To join or not to join that is the question

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I have a young relative who wants to join the Army :'(
she cannot get security clearance due to nationality.

She wants to be a cook (even sadder) considering her qualifications . I have not worn a green uniform for some time and wish to know the following:

Which trades attract the most overseas postings and have fast track promotion ?

How much has life changed for women in the Army in the last 20 years ?

Would you recommend her to join ?


If she's from the Commonwealth then there should be no problems.
I'm well acquainted with one of the ATR's (Army Training Regiment) where some of the more recent intakes have been majority non-British Isles. :eek:
As for trades Chef has decent promotion prospects but nothing beats Supply Controller.

Every dog has its day; especially chocolate labs in the mess.
Thanks for your reply, What qualifications do you get in supply ? Is there a great deal of travel envolved for a girl ?
My old man said that the only two trades in the Army where people really work are Chefs and Medics, both because they are jobs where you cannot put off until tomorrow!

Why does she want to be a Chef?  They work really hard, never get any time off to do activities such as sport, adventure training, do lots of deployments and they work all hours.

I am unsure on what Quals she might get as an Army Chef, but I do know that Chefs are paid on the higher salary along with technicians, unlike in Civvy St where catering trades are paid peanuts.

I would suggest you double check with her what she wants, if she wants fun & adventure, then Chef is probably not the one, if not, and she is happy to work hard for a good salary, Army Chef may suit.
If i could pick all over again what corps i wanted to go into,it still definately wouldnt become a chef.All they get is grief all the time,about the state of the food and it not being cooked properly.God i wouldnt wish that on anyone.
If she wants a qualification to use in civvy street then why not go to college,where she'll get treated with more respect. ::)
If she's joining just to get a qual for civ st, then it's for the wrong reason and she'll probably hate it.
Chefs do work very hard - but don't we all - erm no, thats not right.
As for travel, the Army marches on its stomach, and is currently marching all over the sh**ging place!
A Supply Controller works with I.T. a lot, dunno if they get civ quals for it. Fast promotion though.
Probably the fastest promotion, if you are good at maths and science, is R Sigs Radio tech, or Systems Engineering Tech (Radio) as it is now called.

Phase 2 trg is 1 year, leave as Lance Jack, full screw 1 year later.  Another 2 1/2 years then onto 1 year class 1 course, and leave with OND or HNC in engineering as a Sgt.  This all assumes you don't mess up, pass all the EFP, phase 2, phase 3 and mil trg courses.  But nonetheless Sgt after 6 1/2 years ain't bad, and civvy companies absolutely love em.  Some companies have whole depts crammed full of ex scaley techs.

If however you want to stay in the mob, as a sgt tech you can volunteer for training as a foreman of signals.  After a fairly tough selection process you can do a 2 yearish course and finish as a ssgt with a degree.  It is poss to complete this before you are 28.  On average you will spend 2 or three years at each rank and then be commissioned as a Technical Officer Telecommunications.  Be warned though, the expectations are high and failure is not tolerated.  But if you can take the pressure and like 'challenges' this is the way to go.   Also open to chicks.

All royal signals trades get plenty of travel, and have airborne and commando units and even our own SAS squadron, not open to chicks.
But can you live with the "SHAME" of being a tech who are universally hated within the RSigs and normally outside too.   This is no joke Ladies and Gentlemen they really really are.  Although being a "Gunner" i just think it is sour grapes on behalf of the Rad Ops and TGs, Lineys dont count,  no really they cant.
I think Hawk wanted advice about joining the Army and it seems you just want to use it as an opportunity to have a go at Royal Signals again! LOL.

I remember reading one of your posts elsewhere about Herford - I think Siekers is the name of the dump you were after.
I think you guys have missed the point. She WANTS to join the Army.  However being a forward thinking lady she is thinking about end ex and what she will be able to do when she comes out.  She can't be a bleep because she can't get vetted. All I wanted to know is what is a Chefs life like nowadays, from what the comments are nothing has changed.


What is life like for a woman in the Army ?  If I remember rightly most of them were bikes or dykes ?
Is this still the case ?
I would disregard any negative comments about attitudes towards chefs in this day and age.  I think we are moving into a new modern era when even the grunts (infantry) manage to string a semi grateful thankyou together for their (well deserved) scoff.  That may be just because they are glad that they are not eating raw muck in a trench and pooing in plastic bags somewhere on sennybridge in hard routine.  However, it is gratitude all the same.  In my (albeit meagre) experience Chefs are appreciated worldwide on exciting deployments all over the world.  As for qualifications, the standard of training that they will experience at Aldershot in phase 2 training is second to none and will set them up when it becomes time to join 1UK Civ Div.  Hard work is rewarding (So ive been told).  As for being a supply controller, id rather eat my own fecal matter, but again its a matter of personal preference, whatever turns you on.  Im not a slop jockey myself, but am connected to a training establishment.  All the egg technicians coming through now are switched on kids looking for qualifications and an interesting life.  I hope my random praise for cooking has helped your friend.  By the way is she fit?
Thanks for the constructive comments, I'll pass them on.  She is a  very intelligent self motivated young lady who I think would have got a commission if there had not been this vetting problem.

As to her fitness we are working on it.  Sit up's and press ups are not a problem.  Trying to get her to run is another problem but I'm working on it
I left the mob after twenty two years, but maintain fairly close connections.  The life of a Chef in the Army has not changed, and I doubt if it ever will.  They are required to work on rotation over the full seven day week, three hundred and sixty-five days of the year (366 for leap years).  Plus they also get spammed for a variety of 'Mess Functions'.  If she likes hard work and slow promotion then Army Chef is certainly the way to go!
98charlie.  thanks for that.  Were you there about 97 - 99??   I have to agree with Green_B_S.   Tech in the Royal Signals is the way to go if you want fast promotion.
Quite a lot are lesbos Hawk,and a fair few are bikes,but not all women are,in fact the majority are normal! ;D, i mean i aint no bike and certainly dont bat for the other side believe me! ;D
Gunners - just in case you dont read your IMs on here - I was in Herford 96 - 98 (in the Signal Regt).  Hope your time with Royal Signals didnt leave too deep a scar! LOL
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