Para life

G87

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It depends what is going on with your company and battalion but you’ll normally do a mix of training, lessons and exercises
 

Mackers

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Depends what’s going on. But on average we have a late start monday, sports afternoon Wednesday and early finish friday. Phys in mornings and lessons/details/admin prep for next ex etc in the afternoon. Time is yours in evening and weekends. Outside of COVID you’ll have at least one big OTX a year but there are also plenty UK based ex’s too. Decent range time as well. We genuinely don’t get bogged down with bullshitty camp jobs too much but occasionally in a rifle coy you will find yourself weapon cleaning or down the stores. If you are in one of the sp coys you’ll obviously do more specific stuff.
 

Redders

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The Battalions cycle through different states of high and very high readiness so this plays a part on what you get up to. Basically deploying on exercises or operations or preparing for and stood by for the next one. The Reg is the tip of the UK global response force
 

Chelonian

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Everyone can make a choice but the needs of the service always trump the wishes of the individual. Plenty of information on this topic from serving ranks on the RM forum. Research your career and make an informed decision.
 

Mac_t1lt

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What do you mean by opportunities mate? I’m inclined to suspect there will be some favouritism toward to latter considering you’re on a para forum lol both have equal opportunities if you’re good enough. Echoing @Chelonian, look up both and decide, once you do, full speed ahead 👍
 

Brixstix

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Opportunity wise, what would you recommend the royal marines or paras?
If you really can’t decide I’d suggest getting and online issue of Pegasus Journal and Globe and Laurel. Both have information that you can’t really get on google and helped me with my decision.
 

Mackers

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Opportunity wise, what would you recommend the royal marines or paras?
Real answer obviously Im going to pick the reg but I’ve never worked with the Marines so can’t comment on their opportunities. Like us they are extremely close-knit and like us they do a lot of infantry training. We both can cover a lot of distance, carrying what we need at speed and close with the enemy. During the Herrick and Telic years they may as well of been another Army light infantry regiment.
But I think it’s wrong to compare us with them outside of banter as we have different roles. Unlike us they are not solely an infantry unit, they are a big Corps that are as I understand it self sufficient. They also work on ships and in smaller teams. Where we have other units within 16X to pick up the support roles they don’t. We have RLC drivers, AGC clerks, RMP coppers, RAMC Medics, RE sappers whilst they tend to cover a lot of their support roles with marines. A lot of their “specialisations” are support roles that we have other units for. In terms of snipers, patrols/recces, mortars, anti tanks, assault engineers, heavy weapons/MG we run annual cadres for all of them too. SFSG is also built around 1 PARA. We both also have the opportunity to apply for tri service units like SF.
As a marine you may find yourself working as a driver or a storeman whereas with us you know when you walk through the gate of battalion you are going into a rifle company.
It’s not a competition and we both are the best at what we do. They are Navy at the end of the day and we are Army so the overall purpose differs. I’d have no dramas at wall fighting alongside them but I don’t regret my choice at all.
 

Mackers

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All the battalions are busy throughout the year. If you aren’t on exercise you are building up to one. We also deploy regularly as 2 PARA aren’t that long back from Kabul. Like I said you’ll either be on ex, training, on ranges, lessons on anything from MATTs, team medic, comms
 

Mackers

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I watched a video about the Royal Marines . Its a list of 20+ specialisations you can do after 2 years of general dutys. Ranges from assault engineer, mountaineer leader to sniper. Wanted to know if paras have that same sort of format, where you can specialise in something.
Literally everything you’ve listed you can do here. But instead of mountain leader we have Pathfinders who are free fall experts
 

Chelonian

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Im only asking because theres so much info out there on the royal marines and what there upto, whereas paras i cant seem to find anything post training wise.
Parachute Regiment and the wider Airborne Forces have official presences on social media platforms. These carry news, images and video clips of regimental deployments.

Here are three from Facebook alone:

https://www.facebook.com/PARA

https://www.facebook.com/PARARESERVE

https://www.facebook.com/16AirAssaultBrigade
 

Snows

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Had a look a the rm website today. I Didnt know they have 20 odd specialisation to choose from. Thats why i want to know what opportunities there are in the paras that u can do.
What @Chelonian and @Mackers have said is spot on: "choice" doesn't really mean choice, but that is true of every Service. Most of the "choices" you specify in your career will not be what you actually get. That is partly due to a badly designed career system, and partly due to a real need to place the group above the individual.

But your question is fair, since a lot of the recruitment propaganda advertises things in ways which are designed to appeal to the unwary, and are technically accurate but not the whole truth. So I've pulled the list of RM specialisations and will give you some context.

