Ex sappers

A quick note to all the civvy sappers out there and a big up! to pooh who has recently joined the 'ex sapper' ranks. Look forward to hearing what everyone is up to now and their exploits within the Corps. Worth getting out?
Worth getting out? when you can earn more than a Brigadier in Civvy Ulica as a former wrapper? Give me Strawberry Mivvy Street any day, Corps wise, been there, seen it, got the T-Shirts (several) time to move on, there is a life after the Corps as hard as it is to imagine :roll:



Zus40RE said:
Worth getting out? when you can earn more than a Brigadier in Civvy Ulica as a former wrapper? Zus40RE
£80k, half that, index linked FOR LIFE on retirement, big house, driver, PA etc etc ....what job is it you do again?
worth getting out? yes, BUT the experience i got from the Corps stood me in very good stead for life as a strawberry mivvy!
I had a wonderfull time in The Corps,and learned many usefull things,which have stood me in EXCELLENT stead in civvy street.If you're from The Corps,there's NOTHING to fear about civvy street!!!
...and the chances of being tw*tted on the head by various kango attachments are somewhat slimmer :D
I've been out for about 10 years now and to be honest my life is considerably handier now. I could list all the sh1tty things about the corps ( waiting on the officers mess, room inspections, etc,etc ) The thing you will miss more than anything else is the amount of top blokes to go out on the pi$$ with. The fact you can pi$$ the bed and not be treated like a retard. Bring back my nights out in Traz

"It wasn't me QM, a big sapper done it and ran away"
I left the Engineers 4 years ago, unfortunately got called up for Iraq......

It's all changed for the worse as far as I can remember... more bullshit, and the officers still think they're royalty! Though now they really properly, well and truly don't give a damn about the blokes!

2 Can rule for the lads..... few bottles of wine for them upstairs! Retention now seems to be a dirty word with just about half of the people I work with on a day to day basis signing off or waiting to be able to sign off.

Added to that a lot of the billy's seem to be chavs!!!
Been out a while and doing OK - But only because I am ex-Corps. The Ex-Forces, Army, RE web is very wide. At work people hunt you down when they find out that you are an Ex, and after a while you do the same. Every town has an unofficial mess/british legion branch where ex's meet and swing the lamp, and more importantly, sort out work and jobs. Even in the TA (yes, I am a stab - and now quite fat!) we have an unofficial ex's club. My advice to all you still serving - Get what you can out of the army and the corps, they will get a lot out of you! Above all else, keep in contact with your friends ... Because after being a Sapper, being a civvy is very tough, tougher than you think.
Ten pennorth from a stab who's been in the industry for 25 years (don't be fooled by the avatar - I've been sappering for 22 years): If you've an (E) trade, you'll do quite well - the influx of migrants haven't got 16th edition so you don't have much competition. (C) and (M) trades don't fare too well - the migrants have pushed the wages down and there's a lot of them. They also have more hands on experience than you get in the Corps - and the employers realise this. If you're on the tools, you may have a shaky start but you should progress fairly well once you get your face known and you show what you're capable of. Clks Wks especially (C) probably have the hardest time as they don't have an equivalent civvy job - lack of qualifications for the responsibility that they're used to and generally the wrong sort of experience.

I'd recommend being prepared to drop down a couple of grades when you start your first civvy job and allow your charisma (which all of you have, otherwise you'd be infantry) to endear your employers into rapidly promoting you. But DO change attitude - the "battle on regardless" approach doesn't work in civvy street and employers get mighty annoyed when people keep breaking things. You need to be more aware of costs than in the Corps.

That's it, and I look forward to you ignoring my advice.
Any advice should always be welcomed, you never know when you need it, i am slowley coming to the end of my time and ready to get out, not realy sure what i want to do when i leave, but seeing advice on this forum is freely available, i won't be too afraid to ask for it.


Left in 1984, last posting was 34 Squadron, Waterbeach, Cambs.

I found it difficult at first and drifted from one job to another from retail to construction. I now work as Import/Export Manager for the company that used to make the hydraulic rams for the Chieftain Bridgelayer, I've now been there 9 years.

