what will action in the RA entail?

I have just passed my AOSB briefing and was originally looking at infantry but have recently been attracted to the RA. I have done some reading and have created in my head that life as a gunner in operations will consist of sitting 17km from the enemy firing shells, this may be naive and thats why im here. Is all the RA do in conflict is fire guns (as cool as that may be :D ) or is there any diversity?

Many thanks in advance/please dont rip me apart if i have made some mistakes or upset people i am just trying to find out about the regiment.

fair enough.
Was just hoping for someone with serving experience to give me some insight, as this would be more useful than some factsheet on the internet.

my fault for being optimistic :lol:

Royal Artillery soldiers are widely employed out on operations with jobs ranging from forward observers (I know thats not the right term but its close) to manning the guns as you said through to making up OMLT teams that work with the local forces.

As a disclaimer Im not serving but have read of RA soldiers doing these roles.
The Gunners dont just do big guns AS90. They also do little guns (light Gun), each requiring itheir own observers (who also control Mortars, Attack Helis and Fixed wing) and teams of communications expers to get them to speak with each other.

And if 17km isnt far enough away from the enemy, try MLRS which now has a precision strike capability out to 60km.

Add into that all the UAVs, Air Defence, Radars and 'special observer' teams the career opportunites in the gunners are vast and are all exciting ..... well.... maybe not in air defence :p
Further to HVM-Boy's comments on the variety of ways we can kill you at distance, we don't just do death...

i was deployed as part of CIMIC team in Iraq, generally making life better for the locals. most of the CIMIC team i was there with were gunner or ex-gunner or engineer as well. we built schools, bridges, wells and a whole lot more. we had people involved in planning and organising a better life for a messed up country. you could get involved in that too!
more fun blowing it up though!!

No, seriously, the Gunners offer diversity. Get yourself on youtube and search Royal Artillery. Some dross, but also some very good examples of all that we do.
As a recently retired Gunner I can guarantee that you will get an equal share of the nasty close stuff all the way through yourcareer and that your post mil options will be better than a standard stabber and strangler. Also as a gunner you will get a certain amount of abuse as you will be expected to be extremely intense and a little chippy ( brought on by the fact that you really think that you should be treated as cavalry but could not afford it.)
in reality as a junior officer you will have a greatn time be it in a proper gunner role or in the infantry role. as you get more senior you will get the option to be an Forward observer - or whatever it is called that week- and will be with the company commander, as a Battery Commander you will probably get to advise the CO of the supported arm andhave as much fun as he does. Once on the staff treadmil you will probably be on the technical side and end up at both ends of the M4.

When I did it I had a great deal odf fun and served in some very strange places. Like many gunners I always seemed to be better reported on when I was away from the Gunner Tribe.

Apply and see what you think.

Didn't hurt me ..........he says limping off and shouting at his dog and family because he is deaf and his knees are knackered from carrying Zebedee up the hill once too often (can't carry it myself Sir, says the Bdr the MO says I cant lift anything that heavy)
thanks for the replies everyone.
I have sent off for the RA potential officers course application from what i have seen and heard it does look like a diverse lifestyle. Now hoping that goes well i can get through my AOSB main board in time for september entry :D
Slightly off topic, but will i have to be 18 to be able to participate on the POC? since my main board is when im still 17 but i would like to gain some backing from a regiment first if at all possible.
NO - there are always Potential Officer visits arranged to Larkhill for under 18s.

I can tell you that for both of my Op tours in the last 8 years (and I have been unlucky/lucky with that Op infrequnecy), I did not deploy in the Gun role. Once I went as an augmentee to work with the Americans in Baghdad and the 2nd time I worked in Bde HQ with most of the rest of the Regts officers. The Regiment as a whole did not deploy in the Gunner Role, but in a more infantry type role.

Had I stayed with my last Regiment a bit longer, they are now deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan IN ROLE, so the guns will be firing, the FSTs (Fire Support Teams - FOO parties) will be out observing and calling for fire (including Air, Aviation, MLRS, Mortars, anything that goes bang) andI am sure there will be more patrols for the lads as well (ie not just Guns).

The other thing to remember with the Gunners is that as an Officer you are posted every 2-3 years - you get diversity that way too. In an Infantry Bn you can stagnate and get "dead mans shoes" syndrome, where you wait for your seniors to move on so that you can do a different job, or end up being stiffed with some crappy black economy job instead. This is slightly different now under the new Super Regiment system, as you can and will be cross posted to other Battalions.

ALSO so many career streams - Guns, Air Defence, Locating (radar, sound ranging, etc), UAVs, Ceremonial (Kings Troop) - that you may end up experiencing during your career mean diversity is a given.