Army Officer, Marines Recruit?

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Regular Officer Recruiting' started by Dewaters65, Nov 28, 2012.

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  1. Hello all,

    This my first post here, although I have read a lot of the threads, and can I say it's a very good forum. I do realise this exact question has already been asked in a different thread, however it didn't really help me all that much. I also emailed that guy to find out what he did in the end but haven't yet got a response. I'm 24 and finished my masters last year in international relations. I'm from Ireland (Cork). I have always wanted to join the army, however I was always told "you'll grow out of it", so I decided to keep going with education. While travelling India last year and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with myself I realised the military is still it. This is going to be a long post, sorry about this but I don't have a careers office I can pop into to ask these questions and know one I know has a clue.

    Seeing as its almost impossible to join the IDF at the moment naturally the British Armed Forces were the next choice (plus the fact there seems to be more career opportunities in it). Having spent a long time researching the different arms of the British Military ( and actually having met one while travelling in Europe a few years back and discussed the with job him) I decided that I would like to become an officer in the Royal Marines.

    Unfortunately I found out, upon further research, that Irish Citizens can't be officers but only recruits in the Royal Marines. (this is ******* stupid). I have tried everything I can to get a British passport (even got a lawyer to try and find a loophole which cost me!) but it can't be done.

    So (finally) here is my dilemma. In short I cannot decide whether to join the Royal Marines as a recruit or go for the Para's (or in second place Rifles) as an Officer. My heart is set on the Royal Marines but it's also set on being an officer! Now before I start can I ask you not to patronise me. I'm 24 not 14, I realise that it isn't all sexy and cool like you see on the adds and I realise how hard it is to join these regiments. This is something I want for a career and surely 90 percent of you joined the armed forces did so for the same reasons. I also realise that pretty much every regiment in the British Army is comparable standards wise, so please don't get offended by my choice of Marines or Paras. (Sorry but I see a lot of those kind of responses on military forums on the internet.). I'm also not asking anyone to make up my mind for me I just need some advice as my head has been going in circles from all the different info on the web.

    The Marines attract me mainly because they seem to receive a wider amount of opportunity to train in different parts of the World. (correct me if I'm, wrong). In particular the Mt Leader Course is something I would attempt to complete. (I took up wall climbing a few months back to see if I'd be any good at it!). My main goal however would to eventually become an officer after 5 years, when I believe I can apply for a British passport. Is this feasible? Do recruits often make it to officer after 5 years? The main reason officer is so important to me is that I feel like I have wasted my time/money in Uni if I'm a recruit, also I like the idea of having more responsibility etc. The main draw backs to this are that I have always wanted to be an officer, and I'm worried that I may not be able to become one after I serve five years to get my passport, and the pay difference. The pay difference is not so much a big deal, however I saw that as a graduate I would be earning over double as an officer in the army than I would as a recruit in the Marines, and although i'd be joining for the life style no one can say that's not going to sway their thinking a bit.

    On the other hand I could join the Army as an officer. Am I wrong in thinking that Royal Marines would be a more varied career? I know this is getting a bit ahead of myself but hey I'm ambitious, I would most likely eventually attempt selection for one of the special forces, more so probably if I go straight as an officer to the army. (This is why the Para's or Marines are what I'm interested in). Again I realise I probably won't make selection but I'm sure everyone in the SF was once were I am now (figuratively). I'm guessing it's total bolox that the Marines think, while the Para's smash stuff?? (this is not meant as a jibe you know what I mean). Do I wait for two years in the Para's as an officer before 1 Para also. What are the chances of getting into the Para's as an officer, and then into the Pathfinders. (not so much requirements more so waiting lists for selection etc etc in fact the same goes for the ML Leader course in the Marines.)

    Thanks anyone that actually reads all that it all just sort of came out when I sat down to type! I guess it actually doing that will help get my head sorted even if no one can be bothered to write back :)I'm sitting here with all the stuff ready to send off to the Marines and also the Form nearly filled out online for the army but my head is all over the place!
  2. The RM have a good track record for commissioning their Toms, could you join as an RM and then commish?

    Decide if you really want to be an officer... it may suit you better to be a Tom, especially if you want to go for teh SF roles and the like.
  3. Ask yourself why you want to be an Officer. Unfortunately there are too many people who go to Sandhurst as they believe it to be a social requirement post Army Career rather than a genuine wish to serve their Soldiers. Because a good officer works way harder than the men under his command. Furthermore just because you have a degree doesn't rule you out for being a Squaddie, it just means that you would probably be better suited to the Intelligence Corps or Engineers rather than an Infantry Regiment. But don't get snooty about your degree, a lot of the Toms in the Corps have them.

    Re SF, I'd cross that hurdle when you get there, nothing wrong in aiming for the stars of course, but you haven't even passed basic yet. Yes a solid background in the Marines will give you a bit of a head start, but if you're an admin vortex in the field it won't matter. Re The Marines being more varied. Err That will be a no. In the Days of Pre Options for Change, Faluda Gap and 3rd Shock with an army of 200,000 you may have had a point. But with 85,000 men under arms even a Fish and Chip Regiment will be getting exotic postings and training. And your point about non-UK Officers? Why, the British Military can find more than enough Brits to fill certain posts. It's not an employment bureau for foreigners.

