Rifles or PWRR?


War Hero
My son is thinking of joing the infantry rather thanthe RE which I have been trying to guide him towards.

We live on the Dorset Hampshire boarder. The Rifles are our local Regiment but there is a family connection to the PWRR, my grandfather (my boys great grandfather) was RSM in one of the county Regts that made up The Queens (now part of PWRR) and my uncle (sons great uncle) was later a CSM, way back in the 60's, in one of the merged county regiments that make up PWRR.

Would the family connection help him join PWRR and does that Regt offer the same or similar opportunities to the Rifles?

He was interested in the Parachute Regiment. Despite being exceptionally fit and very active, playing both Rugby and Football to a high standard and being in the ACF I do not think he is cut out for that particular regiment being a thinker rather than naturally agressive.

Any comments on life in the PWRR and or Rifles?

Thanks in advance


War Hero
my two cents,

The PWRR are by all accounts a fine regiment and have two battalions one armoured and one light battalion (I think couldn't check as their site is down).
The Rifles are new and have 5 battalions including a commando roled battalion with 3 commando brigade RM they also have armoured mechanised and light battalions giving your son a rather broad choice.
So opportunity wise its got to be the Rifles.
hope this helps


Cardinal said:
being exceptionally fit and very active.... a thinker rather than naturally agressive.

All British infantry Regiments are good (even the Paras are not quite as mindless as they like to make out) and the PWRR have a particularly fine rep at the moment (VC holder etc). Plus, don't kid yourself that he won't need a modicum of natural aggression whichever one he chooses.


Joining the Rifles will give your lad the opportunity to get commando roled, which might appeal from the fitness perspective, and the Rifles make a point of encouraging thinkers in the ranks. Admittedly this is more institutionalised in the former RGJ Battalions, but I've always been impressed by the D and D's ethos too, and I don't doubt that 1 RIFLES (who have an ex-SF CO at present) will cherish his intellect as well.

I rate the PWRR, but I wouldn't want to be them - I find any Regiment where junior officers have to call their OC "Sir" a bit worrying.


As a Rifleman myself, It has to be the Rifles. The options your son will have are vast and varied. Commando role, Mechanized infantry, Light role or like myself Armoured Infantry and all within the same family. The PWRR are a fine Regiment, however with limited options of role and location. Life within any of the Rifles Battalions would be suited to any young lad with an interest in sport, such as football and Rugby as they have done well in all competitions in the past. As Paoli stated, The Rifles encourage Thinkers within its ranks, which I believe would suit your son. If you want, send me a Private message, and I can give you some more information if you require about each Battalion's role etc, or visit The Rifles web site.


Both fine regiments, although being ex-PWRR guess where my loyalties lie! Anyway, I did 24 years (2 as a brat) and the first 16 were with the Queen's/PWRR. After a back injury in 3 QUEENS I went on the clerical role and on amalgamation was offered to stay with 2 PWRR and wait for someone to die in the QMs/MT to get my Sgt or move into the AGC (SPS), so as a married guy I went for the easy promotion and cash.

All my last postings were with the Royal Engineers and I learnt that I should have listened to my old man (an ex-sapper) and gone RE rather than Inf.

They go more places, have more interesting things to do and are paid better than the Infantry, and when they get out, as long as they get a trade, are more employable.

Dont listen to the recruiting office crap "oh the infantry have tradesmen" - they dont! The RE run 1 course a year for Inf brickies/carpenters with about 30 places on each one. These usually go to the old crusty gits in the QMs dept who are used to build the mess BBQ stands.


For what it,s worth i would encourage the lad to go for R.E.. not only will he get a trade but he can also be Para or Commando as R.E. have two excellent squadrons in 9 INDEPENDENT PARACHUTE SQN AND 59 INDEPENDENT COMMANDO SQN. Also R.E. are first in last out.
I enjoyed my time as a Sapper. Once a Sapper always a Sapper.


i,ve worked with many lads from the pwrr and what i saw was a very switched on regt but as an ex green jkt i can only say go with the rifles :headbang:


War Hero
Paoli said:
I rate the PWRR, but I wouldn't want to be them - I find any Regiment where junior officers have to call their OC "Sir" a bit worrying.

Really? I would have to disagree with this one Paoli, I have never heard any of the junior officers calling their OC Sir, except for in their first couple of months in post while they are finding their feet. Bit more relaxed then that chum!

Agree in general with the views on variety in the Rifles and I do hope it broadens the scope of their empolyability. As I have said in a previous post on another topic, I think this is the way ahead.... But.....

As always the needs of the Army come first and therefore I suspect that regardless of aspiration, the Battalion with the least manning is where the lad will go and will stay until he proves himself or another battalion is deploying on tour.

