Paras, LI, & RGJ

Hi guys,

Thought I'd barrage you all with a further set of questions in regards to regiments.

First of all, I want to be in the infantry, and more to the point, I've been looking at the paras, LI, and RGJ.

Now I know a fair amount about the paras(as any sun reader would!! :lol: ) and I'm aware that the LI sent a couple of companies to augment 7th armoured in Iraq. However, I've been hearing rather negative things concerning the RGJ's.

I've been told that for a while, they had to be pulled off ops as there seemed to be a rather serious drug problem in the barracks, though this is only second hand information, so I'd appreciate some imput from guys on here to what they know, and whether or not this is or is not bull!!

Thanks in advance guys

Problems were caused by officers who were doing drugs to try and dumb themselves down to Para level but not even Guards officers could afford that much coke, meanwhile the 'Arfurs' were still trying to work out why nobody could understand their funny yokel accents. :twisted:
Well structured comments and just what this guy needs in answer to a genuine enquiry. Get yourself back to the TA Board, or stop messing around wih the school computer.
Well structured comments and just what this guy needs in answer to a genuine enquiry. Get yourself back to the TA Board, or stop messing around wih the school computer.


Book Reviewer
BigCheese said:
First of all, I want to be in the infantry, and more to the point, I've been looking at the paras, LI, and RGJ.

Now I know a fair amount about the paras(as any sun reader would!! :lol: ) and I'm aware that the LI sent a couple of companies to augment 7th armoured in Iraq. However, I've been hearing rather negative things concerning the RGJ's.

....aiming low then :) ? Thought of Lympstone? Or did you fail the POC ?

( this place must be demn short of Booties if it's up to a battered ol' Goat to rise to this juicy bait....)

<< Quel Ordinateur? On n'ya pas 'ci....>>

Le Chevre ( failed POC CTCRM 1984 - full-set in the way)
I'm sponsored by the Light Div at the moment, and have been on several attachments with both the RGJ and the LI. So, there is a definite limit on how much I can say about them, not actually being a part of them myself!
However, I found both Regiments to be an excellent group of people. RGJ soldiers tend to come more from the cities, LI more from the country, and the Officers generally follow suit.
I heard the same rumours about the Greenjackets. (Officers are wannabe Guards Officers, etc.) It's all cr@p. I found the guys in the Mess to be very welcoming, and were eager to help or give advice on anything you asked. Somewhere, you might find the jumped-up-public-school-boy-with-flea-up-his-arse. Try not to be this person. Luckily, I've only met one, and he was decent enough...
RGJ known as the "Black Mafia" due to large numbers of ex-Greenjackets making up a large proportion of top brass a few years ago. Also rumours that many of them are Freemasons too...
LI known as the "Arfurs" due to the fact their cap-badge, the Bugle, makes up the centre of the RGJ's cap-badge, meaning they only have "Arf a cap-badge."
The Light Div march at a quicker pace, and it seems they try to incorporate a lot of the same "quicker-ness" (you know what I mean!) into much of what they do generally.
Anyway, like I said, only an outsider's point of view. Hope it helps in some way though.
As an outsider I'll add my twopence ha'penny worth. I have heard that the RGJ take themselves very seriously socially, and are just a half step below the Guards with regard to the 'type' of officer they will accept - a good infantry regiment nonetheless. The Light Infantry I have heard nothing but good things about, and their being in the recent biffing match out east has only enhanced my view of them. The Paras are a good lot to be in from a young officer's career viewpoint (I imagine), as being such a large unit promotion would be relatively fast and their history of deployments can only help and enhance a career - well, it didn't do Gen. Sir Mike Jackson any harm. Aside from that, if they are anything at all like the men of Darwin/Goose Green then they are tough infantrymen to the nth degree (also more likely to be deployed to hot spots).

I cannot comment on the question of drugs, but I wouldn't imagine any unit has a monopoly on this particular problem.

Am I completely wide of the mark with the above views?
Big Cheese...........forget the Parachute Regiment, we dont want you :lol:

In all honesty I have no idea what the RGJ or LI are like the only time I came across either unit was when we played the enemy for a big TA exercise way back in 1986 (i think) and even then it was the TA Light Inf regiment so I can't really comment.

As for Para Regt............if you get in there you will love it. (but I would say that wouldn't I :wink: )

...............BTW forget the Marines........they speak funny and don't wash.
gallowglass said:
their history of deployments can only help and enhance a career - well, it didn't do Gen. Sir Mike Jackson any harm.
:D my old CO............fcuking top top top man......can't speak highly enough of him........excellent bloke. (even if he did jail me for 28 days :lol: ). BTW he kicked off his miltary career in the Int Corps


Book Reviewer
Eggbanjo said:
...............BTW forget the Marines........they speak funny and don't wash.
not being a cabbage hat, it's not for me to take up this outrageous slur on behalf of << THE Corps>>....suffice to say that Marines don't differentiate between Paras and craphats - they're all pongoes as far as RM are concerned ! ( As in ' Where the Army goes,the pong goes' )

Longtime back when Nanny was a baby, I did a port defence exercise with (TA) Paras and,next year, (regular) Marines as Orange force...paras did a 3am frontal assault along a shingle beach with ladders against a 20 foot concrete bastion being fired on the whole way by Kite-equipped defenders in loopholes....Marines donned ship's overalls,walked through a check point and left a cocoa tin labelled 'Bomb' taped to the port manager's safe.....oh how we larfed.

