Advice please.

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Reserve Recruitment' started by _sam_, Sep 28, 2011.

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  1. Hi all,

    I'm Sam and i'm new to the forum and thought this the best place to ask advice having found and checked out the forums.

    I'm interested in joining the TA for a number of reasons, these being what i'm here for advice for.

    First a little about myself. I'm a 36 year old, recently retired pro boxer looking for new challenges, the chance to meet new people and
    the opportunity to pick up a trade at the same time. So have decided to apply to join the RLC TA as a driver (hopefully).

    I don't want to come across as arrogant, but i'm not worried about the fitness side in the slightest. My background as a boxer means i'm still very fit.
    I did some checking and i feel i'd pass the standard required for the Marines or Para's, though my age excludes me from the regulars.
    I run a mile and a half in 9:15 and 3 miles in 17 - 18 mins, and i feel i'd smash the gym tests. Again, not being cocky,
    i just take my fitness very serious. So yeah, not worried about the fitness tests or the medical, nor the entrance tests as i'm reasonably intelligent.

    I've decided on the RLC TA as i'm interested in becoming a driver, as this would also help me gain employment outside the TA. BUT, i don't
    want to seem like i'm interested in joining simply to gain my HGV/LGV licences, and i know it must come across that way, but this is genuinely
    not the case. I'm sick of labouring on building sites and i'm desperate for a trade and the job security it will afford me, but as i say, i'm also
    interested for other reasons. I feel i'd enjoy the challenges the TA could offer me, making new friends, travel a little perhaps too.

    So...Would it be worth joining the TA? Will i find what i'm looking for? Physically i feel i will, plus i feel i'll enjoy the challenges created by the weekend
    exercises etc. I understand that service in afghanistan is a distinct possibility also, and this wouldn't put me off applying nor joining. Once i commit
    to something i commit 110%. If i'm told to go then that's it, i'll go. Simple.

    The driver training. How long does this take? How long will i be in the TA before this training starts taking place? I understand ALL TA soldiers
    do basic infantry training to begin with, so am i looking at a year before trade training begins? More? Does the commitment differ when you learn a
    trade? I mean, do i have to drive for the TA for so long to ''pay back'' the cost of the licences if you catch my drift...?

    I ask purely out of curiosity as i'm not bothered either way. I feel i'll enjoy and be suited to TA life so don't really mind how long the commitment
    terms are. I was in the TA many, many years ago for about 2 years when i was about 19/20 so i have a reasonable idea what to expect. i enjoyed
    it then, so expect i still will. I was forced into giving it up though as it started to interfere with my boxing, something that will no longer be an issue.

    So roughly, how long from day one to the start of the driver training? what am i looking at, 1, 2 years? The plan in my younger days was to quit
    boxing in time to join the regs as a driver, something i was all sets to do last year with the RAF when my application was rejected due to the age limit
    being lowered. When i first applied the MT Driver recruitment was closed, so i waited and missed out. In hindsight i should have joined RAF regiment
    when i had the chance. So, while i'd prefer to do this full time, part time is my only option.

    Will my age be an issue? How often can i attend? As the more i commit the faster i'd get through the training surely? I have a wife and 2 kids, will
    the fact i need to support them be taken into consideration if i have to serve in afghan?

    Cheers lads, any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for the essay, but i wanted to lay it all out in order to get the best possible


  2. Turn up at a drill night!
  3. Not that simple mate. The unit i'm interested in is in Grantham, i'm in west yorkshire. I know what i want and have completed an online
    application, i just wanted a bit of advice before i send it in.

    I don't want to just turn up at my local TA centre as its an infantry regiment and i'm not going to learn anything transferable to civilian life.
    Cheers though mate, looking forward to getting started.
  4. If you're after skills you can use in the real world, maybe you should aim a bit higher. Is there an engineer unit near you? Or Reme?
  5. I'm not sure to be honest mate, but i'm pretty set on what i want to do though. The more ive looked into it its not just the driving, but
    recovering and fixing the vehicle's too. That's why i posted here first before i apply as I was hoping there'd be someone here who could answer
    my questions and offer a bit of advice etc.

    Cheers though mate
  6. My TA experience is well out of date now and probably won't apply anymore. Asking these questions at the TA centre is generally the best option, but failing that try visiting the local Army Carears Office to see if they can give you reliable answers.
  7. Yeah cheers mate. Like i said before, i asked here as i don't want to come across like i'm just after learning a trade at the ACO. But yeah, if i don't get the answers i'm looking for here that's my next port of call.

  8. **** that, join the infantry!
  9. Have a good shop around. Visit your local unit(s) and get their advice.

