Finally, or is it suddenly the Corps is fully manned. Is it?


2 years ago the Royal Corps of Signals was screaming for manpower. Now we are fully manned!

Is this due to an outstanding recruiting policy, which we were often told was poor? Or is it because posts have been re-aligned to suit our manning.

Has anyone found themselves carrying out tasks that previously were the responsibility of others?

Have we finally managed to create a sound responsibility for trades across the Corps, to ensure that all personnel know what to expect wherever they serve. (outside of ops, we all get stuck in to help out, that is acceptable).

Is it simply double, treble, quadrupple hatting of personnel to ensure that all possibilities are covered, no matter what the threat or neccesity.

If the answer is get stuck in, so be it. We are all willing to help each other out as a means to an end, but for how long, before recruiting and retention is strained again. Or is it already strained and we are re-aligning to suit?

Your views please.

If you plaster over a crack, it simply widens and extends, then it rejects the unwanted filler that is not supposed to be there!!
Computers :!: My sources tell me that the way we were accounting for our manpower was not entriely correct and there was a mis match between our liabilities and our assetts. Simultaneously with the down turn of the IT industry retention has improved on a dramatic scale and the outflow has slowed significantly. No one should be lulled into a false sense of security though. Although we are at near full manning that manning is mismatched in places against the trade and rank structure. Hope this helps :D


just wait until the economy picks up/3G sorts itself out and the telecomms firms start recruiting again
bet there will be a mad rush to leave again


I know what you are talking about, I have seen a few establishment lists and the LSNs being passed from sqn to sqn etc can be quite unbelievable. I will point no fingers but I know some units are overbearing in certain trades and holding them against LSNs of other trades, MCM Div obviously let this happen when pushed.
I hear that manning is up to strength but that, whilst there are the right numbers of people they are in the wrong trades (and ranks).

The cause is certainly that civpop (IT/Telecom) is not so attractive as it used to be pre 9/11 and the market downturn but must have been helped by the disbandment of 249 Sig Sqn and the use of those extra Gurkhas as this means that we dont need so many UK recruits.

With all those guys and girls going through RSS after the training break (the main cause of undermanning in the first place) I guess that it was inevitable that the backswing would over-compensate. Wonder how long it will take to sort out?
better too many than too few
natural wastage will soon reduce the numbers again anyway
If we are up to strength, why is my unit undermanned. Why is it that most Armoured units don't have full crews (min 3 Ops)?

Why do we still have TA called up to serve S types?

The numbers may add up on paper but they do not add up in the real world.
Ah, but does full manning mean that the Army's establishments are big enough to do the job? With lots of extra commitments loads of people are being borrowed for "additional" jobs in the Balkans, Gulf etc. Even MOD branches and ATRA are having to lose people to fill operational posts.

Robbing Peter to pay Paul I think.
Sorry to revive an old subject but there is a bit more milage in this.. I was at the MCM Roadshow recently and they said the Corps is full ( as is the Army) in top line figures, but we have too many Techs, not enough IS Engineers or EDs.

In addition, we as a corps have to consume our own smoke in terms of soldiers under training (class 1, YofS, FofS etc) which means there is still some pain out there.

I know there is a plan in hand to manage the excess of techs and maybe time promotion is on the way out. Does anyone know the real detail here because it is major morale boosting stuff that must be shared.
A brief last month said Technicians now have to sit their own promotion boards. They no longer get timed promotion. The current Class2-1 techs are a bit put out by that. At least they will still get FRI for another year.

I have also heard that some of the Tech Cpl class2 glut will be hit with a brown letter but I have not seen anything official on that.
Thanks Disco, keep us all posted will you.

I have champagne on ice ready for the day Techs have to earn promotion like everyone else.
Heard from a mate in the bar a few days ago that the techs in his sqn were having a breifing about the gut of class2 cpl's. Remember something like top 20% of people doing a class1 entrance exam will be able to carry on and do it the rest will be brown lettered or retraded to is eng. Dont know if its true or sh#te but thought i'd share. Can't wait until tech gets undermanned again.