Roles which in the Army are performed by other Corps:

AIRCREWMAN - Army Air Corps
ARMOURER - REME
CHEF - RLC
CLERK - AGC
ASSAULT ENGINEER - RE
COMBAT INTELLIGENCE - Int Corps (you also might do a bit of this as a PARA tom or JNCO, but only at low levels)
COMMUNICATION TECHNICIAN - Royal Signals
HEAVY WEAPONS AIR DEFENCE - Royal Artillery
INFORMATION SYSTEMS - Royal Signals
LANDING CRAFT - RLC / RE
MEDICAL ASSISTANT - RAMC (you can do low level section medic training as PARA JNCO or tom)
METALSMITH (Armourer) - RLC
MILITARY POLICE - RMP
TELECOMMUNICATIONS TECHNICIAN - Royal Signals
VEHICLE MECHANIC - REME
YEOMAN OF SIGNALS - Royal Signals

If you really want to do these things...join those Corps.

Roles which you can do in the Parachute Regiment:

ARMOURED SUPPORT - some roles will require you to fight a vehicle, which while not a tank, is basically the same function. More an Armoured Infantry role, however.
DRIVER - lots of requirement for drivers for patrols vehicles, etc
DRILL INSTRUCTOR - this is, I think, now a Defence course that anyone can do, but certainly all infantry regiments have their own drill pigs.
GENERAL DUTIES - basic paratrooper role
HEAVY WEAPONS ANTI-TANK - Support Coy role in PARA
HEAVY WEAPONS MORTAR - Support Coy role in PARA
PLATOON WEAPONS INSTRUCTOR - JNCO role in PARA
STORES ACCOUNTANT - lolz...you can definitely do this in PARA. Nobody wants to. This is like putting "toilet cleaner" on the specialisations list.
PHYSICAL TRAINING INSTRUCTOR - JNCO role in PARA, you can also transfer to the Army PT Corps as a SNCO
SIGNALLER - JNCO role in PARA

Roles which are tri-Service so you can do from any Regiment, Corps or Service:

SWIMMER CANOEIST - Underhanded of them to put this on there. SF Selection is tri-Service, although there are proportionally more RM in SBS for obvious reasons, there are plenty of Army who pass too.
SPECIAL FORCES COMMUNICATOR - ...SF Selection is tri-Service...

Roles which you cannot do in the Army:

MOUNTAIN LEADER - I'm not sure if they have changed this, but ML used to be Royal Marine only. It's a great specialisation with some fantastic skills that are transferable to, for example, Alpine or climbing qualifications in the civilian world. Like @Mackers said the closest equivalent in PARA is PF, but with a different set of capabilities. ML is also arguably more selective than SF selection. Few are capable of doing it, and there are few spaces available. If you have a real, demonstrated love and ability for mountain activity, climbing, etc and think you may want to do that as a subsequent career, great choice, and RM is the place to do it. Otherwise, you are probably setting yourself up for failure.

Winter warfare - they've left this out, but all RM regularly conduct winter warfare training, which you won't do in the Army unless you are either in an RM attached Corps or SF.

At sea - RM get regularly posted onboard a ship, the positive part of which is you get some variation and see the world a bit, the negative part is it's pretty disruptive to your personal life, and it's mostly extremely dull with few options to relieve it. From what RM have told me, great to do once or twice, a pain after that.

Two points in summary:
  • Basically every infantry role you can do in the RM you can do in PARA. The only things which you have to be RM to do are the three I've listed above. Several of the roles they've listed as "RM" are in fact joint across Defence, and you have to do a tough additional selection course to get into them in any case. They have also left off a load of roles that you can do both in RM and PARA - sniper, recce, jungle warfare, etc.
  • In the RM, you may find yourself doing a lot of specialist jobs that in the Army are done by other Corps. This might sound like great variety and choice. It's a trap. First, you get little choice in the matter. You will probably go where you are needed, not where you want. Second, once you've been trained in one specialisation, it's a waste to train you in others. So you'll only get one or two specialisations under your belt, and they will probably be chosen for you by others. Third, the temoporary nature of these specialisations in RM also means you won't get the same level of qualifications or civilian equivalent that you would from an Army Corps. So they are mildly lying to you when it is described as "learning a trade". It's more like a hobby, since your real trade is being an infantry soldier. Fourth, this is the element of the job that, after experiencing it for real, most RM hate.
 
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Chelonian

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Just to add to the comprehensive overview by @Snows anyone in the process of considering a service career path should be proactive about thoroughly researching reality. This is where this forum has real value; honest answers to straightforward questions.

