Vehicle Specialists-Never heard of them!

Pardon me for butting into the RLC board, but as few people seem to have heard of Vehicle Specialists, I thought I'd try and prompt them to introduce themselves!
Most of the RLC, let alone the army have no idea they exist or what it is they do. I only know of them after bumping into the odd (and they can be very odd!) one or two at Ashchurch and Moenchengladbach.
Basically they are a trade that encompasses the best skills of the storeman and driver. In the past they ran vehicle depots, but this is now a civilian agency function, and as a result they are struggling to survive.
I am aware that DRLC have tried to scrap the trade by amalgamating them with drivers, and currently there is speculation that they could get drawn into the Supp Con/Supp Spec trade.
Any way, hopefully I've done my bit by providing the opportunity for the trade to introduce itself to the Corps and possibly a wider audience!
saw a few who claimed to be before we departed for the Gulf but guess what they couldnt move anything
not in there job speck Glasses included. ( or could they have been "who knows" ).
These guys were VS (don't call them Vehicle Storemen, they get upset!)

I worked in a Vehicle Depot in 1986,  Whilst the accommodation block was being refurbished the single soldiers were living in the temporary accommodation huts.  Normally 2 or 3 of us shared 4 man rooms but the huts catered for about 10.  I was the temporary Postal Clerk and I was up and away early in the morning but had to continue with my normal duties as CSMs clerk for the rest of the day.  As such I worked in the RHQ.

After work one day I returned to the huts to find that everyone else was filtering back also and Pte Bob was there already getting changed into civvies. Bob was an old sweat of many years service and was a switched on guy. We were talking about the turret ring on the top of Bedford trucks for some reason when Pte Meggy came in.  He was just a young lad on his first posting and a bit too keen. He asked us what we were talking about and quick as flash Bob said Air Sentries.  Meggy didn't know what one was so Bob told him he was the guy who stood in the turret ring with a machine gun, watching for enemy airplanes.  He found this fascinating.  I told him there was a convoy of trucks going out the next day and we were 1 Air Sentry short, would he like to volunteer.  As I worked in RHQ, I must have sounded authentic.  He nearly ripped my arm off at the opportunity so I told him to be at the armoury at 6am the next day to get his LMG.  He was chuffed at this and toddled off to his bed space.  Bob and I just looked at each other.  I don't know who Meggy thought we were expecting an air attack from.  Then we went to the NAAFI.

Next day I got up early to meet the post office van at the main gate.  I sorted it and at about 07:30 I entered the depot, which was separate from the camp and as I passed the armoury I saw in the gloom (it was raining) a shadowy figure trying to keep dry.

Meggy didn't speak to me for ages.
Vehicle Specialist. A contradiction in term. In AFV standing orders, you must be under dismounted control at all times when in barracks etc. How come you bunch of donkey wallopers are allowed to drive Warrior and CrARRV, especially at Antwerp docks, on your own with no one else around?? ???Are you special or just a bunch of spackers that get a track licence and think sod it. I'd laugh my balls off if you went for a swim when mincing about.
Oh, by the way, thanks very for putting my CrARRV on to the boat at Split in 98 and leaving my battery master switch on and using the CrARRV PTO handle as a handbrake. Spankers! :mad: :mad: :mad:
I could put the VS's point of view to snakey Jims comment, but why the hell should I (he has a VALID POINT). My reason for starting this thread was to try & get the VS world to start talking to the rest of the RLC and thence the remainder of the army. VS's have been cut over the years to about 139 world wide, mainly due to their inability to justify their existence in a peace-time environment. They now seem to think WFM is the answer to their prayers! I have done my best to try & talk them into the modern world but to no avail ( not one, to my knowledge - and I know most of them- have even visited this web site!). Sink or swim on your own. :mad: :mad:
Mal stop chunttering on about naff all.  We see you at work every day, but does that mean we must talk to you !!   ??    By the way, can i borrow your hot wash next week ? :D :D
Ah, one with IT skills!!!

Of course you can, if you're still here! Make sure there is someone to carry-out dismounted control.
Storeman(Vehicle) RAOC or Driver RAOC plus anyone else who could, had the opportunity in about 1965 to transfer from B3 trade to Vehicle Specialist B1 - many of us did and then many hundreds followed and worked exclusively in Vehicle Depots. There is a strong Vehicle Specialist felowship being run now ...... .
TurboSSC said:
Storeman(Vehicle) RAOC or Driver RAOC plus anyone else who could, had the opportunity in about 1965 to transfer from B3 trade to Vehicle Specialist B1 - many of us did and then many hundreds followed and worked exclusively in Vehicle Depots. There is a strong Vehicle Specialist felowship being run now ...... .
Vehicle Specialist was introduced in 1963 and selected Storeman (Vehicle) RAOC, Driver (AFV) RAOC and selected Drivers RAOC re-mustered to the VS trade, and were joined by Driver Specialist RASC when the Supply Functions transfered to the RAOC in 1965.

