Infantry or Engineers?

Hello folks,

I am interested in joining the reserve forces. I am not entirely sure what is the best role to choose though. I have an advantage in that there is a great choice around me as there is infantry, signals, engineers, logistics, military intelligence and artillery. However I would be particularly interested in a combat related role and the obvious choice would be infantry however I was also wondering if the RE would provide a combat role?

The RE squadron near me specialises in Combat Engineering and I was wondering what exactly this entails? Would this be more beneficial for earning qualifications? or would the best path be to join an infantry regiment and transfer later in my career? The reason I ask is that I had been speaking to a guy who had been deployed to Kenya and was part of a humanitarian mission to build a hospital with the RE but he was able to do combat related exercises too? That would be along the lines of things I would like to do in the forces, as well as being told what to do lol

There is also an RMR detachment near me which could be an option, apologies for mentioning them in an Army forum!

Background: 27 years old with a Degree and Postgrad. Fitness is ok but would need some work. I do a 9-5 job during the day with evenings and weekends off (Sounds like exactly like Gareth from the office).

Apologies in advance if these questions seem basic! All replies are appreciated!
 
Go visit! :)
 

Splitz

Old-Salt
I may be out-of-date here and if so somebody will appear to correct me... (!) - but with the exception of RAMC I think you'll find that every unit will have a combat role. I'm (very) ex-RE and we were always soldiers first, engineers second. In that respect you could think of the infantry as being soldiers both first and second as they have no other role. But whether basic soldiering skills are learned in the reserves in the same way as they were in my time in the regular army is something I don't know.

Personally I'd go for a support unit where you'll learn particular skills - RE, Signals etc. But then I'm me, and you are ... you! You have a full-time job so whatever you do will be a foil to that. Go for whatever suits - I guess you could always transfer if the grass seems greener on the other side.
 
Imho. Engineers.
I'm ex Infantry ,I've worked with Sappers, Royal Mons to be precise, they do all the infantry stuff plus combat engineering. Very good bunch of lads, work hard and play hard.

Plus you'll get more of a chance to learn stuff that can be useful in civvy street.
 
you might get the chance to learn skills which could be used in civvy street in the engineers but if you're already working in your chosen profession there's a good chance you'll never use them so i wouldnt focus on that too much.

but as Berlin_104s say, go visit the units in your area. they will all want to recruit you and will all tell you what they hope will convince you to join (highlight the good stuff, omit the bad). if you get the chance when visiting speak with some of the lads and see what they think as well.

social media is also your friend as most units will have a page on Facebook and can give you a good idea of what the unit has been up to in the last few month (depending on how switched on their PR-Fu is) and you can see how this ties in with what they tell you.

as you say though, if you dont like it at one unit, you've got other options you can transfer to.
 
Sounds like you have some great choices there with a wide range in your doorstep. Good luck and I’m sure you will enjoy whichever you choose.

As @Berlin_104s says the best thing to do is go visit and talk to each. With that many choices a few Tuesday nights exploring will be well worth it.

I didn’t have that much choice but wanted to join the infantry anyway. I didn’t really need the extra quals for my day job and wanted to do something totally disconnected.
 
If you go Engineer, you'll also receive some training as Infantry. If you go Infantry, you'll be trained as Infantry.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
Imho. Engineers.
I'm ex Infantry ,I've worked with Sappers, Royal Mons to be precise, they do all the infantry stuff plus combat engineering. Very good bunch of lads, work hard and play hard.

Plus you'll get more of a chance to learn stuff that can be useful in civvy street.
They don’t do “all the infantry stuff”. They will do the minimum required to allow them
to function in the field, defend themselves if pushed and possibly a little more for the experience - if time and training resources allow.

To the OP - look at both and see what you might like doing for a few years. You won’t get engineering or trade qualifications worth a damn in the average lifespan of an Army Reserve soldier. If you try it and stick it out, you just might.
 

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