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Int Corps or RAF Intelligence?

#1
Hi everyone,

First of all i'm new and this is my first post, so please excuse any annoying and infuriating naivety or ignorance.

I realise that by posting such a query on an army forum i'm opening myself up to severe bouts of bias... but i'm also guessing i'll get a decent slice or two of honesty so I thought i'd chance my arm!

Basically I want to join the Armed Forces and I really, really want to work in the Intelligence area.

I'm currently going through the application process to join the RAF as an Intelligence Officer. I've had the intial chat, the presentation, the interview, just waiting to see if i'll be called forward for the selection board.

I chose the RAF at the outset because of what other people told me, basically. Friends of mine in the services and staff at AFCOs all seemed to suggest the RAF is better paid, you're better looked after and that it's a more modern, forward thinking organisation that's on the up... whereas the army is in a downward spiral. That's what I was told anyway, and everything I heard about the RAF I liked, so I persevered.

Recently I've been looking into opportunities in the Int Corps. I'll admit, more as a back-up at first in case the RAF answer is no. But the more and more I read, the more and more I think it's the route for me.

Furthermore, i've spoken to more people who have suggested Intelligence in the RAF is a borderline joke.

I don't want to be a glorified civilian doing mundane work. I am joining the Armed Forces because I want a challenging, varied career in an exciting environment. I want to be stretched and pushed to the limit and I want to make a difference and really do a job I can be proud of... something I feel I can never achieve in the civilian world.

What do you guys think, honestly? You know more about it. How do the two compare? Am I going to be disappointed in the RAF? Is the Int Corps the ultimate in military intelligence?

Another dilemma I face is the soldier vs officer question. I don't have a degree but I opted for RAF Officer because of my education - I got eight As at GCSE and four out of four As at A Level - and because of my 'leadership background' if you will - i've captained sports teams since I can remember and past jobs include managing a major three-star hotel!

An officer role in the army really appeals but a few things put me off - a) i'm unsure if I'm up to Sandhurst for 11 months, b) i really want to get cracking asap and maybe the best way to do that would be go in as a soldier and work my way up? and c) I hear it is notoriously difficult to get into the Int Corps as an officer.

Sorry about the ridiculously long post. But it's a real dilemma and I need all the help I can get. I just want to get the most out of my Armed Forces career!

All help would be gratefully received!

Thanks!
 
#7
I was just about to say, "cue ad astra"

But seriously.

Macca. All the biased reporting about the RAF being forward looking and better paid and looked after whilst the Army is a downward spiral; did that come from an RAF recruitment guy by any chance.

Firstly the Army is not in a downward spiral, and after 18 yrs in the Int Corps, I would say that we are in a better position now than at any other time. Yes we are heavily committed, but that is because we are heavily in demand becouse the guys and girls are very good at what they do. We also have one of the lowest PVR rates at soldier level than any other organisationin the Army.

With risk of becoming too serious in my old age, the RAF are good in their field of Int but it is very limited. Opportunities are far greater in the Int Corps, with a greater diversity of jobs open to you. However, if being looked after means better living standards, less op tours and generally less military like life style, the RAF is the right decision. Before anyone gets all upity with me on that last comment, compare a week in the life of a soldier in Bulford/Catterick etc to a soldier working at an RAF sponsored
unit. As for better paid, we are all paid the same since pay 2000 came in so that is a complete and utter lie. What you now need to ask yourself is, if your recruiter lied to you on that point, how much else of what he said is fact or fiction.

E_S
 
#8
As a YO you should expect to spend ALOT of your career based at RAF Waddington. The Regular INTO's that I met last year were going through a revolving door of AWC - theatre (Basra, Al Udeid, KAF, Bastion etc.) - AWC, though their tours seem shorter than Army ones.

IMHO, the RAF does offer more in the way of work-life balance - to the extent of sometimes seeming very un-military. The flip side is that there are more vocational and career choices with the Int Corps.
 
#9
FrogPrince said:
As a YO you should expect to spend ALOT of your career based at RAF Waddington. The Regular INTO's that I met last year were going through a revolving door of AWC - theatre (Basra, Al Udeid, KAF, Bastion etc.) - AWC, though their tours seem shorter than Army ones.

IMHO, the RAF does offer more in the way of work-life balance - to the extent of sometimes seeming very un-military. The flip side is that there are more vocational and career choices with the Int Corps.
Largely what he said ...

You're young and seek adventure.
When you're 30 you'll want stability.
Quality of life ... go Blue. 8)
 
#10
You clearly display many of the qualities of a prospective Intelligence Corps officer. You have a seemingly unquenchable thirst for the excitement of an active Army lifestyle.

Leaving your Walther in Waitrose, will give you another rush later in life. At least in the Int Corps, you can be quietly confident you will be certain to reach Field Rank ahead of your Army peers.

