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Army, RAF or Navy?

I don’t want any criticism from anyone as I see this often happens on these type of forums.

I’ve decided I want a career in the military as an engineering officer. I was firstly looking into the army due to the vast amount of opportunities from becoming a REME officer, but from what I’ve heard all over the internet and on forums is that the life style in the army is **** compared to the Navy and RAF? Of course I understand the army is going to be hard and not easy living but I would also want to be in an officer job where you aren’t treated poorly. I would also prefer if possible to be based more in the midlands/south obviously apart from when your on operations. Also does anyone know which service you are more likely to go abroad for? And how long?

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Reply 1
Original post by JamalH
I don’t want any criticism from anyone as I see this often happens on these type of forums.

I’ve decided I want a career in the military as an engineering officer. I was firstly looking into the army due to the vast amount of opportunities from becoming a REME officer, but from what I’ve heard all over the internet and on forums is that the life style in the army is **** compared to the Navy and RAF? Of course I understand the army is going to be hard and not easy living but I would also want to be in an officer job where you aren’t treated poorly. I would also prefer if possible to be based more in the midlands/south obviously apart from when your on operations. Also does anyone know which service you are more likely to go abroad for? And how long?

There's definitely a stereotype that the RAF and the RN look after their people better. But how much it's a stereotype vs reality is open to debate.

You don't get much say in where you're based. You'll be able to state a preference, but service needs come first.

Deployments are equally likely in all of them, and they vary between exercises, operations, deployments, overseas postings, etc...
The one thing to be aware of in the Army is there's no guarantee of getting into the REME when you start. You apply for your regiment/corps while at Sandhurst. If you don't get the one you want...tough. Whereas in the RAF and RN you apply to be a certain role, so you don't get in unless you're lined up to do the job you want.

To be honest, very very few people will be able to say exactly how one force compares to another, because they won't have been in two. Almost nobody ever will have been in all 3.

Most / best you could hope for (though not in the near future) is to do a visit to each of them to see which suits you best.
(edited 3 years ago)
Reply 2
How old are you, Jamal?
Reply 3
Original post by Kerzen
How old are you, Jamal?

19. I’ll be joining university this year to study Mechanical Engineering on bursary scheme for the military hopefully into officer training
Reply 4
Original post by JamalH
19. I’ll be joining university this year to study Mechanical Engineering on bursary scheme for the military hopefully into officer training

That sounds promising. Have you already been awarded your bursary?
Reply 5
Original post by Drewski
There's definitely a stereotype that the RAF and the RN look after their people better. But how much it's a stereotype vs reality is open to debate.

You don't get much say in where you're based. You'll be able to state a preference, but service needs come first.

Deployments are equally likely in all of them, and they vary between exercises, operations, deployments, overseas postings, etc...
The one thing to be aware of in the Army is there's no guarantee of getting into the REME when you start. You apply for your regiment/corps while at Sandhurst. If you don't get the one you want...tough. Whereas in the RAF and RN you apply to be a certain role, so you don't get in unless you're lined up to do the job you want.

To be honest, very very few people will be able to say exactly how one force compares to another, because they won't have been in two. Almost nobody ever will have been in all 3.

Most / best you could hope for (though not in the near future) is to do a visit to each of them to see which suits you best.

From what I’ve read and advice I’ve taken. The army is the most versatile in terms of what you can do and qualifications, e.g. REME officer can acquire engineering charter ship relatively quicker compared to other services and additional qualifications. Which is usually general engineering which would be be more varied for civilian jobs after. Where as RAF qualifications are obviously usually based around aeronautical engineering. Royal Navy would probably be the service I would cancel out as I would prefer to be in army or raf.

I understand it’s hard to find out whether raf / rn is treated better than the army and many stereotypes float around. I think this is the only thing that is scaring me on which one to join as I do want to go into army but I do want a good lifestyle too.
Reply 6
Original post by Kerzen
That sounds promising. Have you already been awarded your bursary?

Not yet I just have to attend and past either OASC/AOB depending which one I choose.
Reply 7
Original post by JamalH
Not yet I just have to attend and past either OASC/AOB depending which one I choose.

You won't have that in time to start uni this year if you haven't yet gone.

Remember, while at uni you can join either the OTC or UAS. I'd suggest doing this before applying for the bursary, as it'll give you the better insight into what you're trying to do.
Reply 8
Original post by JamalH
Royal Navy would probably be the service I would cancel out as I would prefer to be in army or raf.

What is it that draws you to the Army and the RAF rather than the Royal Navy, Jamal?
Reply 9
Original post by Drewski
You won't have that in time to start uni this year if you haven't yet gone.

Remember, while at uni you can join either the OTC or UAS. I'd suggest doing this before applying for the bursary, as it'll give you the better insight into what you're trying to do.

