Questions about the Pioneers

Discussion in 'RLC' started by Finck, Apr 27, 2010.

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  1. Hi guys,

    Last week I had an appointment with an ACA about joining the RE as an officer and I was told that all applicants are expected to choose at least two corps or regiments that they would be interested in joining. Having checked the army website I expressed an interest in the RLC, on the basis that the Pioneers are presented as being roughly comparable to the RE (a mix of construction trades and combat training).

    However, I've found some threads in this forum which suggest that the description of the role on the army website may not be entirely accurate and that the Pioneers do not really serve the same purpose as the RE. With that in mind I'd be very greatful for any information you have in answer to the following questions:

    What is life like in the Pioneers?

    What might a career as an officer with the Pioneers involve?

    Would an officer serve exclusively with the Pioneers for the duration of their career or is it a temporary posting?

    How extreme are the differences between the Pioneers and the RE?

    I posted a thread in the RE section asking about surveying opportunities with the army and got some very helpful advice and good responses, so I thought I'd try the same trick again here!!


  2. Stay away, strong rumour has it that the axe is about to fall and it is believed the Pioneers are the ones at the sharp end of it!

    Which is very Ironic!
  3. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    Admittedly its a tough subject to get a decent answer. I know one ex Chunkie Occifer and he was LE. Not sure what I can say about him professionally but he is a good mate and a decent bloke. His main difficulty seemed to be the quality of recruits to the old corps.
    I was offered Junior Leader in the LI or the RPC as in 1981 with 3 million on the dole the selection centre could fill whatever vacancies it wanted. Not one JL Chunkie in the Shornecliffe intake and none passed out during my year there. Pity that family pride made me go county regt as the skills courses and trades would have been very usefull and the Chunkies were in my eyes the in fill to the RE construction boys, less techy but definetly driving plant etc.
  4. Siince you have managed to logon to a PC, find the internet, and post a well presented thread, proves that you are over qualified for the Pioneers.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Easy shudders at the thought of a Female Pnr Pl Comd that he met once

  6. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    Ooooh, sounds like something nice and juicy. Do tell, I promise not to pass it on :twisted:
  7. It and I use the term literally IT had an Under Cut and was comissioned!!! Thank god I didnt do the deed but if it had of occured I dont think I would have much choice. She was more butch and masculine than a butch masculine thing on steriods

  8. Is there a strong liklihood that they're going to be disbanded? It's not a major concern because there's other roles within the RLC I'm interested in (ATO in particular) but it'd put a nice big hole through my idea of getting some construction experience with the army if I don't get into the RE!!

    Thanks for the insight - it sounds like the Pioneers might not be quite as bad as some of the posts on this forum suggest. Do they get decent trade training or is it quite lacklustre?
  9. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    I seem to recall that some places on the RE courses were taken by Chunkies. That said the chap I know ran his own reasonably successful environmental consultancy for a few years before taking the company shilling and working for a bigger firm!
  10. My advice would be that if you are considering the RLC as an option then it should be because of a general interest in matters G4. If civils are what you are interested in (and what you are doing a degree in) then press for the RE. Look at it this way - the RE will do the major engineering tasks and project planning and management the Pioneers will provide some of the labour. If you are setting up a major camp it will be the RE that survey the site, establish the infrastructure, put in the M&E, HVAC and plant, and that sort of thing. They rely a lot on modular buildings and structures that are put in place by major contractors like G3 Systems (run mostly by ex-RE blokes anyway) and will manage them through the project. The Pioneers will dig the foundations, build the bogs, fill the sandbags, put up a few walls.

    Most of the chunkie officers I know are LEs and the prospects for career advancement in that professional strand are somewhat limited in comparison to the trogs, bomb doctors, PetOps, or blanket stackers.
  11. Woopert is right, if you want to get involved in construction properly join the RE. Whilst the website may say they get bricklaying/carpentry/etc qualifications the quals themselves are pretty parp. It's more along the lines of the 2 week courses which you see advertised in the back of Soldier mag. A Sapper will spend over a year doing his class 2 and class one trade courses. Do you think that a 6 week course suddenly turns a pioneer into a fully qualified bricklayer?
  12. Pioneers do the Bath and Laundry dont they???
  13. edited for wrong-end-of-pineappleness
  14. Well, I'm sure that a pioneer will be along shortly (easily spotted by the crayon)
    As a ex Pioneer I will say that your first posting may well be the Pioneers, but after that you're just another RLC officer.
    I had two top blokes as tp cmdrs, one ex ranker and one older than average one pip, lost sight of the ex-ranker but the other bloke came back to command a Sqn.
    They both did PCBC, but that was when we all did inf ph2.
    Not sure if they still do PCBC.
    Incidentally an ex Pnr officer was recently on that RLC in Afghan thingy (the OC) he was my PC in Bosnia. (not on the top bloke list)
  15. There's a difference between Assault Pioneers and the Pioneers that the OP is talking about, aus. Assault Pioneers are part of an infantry battalion and trained to provide basic engineering support, as you said. RLC Pioneers are somwhat different - they carry out labour tasks army-wide, provide HQ and 3rd line defence, are trained to handle the dead etc etc.

    To the OP: like plant_life has said, if you want to learn a construction trade, join the RE. The chunkies are a good bunch of lads (for the most part) but it takes more than a few weeks to learn to be a chippy or a brickie.