commando aircrewman

Discussion in 'The Corps' started by johnnerz, Feb 20, 2012.

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  1. Hi there guys, new to the forum today - so hello from me!

    I've had a good sift through past and presant posts about Royal Navy aircrewman and read through aircrewman grading and training on the RN website. Currently I'm at University and pursuing to join the Royal Marines as an OR after i graduate, and I've posted here instead of the PRMC forum as I'm sure there is and has been more serving 'crewies on here out of the two who are probably best in-line to discuss this!

    Considering a very long term career with the RM, I know that after a couple of years as a GD marine its obligatory to 'specialise' into the corps. Out of all the trades and branches available, this grasps my interest the most.

    I know nothing is guaranteed when it comes to transferring and branch changing, but how positive is the oppourtunity of going down this route once I've come through CTC and completed my basics/quals as a GD marine. I've read through some posts that corporals and above is the minimum benchmark for going aircrewman; however I've definitely seen through some Flikr photos of crewies with RM flashes and lance corproal epaulettes on their shoulders. I've also seen a crewie marine manning an M3M aboard a Lynx counter-narcotics patrol. Being keen enough to specialise into this role, would there be any real set-back surrounding this. To add I've also read that the upper age limit for a 'crewie is 26? It doesn't seem too much of an issue, I will be 23 upon graduating yet comparing to RAF WSO's, the upper-age limit for applying is 32, surely this can't be right and is being confused with YO requirements.

    Earning my green beret and eventually going aboard the CHF Sea kings or ASW Merlins is hitting two birds with one stone for me!
    I've always aspired to be invovled as aircrew and not being eligible for officer to go pilot or observer, this to me is just a good a route.

    Thanks guys!
  2. Seems to be a paying membership only community for ex-serving members, forums off limits too
  3. Your correct the AA is for ex serving aircrewmen.

    I imagine being a grad from Uni the careers folk may well entice you to the officer route, that way you will be capable of getting to fly the current 'commando' choppers.

    Can't speak of the OR method of becoming a Royal Marine aircrewman I went the RN route and we only had one or two marines serving as aircrewmen in my day. The RN path means you have to enlist in any RN trade and then once you have reached able seaman and passed your exams for the leading rate, then, you may request to change to the aircrewman branch. I suspect these days you will have to qualify as a ASW aircrewman and do at least one tour on a ASW squadron before being allowed to transfer to the commando role.

    That said, time has moved on, I have been away from the branch for some 20 years now and things have undoubtably changed. Training is no longer at Culdrose for one!

    Good luck in your aspirations. Hopefully a serving RN crewman or RM aircrew will comment and pass on up to date pukka gen info!!
  4. Cheers Waspie, what did you serve on?

    I'd like to know what exactly is involved with an aircrewmans position and what duties he needs to fulfil on and off the aircraft. Regarding an ASW crewman, or 'pinger' as they are called if thats right? Are they involved with operating the aircrafts sonar systems? Or are crewies responsible for everything from hanging out the side to manning the 50.cals. I've aso noticed that only two OCU streams seem to come up which is either CHF Sea King MK4's or ASW Merlins. What about the AsaC Sea Kings, or 'baggers' as they are called, do only officers (observers) serve on these?
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  5. Its quite a common occurance these days for graduates to go though CTCRM as OR. The UCAS minimum requirement can filter you out very easily from sitting AIB.
  6. I was missile aimer on Wasps, a 'pinger' (passive only - the real way).

    Pinger, (Wasps no longer exist) duties. In the air, operate all ASW sensors. You are an integral part of the tactical decision making as your decisions as the ASW operator dictate the prosecution of any targets. You have secondary duties airborne, such as SAR, communications and a such. You will be the on board expert regards you equipment. You will have a better than good knowledge of oceanography, needed to operate your sensors effectively.

    On the ground your duties can be varied. Some squadrons allow you to do duty officer even as a rating. You will give sortie briefs and give instruction on your specialist subjects. You will have knowledge of all aircraft systems and their operation. Including Radio, ordinance, mechanical and theory of flight. In my day we also did DR or dead reckoning navigation, I believe this is no longer the case but am prepared to be corrected on that one.

    Every six months 'Trappers' or Royal Navy Flying Standard Flight descend on your squadron and test your knowledge, ground and air on all aviation matters. You will find yourself doing quite a few lectures, attending and giving them prior to these visits. They are assessed and ends in copious quantities of ale after in order to allow a liquid 'pat on the back.'

    Hope that has gone a small way to helping.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. anybody know this?
  8. 3 answers (in order of simpleness)

    ASaCs are manned only by Officers. They're all Observers in the back.

    The RM you see in the backs of Grey Lynx firing things are from the Maritime Sniper Teams. They are either PW3s or men selected for their natural marksmanship skills. They work for FPGRM, and are a good bunch of blokes. After those tours they will continue either as PWs (as qualified) or head off to another SQ.

