To those that have taken the leap

#1
There are quite a few threads about fellas transferring to the Australian Army, so I was wondering:
1. Is it what you expected?
2. Do you regret transferring?
3. If there was something you could change with your new Army what would it be?
4. What are some of the differences that stick out like the dogs bollocks?

I reckon there would be some funny stories, and some frustrating ones to be heard about the experience of transferring to another country/army.

You must have some good yarns ozduke :D
 
#2
Ive sort of been on the reverse of this.

I was in the Aussie Army Reserves, but spent a fair bit of time with the regulars ie did the Singo course with an ARA Pl (the 13 week infantry course rather than the 'chocko' course) after doing Kapooka with the regulars (as all reservists did anyway). Also spent a month up north with 3 RAR slotting in as a section member for an Airborne exercise (whose name unfortunately escapes me at this moment in time. It was in 04 with the Kiwis.).

After a couple of years of this I decided that soldiering as a profession was for me, but Id had some mates that'd spent years in the Aussies and gone no-where, often due to being in the wrong company or the wrong battalion at the wrong time. Im not taking a dig at the Army at all, more the Governments willingness ( or lack thereof) to deploy its forces in more than token effort sizes.

I ended up, on the advice of a mate who was formerly a Sergeant in the Cheshires, moving to Blighty and joining the Parachute Regiment, in the hope that Id get more deployments, with better rules of engagement than Id have got if Id gone full time in Oz and joined the Royal Australian Regiment.

1. Is it what you expected?
Yes and No. I was hoping to go on ops sooner after marching out of Catterick, but Ill be in Afghan next year, so the wait's nearly over. I was hoping to go on more international exercises, but we seem to have been sh1tted on on that front.

Id also hoped the kit would be better, somewhere between the quality of the Aussies and the Yanks. Id rate the Kit about the same. The Aussies have some things better, the Brits have other things better. Both Armys issue rubbish boots though, Ill tell you that for free (although deserts dont need polishing which I didnt mind at all).

The Training was in some ways what I expected in that at Depot Para, you get thrashed til you understand the meaning of the words 'sweating from your eyeballs', and 'working til you drop'. Also the drop out rate for platoons in Depot Para was much higher than back home. This is probably on par with the 'Straight to 4 RAR' platoons they were training back home tho.

[Goboff]I guess not everyone was born to make it into the elite[/Goboff] Heh.

There were other aspects of training I thought were better at Singleton tho. Marksmanship was more stringently monitored. You have to pass the APWT to progress at ITC, but you had to pass through several Live Firing (LF's) tests (I think up to LF 15?) to progress through Singo. We did lots more night shooting at Singo as well. More emphasis was placed on individual map reading by day and night too.

In the end I think the Para course produces 'ard blokes who will learn more in Battalion, and the Aussie course produces blokes who have learned more and will get 'arder at Battalion (not that the Aussies are soft by any stretch, but when I marched out of Singleton Ill be fcuked if I could have passed P company right then and there).

2. Do you regret transferring?

Never. Not that I 'thank gawd for everyday he gives me in the corps, hoo-rah' or any of that sh1t, but Ive never actually thought to myself 'I wish Id stayed back home...'

It'd be nice to see the Family and my mates I grew up with more, but at the end of the day this is what I am. I chose to do it, and Id think meanly of myself if Id never given it a go. Besides, half my old mates are travelling round the world now anyway and the rest are pursuing degrees and careers, so things wouldnt be like I left them anyway.


Since Ive been here Ive been able to travel much more on my leave, and to more varied destinations, as the UK is a lot closer to the rest of the world. There arent many places in Europe that I cant get to for less than 200 Squid.

Itd be nice to be paid as much as the Aussies tho. Exercise pay was always a morale lifter. Also it can get a bit tiring be the odd one out in terms of being ' that Aussie cnut', but its squared me with the ladys more than once so what the hell eh.

3. If there was something you could change with your new Army what would it be?

Better kit, especially when it comes to night vision and the like. How about a helmet I can see with when Im in the prone position, without having to rest my lid on the SUSAT? (cheers for banning the Para lid from Herrick you fcuking pricks, one more thing the blokes on the ground have to contend with, as if we didnt have enough on our plates.)

