Infantry solider (Combat)
As part of the Army’s front-line team, you get involved in everything from peacekeeping and disaster relief to full-scale war. You won’t do this on your own, though – you’re supported on the battlefield by some of the Army’s best soldiers. And you make some great friends in your unit, which generates vital team spirit in combat.
Is the role right for you?
You should be:
Regular Army Age: 16 – 32.11 years
Territorial Army Age: 18 – 42.11 years
You should have:
No formal qualifications required
You should like:
Taking risks and feeling the adrenaline
Target or game shooting
You should be interested or have experience in:
Ammunition & Explosives Handling
Vehicle / Equip Mechanic
Driving large vehicles
The Infantry Training Centre Catterick (ITC(C)) trains all Infantrymen joining the British Army and produces the best Infantry soldiers in the world. You will complete a Combat Infantryman’s Course (28 weeks), which combines your initial training and your Infantry training (Phase 1 & 2). You learn essential soldiering skills like how to survive in numerous environments and you will build stamina and fitness. You will be taught how to fire the Infantry weapons, how to administer first aid, how to map read in all conditions as well as many other skills of the trade. Junior entry Infantry soldiers (aged 16-17) receive basic training at the Army Foundation College Harrogate, and then you complete your Infantry training at ITC(C) on a 10 week course. Once you have finished your Infantry training you will then complete a further 2 weeks to gain a category B (car) or C (heavy goods) drivers license. Now you are ready to join your Regiment and take part in all manner of operations world-wide.
If you are considering joining the Royal Anglian regiment here are some details that you should know about before thinking about applying to join the regiment (This is my first job choice so I used this information as revision for all of my selection interviews so this information is very significant)
The Vikings are the 1st Battalion of The Royal Anglian Regiment, a Light Role Infantry Battalion that recruits from Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire. Based in Bulford, Wiltshire, the unit uses the most up to date weapon systems and the most advanced communications available.
In 2007, the Battalion deployed in Helmand, Afghanistan. During what was a particularly demanding six month tour, the Battalion gained over 70 awards for bravery – including a Distinguished Service Order, six Military Crosses and a Queen’s Gallantry Medal.
In August 2009, The Vikings returned to Helmand and are currently deployed again on their fourth tour. Life in The Vikings is not for the faint hearted and for an idea of what the Battalion got up to in Helmand, take a look at ‘Ross Kemp in Afghanistan’. You’ll see how The Vikings trained for and operated in the infamous Sangin Valley where they clashed with the Taliban on a daily basis.
Before Afghanistan, the Battalion served in Iraq, Bosnia, Croatia, Northern Ireland and Belize. In order to remain ready for operations, The Vikings have trained in Africa, Canada, USA, Oman and throughout the UK.
Both the Vikings and Poachers are fighting units that deploy worldwide wherever they are needed. Within the unit there are many different jobs. Initially, you will be part of a four-man team trained to fight at close quarters, though once you have gained some experience within the Battalion, you will have the opportunity to specialise.
Here’s a full list of the roles available within The Regiment:
- Anti-Tank Operator
- Regimental Policeman
- Human Resources
- Intelligence Cell
- Assault Pioneer
- Machine Gunner
What qualifications can I gain?
Throughout your time with The Regiment, you will learn new skills as well as having the opportunity to achieve credible qualifications. You can gain academic qualifications to stand you in good stead for life after the Army, or complete an Apprenticeship and get an NVQ. Here are just some of the areas in which you could gain qualifications:
- Warehousing and Storage
What is my commitment?
Initially, you will be required to complete four years’ service.
Every part of training has been mapped to high-quality civilian qualifications and will put you way ahead of your civilian friends.
The start is a full Level 2 Public Services NVQ, followed by an Apprenticeship in Engineering, Communications, Security, Transport or storage and Warehousing, depending on your chosen employment on your battalion.
As you climb the promotion ladder, every step has a civilian management qualification with it, leading up to a degree in applied management or a post graduate diploma in mamegment studies for warrant officers. These qualifications are free up to the rank of sergeant (12 years of full military service). Thereafter, the Army pays 80% of your fees for all qualifications, plus a generous grant for study towards the end of your service.
The advice that has personally been given to me by infantry soldiers that I know is to learn a trade. The reasons being that if you decide to leave the army it will be a doddle to find a job in civilian life. Whereas if you are just an infantry soldier you do not have a trade to fall back on. Therefore if you leave the Army it will be challenging to find a job because you havent learnt a trade. But at the end of the day it is your choice, and I have decided to just go into infantry as I personally feel that it is the correct role for myself.
