Specialist Observer.....the truth please

I am 27 years old and my basic starts in Jan.

With all the info out there I wanted to get more insight into what the job and the training is actually like from the people who are actually doing it.

What can i do to prepare/to expect/to learn before hand etc

Any advice and info would be greatly appreciated.
Get very fit! You will learn everything else on the course in great depth. It will possibly be an advantage doing it as an older guy but without the fitness factor it will be a struggle, good luck!
fitness is key so i am hitting the roads and doing 5 miles twice a week and fartleg traing inbetween.

push up 70 in two mins
situps 60 in two mins
heaves 13

that was over a month ago so as i have a Jan basic start it is my absolute goal to nail the fitness side.

have you any experince with special obser role/
Every now and then I get dragged into one of these threads, sometimes I feel like writing an arrsepedia piece and be done with it.

OK first thing, yes I have done the course

Second thing, I didn't complete but did enough to know what occurs at each stage

Third thing I am woefully out of date

And lastly NO I will not give you a day by day blow by blow account WHY ? because

a. It changes each course
b. Part of the course is about being "surprised" if I give too much away then it won't be much of a surprise (hence the reason for a.)


You definitely do not need to be superman for this, it was the one thing I was scared of and surprised myself when I did it. There was only one pass/fail run, the BFT (read PFT in new money) mile and a half in 10.30, however we had to do it in trousers and boots. Fail that you're gone

The fitness there is all about stamina and being able to motivate yourself, one weird thing you get used to is the lack of encouragement from the DS, you form up, you run, you stop running, where you came is up to you. After a few weeks your legs feel like they will drop off, literally. Whats more they don't warm you up nor stretch you off, that's up to you, so even though PT starts at 6, you need to be there warming your self up by 5.30. You also have to be able to shift very heavy amounts of kit over some pretty shitty ground and still be able to operate on the other side, all this time living off cold rations, that takes a hell of a lot out of you and you have to dig deep to achieve it. And wait till you do an extended OP concentration, then push out a tasty 10 miler its doubly difficult due to the inaction of of your legs whilst in the hole.

This is the killer, you need to be pretty shit-hot at the old map and compass before you get there, be prepared to memorise grids and work off sterile maps, where they get you with fitness is on the navexs, there are loads in either pairs or most often on your todd (which I preferred to tell you the truth) if you fcuk up a leg, you need to make up the time whilst you have increased the distance by double backing.

Data download
you will spend a lot of time in a classroom learning some serious brain numbing stuff in usual boring military fashion, not only are you to listen but be able to recite back verbatim.

Field Craft
TO complete this course you not only have to be able to live in the field but positively thrive in it.

To give you an idea what its like, the pass rate is about 1 in 10, on my first course there was a 100% failure

after reading this thread im so glad that i didnt put this down as a job choice.
would have taken me about a yera to get fit enough.
im running a mile and half in 10:30 difference is, im in trainers haha.

im just going for a light gunner now.
i dont think that you have to be massivly fit but i think that mentally you are going to have to be really strong.

anyone out there give anymore insight into the job?
Out of interest, has anyone heard of any females passing the course? And regarding the fitness required, would the basic training and extra prep training the site says you get not prepare you for the physical aspect to a degree where it is do-able if you put the effort in? Also what type of technical stuff are there as it doesnt seem to explain that on the site? thx
So far no Female has attempted or passed the course, as for the other info: Contact the Battery, they are a mine of information and willing to help rid the world of the myths and legends surrounding what they do and how to become a member of the Battery. If you need the contact details PM me and I will help you out as best I can. :D

I say again.......For questions about joining 4/73 (SPHINX :farao: ) Special OP Battery, go straight to the horses mouth, i.e. Speak to them direct. They will dispel all myths and rumours and tell you exactly how to prepare. You will receive a joining pack with info, training plans and tons of other useful info.

[align=center]Good Luck!![/align]
[align=center]:headbang: [/align]
It once crossed my mind and after a quick chat with a lad at 7 RHA who had been up and come back he said nav skills were prevelant, some bergan sprinting freaks were tipping up hours over as a result of sh*t nav skills, recognition is apparently (and obviously) key too, he said the walls of the accomodation rooms were plastered in pics of BRDM's/T72's ect ect, but like previously stated just ring and ask
Fitness is always a plus in any job,but if your navigation skills are not up to scratch you will just be wandering around wasting time and energy.
Being confident with map and compass is a major advantage.

Otherwise you might want to do some strength exercises for your back,legs, which might prevent injuries and help with carrying bergans.

Otherwise contact the Bty,they will tell you what you need to know.
boredcivvy said:
she has the red HAC strips on her uniform; which I thought were only given once successfully completed the patrol selection course??
I've no idea where you got that idea from - the Red 'strips' are simply 'Honourable Artillery Company' shoulder titles. The patrol badge worn by Spec Obs is the same for TA and Regular - a triangle.

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