Potential Transferees

For anybody who saw the original incarnation of this thread - my apologies. Technical fault!

There are numerous threads where Potential Transferees (PT) have asked questions with regards to the process and requirements for an application to change capbadge to the Intelligence Corps (INT CORPS). The other (very informative) stickied threads on INT CORPS selection are directed at those considering joining as Direct Entry (DE), and I understand fully that PT's have different questions that often cannot be answered by their Chain of Command (CoC) or even their Regimental Career Management Officer (RCMO).

What I've done here is attempt to clear up some of the myths and inaccuracies, as well as perhaps offer a little encouragement to those considering it. I speak as a recent transferee (within the last two years) from another Corps, as well as somebody who often advises PT's.

NOTE - This thread is no way designed as a simple YES or NO ticksheet. It is neither endorsed nor official. It should not be considered as a supplement to the advice you will glean from talking directly to the Intelligence Corps Recruit Selection Team (ICRST). I hope it does encourage some of those with questions to speak to the team.

Additionally, the guidelines for recruiting PT's are just that - guidelines. If you don't fit exactly within these parameters it does not mean that an application is hopeless. If you don't ask you don't get.

I would encourage anyone with an interest to pursue an application.

It is not necessarily a well-known fact that at a time when the British Army is downsizing to 82,000 personnel, the INT CORPS is actively recruiting both DE and PT applicants. The INT CORPS fully recognises the skills that can be introduced by PT's, both those who have worked within or beside the Intelligence community and those who have had no formal involvement or background.

Although the INT CORPS is actively looking to recruit at CPL and SGT level, there are still opportunities for those outside these ranks who display the necessary attributes.

The first official step, as always, is to approach your current CoC. Ensure you have done your background reading, that you understand what the INT CORPS does and what part it plays in the wider picture. No CoC is likely to take an application to transfer seriously (or view it sympathetically) if the applicant hasn't bothered his arse in the first instance. You will appear to be making the decision on a whim.

Your CoC should request you to be interviewed by your RCMO, who again will want to ensure that you fully understand the implications of transfer, and who might also be interested in your motivation for doing so. Prepare properly for any such interview. The CoC and RCMO might not be able to deny your application, but if you impress them and have them onside you might find the procedure decidedly easier.

For instance, I was extremely lucky to have a CoC who fully supported my application because I arrived at my interviews well prepared, explained my motivations for looking outside my current Corps for employment and was honest and polite throughout the procedure. I explained why I believed I wasn't fulfilling my potential within my Corps. I also ensured that it was clear to my CoC that my interest in transferring was in no way an insult to the Corps I was currently a part of. Finally, I made a point of not slacking off in my job even after my application had been successful.

Because of this, my CoC went well out of their way to help me out. In fact, they moved heaven and earth when it looked unlikely that my transfer was to be considered. They even organised several trips to local Intelligence Sections for informal chats and shadowing sessions. They did this off their own back, and still stay in touch.

Never burn your bridges - even after you won't be needing them. I still enthuse about that CoC, and perhaps because of them still feel very close to my former Corps. I've even advised some of those soldiers looking to leave the INT CORPS during training to consider going in that direction.

Your RCMO will instruct you to fill out an AFB 241 Application for Transfer. Fill this form out carefully, and include ALL relevant detail. Furthermore, ensure that you attach ALL documents that it states are required. Attention to detail is key in the INT CORPS. Failing to furnish the INT CORPS with all the information it asks for is only going to delay your application. Make a good first impression by getting things right.

This paperwork will be dispatched to your desk officer at APC Glasgow, and it will eventually make it to the INT CORPS desk. This is the first of many paper sifts.

At this point I'm going to state the four GUIDELINE STIPULATIONS for a PT. For your application to survive the paper sifts a PT should:

1) Be medically categorised as FE.
2) i) PTE/LCPL must hold 5 GCSE grades between A and C, to include Maths and English
ii) CPL and above must hold 3 GCSE grades between A and C, to include Maths and English
NOTE - Numeracy and Literacy levels (as tested at any Army Education Centre) will be considered as GCSE equivalents.
3) Have been resident within the UK (less postings/tours) for the past 10 years.
4) Be of ONLY British citizenship.

