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Rmr or sas(r)

Discussion in 'RMR Section and RMR Selection' started by pick1, Mar 3, 2020.

  1. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    Looking at this from another perspective, I ponder if many Regular SBS ranks happily return to mainstream Royal Marines service and if not, why not?
     
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  2. Apex

    Apex Former RM Commando

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    Following a tour of NI I applied to join the Special Boat Squadron as it was then.

    I attempted twice in the 70’s.

    First attempt I was binned on test week and second attempt I made it to final ex on the Jungle phase which was at the time in Brunei.

    The rules of the jungle for selection candidates were simple. Your weapon, webbing, and belt kit are never out of arm’s reach, your gollock is worn on your body, you go everywhere in pairs outside of the harbour area, no batteries in the fire pit, and do as you’re told. It’s monkey see, monkey do, and if monkey cannot do, he goes to the helipad and *text deleted*s off on the next flight. Over the next few weeks, I would see all of these rules broken. Some would get caught, some would get away with it, but they usually got caught out elsewhere. You cannot hide in the trees, and if you are not up to task, you will be found out. I remember that we were actually told to strip and clean our weapons. It was never enforced. Initially every patrol (they put us in 4 man patrols) did 50:50 clean drills.. but as the weeks went on some did start to stop doing it as regularly as they should. Those who went on to pass all did it. You don’t get a better example of doing something even when no one is looking.

    I also recall the first time the DS Demi’s a four-man contact drill. It was a routine they must have performed in front of hundreds of Royals. Their reaction to “fire” was instantaneous, and before you could zone in properly, they were wheeling away in pairs—one firing, one moving—until they broke contact and then went silent for a while before peeling off to safety. A quick head check and mag change, and it was all over. This was not going to be repeated a thousand times for our benefit. Again self discipline and maturity meant you couldn’t loaf it and expect a big nasty man to beast you until you understood.

    I ended up being taken out of the trees due to injury on the final ex on week 8 and thus ended my attempts for SF. Hell of an experience! Hats of to those who pass! One of which I believe is a mod here!

    Aye
     
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  3. Johnny_Anonie

    Johnny_Anonie Moderator

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    Interesting tidbit:

    A Permanent Cadre exists in the SBS, SRR and SAS to provide other ranks with a greater degree of career security, to simplify administration and to assist career planning.

    Individuals may not join the UKSF Permanent Cadre until they have served for six years. Applications are initiated at the five year point and acceptance is always subject to CO recommendation.

    Criteria for selection include potential to reach senior NCO rank in SBS/SAS, a proven ability to acquire skills readily and motivation beyond doubt for the length of an applicant’s career. Transfer to the UKSF Permanent Cadre will involve a transfer of Service (for SAS applicants if not Army and SBS applicants if not RN/RM). Transfer to the UKSF Permanent Cadre signifies an acknowledgement by the individual that they understand that their primary career path is now with UKSF.
     
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  4. Caversham

    Caversham Former RM Commando, Moderator

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    There was a time when serving SB guys were placed in Units as ordinary Gravs. We had a serving SNCO SB rate as a Troop Sgt in 40 Cdo and I can remember other ranks also being used in this way.

    @Rover can hopefully remind me of the event in detail.

    Alan
     
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  5. Rover

    Rover Moderator

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    The dreaded 'balanced career' much detested by many.-banghead-

    One SC1 being drafted to HMS Raleigh as Exped Instructor.:mad:
    At one time 42 Cdo had a Company 2i/c, CSM, Troop Sgt and a Section Commander all from SB within the same company.o_O:) Oh joy.;)

    Interesting when the QEII task kicked off! Many being recalled for a Mediterranean Cruise.:cool::cool::)o_O

    Well someone had to do it.;):):):)
     
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  6. Grey man

    Grey man Royal Marines Commando

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    21/23 are not struggling to find a role. They continue to have a highly deployable and operational role within 1st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade.

    The Brigade is comprised of 19 units; 10 Regular and 9 Reserve units (approximately 3,300 Regular and 3.000 Reservist personnel). 21/23 Sqns are tasked to the highest level and perform a specialist role on operations.
     
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  7. Account void

    Account void Guest

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  8. 1919

    1919 Member

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    Is it really that necessary to include a caveat that yes, of course, passing SAS(R) selection is a massive achievement and yes, they're highly trained and, yes, they have do have a role (even if it's a question of finding a role for the unit to do, and not creating a unit to fulfil a pre-determined requirement) and are they likely to be deployed in the future, particularly if this role is needed. I assumed all this went without saying.

    This doesn't change the fact that as an organisation they have been considered as different from their regular counterparts, and brought into question as almost a separate entity both in the services and in the press.

    Quote Air Marshal Garwood, head of the Defence Safety Authority:

    Air Marshal Garwood said reservists in 21 and 23 SAS had well defined jobs during the Cold War, but since then “the requirement for them appears to be less clear and more difficult to articulate”.

    However reservists have continued to want the prestige of similar selection tests to regular 22 SAS soldiers and the hill test marches were seen as “non negotiable”.

    He said: “Therefore, the appropriateness for the reserve units to conduct the test marches was never questioned and remained a legacy assumption regardless of the development of their role.”

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/20...ll-risk-sas-selection-brecon-beacons-inquiry/

    Another article: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wo...ervists-withdrawn-from-Afghan-front-line.html

    I was making the point that, along with the units having different roles (and thus, as others have pointed out too, a different approach to training) the RMR does appear more harmonised with it's regular element, and that brings its own challenges. The OP was asking for information on making the decision between the two units.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2020
  9. 1919

    1919 Member

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    To add, potentially bad wording on my part originally. But I think my points are still relevant for someone wanting to make the decision between the two units.
     