The Pay.

The uniform. Aussie Army - no ironing creases into uniforms, just out. Dont need to tuck in your shirt ( I prefer wearing it out, looks neater, more comfortable, I reckon anyway). I miss cutting about my day to day in desert boots that never needed polishing after a day at the ranges had scuffed them to fcuk, but I guess they dont suit our wet climate as much so I guess its a moot point. However..

Better boots as standard issue. You couldnt make a cheaper boot if you tried. Gash for anything physically demanding. Cardboard like leather, once wet they stay wet, and take too long to break in. The amount of blokes that get MD'd for shin injurys at Catterick is horrendous, and Im sure this could be helped if blokes were issued a pair of decent boots at the start. The Army isnt exactly in a position where it can afford to turf recruits willy nilly.

I could go on much longer about a whole range of things, but Id probably go well into breaching OPSEC and half way into treason. My personal chuntering skills deserve a badge on my 2's.


4. What are some of the differences that stick out like the dogs balls?

There are a lot more similaritys than differences though. I was suprised at how much the 2 Armys are alike.

However..

There isnt as much rivalry between the Infantry Battalions in Oz as there is over here, or maybe thats because I come from the Reg and just about everyone else 'is a fcuking hat'. Sure all the Ozzy Infanteers slag the 'pogues' off just as hard as we do, but you dont get a bloke from 2 RAR slagging all the blokes from 5/7 RAR off nearly as much. Maybe because all Aussie infantry are cut from the same stone (ie all infanteers come from the same platoons in Singleton, not finding out where theyre going til after ex Hardcorps at the end of the course). That said, I thought the standard Infantry back home were of a much better quality than the standard Infantry here. Just some of the things Ive seen and experienced on exercise and playing enemy for various outfits.

The British Army is bigger on bullsh1t and ceremonys. Youd never get a Guards Bn in Australia.

British Reservists have a much greater chance of being deployed on ops, and because of that theyre not nearly depised as much (not that everyone loves the TA, but there is a marked difference).


I reckon there would be some funny stories, and some frustrating ones to be heard about the experience of transferring to another country/army.

The recruitment process I found to be quite frustrating. I applied through the overseas cell, which seem to drag on for months and months, then when they said all was in order and to come over, I rocked up and after making an appointment to come back with all the paperwork filled in in a fortnight (the earliest I could get), I returned, handed the Sergeant the paperwork, and after being knocked back for not having a visa that would allow me to stay in the uk for six months, I pointed to the part underneath where Id written I had a British passport so I didnt need this. He informed me that they didnt know I had a UK passport and that Id have to start all over again, heres a sketch map to the Oxford Street branch, off you go. They didnt know I had a British passport, despite the fact Id written this in my postal application at least twice, and Id included a photocopy of it when Id sent my papers out stating I didnt have a criminal record and that Id had some semblance of schooling etc. Makes me wonder how much attention they paid to these as well.

I wasnt as frustrated going through Depot again as I thought I would be though, as I needed Depot Para to get me fit enough to earn my Maroon Beret. Also, I made the decision that I wanted to earn it, and not seek an upsquadding (whether Id have got it or not is a different matter). Para Depot taught me a lot about myself and what I was capable of. Inside, I am a different person for it. It was an experience that will always stick with me.

Im happy with the outfit Im part of now. Id be frustrated as fcuk to come over here, go through Depot again, only to turn up to a unit which was a shower of sh1t, but thankfully that wasnt the case. I may end up going home and joining the Aussies again in years to come, as as nice as the UK is it isnt my home, but Im happy staying put for now.
 
#8
Good post there Spanish.

We seemed to have a steady trickle of Aussie's and Kiwi's in Battalion during my time in, good blokes to a man.

One (Kiwi) went back one summer leave and popped in to a careers office to see what the score was if he decided to come back for good. Apparently he was offered a fast track commission and any posting he wanted (this was mid 80's so slightly different times).
 
#10
Spanish said:
Ive sort of been on the reverse of this.