The main reward package is called the X Factor. It’s nothing to do with music, and you definitely don’t need to audition for it. It’s an adjustment to your pay that makes sure you’re getting a fair deal.
It compares your Army job to a similar civilian job and weighs up the extra challenges you face as a soldier, such as time away from your family and working under pressure. It also considers the perks of Army life, such as job security and 38 days’ paid leave every year. The X Factor normally means soldiers take home an extra 14% compared to the closest civilian job.
In addition, when away from your base for longer than 7 days, then you’ll be entitled to a daily allowance of up to £28.24 with a further £18.16 if you have to work in unpleasant conditions. If you are deployed on operations, you’ll receive a further daily allowance of £29.02.
Regular soldiers receive over £272 a week in Phase 1 training, which rises to at least £17,514 a year depending on which Army job you do. Some roles get specialist pay, which can be worth at least an extra £19 per day. Your salary will increase annually as your career continues, regardless of promotion and extra responsibilities. Within five years you could reach the rank of Sergeant and earn up to £32,756.
You can become an Army officer whether you’ve been to university or not. If you don’t have a degree you’ll earn a salary of £16,073 while you train which rises to £24,615 when you are commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. As a graduate you start training on £24,615 and will earn at least £29,586 afterwards. Either way, if you’re still serving in the Army after five years you could be earning at least £37,915 as a Captain.
As you can obviously see (due to the Army cuts) by 2020 the British Army is going to be a much smaller army, therefore the selection officers can afford to pick and choose who they want to be in the army. So it is vital that you stand out from everyone else for you to get noticed by the officers. This is just a little thought I didn’t want to scare you, just to keep you updated on the British Army.
Many people seem to put revision off when joining the Army but believe me, don’t. When going into the careers office for the second or third time (after your BARB test) you will have to select your three job choices (but if you change your mind half way through your application you have all rights to as you haven’t signed your official contract yet). Your recruiter will then print off information for all three job choices (LEARN THESE PAPERS) then research yourself about the history and training of all of your job choices. I suggest the official British Army website for revision, it helped me out a lot http://www.army.mod.uk this website has all of the information you need for your interviews to become successful.
If choosing not to revision and “wing it” your recruiter and his Sargent major (his boss basically who you will be interviewing you in the final interview before you attend ADSC) will pick up on your lack of your commitment to join and suspend your application if failing the final interview before ADSC as that interview is the verdict of you attending selection at Pirbright (ADSC). You will always hear them say “You prepare to pass” and that phrase usually just goes in one ear and out the other. But that is crucial advise.
YOU PREPARE TO PASS.
As going into the Infantry/armoured side of things in the Army I had a variety of regiments and corps that I could apply for, but as I have been thinking about this before I even first walked into the careers office my decisions were very clear to me;
1st choice) 1 Royal Anglian (The Vikings) the reason why this is my first choice is purely because this regiment is my local infantry regiment, therefore I would be only working with people that are from my area (Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk etc)
2nd choice)The Rifles. The Rifles regiment appealed to me for quite a few reasons, it is the largest regiment in the British Army (5 regular battalions and 2 territorial battalions). Another reason is that the rest of the regiments in the British Army march at 120 paces per minute, The Rifles march at 140 paces per minute making this regiment very unique.
3rd choice) Light gunner Royal artillery. The role of the light gunner is to support troops on the frontline, putting the enemy under extreme pressure. I wanted to join this because you would be away from the battlefield, but not that far that you feel like you are missing out on the action!
If you have any questions or feedback, PLEASE comment!
Pain is weakness leaving the body.
Nothing is impossible, you just have to work extremely hard to achieve what you want to do.
Before even doing the fitness tests and blowing stuff up you need to pass a BARB (Britsh Army recruitment battery) test, this a a speed based test done on a touchscreen computer. The questions are extremely easy for example “John is lighter than Steve, who is heavier?” I may mock how easy it is but some people sometimes fail it, but they are given another chance to do it at a later date.
As my heart was and still very much is set on Infantry I didn’t need a really high score to unlock the infantry jobs (but if you want to be an engineer etc you must have a high score) The BARB test is out of 80 and I got 59, which is extremely average, but I wasn’t complaining as I had infantry as an opinion so happy days!
I started my application for the British Army before I left school (as I thought it was the right thing to do instead of waiting around after I have left school) I have passed all of the entry tests which aren’t exactly hard to pass (they just check that you aren’t a numbskull basically) so from now on (10 months after applying) I am waiting for my medical to pass through as they thought that there was something wrong with my heart, which there wasn’t obviously all because I was nervous. But I will talk about that in a different blog!
I created this blog purely because I want to share what happens if you are considering applying and I would love to help people out!