Is the REME Officer/Artificer an aid to engineering?

OK got to point out the obvious to start, as a Corps over the past 5 years or so we have gone through drastic measures with trade amalgamations to save money.

The role we play as a Corps is to keep the punch in the Army's fist, for want of better words we fix broke kit. To that end it seems a waste of money to force load Artificer courses and train REME Officer Graduates.

Before I get slagged for being a failed tiffy and all the other obvious nonsense, yes you are all right I am not good enough and happy to be turning spanners.

I have witnessed DEME (A) slaughter my tiffy for not being in covvies and not working with the boys, his further questioning was to enquire why do the Corps pay so much for the Artificer development if said Artificer was not to put his skills into practise?

It led me to think after 14 years, you tiffys have never aided me with your well earned engineering knowledge. It seems that after your 2 years of engineering proficiency you are more intetrested in my outstanding hours for your weekly production conference. In my hour of need (Even my own trade) all you can advise is the valued AESP system.

My final point with PAAB straight after Class 1 is, will the day come when we end up with more Artificers then workers? Is the REME copying the NHS in employng more managers than workers?

I must apologise for my Artificer rant this post was meant to focus on REME officers.

Upon posting to a REME Battalion I did not realise how many REME officers we employ. In my humble opinion I have yet to see the benefit of the REME officer.

This is my first posting from a teeth arm unit and to come to a REME Bn is a real eye opener. I am surrounded by young officers too scared to be themselves and Majors who are only intersted in impressing a Colonel for their own future gain.

The REME officer has no interest in engineering matters and no advice to give, lets forget about the old adage of being the link pin to the C.O. as he/she will only say what the ASM/relevant CEG has told them to say.

The REME officer has one posting to look forward to which is his/her 1st line LAD. The REME officer after that can look forward to their life of boredom at Bn. The only worthwhile task i see for them is the annual confidential reports and the REME officer is found to be lacking at most units!

The whole point of this post is that I believe we can keep the customer(The Army) more satisfied by sacking the ghosts posts we continue to employ and fill more skilled posts.

For the greater good, would the RLC swallowing the REME and sacrificing our non productive trades benefit our customers?
arstain said:
The REME officer has no interest in engineering matters and no advice to give, lets forget about the old adage of being the link pin to the C.O. as he/she will only say what the ASM/relevant CEG has told them to say.

The whole point of this post is that I believe we can keep the customer(The Army) more satisfied by sacking the ghosts posts we continue to employ and fill more skilled posts.
Hmmm, so then, once you have sacked all the tiffies or taken away the essential training, who will advise the CO?

Just a thought.
Do you know that there is many units currently with no Artificers at all? Yet The ES world survives, fancy that?

All unit CO's are used to being advised by sub unit commanders without 18 months unneccesary training. How can a vehicle artificer explain faults from a ECE/Weapon situation. The CO has a direct link to the QM(T) for all equipment matters in any unit. Lets miss out the badge barriers and go back to regimental fitters.

taken away essential training
What is the difference between what your class 1 tells you and what you pass on to the CO? Does this take essential training? Do you leanrn Officer speak on your 18 month course at Bordon/Aborfield?
I think you'll find that it is the officers who advise the CO BadManners. It can't be very often that the CO of a regiment or battalion would stoop to get advice from a soldier when a much better qualified officer is available.

I think you will also find very soon there will be a push to get the REME officers more invovlved in the engineering side of life and less involved in the G1 side of things. They are Engineering Officers after all. I know it has been discussed in other threads but the Artificer as we know it will become less important. There will simply not be the need to spend all that time and money on the Tiffy courses when you will be required to provide engineering advice to your line manager based on your time at Arbordon. After all, a Class One tradesman is at his peak isn't he/she? You can simply give advice to those above you based upon your practical engineering experience.

Oh hang about... isn't that what us Artisans already do? :D
I was merely pointing out to Arstain that in his text he had negated with officers AND tiffies, a CO would take advice from either or both given the choice I am sure.

