Specialist Reserve - 77 Bde

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Hi,

I looked into joining 77 Bde a few years ago and the best reply I could get from them basically said I need to join my local unit (which is something to do with unexploded ordinance) as a reservist, once I am in I can then apply to join 77 Bde.

I told them this was stupid since Capita will spend probably a year borking my application, then I have to spend however long training etc. with my local unit (doing something I have no interest or skills in) *then* after all that time has passed I get to *apply* to them with no guarantee of joining? In addition, I have specific skills that 77 Bde admit they need but as a consequence of buidling up those skills I don't have as much free time from work to dedicate so am specifically looking for the lower 'Specialist Reserve' commitment.

Whilst what I do clearly isn't on the same level, I can't imagine them making a doctor or a vet do the same. They identify that they need people with specific, specialist skills, they have a shortage of people with those skills, they have an interested party with those skills and their response is 'bugger off and become a bomb disposal tech for a couple of years then we can talk'. Barmy?

Anyway, I was browsing the 77 Bde webpage and there does seem to be a reference to joining as a 'Specialist Reserve' whose service would be "restricted to employment only in 77th Brigade and not the wider Army."

Can anyone give me some details on how you would go about joining as a specialist reservist with a specific unit in mind? The Army reserve pages seem geared to general reservists only. Should I approach a careers office or go back to 77 Bde direct? There is an application form but it's not totally clear if that's the correct route in.

Does the initial assessment/training differ for specialist reservists? I'm 37 and my job involves sitting on my arrse all day. That said, I do keep fit but I have always struggled with the endurance/cardiovascular side of things (I'm more of a sprinter!) and I wondered if there was more leeway given where they have a candidate with niche 'specialist' skills? I'll again stress I do gym regularly and eat ok, I'm not fat, pretty strong but long distance running/tabbing is my achilles heel.

Lastly, does anyone have any specific information relating to 77 Bde recruitment of Specialist Reserves?

Cheers.
 
Lastly, does anyone have any specific information relating to 77 Bde recruitment of Specialist Reserves?
Yes, they do and they even provide a phone number and email address.

 

Zhopa

War Hero
I looked into joining 77 Bde a few years ago
That's a long time in their short history so don't be surprised if you get a very different response when you ask this time.

I have always struggled with the endurance/cardiovascular side of things
I can't comment on the actual requirements, but it is notable that some specialist reservists - while not quite as reassuringly spherical as some of their SGMI comrades - would also plainly face the same challenge.

Good luck. Let us know how you get on (it would be good to know if this route, at least, works as intended because of minimum "help" from Capita).
 

Snapper 25

Clanker
Maybe they just mean you have to go through the joining process and then phase 1 with your local unit which makes sense as it would be easier.
Everyone does phase 1 and it's the same for everyone apart from 4 para and the HAC who do their own.
 
It’s possible but that wasn’t the impression I got, in fact they said something about joining your local unit making you a more versatile asset, I took that to mean you’d be trained in the skills of the local unit in addition.
 
Seems like someone wants all the glamour without the shouting, sweat, cold, mixing with others, sharing the pain and other nice things, including getting a hair cut :cool:

Just a guess?

Some legitimate questions and points raised though.



I'll wait for some clever answer
 
It’s possible but that wasn’t the impression I got, in fact they said something about joining your local unit making you a more versatile asset, I took that to mean you’d be trained in the skills of the local unit in addition.
if you want to get the up to date facts (things have changed over last 2-3 years) get on the phone and speak to the recruiters. That’s what they are there for.
 
I'll wait for some clever answer
Pretty much. I mean it’s the army’s call really...

I have skills that are niche, typically not found within already serving personnel, typically not found in people who also have an interest in the armed forced and which the Army says they need.

If they want them they can have them.

If they insist I have to be a fully trained, combat ready, bomb disposal expert first then it’s not for me and we can both be on our merry way and they can continue to struggle to fill posts.

If they compromise and say actually the basic minimum of induction is fine as the chances of ever using you in a conventional military capacity are extremely low, then perhaps we have a deal.

It just seems that the insistence that ‘everyone is a soldier first’ is hampering efforts to get certain skilled posts filed by reservists as the people with those skills aren’t typically ‘soldiering’ types. I mean thinking it through I don’t know why they can’t just open up posts within the unit for civilians so no military training is required?

ETA: And for those mentioning, I fully intend to speak to the unit direct again in the near future but I wanted to use this forum (and the army recruitment live chat, which was surprisingly good) to get some knowledge behind me first so if they say something that doesn’t fit with what I’ve heard elsewhere I can at least challenge it to see if I have understood them right.
 
If they insist I have to be a fully trained, combat ready, bomb disposal expert first then it’s not for me and we can both be on our merry way and they can continue to struggle to fill posts.
As you have been told, ring the recruiter again.