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  10. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    One issue is that during the 1970s the role of SAS (R) was very well defined and more importantly from a recruitment perspective the role was publicly promoted. Prior to 1980 both 22 SAS and SAS (R) produced glossy recruitment brochures with colourful pictures of lonely figures carrying a house on their backs on a Welsh mountain. :)

    In 2020 the disclosure restrictions prevent SAS (R) from publicising its role which does not mean that it does not have one.
     
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  11. 1919

    1919 Member

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    Fair one.

    Which is another consideration to be taken into account, there is a bigger element of jumping into the unknown when dealing with any role to which restricted information is somewhat central. Similarly, it's difficult to find out exactly the position of certain Intelligence Corps jobs, or with Navy communication technicians etc. This either appeals or it doesn't, particularly for reservists taking into account day job/family commitments

    It also renders much prior gained info, included what I've said, which has to been to parrot serving voices or the press, as not necessarily untrue but more unreliable than publicly available documents regarding RM recruit training and what to expect after.
     
  12. Johnny_Anonie

    Johnny_Anonie Moderator

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    There certainly seemed to be a lot of discussion surrounding the role of SAS (R) prior to their exit from the UKSF group. I understand their historic role of long range E&E and deep recce was no longer feasible.

    The UKSF(R) commitment to training and mentoring ceased around mid 2012. Prior to this small and capable teams of SAS (R) deployed many short-term training teams to help build the capacity of allied national military forces across the globe, ensuring a number of states could respond appropriately to the threats they face.

    During Op Herrick soldiers drawn from 21 and 23 SAS trained, advised, assisted, mentored and accompanied the soldiers of the Special Forces element of the Afghan National Army. Today SAS (R) are still regarded as tier two special forces. They still have to complete joint UKSF (R) selection and still qualify for SF pay. They now have a clear and defined reconnaissance role.

    I understand (happy to be corrected) that SBS (R) work much more closely with their regular counterparts. They regularly provide ranks to fill gaps in regular SBS squadrons via long term and short term FTRS postings.
     
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  13. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    I've posted elsewhere that my personal opinion is that someone interested in SAS (R) should contact them via the official website and make an expression of interest. It is more likely that a serious candidate will learn more about the role; the required commitment beyond selection; and the prospect and nature of mobilisation.

    Disclosure restrictions do hamper recruitment. This was confirmed by the RSUSO at 23 SAS (R) who is responsible for recruiting and retention activity within that unit.
     
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  14. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    On that topic a typical weekend ex in the 1970s for 23 SAS (R) might involve mustering on a Thursday evening before parachuting into West Germany close to the Czech border and returning back to the UK in time for an early start at the day job on Monday morning.
    This scenario was in the public domain for recruitment purposes although what the blokes actually did close to the Czech border was omitted. :)
     
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  15. kirbymorgan17

    kirbymorgan17 Active Member

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    i fully agree with the post above.as an aside i have been informed the house on the back over the welsh mountain has been downgraded to a fully stocked fridge freezer on your back.
     
  16. Corvo50

    Corvo50 Royal Marines Commando

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    if you want to do a SF-ish role in and around London is the Honourable Artillery Company? Is that a bite?
     
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  17. 1919

    1919 Member

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    Nah. If you're interested in in STA/long range patrols type role and either don't want to commit as much, or have family commitments or whatever that'd stop you going 21 or 23, it's a good option in my opinion. Nothing to stop anyone attempting SF selection after if they like it a lot/and or an external situation changes.

    Plus they've friends in high places that seem to get them some favourable exercises:

     
  18. Corvo50

    Corvo50 Royal Marines Commando

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    they don’t do anything remotely SFish, I know this because I have passed the STA patrols course back in 2011. You do a advanced OP role which isn’t used by higher command because you have Pathfinders and ML’s. The HAC is a organisation of rich boys from London who get to together to play soldiers now and again.
     
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  19. 1919

    1919 Member

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    The OP might be a London rich boy who wants to play soldiers now and again. In that case, advising him or others like them to join the RMR or 21 would be a mistake.

    There's a lot of day-job life variables to consider when picking a reserve unit to join. If you're a London city boy with a career that's very important to you and/or big family commitments, it'd be worth at least giving them look-in if you couldn't/didn't want to commit to something that's going to take more of your time and energy.
     
  20. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    Agreed. Horse for courses. A memorable phrase is "They also serve who only stand and wait…”.

    I'm not qualified to comment on the current role of the HAC but I can confirm that socially one should think Made in Chelsea.
    The HAC has a significant female following which is not averse to socialising with "a bit of rough". Apparently. :)
     
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  21. Caversham

    Caversham Former RM Commando, Moderator

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    That's my kind of woman! Where do I sign?!

    Alan
     
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  22. Johnny_Anonie

    Johnny_Anonie Moderator

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    One cannot join the HAC unless you possess a double breasted chalkstripe, colourful cords, pink shirt and tweed.
     
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  23. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    Exactly. A bloke I served with was very well connected. He was something of a character and had enlisted Other Rank in the Parachute Regiment although his family background might have more obviously directed him towards Officer in the Brigade of Guards.

    He was very popular with the ladies and we attended several London social engagements (our rig was jeans, t-shirt and desert boots) much to the disgust of some (but not all) of the Ruperts who also attended. :)

    Yep, deffo chalkstripe not pinstripe. Pinstripe suggests someone who is in 'trade' while chalkstripe has that "je ne sais quoi" as they say in Spain which implies that one does not care what others think about one's attire.

    Don't forget the polished, conker brogue shoes. Compulsory attire with all non-uniform rigs, including pyjamas.
     
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