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Newbie would appreciate some info

#1
Hi all,

I was wondering if you could help with a couple of questions.

In relation to applying for Tech (with a leaning towards Avionics) what exactly does the 'soldier first' ethos actually translate into? I suppose I mean the sort of non-trade training you would do post Phase 2, and particularly what the 'soldier' role would be whilst in sandy places.

I could imagine that Mechanics / Electronic Techs might be needed to go along on operations (I may be mistaken), but there seems to be less scope for Avionics guys to do anything than work on the aircraft when they're back at base. Am I way off..?

Also - Adventurous Training. Sounds like a huge Army perk, and I'd love to get some skiing/diving/gliding but - without wanting to sound immediately cynical - how much of this would actually be available these days? How often are you allowed out on these things?

Thanks in advance, T.
 
#2
Tyche

My son is training to be an air tech, the chances of an air tech or av tech going out on the ground are remote (though not unheard of, recovery of crashed/u/s choppers etc), you cost too much to train and have a job to do. An Apache is a massive force multiplier so they need as many as possible fit to go.

Lads on their upgraders have told my son that tours are just long hours of fixing kit, but they all enjoy it as it is what they are paid to do.

My son has had the chance to do a bit of Adv Trg, if you put your name down and there are vacant slots and it won't affect your trg, you should get ample opportunity to do it.

Make the most of what is on offer, you will be in trg for a long time (14-16 months).

Best of luck
 
#3
Crunchie said:
Tyche

Make the most of what is on offer, you will be in trg for a long time (14-16 months).

Best of luck
& the rest. If you're looking to become an Avionics tech and have to go across the road from DCAE to do your AH trg you are looking at about 20 months.

Land Systems technicians get to deploy out to FOBs to sort BOWMAN, Optronics, ECM and also support main platforms such as MLRS.

If things haven't changed too much from H5 & H6, the big perk for the Aviation lads was that they were allowed to get on and do their job away from prying eyes (ie empire builders) & were trusted to get on and do the job.

A lot more of your questions maybe answered by looking in the tech sticky on the REME main page
 
#4
Hi Tyche,

As an Avionics tradesman, I'll try and answer a few questions for you. First of all soldier first, tradesman always - a phrase that has changed hands many times in people's opinions in the past. Don't worry about that until you join.

Avionics trade has now changed considerably. It used to be basic electronics ... 9 months trade training ... first posting ... 9 months Class 1 training ... second posting ... and the rest was up to you (tiffy / artisan)

Now though, they have reduced the Class 1 to 5½ months meaning you no longer get posted to Class 1's, then posted again 9 months later. Plus you're in receipt of extra allowances (more on that when you join). And if you've got your finger on the pulse you will know that there is currently a Financial Retention Incentive (FRI) of £12.5K in place for Tech Av between 7-9 year point. It probably wont still be there by the time you get there, but to make us old feckwits feel more disgruntled, it'll probably be about £25K by the time you drag your sproggy arrse through.... :p

In terms of employability as a technician avionics, you will inevitably be posted to one of the flying Regts, which will almost certainly involve a tour in Kebabistan with either Lynx or AH (4 months the norm). Generally on op tour you will be located at Bastion and stay there. Whilst there however, you may find you're part of the 'crash team' - do you need me to elaborate on that one, or can you work it out?

If you qualify as an avionics tech (or greenie as they are otherwise known) you'll be the envy of everyone, particularly the airborne VMs known as 'blackies' (what you currently know as aircraft techs)... but it's easy to ignore the abuse when you stand shoulder-to-shoulder with God.

Sick-bag, anyone?

Any more info, as sparky says check out the sticky (and arrsepedia if you want a slightly more comical insight to what we do).

Regards,

Jester.
 
#5
Tyche said:
Also - Adventurous Training. Sounds like a huge Army perk, and I'd love to get some skiing/diving/gliding but - without wanting to sound immediately cynical - how much of this would actually be available these days? How often are you allowed out on these things?
It's all there for the taking, you've just got to be prepared to put a bit of effort in yourself. Don't let anyone put you off by saying you're (probably meaning the unit is) too busy. The best way to ensure career long AT is to get an instructional qualification early on so that by the time you're a SNCO, and no longer a priority for attendance, you will be an asset and people will invite you to help them out.

