a sweaty underground student bar.)

In any case, all those hours sat in front of a computer has given me a "nerd belly", so I'm off for a run.
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