Don't think that joining a local unit is bad. It lets you train local to your home and provides more ready assistance.

They don't want you to be combat ready searcher. Stop being a d*ck about it. If you researched the local unit(s) you'd find out what was around you.

We had a recruit get to ph1b (ie end of basic) in a few months. She then moved on. So it does happen.

What are these mad skills that we so desperately need you for? Because you're coming across as, quite frankly, someone who's not going to add to the mix. Bit of a morale hoover perhaps.
 
Pretty much. I mean it’s the army’s call really...

I have skills that are niche, typically not found within already serving personnel, typically not found in people who also have an interest in the armed forced and which the Army says they need.

If they want them they can have them.

If they insist I have to be a fully trained, combat ready, bomb disposal expert first then it’s not for me and we can both be on our merry way and they can continue to struggle to fill posts.

If they compromise and say actually the basic minimum of induction is fine as the chances of ever using you in a conventional military capacity are extremely low, then perhaps we have a deal.

It just seems that the insistence that ‘everyone is a soldier first’ is hampering efforts to get certain skilled posts filed by reservists as the people with those skills aren’t typically ‘soldiering’ types. I mean thinking it through I don’t know why they can’t just open up posts within the unit for civilians so no military training is required?

ETA: And for those mentioning, I fully intend to speak to the unit direct again in the near future but I wanted to use this forum (and the army recruitment live chat, which was surprisingly good) to get some knowledge behind me first so if they say something that doesn’t fit with what I’ve heard elsewhere I can at least challenge it to see if I have understood them right.
FYI, the Army Reserve is full of people with niche civilian skills. The army has even begun, if slowly, to address the need to be able to identify the talent they have tucked away around the country. My Squadron, for instance, could field a pretty reasonable ancient history and archaeology department if called upon to do so.
 

Just_plain_you

War Hero
Pretty much. I mean it’s the army’s call really...

I have skills that are niche, typically not found within already serving personnel, typically not found in people who also have an interest in the armed forced and which the Army says they need.

If they want them they can have them.
Tell you what, chap, you are rather coming across as a bit of a whiny, entitled millennial.

As you haven't even been to Dennison Barracks, you have no idea how 'niche' your skills actually are.

Give the Recruiting Team a call and brush up on the Army's Values and Standards. You might even be accepted.
 
As you have been told, ring the recruiter again.
And as I said, I will.

They don't want you to be combat ready searcher. Stop being a d*ck about it.
That was what I was told, that by joining my local unit and becoming a reserve with them I would be trained in other skills that would then make me a more versatile asset. Ie: I could be put to work with 77Bde OR in a mine disposal capacity. In fact joining 77 would be something subject to application after I am already a reserve, so if they say no I’ve wasted mine and their time.

To again compare, if the army has a shortage of veterinarians would you want them to train with the Royal Signals first so they became ‘more versatile’? At the risk of turning people off to the idea of joining?

What are these mad skills that we so desperately need you for? Because you're coming across as, quite frankly, someone who's not going to add to the mix. Bit of a morale hoover perhaps.
I never said they were ‘desperately in need’ but from my last contact they are short of people who can do what I do and looking at the figures it’s well known they are woefully under strength in reserves which suggests something about the recruitment process isn’t working. As someone who was once put off from applying I think I can speak as to why that may be.

Anyway, this thread is going around in circles. Thanks to anyone who replied.
 
Tell you what, chap, you are rather coming across as a bit of a whiny, entitled millennial.

As you haven't even been to Dennison Barracks, you have no idea how 'niche' your skills actually are.

Give the Recruiting Team a call and brush up on the Army's Values and Standards. You might even be accepted.
Millenial? I'm pushing 40!

And I am calling them niche skills as I know they have (or at least had) a shortage of people trained in 77Bde and no full-time soldier would be able to have built up the same experience alongside a full-time army career.

I mean, I only came here to see if anyone has any inside scoop on 77Bde and for some general info on how 'specialist reserves' are generally recruited vs normal reserves. "Just call them" is great advice but I can do that in addition to looking for information here, i mean should we not go into every recruitment thread and just tell people to call up as that's the only way they will get the most up to date information.
 
Again, if that is the process look for a job more akin to what you enjoy.

Just because the unit is EOD search doesn't mean you can only be a searcher in the unit.

Vets come in via the PQO route. This may not be suitable for a role in 77X.
 

Just_plain_you

War Hero
Millenial? I'm pushing 40!

And I am calling them niche skills as I know they have (or at least had) a shortage of people trained in 77Bde and no full-time soldier would be able to have built up the same experience alongside a full-time army career.

I mean, I only came here to see if anyone has any inside scoop on 77Bde and for some general info on how 'specialist reserves' are generally recruited vs normal reserves. "Just call them" is great advice but I can do that in addition to looking for information here, i mean should we not go into every recruitment thread and just tell people to call up as that's the only way they will get the most up to date information.
I said you are coming across as one, not that you are one...