I was in the Aussie Army Reserves, but spent a fair bit of time with the regulars ie did the Singo course with an ARA Pl (the 13 week infantry course rather than the 'chocko' course) after doing Kapooka with the regulars (as all reservists did anyway). Also spent a month up north with 3 RAR slotting in as a section member for an Airborne exercise (whose name unfortunately escapes me at this moment in time. It was in 04 with the Kiwis.).

After a couple of years of this I decided that soldiering as a profession was for me, but Id had some mates that'd spent years in the Aussies and gone no-where, often due to being in the wrong company or the wrong battalion at the wrong time. Im not taking a dig at the Army at all, more the Governments willingness ( or lack thereof) to deploy its forces in more than token effort sizes.

I ended up, on the advice of a mate who was formerly a Sergeant in the Cheshires, moving to Blighty and joining the Parachute Regiment, in the hope that Id get more deployments, with better rules of engagement than Id have got if Id gone full time in Oz and joined the Royal Australian Regiment.

1. Is it what you expected?
Yes and No. I was hoping to go on ops sooner after marching out of Catterick, but Ill be in Afghan next year, so the wait's nearly over. I was hoping to go on more international exercises, but we seem to have been sh1tted on on that front.

Id also hoped the kit would be better, somewhere between the quality of the Aussies and the Yanks. Id rate the Kit about the same. The Aussies have some things better, the Brits have other things better. Both Armys issue rubbish boots though, Ill tell you that for free (although deserts dont need polishing which I didnt mind at all).

The Training was in some ways what I expected in that at Depot Para, you get thrashed til you understand the meaning of the words 'sweating from your eyeballs', and 'working til you drop'. Also the drop out rate for platoons in Depot Para was much higher than back home. This is probably on par with the 'Straight to 4 RAR' platoons they were training back home tho.

[Goboff]I guess not everyone was born to make it into the elite[/Goboff] Heh.

There were other aspects of training I thought were better at Singleton tho. Marksmanship was more stringently monitored. You have to pass the APWT to progress at ITC, but you had to pass through several Live Firing (LF's) tests (I think up to LF 15?) to progress through Singo. We did lots more night shooting at Singo as well. More emphasis was placed on individual map reading by day and night too.

In the end I think the Para course produces 'ard blokes who will learn more in Battalion, and the Aussie course produces blokes who have learned more and will get 'arder at Battalion (not that the Aussies are soft by any stretch, but when I marched out of Singleton Ill be fcuked if I could have passed P company right then and there).

2. Do you regret transferring?

Never. Not that I 'thank gawd for everyday he gives me in the corps, hoo-rah' or any of that sh1t, but Ive never actually thought to myself 'I wish Id stayed back home...'

It'd be nice to see the Family and my mates I grew up with more, but at the end of the day this is what I am. I chose to do it, and Id think meanly of myself if Id never given it a go. Besides, half my old mates are travelling round the world now anyway and the rest are pursuing degrees and careers, so things wouldnt be like I left them anyway.


Since Ive been here Ive been able to travel much more on my leave, and to more varied destinations, as the UK is a lot closer to the rest of the world. There arent many places in Europe that I cant get to for less than 200 Squid.

Itd be nice to be paid as much as the Aussies tho. Exercise pay was always a morale lifter. Also it can get a bit tiring be the odd one out in terms of being ' that Aussie cnut', but its squared me with the ladys more than once so what the hell eh.

3. If there was something you could change with your new Army what would it be?

Better kit, especially when it comes to night vision and the like. How about a helmet I can see with when Im in the prone position, without having to rest my lid on the SUSAT? (cheers for banning the Para lid from Herrick you fcuking pricks, one more thing the blokes on the ground have to contend with, as if we didnt have enough on our plates.)

The Pay.

The uniform. Aussie Army - no ironing creases into uniforms, just out. Dont need to tuck in your shirt ( I prefer wearing it out, looks neater, more comfortable, I reckon anyway). I miss cutting about my day to day in desert boots that never needed polishing after a day at the ranges had scuffed them to fcuk, but I guess they dont suit our wet climate as much so I guess its a moot point. However..

