WHy were Techs given a Lance Jacks stripe after Harrogate?

#1
Not a dig at Techs but just always wondered why they were normally given their first tape after doing their time at Harrogate.?


18 years old with no real Army life behind them against the Operators who had 3 or 4 years in and got made up at 21 or 22 year of age.

Was there ever a real justification for it?

I have heard it was .

1. To give them higher pay as an incentive to stay in for longer- but most were brain washed and had signed on for 9 anyway. :?

2. To give them some authority- yes, that really worked :D

Anyone know the truth?
 
#2
They still do it now mate, as soon as they've finished their course at blandford, they do a PNCO course ( NCO cardre course), and if they pass that, they have a parade where they are all made up to substansive LCpl. If they fail, they are still given LCpl, but just acting.

It was indeed to justify their pay, even if they had signed on for 9 years, (we haven't done that for a fair few years now) the army had to try to pay them the equivalent they could get in civvi street, which, as much as I hate techs, is a fair one, you wouldn't like it if you knew your civvie counterpart was getting paid far more than you doing the same job whether you had a choice or not.

I think also they were given LCpl because they have to do technical inspections on detatchments which kind of put them in a position of (resented) authority over det commanders so to speak.

Fu@king Wieners.
 
#3
It happened at Catterick as well.

When I finished my class 3 in 198-heruumph not everyone was getting their Lance Jack tapes though. Of the 5 that finished my course, only 2 of us where promoted.
 
#4
This same discussion has been endlessly repeated wherever REME techs and other trades meet. 'Why do techs get promoted faster, they've got no common sense' etc. ad infinitum

To which our reply usually was 'You should have done better at school like me, then you could have been a tech. We all went to the same ACO'

If you do actually find the answer let me know!

Incidentaly during my time in the REME i was only ever in platoons that where full of techs so L/Cpls and Cpls did the same work as Cfn/Ptes etc anyway... we just got paid more to do it.
 
#5
Your first suggestion sounds familiar. In the REME the same thing used to happen, probably still does, and we were always told it was done to attract people to become Techs and to keep them in. Not only did they get their first tape whilst they were still in trade training, but once they were at their first unit, after six months they were sent on a military course (JMC), which incidentally, they were guaranteed to pass, then given their second, backdated to the day they got their lance-jack. We ended up with nineteen year old Guard Commanders who, frankly, didn't have a fucking clue. Funnily enough, I was discussing the very same subject with my son last night.
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#6
An "A" level qualification in soldering is not going to make you very much of a catch to a civvy firm. Money was the same as RTG pay.
The promotion was purely to give the authority to perform technical inspections. Pretty pointless as they were never trusted to do this alone until they were class 2 - better to give it then IMO.

Caused a lot of resentment among senior siggys, who had to stag on while some sprog tech lance jack was warm in the guardroom....
 
#7
Mitchthebar said:
Your first suggestion sounds familiar. In the REME the same thing used to happen, probably still does, and we were always told it was done to attract people to become Techs and to keep them in. Not only did they get their first tape whilst they were still in trade training, but once they were at their first unit, after six months they were sent on a military course (JMC), which incidentally, they were guaranteed to pass, then given their second, backdated to the day they got their lance-jack. We ended up with nineteen year old Guard Commanders who, frankly, didn't have a fucking clue. Funnily enough, I was discussing the very same subject with my son last night.
Thats pretty much it, though the JMC was not a guaranteed pass! Im not saying it was really hard mind, but you did have to finish it! I had to do it twice as i was injured halfway through the first one (temporarily blinded rather than some shin splints type excuse!)

However if you did pass, promotion to Cpl was after 12 months after L/Cpl backdated in some cases. Not sure how it works today. Not everyone got L/Cpl out of training or got their second tapes either, though you had to be pretty bone to be a Cfn technician!

So thoroughly out of their depth teenage Guard Commanders at some units was entirely possible! In fact Guard duty is where the endless, mostly tedious, debates on 'why do tech get promoted faster?' arguements used to happen. Every time.
 
#8
I was that sprog LCpl Tech on guard 2ic once. I was more than happy to stag on as there were other LCpls on guard at the same time. However the response from the duty RP was 'you've got to fcuking learn'. And learn I did.

From my experience very few LCpl Techs actually thought they were any better than the siggies in their unit. If they did, they quickly got tuned in. I certainly never thought I was, and I learned from the operators (probably more than I did from my training at Blandford!!)

I don't really know where all this tech hating comes from. Everyone had the same opportunity at the careers office. Why slate somebody for choosing a career that at the time suits them and will give them what they want from the Army?
 
#9
It's purely and simply for recruiting reasons. They can attract the more highly qualified entrants with the prospect of accelerated promotion and extra dosh.
 
#10
leethelooney said:
They still do it now mate, as soon as they've finished their course at blandford, they do a PNCO course ( NCO cardre course), and if they pass that, they have a parade where they are all made up to substansive LCpl. If they fail, they are still given LCpl, but just acting.
Failure to pass the PNCO results in posting to their first unit as a Siggy. Also any G1 nightmares will likely findthemselves sent to their first unit as a Siggy.

