Vehicle Mechanic - reservist

Hi all,

I've had a quick search out of forum etiquette but couldn't find exactly what I wanted some help with.

I am 28 and work for the Foreign Office, currently posted to Kabul, but will be returning to the UK shortly. My main interest outside of work is anything that drives, floats or flies. Since I passed my test I've always owned a car at least ten years older than me. I like old things and old cars especially. I've developed some mechanical skills to a certain degree, but really want to professionalise them somewhat. There are lots of things I can't do (welding, electrics etc). Aside from quitting my day job and becoming a full time apprentice I can't see a route to that. Adult education evening classes seem pretty rudimentary... I've spoken to a few garages about doing unpaid work so I can learn but I feel I'd probably be more getting in the way than any use at this point.

I was talking with an ex-forces colleague at work and he suggested the reserves might be a good way to really learn these skills. I'm lucky in that the civil service gives a generous amount of time off for reservists and I would want to make that commitment if I passed the selection. A highlight of being out here has been working with Britmil - I like the culture and camaraderie.

With that in mind I have a few questions:
1) is REME the corps reservists would join as a vehicle mechanic?
2) is anyone on here a reservist vehicle mechanic?
3) aside from RAF Lyneham are there other places I'd need to be able to get to easily?
4) is it just REME that does this sort of thing or are there other similar schemes in other regiments/services?
5) is training to be a solider just like the cliche of getting shouted out by a Sergeant Major? I can take it on the chin but can be a bit of an introvert and don't really enjoy that sort of thing.

I'll be talking to a recruiter directly but wanted to ask you about as soldiers actually doing this.

Best regards


War Hero
Hi, thought I'd chuck you a reply as you don't seem to have had much luck getting an answer. I would say you do get the opportunity to develop skills in the REME Reserves but don't expect to be getting your hands dirty all the time. I was in REME in the regular army and left after 12 years but stayed in the reserves. I then taught Motor Vehicle Studies for a few years in college. I would say get enrolled on an FE course to get the quals and join REME to get a bit more experience. It does depend on which Battalion you end up at as to what level of Equipment Support training you will receive on the training evenings and what resources are available. It was something I pushed quite heavily but we were limited by training resources where I was. I eventually did leave REME as I felt it is a bit limited as to what it can achieve in a reserve capacity (most REME Reservists aren't qualified tradesmen so can't really gain enough experience on equipment to be left to work on it unsupervised) and it resulted in me getting a bit bored. That may not be the case elsewhere and depending where you are, I may be able to have a word with a pal, who is the Training Officer of one of the Southern REME Bns, to give you a call and have a chat. Send me a PM if you're interested.

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