No Ma'am unicorn's aren't real.
Firstly, i think to "brown letter" someone the individual has to meet the manning control critera, I.E. be at a certain point in their carear etc. I'm pretty certain soldiers cannot be manning controlled simply because there is a glut in their CEQ. The Corps may be able to clear a few places this way, but as most technicians are very young, the manning control option wouldnt be relevant for most of them.

Secondly, whilst there is a shortage of IS Engineers and the opportunity will exist for technicians to re-trade, they will have to want to do it and be right for the job. The last thing any trade needs is an influx of personnel who have "found" themselves there because of a records cockup, and they've simply been steered in that direction.

I confess that i dont know what the answer is to the tech overmanning issue. These guys have chosen a carear path and should have every right to continue on it according to the rules that were in place when they entered it. The Corps need to remember that they are dealing with human beings with ambitions, and not just a problem. They should be looking for who is responsible for getting the Corps into this situation in the first place, its an unholy cockup at the end of the day.

Hopefully MCM div will be asking for people who want to get out. And from the looks of it at 30 Sigs most of the baby techs where they're counting the days till their time bar runs out, they'll have a lot of uptakers especailly the smarter ones who can do the job. But even if the lads stay the glut will only be moving up to class 1s or growing old as a irate full screw.

No Ma'am Unicorns Arn't Real
I think you make a valid point about the glut moving up. And theres the rub. It cant - they cant train the overmanning nor do they have places in the ranks for them - the outcome will be an interesting one to watch.

You might want to put the unicorn comment in your profile as your signature, it'll save typing it every time you post. Besides, they do exist in boney's world 8O
MCM Div's already trying to get rid of techs, if they sign off and get wobbly legs near the date they get a bif foxtrot oscar when they try to sign back on, even if its only after a few days.

A lot of the lads i know have already signed off or are jumping ship to another trade or cap badge, but even still tech must be a dying trade, when (if) ptarmigan gets replaced it'll be more for opperator/maintainer then your generic opperator and tech jobs.

Something mst be getting done with the tech problem, but at the end of the day you've around 400 guys who are surplus, who more often then not got pushed into the trade when they were joining up to fill up places that were empty. another army fcuk-up anyone.

Cheers for the signiture help
The glut came post Catterick, a severe shortfall was on the cards.

Blandford then churned phase2 techs out like no tomorrow, but they never stopped until it was too late. That combined with an attitude of "sod my class1 I aint going FofS" "Im a happy donut eating tech in FRV" meant there was no natural progression. Result a shortage of Sgt class1 and a shortage of FofS.

I believe it is starting to balance out now but the Corp still has about 400 Cpl Class2 techs too many. So it will be Adios in one way or another.

The trade though is far from dieing, it is stronger than ever. The System Engineer and the new IS Op will become the life blood of the Corp. Just watch how Bowman and Digitization takes a grip once it is fully up and running.
Disco, I think you will be surprised at the level that Tech’s are needed with BOWMAN, they are not needed (unless you need a coax re-terming). 1st and 2nd line inspections are at operator lvl, after that any faults go straight to Westlands for repair. And all tests on the equipment will be done with a ‘magic’ box, just like the Test Set Audio…. bottom line, no need for Tech’s in BOWMAN……maybe.
I wouldnt write them off just yet :) Everything I have seen points towards the Systems Engineer as far as installation and maint of Bowman, Cormorant and Falcon.

On a side note the Installation Technician who was the original trade to implement Digitisation has once again had its wings clipped. The unnsuccessful transition to field units and thier misemployment has seen Clansman harness removed from thier training objectives. Without the Clansman link they will not progress to install or maintain Bowman. It will be the System Engineer.

More and more of these systems are run over a field fibre optic system. As it stands no Inst Techs are planned to support this (someone correct me if Im wrong). So the Systems Engineer will require FO training.

I know there has been much talk on the Installer/Operator aspect to the Corp and maybe Bowman is a good example of that.

We will have to wait and see how its service (Bowman) pans out. But remarks about the demise of the R Sigs Tech are very premature.

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