FR or Heavy?? Help...

Discussion in 'RAC' started by Redcoat86, Jun 21, 2011.

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  1. I'm currently midway through Sandhurst and have to make my final declaration of choice (a first and second choice) of the two regiments who are taking me to the selection board.

    I have one FR Regt choice, and one heavy armour... but am really struggling to decide where to go. I enjoyed both visits to the mess and meeting the soldiers and feel I would fit in well in either. I even have offers from both regiments, so it seems the ball really is in my court in terms of where I end up.

    Is Heavy armour worth doing or is it dying out? Is there any scope for Cr2 in future ops? libya, iran, pakistan possibly? Are their other roles such as PMAG, viking, dismounted etc as good/rewarding?

    Is FR all it's cracked up to be? does FR still exist or is it more BRF and dismounted roles?

    I would really appreciate honest, unbiased views...
  2. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    The accepted answer to the question, "which regiment?" is always "The one you served in." By extension, by asking this question, you must expect the answer "Heavy" from those who served on tanks and "Recce" from those who served in recce.

    There will be no unbiased views. Except mine. I always wanted to be a tank commander in a Chieftain, but I didn't discover that my local cavalry regiment was about to convert from tanks to recce until I was nearly finished Basic. I wouldn't change my years in recce for the world, and ultimately I don't regret not having served on tanks.
  3. I was in exactly the same position many years ago. If I was you I would consider not just role but also location and when they are next due to deploy. Clearly you may feel just drawn to one regiment rather than the other, if so go where your gut says.

    As to the role, at the moment FR (BRR more accurately) are deploying in their primary roles (be it tracked/dismounted - more traditional FR or wheeled/dismounted - BRF); however no one really knows what is around the next corner in terms of the sort of operations we might (or might not) be conducting post 2015. You can get your crystal ball out but in reality, we will probably see both tanks and manned recce being used well into the future.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. I've done both, subject to national differences.

    I started my career in armour (M1 Abrams) and now command a recon unit (M3 Bradley). I miss my tank. I really do, there is absolutely no feeling like it. A feeling of invulnerability and raw power, plus lots of cargo room for your gear and a comfortable and warm place to sleep on the engine deck. (Or at least, if not warm, the turret roof is clear of crawly critters who want to share your sleeping bag). Nothing like 120mm gunnery.

    That said, tanks are basically a one-trick-pony. Drive somewhere, find something to kill, and kill it. There may be detail differences due to the mission, but basically the role is 'mobile firepower.' If you're really unlucky, you'll be dismounted and told to go play counter-insurgency with a rifle.

    On the other hand the recon role is quite varied. I've got the firepower to at least make myself felt, and the chaingun is a different type of fun to the 120mm, but still a lot of fun. The mission itself can be all sorts of things, and leaves a lot of room for creativity. I command not only armoured vehicles, but also wheeled vehicles, riflemen, mortars, and the job can be anything from cavalry raids through sneak-and-peek to counter-recon, combined with the fact that by definition, you have no idea what you're going up against (that's why there's recon!), so orders are often vague and allow a lot of room for you to exercise initiative and flexibility. The Bradley does not, however, have anywhere near as much room for my personal gear, or to sleep on. It's also a tad claustrophobic in the turret compared to the tank.

    I have no regrets about being involved in either world. I still consider myself a tanker first, and wear my tanker boots in the cav unit, but am also proud of my campaign hat and spurs. Which role suits your mentality better? As BC observes, I wouldn't worry about the current roles, but the official doctrinal roles for full-spectrum operations such as WWIII.

  5. Tanks.
    Definitely Tanks.
  6. Agreed. Preferably Centurions.
    • Like Like x 2
  7. FR has a future. Heavy (sadly) may not...
  8. Roger that. And coupled with doubts as to the future re-roll, stick with something vaguely certain.
  9. If so, then go heavy. In the unlikely event the tanks go away, the troops will presumably be folded into a lighter role, which is about what the recce guys do anyway, so you're no worse off.

    • Like Like x 1
  10. For a septic you make slot of sense! If you go tankie, you'll end up retraining on warthog or mastiff anyway. Unless we invade north Korea/ Iran blah blah blah

    FORMER_FYRDMAN LE Book Reviewer

    But there's an argument that recce will become an MBT role. In any event, there's always going to be a role for a fast-moving, all terrain, hard-to-kill, machine gun-equipped, armoured bulldozer and command centre with a high explosive landscaping capability, even if there are fewer of them.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Many thanks to all...

    Very helpful advice indeed. I am submitting my choice as we speak and have decided on Heavy Armr 1st choice, FR Regt 2nd choice...

    ... and funnily enough it came down to tour rotation as both are roles I would love to do!
    • Like Like x 1

    FORMER_FYRDMAN LE Book Reviewer

    Whatever happens you'll enjoy yourself. Good luck.
  14. Have you considered the Gunners?

    I'll get my cloak...
  15. Everyone should consider gunners, those vehicles don't paint themselves you know.