Understanding all the Units... HELP

#1
Got Selection in a month or so, keen on joining the R.Engineers, but there's a few things i dont understand if some people could clear some things up for me please

All the units i find confusing, like with the infantry for example after training you join a battalion from your regiment, but with the engineers there's just so many on the list and i dont understand it? would my chosen trade affect what unit i go to? what units do what, i've been on the army website and tried to do my research but i still dont get it, i'm joining as a General Fitter so what would i be doing after phase 2 training??

and ALSO what's life like in the R.Engineers?
 
#2
Wonderer. I've been a Sapper since 1979 perhaps I can provide some information.

Caveat: The Corps' changed a bit since I joined.

First of life is great in the Royal Engineers, if I could do it all again I would. Mostly in the same way.

Generally speaking, sappers of all trades go to all units. However, some specialist GEO/Clerk of Works, Trades go to Specialist Teams RE to do specific functions or tasks. After a tour with STRE they will probably go on career courses and or assignments to other Sapper Units.

Air Assault and Commando Brigades are supported by sapper units, so 36 and 59 Indep Cdo Sqn have a spread of tradesmen, as well as combat engineers, C3S, drivers, planties, divers and design cell wallahs etc.

Your chosen trade won't limit what unit you go to, a Fitter RE can work in a Field Troop as a combat Engineer (in any Regiment) or a Support Troop/Workshop as a fitter or indeed at a Support Squadron as a fitter.

I can't comment on what life is like in other Corps compared to the Sappers, but the Sappers was brilliant for me.

I served with 39 Regt doing Construction, 28 doing Amphib, 59 Commando, 33 Bomb Disposal, 59 again and 32 Regt at Hohne doing Close Support.

It was epic. Hope you like it.
 
L

lumpy2

Guest
#4
Bluntslane - thanks for the insight, I was only a part time sapper (map stacker!) many years ago, but found your post very interesting.

Wonderer - good luck wherever you end up. :)
 
#5
Bluntslane you're showing your age (for a sprog!), 23 Engr Regt (Air Assault) support 16 Air Assault Brigade, 36 are a general support regiment - though back in the day............!

Once a C3S, always a Combat Signaller!
 

sirbhp

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
armoured engineers is the way to go , you get to carry all your food and booze with you at all times .
 
#7
Got Selection in a month or so, keen on joining the R.Engineers, but there's a few things i dont understand if some people could clear some things up for me please.
Blunty has summed it up pretty well. I have been out too long to give you any reliable intel.
Things have changed dramatically over the years. But I was in a Field Sqn in Germany before they were fully armoured and a Construction Sqn in the UK carrying out RAF support.

One thing to bear in mind in that is Corps it is the individual that is posted. In Infantry units etc the whole unit is posted as a oner, so if your with a bunch of twatspankles you will bethem for your duration.

I wouldn't have changed anything, given my time again. Only I would have stayed in for longer.
I was a Plant Operator, Gods chosen few. But we always had fitters in the Troop.

Oh, and its not "R.Engineers", its Royal Engineers, RE, Wedges or Ginger Beers.

A Sapper is for life, not just for piss ups.
 
#9
Basically this is the sequence of events once you've signed up:
Phase 1 training 3 months ish
Phase 2a (Military Engineer (Combat) 0-3) 3 months ish
Driving training if required anything from 2 weeks to 3 months dependant on what licenses you need
Phase 2b (Chatham for all trades less Geo, Log Spec, Driver, Armoured and C3S) anything from 3 months to 9 months
5 year inital posting to first unit unless you go to 23 Air Assualt or 24 Cdo Regiment where it's 2 or 3 years with the option to extend.

In your 2 postings you'll be expected to pass your Class 2 combat engineer tick test, do your Class 1 trade course, maybe get your Class 1 combat engineer course in (dependant on trade) and probably do your JNCO cadre if recommended for it.

Life in the Corps really does depend on what unit you're in, what's going on etc.
 