And before anyone starts whinging about how they haven't done any AT for 4 years... Why didn't you jack it up yourself? It's not difficult, it just takes a bit of time and effort.

And in keeping with Av Tech bashing... Do you keep a bag of Werther's Originals in your back pocket for enticing small children?
 
#6
Thanks for all the replies – this board is a positive first impression of the people associated with REME!

Sparky – when you say the training period would be about 20 months, do you include Phase 1 and/or likely holding periods between courses in that?

With regard to the ‘soldiering’, I realise that techs have their job to do, but if I do join the Army and train to be a soldier, it seems a bit of a shame if I never actually fire a shot in anger (though I accept that’s easy for me to say from here).

I’ve read that REME soldiers can apply for P coy – does this apply to the techs?

Good to hear about AT opportunities – having spent a couple of years working on civvy street I’ve found that a fair but of earnings and free time have been spent on doing just the kind of thing the Army appears to offer.

Jester – I had spotted the FRI. I suppose the slight consolation for those falling outside the 7-9 point while the purse is open is that at SSgt pay levels approximately half of the FRI will go back to the government in tax and NI. Hopefully my application will go well and techs will be in painfully short supply in about 9 years’ time!

T
 
#7
Firstly the FRI is what it is - The SSgt bit was a mistake. It will apply to av techs between 7-9 year point, until which time it is seen fit to be removed.

Secondly, for some reason we get techs want to 'do P Coy' and do the All Arms Commando Cse. It used to be that if you served with a Commando unit, you were 'invited' to do the course. For example, with what used to be 3 BAS for the AACC and likewise with what used to be 7 Regt AAC at Netheravon for Para trained personnel. There is no longer such a requirement and getting on these courses is all very well, but it will not benefit any unit as such, should you attempt and pass one.

To that end, if you want to do one of these courses - maybe you should think about joining the RM, or Para Regt?

As for seeming a shame not to 'fire a shot in anger' as you put it - well I shall put that down to being naive for now. It sounds to me like you are better off not applying to be an av tech - because amongst all your questions there isn't a single one that is actually trade related (such as job satisfaction, systems on the AH, how difficult it is to understand etc). Moreover it seems that if you had your way and went on every adv trg ex going as well as every 'glory course' going, no flying unit would see much of you either! If I were you, I'd have a word with your local ACIO and re-evaluate what you REALLY want out of this.

What is it with techs, not wanting to be techs?
 
#8
JesterRIP said:
If you qualify as an avionics tech (or greenie as they are otherwise known) you'll be the envy of everyone, particularly the airborne VMs known as 'blackies' (what you currently know as aircraft techs)... but it's easy to ignore the abuse when you stand shoulder-to-shoulder with God.
How would you know you fcuking heathen? :)
 
#9
mistersoft said:
JesterRIP said:
If you qualify as an avionics tech (or greenie as they are otherwise known) you'll be the envy of everyone, particularly the airborne VMs known as 'blackies' (what you currently know as aircraft techs)... but it's easy to ignore the abuse when you stand shoulder-to-shoulder with God.
How would you know you fcuking heathen? :)
A beautiful example there :p

<snigger>
 
#10
JesterRIP said:
mistersoft said:
JesterRIP said:
If you qualify as an avionics tech (or greenie as they are otherwise known) you'll be the envy of everyone, particularly the airborne VMs known as 'blackies' (what you currently know as aircraft techs)... but it's easy to ignore the abuse when you stand shoulder-to-shoulder with God.
How would you know you fcuking heathen? :)
A beautiful example there :p

<snigger>
Just get back to your work greenie.

Or your dartboard. :lol:
 
#18
JesterRIP said:
...Secondly, for some reason we get techs want to 'do P Coy' and do the All Arms Commando Cse. It used to be that if you served with a Commando unit, you were 'invited' to do the course. For example, with what used to be 3 BAS for the AACC and likewise with what used to be 7 Regt AAC at Netheravon for Para trained personnel. There is no longer such a requirement and getting on these courses is all very well, but it will not benefit any unit as such, should you attempt and pass one.

