Soldier First, Tradesman Second?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by stinker, Jun 5, 2011.

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  1. The phrase - "Soldier First, Tradesman Second", which popped up in another thread, for some reason raises my blood pressure. I realise defining the word "soldier" will conjour many differing impressions, but to me it means infanteer when used in this context. After all I am already a member of the Army.

    This phrase is often trotted out when, for some reason or another a tradesman is failing to achieve a skill that is practiced on a regular basis for our infanteer brethren, and once in a blue moon by a tradesman. For example, if I was expected to be any good at shooting then perhaps taking my weapon out of the armoury (to perform an APWT) more than once a year might help.

    Personally I think that the phrase is inaccurate and a misnomer, I certainly believe myself to be a tradesman first.


    Hopefully this thread will not descend into a PT/Fat REMF's thread, as we have already had a few of them recently, but it probably will.
  2. Used to piss the infanteers (real soldiers!!!!) off frequently when I was in. Constantly getting better grouping on ranges with the SA80 and iron sight than they could with a suzat (spelling). REME personell in most units I was ever attached to would excel at the units own core challenges. So much so that these people were amazingly on some form of guard\cookhouse\menial duty to prevent them showing up the unit guys. But when it came to representing the unit at div level then that was a different matter.
    We took pride in the fact that we could do the real soldiers job as well as our own to high standards.
  3. Soldier first tradesman second sounds like all tradesmen would be working twice as hard as infanteers if the words were interchangeable.

    Soldier first. To a basic level. If you are only a tradesman then why does your post require you to be in the army? Surely it could be civilianised.
  4. Get it right for fecks sake, what it means is that you must always remember that when push comes to shove you can forget your bloody trade and stand Action Front like the Infanteers do, you can always pick up your trowel or ladle or whatever other tools you may use and carry on, but Soldier first, Tradesman second. I had that drummed into me as a junior apprentice at HARROGATE, nigh on 50 years ago.
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  5. Pararegtom

    Pararegtom LE Book Reviewer

    100% agree with Manley here, 29 years ago down south every swinging dick, no matter what capbadge, picked up his bondook. And went forward, with the Bn. Soldier first always.
  6. I agree to a certain extent with this one. Everybody, regardless of their respective cap badge must be able to carry out basic infantry skills such as stagging on effectively, go on patrol etc etc. In 2008 when LKG was taking a bit of a malleting everybody was utilised for either stagging on, going on patrols etc. If you are going to be doing much more than this though, you need to spend a reasonable amount of time doing build up training.
  7. You did your basic training first did you not ? Trade/Specialist training second ! If you don't do enough training every year, then do something about it !
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  8. Me too pal. At about the same time too. (64C)
  9. Absolutely!
  10. Wow. You are amazing.
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  11. Its still soldier First, Trade second...yes you will get some Infantry/Para types slag trades off and without doubt Infantry skills are extremely hard to master but thats why infantry (rightfully benefitted in Pay Cut 2000). There will be banter and in some cases its justified that some soldiers arent cut out to do front line infantry tasks (this is actually picked up by ADSOs at ADSC if they are suitable or not for Infantry. However having served with infantry, Armed Infantry and quite a few other Combat Arms, Combat support units I have met some cracking tradesmen from all Capbadges with extremely good Infantry skills. On the two Herrick tours when i was at 16Bde I had at least 6 young Craftmen who went with Para Reg units as Infantry soldiers and were treated as part of the family and did outstanding jobs...some of the younger Para lads did wind them up at first but on the whole once the tour started they became part of the team. I have also met some Infantry soldiers who were quite frankly appalling so its more of down to the individual soldiering skills. It has come more apparent over the last 4 or 5 years that soldiering skills are vital and one thing I will always tell young lads that your trade is important but soldier is your first role.
    Also look at the KIA in Afghan and Iraq at attached Arms over the last 8 years.
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  12. I agree with you, but only because I hear that phrase when I'm doing some very basic infantry type exercise which is run by the RLC. So I always link the soldier part to infantry which I am not.

    However other people have different views on it meaning. Dingerr (I think) has a different view.
  13. I think it means just because you are a RLC/AGC/REME/INT/etc, whatever REMF job, doesn't mean you're allowed to be a fat **** because you didn't decide to join the infantry. In that context, yes, soldier first.

    In the context that I need to do another stupid ******* green skills exercise when I could be getting on with my normal day job which can already be busy enough, **** right off!
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  14. I'm sure loads of civvie firms will be queueing up to train the personnel to fill these the more spec roles (ask yourself why the Inf haven't been contracted out and you'll end up with a good reason), as opposed to employing ex mil pre trained.


    But - my bold - this is where a slight problem comes in if your 8-5 job involves a full days (every day) work already.

    And when would you like the support arms to fit this in Einstein? See above.

    Seems to be the opinion then that BASIC soldier skills is what the phrase refers to.

    I have no problems with the phrase if it alludes to a MATT level of training after all it isn't beyond the realms of reality to fit this in.

    I do however believe that support trades should carry out more in todays climate, a good example is of the guard/top cover stagging on with a GPMG with what I can only refer to as the minimum of training. Don't get me started on First Aid.

    If the masses agree that the level of Corps soldier is poor, what would you like the support arms to give up for a more advanced level of training? Breakfast for the chefs, pay for the clerks, vehicle/weapon maintenance for the REME.

    I expect the response will be do it in my own time and whilst there is a limited amount of this available I can see a range w/e going down like the Hindenburg.
  15. If you don't mind stacker I'll express my own views.

    In the phrase "soldier first, tradesman second" the term soldier does not mean fulfilling the role of infanteer.

    It is simply fulfilling the skills, ethos and military attitude learned in basic training. It's being relied upon to be in the right place at the right time, in the right dress with the right equipment to fulfill your task. Being able to administer yourself so that you are an asset and not a burden.

    Your trade is not second, but in order to conduct your trade in the theatres we operate in you must beagle to do the above and be able to defend yourself, position and/or collegues should the need arise.

    It's also about the little things. Wearing your TRF, wearing your stable belt if that's the order of the day, or a green belt if those in charge decide to. It's about being presentable as best as possible to demonstrate our professionalism even in the most extreme environments.
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