Age limit for Officer Entry with previous TA experience.

#1
Forgive me for not rooting through every page on the topic.

Whilst it wasn't something I'd particularly been thinking of, it was suggested yesterday that I might consider Officer training after having completed recruit training (Phase 1A - 1C)

Now I'm 39 already and would be 40 by then. Won't I be too old? Does any previous experience count? I served from 87 to 92 in TA infantry in the ranks.

"The oldest subbie in town" has a certain ring to it! I could write a song....

Seriously though, is this even possible, unit discretion etc?
 
#3
I think, unless you are a specialist or professionally qualified person, you are p!ssing up a rope with this ambition...
 
#4
had a bloke in same situation at my unit, the army said yes but the CO said no so you will have to ask your C of C

edited for being stuck in text speak. But to be more descriptive the gent in question passed aosb so could have gone forward, but our CO said a 40yr old subbie in an inf. unit wouldnt be practical or something along those lines, but the RLC unit close to my unit said they would accept him swings and round abouts.
Just give it a bash the worst they can say is no.
 
#5
There was a 39 y.o. on my course - RCT (as was). A long time ago admittedly but I bet he's not the oldest. Give it a go, but you would have to SERIOUSLY want it to put up with all that RMAS stuff in your 40s. Good luck though.
 
#6
Cuddles said:
I think, unless you are a specialist or professionally qualified person, you are p!ssing up a rope with this ambition...
Like I said, it was suggested to me. Not my idea or ambition particularly. Not sure I'd even want to. Just wanted to know what the score was.
 
#7
Hobo-Ken said:
There was a 39 y.o. on my course - RCT (as was). A long time ago admittedly but I bet he's not the oldest. Give it a go, but you would have to SERIOUSLY want it to put up with all that RMAS stuff in your 40s. Good luck though.
Quite! Interesting to know what's possible and what's not though.
 
#8
Old thread I know, but...

What's the score on this - has it changed in the last 6+ months? I'm 32, currently doing Phase 1 and had discounted TAPO as a result of my age. We had a Major come round our unit a while back trawling for officer candidates and she basically said you had to comission by your 35th birthday but anyone in their 30s was really already "too old" and she "didn't know what they were doing there". (Her words, not mine)

We did have a L/Cpl who had given RMAS a go - it does seem like going for it won't hurt your TA career as a soldier if you don't complete it, quite the opposite in fact.
 
#9
At 36 I was told I was too old. I seem to recall the 35 age limit rule being mentioned.

RAF and Navy have an upper limit of 42 i think it was...the RAF take recruits upto 50 with previous military experience in the Aux.
 
#10
on my TACC, (this year) we had a guy who was 37.

he got through fine

(apart from the ND)

Smash
 
#11
i'm 32 and I am looking into going the TA and going to be an officer. 12-18 months training should get me a commission before i am 35.
 
#12
You know my age mate and I have been told its a possibility by my unit. However; having looked into it; the training time and committment required and the realistic opportunity of actually being deployed as an infantry officer I officially ditched the idea last week in a chat with my PSAO.

Its up to you; it has been done on here before and I took a shed load of stick for it :roll: but if you really fancy it...go for it. However, if you are looking at getting a 'worthwhile' tour in, in ther next couple of years then I would say no; enjoy yourself and get some other more interesting courses under you belt FWIW :)
 
#13
2/51 said:
At 36 I was told I was too old. I seem to recall the 35 age limit rule being mentioned.

RAF and Navy have an upper limit of 42 i think it was...the RAF take recruits upto 50 with previous military experience in the Aux.
According to one RAFR Gunner on here, this has now changed slightly; the Rockapes now only recruit up to 35.
 
#14
The rockapes found that they were becoming a haven for blokes who were a bit past it trying to live out their "John Rambo" fantasies. Hence the new age limit of 35.
 
#15
looktowindward said:
Old thread I know, but...

What's the score on this - has it changed in the last 6+ months? I'm 32, currently doing Phase 1 and had discounted TAPO as a result of my age. We had a Major come round our unit a while back trawling for officer candidates and she basically said you had to comission by your 35th birthday but anyone in their 30s was really already "too old" and she "didn't know what they were doing there". (Her words, not mine)

We did have a L/Cpl who had given RMAS a go - it does seem like going for it won't hurt your TA career as a soldier if you don't complete it, quite the opposite in fact.
She was right, for most cases. It’s not just that it is more difficult to reach the physical standards required in your 30s.

