Army Reserves during 6th form?

#1
Can anyone give me info on the weekly, monthly and yearly time commitment to the army reserves and how this would fit around a typical school (6th form) timetable and exams? There's no info or advice online, probably as most people in 6th form are not 18 and so wait untill university but I'm an early one so I could join in September and as it stands at the moment it seems like it can only benefit me but I'm here to find advice on it. I'd join as a soldier as I don't see how someone my age and experience could lead yet and I'd join my local unit, however, preferably I'd hope to train as a combat medic but that's a later stage to this.
I'll also mention that the reason for this is that I'm keen to join the army reserves throughout uni and then as a doctor afterwards so the local cadet unit manager suggested the army reserves to get experience and training in early.
 

crustyrusty

On ROPS
On ROPs
#2
You can but try?
RAMC might be worth a look, then UOTC at Uni then RAMC once MB.BS/ChB?
 

chimera

LE
Moderator
#3
I joined the Army Reserve (in those days called the TAVR) in the sixth form aged 17.5. One drill night a week, and a couple of weekends a month was no problem. Attended a 14 day course rather than annual camp that fitted around A level exam timing. Made extra cash, and learned good skills for when I went into the Regular Army a year later.
 
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#4
I joined the Army Reserve (in those days called the TAVR) in the sixth form aged 17.5. One drill night a week, and a couple of weekends a month was no problem. Attended a 14 day course rather than annual camp that fitted around A level exam timing. No problem at all. Made extra cash, and learned good skills for when I went into the Regular Army a year later.
Well that definately seems maneagable, what would the weekends consist off as two a month is more than I thought? Also were the army reserve flexible with when you could attend across a year, like less during exam season for example and more other times?
 
#6
Bloke I knew did Fusilier while doing sixth form. Went to Sandhurst after school and retired as a LT.Col.
Now got hair like Custer and doing hairdressing in Edinburgh.

Life can be strange.


But yes managable. And you could always open a boutique in later life.:cool:
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
We've had two go through training while at college/uni. They cant commit to everything but do what they can.

I joined while i was doing my a-levels but concentrated more on the TA than revision and paid for it accordingly. Its important to strike the right balance and have the right priorities...
 
#8
I joined the Army Reserve (in those days called the TAVR) in the sixth form aged 17.5. One drill night a week, and a couple of weekends a month was no problem. Attended a 14 day course rather than annual camp that fitted around A level exam timing. Made extra cash, and learned good skills for when I went into the Regular Army a year later.
Me too. 17 yrs 6 months 6 days.

I would say it's a double edged sword.

Good: Cash, skills, mates, fun times

Bad: Can be a bit overwhelming, thus detracting from your studies.

It was one of the best things I ever did, but my A Levels could be better. Not that that was the TA's fault, I just had my priorities arrse-about face. My parents divorced in the 6th Form, and the TA was a rock for me. I should have spent more time doing school stuff than being Army-barmy. I was just immature - I recognize that now, but like any other zitty teenager, nobody could tell me a damned thing because I knew it all already.
 
#9
Can anyone give me info on the weekly, monthly and yearly time commitment to the army reserves and how this would fit around a typical school (6th form) timetable and exams? There's no info or advice online, probably as most people in 6th form are not 18 and so wait untill university but I'm an early one so I could join in September and as it stands at the moment it seems like it can only benefit me but I'm here to find advice on it. I'd join as a soldier as I don't see how someone my age and experience could lead yet and I'd join my local unit, however, preferably I'd hope to train as a combat medic but that's a later stage to this.
I'll also mention that the reason for this is that I'm keen to join the army reserves throughout uni and then as a doctor afterwards so the local cadet unit manager suggested the army reserves to get experience and training in early.
I joined the Royal Marines Reserve at 17 when I was in 6th Form. They were far more rigid in their course dates as everything was done as a formed Troop until you passed the Commando Course and were considered a trained rank, it didn't really work out as the 2 courses CTC ran a year coincided with A-Levels and University deadlines and it was having a detrimental effect on my academic work.
I left and joined the University Air Squadron which, being part of the uni set up was far more flexible, and the TA after uni before joining the Regular Army in my early 20s.

