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Staff and Personnel Support Branch

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The Staff and Personnel Support (SPS) Branch

The Staff & Personnel Support (SPS) Branch is the largest branch of the Adjutant General's Corps comprising of approximately 4,500 officers and soldiers. Its specific role is:

"To provide the specialist HR / Personnel / Business Administration, Finance, Accounting & IT support required by the British Army during peace and on operations."

All SPS officers and soldiers undertake the same basic military training as everyone else in the Army in addition to their specialist training in HR / Personnel / Business Administration, Finance & Accounting, IT, clerical and secretarial support.

They serve in support of almost every unit and military establishment of the British Army around the globe - not just in barracks but also on exercise and importantly on operations overseas. Most SPS personnel serve alongside a Battalion or Regiment and effectively become part of that unit for 2 to 3 years before moving to another posting elsewhere in the Army.

The wide variety of postings available is just one of the benefits of joining the Staff & Personnel Support Branch and is almost unrivalled throughout the Army. In addition, virtual every Embassy or Consulate has a member of the SPS as part of the staff.

The Basics

SPS Branch soldiers conduct the vast majority of their training at Worthy Down, near Winchester. Phase One training is conducted at ATR Winchester.

Each Regiment or Battalion has approximately 20 SPS Branch soldiers on strength, ranging in rank from Pte - Maj. The OC is usually the RAO, supported by the AGC Det Comd, the Chief Clerk or RAOWO, the SSA (aka the CO's hatchetman/woman); and many more besides.

The arrival of JPA will shift the primary focus of the SPS Branch away from 'traditional' pay and admin support to a more HR focused environment. This is already been seen in LAND units with the withdrawl of the Docs Spvr post.

Some thoughts

Girls and Unicom. Recruits exclusively from the Former Commonwealth, but as effective administration and pay support to the Army is not a priority, illiterate and inarticulate clerks do not pose a significant problem.

Also last chance saloon for army wives. Hit 33? Still in the mess? Never got inside the knickers of the MO? Take one for the team and make the RAO very happy.

Formed on 6 Apr 92 from the Royal Army Pay Corps, RAOC Staff Clerks and WRAC ladies with no other capbadge to cling to. Joined in 1993 by the All Arms Regimental Clerks (failed soldiers and sick notes) and dropped our recruiting standards through the floor. Doing the most boring job in the entire world, with IT systems older than most of LE officers. Not surprised it isn't going very well! However, the IT is being refreshed soonish (JPA) and my sense of unease is immeasurable! Not only for the shambles that transition to JPA will inevitably be, but the fact that we will lose half the Corps on redundancy once JPA is operational. We won't be missed.

Oh - and there are a few trades in the SPS. Mil Clerk (the very, very basic one), Management Accountant (SSgts and above), Analyst Programmers (Cpl - WO1) and Army Welfare Workers (Sgt and above I think). We should have a separate one for pay related jobs - but the hierachy in the Corps are in denial about this. Jacks of all trades .... ?

Quote from a certain female Colonel on formation of the Corps - 'the single trade of Mil Clerk will not result in a dilution of the service provided to the servicemen'. Utter tosh.

Downside is that mass SPS redundancy will lead to a lack of suitable army wife material.

External Links

AG's website

SPS Branch website