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BT9

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I think it’s best not to view Royal Marines Commandos and Paratroopers as competitors. Banter will obviously exist but they aren’t two companies competing for your money! They are both on the same side of the same coin but ultimately are designed for different roles.

For me Para just ticks way more boxes than the Royal Marines. This isn’t a slur on them but I’ve considered my options and know what I want out of a career.
 
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I think it’s best not to view Royal Marines Commandos and Paratroopers as competitors. Banter will obviously exist but they aren’t two companies competing for your money! They are both on the same side of the same coin but ultimately are designed for different roles.

For me Para just ticks way more boxes than the Royal Marines. This isn’t a slur on them but I’ve considered my options and know what I want out of a career.
Why do they tick more boxes? What is it about them that attracts you more ?
 

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Why do they tick more boxes? What is it about them that attracts you more ?
It’s just my personal preference. I feel more aligned with what the Parachute Regiment does and ultimately the role appeals to me more. To me they are among one of the elite fighting forces in the world and I want to be apart of that. I’ve become deeply interested in Para regimental history and their ethos.

As for boxes that it ticks for me over RM.

1)I want to join in an infantry role. This is the career I want.

2) I don’t like the RM SQ system.

3)Virtually everything that is open to a Royal Marine is open to a Paratrooper

4)I want more ownership of my career without the fear of being pushed into a trade such as driver or signals.

5)The role of 16 air assault and specifically airborne infantry appeals more to me.


It’s a personal choice and no slur. The Royal Marines are great for some but it just doesn’t appeal to me. If I am being brutally honest I haven’t really considered the Royal Marines as I have decided it’s Para I want.
 
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Snows

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It's worth bearing in mind that the diving role of the SBS presents hurdles beyond passing the tri-service UKSF selection.
Regardless of fitness and tactical ability not everyone has confidence and capacity to operate in a technical and specialised diving role.

A lot fail the medical too. The diving medical, a bit like the pilot medical, does some tests and turns up things that your average medical history simply never will have tested for. You don't know you're suitable until you've been cleared medically, regardless of how fit and healthy you are otherwise. This also applies if you've done a sport diving medical - the commercial diving / military standard is more rigorous.
 

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It’s just my personal preference. I feel more aligned with what the Parachute Regiment does and ultimately the role appeals to me more. To me they are among one of the elite fighting forces in the world and I want to be apart of that. I’ve become deeply interested in Para regimental history and their ethos.

As for boxes that it ticks for me over RM.

1)I want to join in an infantry role. This is the career I want.

2) I don’t like the RM SQ system.

3)Virtually everything that is open to a Royal Marine is open to a Paratrooper

4)I want more ownership of my career without the fear of being pushed into a trade such as driver or signals.

5)The role of 16 air assault and specifically airborne infantry appeals more to me.


It’s a personal choice and no slur. The Royal Marines are great for some but it just doesn’t appeal to me. If I am being brutally honest I haven’t really considered the Royal Marines as I have decided it’s Para I want.
A specific point to you - the career system for soldiers is very different to the one for officers. The difference in career profile for Para Reg officer and RM officer isn't that substantial, they look roughly the same (except RM officers historically report much higher levels of satisfaction than Army officers). Moreover, you go to Sandhurst with no guarantee of an infantry place, whereas you know you are going to be trained as an infantry (RM) officer from your acceptance letter to Lympstone. So the rationale you post above makes sense if you are applying as a soldier, but not if - as I thought you were from previous posts - you're applying as an officer.

You may be thinking about applying as both, or as a soldier if you don't pass AOSB etc, but if you are focused on an officer application you should revise the above thinking!
 
