Sorry, I'm Not a Technical Officer.....


Well at the time no I didn't. However as the unit that effectively deployed to do that particular job on ops for the first time in the Corps history, my selection of those that I then organised to be trained as "IS ops" was actually based on a sound knowledge of my soldiers abilities and interests. I selected from all trades (incl Stores Accontant), the soldiers that I deemed were suitable to carry out the role. Having lost touch with the first batch of twenty or so that were trained I do know that one is now a Traffic IS and at least one other is an IS Supvr.

In this day and age when deploying a HQs you are quite right, the IS Supvr should be an integral part of the Ops team and not just hived away in some Troop shack twiddling his thumbs and checking ATDs, we have troop comds and RD staffys that can look after the lads on a day to day basis.

As for IS Supvr being geeks, tell the new Traffic IS at 16 Sigs that!! I am sure he will enjoy seeing you sweat on a bergen run or in the swimming pool. (Obviouslly with a name like CSMA_CD I assume you are a full blooded member of the geekhood though!! :wink: ).
Bow_Man - Firstly I hope that your view of the IS CEQ is viewed and spread through the corps. This will give us all a chance to show that we are indeed the future, so it is good to hear your view. Second the Traffic IS at 16 Sigs is well known to myself and I cant remeber the last time he had a bergen! And I can still thrash him over 100 butterfly in the pool ! :wink:

I never said you were the future....

I just think that if you are going to plan an operation in the IS age then you must plan your LAN and WAN in conjunction with, not divorced from your bearer planners. I think this will become even more of a challenge as we move towards the BOWMAN era.

Ultimately its all very well knowing about setting up Routers & Bridges, configuring firewalls and ensuring that printers are running correctly off the printer server and of course ensuring that your back up plan works, but without the comms links to fit those pools of IT together you haven't realised the full potential of the wide area system.

Therefore the YofS and FofS are as much a part of the future as the IS Supvr.

You all just really need to accept it and get on with it become part of the team not part of the problem......(I am not saying that you are part of the problem but I would suggest reading some of the posts on here that most IS Ops think that they are gods gift to something....well you are just like the Driver Elec, Liney, AS Op, Tech, Rad Op and Stores Accountant (and anyone else I missed particularly of course the Offrs Mess)!!)
IS Ski Geek said:
Have to agree with 749 there. For the vast majority of upgrading courses held at Blandford. They either hold no valid content to what is happening out in the field army or it has arrived 4 years at least to late. The people on the courses spend about 3 months sucking eggs. We have the TDT teams there which is a great idea, but the majority of the time it takes to get the changes through the systems it ends up being too late and dated.

So to say that getting training throughout their career helps. Then only if the material is off a good enough standard.
that seems to go across the board for a lot of the upgrading courses :(
CGS said:
Now, back to the debate...


and yes Radical idea - link promotion to technical proficiency even for you Rodneys
'Rodneys' as you so ineloquently put, are not employed for their technical proficiency, rather for their leadership capabilities. That said, the inability of an office to understand even the basic principles of engineering communications should not persist. If any of you feel like changing the Corps policy on the issue, then feel free to become SOinC, otherwise hush!
why such a low take up of membership of IIE or IEE amongst R Sigs Officers??
should the Corps not be encouraging the memebrship of such institutions?
if they were real engineers and not playing at it they would show it??
749 a very good point, why do so few R SIGNALS Offrs either belong to a professional engr body or to that end have qualifications such as CEng, IEng??

Why does the TC course not conduct some sort of formal introduction to professional accreditation, to that end why does the course not be organised so that it can be accredited by the IEE, so that for those who wish to pursue these lines of accreditation then have the opportunity to do so. Future courses could then be alligned so that by Maj, if not sooner for BEng Grads, could achieve CEng if they so desire??

On closer inspection of the IEE website they lists companys that have been accredited and by no surprise there is obviously the RE and REME with their centres of excellence registered but is there any sign of ours?? NO!!

When attending a very recent grad recruiting fair every engr company has a engr recruiting program, which they all sell proudly encouraging people to join to attain their CEng. Wht does the Corps not pursue this??

At present I know it is Corps policy not to only recruit offrs with a relevant technical degree/ background but I get the impression this has been taken to far. I am currently outside of the corps environment and know that technical/engr people only now look at the REME and RE as a career in the Army. To them they are the only people that take a serious approach to professionally developing technical officers.

Back to this thread, I think we can sit around all day discussing how technically good and bad our officers are but until we give all our zoology, phsycology, english literature, geology and chemistry grads a coherent grounding in comms principles (note: not radio principles....though this would be nice!!) bandwidth will remain something to them that is measure in cm's and inches!!

(Here rests the case for the prosecution of the Corps, your Honour!)
Whilst i agree that proffessional acreditation is important, and i agree with what you are saying, for an officer to become acredited to the level you are suggesting would take too much time. They would spend more time studying than working, especially when you add in to this all the work and exams you have to do for promotion, then deployment on ex or ops. However the option should be there.

