Insight into officers in: RE, REME & Signals

Hello!

By June '17 I'll have graduated with an MEng in electronic engineering; I'd have just turned 24! (getting old). I've done a sandwich year in industry, but I still have this in the back my mind since I was about 10, so I'm going in! I shall be opening an application in the near future, to time it such that I can jump on the first Sandhurst course that starts after I graduate (providing all goes well and they let me in! ).

Obviously I'm after something technical, but on top of that, variety is the spice of life, and I really want to make the most of the soldiering side whilst I'm in! I want you guys to provide some knowledge, some more angles, in what I might be up to in these 3 regiments from finishing Sandhurst and onward & upward.

  • From position to position / rank to rank, what will I be up to potentially?
  • Actual day to day job roles, whilst on and off tours?
  • As an officer, do you get pigeon-holed into either taking an 'outdoory' leadership role, or a 'stuck in the office' desk job, designing/pen pushing role, or do they all have an even mix of both? Examples?
  • How much time do you spend in with the troops you're commanding/overseeing? I take it that as you move up the ranks, the less contact time you get with the guys on the ground? To the point where you sort of only come out to play at a parade, give everyone a, "very well, carry on", a quick wave, then run off? haha (half joke)
  • How much opportunity do you get to go out in the field and play soldiers (and still do the technical side of stuff)
  • Or do you have to specifically take up P-Coy/AACC in order to get in amongst it?
A good friend of mine, a mentor really, took the RE - turned - 59 route as a soldier. Obviously his stories have inspired me the most, he tells me it'll be the most varied role, and it ticks the boxes of technical + soldiering, so RE - turned - 24 gets a massive thumbs up from me right now, but I am still open to REME and signals because my experience does point in that direction too.

I'm looking forward to the responses, and thanks in advance.

Disclaimer: Ribbing is welcome, but please try to be helpful & knowledgable! :grin:
 

RRV8

GCM
Personally speaking I think you need to forget about the MEng-thing for a second and concentrate on the reasons for you wanting to join the military in the first instance. You may find that you start your search with a technical career in mind and then finish with something more infantry orientated.

I think most people on this forum would advise you to start the ball rolling by attending a few familiarisation visits first since this will give you a first hand, in-depth exposure to each cap badge. Why not try one or two technical trades and an Inf Fam Visit too.
 

Ceres

LE
Disclaimer: I am extremely ancient and years out of date.

You pose a lot of good open questions and seem to be going into your research in the right kind of way.
I only add my two cents.

In my experience the desire to get in amongst it, and possibly do P Coy and the like often fades when faced with the rigours of Sandhurst. The course often causes people to re evaluate their potential, goals and the best opportunities open to them which is as it should be. It may all seem exciting until you start doing it; on what is quite a tough course. The flow diagram for commissioning decisions is (a) apply (b) get into / pass out at RMAS (c) at RMAS firm up regiment / corps then (d) apply for further warry/arduous type courses if suitable / still keen.

The three corps you mention all offer interesting and useful careers. Whether they will satisfy your rougher urges I don't know.

Good luck anyway. And welcome. Many are called. Few are chosen.
 
Thanks for the advice guys.

Been doing some looking into the depths of these forums, this is info on the year at RSME and just beyond for others who may stumble upon this thread:

"I can't comment too much on what you do and when, as I'm reliably informed that the course has changed a bit since I did it. Roughly - first 5 weeks used to be there to "mirror" phase 1 training for a soldier - lots of bullshit, lots of loss of freedoms, working up to an exercise/navigation task, the carrot being you then got to leave RMAS for the first time on a weekend pass. Thereafter, your leadership skills are honed, with the physical aspect ramping up incrementally throughout the year and the academic stuff being more focused. I believe now that the trg (rightly) is designed to prepare the OCdt and 2Lt-to-be for the OP tour that will be his or hers within about 5 mins of commissioning and the particular strains that places on them. RMAS is the same for most Officers, exceptions being Professionally Qualified Officers (PQOs) like doctors and vets etc - they do a different course.

Then, having commissioned, you will be subject to your corps/regiment of choice's Young Officer (YO) training routine. Some send you straight on a YOs course from RMAS (Inf do PCBC or whatever it's called today, RA do YOs at Larkhill) to prepare you for life as a YO in your new Regiment or Corps. Others send you to a unit, as a no-experience crow to do 6 months and then do a YOs course (never saw the logic in this - surely you would only end up making brews and being criticised as useless) - I believe RSignals go this way.". Courtesy of Django_strikes

What should I choose? Officer or Soldier? | Page 3 | Army Rumour Service

I also spoke to a L/Cpl I know from RE, paraphrasing him:

After Sandhurst, go to 1RSME to learn how to manage engineers, and the skills us sappers have. Then off to Chatham for more 1 pip engineering stuff, then the first unit which will be shit. I asked him if I'd be the tea bitch til they trust me to play with my own toys, he said no, I'll be planning the tea, not making it, which is always a bonus! Ha, and apparently planning adventurous trg and days out. For the construction site stuff mainly office things.. h&s and planning mainly. The ncos do everything really.

