Potential female joining infantry

Northerngal

Clanker
I will add another consideration; the Royal Signals has a long history of female soldiers and officers, and I've work for and with some outstanding female RSMs and Officers, and had some astoundingly competent female soldiers, and astoundingly awkward ones too. Just like the males.

What the signals does have is an SF regiment, 18 sigs, if you want to do 'combat' then SF is likely the most likely route, and a tour or 2 with 18 Sigs would do future career no harm at all. They would appreciate the language skills also.

If you are a speaker of a language to any significant degree and join any reserve (I still recommend the OTC route), you should be able to go to the defence school of languages, do a test to establish language level and get paid more.

And as I side note, I found learning Japanese easier than French, because the notation was different my brain didn't try to read it as English. Learning mandarin afterwards was more difficult as my brain tried to do Japanese. But my ability in most languages (including English!) Is rudimentary at best.
Oh I wasn’t aware of that with the royal signals! It seems like women have made some great milestones in that branch and I agree that with both genders of course you will get good and bad soldiers and officers - it’s more about the person’s character and attributes

I will have to look at 18 sigs! Didn’t know it existed until now but it seems like it encompasses the combat side i want as well as the linguistic abilities and the fact I would have a trade to benefit and back myself up... the fact that it is an elite special unit also enhances its desirability

I seem to naturally acquire languages and so that may suit me extremely well... I feel like I’d be able to pick up some new languages fairly easily if I attended that school and so of course that would pay off in all areas of life...

I understand what you mean by that...I guess that is the same reason it is easier to take spanish and german for gcse than spanish and french, the two languages are so different they separate more easily in your mind and you don’t get as mixed up... I think the more you speak and as the amount of learning time increases your languages seem to separate themselves into distinct areas of your mind more

You take me as very well written and an extremely talented linguist, I appreciate all the advice.
 

Northerngal

Clanker
If you’re looking to join the marine cadets as an ex sea cadet it’s a great thing to do. Seeing that you show an interest in all the branches with the marine cadets it will offer you an insite into the navy and marines if you wanted. The cadets offer week long experiences down at Raleigh which give you basically a week doing most of the things a sailor would do in training. You get to talk to the training team there and they give you loads of background and advice for if you are wanting to join. I personally did it myself and found it incredibly interesting and informative. Just ask your CO at your local unit try and get onto them ASAP even with lockdown cuz they can get you loaded onto Westminster which means you can access courses quicker.
If you’re lucky depending on how north you are you might end up northern area who are well known to have the best marine cadets.
If you want anymore info let me know.
Yes it does certainly seem like a good insight into both the army and navy! ah that sounds extremely interesting and a great opportunity to sort of try out being a sailor at a young age where i still have time to make a decision... thank you for mentioning it

yes it seems definitely worthwhile to talk to those who have gone through what I might go through - It would be great to personally speak to them and get any advice and tips going forward

oh okay i will make sure to get on that asap then.. sounds like places could be booked up fairly soon so i might as well get in early...

Yes i am pretty far up north and i think i would come under that northern area region you talk about - that sounds great then!

I appreciate your help.
 

Northerngal

Clanker
A thought occurred. I wish more young folks, and their parents, and maybe even some employers would read threads like this. Then perhaps they might form a view that serving one's country is not the reserve of the knuckle-dragging underclass, rather a meritocracy like no other.

It is also much more advanced in diversity than anyone would have you believe. Back in the 70s my first troop ssgt and my admin sgt were both afro-carribean. And I had both black and asian soldiers under command. In the 1970s.

By the mid 1990s, when I commanded my regiment, all trades were open to females. Stevedores, Railwaypersons the lot, not just drivers. They were tough, resourceful and, quite simply part of the team.

Equal pay too.

Imagine my surprise therefore when I left the army and as part of my "what do I do next?" quest was shortlisted for a senior production post in a film production company (no names no pack drill)

Over lunch the CEO sidled over and said that he had enjoyed the discussion we had (interview) but he was worried. They had lots of women in the business he said. And they were not sure how I would get on, having been in the army so long.

I finished my sandwich, made my excuses and left.