I concur, there is a push toward REME officers taking on more Engineering responsibility, and not before time.

I do not agree that a "new" class one 1 trades person is at peak just yet and probably will not reach until senior Cpl or even Sgt for some.
After CL1 training the soldier requires continuation training in the form of good hard graft at unit level.

And yes, the ES world can and does survive without Tiffies, as it does without the rest of the LSN's that are gapped.

Your point is?
Arstain, I'm sorry you have had some poor experiences of the officers and tiffies of the Corps. However, it is disappointing that you don't take the time to understand the role they fill - the officers take a strategic view of all the issues that are constantly bombarding the Wksp/Bn, make sense of the useful ones and then implement a set of priorities to achieve the mission despite all such distractions. If you have a decent officer, though, you will probably never see those issues and they will never affect you. The tiffy implements the OC's direction as a result of this cerebral process, again ensuring that production can be managed and that you, the man with a spanner in his hand, can do the job of fixing stuff. Again, with a decent tiffy in post, you probably don't see all this. So perhaps instead of rubbishing what people have spent a long time in learning, through education, experience and, I admit it, even advice from the blokes on the shop floor, why not go and find out what they actually do by talking to them.
I appreciate your post Barclay but to assure you of this I am not the junior soldier or tradesman in this Corps. My opinion has been shared with dissapointment but with hope that a wider audience apart from the Artificer/Officer path would care to comment.

For too long we have relied on the hireachy looking after our best interests and your views on the ideal Artificer/Officer are too far fetched for belief.

In my experience the Artificer is in competition with his fellow peers and with that subsequent pressure the back stabbing process makes them all to look like Craftsmen again. I am so happy that my life has been fortunate enough not to put that pressure upon myself.

It is time to put the emphasis on trade skills rather then management.

Or do B Mech tiffies in an armoured post disagree?
Perhaps Armourers tiffies with tanks?

Who is the font of all knowlege these days?
When does a Tiffy stop being "Engineer"?

I fully support your point of view and speaking from 15+ years in the Corps it disgusts me that the new breed of tiffy still wears my cap badge. If they are fonts of knowledge let them be, but more often they are man managers on the hunt for a Q badge so an AGC hat could be an option.
How many days of a tiffy course involve spanners??????

Up the tradesmen...
T'is true, most tiffys and ruperts are only on the lookout for their next promotion. This (IMO) is where the corps is going wrong, instead we should be looking out for eachother and ensure a future for our corps, which was once held in high esteem by the rest of the army.

Unfortunately the corps has taken a morale nosedive due to this and many other minor problems which accumalate and snowball.

With regard to tiffy training, the course is no longer loaded on merit. Instead (due to a shortage of tiffys) class 1 students are being pushed towards a paab which equates to handing them the opportunity as opposed to making an effort to persue it.
Err... was never REME... but am a mechanical (& explosive) engineer MSc BEng(hons) with a military past and present.

Engineering has absolutely nothing to do do with fixing kit. So in a way you are right - waste of money. But I would like to believe that there are tiffys and a few REME-Roos earning their wages, helping companies develop equipment, investigating accidents, and helping the MoD predict spare-part requirements. -which is where an understanding of engineering is essential.

If this is not the case... you could just send them on an engineering drawing course.
Strange point of view there BB, I am an Incorporated Engineer, Ex-Tiffy who fixes broke stuff for a living.
Fixing broke stuff is part of engineering (maintenance engineering?) It is not Engineering in it's entirety I'll grant you, but it is a part of engineering.
I'm a bit long in the tooth to be getting involved here but (and I was never a tiffy) I feel that there has to be someone with more knowledge than a Class 1 (which I was)to advise Class ones on the odd occasion when his knowledge is insufficient to keep the parent unit's equipment functioning. Hands on experience is great and can overcome lots of problems but someone is needed who has been there and can also move in the man management side of things to ensure that the skills the unit has available are used to the best advantage. On the subject of REME officers I fail to see how a technical corps could function without men at the top who understand engineering. How would you feel if your EME was replaced by a pen pusher who ONLY understood form manipulation.
BaldricksBullet said:
But I would like to believe that there are tiffys and a few REME-Roos earning their wages, helping companies develop equipment, investigating accidents,

