Interview with a sapper

In this post we bring you an interview conducted on our Discord channel with a fellow sapper from the Army, we hope you like it.

Remember that you can join our discord channel to participate in these types of interviews.

1.- Do the sappers have SERECO or do they themselves act as SERECO?

Yes, in fact, in all the units where there are sappers, there is a reconnaissance section. In my unit, for example in a company, there is that section, which for logistical reasons is half merged with the explosives deactivation section.

2.- What vehicles do you work with?

The subject of vehicles, in my unit, of sappers, more characteristic, are the Husky and the RG-31, the famous and hateful TOAS, the VAMTAC, the Dornier and Bailey bridges, the Alacran M60, and other construction machines and construction sites, such as a backhoe, that is, the typical construction machinery, to give you an idea.

3.- When you go out of manoeuvres, what do you do?

Depending on what type of maneuvers we go to, if they are Alphas that are carried out at the Battalion level, and other types of maneuvers to support other larger units, for example, a Cavalry Battalion requests support from a section of Sappers, well, let's go added to them and to what they send us and the issue of what we do, well, generic things about sappers, minefields, fortifications, route reconnaissance, checkpoints, breach openings with pole launches, assault on a dimension, etc.

4.- How often do you usually do manoeuvres?

From what I have experienced to date, in Pre-COVID time, well depending, between 4 and 6 maneuvers a year, some 1 week, others 2, depending.
Later, in Post-COVID, the subject of maneuvers was reduced quite a bit, until they have returned to something more normal.

5.- Do you think you have enough free time to be able to study?

That depends on how much time you want to carve out, how organized you are, and then what you want to do in that free time. Think that normally, without maneuvers or continuous, etc, you are free at 3:00 p.m. at the latest, and from then until 7:45 a.m. the next day you return to the routine because you have hours. It takes away a minimum of 6-7 hours of sleep, which is obvious. Well, you have the whole afternoon and a little at night to manage, if you want to go to the gym, do your shopping, and start studying an opposition, or even go to class in the afternoon at an institute if you think about it, so you can get time if you want one. So each one will already know how to manage it and in what.

Of course, it depends on each unit because you will end up more tired of the activities you do or not, and you will want to take a nap or even do nothing because you want to relax, that depends on the units, there are calmer ones and there are fewer quiet, as in everything.

6.- What is the sappers' routine like?

The routine of the sappers I suppose is like in any unit. I'm going to talk about one day in my unit, around 07:45 we line up in the parade ground, where news is given to Usía, so if you have to line up at that time, well then you calculate what time you have to get up if You live in the Base or in your house, depending on how far away from the Base you are.

Then, we are doing sports from 08:00 when the flag sounds, until approximately 09:00, then you are going to shower, clean, change and have lunch, at 10:00 approximately, start of activities again, each Company You will have a theme or activity to do, depending on what happens that day, that week or month, since that day it touches on minefields, or breach opening, until 2:15 p.m. approx. that everything begins to be collected in warehouses, furries or armories, and then the time to break ranks, which is at 2:45 p.m., well, in a rest plan, or “make a homeland”, as we call it here hehe, which is to speak commands and subordinates a little of everything, of our concerns, what to do, goals, objectives, plans, a twinning of all, etc.

On Fridays it is the same starting time, except that in the instruction part, or topics, since it is usually vehicle maintenance and the Base's outburst, and departure is brought forward by approximately 1 hour. This schedule before, is the normal schedule, the schedule of low activity, because you enter the same, but you leave that, approximately 1 hour before every day.

7.- What made you choose the unit you are in?

Well, when I made the application paper for the 15 destinations to choose from, I put all of them from as close as possible to my house, to as far as possible from my home, making a radius of those destinations from my city until the 15 boxes. Also, as I have had a relative who was in Engineering because I already knew what this specialty was about, it was the one I knew basically, the rest that I put, were from all the specialties according to proximity.

8.- What do you like most about the unit?

Well, I like the good atmosphere that there is in general, also little by little they are improving in various aspects, but time to time. The truth is that I stay mainly with people.

9.- What do you like least about the unit?