As for recruiting, again we need to recruit technically minded officers however i know quite a few officers with the relevant degrees who just dont use them. I suppose really the officers main focus is being able to manage whilst having a broad overview, enough so they cant be blagged. As an officer you must rely on the team of experts around you and if you dont then this is where you will fall down. Maybe we need a system where officers are streamed into your RD types and your TOT types?

As for accreditation you do leave Blandford acredited by the Chartered Institute of Management (cheers).
Spongebob said:
Whilst i agree that proffessional acreditation is important, and i agree with what you are saying, for an officer to become acredited to the level you are suggesting would take too much time. They would spend more time studying than working, especially when you add in to this all the work and exams you have to do for promotion, then deployment on ex or ops. However the option should be there.
it has been said before (by us actually) that you could always study part time or by distance learning
if the pot FofS has to do all his work whilst still fulfilling his duty obligations then why can't the commissioned ranks? :?:

also as a T1 tech can join the IIE and get letters after his/her name then i would encourage more of them to do so, if not for civi recognition, then for a bit of one up manship on your OC !! :p

Yes I agree it would take time, however I disagree it would take that much time. If the Corps aligned its courses at Blandford with a prof body then when you attend these career courses (either offrs or soldiers)such as TC course these would count as so many credits towards the end goal of CEng. What outstanding work is required can be done as 749 says as distance learning but with a central focus point being Blandford. Of course those who do not wish to pursue this don't have to and others can do it at their own pace. Also those with relevant previous experience (BEng, BSc, HND etc.) will be further down the line than those without.

Work load aside, my original point is that I think it is criminal that we don't offer this support in the Corps for Professional Accreditation and encourage offrs and soldiers to do it. Speak to any civi or company who wishes or employs engineers and the CEng is the golden standard.

As to the point about technically minded officers, Spongebob you are absolutley (cant spell!) right Offrs required a broad overview knowledge so that they can manage effectively, but I don't believe the Corps basic offr education gives a broad overview of communications knowledge. The experts are the FofS,YofS,TOT etc but experts in the intricacies of the equipment we use. With a simple comms knowledge the overview principles of these systems would then not be so alien for YO's to grasp so that they can then explain to non R SIGNALS types when problems occur and why it is not possible for them all to have a subset!!

By liasing with the IEE to produce a YO's course that teaches comms/engr principles to an accredited level (obviously still include all relevant G1 stuff etc!) and support those who wish to continue to CEng level would make a package that would rival & better any other engr company and perhaps increase our recruiting takes as well!!

Some v. interesting comments. My own views:

I think Officers should receive formal training, but would prefer it to be specific to their own unit/sqn/troop - making them an integral part of the unit. I think there should be an opportunity for them to do refresher training every 3 years (yep, probably at RSS).

I wouldn't limit our YO's to BEng/BSc grads - I think we would suffer as a result. We don't limit our FofS/YofS/IS Sups to one individual feeder trade (although I admit its pretty much that way for FofS).

I think in the past I have suffered as a result of either "Yes" men or technically inept YO's promising the world - that said once the allegdly impossible task was achieved it did make the troop look good - some may argue that this was good leadership (on the YOs part !!)

We as a corps have in the past been very poor at backing up our fellow communicators (often in the name of one upmanship or around about CR time) here is an example:
Capt Blackadder to Sgt Bloggs (@ SAS/MC 872) "Sgt Bloggs, I need 27 subsets in the HQ and I want them by tonight"

Sorry sir, you can only have 25 and we have 12 hours to build the HQ so you will have them by tomorrow 1000hrs.

Not good enough, Capt Blackadder turns to 2Lt Flashheart "Pip - I need 27 subsets in the HQ, and I want them by tonight"

No worries sir - it will be done by 2200 hrs.

Now before we all go off on one, my point - we don't allways stand by our guns. A similar case in Bde HQ on a recent exercise:

Capt Blackadder to Sgt Smith (Royal Artillery) "I need a fire mission on this grid square, 8 guns, HE, ToT 2200 hrs"

Sgt Smith - "Sorry sir, that grid is 26 KMs away - too far for the guns you see !" (Oh - he was Welsh)

Capt Blackadder - "Righty ho then, we will wait until they are closer"

Now some would argue that the guns could have been moved to put them in range (and equally some would argue that the staff should only get 25 subsets).
The POC of all this - you get what your given, work with it, don't blame your tools and educate, educate, educate - I had an absolutely abismal YO on exercise with me for 5 weeks - come the end of it I wouldn't have swapped him for a graduate, nope no way ! :)

We don't have the time to make them SME's, but I admit most YO's I have met have forced me to stay on my toes, abreast of my job spec and alert to anything they say to the G3 staff !
I know a little about the training of our officers...and YofS..... and FofS..... and IS Supvrs.....and soldiers

One of the great strengths of our officer complement is that we have always recruited from a broad church. Our requirement is different from the REME. We need officers who have a broad technical understanding in the main and we need a bunch, slack handful, number not quite determined, of technocrats who can compete for the important and influential engineering staff posts particularly in the Defence and Joint arena. As to accreditation the TC course is not an engineering course. It is about teaching the principles of ICS management and understanding the three components of, manpower and training = capability. It is only 20 weeks long and only qualifies for accreditation in management terms not engineering terms. I have managed good quality R SIGNALS Engineers for some 24 years on the strength of a physics O level and my Corps training. I have managed with my teams to deliver capability in peace and on operations without the need for letters after my name.

