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AET or WE

CheekyMrT

Badgeman
Earlier today i passed my Psychometric test. The conversation i had with my AFCO was i wanted a job that was hands on and not stuck at a desk all day, they told me my test results were good enough to follow any path i wanted. So i chose to do engineering.

Benefits to me are its a hands on role and academically i could learn and earn some great qualifications.

I'm torn between AET and WE. I keep hearing that AET is "Gods Chosen Branch" but can't find out why. Is that there slogan or is there really something incredibally great about that branch? if so what is it? I know they assigned to a squadron and thats what you follow around so there could be more times when your on land. I've got not real ties that mean i have to be on land so if thats a benefit then not sure it would apply to me, plus one of the reasons i want to join is to see the world.

AET is the branch i want to go for, not because of the name but because it seems the most relevant for finding work outside the RN after, but am put off if i will be spending huge amounts of time on the south coast of England rather than in the World. Can anyone shed any experience of the two branches that might help me decide which road to take?
 

Waspie

War Hero
Its very simple really.
Do you want to work on aircraft? If yes - then AET
Do you want to spend the majority of your career on ships? If yes then WE.
Choices - choices!!!!
You must have an inkling about what you want from your life.
 

Taztiff

War Hero
I'm torn between AET and WE. I keep hearing that AET is "Gods Chosen Branch" but can't find out why.
That's because WAFUs are loud and full of their own self importance bigging up their years ashore without going near a smelly ship.

WEs on the other hand are highly intelligent, self assuming and all round snappy dressers likely to be found at all the best Ambassadors parties eating the round chocolate things and quaffing back the champers.


Standing by :D
 

redmonkey

Lantern Swinger
Book Reviewer
As a Wafu you will spend more time on land than you would as a WE due to how the trades work.
Unless part of the ships company you will only go on ship for deployments and then get off when back alongside.
 
A wee point to throw into the debate?

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Submarine SSBN CASD. (Our other boats, SSK & SSN, were also at sea throughout that period.)

Noteworthy in that very few (if any?) AETs were involved and/or harmed in those activities...
 

CheekyMrT

Badgeman
That's because WAFUs are loud and full of their own self importance bigging up their years ashore without going near a smelly ship.

WEs on the other hand are highly intelligent, self assuming and all round snappy dressers likely to be found at all the best Ambassadors parties eating the round chocolate things and quaffing back the champers.


Standing by :D

WE by any chance? :). Would you mind telling me a little more what its like?

Is it hands on or will i be sat in a room all day staring at a screen?
What qualifications will i learn?
AET have an obvious career after the RN that is potentially lucrative are you aware what options there would be for a WE?
Do either of the two have possible better progression? Im 35 so need to think about getting to PO quickly so i can get the degree under my belt. Lots of hardwork will be needed from my part for that i know.

I see both jobs similar (I hope i don't offend anyone saying that), maintenence, servicing, repairing, cleaning the only difference is the components its for are different. What is really hampering me is as an AET i could be based on land the majority of my career but has from what i could see better exit strategy. As an WE i would get to see the world but I don't know what my exit stratergy would be. WE could be win win if it offers good things when leaving the RN, if it doesnt then i know its just a decision based on am i planning for the now or for the future...
 

Taztiff

War Hero
WE by any chance? :). Would you mind telling me a little more what its like?

Is it hands on or will i be sat in a room all day staring at a screen? Hands on mostly
What qualifications will i learn? You've answered part of that yourself below
AET have an obvious career after the RN that is potentially lucrative are you aware what options there would be for a WE? Lots!
Do either of the two have possible better progression? Im 35 so need to think about getting to PO quickly so i can get the degree under my belt. Lots of hardwork will be needed from my part for that i know. Basically the same but I am not in a position to advise on present state

I see both jobs similar (I hope i don't offend anyone saying that), maintenence, servicing, repairing, cleaning the only difference is the components its for are different. What is really hampering me is as an AET i could be based on land the majority of my career but has from what i could see better exit strategy. As an WE i would get to see the world but I don't know what my exit stratergy would be. WE could be win win if it offers good things when leaving the RN, if it doesnt then i know its just a decision based on am i planning for the now or for the future...

First of all, both branches give you a very, very good chance of getting a job outside. Engineering is transferable in a number of ways not strictly based on doing the exact same thing you have been doing for over 20 years in the mob. Example - I was a CPOWEA(WD)(Weapons Data - Control Engineering originally), worked on weapons mostly. Went outside, first job in a food factory (easy life), now Project Engineer in a Medical Device manufacturing company bringing into production multi - million pound equipment.
I am ex-WE, been out for 19 years but my youngest lad is in as a LETWE and from our little sea dit sessions a lot may have looked to have changed but not as much at the coal face as might be expected. He is joining a 23 very soon working on a section with essentially the same systems and weapons as I did over 30 years ago on a 21 (air weapons, hangar services, etc. Yep, us WE's looked after the WAFUs on board to make sure they were always first in the scran queue!).

Changes: Educational qualifications. Since the demise of Navy apprentices (and mechanicians), the route to transferable qualifications is different. However, the chance is there to 'top up' using educational credits. If you get to PO, your course will include Foundation Degree (at the moment I think!!). Downside? Some civvy companies only look for the words 'apprentice' and 'HNC'.