Just to clarify, 1 PWRR Armoured, 2 PWRR Light Role. Lots of cross postings becoming available in the division, so RRF and R Ang available, a mix of armour and light.

If he has a connection to PWRR, stick with the family but if he wants to go for the CDO role, then it has got to be Rifles.


War Hero
Ex Greenjacket, but with some PWRR mates as I live in their recruiting area. If you can't persuade him to go RE, which really does offer a better future, then I'd say Rifles on the basis of your statement "being a thinker rather than naturally agressive."

The ethos of the "thinking rifleman" is, in my opinion, what really sets riflemen apart. I was an Army brat, dad was Grenadiers, and count people from many fine infantry regiments amogst my friends. I am not going to claim that the Rifles are better than others, but they are most certainly different in their ethos and tradition and positively encourage a bit of intellect.

He could always try the rifles look at life package http://www.army.mod.uk/infantry/regts/the_rifles/careers/look_at_life/index.htm

Of course the range of roles available is not matched by any other regiment, as has been mentioned, so thats another plus.

But do have another bash at peruading him that being a sapper offers better long term opportunities.


War Hero
as an ex Jacket I would say try to keep the family ties going and go for the PWRR. They are a bloody fine regiment and your lad won't regret it.


Getting shot at for a living is vastly overrated. Have another go at persuading him towards the RE


War Hero
I was saddened at your dismissal of The Paras as a choice (being one obviously) - but warmly support your nudgung toward the RE - and if you can fine tune his choice to 9 Sqn RE (no longer Independant I'm afraid) he
will be hard pushed to find a better environment for his future prospects,whilst utilising his natural bent. Can I just add,that the Airborne element whilst rewarding - is also very helpful afterwards...


Imho it depends on how long the lad wants to stay in. RE is excellent for someone who is not planning on a full career in the army, as trades can then be used in civvy street. As for Rifles or PWRR, Im going to sit firmly on the fence, as both are fine regiments in their own right.


War Hero
Imho it depends on how long the lad wants to stay in. RE is excellent for someone who is not planning on a full career in the army, as trades can then be used in civvy street.

Perhaps this just shows how difficult the choice is, as I would have said the opposite. Join up at 18 and do four years, for example, and re-training as a civi is very easy. Do 22 as a Sapper and leave with a Clerk of Works qualification and you'll have decent employment prospects without any need to re-train. Leave the infantry after 22 years and your employment prospects are somewhat limited and you are of an age where retraining is unattractive.

There are not many who are going to have an army career which allows them to simply retire at the end of it, most need to find employment afterwards.

Just my view.



The first question must be what aspirations do you have for your son? If he is a thinker, good high level sportsman and wishing to explore the combat / leadership side of life then I can only imagine you are hoping to get him off to Sandhurst to gain a commission. If that is the case then the many very positive posts about the benefits of the Royal Engineers become moot.

As an Officer your principal role is to lead your men and through your leadership direct their efforts in barracks and on operations - a thinking, fit leader grown on the sports pitch is what the Infantry have been looking for over the past hundred years and more.

Being a Dorset man your son would have much in common with the Southern soldiers of the PWRR (principally Hampshire and Kent) but may be less linked to some of the Rifles Battalions who recruit from not only Devon and Dorset but also London, the Midlands, North and North East. Geographical commonality is not essential for an Infantry officer, but it is valuable when sharing a cold shell scrape with your men and discussing the local football team or the haunts that they and yourself frequented on leave.

Your lad could do a Harry and go to Sandhurst with a handful of A-Levels, or get a degree in something worthwhile like History of Art like his elder brother. Either way unless he studies Engineering at university and has a passion for that side of life I would not push him towards a commission in the Royal Engineers over the Infantry. They both have high currency on the job market should he wish to leave, but the Infantry is the essence of being an Officer - a leader of men. Not devaluing the jobs of the Corps, but to me the Infantry is the only place to serve.

If your son is adamant on being a soldier then he would do well in the PWRR where they have a very strong Rugby tradition, competing very strongly in the Middlesex Sevens over the past few years as well as offering opportunities in Germany with the 1st Battalion and soon Cyprus with the 2nd Battalion.


Surely if you live in Hampshire you should be pushing your son towards 3SCOTS.

(Sorry old Scot Div joke.)


ive just done op telic 8 with 1pwrr as the tank sqn attached, most off them are switched on guys. very helpfull to attached arms and very gratefull to the heavy armour.
As`a member of PWRR i would like to say look in to both because they both have great history and both have exciting futures. my btn is off to Cyprus for under 3 yrs and the 1st is in Germany . As a ex Royal Marine who rejoined i would say PWRR not because i joined but due to when it comes to the crunch the TIGERS fight for each other.

when in danger TIGERS ROAR

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