But after a year, it's promotion to 2 pip, and it should be a good life by the time I get to captain, and I should be looking forward to getting abused by my staffy, because 'sprog troopies' always get loads of shit haha! I can't wait, sign me up(!)

On the soldiering side, he added that they do quite a bit, being ahead of infantry to clean the way, obviously more EOD side of stuff too. Winner!
 
Thanks for the advice guys.

Been doing some looking into the depths of these forums, this is info on the year at RSME and just beyond for others who may stumble upon this thread:

"I can't comment too much on what you do and when, as I'm reliably informed that the course has changed a bit since I did it. Roughly - first 5 weeks used to be there to "mirror" phase 1 training for a soldier - lots of bullshit, lots of loss of freedoms, working up to an exercise/navigation task, the carrot being you then got to leave RMAS for the first time on a weekend pass. Thereafter, your leadership skills are honed, with the physical aspect ramping up incrementally throughout the year and the academic stuff being more focused. I believe now that the trg (rightly) is designed to prepare the OCdt and 2Lt-to-be for the OP tour that will be his or hers within about 5 mins of commissioning and the particular strains that places on them. RMAS is the same for most Officers, exceptions being Professionally Qualified Officers (PQOs) like doctors and vets etc - they do a different course.

Then, having commissioned, you will be subject to your corps/regiment of choice's Young Officer (YO) training routine. Some send you straight on a YOs course from RMAS (Inf do PCBC or whatever it's called today, RA do YOs at Larkhill) to prepare you for life as a YO in your new Regiment or Corps. Others send you to a unit, as a no-experience crow to do 6 months and then do a YOs course (never saw the logic in this - surely you would only end up making brews and being criticised as useless) - I believe RSignals go this way.". Courtesy of Django_strikes

What should I choose? Officer or Soldier? | Page 3 | Army Rumour Service

I also spoke to a L/Cpl I know from RE, paraphrasing him:

After Sandhurst, go to 1RSME to learn how to manage engineers, and the skills us sappers have. Then off to Chatham for more 1 pip engineering stuff, then the first unit which will be shit. I asked him if I'd be the tea bitch til they trust me to play with my own toys, he said no, I'll be planning the tea, not making it, which is always a bonus! Ha, and apparently planning adventurous trg and days out. For the construction site stuff mainly office things.. h&s and planning mainly. The ncos do everything really.

But after a year, it's promotion to 2 pip, and it should be a good life by the time I get to captain, and I should be looking forward to getting abused by my staffy, because 'sprog troopies' always get loads of shit haha! I can't wait, sign me up(!)

On the soldiering side, he added that they do quite a bit, being ahead of infantry to clean the way, obviously more EOD side of stuff too. Winner!


This is all good stuff, that I would personally would reiterate. At every R.E Unit that I was in - young officers were expected to be up the front in all Physical events. Nothing will get your (meager) respect lost quicker, than lagging in runs. And never touch a map unless someone is there to orientate it for you.
 
Right, fitness. Got it! I'm a runner anyway so I should be pretty good.. Not that I have actually done any running in a while... Ha. But I was down to 9:20 for the 1.5 miler at one point... not too long ago.. He says!

Any more for any more? I love a good read on what I could be in for !

Found another sweet little read, directed at Signals but is general enough (and close enough to what I've heard about RE) to be said for others, I guess.

The Subbies Role | Army Rumour Service
 
Right, fitness. Got it! I'm a runner anyway so I should be pretty good.. Not that I have actually done any running in a while... Ha. But I was down to 9:20 for the 1.5 miler at one point... not too long ago.. He says!

Any more for any more? I love a good read on what I could be in for !

Found another sweet little read, directed at Signals but is general enough (and close enough to what I've heard about RE) to be said for others, I guess.

The Subbies Role | Army Rumour Service

Yeah... Might want to start Increasing the tempo - that's middle of the pack for a troop of hungover of planties.
 

Pig1goat

Swinger
Yep get on some fam visits as soon as you can, you'll soon get a feel for where you want to be. I got an engineering degree, was convinced I'd want to go engineers....I have an interview with the CO of Yorks infantry reg for a confirmed cadet place next month. It's surprising how things turn out. Best advice is get on as many visits as you can. Knowledge is power my friend.
 
Top