Well, the eternal cold that it always does, hahaha, you have to get used to it, but you survive well. And that it is a unit that could be called more to go on a mission, but unfortunately it goes very little or almost nothing.

10.- Is there anything you would improve?

Yes, some things, such as trying to ensure that members of the unit have the opportunity to leave a mission, improve some of the Base's infrastructure, and provide facilities for personnel. I suppose that this, is very similar to other units, is something "general" basically...

11.- Any advice to carry sappers well?

Surely the training of sappers is harder than that of Transmissions, or Artillery, for example, that there is more demand for sports training in order to carry out better combat training. With a good training plan, resistance and strength, these two previous points you will get along well.

12.- Level of physical demand?

If you ask because you want to take part in the military and become a sapper, or you are in the middle of Cefot 2 doing the instruction, well, as a normal level of physical demand, you do well, good strength and endurance training in running will help you a lot, when it comes to sports with running and then in terms of instruction, with a loaded backpack and weapons, he gets along well.

13.- From your point of view, what is the main function of the sappers?

Well, what I am going to comment on is what the commanding instructors I had there taught me at Cefot 2, what they told me, is the same as my opinion, because it is reality, well, in war, favor the movement of troops allies, and hinder those of the enemy.

They favor the mobility of the armies, by anticipating the rest of the forces, they secure the roads and structures such as bridges for the passage of the troops.

14.- Can any type of accessory be worn on the vest? (Extra pockets, first aid kit…)

This is a particular matter, I think, for each unit, given that long ago in my unit you could carry any type of accessory, even a first-aid kit on the side of the backpack, but now everything has to be army regulation equipment, the rest things you carry, well, inside the backpack, nothing on the outside, just like in the anti-fragment or chest.

15.- What is your goal within sappers, to access the moe, non-commissioned officers, cnp…?

My goal in this 2022 is to access non-commissioned officers, I have already consumed 1 call and I have not been able to enter. If this option does not come out, I have the second option of going for reserved to the Civil Guard. But hey, it's always good to have other options if the first fails. There are hundreds of other oppositions that are quite interesting when it comes to improving professionally.

16.- What advice would you give to someone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

Well, let's see, if you are young and want to introduce yourself when you have finished your compulsory studies, then introduce yourself if you have a great vocation. I recommend starting from Troop, as a soldier, see in the first commitment if you like military life and if you like it, then internally promote Officers or NCOs. Because maybe if you go through direct access, for example to NCOs, then you pass and maybe later after the academy, already being in the unit, you don't like that life at all or day to day and you regret it and then many do. they leave, as I have seen cases, examples that then military life is not suitable for everyone, each person is a world and has their particularities, tastes and limits in their life. And another important thing, if you really want to enter the army, don't let it pass until almost the age limit, which you may later regret, or if you enter late, limit later when you are already in the military when it comes to promotion, or improve with courses or other issues, it is also supposed that an 18-year-old boy is physically better in theory than a 29-year-old (which I think is the age limit now), although in many cases, as I have seen, it is the opposite, wow.

I also recommend getting an intermediate degree before entering and if it can be a higher degree of professional training, much better, since that can help you later when it comes to contributing that knowledge to the army, they will see that. The instruction in the Cefot 2 goes well, it's smooth from my point of view, who doesn't pass it, is that he is not made for this life and wants to live in comfort, live under the mantle of father and mother, with which this is not for those people. Who passes the instruction of Cefot 2, as of Cefot 1, does not matter to me, because already in each unit, they will have their respective specific instructions, in the case of the sappers it is the IBZ (Basic Instruction of the Sapper), which lasts between 1 and 3 months approx depending on the unit. There they will tighten something more and the instructor controls that touch you will be stricter, but it is "A la orden" for everything and go ahead, there will be bad moments when your body tells you I can't, but thanks to your mind if you get it because you say if i can In those moments, when your mind tells you if I can, think of the best moments of your life, whether with family, friends, partner, etc., and thanks to this you will be able to overcome everything that lies ahead and much more.

I hope it will be of help and advice to all of you. A hug

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published