Wannabe RE

Discussion in 'Sappers' started by banoffee_pie, Jan 18, 2006.

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  1. Hi guys!
    I'm 19 years old (female) and am looking at going into the RE when I finish college (18 months time).
    Any advice on what trades are the better ones, in terms of learning, doing and using while in the corps. Am i right in thinking that Combat Engineers is only a secondary trade?
    Also, are there many females in this corps? It would seem very male orientated - but any more so than the other corps? Im not worried about pulling my weight, just interested really! From what I have read (and I feel like I've read alot on the Sappers forum!) it would appear that being a combat engineer is ver close to being in the Infantry - yet females are banned from this trade?!
    Cheers x
  2. http://www.army.mod.uk/royalengineers/careers/index.htm

    if i were female i would go for surveyor or design draftsman. especially if you have been to college. the above link explains the difference between combat engineer and trade quite well. be warned! your trade depends on your academic ability and what shortages they currently are. don't set your heart on a certain trade as you may be disappointed.

    there aren't very many female sappers but all regiments have female cooks, clerks so there will be some girls about. i would say that 2% of sappers in a regiment are female.
    combat engineering is arduous but achievable. there can be a lot of heavy lifting and man handling large bits of metal. robustness and endurance are more valuable attributes than strength but you will find combat engineering harder than your male counterparts.

    the first stages of your career will be as follows.

    1. phase 1 recruit training- basic soldier skills over a 3 month period, carried out with people from other corps than just the royal engineers.
    2. B3 combat engineer training- 3 months at minley (nr camberley) learning about cbt engineering- bridges, mines, basic power tools, explosives etc.
    3. Trade training- 4 months+ depending on which trade.
    4. posting to an engineer regiment for 3-5 years.
    5. promotion etc etc etc.
  3. why don't you apply as an officer? it means a lot more brain power is needed but why waste good qualifications only to end up as a plumber or a brickie? ( no offence to either trade but i can't recall any tradesmen I knew in the corps having been to college!)
  4. There is a much higher proportion of female officers in the corps than female sappers. I think for the reason that there's a lot of upper body strength needed for combat engineering.
  5. What subjects are you doing at college?

    Engineering is in the most part hard graft, if you think you can hack it the go for it

    contact your local Engineer recruiting team for more specifics. If you cant find it give me a shout and I'll get you the number.
  6. I have absolutely no desire to be an officer, regardless of qualifications. The reason I am staying at college is due to both fitness - Im not quite there yet for the standards needed, and use of the qualification when I go back into civvy life.
    I would like to be a plumber, carpenter, building finisher - or something to that effect - definately not a surveyor or terrain analyst! My main reasons for joining are the experiences and lifestyle, and getting a good trade. I'm not interested in working just for the money or sitting cosy sumwhere looking at a computer screen.
    Thanks for all the advice though, and please keep it coming! I need your words of wisdom! :)
  7. And some have higher educational qualifications. Or are you saying that the weak ones get commissioned?
  8. Most people get a trade, then qualifications, then leave the tools to work in the warmth. You're trying to upset the system? 8O

    What colour is your hair? :wink:
  9. The qualification from college is more academic, whereas the trade I get in the Army will be vocational - and I want both :D
    I also figure I may as well stay in college until Im fit enough to go for the RE right?

    (yes my hair is naturally blonde :) )
  10. Sounds familiar. I went to college to fill in time until getting an HGV licence before becoming a long distance lorry driver. Somehow ended up in the Sappers and still no HGV!
  11. While you are at college why not join the RE TA and see if you like the combat engineering side of things. There is a far higher propertion of female sappers in the RE TA than in the regs and in all trade groups offered - combat, Signals, Resources Spec, Plant and Driver.

    This will let you get a better feel for the corps and also help improve your fitness (and get you some pay while you study) who knows you may even get on an Op tour before you join the regs...

    There are units all over the country but concentrated in

    London - 101 (EOD) Regt
    East Midlands - 73 Engr Regt (Air Support)
    West midlands and Wales - Royal Mons RE Militia (General Support)
    North West England - 75 Engr Regt (General Support)
    Newcastle and Scotland - 71 Engr Regt (Air Support)

    either look on the RE website for more details or PM me.

  12. Unfortunately no RE TAC's near me but Im already a recuit in the Sigs so get to experience a bit of mil lifestyle!
  13. It is because at one time female officers were allowed and female sappers not (apart from the TA). So one could say they are playing catch up and given time when female recruits have role models in the Mess etc more females will join, stay and progress through the ranks.
  14. Admit I am probably biased but don't discount Surveyor Engineering straight away. It's a good balance of both on-site work (initial survey, setting out etc) and then becomes more office based as your training and experience increases (road design, management etc). You may not always want to be outside all the time - the novelty can wear off after a while. I don't know what you're studying at college but a sound knowledge of maths (grade A at GCSE or above) would mean that you would excel on the course. Over recent years many successful students have already been at college or are already graduates. This trade offers the highest qualification of all the trades - an HND at Class 1. Few establishments outside the Corps are training engineering surveyors and there is a huge skills shortage in the civilian construction industry, particularly in the SE. The downside is that Corps does not seem to have a clue how to employ them effectively, but it could be argued that that is true of a number of trades.

    Currently there are few females in the ranks of the regular RE, though numbers are increasing all the time. IMHO I think the biggest problem is that for much of the Corps this is still fairly new, and we're still trying to adjust to it. There are no dramas with your own peer group and probably one level up, but admit for the senior ranks and officers many are still trying to get their head round it. An example is calling female sappers by their first names, which they just would not dream of doing to a male sapper, which causes embarrassment to the female sapper and hacks off their male colleagues no end. That said the more females that join the easier it will become so if you're up for a challenge, are not too sensitive and have a good sense of humour you could do a lot worse than join the Corps.