Hi all, I’m a newbie to the site and very impressed so far as to how informative it has been. Most questions I’ve had have already been answered via the search bar. A bit of background on myself. I left school when I was 16 with 6-7 GCSEs and embarked on an apprenticeship scheme as a tool maker in the automotive industry. This consisted of shaping metal by programming and operating Conventional/ CNC machinery such as lathes, milling machines and surface grinders. The work in the tool room was often complex though very interesting and required working to very tight tolerances. While working I attended college on a day release basis and attended night classes and achieved a BTEC National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering obtaining a Distinction/Merit grade over the first two years. Following that I went on and did a HNC in Mechanical Engineering obtaining an overall distinction grade. As part of the 4 year apprenticeship scheme I also pick up a NVQ level 2 & 3 (basically technical certificates to say you are confident / proficient in the use of machinery and can carry out certain metal working processes. I have always been interested in joining the military in some way shape or form. I applied to join the RAF in 2006 to go in as a loadmaster. I got the chance to take the aptitude test at RAF Cranwell unfortunately I never made the cut. I made a balls of one section (memorising number sequence) which completely threw me on the following section. I was asked to reapply the following year as most people get it second time around apparently. I was a bit skeptical that my eyesight was good enough and as asked would it be possible to go to the optometry lab to get checked out. As I thought they were just below the required standard. So no harsh feelings and it was a good experience none the less and would prepare me for future aptitude tests. I carried on with my existing job for around about another year. Manufacturing was under increasing pressure with the closure of car production plants such as Longbridge and the scaling back of production by GM and Honda etc. Although there was decline of the manufacturing industry there was a boom in the construction industry. I applied for a technician’s role with large multidisciplinary civil engineering firm and got the job. (current job to date) This was a step up from my previous job and a steep rise in my annual salary. It’s an office based role in the traffic and highway design department. My job consists of designing road / carpark layouts using Auto CAD for county councils, supermarkets, retail parks etc as well as writing the odd service management plan. The moneys great just over 25K per year but it’s just not hands on enougth for me. Granted I do like getting out to conduct the odd survey every now and again and taking the lead role on smaller projects but I feel there is a void in my working life / social life. (Can never give a definitive time for finishishing) Like my previous job I went back to college at night and did an HNC in civil engineering and again got a distinction merit grade. Its hard work studying and working but I suppose it will always stand by you if you require it in the future. Around April 2010 I looked into either applying for the Navy, RAF, or TA never really fancied the army full time. After weighing up my options I decided go with Royal Navy. Having watched a few documentaries on TV (Warship & Air Force Afghanistan) as well as speaking to a serving member of the RN who’s an ETWE and he advised me that if I want to go and see places rather than spend your time stuck on base in the UK then the Royal Navy is the one to go for. I hope he’s right. I passed RT test in June 2010 with no problems. It was far easier than I envisaged though I’m guessing my previous experience at Cranwell prepared me for it or it was just a case that I really wanted it. Medical was completed in July again no issues. My fist choice is AET and my second preference is ETME. I’m now 25 hopefully I’ll get into Raleigh around the end of 2013 / start of 2014 which will make me 27. I think the first couple of pay cheques may be a shock to the system ( around - 8K per annum) but again I’m joining for a change in lifestyle as much as a change in career and being 25 it’s a case of now or never I think. I love skiing and motorcycling and basically any sport that gives such an adrenaline rush. I hope there are plenty of opportunity’s to do some adventure training once signed up to the mob. Something that would be somewhat limited cash wise in civilian life i.e. skydiving courses / white water rafting etc or is that all a bit of a myth? I’m just wondering is anyone else in the same situation with the exception of Scouse Castaway & Older Joiner who are around the same age as myself I think. All the other newbies seem to be school leavers or haven’t really embarked on a career as such yet or maybe I have just missed their posts?