At this point I will reiterate the point I made earlier. Just because you do not fall strictly within all of these parameters DOES NOT MEAN that you will be rejected out of hand. If you have desirable skills or experience then you may still be considered. There are dual-nationals serving within the INT CORPS.

A caveat that the INT CORPS also holds is that you must be able to attain Developed Vetting (DV) status. As with all DE entrants, the INT CORPS can remove you from training and RTU you at any point if it appears likely that DV is not possible.

The next step is that you will be invited to attend a Specialist Interview. This will be conducted over 2 days at DISC, Chicksands.

The Specialist Interview is your chance to show off to the INT CORPS what you have to offer. You will be issued joining instructions which will guide you in how to prepare. I cannot provide any advice other than to prepare as fully as possible.

I will, however, say this.

For the most part, the INT CORPS does not care if you have an Intelligence background. It does not care if you are the fittest man, or if you hold a degree in International Relations, or if you speak a dozen languages. These factors can play their part, but the INT CORPS is assessing YOU and your potential to be successful in the job that we do.

From a very junior level an Operator is expected to be knowledgeable, extremely literate and to be able to deliver briefs to a Tom or a General. An Operator needs to be confident and articulate, because the brief you deliver from your intelligence will influence actions. The people you brief need to be confident that YOU are confident. This is the true bread and butter of the job.

Briefing is a skill that can be learnt, but is one that might come far more naturally to some than to others. The same applies to effective report writing. You will be taught these skills but it is your responsibility to nurture them so that they become well-honed and natural.

The Specialist Interview is not a pass/fail event insofar as it does not report back to say "This applicant is good." or "This applicant is dogshite." It is a fair review of how you perform. How do you carry yourself? Are you believable? Would I want this man briefing me on what to expect prior to a potentially explosive patrol?

Parts of the selection also test personal attributes that cannot be nurtured. Some things are instinctive, and this will be tested to an extent.

If you do not attempt the selection process then you will never know. Being unsuccessful merely means that the INT CORPS has not recognised in you the ability to be trained in and utilise a very specific skill-set. There is no shame in this, in exactly the same way that my short legs mean I must take two strides to cover the distance of your one. But if you do have the ability then the INT CORPS will help show you how to use it.

Well, that's my starter for ten.

I will update this post and thread as and when appropriate.
Once again, I am honoured!

And as before, I will be updating/editing this thread in line with any mistakes that are pointed out, and to answer any specific questions posed.

I do hope it's useful to anybody who has been considering the leap.
Very useful and informative, thank you.

Do you have a rough time scale for the transfer process, i.e. from PT initial expression of interest to Phase 2 training date?
That is in the hands of the Gods.

The timing from flash to bang depends on how long it takes your CoC and RCMO to action your paperwork, then how long it takes your desk at Glasgow to investigate your situation. If you are warned off for deployment then your capbadge can delay your application.

The INT CORPS side is very efficient and well-managed. Once they've received your application they will immediately assess your suitability and invite you down for a Specialist Interview as soon as is feasible. The SI's are run fairly frequently, and successful applicants aren't kept waiting any longer than is necessary.

You application may also see delays if there are additional vetting issues to be considered. The sooner you submit your application the sooner the ball can start rolling.
Excellent thread. How are you finding your time in the Int Corps nowadays? Is it what you hoped that it would be?
In a word, yes.

I loved my time in the REME, and looking back now it is very easy to see the difference in Corps Ethos between the two capbadges. That is not to say that either is any better, just that they are so very different in every way.

