Could you assist with the movement and supply of vital British Army vehicles and equipment?
Driver Vehicle Support Specialists (VSS) facilitate the receipt, storage, issue and distribution of vehicles and equipment across the British Army. We are responsible for loading and unloading specialist vehicles on and off ships, rail assets, Heavy Equipment Transporters and RAF aircraft.
The VSS trade plays a vital logistic role; from loading a tank onto a ship and unloading it at its destination, to looking after a large fleet of operational-ready vehicles in any location.
Small VSS teams are integrated into Theatre Logistic Regiments across the UK, where they are responsible for looking after the Unit’s fleet as well as specialised equipment.
Regular soldiers are based at 17 Port and Maritime Regiment in Southampton, alongside the RLC Port Operators and Mariners.
Reservists are based at 142 Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars Vehicle Squadron, part of 165 Port & Maritime Regiment RLC.
All VSS soldiers have the opportunity to deploy across the UK and abroad as part of Port Task Groups.
To meet the start criteria for this trade, you must be a B3 Driver and have attended the vocational Class 3 course at the Defence School of Transport.
To begin your VSS training, you will attend a two-week course at 73 Squadron in Marchwood, Southampton where you will learn the basics of becoming a VSS Class 3. This course covers everything from vehicle maintenance and safely manoeuvring vehicles in tight areas, to loading a vehicle onto an aircraft.
You will then complete a category H (tracked) licence course which will allow you to attend up to eight weeks of Armoured Fighting Vehicle training in Bovington.
The Class 2 upgrade is completed in the form of a workbook which records your experience and ultimately prepares you for the VSS Class 1 which you will be eligible to attend providing you have been recommended for promotion to Corporal and meet all pre-requisites.
As a VSS, you can gain qualifications including:
- Level 2 Certificate Logistics & Transport
- Level 2 Apprenticeship Driving Goods Vehicles
- Driving Licence acquisition categories B, B+E, C, C+E, D, D+E, G and H
Upon promotion to higher ranks, you will receive either Chartered Management Status or a diploma from the Institute of Management and Leadership.
As a VSS, there is the opportunity to become an approved DVSA Driving Instructor or Examiner.
“I have deployed on several operations; broadening my skills and experiences.” Corporal Killey
I am currently working as a Section Commander at 17 Port and Maritime Regiment RLC within the VSS Troop. When I am not deploying, my task within the Troop is to make sure my section is up to date on routine training and competencies on vehicle platforms are in date. This allows us to be ready to deploy at short notice.
I joined the VSS trade back in 2010. I was completing my Driver Class 3 Course when I attended a recruitment day and I hadn’t known what the trade was back then. However, after seeing what the trade involved and the opportunities on offer, it was an easy decision for me to join. Some of the highlights from the trade are having the opportunity to deploy so much, as well as the postings abroad to the likes of Canada and Cyprus for two years at a time.
“My VSS role offers me countless opportunities.” Lance Corporal Dixon
Lance Corporal Dixon
I am currently employed as VSS JNCO within the Joint Mechanical Engineering and Transport Squadron (JMETS) which comes under the Cyprus Operational Support Unit (COSU). I have had many responsibilities and opportunities since arriving here in May 2019, including: fleet maintenance, tyre bay attendant and completing worldwide operations. I have also been an administrative team member for the Cyprus Field Gun team and my next goal is to join the Akrotiri Rugby Team.
How to join
If you are already in The RLC, you will need to complete the re-trade process to become a Driver Vehicle Support Specialist. For more information click here.
If you are joining from another British Army Corps, you will need to complete the transfer process. For more information click here (MODNET).