Life of a tank crewman (gunner)

itwasVTEC

Swinger
Hi lads, ive picked tank crewman as one of my desired roles, i have a general idea of what the role entails but i still have a few questions that i would like to put forward to those who have had experience in the role.

When you pick the role of a crewman, i assume many applicants have a desired role within the tank they want to be trained in (including my self) do you get a choice as to what you want to be or is it the regiment that decides ?

do you have a choice as to what regiment you would like to work in or is it based of your location in the Uk, for example, i live in Peterborough.

and lastly, a bit of silly one but thought id mention it, will i be working in a challenger 2 MBT or other vehicles such as the warrior, i would expect challenger 2 as that's all they ever talk about on the crewman page.

Thanks in advance to any replies :)
 
Wrong thread fella, this is Royal Artillery.

You need the RAC thread of try one of the Recruiting threads.

Have a good look around first though, your questions may already have been answered.
 

itwasVTEC

Swinger
Wrong thread fella, this is Royal Artillery.

You need the RAC thread of try one of the Recruiting threads.

Have a good look around first though, your questions may already have been answered.
oh jeee sorry, ill delete this one and have a look around on RAC
 

NSP

LE
Hi lads, ive picked tank crewman as one of my desired roles, i have a general idea of what the role entails but i still have a few questions that i would like to put forward to those who have had experience in the role.

When you pick the role of a crewman, i assume many applicants have a desired role within the tank they want to be trained in (including my self) do you get a choice as to what you want to be or is it the regiment that decides ?

do you have a choice as to what regiment you would like to work in or is it based of your location in the Uk, for example, i live in Peterborough.

and lastly, a bit of silly one but thought id mention it, will i be working in a challenger 2 MBT or other vehicles such as the warrior, i would expect challenger 2 as that's all they ever talk about on the crewman page.

Thanks in advance to any replies :)

I'm a disgusting never-served civvy but I had an "experience day" at Bovington a couple of years ago, amongst other things, where one of the old tankies showing us around the museum's Chally 1 and Chieftain told us in his discourse that each crewman is trained in every role on the vehicle in case of - well - you can work out why.

Until an actual tankie comes along with some proper info I would offer that you will thus train in each of the four crew roles (if destined for Challenger) and then be either asked where you want to "specialise" or be told what you're doing based on what you prove to be best at. I would imagine that training in unit would thus see you rotate roles to ensure that you keep current on all the skills required across the crew.

One thing I can say with certainty is that unless you are somewhat small in stature you don't want to be the gunner.

Your working space will be in the lower seat of these two, with the tank commander above you, apparently using your shoulders as a footrest (see ArRSe posts passim):-

Tank_Museum_20170929_33.jpg


If you think gunner's for you go for it and good luck to you. I spent a few minutes in there with another guy sat above me and I got very claustrophobic very quickly - but I'm 6' with swimmers shoulders and I don't like being hemmed in.

Whatever else, if you want to be a tankie go and do it, whether you're shooting, loading, driving or bossing. If it's what you want and you don't at least go and give it your best shot you'll a) never know and b) regret not trying - just like every other thing people aspire to but never try. If you browse this site you will uncover many stories by tankies that talk of the funny, the silly, and the camaraderie of being part of a tank crew. I don't think there's one that has lamented - at least, on here - their time buttoned up in a can of fart with three other blokes for the length of their service.
 
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itwasVTEC

Swinger
I'm a disgusting never-served civvy but I had an "experience day" at Bovington a couple of years ago, amongst other things, where one of the old tankies showing us around the museum's Chally 1 and Chieftain told us in his discourse that each crewman is trained in every role on the vehicle in case of - well - you can work out why.

Until an actual tankie comes along with some proper info I would offer that you will thus train in each of the four crew roles (if destined for Challenger) and then be either asked where you want to "specialise" or be told what you're doing based on what you prove to be best at. I would imagine that training in unit would thus see you rotate roles to ensure that you keep current on all the skills required across the crew.

One thing I can say with certainty is that unless you are somewhat small in stature you don't want to be the gunner.

Your working space will be in the lower seat of these two, with the tank commander above you, apparently using your shoulders as a footrest (see ArRSe posts passim):-

View attachment 545664

If you think gunner's for you go for it and good luck to you. I spent a few minutes in there with another guy sat above me and I got very claustrophobic very quickly - but I'm 6' with swimmers shoulders and I don't like being hemmed in.

Whatever else, if you want to be a tankie go and do it, whether you're shooting, loading, driving or bossing. If it's what you want and you don't at least go and give it your best shot you'll a) never know and b) regret not trying - just like every other thing people aspire to but never try. If you browse this site you will uncover many stories by tankies that talk of the funny, the silly, and the camaraderie of being part of a tank crew. I don't think there's one that has lamented - at least, on here - their time buttoned up in a can of fart with three other blokes for the length of their service.
wow thanks for the insight, that's a smashing photo, im only 5,10 so i don't think height will be an issue for me, but that photo gives me a good idea of what ill be expected to work in, once again thanks for the reply
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
Hi lads, ive picked tank crewman as one of my desired roles, i have a general idea of what the role entails but i still have a few questions that i would like to put forward to those who have had experience in the role.

When you pick the role of a crewman, i assume many applicants have a desired role within the tank they want to be trained in (including my self) do you get a choice as to what you want to be or is it the regiment that decides ?

do you have a choice as to what regiment you would like to work in or is it based of your location in the Uk, for example, i live in Peterborough.

and lastly, a bit of silly one but thought id mention it, will i be working in a challenger 2 MBT or other vehicles such as the warrior, i would expect challenger 2 as that's all they ever talk about on the crewman page.