We have plenty of techs apparently, so we no longer need the faster promotion and access to accelerated pay to get people in.

As for the Tech hating. All i can say to those idiots is grow up. The tape is the same, whether you get it as a Tech or a Op.
 
#11
Flashman_already_taken! said:
Mitchthebar said:
Your first suggestion sounds familiar. In the REME the same thing used to happen, probably still does, and we were always told it was done to attract people to become Techs and to keep them in. Not only did they get their first tape whilst they were still in trade training, but once they were at their first unit, after six months they were sent on a military course (JMC), which incidentally, they were guaranteed to pass, then given their second, backdated to the day they got their lance-jack. We ended up with nineteen year old Guard Commanders who, frankly, didn't have a fucking clue. Funnily enough, I was discussing the very same subject with my son last night.
Thats pretty much it, though the JMC was not a guaranteed pass! Im not saying it was really hard mind, but you did have to finish it! I had to do it twice as i was injured halfway through the first one (temporarily blinded rather than some shin splints type excuse!)

However if you did pass, promotion to Cpl was after 12 months after L/Cpl backdated in some cases. Not sure how it works today. Not everyone got L/Cpl out of training or got their second tapes either, though you had to be pretty bone to be a Cfn technician!

So thoroughly out of their depth teenage Guard Commanders at some units was entirely possible! In fact Guard duty is where the endless, mostly tedious, debates on 'why do tech get promoted faster?' arguements used to happen. Every time.
My first bold, I used to be, for a few years, in the Soldier REME role, that is RD as it was back then. I used to instruct and grade students on their JMC at Detmold and Bielefeld. We attempted to fail some tech who had genuinely not come up to the mark and did not deserve to pass and subsequentally get promoted to full-screw. We, the staff that is, were told by the course commander, a Captain, that the powers that be had made it clear to him that we could not fail any technicians as it would hold up their career. We were forced to pass him but his course report sent to his unit reflected his performance. Don't suppose it made a jot of difference though.

My second bold, at 71 AC WKSP we only ever had one buckshee tech, and that was because he had got bust from full-screw. As I said, I don't know about now but back in the 70's 80's & early 90's all REME techs did their basic trade training up to class 2 before their first posting. On arriving at their first unit they had already all been promoted to LCPL effective from the date of completion of their class 3. Then after JMC, six months later, promoted to CPL back-paid to the date of completing class 3.

By the way, I don't and never have hated techs for it. I think the system stinks, but that isn't the techies fault is it.
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#12
PoisonDwarf said:
It's purely and simply for recruiting reasons. They can attract the more highly qualified entrants with the prospect of accelerated promotion and extra dosh.
Never used to be.
Compared to an RTG the money was the same and the entry criteria the same. But RTG was a combat trade that offered better opptunities for travel and specialist roles - whereas tech offered the prospect of soldering cable connections in a workshop nowhere exciting with a FofS breathing down your neck.....
 
#13
Techs were/are the darlings of the corps. Any tech bashing is purely jealousy.

The attempt to match civvy pays argument is false. Given that even with lance jack & trade pay, you can get 3 times that in civvy street.

As has been previously stated the main part is the authority for inspections or at least parity with the det commanders.

Monkeys get it more or less for the same reason and I fecking hate monkeys.
 
#14
Telecomsgeek said:
Techs were/are the darlings of the corps. Any tech bashing is purely jealousy.

The attempt to match civvy pays argument is false. Given that even with lance jack & trade pay, you can get 3 times that in civvy street.

As has been previously stated the main part is the authority for inspections or at least parity with the det commanders.

Monkeys get it more or less for the same reason and I fecking hate monkeys.
Everyone hates forking monkeys, even the monkeys.
 
#15
Mitchthebar said:
We attempted to fail some tech who had genuinely not come up to the mark and did not deserve to pass and subsequentally get promoted to full-screw.
That wasn't me ya cnut, I did mine at 4 Armd. :)

Mitchthebar said:
By the way, I don't and never have hated techs for it. I think the system stinks, but that isn't the techies fault is it.
And I never hated RD. Well not all of them. :p

Incidentally, when I was kicked out of the BAT making box in 81, not long after me followed one of the first Cfn techs as he had been told he wasn't the right sort of material to be a lance jack. AFAIK (and I'm quite happy to be corrected), he was one of the first NOT to get his first stripe on leaving Wallop. Getting your first suddenly wasn't as automatic as it had been previously. He was at 71 Ac Wksp (as was I 86-92), he turned up in 85 though I really can't remember what his rank was then. I think I heard he ended up going medic.
 
#16
Mitchthebar said:
We attempted to fail some tech who had genuinely not come up to the mark and did not deserve to pass and subsequentally get promoted to full-screw. We, the staff that is, were told by the course commander, a Captain, that the powers that be had made it clear to him that we could not fail any technicians as it would hold up their career.
As a tech I was promoted to Cpl in 2001 whilst on Ex in Oman so there was obviousley not a JNCO cadre course running, when we returned to barracks I was told that I couldn't do the course as if I failed it would be embarassing for the unit. :D

Had a bit of catching up to do on my senior CLM several years later :x
 
#17
Well I for one never felt the need to apologise for being a (REME) Technician. I worked hard enough at school/ college to get qualifications, I scored highly on the entrance test and then went through technician training.

