Questions and decisions to make regarding choices in the RA

Discussion in 'Gunners' started by stu_j, Feb 12, 2010.

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  1. Hi everyone, first of all, sorry for the long post! but anyway...

    I originally posted this into the 'joining up' forum, and was told that it would be more useful if I was to post it in here, as you guys would be able to help give more of an insight into what i'd be doing in specific roles within the RA!

    I'm a 20 year old lad in a decent job. However, due to my adventurous nature working for Network Rail really doesn't satisfy me!

    I have 7'cs (gcse) and scored 75 on the barb test, as well as having fair few nvqs, btecs etc in engineering, so it's my understanding that I can pretty much choose what i'd like to apply for without too many restrictions in terms of being under qualified.

    Although I have engineering quals, I'd like to go into something other than the engineers in the army.

    I would apply for para's, but despite me having above average fitness I don't believe i'd be fit enough for it... at least not for a while, so after weighing up my options i've decided to look at going into the Royal Artillery, as far as i'm aware this seems a decent mix of technical/fighting, though I may be wrong?? The fact I spent 3/4 years in the artillery in army cadets (far different than 'real' army I know!) may also contribute to this decision.

    I've sprawled through the forums for hours looking for help regarding decisions (yes, i did use the search button!) but it's difficult to find out exactly what i'd like to know, so here's hoping you lads could help me out.

    I'm already in the application process and am just waiting on my doctor sending off the forms before I have an interview. Now for my first choice I have put down 'Gunner UAV Operator', yet I have not listed a second or third choice.

    I'm going to the careers office on Monday to put some of my additional choices down but I really can't decide atm. It's almost a choice between MLRS, AS90 and Rapier, though if I was to know more about something else which may interest me then i'd look at doing something else. From what i've read, being in a FST sounds like it could prove fun/challenging and is something I like the sound of. In this case, what is it one would recommend me applying for in the RA? Would being a UAV operator prove too 'dull' for me or am I wrong in suggesting so?


    The main questions about these choices, in particular with the UAV operator are;

    -Will I be sent to Afghan?
    -Will I also be carrying out patrols?
    -Will I see much 'action'?
    -Is this a 'boring' choice?

    Reasons being that I want to be doing all of these really, and would find myself being disappointed if I signed up just to be bored off my arse and without even firing a weapon, as well as without doing my fair share of tours.

    If the answer to these is 'Yes!' then as a second and third choice, what would you suggest for me to put down out of the previously mentioned selctions?

    If the answer to all of these is 'NO!' then could you tell me what I would be doing in each/either of these (without just re-directing me to the army jobs site which I can assure you I have raped!) and possibly recommend something else for me to apply for instead of UAV should you think it sounds not right for me? I've considered infantry but i'd like to be doing something slightly different than all out fighting, unless I was to go into the para's which I have already mentioned.

    If anyone on here could help me out i'd be very, very greatful as it would sure as hell help me a lot! Been searching for answers for a long while now, and the careers office seem fairly limited in terms of knowing about individual trades other than what they have done themselves.

    Thanks alot, hope ya's can help!

  2. Well since you have not got a reply from anybody who probably knows more on the subject than me yet ill jump in with my two cents

    I spent about 4 years as a UAV OP working on both Phoenix and Desert hawk before jumping ship to close support regiment and re roleing to FST.Both roles are demaning in there own special way and being a UAV Op does not mean you wont get out on the ground as a UAV bty has a TAC group that will deploy on the ground for ops and im aware that TUAV tac groups deploy on MOGs and to FOBs an PBs.This was the case when I was in this role and probably still is now.

    As for the FST role you will be an Integral part of the battle group/OMLT you are supporting that means eating sleeping farting fighting and staging on with them.Yes it can be abit cheeky at times but its worth it.People always told me that that being an OP ACK was the best job in the Royal Regiment if not the army and I must say from my point of view there correct.

    Both roles are demanding and very diffrent and I never found either dull
  3. Hi Stu.
    Welcome to Arrse..;)
    With regards to the RA, have you considered a commision as an officer?
    With your quals you should have no problems etc, just another angle to consider maybe.
    Just think of the long term career optioned open for you mate.
    With regards to the UAV angle, you will most certainly be deployed overseas as they are a vital information gathering tool for the modern multi platformed warfare we are fighting.

    At the end of the day it's your career choice, but best of luck for the future.
    If you want any more info etc, please pm me.
  4. Thanks a lot for that mate, nice to have an opinion from someone who was actually in the role themselves!

    Some nice info there.

    So did you enjoy your time as a UAV Op, would you recommend it to anyone? Also, how easy/difficult is it to change jobs (i.e close support) should I decide upon it 2/3 years down the line?

    Thanks for that mate, I have been told i could apply as an officer, but for what it's worth i'd like to go in as a soldier at least initially, and maybe apply to become an officer later on in my career?

    Out of curiosity what is it you do in the army?

    Cheers :soldier: