Afghan tour

I'm sure this is going to appear pretty keen but i'm basically looking for a fairly quick route to get out to afghan (obviously after the neccesary op training). Im currently in university and otc and hoping to join as an officer, but with the 2015 pull out, can see the inevitable problem of potentially being in command of a platoon of guys who have done a tour, whilst i have not.

at one point 4 para run a 'gap year' of sorts, but as far as i can see this has been discontinued. im happy to take a year out of uni etc and hopefully go with the TA as a soldier. was just wondering what advice people can give about the best route to take?
My advice ? Stay at uni, get the best degree you can, stay in the otc enjoy the ride.
If Afghanistan ever ends there will be plenty more where that comes from.

Oh, and use sunscreen, dont forget the sunscreen.
Thanks for your reply, but what do you think about being a plt commander having not done a tour? especially when the majority of soldiers and NCO's have? do you think it could have an effect on the promotions board?

cheers for the advice btw!
Every platoon commander will have been at the stage when he's not done a tour but the men under him have done, can't really see it being an issue if I'm honest.
This has been done before - the no-ops worry and the "should I take a gap year to do a TA tour" worry.

My advice - Afghan is DRAWING DOWN if CONDITIONS ARE MET in 2015, not stopping completely. Plus, there will be other tours (Libya anyone). Even if we were still there (which I think we will be), you may not be guaranteed a place out - wrong Bn/Regt, wrong point in the cycle...

As for leading guys who have "been there, done that", that, as said, will be the case for everyone at some point - you do not have to prove you're already a seasoned vet when you come in - even if you were, you would still be the crow 2Lt with no idea - and doing an Op tour with the TA as a private soldier will not give you the necessary experience to be a better Troop commander - you will gain from it, but not necessarily the right stuff.

Which brings me to the gap year to do a tour - be wary - aside from the risk of injury (either on tour or preparing), which could then hamper your chances at preparing for AOSB/RMAS, sometimes experience as a TA soldier can count against you when applied to a balanced cohort at AOSB etc - you almost run the risk of being too molded in a particular vein (i.e. TA soldier) rather than being that fresh, pliable bloke that RMAS can shape into being a good leader. Not always the case, but I have heard of it happening (and know of a couple of experienced TA officers who got the "no" from AOSB due to their TA time).

You would be better off concentrating on your study, getting that degree and then going for RMAS and taking your chances - it will always end sometime - I didn't deploy for my first 5 years and felt properly robbed compared to those I had been at RMAS and YOs with, who racked up 3 medals in that time (Cyprus, NI, Iraq), but then did some almost back to back tours and caught up.