Trade vs combat - Recruiting advice has made me LESS sure...

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Regular Soldier Recruitment' started by Squiddly, Jan 9, 2008.

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  1. Okay, first of all, if this is the wrong place for posting this then I apologise - I didn't want to post this in the RAC AND the REME forums, and while I spent a while searching, I didn't find anything that deals with these specifics - that's probably me being a mong though.

    For a while I had been going through the application process wanting to train to become a vehicle mechanic. This is all well and good, I'd follow in the family tradition (well, one of my family was in a REME unit) and that's all fine and dandy.

    But later on having done some more research and having spent far too much (some might say just enough to see the light) time on the RAC forum, I decided that being a tankie was for me. You get to drive big sod-off challies and fight as part of an active combat unit - something which you don't get to do in civvy life, at the risk of sounding glib, "fighting for you country" is not an everyday opportunity and seems to me, to be an honour and something to take pride in.

    Having said that, I am thoroughly balanced in my views and have a great deal of respect for both the tankies who fight in the challies, and for the mechanics who tirelessly repair them and keep them running. I don't want anyone thinking that I'm one of those "if you're not teeth you're not army" loonies, absolutely not. I know that soldiers and tradesmen of all regiments and units go above and beyond every single day, and would absolutely not want to mistakenly be believed to be disrespecting that.

    I was advised I might be able to get the best of both worlds, join the local tankies,, the RDG, and train, live and fight as one of them. Perhaps when I'm older and have less testosterone or whatever (no disrespect intended at all - see the above paragraph) I can go and get a trade, "settle down" to a degree if you like, to a job where I'm not on the front - but having spoken to the recruiting sergeant, it seems it, in his words, "doesn't work like that". I'm now told, according to who I speak to, that I can train to fight, go and fight and then maybe later in my carreer, rebadge as REME and train as a VM. But his advice was that if I join as a tankie, a tankie I will be until I leave.

    If I'm completely honest, I want to do both jobs. But then, I am not able to make this decision easily. To be frank, I'm completely stuck. I've heard complaints from both corps, some complaining that thanks to WFM, there's nothing to do of a working week when at home, others complaining that at the first him of problems, the tank is shipped off to the REME to be fixed.
    On the other hand, I've heard, particularly recently, of discontent in the REME, caused to a degree by that "LEAN" management ethos which to an outsider like me seems to have (in the manner of things at my civilian job) barged into a workforce that already knows how to work and how to do its job, and has told them to do it differently, consequences be damned.

    I know that things are not perfect in either corps, but I have (with some luck) only a few weeks to make this decision, and the decision I make will determine the path of my army carreer. One thing to bear in mind though is that I have little to no intention of continuing my trade - if I go for the trade - out of the army, once I leave.

    So now I need to know, is it true I won't be able to transfer? Is heavy armour really a case of trackbashing, deploying, then coming back and twiddling your thumbs for six months (surely not?), is the REME the job for me, do I want to work in a support trade for the rest of my twenties?

    I therefore throw myself on your mercies, asking all of you for any advice you care to give. All posts will be read (obviously) and hopefully they'll help me make a decision. Thanks in advance.
  2. Go Cav', have the best time of your life, get out, join a REME TA unit, sorted!
  3. Dropped you a PM mate...
  4. Cool. I've got my experience day or whatever t's called tomorrow, so time's marching on and I'm no closer to making the right decision... :(
  5. Have fun, squids
  6. Don't join until you know what you want to do. Take the time to sort that out first.
  7. Dont go into a job you dont think you'll be happy with and dont go in thinking it will be easy to transfer once in. Some people are able to transfer but its not as easy, just remember theyd of spent 20K+ on training you for one job to then spend the same again to train you for another job.
    Ive worked with tankies and armd infantry in the past and they are a good bunch and life on exercise is great but some do feel bored in camp. Im biased as a VM which is totally different as you graft like fcukin camp, sometimes looking at the tankies, infantry off on sports afternoons as your still working. If you are an a mech you will still get he chance to drive Warrior 512 and 513's (repair/recovery variants0 and othr armoured vehicles) or go Recovery mech and drive the best vehicle in the army IMHO the Rhino (CRARRV). By the end of the day its your decision but look at the job you can spend 22 years doing and get out your mind that you can transfer as its giving you false hope and is showing you weekness in your decisions.
  8. If you've got time, get yourself on some army insight courses. Most Arms and Services have their own, less medics i think. You can attend as many of these courses as you like and hopefully they will allow you to make the right desision before you join. Speak to your Recruiter or Army Careers Advisor about it.
  9. I keep hearing about these insight courses, but have not been offered them or spoken to about them, as I know nothing about them. Vising the units concerned may also be a nono as not only are the unit I want to join in wiltshire while I'm in yorkshire, but they're also actually in Iraq at the mo.

    Seems that the recruiters are pushing me one way, advising against anything other than reme VM, but I suspect this is something to do with a meeting I had with a sergeant after my barb test, when he advised me that they were 60 VM's short. Call my cynical, but I think this is why VM has suddenly become the "best job in the world". Why, if it's so fantastic, are they 60 people short?

    I have to admit I'm getting pretty narked off with the whole thing, because I have two jobs to decide between, the recruiters all seem to have told me why NOT to go for certain jobs, but seem to not want to tell me the pros of either job. I don't want to make this sort of decision based on the information I have now, which is frankly, not much and I can see myself just pulling the plug on the whole idea, 4 weeks before ADSC.

    It seems I have a choice between either working overtime all the time, or coming back of deployment and spending 6 months of the year being bored. Now I don't have a clue in hell what I want to do. :(

    Cheers for the advice though, folks :).

    EDIT: Please excuse the mongy whining. The fact that I can't make a decision is my fault not the system's. :oops:
    But I still need to talk to a tankie! :p
  10. Specifically ask your recruiter you want to go on an army insight course and they'll no doubt try and get you on one... and if your unshakeable on what you want to do let your recruiter know thats definately what you want to do... if you dither and quiver then he will try and persuade you to look at the full job range the army has, its his job.
  11. Squiddly, try posting in the RAC board, lots of tankie there pal :)