Learning the trade of the Armourer: Building foundations

Cfn Mortimore

Cfn Mortimore

My name is Craftsman Thomas Mortimore and I am currently on Phase 2 training at 10 Training Battalion, Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers (REME).

I left school at 16 as I wasn’t keen on the idea of college and was hoping for a career in the RAF. It didn’t go as smoothly as I hoped because there were no places for my chosen trade and I was forced to wait. The waiting dragged on so I chose a career in the Army instead. I wanted to join the armed forces because I wanted to get a job which involved practical work and at the same time be presented with a challenge and opportunities.

I chose Armourer as my trade because I had an interest in military equipment and I knew that there would be a chance to repair many different models. I passed the required tests, completed selection on the 12th November 2010 and in April 2011 I received my letter to tell me when I was to start Phase 1 training.

I started basic training on the 21st of August at ATR Bassingbourn and passed out on the 25th of November. It was a challenging three months consisting of everything from shooting on the ranges, battlefield casualty drills, navigation, CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear) drills, marching/rifle drills and Counter IED’s. It seemed to pass very quickly and I was very proud of myself, as were my family.

I started Phase 2 a week later at 10 Training Battalion REME in Bordon.

In the electronic learning suite

In the electronic learning suite

Phase 2 Training – building the foundations

The first week consisted of getting to know the Barracks, the staff, certain duties, daily/weekly activities, sporting activities (there are loads to choose from) and what we would be doing in our time here which, for me, should last approximately a year, although this could change depending how long it takes to get on to each course. On the second week I was on SMT (Soldier’s Military Training) which is lessons on enhancing most of the things you learn in Phase 1 (Map reading, CBRN, and Ranges etc).

I have just spent 2 weeks doing my Functional Skills course which consists of Maths, English and IT. It is designed to get everyone to the same level and make sure everyone can perform certain skills that may be useful in their army career. The tests are all done on a computer and for me were no harder than GCSE levels. The next stage is the foundation course, which consists of Physics, technical drawing, maths and bench fitting. I got a C in Maths and an A in Physics for GCSE so I hope to do well in these throughout February.

10 thoughts on “Learning the trade of the Armourer: Building foundations

  1. Good luck with the course, pal! I am an Armourer class 1 and left there in October 2010 as a class 1!. One thing I learned about the young lads I had to mentor is that you need to really apply yourself. The armourers course is a tough one with a lot of intricate details needed for exams, so make sure you revise and study hard. There were too many phase 2 students failing and being transferred out of the corps, and let’s face it, no one wants that! So, good luck and good luck with the rest of your career.


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  4. Good luck Thomas, i thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Army as an armourer over 30 years ago. It is a highly skillfull job and is highly respected by your colleagues when you get posted out to your unit. Work hard and reap the benefits


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