Is anyone here in the forces?

Associate
Joined
16 Mar 2007
Posts
300
I've just been to the recruiting office to get a general idea of what you should expect in the forces. I know some of you cynical people may be thinking "that would be getting shot at in Iraq for no reason" (if you're not thinking that then thank you, as I have met too many people like that lately) but I was really wanting to know about leave time, pay and holidays. Could anyone tell me how true these statements are? He came across very much like a salesman and I don't like salesman.

- Nearly every weekend is yours to go see your family and friends.
- The army can pay for you to get a bike and car license.
- Tour leave (Iraq and such) only comes round every 18 months).
- You'll only spend 6 months in Iraq at a time with a 2 week break.
- You get good money as you have sod all time to spend it (therefore it builds up quick).
- There is always good comradeship between all the soldiers.

Thanks for taking the time to answer this if you do and a further thanks if you are in the forces for the plain and simple fact you deserve it.
 

Nix

Nix

Soldato
Joined
26 Dec 2005
Posts
19,839
Firstly, I'm not in the forces but I'll try and answer from what I do know. I'm thinking of joining myself (have done for years), so I've been reading up here and there.

- Nearly every weekend is yours to go see your family and friends.

This is true to an extent. Sometimes you will be on exercise or tour though so that won't be possible. Likewise, this doesn't apply when you're training.

- The army can pay for you to get a bike and car license.

Yep.

- Tour leave (Iraq and such) only comes round every 18 months).

Don't know, sorry.

- You'll only spend 6 months in Iraq at a time with a 2 week break.

Sounds about right.

- You get good money as you have sod all time to spend it (therefore it builds up quick).

I suppose that is true, but it's all relative isn't it? Do you have dependants, etc?

I think your money is also subject to tax breaks due to being in the forces (anyone want to clear that up?).

- There is always good comradeship between all the soldiers.

Again, this is subjective. It'll depend on you and those you're with, it's not something you can generalise. However, for the most part I'd imagine this is true.
 
Associate
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Theale, Berkshire
Nothing to add regarding your questions but you should feel proud for even thinking of serving your country in this way.

You have my respect, as do any other members in the forces.
 
Caporegime
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....
Currently in the proccess of applying, for the RAF though.

What is your reasons for wanting to join? What do you want to do?

O and check the other threads lots of great info in them.
 
Associate
Joined
16 Mar 2007
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300
Currently in the proccess of applying, for the RAF though.

What is your reasons for wanting to join? What do you want to do?

O and check the other threads lots of great info in them.

I passed A HND in electrical engineering but I was quite interested in the Royal electrical and mechanical engineering. (I assume that's what REME stands for, I got the idea of what they do and he quickly used the full title but from then on it was the reme.)

And I'm wanting to join because I need a job, my Dad and friends uncle only has good things to say about the forces and I think that the situation in Iraq is really **** to be in and rather than saying "sod that, I'm not getting shot at" like some local pub goers I'd rather help out.
 
Soldato
Joined
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13,927
my mate always gets told hes going out for 6 months and it always ends up being longer. wasnt 18 months between iraq/afghan either. maybe a year
 
Associate
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Dahn sarf!
I used to be in the army a few years ago, so can probably answer a few of these for you.

- Nearly every weekend is yours to go see your family and friends.

True, it can be like a 9 to 5 job at times. But there will be many times when you will be required to work depending on duties, training, exercise etc.

- The army can pay for you to get a bike and car license.

Yes, usually depending on your trade. As a black hat you will probably get HGV and possibly H (tracked) too.

- Tour leave (Iraq and such) only comes round every 18 months).

Rubbish. You get a set quota every year, plus you normally get more before you go on tour and post op leave as well.

- You'll only spend 6 months in Iraq at a time with a 2 week break.

Can't comment on Iraq. But 7 - 10 days used be the norm for op tours I did.

- You get good money as you have sod all time to spend it (therefore it builds up quick).

Depending on your trade and qualifications depends how much you get paid. A quick Google found this as a rough guide to basic pay last year. There are all sorts of allowances that can be added too.

