Int Corps and the rest of the Army

#1
Evening all,

sort of an informal question here - browsing the forums I seem to get the feeling that most other Corps and Units within the Army have a disdainful attitude towards the Int Corps. I was just wondering whether any members of the Int Corps could give me some insight into the rest of the Army's actual feelings towards you.

I understand that some of you will try to put it all down to jealousy and so on; but what makes the Int Corps so hate-able to the rest of the Army (if they are hated, that is)?

Maybe I'm just getting the wrong impression and it's actually just some form of harmless squaddie banter between units, but what do you guys think?

Also, what is the general attitude of non-Int Corps personnel towards you as an individual - is it different in an Operational Theatre than a 'regular' posting, like here in the UK or Germany?

Thanks,
MU
 
#2
The Corps is widely loved, admired and respected in pretty much equal parts. Durch.

Actually, I never detected much animosity when I was serving, the usual squaddie banter and the occasional less-than-subtle accusation of homosexuality, plus endless riffs on 'snot hat' and green slime' - no real dramas. It's not as if we were scalies or monkeys, after all.
 
#3
I've never seen any real animosity on these boards, or in the real World.
I've interacted with a fair few cap badges from combat through to CSS, and all have been fine.

As with all banter/rivalries, etc, at base value it's simply a case of proving your worth by being good at your job. The fact that other cap badges aren't always aware of EXACTLY what your job is could perhaps throw shadows over it all.

Why the question, if I may ask?
 
#4
Why the question, if I may ask?
I've been considering joining the Int Corps as an OPMI for a serious amount of time now and, having hoovered up and digested just about every single piece of information in the public domain about the Int Corps and the job it does, I just wanted to know a bit more about the more 'human' side to it, i.e other unit's opinions of the Int Corps and it's personnel.

As with all banter/rivalries, etc, at base value it's simply a case of proving your worth by being good at your job.
Is this also the case inside the Int Corps? Do you have to prove yourself to those within your own units aswel? Also, how is the rivalry between those within the Int Corps? If there is any, is it at a more larger scale, like Coy vs. Coy, if you will, or at a much smaller, individual level, e.g. you are trying to get ahead of those around you?
 
#6
I'm not sure why it should be that relevant to you as a potential OPMI what anyone else thinks about the Corps. If you want to join a capbadge that is universally loved and admired throughout HM's Armed forces, the 5th Fantasia Unicorn Hussars may be recruiting.

Your point about proving yourself should really ONLY apply to within your own unit - providing you can do your job and have enough credibility to not be regarded as a lunatic outside of it.
 
#7
Dunno really what you are talking about. The only person you have to prove yourself to is the person who writes up your ACR - he/she is called your superior officer, BTW. And much of what he or she writes will be based on your immediate superior's vision of how you are performing. You can bet your life that if you fail to pull your weight you'll not be in any doubt about it. On one occasion I offered a disappointing officer a one minute thinking-it-over-time as to whether or not he was going to either get aboard his career or get aboard the station bus. He looked at the phone in my hand and decided to stay... On a personal note, I never encountered any anti-Corps banter, slanging matches, piss-taking, downright nastiness or anything that you seem to be expecting to be normal.

I just got on with my job and did it as well as I could, no matter what it was. I got from Private to WO2 in just over thirteen years, then got commissioned a year later and ended up as the CI of a school for my last five years.

My thirty-one and a half years in the Corps must seem like child's play compared with what they get up to these days, so I'm of the opinion that if you are heading Int Corps-wards with an antagonistic POV to begin with you'll probably find all the trouble you seek. We are ALL smart-asses anyhow, that's why we are called the Intelligence Corps, and not the F&ckwits' Corps, and 'proving' it is what you do every day of your entire Army career.

Personally I didn't then - and still don't even now - give the square root of f&ck-all about any bugger's opinion of me. I was generally held, by peers and superiors both, to be as mad as a bottle of Spam - all I know is that compared with some, I flew, so I must have been doing something right, even if I hadn't a clue what it was.

tac
 
#8
The Corps is widely loved, admired and respected in pretty much equal parts. Durch.

