Foreman of Signals
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A soldier selected for Foreman of Signals training must hold a minimum qualification of Class 1 Technician. Students now undertake a BEng(Hons)/Post Graduate Certificate (PGCert) (previous years took BSc) in Telecommunications Systems Engineering accredited by Bournemouth University. On completion of the course, the soldier is promoted to Staff Sergeant if the rank is not already held, and assumes the appointment of Foreman of Signals. They work as part of a Unit Operations team with the Yeoman of Signals (YofS). The holder of the appointment can be promoted through the ranks from Staff Sergeant, to Warrant Officer Class 2, then Warrant Officer Class 1. To distinguish the appointment the suffix of FofS is used (i.e. SSgt(FofS), WO2(FofS), WO1(FofS)).
The title has definitely existed since the formation of the Royal Corps of Signals and may have been used previously in the Royal Engineers Signal Service. Formerly, Staff Sergeants and Warrant Officers Class 2 held the appointment of Foreman of Signals Quartermaster Sergeant (FoSQMS) and Warrant Officers Class 1 held the appointment of Foreman of Signals Sergeant Major (FoSSM).
In Indian Army Corps of Signals they are placed as JCO (Junior Commissioned officer) rank such as Nb Sub, Sub & Sub Maj with a minimum service of 10 years. The courses conducted at MCTE (Military College of Telecommunication Engineering) Mhow. They are known as the back bone operational managers for the Tactical Communication Network & systems in the battle fields.
After completing their service with the Defence Community many of them continue their service in senior management levels in both the public and private sectors, which making them highly regarded for their technical knowledge and analytical processes ability.
To be accepted onto the Foreman of Signals course, each individual candidate must follow a strict selection process that starts 15 months before the course start date. From June to December the candidates must complete Tutor Marked Assessments (TMAs) which are submitted monthly. In February the candidates sit two three-hour exams, which are co-ordinated to start concurrently around the world. Successful candidates then attend a one week selection board where different management and technical tasks are used to assess the candidates suitability to the task of becoming a Foreman of Signals.
There are usually close to a hundred eligible candidates every year, however, the board only selects between 16 and 20 students for each course, which typically commences in the first week of September every year.
The first Foreman of Signals course was in 1951 and the current course (September 2012) is the 83rd running of the course.
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