Dismiss Notice
'Users of this forum are reminded they should not discuss performance of individual attendees at PRMC or in Recruit Training for PERsonal SECurity and in observance of Diversity & Inclusion legislation'.

Featured Specialist Qualification - getting pinged

Discussion in 'General Royal Marines Joining Chit Chat' started by Atlas10, Mar 3, 2019.

  1. Jaykay2343

    Jaykay2343 Royal Marines Commando

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2016
    Posts:
    431
    App Stage:
    Passed PJFT
    After being a watcher of this thread and reading the input of pre joiners in the application process, trained ranks and time served who are leaving I thought I would add my spin.

    I won't put too much personal spin as so I won't get outed.

    I passed out not that long ago and I am on my first draft and got sent to 43 like the majority of people passing out. Completing training is the best feeling ever, that green lid is mine and mine for life. Nobody can take that away. The Royal Marine Commando's are reknowned the world over and although many have tried, only few can earn that title.

    Did I know about DSS? No...I only read about it on this forum whilst in the application stage and didn't really understand it. You get briefed about it in training but not til the back end, like week 26 or something. The whole process is backwards as you don't spend 18-24 months as GD. I know lads who got their spec choice before they even arrived at unit and I know lads who got pinged for drives after 8 months.

    I have been overseas twice and although life is slightly mundane, it is not a bad life. Some days are hectic yet somedays you get paid to have a game of footy then go on the *text deleted*. Swings and roundabouts.

    Every time I have asked a career question, the answer is always 'ping yourself' like somebody is earning commission for getting lads to ping themselves. I am now approaching that ping zone so I am slighly anxious as more rides on it than just the job, such as location, family life etc. Worst bit is you get pinged but won't find out where you are going until halfway through the course which can be an admin nightmare.

    Commitment bonuses do not exist anymore for newer joiners and as has been mentioned, the pension has changed. People are leaving in droves because quite simply nothing is going on around the world that we are involved in. Lads joined up to be elite soldiers. Not to be clerks, storemen etc.

    From what I have heard, lads who had PW, MA (popular specs) and got pinged, by the time there 2 years of a rubbish draft is over with they are so thredders they just want to get out asap.

    Take what you want from that guys, the days of telic/herrick are over and being able to be on the frontline and achieve something in the space of 4 years are gone.

    I know of lads doing 2 years at 43, pinged for drives for 2 years then leaving. Although they earnt that green lid, those 4 years are not what a Commando should do.
     
    • Like Like x 5
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Gucci Info Gucci Info x 1
  2. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Posts:
    33,272
    One of the things arising from this thread is the return to pre-Herrick when the only guys "doing the business at the sharp end" were UKSF and SFSG.

    During the Herrick years, as a recruiter, we saw a change in the type of person we were recruiting as Royal Marines, probably due in part to Chris Terrill's excellent series, "Commando on the Frontline". This showed Recruits in Kings Squad deploying operationally from pass out. The Corps massively appealed to adrenalin junkies, risk-takers and adventurers. This isn't being derogatory, it is exactly what we needed - they make formidable combatants.

    Spin forward, no war....recruiting & retention problem.

    Arguably had our 43 Cdo Driver stayed beyond 4 years, he may well have made SFSG or UKSF. We'll never know.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Nailed It Nailed It x 1
  3. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Posts:
    6,274
    A related factor mentioned in the thread a few times is the apparent lack of structure and focus during the routine working week at some units. I'm not suggesting that this is the case at all units.

    It was certainly my experience in the Army forty years ago so it's nothing new. Some Platoon OCs (usually the keen ones straight out of the box) were keen to keep the blokes active while others were rather more relaxed. Boredom meant blokes could get themselves into trouble by entertaining themselves with hilarious (at the time) but daft activities. With decades of hindsight (clearly I'm a slow learner) I could have done something much more productive with the down-time.
    No Jeremy Kyle on TV back then either. He was aged about twelve.
     