As an aside that particular company went to the wall.
A very well made and good point Truxx. I fully agree and think that should have been brought up sooner! My dad was telling me recently it is very ironic that if you went to a job interview a few decades back having joined the army would have been seen as a positive thing and doing a duty for your country - a soldier would be looked upon as having positive characteristics

now that may have changed with certain employers who would discriminate against what they view as ‘army types’ and it may be viewed a negative and hold you back... I think that is extremely wrong and reflects much of the public’s current opinion on the British Army

Credit to Oliver Cromwell on the one good thing he did for the British military - started to form it into a meritocracy rather than holding rank due to high birth and wealth

It certainly does seem extremely multicultural and diverse nowadays - in particular due to all the commonwealth applicants which provides for one to meet a real variety of people

That is simply crazy about that CEO but unfortunately it reflects the attitudes of lots of British people... I wish people didn’t just rely on the latest news headlines and perceptions and instead took the time to understand an entire institution cannot be ‘racist’ or ‘sexist’ - rather individuals within it could possibly be and even then they are in the minority
 

Hollz2412

Swinger
Yes it does certainly seem like a good insight into both the army and navy! ah that sounds extremely interesting and a great opportunity to sort of try out being a sailor at a young age where i still have time to make a decision... thank you for mentioning it

yes it seems definitely worthwhile to talk to those who have gone through what I might go through - It would be great to personally speak to them and get any advice and tips going forward

oh okay i will make sure to get on that asap then.. sounds like places could be booked up fairly soon so i might as well get in early...

Yes i am pretty far up north and i think i would come under that northern area region you talk about - that sounds great then!

I appreciate your help.
No problem. It was a great opportunity and a lot of units have either merchant navy ex navy or reserve staff anyway but the Raleigh trip is the best one if you’re wanting that insight. I think the marine cadets specifically can go down to Lympstone and do something similar aswell if you’re interested in possibly exploring that aswell. Courses do get booked up very fast so my best advice is sent them either a fb message or email to your local unit and explain what you’re aim is and kinda what you want to get out of the cadets and the training officer should tailor it to your needs as your going in slightly older so your not like the younger ones who are just trying to go through the ranks. I personally have also visited different army bases through the sea cadets aswell and spoke to army personnel but this is more rare I was on a first aid training course that happened to take place there.
 

Northerngal

Clanker
Fair play to the OP, and any other young 'un, who has the widest choice of employment in or out of the Services but is still considering joining the infantry, the last or only option for many.

Times change, but the role of the infantry was brought back into stark reality for me whilst reading 'Forward Into Hell', which follows the fortunes of 3 PARA during their Falklands campaign.

The detail of life's privations for the infantryman are timeless.
Enduring the weather, grossly overloaded marches across harsh terrain.
No idea where they are, how far they've walked or how far they have to keep going until they can rest, eat and have a brew.
Trying to keep feet from disintegrating in cold and wet conditions.
Digging in.
Sentry duty.
Load up and march again.

It was 1982, but reads like the Retreat From Moscow.

And the Task Force was the best troops that anyone could muster.

The accounts of the hand to hand fighting on Mt. Longdon leave the reader in no doubt as to how primaeval war for the infantry can become, no matter what the date on the calendar is.

Be careful what you wish for, and good luck.
I understand that many may seek out the infantry as an end or last resort having lost certain other options however in my case I simply may be attracted to what I view as the ‘classic’ soldier combat role, as well as the challenge that it will inevitably be to pursue... for instance since I know academically I have a few options I think to challenge myself I may subconsciously seek a physically demanding role - I’m the sort of person that loves a challenge you see ^_^

I have just read the second paragraph and at risk of sounding quite naive and Ignorant I’ll try to choose my words carefully... I understand that it must have been hell for those men who found themselves in that position and certainly your descriptions of the miserable conditions are harrowing...

I think I understand fully though what I would be getting myself into if I did join the infantry - and that perhaps is the difference which separates an ignorant individual who will regret all their decisions and who goes in expecting comfort from someone who will look back and understand there were some tough times but won’t regret joining

I am fully prepared to expect some sleepless nights, the agonies of carrying heavy weight on my back for miles and the mental turmoil of never knowing when it will end and where the next threat will come from

some would say infantrymen are foolish and crazy for putting themselves through it -
But I think the good experiences and times would hopefully make up for the difficult and more strenuous of moments -
I certainly might come out feeling extremely strong and mentally full of resolve having come through such hard times - or i could end up with PTSD and lifelong injuries - it is just a gamble

I think you made some really important and valuable points which i appreciate and will take into consideration
 

Northerngal

Clanker
You've had loads of good advice on here, from far more intelligent than myself. Although not a female of the species I am on the short side, nearer 5' than 6'. I've never been bothered about my lack of inches, my ego made up for my height deficiency, but it can have drawbacks on the physical side.

