Read this 1st - OPMI - What it is like (The Basics)

Discussion in 'Int Corps' started by Howayman, Aug 6, 2009.

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  1. Hopefully this will be made a sticky.

    You should be reading this before you wander into the rest of the Int Corps pages and post another 'I want to join the Corps, what's it like..?' question.

    Hints & Tips

    1. If it is not posted here, as someone said there is a good reason for it (or I may have forgotten/can't be arrsed to type it out again)

    2. Please learn to use your key board correctly. Grammatical errors, and lone spelling mistakes can be forgiven. Text speak, incorrect use of lower case and not using Int Corps/INT CORPS cannot. It looks like you cannot be arrsed to think about what you are writing and how you are writing it. It will wind a lot of people up. That's not only on this particular forum but in any applications...and I will add here for all those attempting Corps Selection, it really does your scores a great deal of good if you fly in the face of all advice and convention if you keep referring to the Corps as Intel Corps or even Corpse. Honest.

    3. Do some research. The majority of direction will be given by the AFCO and from the official Army/Int Corps Websites. For the majority, that is good enough. A bit of mystery is designed to hook you into approaching the Corps. Some more questions will be answered within the stickies here and in some threads. The rest will be addressed if and when you do Corps Selection process. Live with it. And for the love of God, just stop asking the same banal questions ('what's life like as an Int Corps soldier / What do you do as an Int Corps Soldier'). It just shows that you can't be bothered to search across this forum and research it yourself.

    4. Latest figures suggest that only 1 in 4 applicants are successful in passing Int Corps selection. That would suggest that the Corps retains a high level of interest from Civvy Strasse and that the Corps can choose to be into that what you wish. No-one is going to give you the skinny on selection.

    Life as an OPMI

    Life as an OPMI cannot be tied down as each Bn, Coy and Sect do things slightly differently.

    However, a working day is usually 0830-1700 with lunch around midday. PT will be conducted some point during the week (probably before work). Most units, if they are not maxed out, will have some sports organised (usually Wednesday) and if you are lucky you will have an early (ish) finish on Friday to allow you to get home for a brewski/BBQ.

    However, this is generic. Some units will not follow this. If you are in an OPINTEL (either CS or GS) Sect then there is an exercise season (busy) and all Sections at some point will be conducting PDT/MST for Op Tours. Working hours will become extended and last minute jobs will curtail early finishes.

    Sport and AT are available but have to be balanced against the needs of the masters. You also get plenty of leave.

    Now for the bad news. Recent figures show that the Corps only has 70something% manning to conduct all the demands that are required of it, and those demands are increasing. This means that people are doing a lot of work, exercises and deployments and the down time between demands is shrinking. Which means that people are getting tired and irritable. Now that you know that, you can't complain about it. It also affects all ranks, not just you.

    Pte Without doubt Phase 1 training has changed beyond all measure since I went through. Some of it will be hard, some less so. It will end eventually.

    Pte Phase 2 training is conducted at Chicksands, which is a relatively nice site. Good access to M1/A1 and East Coast rail line. It is however home to HQ DINT, a 1 Star HQ, and houses a hell of a lot of schools. You will be spending a lot of your time in Templer Training Coy conducting OPINT and CI SY training in the main. There is also an element of clerical skills involved (report writing and learning to type). There is still scope for sports, some AT. It is a long process. Again it will end.

    In some cases, you may learn that you have failed the process and will be back squadded into the next intake, be asked to f-off, or want to transfer etc. You will not be the first and you will not be the last. Gone are the days when the Corps took anyone.

    If you are transferring into the Corps, you will enter a squad at this point. You will face a degree of scrutiny as you will invariably been seen as the guiding hand of the squad / slightly more mature etc. Get on with it.

    It all ends with a 2-3 week Cadre course on exercise, followed by driver training for those that require it. You will leave as a LCpl and will invariably end up in a CI/Sy or OPINT role somewhere in the world as your first posting.

    Added in response to queries:

    Phase 2 is long. It is generally Mon-Fri (0800-1700ish). If you are married you may not be allocated an MQ - it remains to be seen if applicants are successful in applying for MQ's. There will be individual and syndicate 'homework' which generally means that you need to work after hours so that you are either clued up for a test the following day, or later that week, and so that you can deliver that 'homework' later on. That does not mean that every weekend is taken up, though you should work on a principle that the majority of weekends will see some work involved. In addition, there will be the usual number of guard tasks, parades, sport etc which may also eat into your free time.

    Postings & Promotion On succesful completion of Phase 2 and the end of cse Cadre you will be promoted substantive LCpl and posted (if you are a dirty transferee above the rank of LCpl you will not be affected). Though you will be asked to complete a PPP (Preferential Posting Proforma (more commonly known as a 'dream sheet')), you must appreciate that the Corps will have other ideas about where the manning priority within the Corps lies. So you may ask for Cyprus (and some may get it) but the vast majority of a squad will end up in either UK or Germany. Both have their advantages/disadvantages. This expectation management needs to be carried with you throughout your career.