I'm now 20 years in and wouldn't have done anything differently. I loved my time in the reserves and a wide eyed 17 y/o NT benefited from having Falklands, NI and Gulf War (the ex-Army contingent) veterans as peers.

BUT

Focus, focus, focus on your studies. As soon as they start taking a dip, reevaluate what you want out of it.
 
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#10
I'll also mention that the reason for this is that I'm keen to join the army reserves throughout uni and then as a doctor afterwards so the local cadet unit manager suggested the army reserves to get experience and training in early.
If you intend to read Medicine at University , I'd concentrate on getting the grades necessary to get into Medical School first. Once you're in , then a RAMC unit in the reserves.
 
#11
Well that definately seems maneagable, what would the weekends consist off as two a month is more than I thought? Also were the army reserve flexible with when you could attend across a year, like less during exam season for example and more other times?
Concentrate first on spelling and grammar, especially if your ambition is to qualify as a doctor. Otherwise, just go for it - the experience will prove to be invaluable.
 
#12
Generally I think I could manage my studies alongside it but my worry would be during exam season. A lot of advertisment for the reserves says that you can commit as much or as little time as you like after you've met the minimum of 19 days which doesn't seem like alot. Does anyone know how these days are distributed throughout the year and how flexible the reserves are about when you do these days? For example, are the weekly drill nights and two weekends a month mandatory or do you have to just attend a certain amount of these in a year?
 
#13
To deviate slightly, I seem to remember there is/was a rule you could not be in the Cadet's (ACF, ATC, SCC or CCF) and be a member of Reserve Forces at the same time? when on a recruiting tour came across a girl who was in the ATC and school CCF RAF at the same time.
 
#14
Well that definately seems maneagable, what would the weekends consist off as two a month is more than I thought? Also were the army reserve flexible with when you could attend across a year, like less during exam season for example and more other times?
Beware "manageable".

I joined at 17 years and 3 months (sneaked in as a Junior Bandsman but never joined the Band). I cleared it with the Principal who looked at my O Level results and A Level work to date and decided that it would prove an interesting hobby.

It went wrong when I became totally engrossed in the Army. Every Wednesday night, every weekend and every day during school holidays. Annual Camp was during the holidays so that wasn't a problem. I failed my A Levels.

Never mind, I just did a third year at 6th Form. And didn't learn my lesson... but did scrape enough of a pass to get on a degree course. Which I screwed up due to a combination of attending every range weekend during term time and every day during vacations (a mental block during three of the exams didn't help), so failed my first year.

I resat the exams a year later but failed again. I was stupid enough to attend Annual Camp which ran the fortnight before the exams. My OC had suggested not attending and my CO, when he learned of the timings, stuck me as Battalion Orderly Corporal for the fortnight in order to maximise revision time so I cant swerve the fact that help was available from all sides except one - me.

I dropped onto the HND course and finally scraped through despite still not having reduced Army time.

So let that be a warning. Part-time soldiering can be addictive and there'll only be one person you can blame if it all goes wrong because you don't even have to fulfil the full annual commitment, your CO can reduce it.
 
#15
Beware "manageable".

I joined at 17 years and 3 months (sneaked in as a Junior Bandsman but never joined the Band). I cleared it with the Principal who looked at my O Level results and A Level work to date and decided that it would prove an interesting hobby.

It went wrong when I became totally engrossed in the Army. Every Wednesday night, every weekend and every day during school holidays. Annual Camp was during the holidays so that wasn't a problem. I failed my A Levels.

Never mind, I just did a third year at 6th Form. And didn't learn my lesson... but did scrape enough of a pass to get on a degree course. Which I screwed up due to a combination of attending every range weekend during term time and every day during vacations (a mental block during three of the exams didn't help), so failed my first year.

I resat the exams a year later but failed again. I was stupid enough to attend Annual Camp which ran the fortnight before the exams. My OC had suggested not attending and my CO, when he learned of the timings, stuck me as Battalion Orderly Corporal for the fortnight in order to maximise revision time so I cant swerve the fact that help was available from all sides except one - me.

I dropped onto the HND course and finally scraped through despite still not having reduced Army time.