Technician training was very difficult, most people failed it. It was relentless, difficult technical stuff which would fry most peoples brains and passing a technicians course is an acheivement. Then it starts again at Class 1 and then Tiffy.

As for making technicians NCOs? well I didnt invent that scheme! Being an NCO made very little difference to me, as in the units i served in i was with other JNCO technicians, we still did all the work! The only main difference was Guard Duty, we did 2 i/C and Guard commander as Cpls (dependant upon unit)...and id rather be just behind my rifle on the gate! But i was paid an an NCO so I acted like one when necessary. Guard commander could be..... interesting at times!

I cant speak for techies getting an automatic pass at JMC, i only did the JMC from the inside and Id like to think i passed on my own merits! Are all techies useless ******* who dont deserve their stripes? some are, some arent.... then again I've met NCOs from other trades /corps who where total arses as well!

THis type of discussion is endless, used to happen all the time in whatever unit i was in whenever i was around non technician soldiers. Mostly it was just banter, sometimes jealousy and some people let the jealousy get the better of them. I was avionics and consequently served in AAC regiments. I cannot honestly say I met a groundcrew AAC WO1/2 (pilots aside, who are a different breed altogether!) that i had much respect for, simply because of the contempt they seemed to have for REME technicians and they way they used to speak to us. 'You fcukin technicians this, that the other....' is how most diatribes used to begin. Bore off. Should have tried harder at school mate..i mean sir!

Whats the answer? is there an answer? should things change? Cant say im that bothered, im a civvy now!
 
#18
mistersoft said:
Incidentally, when I was kicked out of the BAT making box in 81, not long after me followed one of the first Cfn techs as he had been told he wasn't the right sort of material to be a lance jack.
On my Avionics course was a guy who was retrading from another corps and was already a L/CPL, however he only actually transferred to REME once he completed his tech course.

He was such an insuffereable arse/ walt that when he finished his tech course he was told he wasnt suitable material for a REME JNCO and was demoted* to Craftsman!

We all suddenly found it very funny, cos this guy was such a dick and used to lord it about with his one stripe in training...and here he is the next day a Cfn, while the rest of the course are promoted above him to L/Cpl!

So there you go, when I did it, it wasnt automatic you got a tape straight out of training, though most did.


*Whether he was a substantive L/Cpl or acting I have no idea... just in case someone pipes up that you cant get demoted when transfereing or something. The fact was on starting the avionics course he was L/CPL in XXXX and when he finished he was Cfn in REME.
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#19
Telecomsgeek said:
Techs were/are the darlings of the corps. Any tech bashing is purely jealousy.
The attempt to match civvy pays argument is false. Given that even with lance jack & trade pay, you can get 3 times that in civvy street.

As has been previously stated the main part is the authority for inspections or at least parity with the det commanders.

Monkeys get it more or less for the same reason and I fecking hate monkeys.
I never needed to bash techs - as an RTG I knew I was the best and something they could only aspire to in their dreams.

Being a tech classed as a non-combatant was embarrassing enough without me rubbing it in, but those warm workshops did have more appeal than the garages during winter... :) .
 
#20
If you don't mind a member of the Ould an' Bold Brigade - Harrogate 67C - Jeez am I really THAT old :?

The topic title asks about Lance Jack stripes after Harrogate.

Every technician who came out of the Army Apprentice College (as it was then) had served for three years (albeit as an apprentice tradesman). The minimum you could sign on for was 9 years with the colours (starting at your 18th birthday so most of us served at least 11 years minimum in total) plus 3 years in the reserve. We graduated at the age of 19.

We had all undergone a three-year full-time comprehensive technical education at third level, some of us passing out with National Certificate qualifications in Electrical Engineering. TG ops as I remember did a 2 year course in those days.

Our final year training included a JNCO Cadre. I can't remember what I had for my breakfast this morning but I can still recite "Taking you a stage further in your foot drill this morning I am going to teach you.... " flawlessly!

If you passed all your exams then you came out qualified as a Class 2 Technician (Theory). Add one year in the field to give you the practical experience and you became a full Class 2 Technician and gained your second stripe. No back pay in my day though :(

Five years after graduating from Harrogate you became eligible for a Class 1 course at 8 Sigs in Catterick. 9 months further full-time college training which, if passed successfully, gained you your Class 1.

** It also gained you a City and Guilds "B" certificate.

Promotion to Sergeant then generally came following your posting to your new unit after your T1.

After that, if you signed on past your 9 years, you went onto the slippery slope of Foreman of Sigs etc. Or you went GD.

So why were we Fairies given a Lance Jack stripe after our 3 years in Harrogate ? 'Cos we were worth it

:lol:

GMOB

Edited to add **
 

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