What is a Sapper?

Sappers are determined soldiers, found at the centre of Army operations. 

Intelligence and flexibility is at the heart of everything a Sapper does, humour is an important characteristic within the Sappers. 

A specialist at trade or when delivering combat engineering to Defence, a Sapper must be innovative and creative with limited resources; Sappers are force multipliers.

We are equally intelligent and robust in battle as we are in the sporting arena.

Being a Sapper is challenging, expectation is high, our history is rich, yet a Sapper is always modest and selfless – we are inclusive.

Sappers come in many flavours, Regular, Reserve, Veteran and Cadet, all equally respected.  Once a Sapper, always a Sapper!

Steve Webster – Corps RSM

What is a Sapper?

Someone who is physically and mentally robust.

Someone who sees forwards rather than backwards.

Someone who strives for others, not for themselves.

Someone who fights to win, and is gracious in defeat.

Someone who is proud of their heritage, both past and present.

Someone who gives everything, every day.

Someone who adds value anywhere, everywhere.

A soldier.

A specialist.

A Royal Engineer.

A Sapper.

Lieutenant Colonel Si Bradley 

“What is a Sapper?”

A Sapper‘s role is varied, dependant on operational needs, whether it be war fighting, construction tasks to improve military facilities or providing aid in the UK and abroad after natural disasters.

A Sapper is a multitalented individual. Soldier, combat engineer and tradesman rolled into one. Never satisfied to sit back, many push themselves whether it be through adventure training and sport or specialising into different roles. Para, Commando, EOD, Diver, Armoured, Amphibious, Clerk of works or all of the above if they so wish. Each job role will provide the army with a better capability and knowledge on every deployment and provide the Sapper with valuable tools for their future.

Being a Sapper is a challenging yet rewarding career, with numerous opportunities. They are always on the move being ‘first in and last out’ due to their skills and capabilities.

Spr Mclean – 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment


A Sapper is adaptable and innovative. They think outside the box and solve problems that confuse and bewilder others.  The Sappers are robust, hard-working and  take pride in being so.

They are a force for good and they make life better for people wherever they are, be they soldiers or civilians.  The Sappers make sure the British Army can live by building fortifications and providing clean water.  The Sappers lead the way by building bridges and roads and fighting alongside the Infantry.  They can build almost anything with limited resources and equipment.  Wherever there is an operation, a conflict or an area in need of British Army assistance, there will be Sappers.

Our Sappers are trained as soldiers, combat engineers and tradesmen.  They are multi-skilled, multi-roled and are comfortable in tough conditions.  They can be found parachuting out of planes, patrolling in the jungle, driving in tanks and building schools in Kenya.  They can gain professional qualifications in construction, project management and have the opportunity to work alongside civilian companies.

Our Sappers are keen sportsmen and women.  You will find them on the ski slopes in Austria, sub-aqua diving in Malta, hiking up Mont Blanc.  They enjoy rugby, football, tennis, cycling, running and every other sport you can think of.

In short, the Sappers are everywhere.

Capt A Laws SO3A Recruiting.

How would you answer the question – What is a Sapper? submit your answer along with your details and a image similar to the one above to John@G10media.co.uk

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4 comments on “What is a Sapper?
  1. Gareth Phillips says:

    A Sapper is a lean, mean green fighting machine that has the presence of mind to be adaptable, overcome obstacles and think outside the box to get to the agreed outcome whether it’s protecting the civilian population or forging ahead in the battlefield. Sapper is the best rank in the British Army and is only 2nd to god 😎

  2. Mick Sharples says:

    There are two kinds of Sapper, Serving and Non Serving. Once you become a Sapper can can never not be a Sapper or an ex Sapper

  3. janine coppini says:

    Thankyou for the definition of a Sapper . My father Jesse Falkiner was a Sapper in WW11 in Burma, very tough times to say the least ..
    Yes true because he was put to many different tasks , therefore to me he was more than a very brave individual .
    I will always remember my father Jesse (jeff) back then to how he was referred, my hero in my eyes ..
    Always in my thoughts ..

  4. Nigel Howlett says:

    Once a Sapper always a Sapper,

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