Advice needed

Discussion in 'Officers' started by sarnian, Nov 24, 2005.

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  1. I'm an army scholar. I've been set on joining the army since knee high. I'm pi$$ing my time away at a third division university, with modules which barely relate to war. I'm currently a recruit at a London TA unit, which is where I feel at home.

    The Scholarship means I have the Factory ticket - I could phone up tommorrow and ask if there's a space on the May intake. I'm in doubt as to whether I should flog this particular dying horse, and sit the degree out, or crack on.

    My instinct is telling me to jack uni, which seems like an expensive way of marking time, and crack on with my career, although there's doubt as to how my career prospects will be affected if I do this. Overall, I want to make some positive action, and being here certainly isnt that.

    Before I make that decision, I need as much information from as many places as I can get it - hence this post. I know positive action is required, but I want all the information to hand before I do.


    A Sarnian.
  2. You have mail.
  3. Could you possible finish your degree by correspondence when you are in the Army? Even if it is with a different University. I know with the Open University, you can transfer credits - upto 240, from modules you have already passed. I have a friend who left warick, and is finishing her degree at home, with the OU.
  4. Thats an option I hadn't come across - Thanks, I'll look into it.
  5. Check thy PM's and let me know what you think.
  6. I'm in a similar situation.

    I'm currently half-way through my 4 year combined BSc/MSc at a decent school, but I'm bored out of my fricking skull. It has always been my intention to join the Army as an Officer and I am in touch with my local recruiting office, but I'm not sure how honest they'd be in this respect.

    Will not having a degree really affect my odds of joining and or/career progression that much?
  7. Simple answer.

    Non-Graduates - 11 years to Major
    Graduates - 11 years to Major. WITH 3 YEARS SENIORITY. I.e only takes 8 years.

    Take my advice as a non-grad as I bitterly watch shite officers with a 3rd in lawn management from Scunthorpe Polytechnic get promoted before me!

    Graduates do 1 year to Lt. Non-gs do 2 years.
    Graduates do 3 years to Capt. Non-gs do 5.

    Unfortunately the system is geared up to 23 yr old Grads and 19 yr old non-grads. There is no leeway for 23 yr old non-grads. Therefore unless you join a Corps, rather than a Teeth Arms unit with prospects for acting rank, you will be held back.

    Thats the reality chum. Stick it out.
  8. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    Good answer.
  9. Must confess, I was speaking to Sarnian last night and hadn't considered the seniority angle. But I did tell him to tough it out anyway if for no other reason than a CV enhancer for when he eventually leaves the forces.
  10. It is a good answer.

    Stick it out, old chap. Think outside the box for a second, you will not spend your whole working life in the army, ie when in 1 UK CIV DIV you will find a degree a better thing to have than not. Take it from me, who hasn't got one!

    Although, without doubt the best junior infantry officers are Non-Grads, it is/was bloody galling watching Grads turn up in the Bn with 2 stars up or promotion in double quick time. The boys could never understand why Mr Smith, who didn't know his arrse from his elbow, got promoted faster than Mr Queensman just because the former had been to school a bit longer!

    Think of YOUR future, young man, it's the only one you've got!
  11. Thanks all, much appreciated.
  12. I disagree.

    I went to a "good" university and had a really great 3 years that I wouldn't have swapped for anything else. I also enjoyed more rapid promotion like any other grad. I think what I did was right for me. I probably would not have been mature enough for Sandhurst at 18 in any case.

    But Sarnian is in a different position. He's not enjoying uni and he has clearly got the thumbs up from the Army since he is an Army scholar. True if he went as a grad he would see his peers promoted ahead of him since he was a non-grad. But has fast track promotion really done me any good? I did 20 months as a troop leader and 2 years as a coy and Sqn 2 i/c. In my opinion its not enough time at the grass roots to really learn your trade. Look at me now stuck behind a desk and not been in a turret since June 2002. OK non-grads do 5 years as a Lieutenants but that could be 5 years as a platoon commander! That would give you a sound foundation for everything else you did in the military. But C-Punk, Lord-W and Queensman you are suggesting that Sarnian is better off doing some pissant little degree course rather than the best job in the Army! Lord-W is right though, the Army is not designed for 23 year old non-grads.

    Sarnian - If this is your first year of uni, ie you started in September. Jack your course and try and get into Sandhurst in May (or even on the Jan reserve list if there is such a thing). However if this is your third year (or you second and your a little elderly) your probably committed now and its not worth pulling out.
  13. I did the worst: I hated Uni but stayed the full 4 years, only to fail at the end (cnut!) Why didnt I jack it in and join the Army straight away? Partly because all my brothers and sisters were grads, so fair chunk of family pressure but mainly because I had too much fun (outside of the lecture room - i grew to hate my subject). Reason for failing was not lack of intelligence (though I was clearly lacking in some departments), but all my time spent with 4 PARA or mountaineering.

    Went through RMAS with no worries (thanks 4 PARA: made life easy) and joined the Gunners. As per previous posts here, I duly saw utter, utter cnuts promoted to Capt while I was still a 2Lt and Lt. Not only was that crap, but consider the money: the difference in salary is enormous, and affects every aspect of your military life (unable to afford trips to London, holidays, as much beer, etc).

    I have gloated on other threads about my current situation (very cushy thanks), but it took me a lot of hard work etc to make up for not having a degree.

    Finish your degree, take the extra money (both salary and pension rights) from the Army. Remember you do not need a First, so enjoy the more social aspects of Uni (but not too much) before going to RMAS with a pass degree in lesbian basket weaving. As others have stated, and I reinforce their advice: stick with it and get your degree.

    Edited as I cannot spell on a Friday afternoon.
  14. RTFQ


    I'm a thicky non grad. Joined when I could barely locate my testicles with both hands and never looked back. I'm getting out this coming summer and although I have other quals with which to get good jobs now, a degree would be useful. The career points are particularly valid.

    Finish your degree, make more use of the TA to get your fitness up and do some useful skills courses. I know naff all about the territorials but 21 is in london and I think Para Regt have a TA unit around there too. As long as you wipe the inevitable chips and bad habits off your shoulder before you enter RMAS, the TA can provide some useful foundations that may stand you in good stead when you start leading blokes. If you're bored at uni, try to maximise time spent doing interesting things. Sorry, i'm hungover so my vocabulary is somewhat stunted today.

    Get into some interesting sports and see if you can get qualled up. Skydiving, climbing, diving, ski-ing etc are all things that we don't do anymore, but on the off chance that we get some time off from Going Round Abdul's House, you may get the time to persue them. A young officer who finds time to take his guys on meaningful Adventure Trg (not glorified tabbing) is a happy one.

    They'll also likely send you to Rowallan Coy (if it still exists) if you drop out and join up. Frankly Roco was the most important thing I've ever done, but it's worth considering, and only feckwits would choose Plain Jane over a nice warm university :oops:
  15. Mate..... you still can't! :lol: