VM Info Please

Hi Guys, 25 year old car mechanic, very keen on joining REME. Don't know if this could be a sticky but here goes.

Can you tell me more about A and B mech's? I understand A is more tanks and B wheel'ed vehicles? Is that the top and bottom of it? Im guessing B's are more suitable to becomming a HGV mechanic when they leave? Suppose A's could be plant mechanics for JCB? I've heard there may be a VMU trade comming in where you do both?

Who is more skilled, A or B? Who has the better postings?

What routinte tasks do you carry out? Clutches, services, brakes? Whats a typical day?

Who does more electrcal work/diagnostic work, A or B? Is there any chance of the VE trade ever comming back?

Do REME ever work plant shifts like 6 on 4 off? I know the RAF do some jumbled up shifts which I quite enjoy as I hate 9-5.

Who is Greener A or B/Who does more soldiering and front line stuff?

How much bullshit is there once you've passed out of basic? Inspections, parade, exercise, beastings, PT? I'd quite like to be an adult and keep on top of my own fizz as I have done all my life once I've passed out but if I have to do compulsary PT so be it. I

I've been advised buy an ex RAF tech that the RAF is better because once you've passed out in the RAF it then becomes abit more of a job(apart from the kit your working on, postings and uniform)and there is hardly any bullshit but the Army it's on-going for the rest of your career? Is this true? Either way I quite fancy REME.

What is trade training like? What does it entail? What does the foundation course involve?

Whats promotion like for A and B mechs? Is one better than the other?

Thanks in advance guys.


A mechs used to work solely on MBT & light armour; B mechs used to work mainly on wheeled vehicles & some light armour. It is very possible that whether A or B you will at some time in your career work on both. There also used to be C mechs who worked on engineering plant (construction eqpt e.g. JCB etc) but not sure if they still exist as anything other than an eqpt course.

Neither is more skilled than the other, although they will argue until blue in the face that their trade is better than the other.

There is no routine task, almost every day brings different challenges if it didn't life would be very boring!

A, B & C mechs will all do some electrical work although most VMs tend to avoid it like the plague. VEs are extremely unlikely to come back.

All military personnel may at some time work a shift system but generally they don't. It depends on where you are posted, the role of the unit and the working circumstances.

All REME personnel are trained to be a "soldier first tradesman always" so no trade is greener than the other.

Inspections (Depends on your unit); Parades (depends on your unit); Excercise (depends on your unit, but the army is currently focusing, quite rightly, on the fitness levels of its troops so expect plenty and you can always do more in your own time if you wish); Beastings (should never happen, any disciplinary action should always be authorised and follow the correct guidelines).

The RAF tech was talking bol&&&ks. Being right next door to an RAF camp which I have to visit every day for physio & re-hab, most of their days seem to be an endless circuit of tea breaks, occasional phys for the few to who it is not something to avoid and popping home to see the misses! Bullshit depends on what you consider bullshit. I see an awful lot of stuff I would consider bullshit at my local RAF base and I'm sure they would think the same at any of our bases.

Trade training is very much like block release at college but with military training, administration etc thrown in for good measure. Whatever trade you choose or are guided towards, you will undergo a well thought out and practised scheme of training to deliver you to the army as a fully competent tradesman. You then have to go out into the world and learn your trade sufficiently well enough to be able to cope in the many different environments in which you will practise it.

Promotion is no different for any variety of mechanic, it is based on time and vacancy across the Corps and is judged on the annual reports your management team will write on your performance.

If you have spent so much time considering all the points you have raised as questions, I think you'll find REME will be your ideal choice as a career in the military.
Should I say it???

If there's any doubt in your mind, why not give the REME TA a call or google, get into a "specialist" (?) outfit (not sure what the current terminology is??) and see what they get up to; it will give you a good insight to the REME's VM role. You may then be able to easily walk away or swap over to regular.
Thanks for the replys.

Couple more questions. As you progress up the ranks does the type of work change? For example in civvy garages you can work your way upto master tech, this involes mainly electrical and diagnostic work and is quite a promotion. Clutches and engines are seen as the donkey work and most decent techs wish to progress to master tech as it's better pay and less labour intensive. Is there such a role in the Army? Is this what Tiffys do? I've been lead to believe Tiffy's are more of a workshop controller/foreman and the role is more manergerial? This would not appeal to me in the slightest as I prefer to be engineering and getting stuck in.

Also what is the heaviest bit of kit a B mech would work on? 6.0 tonne or more?

Any more answers to my original questions would be great too, thanks guys.

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