Publishing your email address on the www is a sure way of attracting spam or worse. Do you happen to have a page on myspace or facebook?

As indicated by BS and Frog Prince, once you have got the thirst for adrenaline out of your system, you might then want to try a real test.

To improve your own security, I would suggest you do not make your email address visible ( my account / settings), perhaps get a Hotmail account?

Mods: feel free to delete this PERSEC related post at a suitable juncture.

Edited regarding reverse=shoplifting-syndrome
 
#12
adastra said:
You clearly display many of the qualities of a prospective Intelligence Corps officer. You have a seemingly unquenchable thirst for the excitement of an active Army lifestyle.

Leaving your Walther in Waitrose, will give you another rush later in life. At least in the Int Corps, you can be quietly confident you will be certain to reach Field Rank ahead of your Army peers.

Publishing your email address on the www is a sure way of attracting spam or worse. Do you happen to have a page on myspace or facebook?

As indicated by BS and Frog Prince, once you have got the thirst for adrenaline out of your system, you might then want to try a real test.

To improve your own security, I would suggest you do not make your email address visible ( my account / settings), perhaps get a Hotmail account?

Mods: feel free to delete this PERSEC related post at a suitable juncture.

Edited regarding reverse=shoplifting-syndrome
What real test is that then?

See how many pies you can eat during the working day!

If you want to be taken seriously Ad Astra, I wouldn't put shite like that in. My 2 yr old daughter could pass the RAF fitness test. What real tests do you think the RAF have compared to the Army?

Loser.
 
#13
Macca,

Whatever you choose to do mate - make sure you choose it 100% and go for it with maximum effort and do not allow yourself to fall short. The efforts you make as a young man in your 20's will lay firm foundations for your future.

If I were in your shoes, I'd go for Int Corps Officer if I thought I had even a remote chance of achieving it. Some of the best young Officers I've ever seen have come from the Corps. Their career path can offer diverse, challenging and very interesting opportunities and there is plenty of scope to get out and about. I'd imagine that promotion prospects are very good too.

Second choice, I'd opt for Int Corps soldier - you can get all of the above and enjoy a great career. Suppose you don't commission now, there's a good chance you could in later years and again, even if you don't, there's a fair chance you could leave at 22 (or 24 years in future) aged 40 or so with a Warrant and a Warrants pension.

As a RAF Int Officer you could leave at your 16 year point having achieved promotion to er, Flt Lt, having spent the vast majority of your career at Waddo and wearing a crap civvyfied uniform.
 
#14
Alfie_Boy said:
Macca,

Whatever you choose to do mate - make sure you choose it 100% and go for it with maximum effort and do not allow yourself to fall short. The efforts you make as a young man in your 20's will lay firm foundations for your future.

If I were in your shoes, I'd go for Int Corps Officer if I thought I had even a remote chance of achieving it. Some of the best young Officers I've ever seen have come from the Corps. Their career path can offer diverse, challenging and very interesting opportunities and there is plenty of scope to get out and about. I'd imagine that promotion prospects are very good too.

Second choice, I'd opt for Int Corps soldier - you can get all of the above and enjoy a great career. Suppose you don't commission now, there's a good chance you could in later years and again, even if you don't, there's a fair chance you could leave at 22 (or 24 years in future) aged 40 or so with a Warrant and a Warrants pension.

As a RAF Int Officer you could leave at your 16 year point having achieved promotion to er, Flt Lt, having spent the vast majority of your career at Waddo and wearing a crap civvyfied uniform.
You assume that flt lt is the ceiling at 38/16? Why? You're in the promotion frame after 10 years [or even less these days, I suspect].

I also believe that Int is now part of the over-arching Ops Support Branch, where Crab-wise movement to other parts of the Branch is achievable at sqn ldr and above. I was in one of what is now a component part of the Branch, and did 2 tours completely outside my specialisation.
 
#15
Ok, I work at a tri-service and civvie establishment.

The place has a smattering of Officers and ORs from all three services so I come into contact with them all on a daily basis, though the unit is predominantly run by the RAF.

At the moment there seems to be something of a crisis within the RAF Int trades for OR since they merged their "Trade Group". This has led to a fair bit of chaos for the guys and a lot are banging out in despair.

From what you say I think you will be very unhappy as a RAF Int Officer. First of all, there just arent enough posts at flying stations for Squadron Int Officers etc to employ them all. Larger organisations like the one I am at are often used as a daycare service for junior RAF IntOs, and quite a large amount of our time is invested in trying to decide what to do with them all. By and large the ones we do get, aside from a few in SO3 Ops type posts spend most of their time on the internet or sitting around talking (through no fault of their own).