  4. R

    R Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Posts:
    1,652
    Or the driver could have had his draft extended, and continue spending his days not doing something else, where such a degree of luck isnt a factor. Yes no conflict will have an impact on recruitment, but removing the drivers to stay and financial incentives will effect retention. I have noticed a shift in that, o/rs used to put down full service career aspirations, now its after this draft i'll do something else. I have been to asia, several arab nations, all over europe, and north america with the corp. But all of those trips dont exist anymore, 4 years of someones life is a long time to commit to an organisation, especially if you arnt fulfilled enough to stay. Fix retention you will fix recruitment.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • Nailed It Nailed It x 1
  5. westy

    westy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Posts:
    1,784
    I imagine the biggest draw of the Paras is the fact they have a whole battalion which is SFSG, and it looks a Gucci draft!

    On the flip side, I imagine it’s a long wait for any interested RMs to get into!

    Obviously there’s UKSF, but I’d imagine there’s loads of RMs that just don’t fancy it?
     
    • Winner Winner x 1
  6. Caversham

    Caversham Former RM Commando, Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Posts:
    3,746
    Don't know how long the wait is for SFSG, but I read somewhere that they are moving away from RM GD billets to ones who have SQs.

    As for SF itself, over 40% of SF is from the Corps. My guess is that everyone fancies it, but don't realise their aspirations.

    Alan
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Avante

    Avante New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2019
    Posts:
    28
    App Stage:
    Not Applied Yet
    I read a similar thread on here about someone with dreams of UKSF...then the recruit undergoes 32 weeks of the hardest training in the world and usually that dream dies and they are content with their lid.

    I suppose there will be RMs who don’t fancy it, but also RMs who do fancy it but are either not good enough or just aren’t selected? It’s the elite of the elite afterall :eek:
     
  8. Avante

    Avante New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2019
    Posts:
    28
    App Stage:
    Not Applied Yet
    Hi Alan,

    Do you have any thoughts on why these aspirations are not realised? It would be interesting and I assume it will be a multitude of reasons, with some common themes.

    Regards, Avante
     
  9. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Posts:
    33,272
    From what I'm reading on the thread, joining the dots:
    • Royal Marines Commandos want to be undertaking the operational Commando role
    • They seek travel & adventure
    • They seek short-term military careers
    • They do not want to specialise in non-preference SQ's (FRI's may aid retention)
    • They do want to specialise in over-subscribed SQ's
    How do we fix retention & recruitment within the budget, without reducing the manpower or combat efficiency? For me, there's only one obvious solution and it would involve reducing the manpower.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Avante

    Avante New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2019
    Posts:
    28
    App Stage:
    Not Applied Yet
    As a potential applicant, I have found this thread extremely useful. It has made me seriously think about the career after training and what skills/quals I can gain that will help me in my civilian career.

    I have to keep reminding myself that the opinions expressed are from a few people within the corps and its a real shame that there are not content RMs on here posting their views to allow the reader to see both sides and form their own opinion.

    As an aside, how does DSS/SQ work for RMR?

    P.s. I think young men will often overlook the “self sufficient force” literature as the recruitment and advertising is targeted on the green beret and adventure, pride and being elite. Perhaps young men are naive but we seem to just lock in to the elite and forget the small print (I do anyway!) -banghead-

    Regards, Avante
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Adolf999

    Adolf999 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    Posts:
    35
    It's seems that many people get hung up on gaining trades that will see them through into "Civi street" which is obviously sound thinking, however in my own experience I did not follow my trade/skills when joining the unwashed in civi Street and neither did the vast majority of my friends and colleagues.
    The military gives you skills and experiences that are not paper based that are truly sort after by employers these days, you don't have to be qualified as VM, Comms tech, medic etc to make a smooth strong transition to the civi world however if you want to continue with such a career it makes it easier .
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. Avante

    Avante New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2019
    Posts:
    28
    App Stage:
    Not Applied Yet
    Fair point that Adolf, I never intended working in my current job but I’ve been here 8 years and didn’t need any qualifications to get me here. (Still wasted 2 years doing A levels and I cant even remember what grades I got...)

    I think its just trying to stack the odds in your favour so that you can demonstrate you have gained skills and qualifications that are transferable.

    As you mention, doesn’t necessarily need to be a piece of paper saying you passed a course, but experience in people management is one example of a sought after civi skill. Keeping calm under pressure, time management etc etc. Something that remembering a book and passing an exam wont teach.