Transport along with RE Sea & Rail Functions transfered and formed the Royal Corps of Transport in the same year.
Only contact with VS was during winter repair at BATUS circa 83 or 84. Used mainly for AFV movements I believe. Some good lads but a few years ago now but a while ago. Do VS still do winter repair?
As there seems to be alot of moaning on here about what a V.S. does, let me explain! I joined the trade in 1996, and at that time we were still within Ashchurch Depot! Things were going great, untill the powers that be decided to let the civilian population have a crack at the job, and move us back to a regular regiments. If you go to Ashchurch now, you'll see that it has turned into a complete sh it hole! On top of that, the quality of vehicle that now comes from there is crap!

As for WFM being the answer to our prayers, thats crap too! WFM is a waste of the Army's money,and a shit load of it at that! Alot of vehicles were supposed to go into CHE. But instead the army spent o laod of money setting something up, and now it's not doing what it's supposed to do! i.e. CHE!

As for driving around barracks, ports, etc in AFV'S with no ground controller,................Guilty! Reason for this is simple, when you have 5 or 6 blokes to turn a boat around in say 8 hours it's a waste of valuable time to use half that crew for 'ground control'. All we are interested in is getting that kit of the ship! other units will normally only stay for one side of it, i.e. the unload or the load! if a ship stays in port a single minute longer than it has to, then the port authorities will charge it for the enitre next mooring slot! for example 10000 pounds for 4 hours (rates vary obviously).Add to that fact, that as with the rest of the British Army, once someone see's you doing something, it doesn't take them long to follow!

On the note of ports, unit drivers are asked to help in the loading of kit, etc. When lads come up to us and tell us that they are in the REME, and they have a vast amount of experience on CRAAV, we tend to let them drive it on! Alas, they are just a little jumped up ******** who 'THINKS' he can drive it! Remember, a V.S. would of done a course for everybit of kit he drives!

And just as a bit information for you all! Only within the V.S. (within the RLC) trade we will have DMI's on 'A' vehicles, I mysef am a Warrior DMI, and am fully aware of AFV Crew Safety cheers!

And of course we don't want the trade to go! would any of you like your trade to be disbanded? More than that we dispise other trade within the RLC, especially the so called 'tank transporters'. So if any of your AFV's have been damaged in transit, try asking those spackers! Not one of them should be driving any 'A' vehciles as they are not qualified!

Anyway moaning over, I know i haven't answered exactly what a V.S. does, but I'll save that for another day!

Last note on here, Yes V.S.'s still do BATUS winter repair!

Warrior, been delayed in joing in by hitting the beaches? Have you been talking to the malky at work?

Have to say I agree with your comments on REME thinking they know how to drive armour. Of course the counter argument is that the VS only gets to do a course on the vehicle and drive it occaisionally, the REME guys get to do the course and drive it continuously so many get to know the vehicles intimately.
The beaches being the only plus to this job! I agree a little with comments about the REME driving continuously etc etc blah blah, however, please realise that V.S's (myself included when not on the beaches with port op's!) drive many differents variants of vehicles a day! Anything from Motor Bikes to CR2's, and anything in betwwen! It is not our job to operate these equipments, just to move them from one place to another, or indeed to store them for varying periods of time!

People just seem to be mentioning 'A' vehicles, but what about the many types of engineer kit that is in the army!? there is a lot more types of vehicle in that field of the army than most!!!!!

Can all REME who 'claim' to be able to drive 'A' vehicles also drive M3's, CET, etc, etc! Or will someone else 'clain' they can!

(please note this isn't just aimed at REME as there are many corps, arms etc who also 'claim')
Warrior said:
More than that we dispise other trade within the RLC
I was on your side before I read that comment, now I just think your a jumped up T.R.O.G. Over opinionated in ones owns own self worth. You drive big things one day, eat yorkies the next. A glorified storeman with a driving licence or two. WOW! Eddie Stobart must be banging down your back doors to get hold of you guys.

SK :)
Loved working with VS. Down the Falklands in 1994-95 (best sausage sarnies and home brewed xmas sozzle) and in Moenchengladbach... oh and 63 ord in Bielefeld.... come to think of it.... nearly everywhere I went!!!
Warrior said:
Does anyone else have any comments on the VS trade?
During your trade training do they teach you guys how to do a first parade on all the vehs you are expected to operate? Cos' when ever I've seen a so called VS in action he/she will normally just jump in the cab of a veh, rev up and I mean rev and f**k off. Without giving a toss to what is happening in the back/front decks!
SKJOLD, i agree with you on my past comments, it was imature of me and not at all true. I must apologise for what was said.

As for first parading vehicles, of course we do! When we go out on details they are always first paraded. If however you are talking about on dock side or within vehicles depots, have you ever tried first parading a couple hundred vehicles in such a short space of time? i doubt it......

Furthermore, are we all entirely sure that everyone people claim to be a vs is a vs? When working on ships or within depots we often have outside help to manage the massive amount of vehiclse to be moved, just a thought............

Similar threads

Latest Threads