What the hell is a combat trade in the Signals?

Whilst me and the guys where out on Telic we got talking about why Driver trades seem to think they are a combat trade. We tried to figure out why this was but couldn't come up with an answer as normally they can be found back at Ech whilst all the other trades are out on detachment.

Could anyone explain why they think they are a combat trade?

After all if an ED is a combat trade then who does he supply power to. It is of course all other trades in the signals which means anywhere there is an ed there must be an operator or tech.
Whilst at 8 Sigs, the lineys/ED's etc Sqn was always refered to as the "Combat" trades Sqn. Didnt some of the trades titles used to have the word Combat in them e.g. Combat Signaller? I know the trade hasnt existed for years, but it could be where the term came from :?:

I joined in the late 70s and at the time trades in the Royal Signals were split into groups:-

Tech Trades
Telegraphist Trades
Combat Trades
Spec Trades

The Tech Trades were the Radio, Relay and Terminal Equipment Techs but I believe also included the Tele Mech.

Teleg Trades were Radio and Data Telegraphists.

Spec Trades were Spec Op and EW Op.

All other trades were the Combat Trades and included Cbt Lineman, Cbt Driver, Cbt Powerman, Cbt Radiomann and Cbt Signaler.

As with all things that change regularly trade names sometimes get refered to by the people who were around at the time by their old names. Newbies pick up on these names and refer to them in a way of sounding longer in the tooth than they really are, or just tofit in. So things get perpetuated.

I remember when I got to Germany one of the old 'fossil' lance jacks was called OWL, which I took to be his nickname. It turned out to be his trade as he joined as an 'Operator Wireless & Line' !?!?
Telemechs were Line Techs before that but the role changed.

Remember that Combat Siggy was the all rounder.Did everything.

We had a (he is still serving now) Combat siggy who worked in the cookhouse as a butcher.?
Hmmm...............'Driver' and 'Lineman' are not very appealing titles when you are trying to recruit people. However, Combat Driver etc sound more 'sexy'.

It might also be that even after the trades are renamed, people cling onto old titles that they find gives their egos a boost.
I found an old recruiting pamphlet in the loft t'other day, from about 1985. It had a little drawing of a battlefield as seen from a helicopter over the FLOT. There were a couple of tanks and one or two 432s, but the rest of the Nato potatoes charging forward killing the Reds seemed to be members of the Royal Corps, and doing a sterling (or should that be SMG hahaha) job. Clansman battery in one hand, Spetznaz neck in the other. Everyone a combat trade!

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