I have Oteoporosis now and three crumbling vertebrae in my spine and it's early retirement for me so I'm off to Spain to buy two villas and rent one out as an income.
I left in October 05 , Started work in Nov as Bricklayer in NI and im lovin it.

Was a bit difficult trying to find someone to take me on due to no alot of Bricklaying experience,
but once they found out my quals they were only eager to take me, and so far i havent mucked up
yet (touch wood).
Left in 2002, stepped over 'the line' and joined a (shhhh) Large Contracting concern (as EWC) and had no problems with work since although do miss the 'crack' from the Corp. Now experiencing the fun and joys of Prime Contracting.....
I normally enjoy just reading this site but this thread has caused me to take the plunge...so here we go with my tuppence worth.

Left in 2000 after a final tour with EOD which set me up well for what I'm doing now.

My advice is "Fear Naught" ..... there's always work for good lads and your skills learnt as a Sapper will come to the fore naturally.

I worked with some civvies in my last year in the Corps (did 16 all told) and an Ex RSM told me that a lot more of the Army/Corps stays with you than you imagine will ..... He was Spot on !!

But it's not things like trade skills that stay with you to make the difference, it's qualities like good old Sapper "Can do Attitude" & your ability to problem solve, then plan and motivate your team through the issue at hand.

Believe me...it's all there in you and you'll enjoy showing it off !!

"Diamonds" & "Buckets of Sheeeite" springs to mind.

Good luck.
putteesinmyhands said:
I'd recommend being prepared to drop down a couple of grades when you start your first civvy job and allow your charisma (which all of you have, otherwise you'd be infantry) to endear your employers into rapidly promoting you.
You've hit the nail on the head Puttees. I have been out nearly 14 years now and did quite well for a toffee wrapper. Was a Divisional Manager for a High Street Company and attended a lot of resettlement days. The biggest problem was peoples expectations. "I did such and such as my pre-release and now want to be Managing Director" Doesn't happen guys. Nothing wrong with ambition and Civvy Comapnies love it, but dont miss the boat by holding out for something your not going to get. And its definitely easier to get a job when you have a job!
I left in 1980 after 9 years and joined the civvy bill for another 15 when I was offered a job in the middle east working with bomb dogs, my background in REST stood me in good stead as well as my dog qualifications and I worked there for a further 5 years.

I moved over to security management and I am still a ex-pat working in the ME, as the security advisor for a international company. It certainluy hasn't been easy especially as a contractor looking for the next job, but my corps experience gave me a solid background which I took with me.

In the security industry, it is all about networking and who knows who, I suppose that stands for most other jobs as well, but with security you tend to pick the people you know and trust...


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Got out in 96, went back, did another four got out and gave it a proper go in Civ Div.....do miss the lads though, the howling nights in the attic bars in the Fatherland, missed the 12/16 bash this year :cry: ......now working as a computer nerd, network engineer, and earning loads. Come across a few ex RE, but mostly ex Sigs in this line.........don't know, they just haven;t got the same level of insanity!!!!!
I left in 1945 after a long spell in hospital recovering from my wounds. I was out as a disabled war pensioner. Getting the job back was damn near impossible. For in those far off days we were treated like crap, WE were not wanted.

The only way to get back was to disguise the fact that you were a disabled war pensioner. That was difficult in the extreme...but it had to be done.
Slowly I got back into work, Worked my way up, gathering skills until I reached the top of the Skilled engineer pile. Much in demand,

But getting back at times was torturous to say the least.
Would I do it again? If there was another evil ghoul like Hitler and his minnions? Certainly.....For sure.
For all the Sappers we left behind, and all the men that fought, had lifted the ominous dark cloud of a new and savage medievil age, from the Continent of Europe. And freedom for our own peoples.

My time in the RE? The best of comrades, the loyalty, But you see we were the best.
I still grieve for my long departed friends. Every day.
2 Platoon Sapper. Monty's Ironsides.
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