In Partnership with the British Army
On the front line, the outline of tanks stand strong. They’re the pride of the British Army; the powerful armour protecting the soldiers inside.
Tank Crewmen call this state-of-the-art moving machine their ‘office’ for the week. Do you think you have what it takes to drive this oh-so important part of the Army and – just as important – could you trust yourself to keep calm and do the right thing to escape its power, if the tank rolls?
Watch and find out:
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Our very own UNILAD investigators travelled to an Army training site, where they tried their luck – and their stomachs – in a simulated roll scenario with the Royal Armoured Corps (RAC).
It was a topsy-turvy experience and involved a lot of screaming, ‘Brace! Brace! Brace!’ But the pair nailed the task, and regained their legs with a newfound confidence.
They then headed out into the open and took to the track in a real fully-functioning Jackal, alongside the Jackal Gunner and Drivers, who are trained to provide firepower, protection and manoeuvrability on the frontline.
If you think you could do a better job than our reporters, life as a Tank Crewman at the very heart of the British Army’s Royal Armoured Corps (RAC) might just be for you…
First, you’ll start with basic training, where you’ll learn everything from how to survive a night in the field to handling a rifle.
Then you’ll get the extensive training necessary to be a driver, gunner and loader in a state-of-the-art tank.
You’ll learn to drive all of the Army’s armoured vehicles, including those with wheels – like the Jackal- and those with tracks, like the sixty-tonne Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank, learning the ins-and-outs of operating such a machine, as well as ensuring the communication systems are on point.
Based in the warmer climes of Bovington, Dorset you’ll complete 20 weeks of specialist training to develop your technical skills.
This will include your driving licence (if you don’t already have it) and then your tracked vehicle licence (the H licence), before getting to grips with driving the sixty-tonne Challenger 2.
You’ll also learn how to maintain and fix the Challenger 2 as well as use the radios, which should come in pretty handy out in the field.
Along the way, you could even get a Level 2 Technical Certificate in Engineering (Intermediate) and Level 3 Technical Diploma in Engineering (Advanced), which are recognised outside of army life.
And you’ll do all this whilst travelling the world, gaining valuable skills and qualifications along the way, as part of the Royal Armoured Corps.
The pay isn’t bad either at £18,488 after completing your basic training. If you join as part of the Army Reserves, you’ll get paid a day rate of between £37 and £46 per day, depending on your rank.
This includes being paid for weekly training nights, plus a tax-free lump sum called a bounty – which I have been told is in no way connected to Star Wars.
A British Army soldier, who spent time in the field, said:
After three months of basic training you will get selected to your Regiment. You’ll then have further training at the Armoured Centre, Bovington.
If you can’t drive now, we’ll teach you and help you get your licence. You’ll go on to learn how to drive, maintain and fire the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank.
With our expert training, you’ll soon get to grips with the tank’s awesome weapons and communications systems. In the British Army, the learning never stops.
We’ll make sure that you’re always well prepared for the next challenge.
Your time in the Army – whether it’s a few years or a full career – could set you up for life.
Find out more online.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.