Graduates into the Royal Engineers

Discussion in 'Sappers' started by Morning_Parade, Nov 25, 2009.

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  1. Hi, I am currently in my second year of a degree in Construction Management. Next year is meant to be an industrial placement. Due to the current climate, very few people are able to get one. So, it looks like I will be going straight into my final year and graduating with no experience.

    Anyway to get to the point. Before starting university I had strong interests in joining the Royal Engineers, but after talking to many different people I made the decision to go and get my degree first. As I was told I probably would have changed my mind by graduating.

    I still have a very strong interest, but have a few question. Personally, I dont feel like officer material, I dont think I am leader and am a quiet person. Having a degree in construction management, would I be pushed towards the officer route? I feel I would rather join and learn a trade, carpenter would be my first choice. I want to learn to be able to construct things rather than just manage it.

    Do many graduates join and not take the officer route? Would I have more chance of being promoted through the ranks with a degree if I did join as a regular sapper. One more question, whats the average age for RE recruits, I will be 22 nearly 23 when graduating.

    Thanks in advance for any help on this.
  2. that makes you perfect orificer material fella. :wink:
  3. The demonised Enoch Powell (a professor in Classics at age 22) joined the army as a private soldier, albeit there was a world war going on. He was told he could have an immediate commission but he declined on the basis he would progress on his own merits. He eventually became (at that time) the youngest Brigadier in the British Army.
    I don't suppose this has helped you at all? But there is one consolation in joining as a Sapper. Your self confidence will increase in leaps and bounds and you will understand the mindset of the ordinary Tom. Word of warning though, don't flaunt your degree and be one of the troop.
  4. I dropped out of uni to start my application.

    Some say a bad move, degree first, others agree with my view.

    I did have a feeling that a drop out is not a good applicant for this career, but on the otherhand it shows I'm willing to join no matter.

    At the end of the day uni wasn't for me and I should of just joined after school, instead I just did what my friends were doing.

    It's up to you at the end of the day, if you enjoy your course stick with it, if you hate it but think your best off finishing.. why? You don't need the degree for the royal engineers and if it's the army you want why waste time and money
  5. There are very few people who are natural leaders, the AOSB look at potential.

    You would probably be pushed towards officer entry but if you don't feel like you are ready for it yet there is no problem in joining as a Sapper, gaining some experience and then going on the AOSB. A former CO of Pantsoff and I started out as an apprentice tradesman, got up to acting Sgt then took a commission.

    Due to the current economic climate more than a few graduates have joined as Sapper including guys who have degrees in town planning etc. You might be pushed into a design trade rather than an artisan trade such as carpenter. As a design draughtman you get an HND in building studies and then you tend to get pushed towards Clerk of Works (Construction). Having done building technology modules 1, 2 and 3 you should find the design side reasonably easy, it's just a case of learning how to use AutoCAD properly.

    Don't worry too much about your age, you will probably find being a little bit older than the average recruit an advantage.
  6. I'd advise you try it. Frankly, I think you would get very board, very quickly if you joined in the rank and file.

    Don't forget the Army, and least not the Corps, are very good at setting challenges which you think will be difficult but are actually well within your reach. Each challenge is always a leaning experiance.

    Also bear in mind that the course at Sandhurst is 12 months of pure leadership training - arguably the best in the world. And that's before you even start any Military Engineer training.

    Once you are through all that and given a troop to lead, remember that there is management within that troop at every level; and besides, any RE Staff Sergeant worth his salt will keep you on the straight and narrow.

    You might do well to watch 'Zulu' a number of times. A litlle old it may be, however there are massive examples of Military leadership in there. Oh, and it also highlights how an RE officer won a VC!

    If you can learn the entire script after 5 x watchings, I'll buy you a pint.

    Good luck chap and whichever way you go you'll be wearing the best cap badge anyway. :D
  7. Hi, thanks for all the replies.

    LemonKettaz - it is not a case of wanting to drop out of uni for me. I am happy with it and getting on fine. What were you studying? Which trade are you hoping to do?

    Plant_Life - i have looked in the the roles of draughtsman, surveyor etc but still feel i would rather have a much more hands on trade, I want to be out on site getting involved. I have already covered Building Studies to HND in my first year and am currently studying Building Technology. The thing is, Im doing them now, im going to have done that side of things, now I want to, like i say, get involved with a more hands on job.

    Bombay - you think I would get bored very easily if i joined as a regualr sapper or as an officer? Why do you think that either way. Also it is not that i do not feel capable as such. Mainly because I dont have an interest in the officer route. I would imagine it being something you have to want 110%, not just something you can one day decide to do just because you have a degree. Personally I dont understand why having a degree puts you apart from anyone else joining. I know you gain more life experience etc. But if anything, its made me lazier.

    Thanks for the help so far. I appreciate it.
  8. Also just out of curiosity, this isnt something I plan to do. But if an officer recruit failed to make the mark, wasn't up to scratch. What happens to them? What are their options?

  9. I'm also doing a degree in construction management and have just started my second year out of three so can feel your pain when it comes to coursework and exams! With an HND in construction I didn't have to do building techs 1 and 2, QS 1, contracts and principles of building structure so I was quite pleased about that.

    As a surveyor will be out on site a fair bit but I don't blame you for wanting to get a construction trade if you take that option.

    The reason why you will be pushed towards officer is because of your educational level. I think the reason why you would get bored as a sapper is because you will used to questioning and analysing things because that's what you do to pass your degree. As a sapper in a field section you will simply to be told to get on with it and don't question why. If you are a draughty or another design trade posted to an Specialist Team Royal Engineers you are encouraged to think things through and question things.

    If you are struggling to meet the mark you will get backcoursed although how many cracks of the whip you get I don't know.
  10. Morning Parade I'm going in as Design Draughtsman, just waiting for a start date passed selection and that.

    I was studying Building Services Engineering.

    But I've done a few things since school (6yrs now) and to be honest I've always wanted to join the Army and when I looked further into it I was more than impressed with the roles the royal engineers offer...

    I'm very interested in construction/architecture how things work and built etc so engineers is for me.

    But im not sure I want to be in the army behind a desk so in the future if i get chance to do it i might go the para or commando route than clerk of works...

    But who knows, I've not started yet so i'll see what happens :)
  11. If you go Para or Commando it doesn't stop you being a Clerk of Works or Military Plant Foreman. There are more than a few of the technical roster out there who started off in airbourne or commando forces.
  12. So I could do my trade for a few year, then train either Commando or Para then later on train as Clerk or Works?
  13. Morning Parade - The reason I dropped out was because Uni just didn't click with me, It's just like school except I was constantly drunk or hungover and just got a bit fed up with that lifestyle...

    Being lazy, poor and hungover 24hrs a day 7days a week wasn't my idea of life experience.

    My course was very difficult maths wise as well and tbh I was struggling a bit, but I know I will be doing more maths in my trade training so since I've just been working i've had to keep fit and keep my mind fit with some a level maths books ha.

    I regret Uni now, but if it wasn't for uni I may not of found this role I've applied for.

    Mind you I wish I applied for this 6yr ago :)
  14. Clerk of Works is a supervisory trade. To have a realistic chance of getting on the course you need to have been in the Royal Engineers at least 8 years, be an experienced senior LCpl as a minimum, have section commander experience, be a Class one tradesman (but you don't have to be a B1 combat engineer), trade/construction site experience, operational experience and be reasonably intelligent.

    Being para or commando trained doesn't mean you are going to spend your entire career with either 23 or 24 Engineer Regiments respectively. You shouldn't spend more than 6 years in one go at either regiment. After that you will more than likely go to a "hat" regiment whether you like it or not. It is easier to go para or commando straight from training rather than going to the field Army first and then applying.