Thinking of becoming a ta sapper

Discussion in 'Sappers' started by jimmybragg, Jul 7, 2007.

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  1. Looking around i found 170 infra sp gp just wondering what sort of stuff they get up to and what i can expect to be up to over the next few years im a bricky by trade.
  2. chimera

    chimera LE Moderator

  3. If you go to 170 Infra Sp Gp you can expect to up to your neck in sand for the next few years. Good Enough?
  4. So basically Iraq or Afghanistan then other men my age crack and do a job, is the call up rate high within 170 how are ta personel perceived when they get to mix with their regular counterparts im really keen on joining an just looking for a bit more info from people who serve.
  5. I have worked with a couple of ta guys within 170 and its all down to personality. You need to be positive and try and add something to the team in which ever way you can.

  6. most played on 170's jukebox:
    "leaving, on a jet plane, dont know when i'll be back again"
  7. Jimmy, To be fair, if you are thinking of the TA see what your nearest unit is and try them. Selecting a unit which is further away just increases the Admin burden for yourself. If you are a bricklayer by trade don’t expect to be used much as a bricklayer in the Engineers. Trade skills are not a significant part of the daily experience, particularly if you are going to spend much time in sunnier climes.

    Look at the TA as a hobby to start off with which might develop into something which will take over your life (and in some case’s take your life) It’s a balance of your personality and the personality of the guys you are with which will make it a good experience or a bad one. There are some outstanding people in the TA, however it also has many who wouldn’t shine in the regular army. Also, It’s a closer reflection of society than the regulars.

    If I was in Midlands, I would try the Infantry or the Para’s for a better soldiering experience and having a better laugh. An STRE would be too much like a busman’s holiday, plus their overstretched and not appreciated by the main stream officer corp who at present seem oblivious to the meltdown of the technical roster.
  8. Cheers all i will go away and have a think.
  9. that's the fecking truth for sure. :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:
  10. I'm going to have to disagree with this. Even though I'm biased, I'll try to be objective about it, though.

    Right, Jimmy, the pros and cons (I gather from your previous posts that you're a relative newcomer to the TA, so I'm responding on this basis).

    It's quite true that you probably wouldn't get to do much bricklaying in 170 (except for the odd barbecue - but most people seem to have several already these days), but that doesn't mean that your skill wouldn't be welcomed. The STsRE(V) tend to be top-heavy on academic qualifications. As a result, there probably aren't many who could describe the various brick bonds, let alone detail them or supervise their construction. You have experience of building at grass-roots level (I detest that phrase, but it's the first that comes to mind) which, again, lots of others within the teams don't have. This allows you to understand first-hand how the different elements of construction come together. You probably don't realise it, but sequencing of operations during a construction project is something that you take for granted whereas some people have to think hard about it.

    With your experience limited to bricklaying, promotion will be slow at first, but as you progress through your civvy career, so your new skills will be recognised by the Army. When you get to be a bricklaying foreman, you'll have shown that you have man-management skills. When you get to be a GF, you'll show that you have experience of coordination of different trades. As you rise to Agent, you'll have managerial skills.

    170 wants people for their civvy skills, but it is a two-way process. You will get experience that you won't get as a civvy. You will learn a different way of working, a level of teamwork and trust that you probably haven't experienced on a civvy site. The people that you work with will have different skills that you can pick up, just as you pass your skills on to them.

    Because the Teams are small and there's quite a heavy workload, you'll quickly find yourself in the echelons of what you'd consider to be management - estimating, planning, reporting, etc. This experience filters back into your civvy career and you have the potential for faster civvy promotions. It becomes an upward spiral.

    170 has Camps in more varied locations than most other TA units. Gibraltar, Cyprus, Ascension, Falklands, Italy, Germany are the COMMON ones. Belize, Brunei, Kenya, Russia are visited less often, but individuals have been there in recent years. Sometimes, there's even a Camp in UK! :)

    You need to be aware that 170(V) is Specialist TA. There are no drill nights. Officially, there are only two obligatory weekends per year, but you'll find that there are probably about half a dozen that you really, really should attend. It's unlikely that you'd have the opportunity to attend more than this (unless you attend courses), so note that this is a big difference to an Independent unit.

    Annual Camps can sometimes be a little more than 15 days - because they tend to be abroad, available flight timings dictate the length of Camp. The norm is 15 days, though. (Unless you're in Cyprus and some cnut starts a war in the Balkans on the day that you're supposed to return, resulting in all the RAF flights being diverted - or you're on Ascension and the plane breaks down. Ha! Happy days! It really is fun being stuck for several days with nothing but your cabin baggage).

    170(V) probably has one of the highest call-up rates for operations. There aren't many who don't have an op medal. This reflects the operational tempo of 170's Regular counterparts - they always seem to be off somewhere or other, so it's only fair, I suppose.

    170 (and indeed other Specialist units) is probably best suited to someone who has civvy work commitments that prevent them from attending drill nights and more frequent weekends. Rather than ditching the TA, the Specialist units provide a safety net for those who like (or tolerate) the military environment.

    I would advise though, that it's best to complete recruit training with an Independent unit before transferring into 170. Recruit training takes a long time these days and it takes longer when there are less training periods available.

    Joining the Paras or Infantry won't be a better laugh. It's true that you'll have a laugh more frequently, but the quality will be just the same (just maybe). What you get out of it depends on what you put into it. (Anyway, how did such a thought even come to be suggested in the Sapper Forum? Do I hear calls of "Burn the Witch?"

    You'd also come away with the distinction of having one of the longest and most repetitive military addresses in the British Army:
    5xx (xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx) Specialist Team Royal Engineers (Volunteers)
    6x Works Group Royal Engineers
    170 (Infrastructure Support) Engineer Group Royal Engineers.

    Anybody else got the name of their Corps on every line of their address?
  11. Interesting reading as i am applying as a driver for the 170(v) Personally i am looking forward to it. Roll on the 10th Aug at chilwell
  12. Anymore info on 170 (infa) v?