RE Officer Careers

Afternoon all,

I'm currently applying for RMAS and the corps has caught my eye. I've had a read of a load of the material on here, but I've still got a few questions, and I'd appreciate it if anyone can volunteer some answers.

First off, what's the average officer like in the RE in terms of their education - I'm 19 and am not a graduate, so I'm a bit concerned that I might be putting myself at a bit of a disadvantage compared to other applicants, who are likely older and with a Degree in a technical discipline. Would this be the case?

Next up, how much would I potentially get to 'shape' my career in the RE - I've noticed that officers in the RM and other Army units seem to move around between staff jobs a lot after their initial troop command, with limited scope to actually stay in a green (ish) role. I'm not overly interested in a staff job and would probably like to minimise my time sat behind a desk in an office away from a unit - how realistic is it that I'd be able to steer my career in this direction?

Also, does the corps encourage people (who are up to standard) to do things like the Commando Course, Divers Course or a Jumps Course? Or is it one of them things that exists on paper, but is like hens teeth to come by in reality, even if you are up to the standard required to do them?

I've also heard that, back in the day, some units would offer Young Officers the opportunity to do their first troop command with an Infantry/RM unit, in order to gain experience of how they operate and some skills outside of what they would otherwise get. Can anyone confirm if this is still 'a thing'?

I've been fingering some issues of that 'sapper' magazine - I noticed that EOD&S is becoming a trade in the RE. Does anyone have any gen on if the role of an ATO might move from the RLC to RE? This is an area in the RLC that has really caught my eye after I spent some time with 45 Cdo RM and saw a bit of what 821 EOD&S Sqn get up to.

And last but not least, and also not entirely related, anyone know the gen on facial hair at Sandhurst? I've spent the last few months working on a ranch down under, and have managed to acquire some form of hairy caterpillar under my nose - anyone know if I can keep him?

I realise that this is a bombardment of questions but I'd be grateful to anyone who could shed some light on any of them (or any others for that matter).Cheers!!
 
RE Geo Officers are the font of (no) knowledge.
A degree would improve your prospects more so for EDO.
UOTC would also give you an insight to the Army.

A friends son, now a Major in PWRR joined without a degree but has done every course the Army has offered.
Now has a MA from Shiverham but he feels a degree would have helped in his early career up to Captain.
 
RE Geo Officers are the font of (no) knowledge.
A degree would improve your prospects more so for EDO.
UOTC would also give you an insight to the Army.

A friends son, now a Major in PWRR joined without a degree but has done every course the Army has offered.
Now has a MA from Shiverham but he feels a degree would have helped in his early career up to Captain.

Maybe something I should look at then, cheers
 

chimera

LE
Moderator
Your best bet is to get engaged with the Corps through the recruiting system, and attend a familiarisation course during which you will get to talk to real life Sapper officers:

Engineer Troop Officer - British Army Jobs

But to answer your questions briefly:

1. Age/Quals. Being a non grad is not a disadvatage per se, but you will be in the minority amongst your peer group applicants. This obviously reflects that the majority of your peers going into professional careers will be graduates, but also the Sappers, as a technical Corps, will tend to have a greater proportion of entrants with a technical background. But, and this is a very big but, it is certainly not a disadvantge if you have all the other qualities necessary to be a good troop commander. A great many successful Sapper officers are non grads, or grads without technical degrees. Your only constraint would be that you would be unable to undertake Professional Qualified Engineer or Survey roles.

2. Career choices etc. You wil almost certainly serve in a unit or a "green Army" role for the first five or six years of your Service. As a large Combat Support Arm the Sappers offer more (probably the most) flexibility and opportunity of role than any other part of the Army. I would not be too worried about "staff" roles at this stage.

3. Para/Cdo/Diver. Yes

4. EOD. EOD is a tri service combat support function, and the people that do it are now called Defence EOD Operators. Some of them come from the RLC ATO stream, some from the RE, some from other Services. It is no longer "cap badge" driven and so do not get hung up on old school RE/RLC arguments. Both Corps have EOD titled units and will continue to do so as long as you need to worry about, with career opportunites for DE officers through to colonel. The announcement you saw in Sapper magazine of EOD&S becoming a trade is tidying up a Soldier Career Management anomaly that takes away the need for soldiers in RE EOD&S units to be triple traded.