    Cdo Acmn are not limited to RM; it is simply one of the 2 career streams open to Acmn. Obviously they prefer RM, but the mix is based on the requirement at the front line and those passing course. You need to be recommended for promotion to Cpl RM, have passed Junior Command Course (I think) and meet some other qualification lines. You'll then sit Acmn grading, and move on to the course. I don't know huge amounts about the course (because I've never worked with them, nor have I had a member of my Division go for it), but I think it involved airborne nav, some other stuff (i.e. running the back of the cab) and generally being graded for your "airmanship" skills.

    Ground duties I have no idea about.

    I would suggest that if your burning desire is to go up-diddly-up then the RAF should be your first port of call; if it's to be cold, wet, tired and have a green beret CTCRM is always looking for recruits.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. I had a feeling AsaCs were only manned by Observers. The RAF dream was only an option for me if i could go for pilot. Not being selected for a UAS (univeristy air squadron), and friends currently on them not even getting a sniff at OASC and places on IOT themselves because of recruitment/branch pipelines closed to nil and downsising until the forseeable future, means my aspirations lie elsewhere.

    RM's has always been a parralel. Just being a crab loadie in comparison seems slightly more stale. I've read The JCC for GD marines are many and after several years of service are open for sprogs to qualify, so aircrewman specialisation wouldn't be yonders away to apply for surely.

    cold, wet and tired for a green beret first, with the potential to fly off HMS Ocean down the line, certainly.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  10. There is but one Junior Command Course - it qualifies you to be a Section Cpl in a Troop, regardless of SQ. All RMs are riflemen first, SQ second.
  11. Good luck with whatever you do..
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  12. With the demise of the Nimrod fleet a lot of Crab Loadies were sweating it regarding if they had a future or not. I suspect there recruitment will have taken a back seat for the time being.
  13. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    As Alf states, door gunners are usually drawn from snipers (PW3) & therefore not necessarily RM Aircrewmen & as such, may not necessarily be Corporals.

    It's fully appreciated, advice sometimes offered from official sources maybe considered **** and open to interpretation/debate to date if it doesn't comply with individual aspirations: 13 month rule waiver? - PRMC - Potential Royal Marines Course forum , but it's usually verified from the current official branch source.

    Suffice to say Royal Marines Aircrewman (RMAC) are employed to provide specialist support to pilots of Commando Naval Air Squadrons both in the air and on the ground, so will not usually expect to be employed in ASW Merlins, but usually drafted to 845, 846, 848 or 771 SAR squadrons.

    There are currently only 29 Corporals, 23 Sergeants, 13 Colour Sergeants & a Warrant Officer employed in this branch, so understandably places are highly sought after. The AC2 Course is 38 weeks duration & successful attendees gain C&G 5427 Part 1 Certificate which carries a two year Return of Service once qualified.

    The advice, for those intending joining the Corps is to commence an application about 12 months before the intended start date to allow time for any setbacks along the way.

    Good luck.
  14. Normally "sharpshooters" in general on the FPGRM Dets, No requirement to be a (pw3) to be a doorgunner.
    All good advice given here, think well about what you would like to do before you step off as RMAC is a long old route to take.

    Best of luck whichever way you decide to go.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Thanks for the replies guys, really.

    My whole logic behind this is the understanding on the emphasis given of 'specialising' into trade or branch after you have served sufficient experience on your given commando unit. I also understand that your aspirations are taken into consideration, however the corps needs take precedence, and that basically getting 'pinged' onto something you don't want to do is distasteful when looking at career satisfaction.

    I've read that FPG is considered not one of the greatest moves to go to after RT when considering your first draft; a waste of your GD time.

    If marines without PW3 quals are manning the weapon-systems of a Lynx on FPGRM, does this mean there are oppourtunities to take up this role within the first few years of service? More than likely yes, they will be sought after and competitive (the usual going trend) but are they open.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  16. I have no idea what DINs etc may have to say on this but will give you my point of view on it;

    1. once you have passed out you will generally be sent where you are needed as a rifleman (this may well be FPGRM) and you will crack continuation training (for want of a better term) within that Org as a trained RM. There may be some "direct entry" requirements by the corps when your Troop passes out, or you may get offered a "SQ queue jump offer" from one of the non sexy TQ's for a year or twos return of service (not normally for a SQ that you need to have passed JCC for).

    2. FPG has evolved alot more since it was Comacchio Group, and the lads get some decent jobs as well as the obvious.

    3. Depending on the demand and avaiability within the corps for PW3's would depend on how many would be in MST's or if sharp shooters would be used. Given the price of putting PW3's through and the wastage from the course sharp shooters trained to be excellent shots but not required to look like a bush in the back of a cab would be the best option.

    4. At one time there was a call for volunteers for "doorgunners" from the corps, but this was way back.

    5. could be worth getting to a AFCO that has an old and bold Bootneck working in it and asking very nicely if there was anyway he could find out off the RMAC branch sponsor about the usual route and your best options.

    Cheers again Ten
    • Like Like x 1
  17. It's almost like they put the gucci jobs in the least-popular unit. Damn their eyes!
  18. Or the jobs with a gucci image for PR purposes do you mean?
  19. Same same - it gets young lads putting FGPRM on their "wish list". The F Sqn thing was a master-stroke.

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