Contrast: 'combat life expectancy - 4 hours' with 'Not by strength,but guile'

( always makes me smile when my Ma-in law sees Brigade of Guards doing their ceremonial thang - same comment every time, inherited from her Dad, a HOOD marine in the 30's......

' Guards, huh!.....couldn't make a straight line with a ruler...... ) :wink:

<< En avant les chasseurs!>>

Le Chevre
If you want to see active service sooner rather than later, Para Reg is the way to go. I met a guy in Warminster who had been with 2 PARA for four and a half years and had five operational medals...not bad, really but much to my amusement he did not get the Golden Jubilee Medal. There have been mutterings about the number of high profile deployments of the Paras and Marines of late: the pendulum may be swinging in favour of other mere infantry units: as mentioned above 1LI have had some good press ( and displayed a high level of operational shooting :wink: ) in Iraq very recently. It may be that decent Infantry units get used more for the high profile jobs in the future: RGJ and LI are both very capable.

The Black Mafia are a very fashionable Regiment but at the moment both Battalions are in a place far from sand and will be there for the next year or two. If you want to become expert in Urban patrolling you will be accomodated there..

Nothing really against the Arfers, but they do seem to have a bit of a chip on their shoulders because they are not RGJ.

Paras tend to have very high standards ( hurts me to say it, lets just say that I march faster than they do ) and the quality of soldier you have under you will be very high - even if they might, on occassion, get into the odd punch up or seventeen. Your Platoon sargeant / CSM etc will shepherd you away from all of this..what the eye dont see, and all that.

Does the standards on entry mean that it is easier to command them? Maybe, but you will be on "Show Parade" all the time.

Anyway, enough meandering. If you want some high profile action sharpish, Para. RGJ are doing an essential but non glamorous job at the moment: LI are less sexy but acquiting themselves well.
2 clicks, FYI I have good friends as Officers in reg Para Reg and have lots of time and respect for them but on a Friday afternoon I like to have a bit of a laugh, suggest you try to do same and not take things so seriously, you'll do yourself an injury!
All good advice but under FIS it may well mean little in the forthcoming yedars. The Lt Div (comprising both the RGJ and LI....and soon to be elements of 1D&D and bits of the M4) will it seems most likely go large/large and so a young buck would be joining one of 5 Bns of the Rifle Regt (or whatever it ends up being called). Rumour abounds...but the decision to join the Lt Div is a conscious decision. From personal experience they are a thoroughly good bunch and the RGJ enjoy a very close relationship between soldier and officer, borne out of the 'thinking and cocky' soldiers they attract. Some RGJ as correctly said can be up their own a*ses and those that are will soon be left behind by the more capable whatever the background...but they do look after their own.

Good can do a lot worse than the Lt Div...and I'm not even onev of them!
The PARAs will let you see more of the world than you really want to and more of the exciting kit. OTH you are more likely to get "broken" and less llikely to learn much about the other parts of the army e.g. G1, G2, G4, G5, etc.

Least likely to be found doing any significant amount of marching about in neat lines.
Significantly if the last D Inf in his paper on FIS is worth believing the most successfull and employable officers will come from backgrounds where they have experience in a variety of roles and environments. It therefore makes sense to go for the Lt Div over the Paras as they will offer Mech, AI, Lt, Cyprus and possibly the lt cdo role if that comes off.

Go to the Paras and you could be guarding a FARP and warming the sleeping bag of an Apache pilot. BREADTH NOT DEPTH.
I think the Light Division has always been a cut above the rest ever since they were originally formed by Sir Hohn Moore in the early 1800s. They are different to the rest of the Army and from what I have seen of them don't need to go around shouting how good they are - their ethos is one of relaxed effeciency and this comes across whenever you see them. They are a thinking soldiers organisation and don't expect their soldiers to act like lemmings.

There is a difference between the 2 and joining either is a good move. Soldiers are treated with respect and the quality of officers is traditionally excellent.

When I was in Kosovo 2 LI deployed there at short notice and served in the capital with RMs - you could tell who had the most experienced soldiers (not the RMs). I'll never forget a cross country competion that was run shortly after their arrival - where they came in ahead of 45 Cdo and their CO came in 3 overall - now that was scarey!

As a final note - remember it was the Oxs and Bucks LI who captured the Caen River Bridges by a fantastic glider operation and were relieved by the 7th (Somerset LI) Para Bn - something that the Para's of today always seem to forget.

The Paras are also good - it depends what you want out of life (brains or brawn). The one good thing going for the Paras is the fact that the media like the maroon beret. It looks good for the camera's and going to them will certainly get you to see the world. Saying that, the LI and RGJ have been everywhere over the last few years and so don't just read the headlines.

The best thing to do is go and visit and make up your own mind.
Big cheese,

I feel that I may be able to help here. I'm serving PARA (so I'm partisan but I promise to remain objective) and have been involved with the instruction of YOs of all capbadges recently.