So I reiterate my opening comments: The Sappers offer what is probably the broadest and most flexible of any Sandhurst Entrant officer career in the Army. You will only really find out by getting engaged with the Army and attending some sort of famiiarisation course.
 
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Your best bet is to get engaged with the Corps through the recruiting system, and attend a familiarisation course during which you will get to talk to real life Sapper officers:

Cheers for a really detailed response - appreciate the time and effort you've put into it. I'm in contact with the RE recruiting team for booking a Fam visit, but the Medical and AOSB is taking it's time to filter through so I'm sort of marking time at the moment.

It is no longer "cap badge" driven

Does this mean that an RE officer could do the ATO course, or am I misunderstanding?

Cheers again
 

chimera

LE
Moderator
Cheers for a really detailed response - appreciate the time and effort you've put into it. I'm in contact with the RE recruiting team for booking a Fam visit, but the Medical and AOSB is taking it's time to filter through so I'm sort of marking time at the moment.



Does this mean that an RE officer could do the ATO course, or am I misunderstanding?

Cheers again

ATO is a RLC specialisation, and a Sapper officer would not be in the Ammunition Technical stream. Ammunition Technical people do other ammo stuff such as storage and inspections, movement etc. But an RE officer can become a Defence EOD Operator (the same qual as an RLC AT will do) and serve in 33 Engr Regt EOD. RE EOD also encompasses "High Assurance Search", which is a whole specialisation in itself.

Bear in mind that for both RE and RLC Direct Entry (i.e. Sandhurst) officers though it is highly unlikely that you would be in active EOD roles as your career progresses.

If you are deeply interested in the science of munitions, how they are stored, moved, handled, designed, developed etc then RLC will tick more boxes. If you just want to "cut the red wire" for a bit, then RE will give a broader career in the round. And the RLC don't have divers!
 
If you did the ATO course you would be RLC, if successful you would spend a couple of years as an ATO, this doesn’t necessarily mean doing EOD, there are plenty of other aspects in the Ammunition world.

After those two years you would have to do other RLC tasks covered by the various trades, driver, supplier, mover, chef.

Chances of a command appt at Major within an EOD unit are low and as a half Colonel, virtually nil.

If you want to focus on EOD then the wedge RE is the way ahead.

Alternatively look at the Ammunition Technician trade in the RLC.
 
Aren’t RLC Marine Engineers dive trained?
 

chimera

LE
Moderator
Aren’t RLC Marine Engineers dive trained?

Probably - but there aren't many of them. Sapper Shark Wrestlers are all over the effing place sporting their woolley hats and additional pay!
 
Probably - but there aren't many of them. Sapper Shark Wrestlers are all over the effing place sporting their wooley hats and additional pay!


That'll explain the badge, then.
image.jpg
 
I had to check, all I could find is a Marine Engineer could be a member of the Regimental Dive Clearance Team, this could be a military function to effect underwater repairs or it could just be a sports club.
 

Q_Man

Old-Salt
ATO is a RLC specialisation, and a Sapper officer would not be in the Ammunition Technical stream. Ammunition Technical people do other ammo stuff such as storage and inspections, movement etc. But an RE officer can become a Defence EOD Operator (the same qual as an RLC AT will do) and serve in 33 Engr Regt EOD. RE EOD also encompasses "High Assurance Search", which is a whole specialisation in itself.

Bear in mind that for both RE and RLC Direct Entry (i.e. Sandhurst) officers though it is highly unlikely that you would be in active EOD roles as your career progresses.

If you are deeply interested in the science of munitions, how they are stored, moved, handled, designed, developed etc then RLC will tick more boxes. If you just want to "cut the red wire" for a bit, then RE will give a broader career in the round. And the RLC don't have divers!



My bold. I've only been out two months, but they certainly used to. IIRC they were the Port and Maritime crew, beach, pier, jetty recces maybe?

While I'm at it, what's the difference between a jetty and a pier? Not a joke, serious question.
 

chimera

LE
Moderator
Indeed, I stood corrected, but as I said to our friend Dingerr as a DE officer in the RLC this is a rare beast, s maybe not worth following an RLC career on the back of it, whereas every Sapper Regiment has a Diving Team (which also means that the qual is relatively easy to keep current for officers at RD).
 

anglo

LE
Cheers Puttees. I have built some, moored up against some (or as a Pongo, parked my boat shippers), but didn't know the difference. I can use Google, but have never needed to know the difference, just needed to know where to park me boat.

You sure that "Boat" is not a "Ship";)
 

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