To that end, if you want to do one of these courses - maybe you should think about joining the RM, or Para Regt?

As for seeming a shame not to 'fire a shot in anger' as you put it - well I shall put that down to being naive for now. It sounds to me like you are better off not applying to be an av tech - because amongst all your questions there isn't a single one that is actually trade related (such as job satisfaction, systems on the AH, how difficult it is to understand etc). Moreover it seems that if you had your way and went on every adv trg ex going as well as every 'glory course' going, no flying unit would see much of you either! If I were you, I'd have a word with your local ACIO and re-evaluate what you REALLY want out of this.

What is it with techs, not wanting to be techs?
Did you join for job satisfaction? If so, why didn't you simply join a civvy engineering company on an apprenticeship? I’ll take a guess that you wanted something more challenging that involved more than just diagnosing faults and carrying out maintenance. If that’s all the Avionics trade has to offer now it’s little wonder it’s a pinch point trade. All work and no play...
 
#19
soldier-w said:
Did you join for job satisfaction? If so, why didn't you simply join a civvy engineering company on an apprenticeship? I’ll take a guess that you wanted something more challenging that involved more than just diagnosing faults and carrying out maintenance. If that’s all the Avionics trade has to offer now it’s little wonder it’s a pinch point trade. All work and no play...
I had a vested interest in military life, and a passion that would see expand beyond my otherwise bleak future of working for British Steel in Port Talbot. That, combined with a good results in physics, maths etc at school made becoming an Avionics tech an obvious choice. As geeky as that sounds, it worked out.

I never said that was all the avionics trade had to offer. I didn't even suggest it. My point was that the OP had said 'avionics', and then went on to ask about everything other than avionics.

But it does puzzle me how some techs out there, almost seem to be a little unproud (if that's even a word) of what they do. When I am out visiting family and friends, I inevitably get asked about various aspects of the job etc, and despite them knowing what I have done for a living for almost 20 years now, they always seem to be impressed. And when I try to play it down (as you do) they remind me of how dull their jobs are by comparison.

And by the way Zapped - since when have greenies EVER been any good at wire locking? We fuck it up deliberately, so the blackies get hacked off and end up doing it themselves :D
 
#20
soldier-w said:
JesterRIP said:
...Secondly, for some reason we get techs want to 'do P Coy' and do the All Arms Commando Cse. It used to be that if you served with a Commando unit, you were 'invited' to do the course. For example, with what used to be 3 BAS for the AACC and likewise with what used to be 7 Regt AAC at Netheravon for Para trained personnel. There is no longer such a requirement and getting on these courses is all very well, but it will not benefit any unit as such, should you attempt and pass one.

To that end, if you want to do one of these courses - maybe you should think about joining the RM, or Para Regt?

As for seeming a shame not to 'fire a shot in anger' as you put it - well I shall put that down to being naive for now. It sounds to me like you are better off not applying to be an av tech - because amongst all your questions there isn't a single one that is actually trade related (such as job satisfaction, systems on the AH, how difficult it is to understand etc). Moreover it seems that if you had your way and went on every adv trg ex going as well as every 'glory course' going, no flying unit would see much of you either! If I were you, I'd have a word with your local ACIO and re-evaluate what you REALLY want out of this.

What is it with techs, not wanting to be techs?
Did you join for job satisfaction? If so, why didn't you simply join a civvy engineering company on an apprenticeship? I’ll take a guess that you wanted something more challenging that involved more than just diagnosing faults and carrying out maintenance. If that’s all the Avionics trade has to offer now it’s little wonder it’s a pinch point trade. All work and no play...
Depends what you mean by play. If you mean working till your eyes bleed for no thanks, being treated like scum by pilots who think they're the best thing since sliced bread, waiting around to have the 700 thrown at you post night flying with "stuff doesn't work!" written on the front page and being expected to move heaven and earth to get cabs on the pan just to be told 5 mins before that they can't fly because they've got the sniffles. Phrases like "sports afternoon" and "poets day" are things from the past. Adventure training is only for the non-deployable because the rest of us are either on ops or training for them. I could go on but I'm starting to get threaders!!
 

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