I changed capbadges for professional reasons, basically boiling down to the fact that I found the lack of diversity in trade with the REME quite an issue. I had no real interest in Engineering, no passion. Although it was recognised my both myself and my CoC that I was a perfectly competent tradesman, and that I could quite possibly have made a career of it, my lack of genuine interest (and just as importantly, my interest in other areas) made it clear that I should look elsewhere if I wanted to make the very most of my career.
I worked alongside men and women who lived, breathed, slept, cried and bled Engineering. Young lads and lasses who would have been civvy mechanics or technicians had they not worn the uniform. People who had a genuine love for fixing and maintaining equipment, who got a real buzz from fault-finding, and who knew no greater pride than seeing kit drive away in a serviceable state.
I didn't get that feeling, for me it was just going through the motions. As far as I am concerned, that lack of passion meant that I would never be a GREAT tradesman, and that did irk me. But it was just who I was. Those people belong in the REME and they do a fantastic job, and despite it all I was only ever going to play second-fiddle to them.

Jumping ship to the INT CORPS was the right decision for me. I feel myself far more suited to the challenges thrown at me from this direction, rather than the challenges I faced with the REME. I genuinely enjoy being a part of the processes and systems that we use. I enjoy learning every single day, I look forward to the prospect of mastering new skills and techniques, and I look forward to investigating my options into specialising within one of the many disciplines we concern ourselves with.

It does depend entirely upon the person. The INT CORPS is not everything it is sold as, and (paradoxically) it is so much more.
Have PM'd you Sheepay
As an update;

Being the author of both this and the MIL LING thread, which CR honoured me by sticky-ing, I feel it fair I add this little bit.

I have since been contacted by many, many bods, both direct entry and transferees, with a view to working in both MIL LING and OPMI trades.

All I have furnished with answers to questions. A surprising number I have actually had the pleasure of meeting in person during their Specialist Interview. Some I have subsequently met whilst undertaking their courses after having successfully negotiating Phase 1 training. I have advised all of them not to let it be known that they have had contact with this particularly dark sheep!

More surprising is the substantial number of officers who have read the POTENTIAL TRANSFEREE thread and contacted me with a view to sending their lads to me for a chat. I mentioned in that thread the opinion of my OC, who claimed he would 'rather keep a good lad in the Army, than have a good lad leave because he didn't enjoy his trade.' A lot of the lads I've subsequently spoken to have offered this as an almost direct quote from their Officers. I like to believe that this is because we have a lot of good officers, but I also like to believe that perhaps that (excellent) OC's mentality had something to do with it.

To everyone who has read this - I hope it helped. I know it has helped a lot of people due to the feedback I receive via PM, and the number of people I've met and helped since. I arrived at my current unit to find another capbadge attached, who had been posted here (as an 'in-house familiarisation) as a result of passing selection after corresponding with myself.

The power of ARRSE. I for one have always used it as a genuine resource, there are diamonds to be found amongst the rubble, and it has helped me enormously in the past, if only for general background knowledge.
I'm a bit out of the loop... But not so far that I have failed to hear a rumour of a severe curtailment of the number of transferees per year. Is this gen or duff?

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There are not enough Cpl/Sgts currently, recruiting of these ranks is unlikely to be affected if indeed there is a policy to control (or reduce) those transferring.
That is easily fixed. There is a surplus of OPMI WO2s, many of which should never have gone past Sgt, revert them back to a more appropriate rank and you have killed two birds with one stone. ;-)
That is easily fixed. There is a surplus of OPMI WO2s, many of which should never have gone past Sgt, revert them back to a more appropriate rank and you have killed two birds with one stone. ;-)

My my, how very brave!
Sheepay - clawing his way up the ladder against all odds.
There is an overall reduction of numbers coming into the Corps (Direct Entrant and Transferee) as the Corps manning ceiling has been defined as part of A2020. Any Regular Army growth as a result of FR2020 is at WO and Officer level. The four squads of 50 coming through Templer a year has been lowered to just three squads (I don't know the figures for how many in the squads but it is less than 50) and the number of transferees required has also dropped. It is a natural order sort of thing.

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