If this is not the case... you could just send them on an engineering drawing course.
Do not hold your breath BB. The closest they get to developing equipment is sat in the Andover Ivory tower on an IPT where they recieve a problem and pass it on to the manufacturers to sort out. Investigating accidents? What sort? someone dropping an axle stand on their foot might be within their grasp.

Now if the Army got a whole bunch of REME orificers and stiffies together and said design a fighting vehicle without using any items in use on an AFV and they came up with the goods, then i would be impressed.
Am I missing something here gundog ?

I am a Tiff/Stiff/spineless twot etc etc.

I went on my course at my 13 year point aged 34 and was not the oldest or most senior on the course. In the 5 years before I joined up I was an HGV fitter and went on day release and night school to get an ONC.

Do you think that all us tiffies have less engineering know how than the blokes on the shop floor?

Do you think that prior to course loading I have had my thumb up my arrse waiting for the 13 years to whizz by without taking anything in ?

Not all tiffs are useless idiots in the same way not all people on the shop floor when faced with something out of the ordinary down tools until told what to do.

Would you be impressed if I could design a vehicle from the ground up ? Experts in EACH field do that, not tiffies/engineering officers. My question is does my training make me less able to do it than a non tiff ? Could a load of class ones and artisans do it ? course not and I would never even suggest it.

Have you ever been promoted into an easier job with less work or responsibility ?
My simple answer NO the lads will find an answer in any difficult situation without an Officer or Tiffy, I thank you, you know its true really.
After 21 years in REME, reaching the rank of WO1, it's very gratifying to hear your refreshing point of view arstain. I've never heard the anti tiffy argument so succinctly put. Now my eyes have been opened! I suddenly realise that when I left the world of the artisan tradesman at the 11 year point in the rank of substansive sergeant, the tiffy course's main aim was to remove all my engineering experience, and replace it with an HNC in backstabbing and bullshit.

Er... no. I and most artificers were skilled tradesmen before their course, and have continued to develop as engineers since. It sounds as if you have either had a bad experience at the hands of several poor tiffies, or (More likely in my opinion) you're a fine example of the bitter and twisted artisan. Before the old and bold come rumbling out of their hutches spitting fire and lettuce, no I don't class all artisans that way. Mostly artisans are extremely skilled and highly motivated SNCOs and many would have (if they'd chosen to) made excellent tiffies themselves.

Personally, the most enjoyable part of my job is assisting tradesmen, using my experience to teach them more about their job. Now I won't say that all tiffies feel the same way, but in my experience most of us do. however, it is only PART of the job.

As for the jibe that all tiffies are concentrating on getting to the next rank, well, the one of the main points of going tiffy is to get yourself onto the fast track, and to make WO1 available to you. Ambitious REME soldiers tend to go tiffy. What's wrong with ambition?

As for REME officers, well yes there are an awful lot of bag carriers in the corps, but at first line a good OC is worth his weight in gold. Having served under both excellent and sh*t OCs in the same unit, the difference to the LAD was marked.

Of course the average DE REME officer will not have the same tool skills or diagnostic experience as the average class 1 tradesman, but if your OC is spending all his time on the shop floor wnaking spanners, there's something wrong. At first line, he's there to provide leadership, to direct the whole LAD, to advise the CO of the unit in all ES matters. Just because he's not standing behind you reminding you how to strip the FIP doesn't mean he's not carrying out an engineering role.