Last tour in Borneo in the mid 60's I'd made the mistake of passing a signals cadre. This entailed me carrying not far off my body weight. I weighed in at 9 stone, 126 lbs, with over 100 on my back. I could manage this for 6-7 hours, but after that I began to struggle. When the officer was there, which was most of the time, this never happened. He ensured myself and the bren gunner were relieved so we carried our equipment alternate hours, thus enabling us to last all the patrol. One sgt didn't see it that way, and that's how I found out my physical limit. He wasn't too happy, had the audacity to say I wasn't fit, totally ignoring that he was built like the proverbial, and was carrying only 35 lbs on his back! I offered to run against the fittest man in his platoon until one of us dropped, on our return to Singers. He declined. This will have a bearing on what you can actually do physically.

You're 16 so you have a few more years to grow and fill out before reaching your final height and weight. Regardless of what the sgt thought that day, I had done my best. That is what you have to do, your best. This includes your chosen field, whateffer that may be. Your choice enjoy, and good luck.
Thank you so much for that interesting and valuable anecdote! It is certainly worth noting...

I can imagine it must have been physically hard being put in a position doing PT with much taller men - for instance keeping up on tabbing and runs is apparently harder for those shorter in height...
That’s good to know it never mentally held you back and made you feel limited... great outlook to have

That certainly is a tremendous amount of weight to have carried relative to your size at the time! It must have taken a lot of drive and determination to have kept on going... respect to you

Good thinking of that Officer... didn’t impact the unit or task but relieved you and prevented a potential injury

That is very hypocritical of that sergeant carrying such little weight! Great of you to say that to him - no wonder he declined!

Thanks for the good luck... I agree that despite the odds not being physically in your favour you should make the most of it and build up your body to its full potential to be the strongest you can be...

as a female I know I am naturally at a huge disadvantage and will have to perhaps work twice or thrice as hard to achieve the same results as what a man could naturally achieve through testosterone ect... however I am prepared to try my hardest and go for it... hopefully it works out
 
OP @Northerngal

Good luck whatever you choose to do.

Be good if you could come back on here in the future and let people know how you got on, and what you chose to do.

See a lot of threads on here when people never come back, so we never really know what they did or how it worked out for them.

This site gets a hell of a lot of people using it to gather info and it might help others out that are in a similar situation :thumleft:
 

W21A

LE
Book Reviewer
I’m a little late coming to this discussion @Northerngal - you’ve asked some good questions and received a lot of good answers and advice.

Soldier first vs officer direct. An interesting philosophical question and I’ve heard the arguments for both. However, there is a significant amount of institutional thinking that continues to result in entry paths for officers that do not include the requirement to be a soldier first. If you have the nous to get through AOSB you probably should.

Another philosophical question. You want to do something really badly (e.g. helicopter pilot) but the requirements, or the powers that be, say “no”. So you don’t apply. Should you, or shouldn’t you? And if you do, how?...

My roommate at Sandhurst was Jamaica Defence Force. After we commissioned he went back to Jamaica. After a short while he marched into his Brigadier and asked to go on the fixed wing course at Middle Wallop. The Brigadier’s reply was along the lines of “ha, ha, ha, you and everyone else. Get in line”. Norman was not to be put off. He went to his bank manager and borrowed enough for flying lessons. He then went back to the Brigadier, threw his PPL on the desk and said “I want to go on the fixed wing course at Middle Wallop” (he might have placed the PPL and he might have said “please” ). He told me all this when I met up with him back in the UK about 16 months after we had commissioned. He was on the course...

Context. Quite a few years ago while I was still living and working in Canada, the History Channel used to have a feature spot called Fact and Fiction. They would show both a movie AND a good documentary about the same thing. It was a good way to make sure the viewer understood the true context for the movie. When you are researching using the recommended movies, I further recommend finding and watching related documentaries for context. Dramatization (or glamourisation as it is referred to above) tends to produce consistently entertaining fare. Most movie releases want to make money. If 98% of a movie is boring and 2% is worse than the worst horror movie, it’s not likely to make money.

