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Specialist and Trade Training

Training in your chosen trade can begin once you pass out as a Qualified Reserve Soldier. Since the field of military engineering is so diverse, Sappers will often find themselves learning new skills many years into their careers.
Training objectives and standards are based on the equivalent Regular Army syllabus but broken down to fit the reserves training pattern. Much reserve army training is transferable to civilian life and, for example in the case of promotion courses, can assist in civilian career progression.

Trade Career Paths

Soldiers specialise in one (or sometimes more) of the following:

Combat Engineer

Combat Engineering is engineering at the sharp end, the source of the vital support skills that allow the Royal Engineers to complete combat and construction missions in difficult conditions all over the world. On the battlefield, Combat Engineers provide the means to live, move and fight while denying the same means to the enemy. When the enemy is on the move, it’s the job of the Combat Engineer to impede his progress by the most effective use of explosives and anti-tank mines. Creating obstacles, destroying bridges and cratering roads are just some of the tasks for Combat Engineers. When his own side is on the move, it’s the Combat Engineer who clears the way, building bridges and supplying basic needs such as drinking water to sustain forces in the field.


During your communication training, you will gain a comprehensive knowledge of the operation and maintenance of radios, remote antennae and battery-charging equipment. You will also be taught to organise and control an isolated radio station and gain a thorough knowledge of voice procedure and unit codes. In addition, you will be trained to drive at Driver Licence Category C+E and may be responsible for a unit vehicle and its maintenance.

Plant Operator Mechanic

Many of the larger-scale construction tasks carried out by the Royal Engineers involve exactly the same kind of earthmoving and construction equipment that you would see on a civilian construction site. Operating and keeping them in good working order is down to the Plant Operator Mechanic. As well as being trained to drive and use them on a construction site, you’ll be trained in fault recognition and reporting procedures, basic surveying and setting out earthworks, and you will have the opportunity to gain a Cat C driving licence.


As a Military Engineer (Driver), you have the chance to work with vehicles that range from basic Land Rovers to large troop carrying vehicles. As your career progresses, you will have the opportunity to gain additional driving qualifications including the Cat C+E licence essential to many civilian driving jobs. You will also be trained in the skills necessary for maintaining, servicing and inspecting vehicles and related equipment in barracks and in the field.


Soldiers in the Staff and Personnel Support Branch of the Adjutant General’s Corps are involved in nearly every aspect of Army life, providing HR, business, admin, secretarial, financial and IT support at every level. Overseeing pay, personnel and employment records of officers and soldiers, they also maintain and operate the Army’s Management Information System and Personnel Database. You will be taught the clerical and financial techniques required for effective management of all the Army’s administrative systems.


Combat Medical Technicians (CMT) give emergency treatment, evacuate casualties and deal with the routine medical needs of soldiers both in conflict and in times of peace. People who already work in the medical profession may have directly transferable skills although additional training will be required to provide medical care on the battlefield.


As a Chef in the RLC, it will be your responsibility to provide soldiers with meals that give them the energy they need to complete their jobs and the nutrients they need to stay healthy. And because the Army operates all over the world, you will find yourself working in hastily set-up field kitchens as well as full-sized kitchens on permanent bases. You will be trained to prepare, cook and present food for as many as 650 soldiers in static kitchens or in field kitchens on exercises and operations all over the world in all weathers. Civilian catering experience is beneficial but not essential.


As a Military Engineer (Resources Specialist), you will be responsible for the administrative aspects of obtaining, maintaining and issuing the vast range of equipment the Squadron requires, and therefore you will be a key asset.
You will learn basic Accounting Principles, Stock Control and Health and Safety Regulations. As your experience grows you will be responsible for the Storage, Maintenance and Inspection of Engineer Resources.
Squadron training weekends and annual two week camp consolidate these skills by practicing in realistic exercise scenarios, from OBUA (Operations in Built Up Areas) to construction tasks.

Instructional Courses

There is the opportunity to become an instructor in one or more of the following subjects (full training is given to enable you to effectively teach these):

First Aid
Combat Engineer Skills
Map Reading
CBRN Defence (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear)
Range Management
Skill At Arms
Physical Training Instructor
Adventure Training Instructor

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