A few years back someone on the RM forum claimed that his Army Careers Adviser had suggested that if he enlisted in a particular line infantry regiment he would have the possibility of attending All Arms Commando Course and All Arms P-Company and getting his wings up as well as a commando flash.
For sure the possibility existed but the probability was about zero. He was advised to ask his CA how many individuals in that line infantry regiment had achieved either or both within the past two years. Total silence.

I am also uncertain if it is possible for tri-service ranks to serve as RM Mountain Leaders. Historically it has provided tri-service training in its specialised role to other UK services and those of allied nations. I'll try to get a current, definitive answer.

There are some well informed Trained Ranks on the RM forum who ask why someone would opt for a thirty-four week arduous ML2 course as a 'stepping stone' to UKSF when they could devote blood, sweat and tears to UKSF selection in the first place. To be fair an informed decision might best be made after attending relevant briefings.
 

Collieryboy

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Just to add to the comprehensive overview by @Snows anyone in the process of considering a service career path should be proactive about thoroughly researching reality. This is where this forum has real value; honest answers to straightforward questions.

A few years back someone on the RM forum claimed that his Army Careers Adviser had suggested that if he enlisted in a particular line infantry regiment he would have the possibility of attending All Arms Commando Course and All Arms P-Company and getting his wings up as well as a commando flash.
For sure the possibility existed but the probability was about zero. He was advised to ask his CA how many individuals in that line infantry regiment had achieved either or both within the past two years. Total silence.

I am also uncertain if it is possible for tri-service ranks to serve as RM Mountain Leaders. Historically it has provided tri-service training in its specialised role to other UK services and those of allied nations. I'll try to get a current, definitive answer.

There are some well informed Trained Ranks on the RM forum who ask why someone would opt for a thirty-four week arduous ML2 course as a 'stepping stone' to UKSF when they could devote blood, sweat and tears to UKSF selection in the first place. To be fair an informed decision might best be made after attending relevant briefings.
One of my best mates is an ML1, we've had a similar conversation. Firstly RT squashes a lot of ML dreams. It's like doing RT again, in Norway, "on the flank". Once someone's a mature marine and they realise no one really cares they tend to go more towards SF if they have those aspirations. People underestimate the commitment and time away in SF, and how stressful it is on relationships and family,that was his major reason for going ML instead of SF.
On top of that the ML2s is a course for a specific job in certain environments. It doesn't necessarily lend any advantages to going on selection. I think people hear "it's nails" for the ML2s and selection and assume some sort of similarity. Winning the Nobel prize for physics is "harder" still, but that won't really give winners an advantage on selection either.
 

Snows

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One of my best mates is an ML1, we've had a similar conversation. Firstly RT squashes a lot of ML dreams. It's like doing RT again, in Norway, "on the flank". Once someone's a mature marine and they realise no one really cares they tend to go more towards SF if they have those aspirations. People underestimate the commitment and time away in SF, and how stressful it is on relationships and family,that was his major reason for going ML instead of SF.
On top of that the ML2s is a course for a specific job in certain environments. It doesn't necessarily lend any advantages to going on selection. I think people hear "it's nails" for the ML2s and selection and assume some sort of similarity. Winning the Nobel prize for physics is "harder" still, but that won't really give winners an advantage on selection either.
Concur with all this. As @Chelonian said, there are few to no trained ranks who do ML as prep for selection, it's a civilian recruit idea that stems from lack of knowledge. The same sort of applies to PF, but less so because the PF course is a lot shorter than ML2. But a decent number do PF and just stick with that.

ML2 is great preparation for either being an ML, or if you want to be an Alpine Guide or expedition leader in the civilian world, because the logbook requirements for those qualifications are almost impossible to fulfill without doing it as an actual job for a few years, much like becoming a dive or skydive instructor. Personally I think ML is a fantastic role, gives you excellent training and produces very high quality soldiers, and if I'd known more and been the correct service / age would have aimed for it.

But it's also pretty niche because any regular military force does its best to avoid arctic or mountain environments as extremely tough terrain to operate in, so it isn't necessarily as operationally fulfilling as other roles which are difficult to get into. The direction the UK/US have gone in with kit and support requirements since 2001 also make mountain operations basically unfeasible without a major change in risk appetite. I live in proper mountains (the UK can claim, at best, hills) and have worked in others, and operating tactically here with current kit would simply break the majority of the soldiers attempting it. Its terrain that can only really be negotiated by the lightest of light infantry and small team tactics, which is why it's traditionally been favoured by insurgents, not regular forces.
 
D

Deletedmember

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What @Chelonian and @Mackers have said is spot on: "choice" doesn't really mean choice, but that is true of every Service. Most of the "choices" you specify in your career will not be what you actually get. That is partly due to a badly designed career system, and partly due to a real need to place the group above the individual.