I agree with the movies recommended. If you have time you should also watch the most excruciatingly B war movies you can find and learn the clichés. Then you’ll at least know when you commit them as a young officer

Good luck!
Therefore I recommend 'The Odd Angry Shot. `
 
now that may have changed with certain employers who would discriminate against what they view as ‘army types’ and it may be viewed a negative and hold you back... I think that is extremely wrong and reflects much o
About the time I was at RMAS, there was an ad campaign for the Short Service Limited Commision (SSLC). 6 months at Mons and 3 years. The ads were attempting to show that various captains of industry considered the SSLC as equivalent to a degree. It didn’t help that the regular commission ads were mentioning the commonly accepted viewpoint that Army officers were either Hooray Henrys or Toffee Nosed Twits...
 
That's all well and good. Some of us may not make it into the future before she starts her career, never mind when the lass finishes it. And I'm not meaning because of corona virus. ;)
Was aimed mainly at the younger people that are considering joining up.

But I'm sure we can rig up a Ouija board to keep you in the loop if you leave us your details chief :thumleft:
 
A very well made and good point Truxx. I fully agree and think that should have been brought up sooner! My dad was telling me recently it is very ironic that if you went to a job interview a few decades back having joined the army would have been seen as a positive thing and doing a duty for your country - a soldier would be looked upon as having positive characteristics

now that may have changed with certain employers who would discriminate against what they view as ‘army types’ and it may be viewed a negative and hold you back... I think that is extremely wrong and reflects much of the public’s current opinion on the British Army.
Depends on the organisation. As a reservist in a Defence related business, in a reasonably senior position (and known for my honesty, no matter who I am talking too, not always an advantage..), I helped shape our ex forces and reserve policy.

Any ex-regular who meets the minimum requirements of the role WILL get an interview. Any serving reservist, ditto.

Any one who applies for our graduate scheme who has done AOSB and equivelents will automatically get to selection centres (where they have an advantage due to the experience of AOSB!).

But then we are a Defence organisation!
 

Northerngal

Clanker
OP @Northerngal

Good luck whatever you choose to do.

Be good if you could come back on here in the future and let people know how you got on, and what you chose to do.

See a lot of threads on here when people never come back, so we never really know what they did or how it worked out for them.

This site gets a hell of a lot of people using it to gather info and it might help others out that are in a similar situation :thumleft:
Thank you for the good luck!

Yes that certainly is a good idea and I will make sure to do so! I would love the chance to help people in a similar position to myself and inspire the next generations of young adults. I certainly learnt a lot from this thread and I feel that many should read it if they have the same questions...

To be honest I am excited myself and eager to find out what awaits for me in life - there are so many paths and options to pursue - at the moment it feels as if the world is my oyster.

This certainly feels like it is the most genuine and informative army-based site so I can understand its popularity... I am sure once I have served I will linger on here and bask in my memories with other ex-personnel, as well as keep in touch with my fellow squadron members hopefully!
 

Northerngal

Clanker
Blimey, knows her history, too.
:study:
haha, I try. I love to explore all aspects of military history as war has always been a huge aspect of societies... we can see it as early as the tribal warfare of the cavemen times and its so interesting to see how it has evolved into the present day...

For instance it was so interesting to learn about the evolution of warfare in World War 1 at school and it seems like that was one of the most harrowing and disturbing wars to have fought in, as the soldiers were completely out of their depth faced with new inventions such as tanks and poison gas having not experienced such tactics before...

Another aspect of war history I found honestly intriguing to learn about despite the obvious horror that everyone experienced is the Vietnam War...the use of booby traps and guerilla warfare against America’s vastly superior weapons contrasted to such a huge extent.
 

Northerngal

Clanker
Depends on the organisation. As a reservist in a Defence related business, in a reasonably senior position (and known for my honesty, no matter who I am talking too, not always an advantage..), I helped shape our ex forces and reserve policy.

Any ex-regular who meets the minimum requirements of the role WILL get an interview. Any serving reservist, ditto.

Any one who applies for our graduate scheme who has done AOSB and equivelents will automatically get to selection centres (where they have an advantage due to the experience of AOSB!).

But then we are a Defence organisation!
That is a great thing to have done for your fellow servicemen and women - it is good to know that some fair employers still exist and will not discriminate for invalid reasons...

some companies are very good like that with their ex-forces policies and others seem to have none in place. I suppose it is just if you get lucky with who you end up working for. Like I heard if one wishes to join the reserve whilst working, many employers are supportive but others don’t wish to support you at risk of you not working as many hours... getting distracted ect...

Your company certainly sounds like it has some great measures in place and like it is a good place to work for. As it is a defence company, I think I understand now why many veterans go on to work in the defence industry...
 
Was aimed mainly at the younger people that are considering joining up.

