Where do I want to go and other questions!

Heya, first post and all that jazz.

Currently just at the applied/getting my fitness to acceptable levels stage.

Anyway, the army recruiter called me and gave me some information and did the usual spiel but then asked me "Do you know where you want to go?" so I replied "Signals" then he clarified what he meant and said that the Signals are attached to everything pretty much and he meant did I want to go with say, demolitions as more specific place to be. I didnt think I'd have that much freedom, as I figured you were put where you were needed most so now I'm left a little confused.

I havent had much of a proper face to face chat as when I went down he said come back in 4 weeks due to not being on the scale for the BMI. As a side story to this, I used to weigh 120kg, I now weigh 87kg but he weighed me at 93kg and 5cm shorter than what the doctor measured me at but I'm not bitter.. ;) as I almost feel like it was done wrongly to help me in the long run even though had I been measured the same as at the doctors I'd be able to be progressed.. anywho :p

So I thought I'd do some googling and here I am to ask these questions.

1) Where do I want to go? Obviously only I know the answer to this question but what different.. hell I dont even know what word I need to use here.. specialities? are there that I can ask to go with.. if asking is even a possibility?
2) If I went for the first of the two jobs below, how likely am I to be able to get other qualifications.. say HGV/IT related qualifications
3) I currently have a joint mortgage with my girlfriend, its quite a small mortgage (320 a month, so 160 is my share)... after reading about being refused entry if your debt out goings are more than 25-30% of your income on basic.. would they see the 320 as being mine only or only half as its a joint mortgage, if its all mine... then it'd be pretty close to that cap if not over, I understand that seems almost stupid to ask but as told when getting a mortgage, if one person fails to pay then it is up to the other person to deal with it so wondering if thats how the army sees it to.

What I'm interested in is these:

Infantry IT Systems Operator - British Army Website
Engineer IT Systems Operator - British Army Website

The first appeals to me because I'm not stuck in an office and the second has a list of 'possible' qualifications but has the downside to being indoor based which isn't something I'm after but from the advice I've been given by the people who've been in the Army, they said make sure you get a trade dont just join as bogstandard infantry which sounds like good advice to me!

Lastly, thank you to all of you who serve past and present.
As you seem to have an interest in I.T and Signals, have you actually considered The Royal Corps of Signals?
Ignore the bumph on the job specs you posted, lets just say they seem to be stretching the jobs roles to the extreme.

Have a look here, specifically at the CS Engineer trade, more money and quicker promotion:

Soldier - British Army Website
I thought thats what I'd be in anyway? I'm confused :(

My GCSE results suck, CC (English), D Maths, DD Science - for the relevant ones. Was told to wait before I did them, predicted A's / B's but had my appendix out literally days before my exams.. but being the clever 16year old I said I wanted to do them right away so faked being well and got out and to school /endexcuses

Communication Systems Operator

That looks like probably the only one from the list that'd be for me within qualifications I already have.

I like to think I'm great with computers but most of the things I do are through google though I guess the one advantage is that I do enjoy working around technology which is why for a career in the army I'm steered towards IT.

Do you have any idea of where I'll specifically end up, as in.. do I get a choice or do I just sign up and I'm put where needed which makes the most sense to me. Unlike what the afco guy said about specifying where I want to be (his example was demolitions)
I thought thats what I'd be in anyway? I'm confused :(
No mate, the first job posting - Infantry I.T Systems Operator means that you would be an infantry soldier, who in time will go on to learn how to set up low level formation radio systems. Currently Bowman. If you are lucky you may get to switch on a computer and send an e-mail. The Engineer I.T Systems Operator is pretty much the same except that instead of being an infanteer you would be a Royal Engineer.

They are pretty much taking what would be classed as the old Radio Operator role and stretching its job spec to the absolute limits to sex it up.

It gets confusing as most units refer to their own in house comms staff as signallers even though they are not Royal Corps of Signals personnel.

If you haven't got the grades for CS Engineer then Comm Sys Operator would be the next best choice.

As far as having an idea of where you'll end up, yes you will get a choice of job roles to choose from once you have completed all the aptitude tests.

Don't just choose the first thing that is put in front of you. Take your time, research the job roles that are of interest to you. Although it may not matter to you at present, take into account things such as what pay scale you will be on (higher/lower), promotion prospects etc and how useful your trade will be when you leave the army. If you need a couple of extra quals it may well be worth it in the long run to defer for a while and attend a local college.
Ah yeah that makes sense, I totally skipped the bit under the title on the pages and now I see it says "Royal Engineers" I just assumed from the rank at the bottom of signaller aswell as the type of role "IT" that it was already in the Signals. Haha I thought you were trying to 'troll' me at first, seen a few posts on here and many are... well, very unhelpful so was prepared for the worst when I posted but its refreshing to have some good advice in the first few replies!

I know my views will change when it happens but I'm quite keen to see combat. Again I know once it happens it'll be like marmite, I'll love it or hate it but it interests me. In a role like Comm System Operator.. likelihood of seeing combat?

Definately looking at things in the long run, dont think I'd go wrong with having these qualifications, just depends on what job I could put them towards when I leave. Though if it comes to it, hopefully they'd mean something at a Uni/College or extra training.

NVQ Level 2 in IT
Level 2 Key Skills in Application of Number, Information and Communication Technology
NVQ Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship Communication Technologies Professional (ICTP)
Not quite sure where I'd go when I leave the Army.. who knows, I could end up a lifer there. Would be nice to leave with better licences for driving though and the military experience opens up new doors for.. well, working on the doors heh! A far cry from stacking shelves!
Those quals will be the basic quals you will gain after completion of your trade training. To be honest, like most of the qualifications for any trade advertised they are not really much to write home about.
You will find that when you calm down after a few years of pissing your wages up the wall and shagging anything with a pulse that there are actually a lot more higher level qualfications open to you if you put in the effort.

More than most the R Signals will stand you in good stead for a decent career in civvy street if you put the effort in while you are serving. As you will find out , there are a number of educational allowances available to you throughout your career to help you achieve pretty much whatever qualification you put your mind too.

Combat - well, come 2014 and the draw down in Afghanistan it's unlikely anyone is going to be seeing a lot of combat. I could speel out some crap about there being no front lines anymore and everyone in just as much danger as each other, but it's a different type of danger, it's not as if being in any support arm that you will be sticking on a bayonet and engaging with the enemy on purpose. The majority of time if you find yourself in a warzone you will be in a semi cushy HQ of some sort, although nowadays with the advent of roles such as Royal Signals Infantry Support Teams there are opportunities to get in amongst it a bit more. Providing force protection duties is also a common task and there is also of course the Special Forces Signal Squadrons.
just a quick not..fatboy..ncie to see someone giving quality answers on here...
Thanks alot for the advice bud.. I think I'll just do what I think I'll be good at and see where I end up combat wise and look at three solid career options!

Unfortunately no shagging to be done, have a mortgage, 9month old son and a girlfriend.. probably shoulda joined first before that happened! Hopefully I wont squander my wages to lol

Really appreciated :)
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