    It's not a quick process. Look at a radius of up to 40 miles to start. Choose wisely. Sounds like you've got a lot to offer, make sure the unit you choose has enough to offer you.

    Good luck.
  10. And achieve what? If i was 18 and joining the regs then fair enough, but i'm not, i'm 36 and looking to join the TA, so it has to
    be mutually beneficial. For me, hopefully, a chance to learn a trade and a career change. and for my part i'll give 110%. I was a pro boxer so my
    fitness is already at a high standard and if the opportunity to box presents itself i'll gladly participate, (though i would like to try
    my hand at something else now, and looking forward to seeing what the TA offers sports-wise.)

    In an infantry regiment the challenges are going to be mostly physical and ive done that, pushed my body to its limits time and again, but
    i want new challenges. I'm not afraid to fight. My interest in the RLC over my local infantry regiment isn't an attempt to avoid going
    to afghanistan. i'm not stupid either, i know there's a very strong possibility that i'll be sent to afghan, but i figure that's true right across
    board, no matter which service/regiment anyone joins at the mo. everyone's going. and I'm fine with this. obviously i'd rather not, i doubt
    anybody WANTS to go there but if it happens, it happens. I can accept it as part of what i'm signing up for.

    I want a trade, but i'm also looking for something a million miles away from home, building sites or the boxing gym. And the infantry doesn't
    fit with what i'm looking for.

    Cheers though mate.
  11. OP there are things about your posts that are at odds with your described situation. To begin with your posts are lucid and the spelling, grammar, punctuation are all reasonably good. Of course I am comparing your posts with some of the utter mongish drivel that we get posted on here from people "wanting advice", but still, it gives me pause for thought. As someone else has said already, why not set your sights a little higher?

    But I would guess that what you need is an alternative to site work for earning a living and a driving licence could be a key to that. No harm in admitting that a driving licence is a motivator for you, the army used advertise it as one of the perks to get people in anyway.

    Anyway, either turn up at a drill hall (or whatever they are called these days) or an army recruitment office (or whatever they are called these days) and have a chat with the staff.

    By the way, did you ever meet a boxer called Dave "Boy" Green?

    Oh and good luck!
  12. Cheers mate, and i do feel i have a lot to offer, and yeah i have had a good look at the different units/regiments, and the RLC driver's definately
    seems to have what i'm looking for, although its a lot further than 40 miles. But a couple hours on the train here and there is nothing if i can
    achieve what i want.

    When you say its not a quick process, what are we talking, roughly? From passin selection to starting trade training?

    As ive already mentioned, i'd rather not approach my local unit unless/until i really need to. From reading around on these boards i gather
    its mostly bulls**t that you can re train in another trade or transfer to another unit once your in, so i'd rather not take the risk of being
    talked into joining an infantry unit.

    cheers mate
  13. Sam,

    Why have you targeted the nationally recruited transport regiment (i assume 160) in Grantham? There are several regionally recruited TA units in West Yorkshire. With a regional unit you will get more training days and more opportunities for adventrous training etc. May be worth speaking to one of the units in your area and tell them what you would like to do. Even engineers and medical units need drivers!

    The Territorial Army Near You - For Those Interested in Joining the TA
  14. Cheers mate, at odds how though? Not sure i follow.

    As for setting my sights higher, to be honest the driving appeals to me. But your right, the driving licence is a motivator for me, i just don't want
    it to come across like its the only one. But yeah, gaining the licences would help me hugely as i'll be able to look away from the sites for work.
    I'm sick of building work, while i enjoy the physical side, there's no challenge to it, and it gets pretty mind numbing to be fair.

    For the last 20 years i've worked in the building trade to supplement my boxing earnings, or vice versa. I was never a world beater and have
    always had to work too. A few people have tried to get me interested in becoming a boxing trainer but it wouldn't work.
    having only recently retired myself, i'd likely end up wanting to fight if i were training kids/lads etc so will just stick to training for the fun of
    it/out of habit. I enjoyed my time in the TA when i was younger though, i just couldn't commit to it then the way i could now. But i definately
    feel i'll find what i'm looking for with the TA.

    Yeah i've heard of dave green mate but never actually met him in person. Good fighter and a top contender, its just a shame he came along
    during a time when the welter division was packed with talent (when isn't it though) and there's no shame in losing title bid's to guys like sugar
    ray leonard and carlos palomino.

    Cheers mate,

  15. Ah ok, thanks for that mate. I was under the impression that grantham was the main training centre for the RLC so assumed i'd need to
    go there, but i'll definately find the one closest to me and get in touch. But again, this is why i'm on here first, to get the best advice/info
    possible before i apply etc. There are mountains of info on the internet but nothing beats talking to people who have gone through the
    process already.