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BT9

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I’m pursuing Officer entry and as always I appreciate your advice and I take your points on board. My points where pretty general to try and answer @Decwba18 question.
Fully understand that Para is far from guaranteed but that remains my focus, how it irons out in reality we will see. To be fair, Im sure RM Officer and Para Officer have very similar day to day jobs in the early days? Although I’m also not sure that a RM YO is guaranteed to be posted as a troop commander within a fighting unit where as Para you know you are going to be a platoon commander. And even if a RM YO goes to a fighting unit is he guarantee to remain in a fighting unit or will he move with promotion etc. For example could the RM Officer end up commanding a signal unit, or a logistics one and so on? Where’s Para is Para.
I also appreciate that as a Para or a RM you will be deployed in the field until captain rank then the role will become more and more office based? As @Decwba18 is interested in joining I thought he seemed quite unaware that Royal Marines are far from guaranteed a fighting unit after training. I wanted to highlight to him that it probably isn’t like the adverts on tv with giant spiders crawling over a RM snipers face.
For me ultimately the Parachute Regiment do what the say on the tin whereas the Royal Marines sell the dream of their warry TV adverts with cammed up commandos silently emerging from the water to take on a terrorist camp. When in reality you could train for 32 weeks only to be posted into a job like RLC driver?
As an Officer in Para, unless I am wrong my role wouldn’t deviate from infantry unless I’m reading it wrong?
 
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I’m pursuing Officer entry and as always I appreciate your advice and I take your points on board. My points where pretty general to try and answer @Decwba18 question.
Fully understand that Para is far from guaranteed but that remains my focus, how it irons out in reality we will see. To be fair, Im sure RM Officer and Para Officer have very similar day to day jobs in the early days? Although I’m also not sure that a RM YO is guaranteed to be posted as a troop commander within a fighting unit where as Para you know you are going to be a platoon commander. And even if a RM YO goes to a fighting unit is he guarantee to remain in a fighting unit or will he move with promotion etc. For example could the RM Officer end up commanding a signal unit, or a logistics one and so on? Where’s Para is Para.
I also appreciate that as a Para or a RM you will be deployed in the field until captain rank then the role will become more and more office based? As @Decwba18 is interested in joining I thought he seemed quite unaware that Royal Marines are far from guaranteed a fighting unit after training. I wanted to highlight to him that it probably isn’t like the adverts on tv with giant spiders crawling over a RM snipers face.
For me ultimately the Parachute Regiment do what the say on the tin whereas the Royal Marines sell the dream of their warry TV adverts with cammed up commandos silently emerging from the water to take on a terrorist camp. When in reality you could train for 32 weeks only to be posted into a job like RLC driver?
As an Officer in Para, unless I am wrong my role wouldn’t deviate from infantry unless I’m reading it wrong?
Im well aware it isnt guaranteed youd get into a fighting unit and it isnt like the adverts
 
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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.
You can be a driver in the paras?
 

BT9

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You can be a driver in the paras?

Not in the same way. My understanding, following a chat with my recruiter is that a Paratrooper may be trained to drive 4x4/armoured vehicles that mount heavy weapon systems on. Such as those used for fire support like the Jackal. The Paras don’t routinely drive it seems. Whereas from reading the Royal Marine forum & their careers site it is clear that you can be posted straight to the Commando Logistically Regiment which is a hybrid RLC/Royal Marine unit. It is also really common, from what I’ve read, that as a Royal Marine you can be posted to any of their units as a General Duties driver. Meaning you do that support role just as the RLC do for any Army regiment. It may be a positive for some as it can mean your career can be quite varied but it seems the more popular postings in the Royal Marines face a lot of competition.
 

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The Royal Marines are currently undergoing a modernisation project – known as the Future Commando Force programme (FCF). FCF is an evolving programme and it’s worth taking the time to research it. The FCF transformation will include restructuring, which in turn will effect how their specialist qualifications work. Instead relying on guess work it is best that you discuss FCF and it’s potential implications with the Royal Marines. They will be best placed to answer any questions you have regarding their primary and secondary specialist qualifications.

With regards to Parachute Regiment career development and progression, we are very fortunate to have a number of serving Paras here who can explain. Also we are in discussion regarding an official RHQ account being opened here. Much like the 4 PARA account the RHQ account will be manned by serving ranks who can offer official answers to your questions. Lots of work going on in the background so stay tuned.
 

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Wierd question but how close knit is it in a para battalion? I’ve read about other regiments where guys just go home on weekends or whenever they can. I’d imagine the high readiness cycles in the paras mean you can’t just leave whenever making everyone closer.
 

DannyMac

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Wierd question but how close knit is it in a para battalion? I’ve read about other regiments where guys just go home on weekends or whenever they can. I’d imagine the high readiness cycles in the paras mean you can’t just leave whenever making everyone closer.

very! The airborne brotherhood is family and it is not something we take lightly. It don’t matter what the circumstances are we will be there for our brothers no matter what
 
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