Those who are gainfully employed (other than the Ops guys) are used for admin work so that the analysts can get on with their jobs. I cannot recall the last time I saw a RAF Int Officer actually produce any intelligence (they actually stopped training them to do so for our specialisation some time ago). This has been the case in two large tri service units I have worked at.

The exception to this rule are the officers employed at DIS in Whitehall. these however are mostly Engineering Officers, and are employed for their technical expertise.

The Int Corps Officers on the other hand seem to stand a far greater chance of getting their hands dirty, both in terms of producing intelligence and being gainfully employed within brigade HQs and so on.

I'm sure this will not go down to well with the blue suited members on here, and may not be what you want to hear, but it is the truth I am afraid. For the vast majority of RAF IntOs, service life appears to be little more than admin work.

OneEye
 
#16
My point was that you could very well leave as a Flt Lt after 16 years service as an IO.

The other downer of the IO trade is that inevitably you will have to spend plenty of time in the company of a species of Dinosaur known as the “Chisell’O’Saurus”. More commonly known as a Flt Sgt, (Int An V or C), the species can be clearly identified by the fact that being genetically mutated, it lacks the following:

Spine.
Character or Personality.
The lobe of the brain dealing with the decision making process.
The Queens Warrant.

Thriving in the very fluffy, purple environments so many Soldiers dislike, this species does exceptionally well in Lincolnshire where the Chisell’O’Saurus can be found in good numbers. Occasionally you may find one or two on Ops but generally in theatres long since considered fairly benign, such as the Falkland Islands. A key characteristic of the Chisell’O’Saurus is its accelerated aging process, its not unusual at all to find one scuttling around looking about 77 when in actual fact, he may only be 53 or 54 yrs old. Another key identifying feature is the species ability to delude itself that it holds ownership of the same Warrant Officer status as a CSM, Int WO or any other WO2 appointment. Crucially, the Chisell’O’Saurus will attempt to deceive all comers regarding this subject – he will generally play pocket snooker and shuffle his feet whilst looking at the floor though, when asked to produce his Queens Warrant!

The effects a Chisell’O’Saurus has on the services are both quite profound and bi-polar in the way it will relentlessly attack morale. An example of its ‘negative’ attack against the morale of the JR’s can be seen in the way it generally mismanages young guys and girls who are in most cases, much more operationally experienced. Generally, it will expect subordinates to do a lot more than it would ever do or has done itself. The killer blow being delivered when the JR’s will to live has been totally obliterated, leaving only the option of signing off and leaving the services. A much more interesting example however, is that of the Chisell’O’Saurus ‘positively’ attacking morale and perhaps without even having the brain matter to realise its offensive potency! By constantly sucking up to, never saying NO and the unrestrained flattery of even the most mediocre Flt Lt, the aforementioned Officer is then conditioned and deluded into thinking that he / she is the very best of the best. This simple but clever tactic of nature then makes the Flt Lt look like a total dick when he / she constantly cocks up in front of juniors, seniors, peers and superiors. Of course the sting in the tail being, when the Flt Lt then has to resign after 16 years without ever being promoted.

This is a prickly and subversive creature for sure, with its tendency to orientate towards scheming, plotting and laziness with its Gollum like manner. Be in no doubt though and do not ever underestimate a Chisell’O’Saurus, as he gimps towards you on his zimmer!
 
#17
Oh, well ... there you go. The World has moved on a bit in the last 10 years.

thanks "PI" and "Alfie" ... sad reading, but at least it's current info :wink:

I enjoyed my time in Int, even though I weren't one :lol:
 
#18
Alfie_Boy said:
Priceless.

I still can't understand how the darwinian effect has managed to manifest itself by:
a) spreading sufficiently to be a clearly identifiable trait wherever you are.
and
b) having the ability to diversify and adapt equivalent to that of the Dodo, yet still survive, spending decades in the same location.

Surely, these two states are mutually exclusive? Do they spread spores on the flesh of other RAF personnel...?
:?
 
#19
adastra said:
Leaving your Walther in Waitrose, will give you another rush later in life. At least in the Int Corps, you can be quietly confident you will be certain to reach Field Rank ahead of your Army peers.

Oh I see what you did there! wow havn't heard that one before......c*ck.

Macca2K check your PMs mate.
 
#20
Macca2K - I guess it depends on what you see as variety and a challenge as well to be honest. I personally wouldn't touch commissioning in either service with a bargepole at this stage - your opportunities in the Army on commissioning to get your hands really dirty are really good initially but then dry up just when you start to get the hang of it and get a kick out of it. As a soldier on the other hand you can plug away at trade for quite a while before your trade/admin balance sways to the latter. By joining as a soldier you can always explore the commissioning option later on if it continues to float your boat.
 

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