Which Regiment?

Hi, i'm at a bit of a loss here, so I thought asking here would help. For anyone who knows; to be a Special Gunfire Observer (in Royal Artillery) or Gunner Observation Post Assistant, is there a certain regiment I have to be in?

Special Observer - 4/73 Bty, with 5 RA.
Observation Post Assistants - any Gun regiment (1, 3 & 7 Para RHA, 4, 19, 26, 29 Cdo RA).
Cheers! Atleast i can start swatting up for the interview now. Top job.
If anyone is still lurking around I have questions. As i'm quite close to getting my interview sorted I wanted to know a few things.

After Phase 1 and 2 training you 'pass out' as a Gunner Crewman, yes? I am under the impression that you can not become a Special Gunfire Observer straight out of training, though in Phase 2 you can request to join 5th RA 4/73 Battery, right?

My question is, right after training (phase 2) what do you actually do? I was a little confused by this and had my suspicions about it as the "role preference" email you get sent during recruitment did not list Special Observer in the job list but instead listed Observation Post Gunner Assistant and on the Army website under "join as a solder" for the RA it shows said role listing, but the role finder does not. Brilliant.

Is it at all possible to join as a Special Observer immediately after phase 2 after doing the 20 weeks long Special Observer Patrols Course (and passing it, i guess).

Would it also be a better idea to first have a roll within the RA like the Observation Post role and then think about joining the Special Observers?

Any answers appreciated, I'm just asking because I don't want to roll up to the interview and start blabbing about Special Observer and then have the recruiter say "you can't do that, what else do you have?" and then sit there like a lemon.

I would strongly suggest that you give the Bty a call from 27 Aug onwards, I'm that anyone there from the BC down will happily answer all of your questions.

In short though:

1. Yes you can apply to attend the STA Patrol Course from P2. Due to manning within the Bty (quite healthy) the next course won't be until next year with a look at life (Ex LATEO LEADER/ ENCOUNTER) happening 6 months prior. To Apply for 4/73 Bty means that you will go into one of the equipment Bty's in 5th Regt until one month prior to the start date of the course. During this time, although not in the Bty, you will be mentored by one of the Patrol Troops who will get you out on some PT etc. It must be stressed that you will remain on the strength of the equipment Bty as this will allow you get some L2 courses etc under your belt should you be unsuccessful on the Patrol Course.

2. Not sure about all this role finder business but I can tell you the following: All Patrol members within 4/73 Bty are OPA L2 trained and will progress in time as required. The STA Patrol Cse qualifies you as a Special Observer with entry to one of the Patrol Troops when you have completed one further course. The OPA and FAC qualified guys in the team compliment the core role of an STA Patrol which is Static Covert Surveillance (SCS). It must be stressed that 4/73 Bty ate not Fire Support Teams; however this was one of the two roles they were conducting in Afghan due to amount of OPA and FAC qualified guys in the Bty. To that end the real experts at FSTing are the FST's within the CS Gun Regiments. If the controlling of multiple joint fires is what flicks your switch, then path you need to take is one that leads you to a CS Regiment.

3. My advice: as above, call the Bty, get the answers you need and if all goes wrong for you and you're a fit strong lad their's always 7 Para or 29 Cdo out there to look at.

All the best.

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