Birmingham Universities Officer Training Corps is an OTC set in the Midlands that is sung about in songs, and told in tales from Aberdeen to Exeter (probably for doing bad things...) We recruit from all the Universities in the West Midlands (Brum, BCE, Aston, College of Cakes, Wolverhampton, Keele, Coventry, Warwick, Worcester, Harper Adams, Stafford.) The A and B Company PSIs come from Infantry units (usually the Mercians and the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, whilst RSMs come from the Royal Corps of Signals. Officers are a mixture of full-on Territorials and ex-Regulars and can be from all arms. Selection takes place once a year in October and consists of two days of "selection" with a social event on the Saturday evening.
Selection uses some of the basic AOSB tests (command tasks, lecturettes, interviews) to ensure that everyone who joins the unit is above a basic quality line. Additionally, candidates have to go through a medical, provide evidence of their academic standing and complete the basic TA 'risk reduction' run (1.5 miles in 14 minutes, I believe) to demonstrate that they are fit enough to begin training.
BUOTC is an unit which specialises in the teaching of Officer Development through the style of dismounted infantry. Rather than other units dividing into "troops" or "wings", we are a pure infantry unit - with everyone going through the same type of training. This is actually rather good, as everyone has a common bond and anyway, Sandhurst makes you do inf stuff so you might as well be good at it. First years go to Basic Company, where you do MTQ/MOD1 training. Second years go to Advanced Coy, where they grapple with the 7-question combat guesstimate for MTQ/MOD2. From this, they can go on to MOD 3 and commissioning, but it's not a requirement. If you want to stay on after A Coy, then you must pass MLDP2. Third years and above can apply for 1) B Coy DS (Sect cmdr, Plt Sgt, Plt Cmdr) 2) A Coy DS (More shadowing and instructing, than leading) or 3) Senior Wing (Biffs/Enemy/Genuinely busy people).
BUOTC was formed from the Warwickshire Regt, it has been deployed in the Boer War and in both World Wars. As part of TA100 it will revisit some of its heritage and will be granted a hackle this summer.
Shockingly, Buotc produces some people who can actually tell the dangerous end of the rifle from the less-dangerous end and fields a consistantly strong Cambrian team. This isn't to say that we're a unit of ninjas, but the average skill level is a little higher than in a lot of other otcs I've seen personally. Not a knock, but personal observation. We also seem a little happier on the beer than other units i've noticed (OTC weekends like Lightning strike, Minley Maze and Utopian Vagabond spring to mind).
Pay issues are dealt with quickly, and there is minimal mess-about factor. <winge> Unless you push for something gucci like P-Coy, get the Colonel onside and then get told a couple of months later, after thrashing yourself silly, that you can't go anymore and you have to go to the factory instead. But for sane people it's great.</winge>
Officer Development Training
BUOTC is very happy for OCdts to gain AT quals so that they can assist Bde units and instruct on AT expeds. Anyone wanting to do this needs to talk to the AQ or 2ic Senior Wing and they will place you on the path to righteousness.
On the whole, we are a good unit that I am pleased to belong to. We don't tend to so utter wankers (Oh shit it's me isn't it?) and produce some genuinely good blokes. There is no pressure to go reg/TA afterwards, but the best thing i've seen is that even to the guys who don't care, they'll still work for you and won't jack. That's fairly special.
BUOTC camp for 2011 will be based at Gairlochhead in Scotland. Get ready to be bitten to buggery by midges.