How to find a role in the army.

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So. I'll try to keep this short and concise.

I'm a 17 year old looking to join the British army in a few years time. Ive scanned the official MOD websites and there is a crazy number of roles and branches to go down and not a huge ammount of info on any of them.

I would like to see some action at some point however every soldier i've talked to has said line infantry is a bad idea. Any advice on roles would be much appreciated.

I have had a brief look for similar threads but couldnt find one. A link to one would be a sufficient answer. Thanks in advance.
 
So. I'll try to keep this short and concise.

I'm a 17 year old looking to join the British army in a few years time. Ive scanned the official MOD websites and there is a crazy number of roles and branches to go down and not a huge ammount of info on any of them.

I would like to see some action at some point however every soldier i've talked to has said line infantry is a bad idea. Any advice on roles would be much appreciated.

I have had a brief look for similar threads but couldnt find one. A link to one would be a sufficient answer. Thanks in advance.
I’d start by defining what you want out of the Army. Pretty much every Regt/Corps will give you a “common core” of belonging, cameraderie, self-confidence, fanny-magnetism (some more than others), opportunity to travel and play sport. The values you learn in the Army will set you up for life.

Beyond that, do you want to stay for the 22 for the pension? No job other than the Armed Forces will give you a pension at 40 (37 for DE officers). But at 40, if you’re the world’s best say artilleryman, there isn’t a great market for artillery men in civvy st, so you’d be starting a new career. At best you’d bring management skills. So maybe join a Corps that has trades that transfer directly to civvy st. R SIGNALS, RE, REME, RLC etc.

But if you just want to get it out of your system and have a laugh for 3 or 4 years, then what’s wrong with inf? Or tanks or Arty? They play with some pretty spectacular toys.

“See some action” is a broad term. If you mean actual “rounds on enemy”, then it’s inf, tanks, arty, AAC aircrew. If it’s “go on operations”, then most Regt/Corps will give that opportunity.

Most people will defend their own Corps or Regiment. Not just because that’s the choice they made, but because it makes us who we are. For me, I was a Scaley. I would never change that even if I could, because it’s given me life opportunities beyond my wildest dreams at 17. But the next bloke will be a Sapper, or a Donkey Walloper or a Woodentop. And we’re all proud of what we did.

You have to decide what you want out of the Army, is the bottom line. Whether that’s a truck driver or an SAS tpr and everything in between is pretty much your choice, if you have the entry qualifications and aptitude.

Best of luck.
 

W21A

LE
Book Reviewer
If you want a life experience, Infantry, Artillery, tankies. A qualification, one of the supporting corps. Royal Engineers probably a good balance of both. Make your decision and go for it in full. Don't look down on anyone.
 
Thanks for the quick replies lads. I should have been more specific with see combat. I would like to shoot at the enemy at some point (want to fight anything and everyhing like any young guy) and am only planning on doing 4-5 years although that aint set in stone. Inf or the armoured corp sound great (loved hiking and shooting from a young age) but aac groundcrew? Nothing wrong with rearming apaches but how would they see fighting? Cash and girls aint really a concern for me at this point in life and id be joining for the experience over anything else.
 
Thanks for the quick replies lads. I should have been more specific with see combat. I would like to shoot at the enemy at some point (want to fight anything and everyhing like any young guy) and am only planning on doing 4-5 years although that aint set in stone. Inf or the armoured corp sound great (loved hiking and shooting from a young age) but aac groundcrew? Nothing wrong with rearming apaches but how would they see fighting? Cash and girls aint really a concern for me at this point in life and id be joining for the experience over anything else.
I could be wrong but I think it is unlikely that the Government will commit the Army to any shooting war like the Great warlord Tony involved us in Iraqi and Afghanistan. The public mood both here and the USA is totaly against any involvements in the Middle East or Africa. Hence the reluctance to get involved in Syria. Even the paddies don't want to play any more.

In the Infantry you would likely be based in some god forsaken place like Bulford or Tidworth, with the occaisonal overseas exercise in Kenya or Canada for Six weeks. There is only so much money allocated to things like ammunition, and fuel/track mileage, and with such situations the discipiles of the 'Great God Bullshit' come to the fore with general f*uckwittery like painting and cleaning the wagons and general dogsbody jobs.

Just my opinion but I would recommend the Royal Engineers. As a Combat Engineer as well as building bridges, you would be doing things like watermanship, Minefields, and booby traps. They have Commando and Parachute Engineer Regiments which you can join straight after training providing you pass 'All Arms P Company' for Airborne, or 'All Arms Commando Course' for Commando. Both Regiments have specialist Recce Troops that you can join after you have been in the unit some time and are suitable.

The Commando Engineers also go to some exotic places, like the West Indies a couple of years ago on reconstruction projects after a typhon. Sappers are also taught a trade like Bricklayer or Carpenter and they get to practice these trades on these construction projects.

There are also Armoured, Amphibious, and Bomb Disposal units. Most units will have a diving team which is a specialist qualificatin and involves passing a hard course run in conjunction with the Royal Navy at Marchwood near Southhampton. There are also Specialist RE search teams that work with The Ammo Tech Officers of the RLC whose job is to search for boby traps before the ATO does his job.

If you only do 4 or 5 years you will at least gain some useful skills besides a life experience, and if you decide to stay and fancy flying Apaches or Wildcats, then like any soldier in the army if you pass aircrew selection, you can apply for the 'Army Pilots course.

What ever you decide to do, good luck in your future career.
 
My dad was in the Army and he retired as arguably the most senior WO1 in the army at the time. He knew I had wanted to do some silly stuff in the army and had a sit down chat with me before I signed on. His advice was: I would not get to do the stuff I wanted to do for a few years anyway so in the meantime I should join something to get a trade that would pay me well and would help me later in life when I was looking to get a job after the army.

I joined in a fairly boring role and through an accidental meeting found out about a trade where there were only 32 people who did the job in the whole army. The training took a whole year and I was automatically promoted to Lance Corporal when I finished. Promotions were more or less guaranteed every two, or three years as long as I did the courses and because it was a technical trade I received what used to be called T trade pay........which meant I was earning around as much as an ordinary sergeant at the time. I did the army courses for promotion, worked for a few civvy qualifications paid for by the army, got promoted and used to whizz around Germany in a Porsche 911 (a secondhand one).

I also went on and did some silly stuff, had a few moments, met the kind of people who you only think exist in movies, but marriage put paid to all that kind of stuff. It is the best job in the world, and the finest club you could ever be a member of, you are only limited by your ambition, and imagination as to what you want to do.

Just let your imagination rip and think what you would really like to do and arrange to do a couple of visits to units if you can.

Whatever you decide, good luck.
 
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