Experience of ethnic minorities in the Engineers

#1
Before I get any flak, I am not calling the Army racist nor do I have any more reason to think it is or to think it isn't as a whole. Anyway, with that out of the way... Hi, I'm going into the Royal Engineers as a sparky and I can't wait. I'm just asking an open ended question here as to what the experience has been for ethnic minorities in the corps. Good, bad or the same as all the other guys. Thanks.
 
#2
Giving due regard to your username... ...and your intended Corps....

Are you aware that this is a site pertaining to the BRITISH Army?


(Semperfidelis is the motto of the Brazilian Engineers) :)


And no, there's no discrimination. Not even against Brazilians. You must be thinking of the Met Police.
 
#4
What perspective are you coming at this from Semperfidelis?
White supremacist or zero index?
 
#5
sandmanfez said:
What perspective are you coming at this from Semperfidelis?
White supremacist or zero index?
Or is he talking about the "more ethnic" - as in Pakistanis, Africans, Fijiians etc. etc. God forbid he is talking about women in the Army - that would just be a disgrace.
 
#6
I am a black British male who has passed selection for the Engineers. My chosen username may seem misleading but it is merely a Latin phrase meaning 'always faithful'. As I have said I'm black British and I'm going to Bassingbourn next year. Sorry if my opening post seemed rude but I have noticed people jump to conclusions on here as to what you are asking and why you are asking it. I want to be a soldier and I want to be a Sapper, I also want to know what my experience of the job may be like.
 
#7
Aunty Stella said:
Hmmm, also the unabbreviated version of "Semper Fi".

Wanna be a yank marine? If you are fat and have a daft accent you have passed USMC basic already :)
Actually, The 1st (Exeter and South Devon) Rifle Volunteer Corps, raised in Exeter in 1852, was using the motto on its cap badge by 1860 first, not the yanks! They can not do anything original :)
 
#8
SF, it's like many organisations - if you're not looking for discrimination, then you probably won't find it. A lot depends on your attitude.

If you're awarded the nickname "Chalkie", would you see this as a racist slur or just relish the fact that you're so well liked that your mates have given you a pet name?

We've all been through instances where we've felt that we've been unfairly picked on. I lost out on "Best Recruit" because I was studying for A-levels at a time when most Infantrymen left school without any qualifications. Or at least, that's the reason that I've decided on. If I'd also been black, I could have blamed it on skin colour, I suppose. But what I'm certain of, is that there was no malice intended - and the lad who got it was more chuffed than I would have been, so that took the edge off the disappointment.

I was in a unit which had two LCpls with the name of Green. One was white, the other was black. For differentiation, one became known as Cpl Light Green, the other as Cpl Dark Green. Neither took offence - and why should they? Again, it comes down to no malice intended.

Banter, there almost certainly will be. Respond in a similar vein. If it gets out of hand, you have the same recourse as anybody else - ask the offending person to cool it and if that fails, follow the grievance procedure.

The rules are for the benefit and guidance of everyone. And no, you don't get out of wearing cam cream. :)
 
#9
It does not matter what colour you are, what religion you practice or what gender you choose to sleep with, it matters how you perform as a Sapper. If you are a good egg, expect no problems, if you are an arse expect plenty of shoite. If you are an arse and use your differences to the majority to justify you being an arse or gain leverage then expect to be treated as a pariah.
If you are Welsh expect shoite anyway, fecking blodwyns.
 
#10
Just get your head down, crack on and don't make a big deal about it and no one will care.

a few don'ts, that may be obvious but I'll tell you anyway

don't assume every bad thing that happens to you is because of your race

don't play "the card" when it suits you.

don't shy away from banter, and give as good as you get, it'll repay you tenfold.

Little example.

5 field squadron used to have "Chard day" once a year in memory of the famous VC winner from rorke's Drift which basically involved squadron sports, go up the bar, watch "Zulu" for the eleventy billionth time and get shiters.

A well known and much loved coloured guy guy in the squadron would regularly turn up dressed as aforementioned Zulu's and offer the whole squadron out "for a fackin rematch you c unts"

Get involved, be proud of who and what you are (which is a Sapper first before anything else) and give as good as you get and you'll be more than fine.
 
#12
The Corp is as same as most of society in that it is not inheriently racist however there may be a few narrow minded people who are. My troop is from all nations and ethnic backgrounds and we all get on with no problems, there will always be banter but you will have to decide if they are crossing your line and then let them know.
Lastly welcome to the Corp and all the best
 
#13
But you had to join as a sparky didn't you. :D

Most people will treat you as they would want to be treated themselves, get stuck in and have a great time. I've known a few coloured Sappers and they gave as good as they got, and that was before all this PC shiote. But remember you are and will always be a Sapper, it's a way of life and everyone else is envious of us. :D
 
#18
SF,

When you get to Bassingbourne, try not to think of yourself as black.

Think of yourself as a lazy, idle, scuffy waste of human organs ... just the same as every other recruit in your party is going to be for the first couple of weeks! Training NCO's tend to hate all recruits equally!

Work hard, be a good soldier and good luck in Gods Corps.
 
#19
At the risk of saying the wrong thing, you are joining the British Army, you will not be black, white, purple or red. You will simply be a soldier.
 
#20
Semperfidelis said:
BEFORE I GET ANY FLAK I AM NOT CALLING THE ARMY RACIST NOR DO I HAVE ANY MORE REASON TO THINK IT IS THAN TO THINK IT ISN'T. Anyway, with that out of the way... Hi, I'm going into the Royal Engineers as a sparky and I can't wait. I'm just asking an open ended question here as to what the experience has been for ethnic minorities in the corps. Good, bad or the same as all the other guys. Thanks.
So:

You don't think the Army is racist but you post, in another thread, that there is opposition to having blacks in the British Army.

One moment you are going into the RE, and in the next breath you're already a recruit.

At which point in your proposed/current career do you envisage commencement of the Employment Tribunal?


Semperfidelis said:
I can see all of your points of view, however, as a black male Royal Engineers recruit I would be a hypocrite if I were to say that women should not be allowed in the Infantry. There was and undoubtedly is still opposition to having black men in the British Army and the same is true for women as a whole. .
 

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