Gunner STA Special Observer

#1
This role really appeals to me on the website however obviously it glamours the role up quite abit, does anyone have any experience in this role or knowledge about it so I can see what to really expect?
 
#2
This role really appeals to me on the website however obviously it glamours the role up quite abit, does anyone have any experience in this role or knowledge about it so I can see what to really expect?
From what I remember reading, direct entry for this role is nigh impossible. Those who do make the course are usually internal applicants who are top of their game and even then the pass rate for one course was 0 iirc.
 
#3
A comment I wrote previously for someone who asked about STA. Hopefully it will help you too:


I can probably help with this. I originally wanted to join the Army as an STA Observer but realised that there were better options after I did my research on the role. I think that the role on the recruiting website isn't really accurately advertised...

First of all, (you might know this bit already) even though you are asked to specify your desired roles when joining, in actual fact you will join the Corps of your desired role and can then be streamed to any role within said Corps. The role you train for is decided based on Army needs before personal preference. So if there is no need for STA Observers, or you fail the training then you will need to be happy doing the other roles in the Royal Artillery; else you'll be stuck in a job you don't like for 4 years.

The direct entry joining process for STA Observer would be: Complete Phase 1, Complete Phase 2 (RA Gunner training), Join 5 Regiment RA, Pass 4/73 Selection, Complete STA Patrols course.

Alternatively, you may attempt the STA Patrols course as an existing member of any other part of the British military.

(Here you will find a detailed explanation of 4/73's role and training). The key take away is that the initial selection for the STA Patrols course has a 15% pass rate. I spoke to a guy who completed the actual STA Patrols course and he said that out of the 35 people who started the course, only 8 passed, with the majority of people who passed being experienced soldiers.

I think that the role on the website makes it seem like a lot of fun, wearing night vision goggles, hiding in bushes and calling in air strikes. That is the attractive part of recce. The other part that they fail to mention is that you will likely be sitting... and shitting... in a tiny hole in the ground for days with 5 other men. So it's important that you fully understand the role of an STA Observer.

There are a few other roles in the Army which perform recce too. Light and Armoured Cav in RAC and most Infantry regiments all have forward observer type roles. You can also look at the Para Pathfinders. Additionally you can work in ISTAR in various support roles within the Sigs and Int corps. I would suggest joining in a different role and applying for STA Observer course later on in your career.

Hope this helps.
 

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