#10
Basically this is the sequence of events once you've signed up:
Phase 1 training 3 months ish
Phase 2a (Military Engineer (Combat) 0-3) 3 months ish
Driving training if required anything from 2 weeks to 3 months dependant on what licenses you need
Phase 2b (Chatham for all trades less Geo, Log Spec, Driver, Armoured and C3S) anything from 3 months to 9 months
5 year inital posting to first unit unless you go to 23 Air Assualt or 24 Cdo Regiment where it's 2 or 3 years with the option to extend.

In your 2 postings you'll be expected to pass your Class 2 combat engineer tick test, do your Class 1 trade course, maybe get your Class 1 combat engineer course in (dependant on trade) and probably do your JNCO cadre if recommended for it.

Life in the Corps really does depend on what unit you're in, what's going on etc.
Go to 33 EOD or 101 EOD and you will have options for Search and 8B5 basic EOD, although not sure if that is compulsory anymore.
 
#12
An outline between the different types of unit (air assault, commando, mechanised, armoured, force support and infrastructure support) and the Corps roles (mobility, counter-mobility and survivability) would be a good start. An idea of how your first couple of years in the Army would pan out (like I've described earlier). What sort of things your chosen trade does and the career path and specialisations that you can do within the trade at Class One (fitter equipment, fitter utilities and petroleum or fitter machinist). Employment within a Squadron either as a combat engineer in a field troop, as a fitter in a troop or a fitter in a REME workshop which is part of the Engineer regiment.

That's an outline, look on the careers website to get the rest of the info to back up what I've put there.
 

sirbhp

LE
Book Reviewer
#13
I hear that sappers are being retrospectively awarded a medal. Its a shiny silver medal with a bottle opener welded to it .
 
#15
Sadly whichever route you choose OP, you will always be only half of the top 10%
Arte et Marte
Yes, the top half.

Don't listen to the skinny badge. That donkey (some might say ass) on their badge is only alive because of the bolt of lightening eminating from the Corps diffribulator.
 
#17
Everyone has their own opinion, only YOU can make the choice.
REgards & remember .... REME = Royal Engineers Made Easy. :applaud:
 
#18
OP - I joined Inf then transferred to a far easier life in another Corps (that will remain nameless as I'm sure your post will be violently sidetracked!!), buuut, was posted to 28 Engr Regt in Hameln. They were an awesome bunch of drunken idiots who were completely professional when required, but at all other times hand grenades with the pin pulled out. I had a great time with them and I'm sure whtaever unit you get to, you will find the same.
As has been said by far wiser folk than me, you will get out of life in the Army what you put in.
Enjoy your life.
 
#19
Wanderer, good luck at Recruit Selection! If successful you will soon be embarking on some of the best days/weeks/months/ years of your life. The Corps is fantastic and plenty of scope to travel. Trade wise, if you put the specialist roles - Diver, Airborne, Commando, EOD, Armoured and Amphibious etc, to the back of your mind and look at the trades, there are over 30 different ones to choose from. Each unit i.e Regiment or Independent Squadron will have and require the bulk of these trades, so you will have regular opportunities to move around, although it is being reduced due to the Germany draw down. Remember though that your primary role will be as a Combat Engineer, and that is what MOST of your time will be spent on. Demolitions, Bridging, Water Supply, Building Roads and Airfields, Basic Construction Tasks etc. Hardest work and the most fun! When you get to the interview stage at Selection, a bit of home work on that last sentence will pay dividends. Have a look on the Royal Engineers section of the British Army Website and the key headings MOBILITY, COUNTER MOBILITY and SURVIVABILITY.

The Corps have a very high calibre of men within the Air Assault and Commando Units and serving in one or both of these roles (qualified) will certainly not hold you back, and in time, help you to stand out on promotion boards! YOUR career is what YOU make it, so don't be swayed by others, just go for it and stay focused. As a rough guide if you get promoted every 3 to 4 years from 18th birthday or completing training you could go right through the ranks if you serve a full career, but don't let the stripes get in the way of the fun too much! Wish it was me all over again!

UBIQUE
 
#20
My son is still serving having just left Gib as phase two instructor and is now recce cpl with an armd unit on Germany, he loves it! Fully trained sparky to boot! Been everywhere done everything lol! I'm only a little jealous of him as he seems to be having as good a time as I did in my corps!!
Go for it son! You'll love it.


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