Please someone tell me where you have seen the Corps fail to deliver capability on Ops in the last 25 years with the Officer Corps in command over that period. In essence what we need is balance, intelligent leaders and commanders who understand engineers and their requirements and some of whom should certainly be qualified engineers but not all of whom necessarily must be :wink:
Perhaps if the powers that be at Blandford actually got in touch with any of the main engineering institutes and found out what it would entail for the courses being run at RSS to be accredited then they hopefully would find it was easy enough to do and we could get all who pass through RSS some sort of civilian recognition?
a bit of a feel good factor and retention aid ??
Old Salt mon brave you assume that they have not sources assure me that they have. The only officer course which qualifies for engineering accreditation is the CISm and an MSc is not bad accreditation :!:
i can tell they have not recently

why does it say on the Job Description of a Class 1 Systems Engineering Technician that they are eligible for membership of The Institution of Electronics and Electrical Incorporated Engineers (IEEIE) :?:

the reason i ask is

The IIE was established in April 1998 to champion the cause of the practical engineering professional, The Institution of Incorporated Engineers (IIE) is the largest and most influential multidisciplinary engineering institution in the UK.

The Institution was formed by the merger of The Institution of Electronic and Electrical Incorporated Engineers (IEEIE), The Institution of Mechanical Incorporated Engineers (IMechIE), and The Institute of Engineers and Technicians (IET). In 1999 there was a further merger with The Institution of Incorporated Executive Engineers (IIExE).

i would say they were at least 4 years out of touch :oops:
maybe they should revisit this??

and if i can wander round with EngTech MIIE after my name then anyone can do it! :lol:
749 Good point contact your rep on this point FofS RSG RSS ext 2753....set him to work on your behalf :wink:
i have gone one better
i have informed the IIE about this and they are getting in touch with the RSS
The worst bit of all is not the saddening fact that few of our officers have any technical aptitude but that most of them (well, a lot) aren't even interested in CIS and openly admit it.

Why the hell would anyone join the Corps if they're not interested in comms? A good job we have such good WOs.
IFR_goggles said:
Why the hell would anyone join the Corps if they're not interested in comms? A good job we have such good WOs.
it must have seemed like a jolly good laugh at Sandhurst??
the ideal place for you to use your degree in zoo ology


749 said:
IFR_goggles said:
Why the hell would anyone join the Corps if they're not interested in comms? A good job we have such good WOs.
it must have seemed like a jolly good laugh at Sandhurst??
the ideal place for you to use your degree in zoo ology
To be fair to those officers who join, and then seem less than totally committed to CIS...

At Sandhurst no mention is made of requiring an aptitude for, qualifications relating to, or interest in, CIS. Obvious you may think, but at Sandhurst Officer Cadets listen to what their told, and the Corps could legitimately be accused of downplaying the benefits (requirement?) for a technical background, or at least aptitude or interest. For some of my colleagues the first realisation of this was on Troop Commanders' Course when MCM came to visit and warned them that their careers were liable to be stunted without a techical degree. One could argue that telling them this before recruiting them would have been more helpful...

An argument can be made for recruiting a broad swathe of graduates, of varying disciplines, on the grounds that we can then select the best, regardless of degree or qualifications, and train them later. This avoids competing for the tiny proportion of officer cadets with directly relevant degrees, and allows us to get better candidates overall. Since many jobs within the Corps fall within the Combat and Human Resources arenas (and possibly a few in Logistics and Defence Policy), it is not just Techical (and specifically Technical (Information Systems)) LSNs that we have to fill.

Recruiting this broad spectrum of officers, however, relies upon the appropriate training systems to be in place to train people later. The results of the Review of Officer Career Courses (ROCC) have yet, I believe, to be finalised in this respect, but my understanding is that the present DIS, AIS and CISM courses are to be phased out and replaced by shorter, more focused employment training. If this results in fewer trained officers, with less training, it may be a bad thing. If however it allows us to train more officers with more relevant, less detailed training (i.e. not everyone needs an MSc), then it may allow more than just the bare minimum to be trained than just the requirement for the Corps' E1 SO3(W)/SO2(W) LSNs.

Finally, there is little that individual officers can do to rectify the situation. Even if interested, there is limited funding for Open University study (my IT & Computing qualification has cost me ~£500 per year for the last two years), and there are limited courses available (I got a place on the Data Comms cse at RMCS, but even that's only a week long).

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