Artillery Surveillance Observer

Royal Artillery

At a glance

  • Soldier
  • combat

You spot enemy's units and artillery using radar and acoustic ranging systems. Then we lock in on them, which may save many lives. Off duty, there’s an unbeatable Army lifestyle.

  • £18,687The minimum amount you’ll earn during training
  • £23,496Your pay after completing basic trade training
  • AgeFrom 16 years & 0 months to 35 years & 6 months
  • QualificationsNo formal qualifications needed
Artillery Observers

It makes me feel incredibly proud to know I'm playing my part to keep our troops safe.

Picture this: your troops are coming under heavy fire. The enemy guns need to be destroyed. It's up to you to pinpoint their position using radar and acoustic detection equipment and tell your commander so Army artillery and missiles can take out the enemy guns. This is a typical day for a Surveillance Observer. Whoever the enemy and whatever the weapon, you’ll help us stop them in their tracks.

It’s a job that can take you around the world. In time, you can specialise further by taking on Parachute selection, the Commando Course or the Patrols course. These courses allow you to work alongside the Parachute Regiment and the Royal Marines, and become a Special Observer working in a team of six well ahead of friendly forces and sometimes behind enemy lines. Life off-duty is just as exciting with mates, sports and Adventurous Training. On top of that, you can gain qualifications and build a great CV.

The Royal Artillery is the heart of the action - everywhere across the battlefield - providing the British Army with its eyes, ears and firepower. Using high-tech surveillance devices and uncrewed aircraft, the Royal Artillery finds the enemy. We then monitor them before striking decisively. We do this by co-ordinated use of our guns, rockets and missiles, the Army’s attack helicopters and other weapons, including fast jets and even the guns of Royal Navy ships.

Apply now

Key responsibilities

  • Find enemy threats

  • Protect troops on the ground

  • Work with high-tech radar, acoustic detection systems and cameras

  • Travel around the world

Have any questions? Talk with us

Master of your craft - Gunner Crew video still

Regular (full time)

Entry requirements

  • Age:

    From 16 years & 0 months to 35 years & 6 months

  • Qualifications:

    No formal qualifications needed

  • Basic physical fitness assessment:

    • Mid Thigh Pull 50kg

    • Medicine Ball Throw 2.7m

    • MSFT (beep test) level 6.6

    More information about the fitness test

Training for the role

Your initial military training teaches you how to be a soldier, covering everything from fieldcraft to how to handle a rifle.

  • If you join as a Junior Soldier (under 17 years and 6 months), you’ll do a 23-week basic military training course at Harrogate.

  • If you join as a Regular Soldier (over 17 years and 6 months), you’ll do the regular 14-week adult basic training.

Step 2
Then it’s off to Larkhill, Wiltshire, to become a qualified Gunner before joining your chosen regiment. If you want to join 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery you need to pass the All Arms Commando Course at Lympstone, Devon. If you want to join 7 Para Royal Horse Artillery you need to pass P Company selection at Catterick, North Yorkshire, and the Basic Parachute Course at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.

Qualifications you could get after training

  • HGV truck licence

  • European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL)

  • Computer Literacy and Information Technology Stage 1 (CLAIT)

  • Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM)

  • Tracked vehicle driving licence

Pay & benefits

Earn £18,687 a year during training. When you have completed 26 weeks' service or finished basic trade training – whichever comes first – your pay will rise to £23,496.

How to Apply

Once your online application has been approved, you'll meet with a local recruiter. This is your chance to tell us about the role that you're interested in. When you go to the Assessment Centre, you'll take tests - the results will show whether you'd be suitable for this role, or should consider a different role.

More about the joining process

Related Roles

Light Gunner
Royal Artillery

Light Gunner

Become a highly skilled Gunner and make a big difference on the battlefield. Get qualifications, make friends for life and enjoy an exciting Army life.

Ceremonial Gunner
Royal Artillery

Ceremonial Gunner

The excitement, the spectacle, the crowds: there's nothing like being a Ceremonial Gunner. You'll learn to ride like a pro and build an amazing career.

Missile System
Royal Artillery

Missile System

Learn how to fire a high-powered armoured rocket launcher; which can have a crucial impact in battles. Travel, make friends and take qualifications too.