But your question is fair, since a lot of the recruitment propaganda advertises things in ways which are designed to appeal to the unwary, and are technically accurate but not the whole truth. So I've pulled the list of RM specialisations and will give you some context.

Roles which in the Army are performed by other Corps:

AIRCREWMAN - Army Air Corps
ARMOURER - REME
CHEF - RLC
CLERK - AGC
ASSAULT ENGINEER - RE
COMBAT INTELLIGENCE - Int Corps (you also might do a bit of this as a PARA tom or JNCO, but only at low levels)
COMMUNICATION TECHNICIAN - Royal Signals
HEAVY WEAPONS AIR DEFENCE - Royal Artillery
INFORMATION SYSTEMS - Royal Signals
LANDING CRAFT - RLC / RE
MEDICAL ASSISTANT - RAMC (you can do low level section medic training as PARA JNCO or tom)
METALSMITH (Armourer) - RLC
MILITARY POLICE - RMP
TELECOMMUNICATIONS TECHNICIAN - Royal Signals
VEHICLE MECHANIC - REME
YEOMAN OF SIGNALS - Royal Signals

If you really want to do these things...join those Corps.

Roles which you can do in the Parachute Regiment:

ARMOURED SUPPORT - some roles will require you to fight a vehicle, which while not a tank, is basically the same function. More an Armoured Infantry role, however.
DRIVER - lots of requirement for drivers for patrols vehicles, etc
DRILL INSTRUCTOR - this is, I think, now a Defence course that anyone can do, but certainly all infantry regiments have their own drill pigs.
GENERAL DUTIES - basic paratrooper role
HEAVY WEAPONS ANTI-TANK - Support Coy role in PARA
HEAVY WEAPONS MORTAR - Support Coy role in PARA
PLATOON WEAPONS INSTRUCTOR - JNCO role in PARA
STORES ACCOUNTANT - lolz...you can definitely do this in PARA. Nobody wants to. This is like putting "toilet cleaner" on the specialisations list.
PHYSICAL TRAINING INSTRUCTOR - JNCO role in PARA, you can also transfer to the Army PT Corps as a SNCO
SIGNALLER - JNCO role in PARA

Roles which are tri-Service so you can do from any Regiment, Corps or Service:

SWIMMER CANOEIST - Underhanded of them to put this on there. SF Selection is tri-Service, although there are proportionally more RM in SBS for obvious reasons, there are plenty of Army who pass too.
SPECIAL FORCES COMMUNICATOR - ...SF Selection is tri-Service...

Roles which you cannot do in the Army:

MOUNTAIN LEADER - I'm not sure if they have changed this, but ML used to be Royal Marine only. It's a great specialisation with some fantastic skills that are transferable to, for example, Alpine or climbing qualifications in the civilian world. Like @Mackers said the closest equivalent in PARA is PF, but with a different set of capabilities. ML is also arguably more selective than SF selection. Few are capable of doing it, and there are few spaces available. If you have a real, demonstrated love and ability for mountain activity, climbing, etc and think you may want to do that as a subsequent career, great choice, and RM is the place to do it. Otherwise, you are probably setting yourself up for failure.

Winter warfare - they've left this out, but all RM regularly conduct winter warfare training, which you won't do in the Army unless you are either in an RM attached Corps or SF.

At sea - RM get regularly posted onboard a ship, the positive part of which is you get some variation and see the world a bit, the negative part is it's pretty disruptive to your personal life, and it's mostly extremely dull with few options to relieve it. From what RM have told me, great to do once or twice, a pain after that.

Two points in summary:
  • Basically every infantry role you can do in the RM you can do in PARA. The only things which you have to be RM to do are the three I've listed above. Several of the roles they've listed as "RM" are in fact joint across Defence, and you have to do a tough additional selection course to get into them in any case. They have also left off a load of roles that you can do both in RM and PARA - sniper, recce, jungle warfare, etc.
  • In the RM, you may find yourself doing a lot of specialist jobs that in the Army are done by other Corps. This might sound like great variety and choice. It's a trap. First, you get little choice in the matter. You will probably go where you are needed, not where you want. Second, once you've been trained in one specialisation, it's a waste to train you in others. So you'll only get one or two specialisations under your belt, and they will probably be chosen for you by others. Third, the temoporary nature of these specialisations in RM also means you won't get the same level of qualifications or civilian equivalent that you would from an Army Corps. So they are mildly lying to you when it is described as "learning a trade". It's more like a hobby, since your real trade is being an infantry soldier. Fourth, this is the element of the job that, after experiencing it for real, most RM hate.
Ah see i didnt realise you could do them jobs once in the battalions. This is what i was digging for , cheers.
 
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