- There is always good comradeship between all the soldiers.

There can be both good and bad relationships with anybody as anywhere in life. But when do many things and share many "character building" times with the same people you can become very close knit.

Don't assume that you will go to Iraq. While there is a good chance that you will go. But there are still plenty of places in the world where the Army operate. You may end up there instead. Especially in a supporting role such as the REME.

As we were always told. "You only get out what you put in." Good luck and hope it all works out for you.
 
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Associate
Joined
16 Mar 2007
Posts
300
The only thing I was worrying about was being away for long times and I'm going to have to think hard about this, it's quite a big commitment. And with you guys saying you've been/know someone that's gone sooner than every 18 months worries me a bit more for the simple reason the army guy lied. I'll ask around a few friends when I see them.

Thanks for all your help though, and if anyone reading this is going out on tour soon I wish you the best of luck and give many thanks.
 
Soldato
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6 Oct 2004
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England
- Nearly every weekend is yours to go see your family and friends.
- The army can pay for you to get a bike and car license.
- Tour leave (Iraq and such) only comes round every 18 months).
- You'll only spend 6 months in Iraq at a time with a 2 week break.
- You get good money as you have sod all time to spend it (therefore it builds up quick).
- There is always good comradeship between all the soldiers.

RAF Here.

1 - Yes i can go home but do i? Hell no, i didn;t join up to go home everyweekend,that would make it a normal job!
2 - Yes if you need to drive to do your job they will put you through your test
3 - Unsure about this, however you are alot more likely to go than ever 18months?
4 - Hopefully only 6 months at a time yes
5 - LMFAO, if you spend nothing then yes you have alot of money,however for us normal people that spend it, well...
6 - if you have a good bunch of people you will enjoy it
 
Soldato
Joined
20 Mar 2006
Posts
8,214
I don't want to put you off but it's important you take everything into consideration.

Don't forget the seriousness of what you may be asked to do in the line of duty and the effects this may have on you.

I know first hand the effect that a tour of duty can have on people when they return. It's not to be underestimated.
 
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Associate
Joined
24 Nov 2005
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Skelton in Cleveland
My Brother is currently serving in Iraq and has been there on and off for the best part of 2 years, maybe 3 months out of there on the whole.

He has a quite specialised sort of job and his skills are in demand.

prior to this he was in Northern ireland and absolutely loved the place.

He absolutely loves it, loves the life, the pay and the fact that he gets the very best training by any armed forces in the world, what he doesnt like is killing people (same as any i suppose)

he has killed people, but he has saved many people from being killed too.

You should think long and hard about what you want from life and whether life in the armed forces can help deliver your goals.
 
Associate
Joined
27 Apr 2008
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Somewhere near brum
I passed A HND in electrical engineering but I was quite interested in the Royal electrical and mechanical engineering. (I assume that's what REME stands for, I got the idea of what they do and he quickly used the full title but from then on it was the reme.)


Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers or affectionatly know as R.E.M.F's (Rear Echleon Mother F******) by the other arms/corps/regiments :D

- Nearly every weekend is yours to go see your family and friends.
- The army can pay for you to get a bike and car license.
- Tour leave (Iraq and such) only comes round every 18 months).
- You'll only spend 6 months in Iraq at a time with a 2 week break.
- You get good money as you have sod all time to spend it (therefore it builds up quick).
- There is always good comradeship between all the soldiers.

Yes...but why you would want to go see family...I don't know when I joined it was to get away :D
Yes...dependant on what trade/job you go for.
Tours, for me, averaged 18 - 24months I went to Iraq April 03 and April 05, after I left the regiment went out to Afghan in 07
About 6 months, with 2 weeks before, during and after (or about that on top of your usual 30 day annual leave)
Good money hell yes...no time to spend it...you'll p*** it up the wall lol
Most of the time, some, as per any work place are total w******. Hope you got a good sense of humour, depending on where you go its a BIG must. The armies sense of humour is total different to civvie.
 
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