Special Observer - Reservist.

I have already posted this in the Reservist Recruiting section of the board. However, since that section of Arrse tends to be focused on people aiming to join the Reserve, and this post is aimed principally at personnel already in the Reserve (or, indeed, in the Regular Army and about to leave), with the indulgence of the Mods, I have double posted here.

The HAC is currently looking for serving members of the Reserve who are interested in completing the Surveillance and Target Acquisition Patrol Course (STAPC) in order to qualify them for service as Special Observers.

Because of the demanding nature of the Special Observer role the HAC is permitted to run its own Phase 1 training. Historically the majority of candidates for the STAPC enter the HAC directly through this route.

The HAC is currently fully recruited. However, work in support of the increased integration between 1 (Special OP) Sqn in the HAC and the Regular STA Patrol element in 4/73 (Special OP) Bty has recently highlighted the fact that there is not generally a high awareness amongst Reserves in other units that service as a Special Observer is an option open to them. Hence this post.

The role of STA Patrols is to conduct high-risk static covert surveillance in order to deliver joint effects at range. STA Patrols deliver a unique mix of technical covert surveillance capability and the ability to direct joint fires at extended ranges. Selection and training are necessarily demanding in order to identify and prepare personnel who are suited to working in small isolated teams and difficult circumstances for extended periods with a minimum of supervision, and who have an aptitude for the particular disciplines of static covert surveillance.

The STAPC is now a completely integrated Regular/Reserve course, with identical training and performance standards applied to both Regular and Reserve candidates. For Reserve candidates - when pre-Aptitude fitness and navigation preparation is included – the course lasts approximately six months, though additional training is available for candidates who seek it. As is the case for Regular personnel, the course is open to serving Army, Navy or RAF Reserve candidates.

If you are interested in service as a Special Observer, please contact the HAC Recruiting office on 020 7448 0703, or email HAC-RHQ-RecruitingClk@mod.uk. If you are interested in the reality of the role, the requirements of retaining currency as a Special Observer or the selection process and what it involves - PM this account. (There are of course a number of rewarding and unusual roles in the other Squadrons of the HAC; if you have a query about them, please enquire directly with the Recruiting Clerk).

Follow this link: http://www.army.mod.uk/artillery/regiments/31222.aspx for the 4/73 Bty Army web-page, and a video that goes some way to explaining what STA Patrols do.

Lastly, as a serving officer in the HAC I feel bound to point out that if you use the search function on ARRSE it is possible to find a substantial amount of discussion about the HAC in general and the Special Observer role in particular. Some of it is correct. A great deal of it is not. Treat it – including the ARRSE Wiki – with a degree of suspicion. If you are interested in the truth, turn up to Armoury House and have a go at the course.

Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions, but this will be my last post on this board.
This is a great thread and gives some clarity as to what the HAC actually do. I will get in touch and bring some of my friends along.
Q. When you said Aptitude, is that referring to SF Aptitude? Does that also mean that these Specialist Observers get special pay as well?
"high-risk static covert surveillance"
That should the Walts wanting to be future McNabs & Ryans out of the wood work!

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