Any place for a bookish sort in the IntCorps?

Cicero63

Swinger
@Cicero63 Most things considered, I'd agree that these days you are better off joining the RAF Int branch - even frankly the Royal Navy, but that's still very small - than the Int Corps. Has the added advantage that you know what you are getting before you sign on the dotted line, which is not the case with Sandhurst.

All things considered, I'd steer away from the military at all. You will be joining a peacetime military, which is inclined to be a toxic environment at the best of times, and these are not those. A combination of factors mean it is very likely to remain a peacetime military for your entire career, going on the stats of how long any individual stays in. It's also committed to a steep nosedive in competence, satisfaction and purpose, and as a junior officer you will have no hand on the stick where those are concerned. It is increasingly a lie that you have more control or influence as a junior officer, than as a soldier. You have better conditions and more responsibility, but those are not the same. Quite likely that you will ignore this, but if you do, at least your five year older self can think "I was warned", which is often the difference between a frustrated five year older self, and a bitter ten year older self.

At an absolute minimum, if intelligence interests you and you aren't the most physical type, apply to SIS and GCHQ first. They also have their problems, but vastly better outlooks and a continuing purpose. Or, as others have suggested, view it as an itch to scratch and apply to the Reserves, where the commitment is less encompassing, and easier to leave. All lawyers live in London ,and 3MI is probably one of the best corners of the Int Corps.
Thanks for all this stuff, very useful. I had a chat with an IntCorps captain (in charge of potential officer shenanigans) and he made the same point you did about not knowing where one is going to end up. Since I made this post I’ve rather broadened my horizons so far as the military is concerned, and I’m supposed to be having an interview with someone at the King’s Royal Hussars in the New Year- though goodness knows if that will actually happen. I did strongly consider the RAF and the Navy, but moved away from them as I don’t particularly enjoy flying and would feel rather silly in the RAF, even if permanently on the ground, as a result (more complex reasons than that but that’ll do), and as for the navy I’m not sure I’d enjoy being cooped up in a boat for months at a time. I should also say that the military is only one of several careers options I’m considering, though the one I currently favour them most (having just put my application for an MPhil in). My fitness is steadily improving I’m glad to say, and I’m just about running 2 miles in 13 minutes so making progress (still need to do a lot of work in upper body strength though!)
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
Antiquated technology such as that system of string and baked-bean cans has no place in the Whiskybreath household, as you should well know, Subb; for shame. We are at the razor's-edge of communication here; the Mrs gave me a little mechanism with a screen and a cable some time ago, and I dutifully and bravely put it in a safe place somewhere, where I can't interfere with its workings, which, being based in electrons and neutrons and stuff, I distrust.

I gravely missed being present at this meeting of cultural, intellectual and artistic movers, shakers and leaders, and I'd been looking forward to discussing critical theory with @Alec_Lomas, but knowing that my opinions would be comprehensively pulverised, I refrained from attending, possibly wisely. Since both you and she have 'transitioned'*, I'd have been outnumbered at being rude to waiters, loud, offensive in demanding that steaks be less well-done, and bill-division calculations. I cannot compete in those categories.

I did, though, raise a glass to you all. Several, if fact, and to prove my proposition above, I became less polite, louder and extremely offensive during the evening. I now live in my luxury garden shed, but I stand by my principles.
* I hope I haven't been premature in this revelation. That could be embarrassing.
You were missed, the overall tenor was extremely relaxed and civilised and the conversation was elevated and informative. Your presence would have done much to impact that.

I happen to know that @Alec_Lomas was disappointed not to have had the opportunity to trade philosophic bons mots with you over a refreshing glass of sweet sherry; I. too, although finding a nearly untouched Whopper Meal on the way home did much to assuage my mood.
 
@Cicero63 Most things considered, I'd agree that these days you are better off joining the RAF Int branch - even frankly the Royal Navy, but that's still very small - than the Int Corps. Has the added advantage that you know what you are getting before you sign on the dotted line, which is not the case with Sandhurst.

All things considered, I'd steer away from the military at all. You will be joining a peacetime military, which is inclined to be a toxic environment at the best of times, and these are not those. A combination of factors mean it is very likely to remain a peacetime military for your entire career, going on the stats of how long any individual stays in. It's also committed to a steep nosedive in competence, satisfaction and purpose, and as a junior officer you will have no hand on the stick where those are concerned. It is increasingly a lie that you have more control or influence as a junior officer, than as a soldier. You have better conditions and more responsibility, but those are not the same. Quite likely that you will ignore this, but if you do, at least your five year older self can think "I was warned", which is often the difference between a frustrated five year older self, and a bitter ten year older self.

At an absolute minimum, if intelligence interests you and you aren't the most physical type, apply to SIS and GCHQ first. They also have their problems, but vastly better outlooks and a continuing purpose. Or, as others have suggested, view it as an itch to scratch and apply to the Reserves, where the commitment is less encompassing, and easier to leave. All lawyers live in London ,and 3MI is probably one of the best corners of the Int Corps.
This

As the army gets smaller, the number of jobs and tasks don't, so as a JNCO you'll find yourself being sent with whoever is available on tasks, rather than the best person of team for the job. Buggins turn rules
Something to consider as a reserve, is that as tours get fewer and far between, every one you get to go on denies a regular a medal. There are also some very petty people out there and your civilian skills/expertise could be seen as a threat.

Joint/Defence/Wider Government may be a better place to be - at least it feels in many departments they've hauled Chilcott on board and have tried to learn lessons
 
Here's my 10 cents, twenty-six years before the mast as a Regular and two before that as a reservist. As a Reservist, ANY experience you get is going to give you something to draw on.

Of course, we are interested if you have scarce skills, but you need to establish relationships first. In some fields, as a newbie, you may have to demonstrate that you have a grasp of the principles and can handle basic tasks before you are given more demanding work. That's the same if you are a new regular or a new reservist on the block.

Pro Tip: if you are going to ask for advice on fighting knives, best to do that in absolute privacy. Otherwise, it could mark everyone that follows you! ( and it will for years)
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Of course, we are interested if you have scarce skills, but you need to establish relationships first. In some fields, as a newbie, you may have to demonstrate that you have a grasp of the principles and can handle basic tasks before you are given more demanding work. That's the same if you are a new regular or a new reservist on the block.
...just not really interested enough to employ you for them; use you in roles which require those skills; or select you for those roles over those without scarce skills but who have "established relationships" (i.e. meet the criteria for time-served or nose-colour). It's curious how the relationships the Intelligence Corps deems valuable to establish are primarily with more senior members of the Intelligence Corps.

Not sure Classics is a required skill in any case.
 
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