Thanks in advance to any replies :)
In case this thread gets moved and remains valid.

Caveat. I did CVR(T) because my regiment rerôled off Chieftsin as I joined.

When you pick the role of a crewman, i assume many applicants have a desired role within the tank they want to be trained in (including my self) do you get a choice as to what you want to be or is it the regiment that decides ?

If you turn out not to be the best gunner on your crew, I'd expect your troop to look at whether you are right. After you have some time in, you can express your preference. Best bet is to listen to your gunnery instructor (assuming you get a gunnery course early. I suspect in the last 45 years, they've mandated which order you do your training courses) and be the best gunner you can. A tank gunner is a troglodyte on ops/training. The only daylight he gets is down his gunsight. He has the commander's knees around his neck and the commander fills the hatch via which the gunner will exit the vehicle. In barracks, there is little to choose between crew roles.

do you have a choice as to what regiment you would like to work in or is it based of your location in the Uk, for example, i live in Peterborough.

There are three MBT regiments. One in Tidworth (curiously a couple of hours ago I was looking at Tidworth on Google Maps. Various RHQs are listed. Makes an enemy spy's job easier). Pretty sure one is in Catterick. Shrug. Lost track of the third. But it won't be close to Peterborough. Where you end up may be whichever of the three MBT regiments recruits in Peterborough. Or, because there are only three, you could end up in whichever regiment needs you most. At least if it isn't RTR, it will be a fine cavalry regiment with a long, glorious history.

will i be working in a challenger 2 MBT or other vehicles such as the warrior, i would expect challenger 2 as that's all they ever talk about on the crewman page.

There are two other roles, with three (I believe, if I haven't missed an amalgamation) regiments in each.

Light Cavalry use Jackal and Coyote (a stretched Jackal). They are very long distance, very light, very fast reconnaissance and spend a lot of time overseas in places like Poland and currently Mali on Operation Newcombe.

Reconnaissance regiments are about to get Ajax, a very heavy reconnaissance vehicle. Have a look at this


to learn about vehicles used by the Royal Armoured Corps in non-MBT roles.

I've been out of the RAC nearly 40 years. You can ask, but I can't promise.
 
oh jeee sorry, ill delete this one and have a look around on RAC
I served in the 2nd Royal Tank Regt, over 40 years ago. So I can’t really tell you much about today’s training, but a lot of what NSP is right.
After basic, you’ll do trade training, this is the point where it probably differs to when I did my trade training. All Tankies are taught Radio procedures and basic fault diagnostics. Eventually wether at trade or within the Regt you’ll eventually be a RAC Crewmen/person, you’ll be taught to be a driver, gunner, loader/radio operator.
The best bit, comradeship as part of a crew. You’ll be getting a new family and everyone of your Regiment is part of your new family.
I got mates who I’ve not seen since leaving the Regt, we’re in contact via FB. But if I need help, word will be put out to get the help.
The Royal Tank Regiment is the best Tank Regiment in the world.
 

NSP

LE
wow thanks for the insight, that's a smashing photo, im only 5,10 so i don't think height will be an issue for me, but that photo gives me a good idea of what ill be expected to work in, once again thanks for the reply
Pay attention to @AlienFTM 's post...

And @robinrocket111 's...
 
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NSP

LE
wow thanks for the insight, that's a smashing photo, im only 5,10 so i don't think height will be an issue for me, but that photo gives me a good idea of what ill be expected to work in, once again thanks for the reply
N'ae bother. More Chally pics for elucidation:-

Driver:-
Tank_Museum_20170929_30.jpg


Commander, where you can just see the gunner's seat below the commander's instruments:-
Tank_Museum_20170929_31.jpg


Tank_Museum_20170929_32.jpg


What's in the gunner's face:-
Tank_Museum_20170929_34.jpg


Loaders standing area (plus seat/exit step):-
Tank_Museum_20170929_35.jpg


Not sure, but I think it's kit on the loaders side:-
Tank_Museum_20170929_36.jpg


Looking aft from the loaders position:-
Tank_Museum_20170929_37.jpg
 
N'ae bother. More Chally pics for elucidation:-

Driver:-
View attachment 545686

Commander, where you can just see the gunner's seat below the commander's instruments:-
View attachment 545687

View attachment 545688

What's in the gunner's face:-
View attachment 545689

Loaders standing area (plus seat/exit step):-
View attachment 545690

Not sure, but I think it's kit on the loaders side:-
View attachment 545691

Looking aft from the loaders position:-
View attachment 545692
And to think, we used to hold troop parties in there. In inclement weather, obviously.
 

NSP

LE
I wouldn’t, he’s a Donkey Walloper........ :mrgreen:
But he has fitted his carcass into smaller interiors than the Chally offers...

I also edited to add that he should read yours, too.

Before I read Rando's equally worthy contribution...
 
Does the challenger 2 not have blow out panels?
Good question, well put!

Put it this way, the amount of Leopards that have been lost to Enemy Action is an awful lot, don’t know the exact number.
A lot of Abrams have also been lost as well, but the total number of Challies is one.
And that was a blue on blue.
 
And to think, we used to hold troop parties in there. In inclement weather, obviously.
Once tasked to host, for a few days, a ‘boffin’ from MVEE who was, specifically, studying the gunner’s hole in Chieftain with a view to future MBT.
To say she was, how can I say this, beamy, gave us to think the next generation of MBTs would have a gunner’s position large enough to hold a disco in.
 

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