Better boots as standard issue. You couldnt make a cheaper boot if you tried. Gash for anything physically demanding. Cardboard like leather, once wet they stay wet, and take too long to break in. The amount of blokes that get MD'd for shin injurys at Catterick is horrendous, and Im sure this could be helped if blokes were issued a pair of decent boots at the start. The Army isnt exactly in a position where it can afford to turf recruits willy nilly.

I could go on much longer about a whole range of things, but Id probably go well into breaching OPSEC and half way into treason. My personal chuntering skills deserve a badge on my 2's.


4. What are some of the differences that stick out like the dogs balls?

There are a lot more similaritys than differences though. I was suprised at how much the 2 Armys are alike.

However..

There isnt as much rivalry between the Infantry Battalions in Oz as there is over here, or maybe thats because I come from the Reg and just about everyone else 'is a fcuking hat'. Sure all the Ozzy Infanteers slag the 'pogues' off just as hard as we do, but you dont get a bloke from 2 RAR slagging all the blokes from 5/7 RAR off nearly as much. Maybe because all Aussie infantry are cut from the same stone (ie all infanteers come from the same platoons in Singleton, not finding out where theyre going til after ex Hardcorps at the end of the course). That said, I thought the standard Infantry back home were of a much better quality than the standard Infantry here. Just some of the things Ive seen and experienced on exercise and playing enemy for various outfits.

The British Army is bigger on bullsh1t and ceremonys. Youd never get a Guards Bn in Australia.

British Reservists have a much greater chance of being deployed on ops, and because of that theyre not nearly depised as much (not that everyone loves the TA, but there is a marked difference).


I reckon there would be some funny stories, and some frustrating ones to be heard about the experience of transferring to another country/army.

The recruitment process I found to be quite frustrating. I applied through the overseas cell, which seem to drag on for months and months, then when they said all was in order and to come over, I rocked up and after making an appointment to come back with all the paperwork filled in in a fortnight (the earliest I could get), I returned, handed the Sergeant the paperwork, and after being knocked back for not having a visa that would allow me to stay in the uk for six months, I pointed to the part underneath where Id written I had a British passport so I didnt need this. He informed me that they didnt know I had a UK passport and that Id have to start all over again, heres a sketch map to the Oxford Street branch, off you go. They didnt know I had a British passport, despite the fact Id written this in my postal application at least twice, and Id included a photocopy of it when Id sent my papers out stating I didnt have a criminal record and that Id had some semblance of schooling etc. Makes me wonder how much attention they paid to these as well.

I wasnt as frustrated going through Depot again as I thought I would be though, as I needed Depot Para to get me fit enough to earn my Maroon Beret. Also, I made the decision that I wanted to earn it, and not seek an upsquadding (whether Id have got it or not is a different matter). Para Depot taught me a lot about myself and what I was capable of. Inside, I am a different person for it. It was an experience that will always stick with me.

Im happy with the outfit Im part of now. Id be frustrated as fcuk to come over here, go through Depot again, only to turn up to a unit which was a shower of sh1t, but thankfully that wasnt the case. I may end up going home and joining the Aussies again in years to come, as as nice as the UK is it isnt my home, but Im happy staying put for now.
Excellent post Spanish. As I have stated in previous popsts I had the opportunity to "observe" training of a Platoon of Joes in Para Depot in 05 and came away from that experience with, if nothing else, some funny stories and observations for my mates back at SOI Singleton. One that comes t mind is when marching the platoon from Helles to Vimy and being right in the middle of the Vimy Bks on the way to the gym the good Sergeant, in his loudest voice, told his men to "heads up Joe, you're in hatsville now..." Laugh? I almost pissed myself as fellas from Hat Units just rolled their eyes as we continued on. :D
 
#11
Spanish said:
I ended up, on the advice of a mate who was formerly a Sergeant in the Cheshires, moving to Blighty and joining the Parachute Regiment, in the hope that Id get more deployments, with better rules of engagement than Id have got if Id gone full time in Oz and joined the Royal Australian Regiment.
That fellas name wasn't a woggy name starting with L was it, and does he have red hair? :? I worked with a fella who was in the Cheshires, finished as a WO1 in SASC and transferred to Oz army after a stint in Range Qual team during a Long Look, had red hair and a wog name and is now a CAPT in the Small Arms side of the Army.
 
