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British recruiting team to arrive in SVG next month

British recruiting team to arrive in SVG next month


The salary isn’t half bad, but a British Army official says that a passion for being a soldier should be the main motivator for persons to try out for the army.{{more}}

“They can earn a proper sum of money, but we would like to think that being a soldier would be the motivation for them,” said Major Alistair Fyfe, last week, during his last pre-recruitment assessment trip to St Vincent.

Major Fyfe will lead a team to St Vincent next year January 31st, to conduct the three-phase selection process, during which he hopes to find between 150-200 suitable candidates for training positions in the British Army.

This three phase, six-week recruiting assessment will be for persons who would have applied, either through the army’s web site or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by January 25th.

Applicants must be between the ages of 16.5 and 32 years.

The assessment phase includes a written literacy and numeracy test, a medical and physical fitness test.

As he did in an exclusive interview with SEARCHLIGHT last September, Major Fyfe stressed that while he would like to see a large number of applicants, the Army will be looking for top quality persons to join their organization.

Regarding the salary, Major Fyfe said that once wisdom is exercised by the soldiers in their spending, he sees no reason why a successful candidate would not be able to send back upwards of EC$1000 monthly back home for loved ones, once he has taken a few months to settle into life in Britain, and put away a bit of emergency finances for himself.

He said that as it is in all careers, if a person gets caught up too quickly in a life of excessive socializing and luxuries, then their money could disappear.

The starting salary for a trainee, is an average of EC$60,000 per year, and once they are successful in training, and pass out, that jumps to around $75,000 per year.

Major Fyfe also stressed that promotions and all other benefits are open to recruits from the Caribbean; saying that the playing field is a level one, once a person becomes a soldier.

“All we want is persons to come to us with a clear attitude, and a determination to succeed,” Major Fyfe said.

Reports of soldiers being killed in places like Afghanistan and Iraq can cause many potential applicants to think twice, especially with pressure from fearful loved ones.

But Major Fyfe put the issue in perspective.

He noted that while every soldier is prepared for battle, and the dangers that come with war, the reality is, the causality level has been very low, in the recent conflicts.

The British Army has had over 100,000 soldiers posted in Afghanistan and Iraq and has lost only 300.

“And even so, all isn’t on the battle field; we have lost soldiers in car crashes, and so on,” he said.

Acting Senior Foreign Services officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Earl Paynter says that there has been a great response from Vincentians to the opportunities offered by the British Army.

He says that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also pleased with the general reports that they have been receiving about Vincentians’ service in both the British Army and Navy.

Paynter also said that the report from those who have been serving in the Army is very favourable, with regard to how they are treated, and the opportunities presented to them.

“When guys come back home and speak about their experience, many of their friends are motivated to try out for the army too,” Paynter said.

He says that the Government sees the Army as a wonderful opportunity for young people. (KJ)