Actually, I never detected much animosity when I was serving, the usual squaddie banter and the occasional less-than-subtle accusation of homosexuality, plus endless riffs on 'snot hat' and green slime' - no real dramas. It's not as if we were scalies or monkeys, after all.
Or even scalies-become-slime? Who would have thunked some would do that?
 
#9
how is the rivalry between those within the Int Corps?
Just remember that a pat on the back is a recce for a knife.

On the other hand, as an OPMI you'll instantly be a member of the staff of whatever formation your first section supports and you'll have access to practically all the information the commander sees; you will play a role, however minor at first, in helping him make sense of it. Once you get your second tape and a couple of medals, mid-ranking officers will talk to you as a professional equal and view you as a subject matter expert whose views are worth listening to. As an OPMI SNCO they will often defer to your specialist knowledge and take your advice.

I am not blowing smoke up your arse here: from personal experience I know that operations staff officers will respect your knowledge and experience even when they're fully aware that you're an insubordinate drunk who can barely climb out of bed without having a heart attack. All you have to do is prove you know what the **** you're talking about.
 
#10
..... even when they're fully aware that you're an insubordinate drunk who can barely climb out of bed without having a heart attack.
One of the best lines ever posted. Anywhere. Ever.
 
#12
Just remember that a pat on the back is a recce for a knife.

On the other hand, as an OPMI you'll instantly be a member of the staff of whatever formation your first section supports and you'll have access to practically all the information the commander sees; you will play a role, however minor at first, in helping him make sense of it. Once you get your second tape and a couple of medals, mid-ranking officers will talk to you as a professional equal and view you as a subject matter expert whose views are worth listening to. As an OPMI SNCO they will often defer to your specialist knowledge and take your advice.

I am not blowing smoke up your arse here: from personal experience I know that operations staff officers will respect your knowledge and experience even when they're fully aware that you're an insubordinate drunk who can barely climb out of bed without having a heart attack. All you have to do is prove you know what the **** you're talking about.
To be honest, my impressions were once you'd finished Phase 2, you'd just be a know-nothing brew-bitch that sat in the corner and let the grown ups do the talking. Whilst I'm sure there is quite a substantial element of that, however, you have actually given me great insight into what it's like for an OPMI to start off with.

How long, generally, is it before an OPMI, fresh out of Phase 2, can be sent to an operational theatre, such as Afghanistan? I realise that major postings like these are needed in order to substantially move forward in your career and not get stuck in the 'system', however, can operational deployment to theatres be instant or do the powers that be prefer you to have done a more minor tour in order to increase your experience, knowledge etc.?
 
#13
To be honest, my impressions were once you'd finished Phase 2, you'd just be a know-nothing brew-bitch that sat in the corner and let the grown ups do the talking.
That option is there if you want it. However if you throw away all the shit publications you'll get taught on at Chicksands, make use of your section's reference materials and build up a genuine knowledge of whatever real or exercise enemy you're facing - tactics, culture, equipment and all the rest - people will listen to you. The "grown ups" are your section OC, who is really there to sign your leave passes and apologise for missing/broken equipment, and the Sgt Major, who details troops to tasks and makes sure everything gets done.

How long, generally, is it before an OPMI, fresh out of Phase 2, can be sent to an operational theatre, such as Afghanistan?
I'd barely made my new bed before I got told I was going to Bosnia. Wisdom teeth intervened and delayed that for a couple of months, but at the present tempo you can expect to get sand under your foreskin sometime during your first posting.
 
#14
That option is there if you want it. However if you throw away all the shit publications you'll get taught on at Chicksands, make use of your section's reference materials and build up a genuine knowledge of whatever real or exercise enemy you're facing - tactics, culture, equipment and all the rest - people will listen to you. The "grown ups" are your section OC, who is really there to sign your leave passes and apologise for missing/broken equipment, and the Sgt Major, who details troops to tasks and makes sure everything gets done.
How far up the chain of command could I be giving my input on a situation then? Also, how much does a 'situation' have to develop before information has to be referred upwards, or is it all the time? Also, how far upwards does the information have to be referred, usually?