And if you had bothered to read any other recruiting threads, that's pretty much the advice given every time.

How many reservists do you think work for 77X? And how many of them are on arrse?
 
I think this is my last word on it since I have to wait between posts which is frustrating so apologies for the length...

FYI, the Army Reserve is full of people with niche civilian skills. My Squadron, for instance, could field a pretty reasonable ancient history and archaeology department if called upon to do so.
And yet 77X couldn't (per the latest figures I could find - 2016) fill even half it's liability including from current and new reservists so something must not be working?

Again, if that is the process look for a job more akin to what you enjoy.
That's the thing, there's literally one role I am interested in and it's with 77Bde.

I am not looking to 'join the reserves, learn new skills etc' I am offering to help fill a capability gap that the reserves has and for me it's that role or nothing. If, as another poster said, that makes me sound 'entitled' then so be it. I don't need to join the reserves, I have a good private sector job, I am just making an offer if they want to accept it.

I also appreciate the reserves have the right to insist I jump through any/all hoops they want, all I am saying is that's probably part of the reason they can't fill the roles as they're treating them the same as any other trade in the army.

Vets come in via the PQO route. This may not be suitable for a role in 77X.
Not sure what the last part meant but this kind of sums up what I am saying, PQOs don't do the full reserves RMAS course, the army are willing to make allowances on what is required because they need 45 year old, highly experienced trauma surgeons even if they can't run very far and barely know which end of a gun goes bang.

And if you had bothered to read any other recruiting threads, that's pretty much the advice given every time.
Why would I read other recruitment threads if they have no relevance to me?

It does beg the question why the recruitment boards exist though? Replace them all with a 'just call recruitment' sticky and save us all the hassle?

How many reservists do you think work for 77X? And how many of them are on arrse?
At last count (2016) there were 123 reservists in 77X, a shortfall of 143. (53% unfilled)

Given the unit is heavily involved in information warfare, social media influencing, web ops and such I would assume the reservists are more likely than the norm to engage in internet discussion boards so there would be a higher than average representation. My guess, 2? 3? Without posting here not sure how I would ever know.

----------

- 77X needs people with skills in computing, broadcast, media, digital ops, web, communications, PR etc.
- Some of those roles are typically done by a demographic which has little/no interest in the armed forces, involve skills and experience that aren't found within the army already, take years of work and study to build up, are office based so result in higher proprtion of health/fitness issues, plus many of them pay very well in the private sector.
- If the army wants to insist that applicants complete P1a and P1b in full with no waivers for any aspect, or even further insist that you go on to P2 training in a trade with your local unit with a view to 'applying' to 77 hoping you're accepted, they have every right to do that.
The upside is it means the recruits that join 77X will be better, more well-rounded soldiers with a secondary trade that makes them more useful to the army as a whole.
The downside is that is going to put of many, if not most, of the people you need to attract. There's certainly *some* reason that they have been understrength by so much for so long?
- An alternative is to realise that these people aren't going to be used in a conventional combat role, they will sit at a desk and stay in the UK most of the time. Give them a shortened and more 'relaxed' entry to the basics of soldiering, waive fitness or health issues where they wouldn't affect the specialist role they are employed for, and therefore open the gates to a wider pool of talent. It's a bit like the easier PQO course that doctors etc go on. Or even further, scrap the military aspect all together, just recruit civilians to do these jobs along side the regulars and reserves?
- I will be contacting the unit directly as so many people have helpfully suggested but this thread could still have been used for a discussion around specialist reserve entry which would have been more helpful to others in a similar position than this bin fire of a thread.
- Since starting this thread I have learned that I *can* apply directly to 77X, they will then conduct an assessment of my skills, *if* I can fill a capability gap they will assist my joining the reserves as a specialist reserve with service restricted to them alone. This is from army recruiting so I need to check that tallies with 77X position on things.
 
The bottom line is that you need to have the same basic soldiering skills everyone else has, even if you end up with a buckshee PWO Commission into 77 Brigade. The ‘easiest’ route to that stage is to join the Army Reserve as you were advised. You can make your intentions known as part of the recruitment process, and once in record your hard-won civilian skills on the newly created SKIL database through Defence Connect.

Ultimately you would be joining the army, and nobody gets a waiver through the recruiting process.
 
The bottom line is that you need to have the same basic soldiering skills everyone else has.
Genuine questions:

1: Why?
2: Do you consider it more important to have a broadcast communications specialst* who is ALSO a soldier 'with the same basic soldiering skills' as everyone else even if that means you only run at 50% strength?

* or any other number of weird 'information warfare' type roles that involves nerds and such sat on the net or making videos.
 
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