Branch transfer possible?

Discussion in 'Submariners' started by Gollum, Jan 1, 2010.

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  1. Hello all,

    I'm currently serving on boats as a WE but to be honest feel as though I have made the wrong career choice. With the ever growing 'just replace it' policy, the role of a WE is getting less and less hands on, fine if you want to sit around on your arse and do nothing, but that's not why I joined. My second choice would have been MA and was wondering if anyone on here has any idea as to how difficult the process would be?
    I want to stay boats and as the waiting list for ETWE(SM) seems to be ever growing, I'm hoping that it's something I'll be able to do. I think it's best to try it now before I'm elligable for my killicks, in which case it would be near on impossible!

    Any help will be appreciated.

    Cheers gents.
  2. You can try....
  3. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    If you can get manning clearance to transfer, MA(SM) phase two training places at Keogh Barracks are currently full-up for the next 18 months. If someone joins as an MA(SM) & submits PVR during phase one training - you could be in with a chance of a shorter-notice course.

    The difficult bit, as I'm sure you're aware, is getting manning clearance.
  4. So what does WE stand for these days?
    Weapons Electrical? What does or should a WE do?
    So what was your intention when you joined up? ie what did you think you was going to do as a WE.
    I was a greenie ie I joined up as a Electrical Mechanic then 'they' them that does this sort of thing, changed us EMs to CEMs or OEMs, REMs were already in place. Then 'they' changed it all yet again to WEMs or MEs ie WEM(O)s or WEM(R)s, MEM(L)s or MEM(M)s.
    Now as a EM,CEM and then a WEM(O)(by this time a senior rate) I had little time to sit on my 'but' on a boat at sea as I was either on watch or fixing sonar sets.
    So all I can say with regard to your dilema Gollum, if all you do is 'sit on yer but' you are obviously surplus to requirements!! Enjoy it make the most of it boff up for your PPE if they do PPEs these days for higher rate.
    In passing whats a MA? It used to be a Medical Assistant. Who in gods Navy wants to be a scab lifter ughhhhh!
  5. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    'twas ever thus? :wink:
  6. Not in my time on boats. Try working a two watch system for a few weeks you'll soon appreciate your 'but' on sitting days!!
  7. Well, I did for starters. But that was only so I could get access to the drugs and a clean supply of needles :wink:

    Gollum - as Ninja_Stoker suggests, getting the manning clearance is likely to be the difficult bit.

    I branch changed in ’99 and it took about eighteen months from initially deciding to go for it to getting a course date at Keogh.

    You don’t say how far along you are with the idea; whether it’s just a thought, or if you’ve made any moves in that direction already, but assuming your only thinking about it at the moment here’s a couple of pointers for you.

    First off, you want to spend as much time as you can with your boats MA’s. That will give you an idea of whether it’s the branch for you and will indicate to others that you’re serious. Particularly try to help out with some of the Health Physics work. That way you’ll have an idea of the life as a MA(SM) and whether you would like to remain on/return to submarines. You may prefer the more strait forward medical role that general service would give you.

    If you’re not already, get at least level 2 first-aid qualified. It’s a useful qualification in its own right and again, shows that you’re serious. Also, if you can, jack-up some time at your local sickbay – ideally a couple of weeks. This is really important as you’ll get a pretty decent overview of the various roles of the MA and by helping out in the treatment room usually you will get to see a juicy selection of injuries and ailments.

    If you are serious about branch changing to MA, probably the best advice I can give is to persevere. When I did it I met plenty of people who were pretty anti – ranging from mild piss-taking to downright hostility and quite a lot of that was from my own branch, but becoming an MA was the best thing I ever did and I really wish I had done it a lot sooner.
  8. Thanks for the advice lads.

    LP Blower, thank you very much. I haven't as yet taken it any further than seeking advice. I'm gonna have a chat with the MA's onboard after leave and see where I stand. Your advice is definately a help.

    Pollycell, I didn't mean that you literally sit on your arse and do nothing all day but it's not what it 'says on the brochure'. You train to fix stuff down to component level and then when you finally get to do your job, the skills are never utilised. Then at killick level you go and do a further year of even more indepth fault finding, diagnostics etc, only to find when you get back to a boat, yet again you never get to use the skills you have learned. It's the same at PO level. I didn't go into this branch with my eyes closed and although I have only been in for a couple of years, I can safely say that the job is not what's described in the careers office or the brochures.

    If you get streamed sensors at Killick level then you may get to use your skills occasionally, but if you end up ordnance, it's not gonna happen and another 19+ years is a long time to stay in a trade that is not what you thought it was.
  9. MAs

    One of the lads on my boat has been trying for nearly 2 years to go MA(sm)..he is finally starting course later in 2010..would be nearly 2 and a half years of trying to going on course..and that was after a refusal of manning clearence and a few letters sent to and fro..and he also did various first aid courses off his own back etc

    the problem (so I believe) is that a few years ago, the MA branch was very short so the navy have flooded the branch and been handing out hooks like they are over bourne (i think)...that might be a snag

    good luck anyway
  10. So what exactly DO you DO on a boat if you don't 'fix things'?
    In my time we/I didn't have the kit to fix down to component level. By kit I meant test equipment like scopes sig gennys etc or the spares. So 'Easter egging' as it was called was all we could ie change boards etc. Which was a boon when you were watch keeping as well as being a maintainer
    I really don't under stand why some one who joins up as a potential mechanic/Tiff/whatever wants to branch transfer to a scab lifter. ie why didn't you join up originally as a MA?
    Haven't you the problem if you do transfer to a MA that you won't get back on boats?
  11. It's the same in the WAFU world too, I spent 3 years learning how to fault diagnose a radar down to component level then spent years changing black-boxes. If you get a workshop draft then you get to use your skills a bit more, but when you get to CPO level in my job, you can never pick-up a tool again. But 'twas always so, or has been for the last 20 years so I'm not sure if your expectations might be set a bit high, shipmate.
  12. Exactly when the boat was back in Dolphin or where ever then you have the time to fault find down to the component.
    I always, as I guess other sonar maintainers had at sea, the skipper the Chief Opps or both on my back wanting sets back on line as soon as poss. So it was get in fix as soon as poss and get out. Leaving a spares cab filled with duff boards.
  13. witsend

    witsend War Hero Book Reviewer

    That goes for every branch with most bits of kit.
  14. Well there yer go then. QED! Point made. But my point being you just haven't or didn't have the luxury, unless you were on a bomber were you had a bloody great console space, to take the bit of kit away and hang a scope or whatever on it and fault find down to component level.

  15. Switch off set/bad beams. Go to mess. Make coffee. Back to HUGE Cab Space. Drink Coffee. Switch on set/bad beams. Simples. Everyone happy! :lol:

    It was that easy Fred! But, if pushed could do it down to component level, but found maskers and/or Araldite was beter. Remember 2007?

    PS, fixed my washng machine to component level last week - duff capacitor :D :D :D
  16. Remember it !! bloody thing spent a happy weekend in NTD when we was Perisher running fixing a Power Supply fault that had all the inboard whizz kids totally baffled.
    Our sound room team had a brillant method of fault finding the 2007, squirt it liberally with WD 40! Bless 'em!
  17. Well done :roll:
  18. Fixed my TV last month. 3 capacitors on the power supply board. Total cost £3.21 from Maplin. See, who says it's wasted skills? :D Get a grip, Gollum!
  19. Did that with my ex-missus. Turns out it was her fucking attitude.
  20. A soldering iron is all it takes:)

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