Army Life

#1
I would really like a career in the British Army, possibly as an officer.
The only thing really holding me back is the working hours/day-to-day life; the thought of having a young kid and barely seeing them when I am stationed at base is worrying. I understand on operations and training exercises you will be away for weeks and months, but can anyone tell me what the day to day schedule would be as an officer or soldier would be.

Can anyone also tell me if its possible to make the family/Army dynamic work and to be able to commit to both.


Cheers,
 
#2
Every day....on the bus.....off the bus...............hurry up and wait.
If you can't take a joke you shouldn't join.
 
#3
I would really like a career in the British Army, possibly as an officer.
The only thing really holding me back is the working hours/day-to-day life; the thought of having a young kid and barely seeing them when I am stationed at base is worrying. I understand on operations and training exercises you will be away for weeks and months, but can anyone tell me what the day to day schedule would be as an officer or soldier would be.

Can anyone also tell me if its possible to make the family/Army dynamic work and to be able to commit to both.


Cheers,
With the benefit of a 22 year career behind me, all I can say is that the Army is not for you

Archie
 
#4
I would really like a career in the British Army, possibly as an officer.
The only thing really holding me back is the working hours/day-to-day life; the thought of having a young kid and barely seeing them when I am stationed at base is worrying. I understand on operations and training exercises you will be away for weeks and months, but can anyone tell me what the day to day schedule would be as an officer or soldier would be.

Can anyone also tell me if its possible to make the family/Army dynamic work and to be able to commit to both.


Cheers,
A day in the life - British Army Website
 
#5
can anyone tell me what the day to day schedule would be as an officer or soldier would be.
0830-1730 ish if you're in barracks - but depends on unit/role/position/meetings/etc etc.

You may be away a lot; you may be away very little - depends on unit/role/position/meetings/etc etc.
Can anyone also tell me if its possible to make the family/Army dynamic work and to be able to commit to both.
Loads have. Some haven't.

This is too much of an individual question to get much advice on.
 
#7
I think you're right, but what makes you say it?
History.
Blokes spent 4 years+ away from 'home' during WW2.
These days, easier, what with skype, email, all this modern toss.
Oh, you get paid to be on duty 24/7.
Because unfortunately wars are never scheduled, like cricket matches are.
If it kicks off, there's some blokes who'll respond when you're in the pub. And vice versa
Hence the watch/duty system
 
#9
8-6 when in barracks, but expect lots of random crap in addition to this. E.g. 24hr duties, mess events, nights away going to court with your soldiers, 3 week training courses away from camp, short and long exercises.

If your family commits to living the army life with you - e.g. your missus is happy to get involved in camp politics, get a job as a local teacher, move around the country on postings, don't put down roots, happy with not seeing her friends and family and put your career ahead of her aspirations then you could make it work. When nothing much else is on you should be able to take your nipper to school in the morning and see him in the evening, which is a lot more than many civvy jobs. Depends how much aspiration you have and how willing she is to put up with the crap life of a pad's wife.
 
#11
I agree, what from your experience/my post makes you think that though ?
You aspire to become an officer yet you have no idea what you are letting yourself in for, as suggested join the Reserves and find out what it is all about, then progress from there

If you have to ask what Army life is like then you do`nt have sufficient knowledge to make an informed decision

Archie
 
#12
Reserve Officer.JPG

I knew a bloke or two like that. :? 30 years man and boy in the Army here. Mostly its all right. In garrison 6 to 5 normally and weekends are usually free. On exercise, 24/7 but that's all right too as you're paid 24/7 as well. When you deploy to a war zone that can be for anywhere from 6 months to a year, and yes that impacts your family life, but it's a lot easier to keep in touch these days with all the technological gadgets we have these days. Get your toe wet by trying the Reserve option; that will tell you if the Army's really for you.
 
#14
Cheers, and do you know if this changes drastically as your career progresses?
As you move away from regimental duty (i.e. field soldiering) then postings to headquarters and staff jobs are like a normal office job but you wear boots and green clothes and use terrible IT. Jobs can be anywhere in the UK - Glasgow, London, Wiltshire are probably most likely. You may also get posted overseas on operations or to a foreign staff job. If operations then she'll stay at home, if a foreign staff job then she'll move with you for a couple of years. Not particularly great for a normal family life, particularly as your kids get older, but people make it work.

The first year you'll be at Sandhurst which I imagine you'll find particularly difficult - it's like prison but you get paid and get the occasional weekend off. Your special to arms training post-Sandhurst is similar but lasts for 12 weeks to 6 months.

Officers who joined married with children used to be very rare, but it's becoming more commonplace now. Certainly not easy, but achievable if you and her are committed and she is willing to move around with you. The worst thing to do is to set up home somewhere and then you weekly commute from whichever miserable army town you get posted to. You may as well get divorced for how little time you'll spend with your family.

The other option is for her to develop a career and for you to join the army but following your first five years of service prioritise your family life over the army, and get postings which mean you won't have a great career but you can chin off your responsibilities and basically mince around an HQ doing the bare minimum with the assistance of a nanny. I know people who have followed this route and also managed to run businesses on the side whilst notionally being in the army. I used to despise people like that but one day I realised they were getting paid the same as me but doing eff-all, and suddenly I found myself respecting them for their naked cunning and self-interest.
 
#15
I think most valid points have been covered.

Joining the Army is a big step and a life changing one - normally for the better. Although Operations are typically 6 months in duration, you will need to factor in pre-deployment training & courses etc. All in all it can be a 9/10 month stint away which is a long time to spend apart from your family.

It can and does work but it really takes solid commitment on both sides, fastballs happen and that nice long weekend you have planned can vanish quicker than Sodexo's complaint book.

On the other hand, you can get a months leave in one go so in essence there is no real stability because when it comes down to it, everything else comes before seeing your family.

As they say, you don't join the Army to stay at home!
 
#16
.......for what it's worth you don't appear to have researched that well - join the reserves.
1 - it gives you a valid insight - you may not like the discipline, bullshit and soldierly stuff
2 - it gives you a leg up to join the regulars - nothing like a good reference
3 - you'll be ahead on basics like shuffling in step and not dropping you weapon (gun) - imagine going in to any new job cold

Seriousy - dip your toe in the reserves. I did and and was asked to transfer to the regulars and I realised I had a better career than the army could offer and I was still able to go away and play in exciting places.
 
#17
I respect that, but I've done an awful lot of research as to what my job will entail. But there are no figures on the amount of moving about, on what your real hours will be as they'll differ to the ones prescribed, and so I thought I'd come to a group of people with first hand experience.
 
#18
You need to decide if you want to be a stay at home dad or push for a career; nearly every profession will now demand some work away from home if you want to gain the experience to get to a partnership or high level. If you want to be at home with your children join DWP, “work” from home and your children will choose universities at the other end of the country if not in another.
 
#19
I will be going for my assessment in a couple of months, I have the Rifles regiment down as my first choice, I'm not sure which battalion I want to go to yet. Anyone have any ideas as to the differences and day to day live in an armoured infantry battalion as opposed to a standard. cheers
 
#20
I will be going for my assessment in a couple of months, I have the Rifles regiment down as my first choice, I'm not sure which battalion I want to go to yet. Anyone have any ideas as to the differences and day to day live in an armoured infantry battalion as opposed to a standard. cheers
If you find out, let me know, I'm looking at either 1PWRR or 2PWRR which are armoured and light
 

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