JE, Gunner going Harrogate

Discussion in 'Gunners' started by RecruitAC, Sep 1, 2008.

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  1. Sorry to intrude on the spectacular part of Arrse that is the Land of the Gunners, but I am in need of some information. Nothing major, so don't fret.

    I am shortly beginning Ph1 at AFC Harrogate (7th Sept), starting with the 1st Job pref of Observation Post Assistant (OPA). Now what I had as a plan was to complete Ph1 as OPA, head over to Larkhill for Ph2, and try to get put onto the course for P coy, or special observer.
    I know it would be wise to gather some experience with Op's before I aim for the SO job, and also that it is one hell of a bitch to pass. Anyway, on completion of Ph2 with p coy I'd head for 7RHA.
    But that was a dream a tad unlikely to happen so quickly - So obviously I'm going to stick with OPA and get some experience, now - considering there are only 2 RA regiments for observation (5th and 32nd if I'm not mistaken?) and 32nd is UAV, would I be placed within 5th?

    Any tips/guides/advice would be taken very highly for a young JE about to start Ph1.

  2. If you are doing OPA, you wont go to 5th or 32 - you will go to a gun regiment and serve with the OPs in one of the Batteries.

    As for wanting to do 4/73 (special observer) or P-coy (7 RHA or the Para AD Bty with 47 Regt) you can ask to do that from the off and go straight there from Ph2.

    If you want to gain experience and then volunteer, then stick with OPA, go from Ph2 to a Regiment and then volunteer later.

    It might be worth looking at the RA webiste and looking at the jobs a bit more closely.
  3. Your OPA training will take place once you join your Regiment. You will leave phase two as an RA soldier. From there you will go onto employment training
  4. Such as what regiments?

    Also, do you have any known experience of the job OPA and working with FOO's*?

    * If that's correct.
  5. I have been a FOO, so have worked with OPAs.

    As I pointed out, you really need to look at the RA website, but I'll give you a hint - all the AS90 regiments and all the light gun Regiments (so all the gun Regiments) have Observation Parties (OPs).

    Depending which you go to will depend on how you will work:

    Do Ph1 (for you Harrogate)
    Do Ph2 (at 24 Bty, Larkhill: now a standard RA level 1 course - things like Signals skills and driving licences)
    Go to Regiment (a Gun Regiment if you want to be an OPA)
    Join OPs
    Do L2 OPA course (where you upgrade your L1 course to L2, incorporating more signals skills and the things you need to know to be an OPA - not just brew making, but a lot of that too)

    1,3,4,7,19,26,29,40 Regiments all use Guns of one sort or the other - swot up and enjoy!

    * edited because I realised you are going to Harrogate, not Pirbright
  6. What pre join literature did you read? Was the Sgt in the ACIO a gunner cos he fed you with drivel. You don't do Phase 1 as anything really, only learning to be a soldier. From there as you said it's to Larkers for training as a Gunner Level 1 and from there to RD. Some units have a different ethos that is more or less go where you aspire to go, in others it's do your time on the Guns or CPs first then choose and in others it's down to a mix of both. Remember you need to be fit in today's OP crews no matter if you go to a non para or commando unit. Granted P Coy and AACC need that extra stamina, endurance et al but non red and green are hard work too. Especially on Operations. Ask any that have done Afghan. You might not make their grade or you might not like it. Find your feet first, keep yourself out of trouble and do your time getting used to being in the Army. I would suggest take at least 6 months (easier said than done) to decide what it is you want. Good luck.
  7. Gnr 40, they go to Phase 1 RA nominated and get their RA capbadges during Phase 1 (so become "Gunners" at phase 1). They also have a trade and so know which direction they are being pointed, but at some point during Phase 1, they also make their Regimental choices.

    Whereas it used to be really unusual to go straight to OP Troop, it is now more normal - they have Signaller skills, can be moulded to OP types better from scratch and are keen blokes - not necessarily the bitter ex-Bunnies!

    Of course, it always pays to have experience for OPs though, so there is an argument to wait for it, but the OP Teams just couldn't fill the slots on volunteers from the rest of the Battery alone.
  8. Agreed...a bit rash of me to say they don't go to Ph1 as anything. I know they go badged Gunners, but my point was they don't 'trade' in the gunner sense of the word there.

    Yes, you're right with the form these days, we've just had a new boy go straight to the OP lot. Fit, keen and wanting to go and that is the key.