WHy were Techs given a Lance Jacks stripe after Harrogate?

Discussion in 'Royal Signals' started by old_bloke, Mar 10, 2010.

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  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.
  6. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    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. 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. 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. 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.
  12. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    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. Everyone hates forking monkeys, even the monkeys.
  15. That wasn't me ya cnut, I did mine at 4 Armd. :)

    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.