You are indeed right, as for how much extra time u will wait f*ck knows! 21 and 23 basic stages of joining are far more complex than anything the reg TA go through, or so i've been told! Just be prepared to wait it out...All that extra time can be used to beast urself up and down any mean looking hills u can find carrying ur house on ur back
Am not sure if you have served previously or not, am guessing not so will try to explain some things to you - am not trying to take the piss btw.
Special Forces are a tiny, tiny minority in any army and guess what - they're pretty choosy about who they let join them - so if you haven't had previous military and preferably infantry experience, well you've just joined the bottom of the list of applicants.
The second thing is if you haven't been in the military and more specifically the infantry (yes I am biased) you have no concept of just how hard a life it is.
At 25 you are already on the edge of being far too old to start playing soldiers from scratch - again your competition will have had 4-6 years experience plus probable operational experience and remember spots are limited so why should they choose you?
If you do wish to serve in the military in the TA go and find yourself a decent unit, get yourself seriously fit - ie running with pack every day no matter what the weather fit and give it a go - do a couple of years and then seriously consider your chances of going the Special Forces route.
Course you could always go and join the French Foreign Legion for four years - they'd probably act as a good pre-selection training!
You are right in saying that I havent served before and I understand what you mean about the competition having much more useful experience. But if the uptake was exclusively service personell or ex service, why open the opportunity to civilians at all?
Im defo not walking into this with any illusions and from previous posts on this subject I think alot of civilians like me do. I have a decent understanding of how hard it is to be in the infantry, many of my mates have just come out of the Royal Irish on the back of its disbandment and one of my good mates was in 45 Commando.
Cheers Bugly, although that was one of my first ports of call a few months back. What Im really after now is the advice of someone who has had some first hand experience as I've pretty much hit a wall with the feedback im getting from UKSF(R).
Be grateful for the opportunity to prepare yrself; put yr bergan on and get some mileage in; preferably uphill and, if you can't find a snowstorm, in the rain. Remain positive, believe in yrself and wait yr turn.