Guards

#1
Hi there, was hoping to ask for some advice...

I have a place at Sandhurst for next September and am firmly decided on a career in the infantry (so if this should go in the Infantry forum then please feel free to move it Mods). I have been sponsored through the process by PWRR, who I know are an extremely good regiment. However, I am very interested in having a look at the Guards (Grenadiers in particular) and was wondering what people thought were the major differences between being an officer in the Guards and a local regiment.

I am fully in the camp that says people should go and experience each regiment and see for myself but these visits do tend to be quite short and so any opinions that I can gleam beforehand I can then put to the test when I'm there.

I have no tie to either regiment (services, but not Army background) but some aspects of the Guards definitely appeal.

Thank you all in advance.
 
#2
was wondering what people thought were the major differences between being an officer in the Guards and a local regiment.

Main differences are Daddy being of the blue blood and a schooling at Eton or Harrow. :wink:
 
#3
Yes, I have heard that. But surely such stereotypes are a little out-dated now? Can all these regiments maintain their recruitment numbers if they are limited to certain schools etc?
 
#4
Condottieri said:
Yes, I have heard that. But surely such stereotypes are a little out-dated now? Can all these regiments maintain their recruitment numbers if they are limited to certain schools etc?
Apparently they can and do. The Guards are definitely "last bastion" territory but there are two types of Guards officer, the hooray Henry type who do an SSC and then go off to the city or to inherit or loiter around Putney AND the extremely professional infantrymen, who carry the weight and usually end up on the DS at a school or training centre somewhere...
 
#5
So there is a possibility that commoners such as myself can get through, if only to do the job at the end whilst the others lord it?
 

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
Condottieri said:
I am fully in the camp that says people should go and experience each regiment and see for myself but these visits do tend to be quite short and so any opinions that I can gleam beforehand I can then put to the test when I'm there.
So, you want to polish stuff, should be at home in the Guards then.
 
#7
You say you have a services background which is a plus. Were any of you forebears commissioned? If so you would stand a better chance. There have been "normal" people commissioned into the Guards, but it is very hard in comparison to other Regiments/ Corps.
 
#8
Condottieri said:
So there is a possibility that commoners such as myself can get through, if only to do the job at the end whilst the others lord it?
That kind of attitude is bound to endear you to the Household Division.

They aren't always that fussy - recently one of the Reg Bns had an Adjt who had transferred from the RLC!
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#10
Private_Pike said:
Main differences are Daddy being of the blue blood and a schooling at Eton or Harrow. :wink:
Of the four Etonians in my company at Sandhurst, one joined the Blues and Royals and the other three went into the Light Division. I really don't think the old 'blue blood' cliches are entirely true anymore, though I would think that family connections of some sort do help, as with every other infantry and RAC regiment. As you've surmised, the best thing you can do is get in touch with the Grenadiers (or whoever) and take a look at them, and let them take a look at you.
 
#11
I know the guy who is Ex Loggies. A shit hot bloke. Ex TC of mine - by far the best one I have ever had the pleasure of working with. He did not transfer - got out, but when leaving his CO was CG and said to him if he ever fancied rejoining to give him a call - he did and the rest is history.
 
#12
Thanks - will do. Does anyone have any thoughts on the main differences between officers in the Guards versus local regiments?

I have heard that the division between officers and OR tends to be more defined in the Guards?

How are the OR different to work with? Higher aptitude? Fitter? Just better at drill!?
 
#13
They are less fussy than they used to be, but there are subtle shades. The Jocks, Micks and Welsh probably prefer if you have some link to the geography, although the accent is defnitely not a requirement(!). The Coldstream and Grenadiers both recruit from England, but again this isn't a hard and fast rule - lots of Liverpudlians in the Irish etc.

I'd second the recommendation of spending time with them if you can - if nothing else you should get some idea of whether you will get along with your contemporaries.

Oh - and don't worry about having to polish things all the time. There is a lot of that if you want it, or ways to avoid it - vis one officer who made it to Adjt before a single operational tour, or another who went over five years before trying on a bear skin.
 
#14
Condottieri said:
some aspects of the Guards definitely appeal.
If you tell us the aspects that appeal that might help. The Guards are very good and do have their own way of doing things (although the officer / Guardsman relationship is nothing like as feudal as some would have you believe) but basically have similar charicteristics to all infantry regiments.

Where they most obviously differ is in their close relationship with London, royalty and public duties. This can mean that they have a greater need for officers who can make pleasant small talk with a member of the royal family than ones who can drink a pint of their own pisss while doing a regain. Regardless of what school you went to. You don't need a private income, but central London is an expensive posting and you stand a better chance of ending up there in the Guards. How bad are your uni debts - can you afford it? And do you really want to wear a badger on your head?
 
#15
Had some geni come to me during my time and said I guarantee you any military wish you want, I'd have asked to be a Guardee officer. Just something about them and their style that got me. Go for it.
 
#16
Condottieri said:
I have been sponsored through the process by PWRR, who I know are an extremely good regiment.
Particularly if thrusting around and being intense, talking about bayonet charges is what does it for you.

I'm not just being flippant, though; one thing that comes through clear as day during the RMAS choice of arm procedure is that different regiments have different atmospheres and styles (particularly in the Combat arms, as they're much smaller and closer-knit than the Corps); some are more thrusting and keen, others are more laid-back in style. All are good. It's just what suits you and what sort of people you want to share a mess with.

That said, I could easily be talking out of my arrse - this is just the impression I've gathered, being midway through the process myself.
 
#17
I was recently asked a subaltern in the Welsh Guards how he came to join that Regiment. He said he visited several Infantry Regiments, line and guards. He made his decision on the basis of what the soldiers were like and what the mess was like. He said her chose the Welsh Guards because he felt most at home there. His approach seems sensible advice. If you think you might like the ir style and might fit in, go and have a look.

He also drew a distinction between the Grenadiers and Coldstreams - ultra Guards and the Scots Irish and Welsh which were more celtic and saw themselves as more warry and less formal. Admittedly this is within the Brigade of Guards, so Welsh or Irish Gards informality may be a relative concept.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#18
Arfur said:
Condottieri said:
I have been sponsored through the process by PWRR, who I know are an extremely good regiment.
Particularly if thrusting around and being intense, talking about bayonet charges is what does it for you.
A personal opinion, but the single most impressive officer that I have met in my service was - at the time - the COS at 19 Bde and won the DSO as CO 1 PWRR on Telic (3/4?). MM, a very clever man who exhibits a lot of grace under pressure. A class act.

The point of this post: it isn't who you join, but who you are which will determine how your career pans out. I've met some real stars in the Catering Corps (as was) and some 'flipping' idiots in the SAS.

If you've passed RCB, you have the potential to make it as an officer. Don't rush it! Find somewhere where you will be comfortable and go with that.
 
#19
Empire said:
I know the guy who is Ex Loggies. A s*** hot bloke. Ex TC of mine - by far the best one I have ever had the pleasure of working with. He did not transfer - got out, but when leaving his CO was CG and said to him if he ever fancied rejoining to give him a call - he did and the rest is history.
Absolutely correct.

He is a great bloke. Imagine a 'real' loggie with a name like his!!!

He is definitely better of in the Guards.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#20
Another point: the first time I went to... cough, cough... walt, walt... Hereford, the CO was Andy Massey. Ex RCT and a top blerk. If you've got it, the chances are that the army will find it.
 

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