Progression?: Depends on you. Again using my son as an example, he was quite capable of pushing through his task book and getting on the Leading ET course very quickly but he decided to hold back so he could complete a full draft on his first ship - he wanted to be a Leading Hand with at least some sea experience!!

There have been many discussions on this site regarding the ETWE / AET / ETME engineering roles and GS / SM streaming. At the end of the day, you need to join up to do a job which you will enjoy for a number of years. Yes, post service employment may be a consideration but if you leave early because you have picked the wrong job then you have potentially wasted your time. That said, either AET or ETWE will give you a good grounding. Ok, and ETME for our clanky colleagues!
 

CheekyMrT

Badgeman
First of all, both branches give you a very, very good chance of getting a job outside. Engineering is transferable in a number of ways not strictly based on doing the exact same thing you have been doing for over 20 years in the mob. Example - I was a CPOWEA(WD)(Weapons Data - Control Engineering originally), worked on weapons mostly. Went outside, first job in a food factory (easy life), now Project Engineer in a Medical Device manufacturing company bringing into production multi - million pound equipment.
I am ex-WE, been out for 19 years but my youngest lad is in as a LETWE and from our little sea dit sessions a lot may have looked to have changed but not as much at the coal face as might be expected. He is joining a 23 very soon working on a section with essentially the same systems and weapons as I did over 30 years ago on a 21 (air weapons, hangar services, etc. Yep, us WE's looked after the WAFUs on board to make sure they were always first in the scran queue!).

Changes: Educational qualifications. Since the demise of Navy apprentices (and mechanicians), the route to transferable qualifications is different. However, the chance is there to 'top up' using educational credits. If you get to PO, your course will include Foundation Degree (at the moment I think!!). Downside? Some civvy companies only look for the words 'apprentice' and 'HNC'.

Progression?: Depends on you. Again using my son as an example, he was quite capable of pushing through his task book and getting on the Leading ET course very quickly but he decided to hold back so he could complete a full draft on his first ship - he wanted to be a Leading Hand with at least some sea experience!!

There have been many discussions on this site regarding the ETWE / AET / ETME engineering roles and GS / SM streaming. At the end of the day, you need to join up to do a job which you will enjoy for a number of years. Yes, post service employment may be a consideration but if you leave early because you have picked the wrong job then you have potentially wasted your time. That said, either AET or ETWE will give you a good grounding. Ok, and ETME for our clanky colleagues!

Thank you for such a great response. And well done on the great work you're now doing :)

This is such a hard decision, as everyone says i need to chose what i will enjoy. The problem is I think i would enjoy mechanical engineering over electronics but i would be devastated if i hardly went to sea and get around the world.

I was told i would start around the start of next year so I could risk going AET in hope i get deployed on the new aircraft carrier. Otherwise i think the happy medium is WE.

I've written off ME AFCO did not sell it well at all, pretty much told me i'd be fixing the sewers, showers etc... and even cringed themselves at the position.
 

WreckerL

War Hero
Super Moderator
I was an ME (L) submariner and yes we do the plumbing but a thats a tiny part of the ME role, all power generation and distribution for starters. Gas turbines and control equipment, diesel engines and generators, freshwater production etc etc.

I could go on but but the amount of gear we maintain and operate is quite diverse.
 

CheekyMrT

Badgeman
Just made the call to AFCO, Chosen branch is WE, eye & hearing test booked in for Friday and collecting my medical records later today to fill in and send to Capita. And interview date given for 15th August.

I still have some reservations as would like to go mechanical and the AET lads definitely sell their branch well. But i want to travel and always imagined my time in the navy at sea. I cant take the risk i will spend my career based on the south coast of England.
 
Just made the call to AFCO, Chosen branch is WE, eye & hearing test booked in for Friday and collecting my medical records later today to fill in and send to Capita. And interview date given for 15th August.

I still have some reservations as would like to go mechanical and the AET lads definitely sell their branch well. But i want to travel and always imagined my time in the navy at sea. I cant take the risk i will spend my career based on the south coast of England.

Could be East Anglia, whats not to love about a night out in Kings Lynn :)
 

CheekyMrT

Badgeman
Had my eye test yesterday and have perfect vision apart from the most minor long vision in my right eye.

Sent my medical form off and now waiting for the bar based on the fact i was diagnosed with Gout back in 2014. I was never given any medication and cleared it by changing my lifestyle and acne years before that which i was given meds but its cleared now apart from the occasional white head and the ugly scarring, so i'm hoping this does not cause me concern, AFCO offered no advice on this, just i need to wait and see what they say.

Also whilst searching for details on if gout is a problem, i noticed someone was TMU due to the fact they had toe nail fungus. Curious and with two bodged big toe nails due to in-growing toe nail operations, i researched what that was and yep pretty certain I have it, so i'm going to the pharmacist after work to get some over the counter cream and some grit 40 sandpaper to treat it. ( I always thought it was because of the amount of hiking and trail running i did so never looked into it)
 

BobnoHope

Midshipman
I just done my first sea trip after Passing out phase 2 I am neither of those branches but from an outsider if I had to chose I would say AET, the WE were treated like dogs bodies and the AET's got left alone to do their job.
 
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