can someone give me their honest opinion, im 25 and have been have wanted to join the forces since childhood but my circumstances have only just changed to allow me to do so, ive had apretty shit last few years and have ended up working the doors which i hate, and now need a carreer.
Ive just come back of a para insight course which i loved , i was thinking of them cos my dad was in 2PARA many years ago but i was also thinking of the engineers because i need some skills and coming out of hte army in the same position im in now scares the shit out of me.
I need some honest opinions please .
Mate do what you feel is right not what someone tells you is the right thing to do

Contrary to popular belief, especially for wedgies, most Army "trades" account for feck all outside in the real world, even if you get a trade that translates its most likely you would of had your fill of it, I know many a qualified surveyor, and only one that does it in civvie strasse
Honestly? Well, they're both good. I'd say the Infantry probably win for the cameraderie but I'd see it (and there'll be people that disagree) as a short term thing. It's great while you're in your prime, but gets harder to do as you get older. When you come out, the chances are that you won't have much by way of equivalent civvie qualifications to shoe you straight into a job. But hey, the way the job market is at the moment, personal presentation and attitude count for a lot.

The RE also have good cameraderie - with lots of different specialisms, there's always rivalry and banter between different trades. Because it's trade-based, experience is an asset, so a meaningful and developing long service is a strong possibility. Having a trade, the majority of which are recognised in some form in civvie street, means that you know what jobs to apply for when you leave, many of which could be reasonably well paid (as you're not starting again from the bottom of the ladder). The downside is that when you come out, there may not be vacancies in your specialism.

I hope I've been fair in my comparison. If you're a warry type and impressed by battle honours, then the Infantry have got loads. The RE haven't got a single one - the motto "UBIQUE" suffices (roughly translated it means, "Been there, done that, got the T-shirt").

If you're a sporty type, again the Infantry engage in plenty of sport to maintain their levels of fitness. But they haven't won the FA Cup, whereas the RE has.


War Hero
I'd agree with puttees.

I loved being an infantryman in my youth, but it was of no value when I left the army.

Even if you don't serve for very long you'll be 30 by the time you get out and you'd be better to have a marketable skill. If you love it and stay in then there are RE units supporting the Para's and Marines who get to do more gung ho stuff, so the option is there.

I understand wellyhead's point about some people not using their trade when they leave, but if you ain't got one you ain't got the choice, and anyway (at least as a surveyor, as I can tell you since I am a chartered surveyor) the work in civvy street is far more varied and interesting than it is in the army.
Join, you'll be sorry if you don't. It's the best feckin job in the world - and stay in as long as you can.

As for trades in the Army. I learned driving, counting blankets and a supposedly highly transferable 'A trade' skill................all of it a load of bollox.

I still did a degree in computing when I came out because more or less all I was offered was crap in comparison to the position and pay I received in the Army.
Well it basically boils down to one thing if you're thinking of doing the full stretch.

What would you enjoy doing the most?

I started off in the Royal Enginners but found it pretty boring and being a young lad at the time wanted to shoot at things and crawl around in the mud so i transferred to Para Regt. I've loved it ever since though know alot of lads who have transferred from Para Regt to the RE and equally love it in their new role.


to repeat a point its whatever you want to do in the army. run around and shoot at things, Infantry. run around and build things ,engineers. basically thats it. I know a few ex sappers who have civvy trade jobs and to be fair the money and job availability is ok. but I also know (myself included) ex infantry who are doing ok aswell. so if you want to join just do it and join what ever you want to do while you are serving. the way things are going you may have a career in the Army untill past retirement age now anyway! :thumright:


I would say your best bet is to go for 9 para sqn RE which has all the benifits of being in the enginers but you also do a lot of infantry work as well.

In this day and age any trade is worth having even if the standards are not as high as in civie street.
But if you want to do infantry stuff, join the infantry. No matter what the other arms of services say, no one else's job is dismounted close combat, notwithstanding other folk doing pseudo infantry-type tasks.


War Hero
Personally I'd go Infantry, maybe I'm bias cos I'm ex Inf. You'll get a lot more cameraderie in the Inf, a bit more variation of work load, more sports if your that way inclined. As for skills for coming out, there are several courses within the Infantry that may help you depending on what you want to do - then there's the Resettlement Course's of which there's quite a lot.

Go Infantry - you wont regret it.

I agree. Infantry is the most exciting career in the forces. How many of those who get a trade in the forces actually carry on that trade when they leave? I'll wager it's not many!


War Hero
Fallschirmjager said:
I agree. Infantry is the most exciting career in the forces. How many of those who get a trade in the forces actually carry on that trade when they leave? I'll wager it's not many!
Your right there Fallschirmjager. I spent a load of money on extra courses and a extra 3 months at The Shot Resettlement Centre and I don't do any of it.

As for an Army career it has to be Infantry. I wanted to go Engineers but was to thick - I was side lined to Infantry and didn't look back. After a couple of years I couldn't understand why anyone would want to go anywhere else. Infantry is the Army to me. A lot less bullsh!t in the Infantry than Corps, etc.

On the battlefield everybody needs each other whether your Infantry, Artillery, Tanks, Engineers etc etc. But being Infantry is much more fun.

BT :thumright:
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