So let that be a warning. Part-time soldiering can be addictive and there'll only be one person you can blame if it all goes wrong because you don't even have to fulfil the full annual commitment, your CO can reduce it.
By the sounds of it then the reserves seems very flexible so I will take your warning and other than that it does seem like it'd work. I'm hooked on army stuff now and just want to be apart of it rather than one of those wannabe internet geeks so hopefully it doesn't go that way if I join. Thanks for advice!
 
#16
I joined the Army Reserve (in those days called the TAVR) in the sixth form aged 17.5. One drill night a week, and a couple of weekends a month was no problem. Attended a 14 day course rather than annual camp that fitted around A level exam timing.
We've had two go through training while at college/uni. They cant commit to everything but do what they can.

I joined while i was doing my a-levels way back but concentrated more on the TA than revision and paid for it accordingly. Its important to strike the right balance and have the right priorities...
I did the same, was a STAB with the TA during college and have mixed feelings looking back. It was extra cash and life experience but at times, certainly with my first bout at college, it definitely got in the way as I found the TA more enjoyable and got distracted from studies which put me back a few years.

Second time round, put college first and then slowly realised that the TA wasn't what it was, spent less time there and eventually left when I went to Uni. By the time I left, I'd barely done more than the bare minimum of my TA commitments for about 12 months so it was long overdue.

In short, it could work really well for you but remember that your academic stuff, at this stage in life, must be priority if you go Reserves. Especially as getting into Med School having had to resit anything can be difficult.
 
#17
It was certainly doable in the early 1980s: maybe 5% in my year at OTC as transfers from their local TA. On the other-hand a chap in my year at school joined the local Queens platoon as a private, but spent so much time with them, including missing a lot of Saturday school "ill", that he ploughed his A levels and then screwed RCB. I had several sixth formers in my TA troop/squadron over the years. We saw a lot more of them at certain times of the year than others and I had to argue hard with my Troop Staffie about the cost : benefit of soldiers who could not train between March and June due to exams, or make camp in September.

If you're still at school you might need your head teacher's permission as well as your parents' because the commitment can affect your studies.

Advice? In short, have a look before you leap. Consider your priorities and find out what the real demands will be on your time. Speak to your school (head of sixth form? tutor?) and the local AR unit : neither has any interest in telling you anything other than the unvarnished truth about what will be involved
 
#18
Concentrate first on spelling and grammar, especially if your ambition is to qualify as a doctor. Otherwise, just go for it - the experience will prove to be invaluable.
If my Dad (a doc) was anything to go by, their crap hand-writing disguises their terrible grammar and spelling because no bugger apart from the chemist can decipher it, so no sweat there.

Ed typo
 
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#19
If my Dad (a doc) was anything to go by, their crap hand-writing disguises their terrible grammar and spelling because no bugger vapart from the chemist can decipher it, so no sweat there.
I had the crap handwriting but not the grades, so I chose that other profession where you are valued based on how terrible your handwriting is... Engineering and the Civil Service!!
 
#20
Generally I think I could manage my studies alongside it but my worry would be during exam season. A lot of advertisment for the reserves says that you can commit as much or as little time as you like after you've met the minimum of 19 days which doesn't seem like alot. Does anyone know how these days are distributed throughout the year and how flexible the reserves are about when you do these days? For example, are the weekly drill nights and two weekends a month mandatory or do you have to just attend a certain amount of these in a year?
Do bear in mind that the minimum does not make a good AR soldier, you need to do a bit more than that.
I'm not saying do all you can, there are warning stories enough above, but be prepared for more.
Drill nights are once a week so two or three a month is probably doable unless you are in exam period, making sure your OC, and Sgt know in advance.
You will need to spread out the weekends as certain skills are tested at certain times of the year and if so you get the bounty you will be flush while your mates are not, and without having to sell drugs.

Between studies and AR you will also not have a lot of time for the fairer sex, and if you get a girlfriend then one of the three will have to go by the board. It's a bit different at Uni, though I also admit to spending too much time on Army and a certain gymnast to my studies detriment.

Think it through and then go for it, but you will certainly have a very full year ahead.
 

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