I'd barely made my new bed before I got told I was going to Bosnia. Wisdom teeth intervened and delayed that for a couple of months, but at the present tempo you can expect to get sand under your foreskin sometime during your first posting.
How much of a notice do you get before you are actually deployed then? Or is it another one of those how-long-is-a-piece-of-string conundrums? Also, I believe that there is 6 months pre-deployment training you must undergo before you can be shipped to the sand pit; any insights into what this is like? Is it catered depending on the individual's role, e.g. infantry have different pre-deploy. training to an OPMI, or is it all the same training?
 
#15
How far up the chain of command could I be giving my input on a situation then?
As a L/Cpl six weeks out of my A3 course at Ashford I was sent down to update the Bosnia map in the division commander's office. I was just finishing it up when he unexpectedly returned and asked for an impromptu brief.

How much of a notice do you get before you are actually deployed then?
As much as you get. I had eight months' notice for Kosovo; for my second Bosnia tour I had three weeks. I know someone who got four days' notice that he was going to Bosnia and had to be on a plane on New Year's Day.

I believe that there is 6 months pre-deployment training you must undergo before you can be shipped to the sand pit; any insights into what this is like?
In theory. The only time I ever did PDT it was done by my own unit and it was thoroughly tailored to our role.
 
#16
When you pass out of Phase 2 as an OPMI, is there 'specialist' training immediatley available to you or does that become available in time? How is the information for these 'courses' given to you - do you have to request it or is it readily available to anyone?

Also, unless this is outdated information I am referring to, I believe there is a PPP(dream sheet) that you fill out, indicating where you would like your first posting to be; how likely is it that the choice you put down is actually going to be where you have your first posting?
 
#17
When you pass out of Phase 2 as an OPMI, is there 'specialist' training immediatley (sic) available to you?
Yes, lots. Whether you'll get it or not depends on how busy your unit is and if it's relevant to your role. However for your first tour you should forget about specialist training and concentrate on learning how a headquarters works, what the staff need from you (this may not be the same as what they want) and how to present information quickly, concisely and unambiguously. You also need to make sure that your presentation skills - especially written English - are absolutely impeccable.

how likely is it that the choice you put down is actually going to be where you have your first posting?
Not very. I got my second choice because I was top student in my squad. Everyone else got shafted. Your PPP is something that the Corps will give you if they can, but your wishes come way behind their requirements. Live with it and make the best of where they send you. Nowhere is COMPLETELY shit, except Bulford.
 
#18
What is the general size of a unit you could be assigned to work in? Is it always the same, with a constant number of people carrying out a constant number of roles, or does it vary widely? Is it larger or smaller than when assigned to work in support of another Corps or Unit. Also, when assigned to work in support of another Unit, what is the highest rank of your own Corps you would see also working in support of that unit, or are there no limits?

As an OPMI, how many times in your career(and the others around you) did your work involve you operating in a combat role - e.g. actually getting your boots out on the ground in an operation theatre? I suppose you could argue that you're in a combat role the moment you deploy to an operation theatre - but I mean 'combat role' in the sense of going out on patrol or conducting CTRs (if that's even done by OPMIs) and so on.

How would you compare the workload of when you are on deployment to, say, back here in the UK. I would personally expect it to be much more in an operation theatre than a non-operational one. Or is the workload generally the same, just different work, e.g. writing reports, general clerical work etc. than when on deployment?
 
#19
As an OPMI, how many times in your career(and the others around you) did your work involve you operating in a combat role - e.g. actually getting your boots out on the ground in an operation theatre?
Four times, always on a Friday just before lunch. However your experience may differ.

Your best option is to ask your careers office about opportunities for spending a few days with the INT CORPS. They really will be able to arrange something for you.
 
#20
Your best option is to ask your careers office about opportunities for spending a few days with the INT CORPS. They really will be able to arrange something for you.
I'll defiantly talk to my careers office about being able to do something like that; I'd like to learn more.

Thanks for all your help and question-answering SS.

One last question, I promise: how long did you spend serving in the Int Corps?
 

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