The Army looks for high quality candidates when selecting its potential officers. Such people will do well in employment and in their private lives. By the time they've been in the workforce for 10-15 years they have a responsible and demanding job and will have built a good social life and may well have a long-term partner.

To first gain a TA commission and then complete the career courses as well as actually doing the job of a TA pl/tp comd is a big undertaking. The commissioning course requires a ten weekend course, a nine day course and then 3 weeks at RMAS. You then have to do a special to arm course, Post Commissioning Training and more. Your first year as an officer will involve commanding 15-30 TA soldiers on weekends, camps and training nights. You will have a lot of admin to do in your own time.

There are always exceptional cases and valid reasons for being free to take all this on in your 30s. To be able to meet this requirement, you will have to find a lot of time. It will mean reprioritising a busy life. There are always exceptional cases and valid reasons for being free to take all this on in your 30s but not many are able to see it through.

If you are one of those exceptional people, then speak to your pl staff about TAPO training.
 
#16
Another factor militating against commissioning later in life is the (relatively) recent switch of the TA officer promotion rules from age-related to length-of-service terms of service (from ATOS to LTOS).

In days of yore, if you commissioned later in life (in effect, later in your 20s as the upper age limit for new entrants was 29 but could be extended for prior military experience), your promotion could be accelerated. You could catch up with your younger colleagues in recognition of your grizzledness and in order to increase the chances that you would be the right age when you became eligible for later promotions.

Now, except for a bit of a following wind which you gain from doing an operational tour, or headwind from not having the necessary recommendations to promote, or bad luck if you don't get selected for promotion, everyone regardless of age progresses at the same pace under LTOS.

What this means for someone starting the TA commissioning process at 33 or 34 is that you steam out of RMAS as a 2Lt at 35, full of martial vigour - but four years later, as you dawdle about doing JOTAC because you'd much rather remain a platoon commander than become a captain, being bossed around by 24-year-old captains will probably start becoming a bit of a drag. Possibly worse, though, will be the fact that you as a snivelling 39-year-old Lt will be subordinate to a Lt Col, your commanding officer, who might be the same age or even younger than you. Of course, he might be a legend and you filled with joy - but it could get on your teets.

Your noble TA career continues. Say you promote to captain at 39. This means that you will promote to major at 44 (if you have done an op tour as a captain) or 45, where you will stay until you hit 50ish. That is pretty darn creaky in the inf for a first-time major. Remember that your regular Army peers will be captains from about 24 to 29: when you rock up at the FOB sporting three pips, Father Ted hair and a load of prog rock on your iPod they will look at you askance.

Also, as a captain in the age range 39 to 45, people will assume that you are a late entry officer - an assumption which has its pluses and minuses.

If, by contrast, you joined the ranks at 35, you could expect to be a Sgt by the time you are in that age range, and there is nothing wrong at all with being a 40-something Sgt: just tell people you kept hitting officers when you were younger.

Bottom line is: if your aim is to commission, get fit for mobilisation, smash out an op tour bayoneting Terry T in the eye, and then leave - commissioning at 35 is OK provided you are fit enough. You will be out before you are 40 and the LTOS thing starts to bite. If you want to have a TA career, or there is a chance that this desire might appear in you, then commissioning later than 30 will be a bit of a nause. You might well have more fun and do cooler stuff, and for longer, in the ranks.
 
#17
Dr_Evil said:
Another factor militating against commissioning later in life is the (relatively) recent switch of the TA officer promotion rules from age-related to length-of-service terms of service (from ATOS to LTOS).
Good answer, thanks. (I'm RSigs, if that makes any difference)
 
#18
It might do. There might be different expectations in the TA RSIGS than in combat arm units as to what, in reality, is too old for realistic prospects of promotion later in your career.

So ask the question within your unit. Don't be fobbed off by anyone who tell you (or implies) that it is necky, as a potential officer, to ask whether you might make Lt Col. Everyone is entitled to aspire, especially those that are giving up a career as an NCO.
 
#19
Dr_Evil said:
Another factor militating against commissioning later in life is the (relatively) recent switch of the TA officer promotion rules from age-related to length-of-service terms of service (from ATOS to LTOS).

In days of yore, if you commissioned later in life (in effect, later in your 20s as the upper age limit for new entrants was 29 but could be extended for prior military experience), your promotion could be accelerated. You could catch up with your younger colleagues in recognition of your grizzledness and in order to increase the chances that you would be the right age when you became eligible for later promotions.

Now, except for a bit of a following wind which you gain from doing an operational tour, or headwind from not having the necessary recommendations to promote, or bad luck if you don't get selected for promotion, everyone regardless of age progresses at the same pace under LTOS.

What this means for someone starting the TA commissioning process at 33 or 34 is that you steam out of RMAS as a 2Lt at 35, full of martial vigour - but four years later, as you dawdle about doing JOTAC because you'd much rather remain a platoon commander than become a captain, being bossed around by 24-year-old captains will probably start becoming a bit of a drag. Possibly worse, though, will be the fact that you as a snivelling 39-year-old Lt will be subordinate to a Lt Col, your commanding officer, who might be the same age or even younger than you. Of course, he might be a legend and you filled with joy - but it could get on your teets.

....
The Yanks let people commission into the combat arms up to 35, and into specialist jobs until their early fifties. No seniority even for having a degree, since it's mandatory for everyone. The result: no one cares. 35-year-olds know what they're doing when they commission, as do 42-year-olds who enlist as Privates. People that age in particular know what they're getting themselves into.

"Feeling a little miffed because you just realised someone your age is well ahead of you on the career ladder" is hardly an adequate reason to keep the ageism in the British Army going.

By that reasoning, no one should ever go to medical school (or law school!) in their 30's, or really change anything after 25 at all. In fact, you might as well shoot yourself, Dr. Evil, since Rory Stewart is about to become an MP and is probably also a self-made millionaire from being a world-famous author. 8)

Oh, and he's a former Army officer, of course!
 
#20
cheesypoptart said:
The Yanks let people commission into the combat arms up to 35, and into specialist jobs until their early fifties. No seniority even for having a degree, since it's mandatory for everyone. The result: no one cares. 35-year-olds know what they're doing when they commission, as do 42-year-olds who enlist as Privates. People that age in particular know what they're getting themselves into.

"Feeling a little miffed because you just realised someone your age is well ahead of you on the career ladder" is hardly an adequate reason to keep the ageism in the British Army going.

By that reasoning, no one should ever go to medical school (or law school!) in their 30's, or really change anything after 25 at all. In fact, you might as well shoot yourself, Dr. Evil, since Rory Stewart is about to become an MP and is probably also a self-made millionaire from being a world-famous author. 8)

Oh, and he's a former Army officer, of course!
Mr Stewart went to Eton, so describing him as a "self-made" millionaire is stretching it a bit - although all credit to him as a bloke for what he has done.

What I wrote was a description, not a defence.

It is a fact that the old ATOS system catered for later commissions in a way that the new LTOS system does not.

It is also a fact that the British Army, especially in teeth arms, discriminates on the ground of age. It is legally permitted to. Since you refer to him, it is worth noting that Mr Stewart did a gap year commission in the Black Watch: in other words, he dabbled in the infantry as a very young man.

It is a fact that, especially in the teeth arms, certain officer ranks are age-limited (de facto if not formally).

By all means advise people to join as an officer, fight the system, man up and deal with being older than your seniors, but - and this is my point - make sure that they are aware in advance of the career limitations they will face.

And finally, you say that this reasoning means that no one should ever go to medical school or law school in their 30s, etc. That is something of a straw man, old boy. Although it is possible - just - to advance justifications for discrimination on the basis of age in the Army's teeth arms (due to the physical requirements of the job), the same is not true for law, medicine, politics, etc. Besides, as a statement of fact rather than wishful thinking, law, medicine and politics are more open to latecomers than the Army. So my description of how things work in the Army does not necessarily lead to the conclusion you say it does.

Cue deluge of futile arguments about how fit some people are in their 30s, 40s, 50s.

It is not me who sets the standards which give rise to the discimination, and so not for me to justify them. I just tells it like it is.

PS (threateningly) I know yer name ...
 

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