Joining Germany?

Discussion in 'Infantry' started by Odyssey, Feb 15, 2007.

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  1. I've some limited experience of the 'army' (UOTC) and enjoyed the soldiering side of it. I'm wanting to go into the infantry (as a soldier, not an officer), but have some concerns.

    The PWRR is my 'local' regiment but they're moving to Germany in 2009. I'm prepared for the big change and lengthy tours that come with being in the army, but being based in Germany..? Any views on the pros and cons of being based there would be welcome. Would you join now if that's where you were to be based?

    Should I decide against Germany, are there non-geo infantry regiments that aren't the paras (bit hardcore for me, lads), or is it seen as okay to be recruited out of units traditional areas?

    Finally, a bit old hat this, but with joining the infantry at 26 being considered a bit long in the tooth by recruiters (and I could be 27 when I apply), would I be pushed towards one of the regiments in the RAC, or in combat support? (combat service support holds little interest). As traditional, 'green soldiering' is what I'm looking for, would you recommend I consider these or stick to my guns?

    Thanks for the advice.
  2. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    In no particular order

    Why as a soldier rather than an officer (if you finished uni?)?

    The Inf will be hard hard work at your age. I'd suggest a Corp

    Germany - brilliant life, great fun but a hard life for a singly if you are wanting to settle down.
  3. Thanks for the reply - that was quick!

    Currently failing my way through the final year, though I expect to be kicked out soon. Given my record there, even if I do pass I'm not sure the army will think I'm worth the risk as an officer.

    Heh, infantry should be hard for any age :). Seriously though, do you mean I'll find the physical side of Specialist Combat Infantry training too tough, or just the job in general? If sergeants can do their job at 26, I'm not too sure that I'll be at that much of a disadvantage? I've a resting heart rate of 40, so I'm fairly fit.
  4. I hope that you can scrape by in university. If your job leaves you too little time for studies and sleep, then quit that job and focus on the education. Get into a study group, hire a private tutor, whatever it takes.

    Another option might be to take a year off from studies. A year of working a menial job will put you back in focus. You might also want to consider joining the reserves if your nation's armed forces have anything like that.
  5. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    Your two points

    1. If you have been monging around and still look as though you will fail your degree at the age of 26, you would be correct in thinking RMAS is unlikely to be in your grasp. Pass and you give yourself a chance.

    2. Sgts at 26 will have had 6-8 yrs building up a physical and mental robustness well beyond what you have now. They are at an age that they can cope will the v high level of abuse they will no doubt put their bodies through. If you do get to Sgt you will be well into your 30's, just as your body starts to slow down. You are unlikely to cope and that is why I suggest a Corp where your physical accumen will matter a little less.
  6. Afaid off Germany!! Good god! It wasn't long ago thjat it was the only place you would go. I would suggest that a fear of being abroad is not something compatable with being a soldier.
    26 Year old sergeants are thge exception, not the norm amongst most jobs in the Army. Only technical and specialist trades cann really expect that kind of promotion, but as had been said allready, these guys have had far, far more life experience, training and mental slogging than you have. To comapre you age withh theirs is not the issue. They have earnt their rank, and for every SNCO you see there are perhaps 30 others who didn't make it that far.
  7. Join the Engineers mate. Its a teeth arm, soldier first, combat engineer second, tradesman third and since you're educated you'll do alright, and Germany is on the ball fella, dont worry about that.

    You dont wanna go joining these infantry wallahs, they get bored and sit and poke each other with pointy sticks. :giggle:
  8. Odyssey,

    If you have a university background and experience of the UOTC, I do not think you should consider joining the Infantry as a soldier.

    I agree with the other contributors, get your degree and then take it from there. Degree + Sandhurst is still possible but you will have to be motivated. If you don't get the degree, I think you would struggle to convince RCB that you would be suitable for a commission.

  9. Odyssey

    if you want to do the green stuff there are ways to do it in the Corps, but Infantry is the place to be.

    At 27 you'll be fine (I'm mid 30s and still beasting most of my blokes around) and the extra maturity will pay dividends at Catterick; the best student I had when I was instructing there was a 26 yr old ex-fireman. You can now join up to 33 if want to.

    Don't worry about Germany as the PWRR has two Battalions of which I'm sure one will be in the UK. If this doesn't suit have a look at the role/location and take your pick (take a scan through the Regiments on the Army website - eg Rifles, Fusiliers, R ANGLIANS, Yorkshire Regiment). Every Infantry regiment has people from outside their recruiting area.

    Best of luck

  10. Also you may like to note that 1 PWRR are already in Germany and have been for a few years. 2 PWRR are based in NI at the moment but are due to ship to Cyprus and then probably back to the UK.

    Nobody here can tell you whether you should attempt the Officer career path or not. That is down to you and what you want out of the job. I say down to you, but also it is very much down to the AOSB. They are the ones who decide who gets a shot and who doesn't. Before that hurdle you will go and see various Regiments and they will give you advice as to your suitability.

    If you are at university, doing a decent course and you are crashing in, then so be it. Not a drama. Non graduates still make up a percentage of officers and you will be one of those. I have friends that creamed in on some tasty degrees and they are doing very nicely now in the Army.

    If a soldiers life is for you, then think carefully about what you want to achieve. I back up the comments about Engineers (apart from the Teeth Arm - there are only three, and one is a dubious entry!). The RE are a good bunch of lads and yes they do mix it up when they need to, but they are also very capable individuals and with some one of your age, I think it is best to go that route. Infantry soldiers are young (think 1990 DOB now people) and by that reasoning relatively fit. However, on the whole age does not matter as we have older soldiers joining all the time.

    If you are in for a career, then consider the changes of engagements and what you want to do post Army.

    In summary, look into it in more depth. You may be surprised at what you find out.

    ps Germany is awesome. Genuinely outstanding.
  11. That is so frightening that I'm going to have a lie down! But you are absolutely right; but, luckily, I don't see them for a little while yet!

  12. Living in Germany was the end of me.

    Brushing the floor in the sheds all day, then reading the paper about other unites working in Sierra Leone, Timor, etc really depressed me. Cheap beer and women too. It's a good laugh for a young squaddie, but I decided to leave the army as I was extremely depressed and drank far too much.

    But that was just me and my honest experience.

    A lot of people love it and marry German girls.
  13. No it's not, it's combat support!
  14. Speaking of age, are there any veterans past the age of 35yo out there who are thinking of reenlisting?

    I been out of the US Navy since 1991 and am thinking about joining the US army reserves.