Intelligence Officer: RAF vs Army

Hi. I'm interested in the role of Intelligence Officer in either the RAF or the Army. Please can someone with experience tell me about the main differences between the two roles and how to decide between them?
 
At the risk of stating the blatantly obvious, have you tried the careers information office?
One thing's for certain there is a distinct lack of RAF int types on this forum.
 
At the risk of stating the blatantly obvious, have you tried the careers information office?
One thing's for certain there is a distinct lack of RAF int types on this forum.

Sorry, this is my first post so I don't know the makeup of the forum yet. I have considered contacting the careers information office but I think it may be too early as I'm not ready to apply yet (need to improve my fitness.)
 
Hi. I'm interested in the role of Intelligence Officer in either the RAF or the Army. Please can someone with experience tell me about the main differences between the two roles and how to decide between them?
There are different classes of INT (HUMINT, IMINT, SIGINT yadda yadda). Then there's Counter Intelligence and Security (CI and Sy, which kinda bleeds over into all the others, for fairly obvious reasons)

Collecting, collating, understanding and analysing information to create useful intelligence in each class requires different skillsets, tools and activities, none stands entirely alone, and the emphasis on each is entirely driven by Service (RN/Army/RAF), Arm or function (Artillery and Engineers are each interested in different technical information) and the level of command being supported by the intelligence analyst - as in a formation Commander supprted by those Artillery and Engineer int cells (and others) would be much more interested in "What's in my opponent's mind", and answering that with any degree of robustness calls for systematic analysis of evidence culled from multiple sources.

From experience (a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, called IFOR), I'd say at the most supreficial level, RAF is heavy on building up intelligence around potential targets/threats for/against Air assets, and I guess something similar would be true for RN(?), whereas that kind of focus in the Army would be by Arm (arty/engr etc as above), with the army's Intelligence Corps (in conjunction with R Signals, I think, still) existing principally to service Formation commanders - often in real/near-real time - with a rounded intelligence picture bringing together information obtained through technological means, with HUMINT.

Happy to be shot down by modern Chicksands graduates, but that's my fiver's worth.
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
Here we go around the buoy again. This is a cut/paste from an answer I gave in this very forum in January and addresses being an Intelligence Corps officer, as opposed to an intelligence officer, in the Army:

"If you have enough UCAS points, pass AOSB and then successfully apply for the Corps once you're on the downslope at Sandhurst, you can commission into the Int Corps. It might be challenging to be among the least well educationally-qualified people in your unit, of course; there are many graduates and post-graduates in the non-commissioned ranks of the Corps.

Commanding Int Corps soldiers can be challenging, as they tend to be sarcastic, disrespectful ********* - and you'll probably never get to be a real deep technical intelligence specialist, while there will be intelligence roles in your career, generally the job is commanding the specialists or doing staff jobs, which may or may not have an intelligence remit."
 
Here we go around the buoy again. This is a cut/paste from an answer I gave in this very forum in January and addresses being an Intelligence Corps officer, as opposed to an intelligence officer, in the Army:

"If you have enough UCAS points, pass AOSB and then successfully apply for the Corps once you're on the downslope at Sandhurst, you can commission into the Int Corps. It might be challenging to be among the least well educationally-qualified people in your unit, of course; there are many graduates and post-graduates in the non-commissioned ranks of the Corps.

Commanding Int Corps soldiers can be challenging, as they tend to be sarcastic, disrespectful ********* - and you'll probably never get to be a real deep technical intelligence specialist, while there will be intelligence roles in your career, generally the job is commanding the specialists or doing staff jobs, which may or may not have an intelligence remit."
Excellent summary.

Skuled, as I was, to be a hignorant, harrogant hinfantry horrficer educated to 3 dodgy A-levels standard, I could not have been better served by the small team of whipsmart Int Corps (mostly junior) NCOs upon whose collective wisdom, I would argue, COMIFOR (and by extension the NATO Theatre Commander) based the successful NATO OPLAN for implementation of the Dayton Agreement.

Eee: best years of my life, were those :)
 
From experience (a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, called IFOR), I'd say at the most supreficial level, RAF is heavy on building up intelligence around potential targets/threats for/against Air assets, and I guess something similar would be true for RN(?)
On the squadrons and in COCs in RAFG that's what the Int Cell and the sqn int off were all about. Whereas the Int Cell was a secret world, entry by invite only, the sqn int off was more accesable and I saw loads of int briefs concerning targets and their defences.
 

Joker62

ADC
Book Reviewer
Hi. I'm interested in the role of Intelligence Officer in either the RAF or the Army. Please can someone with experience tell me about the main differences between the two roles and how to decide between them?
I can only speak to the RAF, it breaks down differently i believe to how the Army structure it.
You have the RAF Intelligence, which has a lot of analysis and related to air operations - perhaps obviously. Primarily stuck in a concrete room looking at imagery, docs.
Then you have the RAF Police which carry out counter intelligence which i believe is more similar to the work done by Int Corps. They also do quite a few other roles - IT sy, investigations etc. But you used be stuck as an acting cpl for years before you could get a good course and then it all changes after that. I think it may have changed now - in terms of promotion timelines.
 
I can only speak to the RAF, it breaks down differently i believe to how the Army structure it.
You have the RAF Intelligence, which has a lot of analysis and related to air operations - perhaps obviously. Primarily stuck in a concrete room looking at imagery, docs.
Then you have the RAF Police which carry out counter intelligence which i believe is more similar to the work done by Int Corps. They also do quite a few other roles - IT sy, investigations etc. But you used be stuck as an acting cpl for years before you could get a good course and then it all changes after that. I think it may have changed now - in terms of promotion timelines.

That's really interesting, thanks. Do RMP do counter intelligence work too, or are they totally separate functions in the army?
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
That's really interesting, thanks. Do RMP do counter intelligence work too, or are they totally separate functions in the army?
The RMP do *not* do counter intelligence or physical security. They do general police duties, criminal investigation, close protection and support to weapons intelligence. CI and security are firmly in the Int Corps shopping bag.

Just to expand slightly on my point upstream, the main job of an Army officer, whatever his cap badge, is commanding soldiers and, after initial employment, doing Staff jobs of one sort or another. An Int Corps officer may get some specialist (language or other) training and may do a pure intelligence-assessing and -producing job, conceivably as a staff officer, but generally even then he'll be collating and QCing original work by Corps specialists.
 

anglo

LE
Intelligence and Army
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That's really interesting, thanks. Do RMP do counter intelligence work too, or are they totally separate functions in the army?
It sounds like you probably need to focus on what in the intelligence field you would like to be doing as well as how that sets you up thereafter. It's a broad field, especially now. It can also range from mind numbingly dull to very interesting and once in you need to know how you can adapt and evolve - or get stuck and type-cast.

The other thing for you to consider is the culture of the service you choose.
Good luck!
 
It sounds like you probably need to focus on what in the intelligence field you would like to be doing as well as how that sets you up thereafter. It's a broad field, especially now. It can also range from mind numbingly dull to very interesting and once in you need to know how you can adapt and evolve - or get stuck and type-cast.

The other thing for you to consider is the culture of the service you choose.
Good luck!

Thanks. You're right that I will need to find out more about the different specialisms and which areas interest me.

Is there anything you can tell me about the culture of each service? I have my own perception of each service but as someone outside the armed forces these are likely very inaccurate and based more on media portrayal than reality.
 
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