But I'm sure we can rig up a Ouija board to keep you in the loop if you leave us your details chief :thumleft:

What, like my bank account details? Aye, right. Don't be fooled by the user name. A fool I may be, a complete idiot only on a good day.

By the way, I didn't realise NUT had moved to Nigeria.
 
haha, I try. I love to explore all aspects of military history as war has always been a huge aspect of societies... we can see it as early as the tribal warfare of the cavemen times and its so interesting to see how it has evolved into the present day...

For instance it was so interesting to learn about the evolution of warfare in World War 1 at school and it seems like that was one of the most harrowing and disturbing wars to have fought in, as the soldiers were completely out of their depth faced with new inventions such as tanks and poison gas having not experienced such tactics before...

Another aspect of war history I found honestly intriguing to learn about despite the obvious horror that everyone experienced is the Vietnam War...the use of booby traps and guerilla warfare against America’s vastly superior weapons contrasted to such a huge extent.
A couple of good ones to compare are Wellington and the peninsula campaign vs. Spanish civil war. Some of the same ground fought over with different weapons....an interesting study.
 
What i will put in, stick with it.
Had an incident within the family whilst i was in basic and decided to left training at week 10 to sort everything... a decision that i have regretted almost every day since.
Do your research into the other roles available as at careers office they will likely ask you to choose 3.
look into the training regimen, unit locations and progression, see what sounds ideal for you.
If you just say infantry, they will likely laugh, if you have a decent education and have done well in school, they may try and push you towards a trade they know is priority ( Stick to your guns, dont just go with what they tell you youd do well in )
Look into a few different units within infantry and trades, see what their specific roles are and which route you want to take whilst in, which will give you the most back etc.
At interview they'll tell you to focus on the immediate challenges but will aslo note down that you have certain aspirations and it will come up further down the line.
My Troop CO in Pirbright brought up stuff from my initial interview in my discussion when i handed in my request for DAOR.

Other than that, keep your head down, muck in for everthing you can and remember... "It pays to be a winner" is bullshit.

Regards and Good Luck
 

Northerngal

Clanker
What i will put in, stick with it.
Had an incident within the family whilst i was in basic and decided to left training at week 10 to sort everything... a decision that i have regretted almost every day since.
Do your research into the other roles available as at careers office they will likely ask you to choose 3.
look into the training regimen, unit locations and progression, see what sounds ideal for you.
If you just say infantry, they will likely laugh, if you have a decent education and have done well in school, they may try and push you towards a trade they know is priority ( Stick to your guns, dont just go with what they tell you youd do well in )
Look into a few different units within infantry and trades, see what their specific roles are and which route you want to take whilst in, which will give you the most back etc.
At interview they'll tell you to focus on the immediate challenges but will aslo note down that you have certain aspirations and it will come up further down the line.
My Troop CO in Pirbright brought up stuff from my initial interview in my discussion when i handed in my request for DAOR.

Other than that, keep your head down, muck in for everthing you can and remember... "It pays to be a winner" is bullshit.

Regards and Good Luck
Thanks for all your advice and that really useful anecdote. That’s such a shame that incident arose at such an inconvenient time during basic. I imagine you would have been under so much stress already and so that must have been a real troubling experience. I can completely understand you deciding to leave at the time - i would probably do the same if something important came up

ok thanks for telling me that. I should probably come up with a list of a few options and rank them and focus on 3 major ones
I’ve been trying to research that sort of thing and have a much clearer idea of what i want now which is very helpful
I’ll make sure to summarise that all and try to explain it well to the recruiter

yes another person mentioned they might try to pigeonhole me into filling a certain role or capbadge - i’ll try to be wary of that and be certain of what i want

At the moment i’ve got a shortlist of some ideas but really need to get it down into more detail and explore them all further -
Infantry officer
Infantry soldier and later specialising if i can
Engineer troop officer
Various roles in the royal engineers and then aspiring to taking a para or commando course
Royal signals officer
Medical squadron para support unit
Royal artillery officer
Intelligence officer
And a few others
Also not ruling out looking into the royal marines to be honest

Ah so i take that everything you say even at the early stages has some degree of importance as it could easily be brought up later on and play a part in some decisions - thanks for advising me on that and I will keep it in mind

Thanks for the advice - i’ll certainly do all that and get fully involved in everything -
Heard something about being the ‘grey man’ in training - so not being the best or worst unless its an assessment and is very important and trying not to stand out or call attention to yourself - would you advise that?
 

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