Now I've spent a lot of time on my soap box, and I hope that you'll think about what I've written, but I'm pretty sure (from the tone of your posts) that you won't. Never mind, we all have our roles in life; I'm just glad that I don't have to be embittered to display my "worth".
common_sense_nco said:
Would you be impressed if I could design a vehicle from the ground up ? Experts in EACH field do that, not tiffies/engineering officers. My question is does my training make me less able to do it than a non tiff ? Could a load of class ones and artisans do it ? course not and I would never even suggest it.
Before I embarked upon my OU Degree course in the nineties, I had the opportunity to chat with the young officers who came to Bordon on the pakage they used to run that culminated in a weekend exercise on the heath. What I asked was what particularly discipline of Engineering they had studied at Uni prior to joining and I found that there was a whole gamut of disciplines. Probably enough to form a design team to come up with a new AFV for the army. I am not saying it will be the most elegant of solutions but there is probably enough Engineering officers with the relevant knowledge of the various disciplines in the REME to cater to every aspect. I included tiffies in the design team as well because they will have the specialised knowledge of the systems to make a contribution along with the Engineering knowledge taught in the Kremlins of Bordon and Arborfield.

When I said I would be impressed if the Army did get them together I think I was beingh a bit unclear about my point. It is not because I do not think there is the capability out there to do it. There is. It is more a case of the Army actually utilising what they have learnt and applying it, that is where I would be impressed. How often has the question been raised about REME officers being managers or Engineers?

I reckon that if such a project came up you would have an oversubsription of people wanting to get on the design team not for the Kudos on the CR but for the fact of being able to utilise their body of knowledge.

I am sure that you met officers with degrees in different areas, what most of them will lack is the experience in that area - most will have done their degree then joined up, or been sponsored through university in the first place.

Practical experience of what does and does not work(through consultation as well, IPT sound familiar?) is required by a design team or you can end up where experts have all designed their little bit and none of it fits together as a complete package. To give an example, a motorbike with that much power it overwhelms the back tyre and you cant pull away smoothly or to have brakes that would stop a supertanker but lock the wheels at the slightest touch, or a comms system that is too big to fit into the vehicle it was(n't) designed for.

We could all put the latest guns/engine/brakes/transmission/correct amount of seats etc in a vehicle but would it work, or become the most expensive vehicle in the world and therefore wouldn't win the tender. Who would build it, surely you wouldn't be able to get the manufacturers that are competing to build it.

Anyhow, go tiff or dont its your choice, we dont make you justify not going tiff on the regular "artisans aren't as good as tiffs" :idea: threads.When I made my choice there was no route to WO2 and beyond without it.

I could go on, but I'm sure you get my point.
Which is why I included tiffies in my hypothetical design team. They will have had the hands on experience that the officers lack while having the knowledge of engineering to understand what the officers are going on about when they lapse into degree speak.

Your comment about putting everything together but would it work or be too expensive reminded me of a quote from my materials course.

"We could make the most technically perfect and reliable product, but no-one will evere afford it."

As for going tiffy well that choice was made long ago. As for justifying my choice? I never justify it to anyone because at the end of the day, as my signature board says"one day you will be a civvy and people wont care care"
...and yet ANOTHER exercise in tiff-justification... I've said it before and hey, I'm saying it again! First of all: officers? They are heirarchy. Forget them, They are in a clique of their own . They want to get to the next step and they rely on tiffs to prostitute themselves to get the 'results' which help them to reach that next step. He/she is, for the tradesman on the shop floor, a requirement iaw engineering regulations and not because he/she actually knows anything. Hey it's a career for them and the military IS the last bastion of the old class system...

Tiffs however are MUCH worse... They come from us - they were us. PAAB (be what the unqualified officers want for a couple of days) and successful completion of tiffy course (cheating optional but necessary) enables the mediocre, the puffed-up and above all the monetarily egocentric - 'three kids, planning another' - among you to get what you want.

Please, one of you people tell me that you are looking down as well up. Make a fukcing difference!!

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