#12
down_under said:
There are quite a few threads about fellas transferring to the Australian Army, so I was wondering:
1. Is it what you expected?
2. Do you regret transferring?
3. If there was something you could change with your new Army what would it be?
4. What are some of the differences that stick out like the dogs balls?

I reckon there would be some funny stories, and some frustrating ones to be heard about the experience of transferring to another country/army.

You must have some good yarns ozduke :D
Moi!?
 
#13
Fallschirmjager said:
Glad i'm not 2 PARA with your cracking CO
Its hard to defend a bloke who regularly cuts about in his gore-tex jacket when theres no sign of rain whatsoever aye...
down_under said:
Spanish said:
I ended up, on the advice of a mate who was formerly a Sergeant in the Cheshires, moving to Blighty and joining the Parachute Regiment, in the hope that Id get more deployments, with better rules of engagement than Id have got if Id gone full time in Oz and joined the Royal Australian Regiment.
That fellas name wasn't a woggy name starting with L was it, and does he have red hair? :? I worked with a fella who was in the Cheshires, finished as a WO1 in SASC and transferred to Oz army after a stint in Range Qual team during a Long Look, had red hair and a wog name and is now a CAPT in the Small Arms side of the Army.
Nah, his name started with a P, and he's in the reserves (2/17RNSWR).
 
#16
I arrived in Australia in Sep 06 and have been in Darwin since. I've been to Victoria and SA on courses/exercise and I'm a Spanner (RAEME) Sergeant - ex WO2 REME Art Wpns

1. Is it what you expected?
Yes, it's as I expected in the main, see below for some of the surprises

2. Do you regret transferring?
Absolutely not - it's a fantastic opportunity and we as a family are enjoying our new home.

3. If there was something you could change with your new Army what would it be?
The few people who haven't adjusted to the fact that the ADF is now a high operational tempo organisation - people still worry too much about the little things - leave apps are a pain in the arse to fill out and process - simplify processes and be a bit more flexible!

4. What are some of the differences that stick out like the dogs balls?
a) People are too 'risk averse' here - Officers and SNCO/WO worry too much about the consequences of stepping over the line. In the UK we are quite happy to say 'yeah, the regs say that this is not allowed, but we'll do it anyway and correct it later' - to ensure mission success. Here it's more ' The regs say this is the way, so that's how we'll do it' - to the detriment of the mission.
An example - Aussies have to get permission from the Bde Commander to have a couple of beers if they are outside camp - I was down in South Aussie from Darwin and we had a Dinner to celebrate the end of the course - we tried to get some beers/Port for the dinner but we weren't allowed. In the UK, we wouldn't have bothered asking!

b) Officers are generally more in tune with their soldiers here - they wouldn't dream of not helping clean the vehicles after an exercise.

c) Private soldiers (Troopers/Cfn/Sappers) are generally more mature than their UK counterparts and can be trusted to get on with stuff without too much supervision. Ties in with the fact that people are not all chasing promotion so competition is not as fierce. Some people are happy to sit at CPL/SGT for the rest of their careers. Not all WOs are chasing commissions either.

In summary, the Aussie army is different to the UK, but similar in a lot of ways. I wouldn't either is better or worse - they are simply different.
Both are very good at what they do.

Hope this helps
 
#17
Unfortunately OHS has become a big thing in the Oz army, partly due to the fact we are now a Defence organisation instead of a Defence force. Beaurocratic nonsence. FFS, you can't train in Oz for what you are gonna do in theatre because you'll upset the headshed/owners of red tape, best to find out on Ops... not! :evil: In regards to piiss on Ex, this went out the window because some born again tree hugging General got to play with the train set and fecked it up for everyone years ago. There was nothing better than getting on it after a six week ex,(in the ole days), and then going home with all the pent up "stuff" out of the system. Now we go home and go to nearest pub and 9 times out of 10 get into the biff with civdiv. In regards to Officers, it has been my experience that they nearly always muck in and help cos if they don't the PLSGT would "motivate" them to do so. Those fellas that didn't help were always targetted in the sporting arena. :twisted: Just a couple of things off me chest now, due to what nige posted, and rant over... :p
 

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