    Regards, Avante
     
    • Like Like x 2
  13. R

    R Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    Posts:
    1,652
    Which counters with how long can you squeeze an organisation, before a failure point is reached and the question of sustainability comes into play. Does the political will exist to provide the funding for the corp to exist moving forward? That is the crunch which is coming.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Posts:
    33,272
    To put everything squarely into perspective and as oft repeated, those who are content rarely shout about it.

    Those contemplating leaving will often look for reasons to justify their decision to leave - a pro's & cons list, if you will. Those joining today will be met with the usual comments about lack of foreign trips, the fun has gone, etc., - I heard the same 1981 & odds are my Great Grandad did in 1896 (gen). Not suggesting it is better today, but would suggest that what tends to happen is the job stays pretty similar (conflicts aside) but the priorities and needs of the individual evolves. When the job doesn't fit with the individual's expectation, they walk, blaming the job.

    As a former recruiter, I often used to visit warships with potential recruits and they would frequently be harangued by disaffected ratings anxious to tell them how awful the job was and they would "jokingly" recommend they didn't join. Very often they didn't join, but spookily, the disaffected individuals don't follow their own "advice".

    My current job involves meeting with veterans and trying to promote the Armed Forces Covenant - I've yet to speak with one that states they are glad they left. Perhaps they are the ones who don't bother speaking.

    As stated we seldom hear people who are content shouting about how content they are, so outwardly the perception is that everyone is leaving. It would be wrong to claim there aren't issues but equally, it is important that those contemplating joining should be aware that for the most part, this thread has had more negative spin than positive.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Gen Dit Gen Dit x 1
  15. 03092014

    03092014 Royal Marines Commando

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2013
    Posts:
    574
    I think a big part of the frustration is watching the Army (including the Paras) get ops in Afghanistan (Op Toral), Iraq (Op Shader) and South Sudan in the last couple of years alone. It's not like there isn't anything happening.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Gucci Info Gucci Info x 1
  16. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Admin

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Posts:
    33,272
    Must admit, that is not one I was aware of. Wonder why the Lead Commando isn't getting a crack at it?
     
  17. 03092014

    03092014 Royal Marines Commando

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2013
    Posts:
    574
    I don't know to be honest. Holding us back in the hope that if something was to kick off we'd be in the best place to respond maybe.
     
  18. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Posts:
    6,274
    Took me ten minutes flicking through it in WH Smith before I found it!
    Lime green wingsuit on the back page for anyone interested. ;)
     
    • Gen Dit Gen Dit x 1
  19. Caversham

    Caversham Former RM Commando, Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Posts:
    3,746
    I would guess that having gone through a minimum of 32 weeks of RT, the desire to put yourself through something a lot worse somewhat lessens. Added to which, of the 40% of RMs that make up SF, there is considerably more that attempted it, but didn't make the grade.

    Alan
     
  20. Beans and Chips pls

    Beans and Chips pls Royal Marines Commando

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2014
    Posts:
    281
    A lot of the exercises are outdated too *text deleted*. I'm an uber remf now but as a GD the only time I worked out of a FOB akin to those in Afghan was in training. It was constantly the same, long insertion yomps, a triangular harbour, patrols with no enemy, then move off and we'd take a few buildings before doing an exersion yomp. The exercises are way too controlled and need to be more dynamic too.
    Enemy forces need to be bigger for it to be more realistic, as opposed to just having 6 lads on an enemy detail.
    More commando-esque training would be nice. A bit Chad maybe but drop a section plus a medic a good distance from a target, no OC CSM etc., give them a target such as a hostage rescue. Then they have 4 days to nav there, recce the target, take it and exfil. It may not be what we'll do exactly but at least it's different, and would give good training. Younger marines could nav, get a bit of CQB practice in, practice going from green to Urban and be more involved in planning the raid/assault as opposed to sitting threadders in yet another harbour, not having any idea what's going on and with a hierarchy making all the decisions. It would all just be a bit more involved.
    Working out of a FOB were the enemy are detailed to do whatever they want. This type of training is more realistic as opposed to everything being pre planned so you know when they'll assault and they know when you'll assault and its all just a bit farcical. Some of this happens but it needs to happen more, working in small section numbered teams is far better and more what I joined up to do, in particular raids.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Seen Seen x 1