    LCpl - (Established for High Band Pay) You are still learning the ropes and conducting on the job training. You will be making brews (don't worry, we all do. It's called not being jack). Some of your lfe will be spent doing Duty Operator/ Guards / Stags etc. It is rare that you will get out of these. We are not that 'special'. However, there will be ample opportunity to conduct trade courses and personal development. Sport figures highly, as does AT. In fact it is only limited by your desire.

    Undoubtedly you will conduct a tour of an Operational Theatre. However, that's why you joined in the first place. Get used to the idea that you may be injured or worse. The battlefield is not just for the Infantry. Just warning you...

    It is likely that if you keep your nose clean, and SJARs good, you may have a stab at promotion at the 2-3 year mark.

    Cpl (High Band Pay): Much the same though you will have a bit more responsibility thrown your way. It is likely that you will be on your 2-3rd unit by this point. You may also be on your second Op Tour. At this point you may have decided that you know what you want to do in the Corps, and will be asking for the relevant courses to persue your carreer , be that OPMI, HUMINT, IA, Languages etc. Or you may have decided to leave.

    Again keeping your nose clean and some good SJARs will see you attempting the next step around the 5-6 year mark. Having looked at the latest Policy Document you are not eligible for promotion to Sgt unless you have completed 6 years service.

    Sgt (High Band Pay): True responsibility begins here. Managing troops and tasks. However you are now in the middle of the promotion triangle. You need to work harder to get promoted.

    SSgt (Low Band Pay): Further responsibility but bizzarely the pay band does not reflect this . When the WO2 isn't there it all falls to you.

    Added: Getting to this point was relatively easy. From here on in, getting promoted past SSgt gets exponentially harder. 20% of board applicants (read that again carefully) are promoted at a SSgt board. Given that boards generally have 40+ applicants, that means that only 9 or 10 will promote. This may mean that SSgt is your ceiling.

    WO2 (High Band Pay) Section 2i/c: G1-G4 tastic. However when the Rodney isn't there it's all you baby.

    WO1 - (High Band Pay) The tip of the promotion triangle. Currently the Corps has 30+ (ish) WO1s. Anything over 30 is over the establishment. At last count there were 170+ WO2s. That does not mean that 170 are eligible, but there will be more than 30 WO2s on the board, and invariably only a handfull of WO1 slots available. This time, you do the arithmetics...
  2. Trainees don't get taught typing anymore, this died out years ago. We might not take anyone, but my understanding is that it's near impossible to get rid of them though. Any Templer DS care to comment?
  3. Very insightful post, thankyou it has answered alot of my questions that i never had to ask :)
    I'm awaiting my ADSC date of September 16th upon completion of that i have been told i will be coming to Chicksands in October at some point.
    I can not wait!
  4. Howayman has got things spot on. Without going into too much detail, that really is all you need to know whilst you are still at the AFCO/recruit selection stage. There are a lot of things about the Int Corps and what we do that you will only find out when you need too, which is after completion of Phase 2 training at Chicksands. A lot of it won't make much sense to the majority of potential recruits and would breach OPSEC rules anyway.

    Oh, by the way 'Zak', now that you have announced what is probably your real name, the instructors at Chicksands will know who you are; so watch what you post, especially when you are in Phase 2. Having been a Templer instructor in the past, trawling through recruits posts is always interesting. Remember, no real names on ARRSE!!!
  5. when was that then? :)

    we lost 75% of our course in 90 / 91. you must be talking about the olden days.

    apart from that, great post mate. hang on, it's SJAR time... is your boss an arrser, by any chance? ;)
  6. :lol:

  7. When I went through Ashford in 73/74, transferees were'nt given a second chance, or reason for RTU. 75% failure rate was about right even then. It also took me about 9 months to transfer as my Unit was not willing to let me go !
  8. I'm pretty certain that a lance jack isn't high pay band.
  9. Int Corps LCpl's go onto High Band rates IIRC. The only one that doesn't get High Band rates in the Corps is SSgt rank.
  10. i'm pretty sure you're wrong.
  11. Is Salsa dancing still taught on the Class 3?
  12. Aye, thats aboot the size of it!
  13. One of my guys transferred as an Inf LCpl to Int and had to take a pay cut because he was told than Int Corps LCpl's are not higher band.

    They used to be high band but they changed it in the last couple of years. Otherwise you would have enlisted ranks joining the Army on £23k a year after training! As much, if not more, as a non-grad officer!

    This was also confirmed to me by another trooper who was told the same at the AFCO when applying for Int.

    I accept that there is a possibility that both a RAWO and an AFCO Sgt are wrong however.

    In fact, I would really appreciate a definitive answer on this from a serving LCpl in Int. So I can delete this post and run away with my tail between my legs.
  14. All Intelligence Corps soldiers (less SSgts) are on the high pay band. Although I believe linguist SSgts are on the higher band.
  15. and pilots