Despite what many may say - I'd say that it is a safe bet that you'll get plenty of tours under your belt whichever you choose (LI, RGJ or PARA)...recently I think that most will agree that the PARAs have had the Lion's share - but there's no reason to assume that it will stay that way, in fact it seems to be changing again right now. When I joinned I was asked: "why join the PARAs and spend your whole time on Ireland tours while the rest of the army go to the Balkans, etc"'s all wild speculation I've since been on Ops all over, including all three of Balkan countries I was told I'd never see. I would say that the nature of PARA Ops tend to be different...a larger proportion are shorter entry Ops (and NEOs if you include Sierra Leone) which I'm glad for as they are shorter! You will still do your fair share of 6 monthers though. Equally the LI and RGJ can be employed as Spearhead Lead Element(SLE), so no fixed rules apply.

As for personalities: there is little difference in the officers mess, you're bound to have a laugh where ever you go. I got on especially well with the RGJ YOs and fellow instructors during my last job - very level headed bunch. That said I do feel I made the right choice for the time I've served, but as implied earlier it's luck and timing.

Now the contentious bit: Soldiers and NCO's wise there really is a big difference expecially at Tom level this is proven regularly at the Inf Bat Sch by the quality of students coming from the PARAs and by other equally independent means such as SF selection pass rates (sorry all other capbadges but the statistics don't lie). Oh, they aren't thick either, contrary to popular belief - if you have as many potential recruits as the PARAs do(or did) you can pick the more intelligent can be brought on later. Saying that, the PARA Toms may be professional, fit etc, but they'll keep you well occupied with G1 dramas (the're aggressive on and off duty) and you'll really have to prove yourself or they'll walk all over you as a YO.

There were some comments about role and future prospects - I don't really agree that the PARAs will disadvantage you (I suppose that I wouldn't) but 16Bde is as joint/combined etc as any organisation and I'm sure that DSF will be the same for 1 PARA. You can always take short postings out of any Regiment anyway - I served with Armoured Inf on Ops in Bosnia for example. So don't think that you're fixed in place once you've selected your Regiment.

Be aware also that - You will find very high numbers of applicants for PARA at RMAS compared to LI or RGJ.

To sum - I think Balkanexpress got it right by saying that you need to visit them all.

I fear this did become a bit of a pro-PARA argument, inevitable really: we all get very tribal whatever your capbadge. But, I can assure that the RGJ and LI that I've dealt with are good blokes so I would not dissuade you from them at all.

Essay finished: Good luck
parasite_rex said:
Be aware also that - You will find very high numbers of applicants for PARA at RMAS compared to LI or RGJ.
I am intimately involved in this process and you would be surprised how many potential PARA officers get turned off because of the 'competition' factor, in fact the Infantry as a whole, although filling all their slots, are not taking the cream in the way they arguably should be.

I would recommend to anyone considering the infantry to take two infantry choices as far forward as you can. I understand that the PARA Regt Selection Board look poorly on officer cadets who cannot justify why they have PARA and AGC(ETS) as their two choices as opposed to PARA and another INF option.

The competition for LI and RGJ will be increased in the near future due to their coalescence with the D and D and RGBW. Effectively doubling the regimental connections.

Competition for the infantry remains high yet with a certain amount of doubt as to the future of certain regiments many more OCdts are lining themselves up for regts with a more certain future.

If my opinion is of any value, visit both/all three as much as you can and get a feeling for what you actually like rather than what you think you will like. If you cannot stand being in the room with certain officers your life will be miserable in your regiment of choice.

parasite_rex said:
Now the contentious bit: Soldiers and NCO's wise there really is a big difference expecially at Tom level
As far as the difference in soldier - I agree with parasite rex to a certain extent. Soldiers naturally join different regiments for different reasons. Believe it or not some soldiers actually choose not to join the Parachute Regiment(!). What I admire, if that is the right word, is that PARA soldiers can express what their regimental ethos is whereas many do not understand the concept let alone express their particualr regt's version. That is a strong indicator of a regt's feelings of self worth and raison d'etre.

It will take a lot of planning and insider knowledge to pick a regiment that will bounce you from op tour to op tour. Sgts and CSgts in my regiment are currently knocking about with GRANBY, GRAPPLE, NI, FRY, KOSOVO and IRAQ medals. Over a short period some regts get all the luck, but over a full career at RD most regiments seem to get their fair share of good ops.
A good deal of waffle on the previous pages. I got very bored and skipped most of it. Listen fella, don't listen to people telling you where to go and who is better, blah, blah, blah. The main issue is the fact that whatever Regt you join, you will be living with those chaps for the next few years at least. Go on as many visits as possible and spend time getting to know the sort of vibe in the mess. If you enjoy it and you think you will fit in then join that bunch.

I would not fit into a Guards' Mess and thus did not even consider them. (I also don't own vast tracts of Sussex and was never buggered at school.) I joined my current Regt because on a visit I realised that everyone else in the Mess was as pikey as me but very professional.

Get around and find a Regt that suit your social group.

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