Is REME VM the most shortmanned trade in the Army?

Discussion in 'REME' started by andrewb19, Jul 4, 2008.

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  1. Hi,

    I've been to my local AFCO to start the application process to join the Army. Passed BARB today with 87 and selected VM as the first option and Avionics second.

    The recruiter told me that VM is some sort of operational pinch point trade and that it is severely undermanned. He couldn't say why this was the case, so I thought I'd ask the question here.

    Is the VM trade the most shortmanned trade in the Army?
    What's the main reason for this?
    Is it because few people select, or because prospects in civi street are so good people sign off after 4 years?
    What are the promotion prospects like for VM tradesmen (I know it's not as good as Techs)?
    Will I be stripping vehicles and replacing parts on a daily basis?
    Is the job mentally and physically challenging?


  2. Soome good questions. Most trades in the REME are undermanned at the moment, so everyone is very busy most of time. Obviously operational tempo will add to this also.

    As to why the REME is undermanned, I don't know the facts or figures, so can't say.

    I wouldn't say that leaving to become a civvy strasse VM has more prospects than a serving one however.

    If you choose the VM route then you will either be a VM(A), or a VM(B)....although there was talk of amalgamating these trades together, and I don;t know if it's happened? If there is still VM(A), and VM(B) then your job could be very different depending on which one you choose.

    VM(B)s work mostly on landrover/bedfords/DAFs etc eg wheeled vehicles.

    VM(A)s work mostlty on tracked vehicles - CR2, warrior, etc

    Either job is demanding, and challenging. You'll get most of the A mechs on here saying that B mechs are girls very shortly and that they have to squat to p1ss....probably :)

    As I asid, things may have changed so I wait to be corrected on any points.
  3. It's an OPP trade because most of the lads and lasses joining now seem to leave between the 4-8 year point.So there is a shortage of Class 1 L/Cpls 7 Cpls.To try and stop this there are new FRI (financial retention incentives) in place.If you have copleted 3-4 years service and are promoted to L/cpl and agree to do 3 years further service you pick up £7,500 before tax.The later you take your commitment bonuses the larger the sum,so if you wait until your 8 year point and then claim your commitment bonus it is £15,000 before tax.You have to do 1 year further service.The return of service for the VM FRI and commitment bonus run concurrently.
    Promotion for VM's is pretty good at the moment.Seen some Cfn pick up L/Cpl after 18 months at first unit.It is possible if you go the Tiffy route to achieve SSgt in 8.5-11.5 years.It'll be hard work but it is achieveable.
    As for the work itself,dirty,hard,no thanks,same excuses from drivers!.Do be aware that your first posting will be 4 years.
    I've been a VM "A" since 1988,I love my job but like all jobs out there it has its ups and downs.
    The choice rests with you lad.If you do go VM make sure it's "A" Mech unless you enjoy having people call you a "Squat to piss Merchant"!!.Work hard,play hard and you should do just fine.
    All the Best and Good Luck
  4. In the REME, Armourer is the most under manned trade.
  5. I heard that, being an ex weapons. But wasn't sure if it's still the case.
  6. Not as far as I am aware. There are issues with the trade but it hasn't yet reached crisis point.

  7. Of VM and Electronics Tech, which would offer the most variety, qualifications, deployments and civi prospects?
  8. It was bad enough for them to warrant a special mention by the boss at the last DEME(A) conflab, so they must be fairly desperate - 'Treat your armourers with kid-gloves' I seem to recall being the words used............

    As for the last question - Elecy Tech isnt a bad job, but its not VMing now is it - back-bone of the corps (not my words, read the crafty more!) and although the amount of quals available is soon to take a nose-dive its by far the trade to be for transfrable skills, deployments and generaly having a tip-top time of it all.

    What Ho!
  9. Some of the Veh Mechs I met during my service were certainly short of a few things.
  10. Is VM the best way for go for good prospects, both inside and outside the Army, quals, deployment and fixing things?

    Are Elec Techs over glorified?

  11. Being an ex-A mech myself (Schwinggggg) and now an Instructor at D+M wing, not much has changed since my day in the Eighties.
    Promotion rate went in cycles, too many VM's long wait, too few- short wait.
    I waited over 4 years for first one and came out 18 months later. Even then there was a retention problem.
    My case was slightly different where I wanted to STAY in and asked for a 2 year extention( to bring me up to the 9 yr point) on my then current posting at Tidworth. Got refused it and so PVR'd.
    Back then there was talk of bringing Vm's up to Technician status as the Army procured more Technical vehicles, but that obviously got binned.
    So it seems that the 'Tech' trades will always be the most luring in terms of pay and promotion, but I wouldn't necessarily say job-satisfaction.

    If your knuckles reach the floor, you could always try Reccy Mech.

    N.b. I hear that they are bringing back VM U's which got binned a few years back. (Universal?)

  12. The powers that be didn't try to tempt me when I came up to leave after 22, and the wonderful parting gift after I recieved from DEME(A) or whatever he calls himself just about sumed it up.

    My position within the LAD (ArmdInf) wasn't even filled after I left.
    Now I hear all Sgt Armrs are being withdrawn from Armd Inf units

    What's happening :cry: :cry:
  13. I don't think anyone answered this or did i miss it? Anyway Elec Tech offers the best qualifications and civi prospects but i would say that VM would be the more rewarding on Ops and yes before the barrage starts its def one of the hardest trades on Ops.

    My personal view and this is from a Tiffy Vehicles is go along the Tech route if your not looking to serve a full career or go Tiffy (if your unsure what this is speak to the careers office) but want some decent quals to use in civvie street. If you want to work bloody hard in a trade where you will be grafting daily and yes stripping and reassembling daily (esp on Ops), have much more of a variety of postings then look to go VM. Lastly look at what you want to work on, Armoured or Wheeled vehicles its a big decision!

    Need any more advice drop me a line.
  14. For someone who wanted a lengthy career, enjoyed change, always wanting to learn, work hard and travel a lot (lots of deployments) and have good prospects in civi street, would REME VM be the choice?
  15. I have it on good authority that REME Armourer Heavy (dual traded after the almagamation of Armr/Gunftr) is the least manned post in the REME at the moment.