    Re the Paras, they go through the same training as everybody else at Sandhurst. Just with more log runs, more monkey bars and a boxing match being the difference. Personally I would avoid the Paras, but that is only because they are fierce ferret like creatures like the **** of an CQMS I got 1 month back on a trade course giving me the 3rd degree about my Room Handover. The Marines are easier to work with.

    Oh and one more point. If you want to be an Officer you'l have to pull your finger out. You have to be waddling through the door of Old College with your Ironing Board and your body weight in Sylvette Cloths and Kiwi Polish by the time you are 26. That includes RCB and Interviews. You don't have much time.
  4. I may be a couple of years out of date but, ML's (not RL's) used to have to be substansive Cpls, depending on your career route post CTCRM, I think you will be lucky (not slagging your capabilities) to have made Cpl within the 5 years you give yourself, you could of course go Corps commission (if you obtain British Nationality), then apply for MLO.
    As stated above, if your aim is to have a career with UKSF, then joining as OR, may give you longer with those groupings, and more job roles.
  5. So as an officer in an army cavalry regiment, and soon to be leaving after a varied and fun career, let me offer my ten pence.

    As far as the officer or soldier route goes that is a decision only you can make. But I warn you the selection process even for the army is tricky and there are considerably more applicants to places at RMAS. The RM as far as I am aware is even harder with even higher ratio of applicants to places precisely because of the cachet you mention.

    There is the opportunity to commission from the ranks in both services, normally at around Cpl, but dont be fooled into thinking this is a bankable option. It does happen and they make good officers but it is rare.

    As for variety remember that the RM are a predominantly infantry regiment with a few other specialities. And you will not always get a choice as to where you go. You may expect a posting to one of the commandos and end up in the comando logistic regiment. They are as a rule much fitter and slightly more capable soldiers in the RM due solely to cash available for training and a willingness of the Admiralty to resource them. Dont be fooled into thinking all marines are intelectual adonises or all signalers are pasty geeks.

    As for the army you will, selection boards depending have slightly more opportunity to determine where you want to go or what role you want to do. But on both sides of the coin the needs of the service will come first. The army is a much bigger beast than the RM and the regiments will go to just as many exciting places as the marines. In my time I've enjoyed trips to Nevada, Canada, the USA and countless others. I've spent three seasons skiing in Switzerland and obviously several trips to various desserts. I'm sure there are people in the RM who have had both more and less variety.

    So my two tips.
    1. Decide if you want to be an officer or a soldier first. There are plusses and minusis to both but if you want to be an officer you will probably not be happy as a soldier and vice versa.

    2. If you do decide on RMAS go with an open mind. I wanted to join my local Inf regiment and ended up in a cavalry regiment. A friend of mine wanted the Paras got accepted and turned them down to join the ETS. Dont get blinded by regimental reputations and keep an open mind.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Oh and leave SF till later. Its a huge step and you will not actually know if you want to try until you're in and have more exposure to the lifestyle.

    Edited to appease plunderer.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. How do you know you will be succesful in applying to be an officer in the army?............That aside, why not apply if unsuccesful you know where you stand and can regroup accordingly.

    In so far as SF, learn to walk before you run.

    Oh, and Mountain Leader involves a tad more than merely climbing a wall, but there is a selection process prior in any case with criteria to be met other than your scrambling up a wall ability!
  8. Not really relevant, but I hope you don't think that 90% of this site joined the armed forces for whatever reason!
  9. I haven't read the OP as it is a wall of text, but there are usually up to 5 commission's a year tops for serving RM. You still have to be an outstanding candidate or they just wont have any corps commissions for the year, as happened in September when there were no serving RM Other Ranks on the intake.
  10. Downfall11 - FFS brush up on your written communication skills. I spluttered all over my Zimmer frame reading some of your spockling mistoles. WTF are 'leve' and 'wont'? [post #6]

  11. Sorry, I'm working in the city now. If you want some maths done or to know what's happening to the price of copper I'm your man. For spelling you need to speak to someone else!
    • Like Like x 1
  12. I apologise, I thought that you were an officer in the British Army, not a scrap metal merchant.

    BTW, what 'city' might that be?

  13. Surely there is only one "city" where cavalry officers are put out to grass!


    And I am an officer in the British Army but also moonlighting as a very inexperienced trader. Actually I probably couldn't tell you the price of copper, as I said "very inexperienced".
  14. Dewaters,

    I tend to agree with Downfall's two tips. You really cannot bank on joining in the ranks, being recognised as having officer potential, and being put forward for officer selection and passing. A couple of friends in the Parachute Regiment who had that idea (and in my opinion were perfectly suitable) did not even get a chance to try - although the Parachute Regiment is very egalitarian.

    And for that matter, do not discount other infantry units. I have known some excellent officers who were neither RM or PARA, and I'm sorry to say the odd shocking officer in RM or PARA. The bottom line is that you need to be doing what you enjoy and what you are good at - and after five years you will not have the same mindset as you do now: Think medium or long-term while bearing in mind that if you join in the ranks, a commission is far from garuanteed.

    As a final note, 'Marines as thinkers and Para Reg as smashers' - an unfounded sterotype, but if you do not go Para Reg feel free to take the piss and get filled in while you're thinking about what to do next :)

  15. So which newspaper do you write for ?