Yeah I know, thank you though. Spoken to my candidate support manager and she said it won’t be till next December which is fine. However I will definitely be trying to join OTC
Reply 10
Original post by Kerzen
What is it that draws you to the Army and the RAF rather than the Royal Navy, Jamal?

I’m not a fan of the long 9 months away from home. I understand this is bound to happen in Raf and Army but it occurs more in the navy as you’ll always be working on a ship as an engineer.
Reply 11
Original post by JamalH
I’m not a fan of the long 9 months away from home. I understand this is bound to happen in Raf and Army but it occurs more in the navy as you’ll always be working on a ship as an engineer.



Deployments in the Royal Navy are not necessarily as long as 9 months. Not all of the Navy's Engineers are on ships, some are land based.
Depends. What’s are you joining for? I hear the Navy has better contacts to the upper epsilon of society. Personally I’d rather be doing the whole flying thing, and the army is just men shouting at you and you getting dirty
Reply 13
Original post by Kerzen
Deployments in the Royal Navy are not necessarily as long as 9 months. Not all of the Navy's Engineers are on ships, some are land based.

From what I’ve heard engineers are needed urgently so most will be on ships

Original post by Charlie101998
Depends. What’s are you joining for? I hear the Navy has better contacts to the upper epsilon of society. Personally I’d rather be doing the whole flying thing, and the army is just men shouting at you and you getting dirty

Well main reason for army is how well is looked upon and the amount of qualifications I can get for when I leave the military to get a civilian job hopefully something quite high management. RAF I wouldn’t mind, I just know it’s based more in the North which is where I don’t really want to be most my life
Reply 14
Original post by JamalH
From what I’ve heard engineers are needed urgently so most will be on ships


Well main reason for army is how well is looked upon and the amount of qualifications I can get for when I leave the military to get a civilian job hopefully something quite high management. RAF I wouldn’t mind, I just know it’s based more in the North which is where I don’t really want to be most my life


The need for Engineers exists in all areas of the Navy at the moment. Some applicants might serve as Engineers on Submarines; others as Aeronautical Engineers; there will be Engineers on ships too, of course.

For what it's worth, the Navy's two air bases are in the South-West, so, if you were there, you wouldn't be in the North.

By the way, some of the Royal Navy's Aeronautical Engineers were deployed to the US.

https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/careers/roles-and-specialisations/services/surface-fleet/marine-engineer-officer

https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/careers/roles-and-specialisations/services/fleet-air-arm/air-engineer-officer

https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/careers/roles-and-specialisations/services/surface-fleet/weapon-engineer-officer
Original post by JamalH
RAF I wouldn’t mind, I just know it’s based more in the North which is where I don’t really want to be most my life

How do you 'know' this?

Have you seen a map of UK airfields?
Original post by JamalH
RAF I wouldn’t mind, I just know it’s based more in the North which is where I don’t really want to be most my life

Hi

You know that you're posted every 2-4 years throughout your career, anywhere in the UK or around the world? So you won't stay in one place most of your life. Also, have you looked on a map at the stations the RAF has? You may need to re-evaluate your version of 'the North' ;-)

Kind regards
Adam
RAF Recruitment
Reply 17
Original post by RAF_Adam
Hi

You know that you're posted every 2-4 years throughout your career, anywhere in the UK or around the world? So you won't stay in one place most of your life. Also, have you looked on a map at the stations the RAF has? You may need to re-evaluate your version of 'the North' ;-)

Kind regards
Adam
RAF Recruitment

Sorry should’ve specified my version, but I’m most likely to be stationed Midlands/North. For example I wouldn’t really want to be in Lincolnshire but many bases are based here already which is why I was looking into the army more so. Plus qualifications you gain seem more likely in the army compared to RAF.
Original post by JamalH
Sorry should’ve specified my version, but I’m most likely to be stationed Midlands/North. For example I wouldn’t really want to be in Lincolnshire but many bases are based here already which is why I was looking into the army more so. Plus qualifications you gain seem more likely in the army compared to RAF.

If you join the RAF you'll be in Lincolnshire for at least a year guaranteed.

The qualifications you can get are basically the same, you'll still work towards chartered engineer in the RAF, you'll have the same opportunities to develop.

But yes, you're predominantly going to be in large flat places for fairly obvious reasons.

Tbh, wanting to stay in the same place for the foreseeable future isn't really an attitude you'll find all that handy in the Forces, especially if you're ambitious. You can and will be moving around a lot. Even in the Army you'll find it a struggle to stay in one area.
(edited 3 years ago)
Reply 19
Original post by JamalH
Sorry should’ve specified my version, but I’m most likely to be stationed Midlands/North. For example I wouldn’t really want to be in Lincolnshire but many bases are based here already which is why I was looking into the army more so. Plus qualifications you gain seem more likely in the army compared to RAF.

Do you have a place at Uni, Jamal?

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