Beyond being a platoon commander

#1
I'm trying to get a better sense of an army officer's career. I hope to be one someday and I was pretty much sold on the idea of being a platoon commander gallantly leading his grizzled band of warriors into battle. However, I appreciate that relatively little time is actually spent in that role before officers move on. As the next level of unit up is a company/squadron and commanded by a major I'm a little ignorant as to where the senior lieutenants, captains or even the non OC majors end up.

I've heard roles like Ops, Int and Adjutant bandied about but I'm not entirely sure what they do specifically, what else is out there or how exactly they fit into an officer's career. So any information then on an officer's life after their platoon/troop commanding stint would be appreciated as would perspectives on what jobs are exciting, dull, sought after, unrewarding, etc. I ask as a curious infantry/RAC aspirant but feel free to chuck in responses from other arms as I'm open to suggestions.
 
#2
No body else knows either.
 
#3
Good question MadeUpName. I have the same query, and when I asked I was told that it depends on your status as a graduate or non-grad. Within 2-3 years, i.e. after your first appointment, graduates are promoted to Captain, so administrative/planning roles are to be expected until promotion (if one gets that far) to Major, a rank at which another command appointment may be gained. If you are a non-grad you may be given another appointment as a Platoon Commander, perhaps training recruits.

I'm a mere wannabe so open to correction on this.
 
#4
Are Captain's generally not 2iC's of companys? As well as Adjutants?

What Lieutenant's actually do after promotion from 2Lt puzzles me however.
 
#6
harareboy99 said:
Are Captain's generally not 2iC's of companys? As well as Adjutants?

What Lieutenant's actually do after promotion from 2Lt puzzles me however.
Give Adjt's heart attacks...
 
#7
MadeUpName said:
I'm trying to get a better sense of an army officer's career. I hope to be one someday and I was pretty much sold on the idea of being a platoon commander gallantly leading his grizzled band of warriors into battle. However, I appreciate that relatively little time is actually spent in that role before officers move on. As the next level of unit up is a company/squadron and commanded by a major I'm a little ignorant as to where the senior lieutenants, captains or even the non OC majors end up.

I've heard roles like Ops, Int and Adjutant bandied about but I'm not entirely sure what they do specifically, what else is out there or how exactly they fit into an officer's career. So any information then on an officer's life after their platoon/troop commanding stint would be appreciated as would perspectives on what jobs are exciting, dull, sought after, unrewarding, etc. I ask as a curious infantry/RAC aspirant but feel free to chuck in responses from other arms as I'm open to suggestions.
Im not a Commisioned Officer but i am a serving SNCO so i will give you my view. 2 Years as a Platoon Commander, then normally Company 2i/c, After this you will tend to find this is where you will branch out. The cream of the crop (in my battalion anyway) will normally become OC Recce Platoon for 2 years then Adjutant. If you get a re-show as Coy 2i/c i dont think you have done to well.

Other jobs for Capt's are Signals Officer, OC Mortars, OC Anti-Tanks, Int Officer etc
 
#9
Canader said:
harareboy99 said:
Are Captain's generally not 2iC's of companys? As well as Adjutants?

What Lieutenant's actually do after promotion from 2Lt puzzles me however.
Give Adjt's heart attacks...
And get punched by them.
Extras anybody?
 
#10
BBear said:
Ah but the real question is quite what does a coy 2ic actually do...?!
Put up hessian in places it's not wanted if yours is anything to go by BBear...

Edited to add: Actually I think that was the Regtl 2ic ...mong features on my part there..
 
#11
To my naive civilian mind I thought a Coy 2i/c would be only marginally less senior and inexperienced than the Coy OC, i.e. the ablest and most experienced Captain. That way if a sunray down scenario occurs they would be best choice to takeover the reigns and you wouldn't have a relatively junior captain ordering senior captains around. I also (presumably wrongly) thought that the step up from commanding a platoon to being Coy 2i/c would have be greater than the step up from a rifle platoon to commanding a specialist platoon.
 
#12
Company 2IC's generally spend vast amounts of time filling in paperwork, staring at radios at two o'clock in the morning, and wondering why the hell they joined the army.

The ones who can survive this process are gazetted Major, and given a company to play with.
 

BBear

LE
Kit Reviewer
#13
theprior not a scooby about what you're on about! Punching clouds...

We all know the secret to success in the army, look busy and carry a clipboard!
 
#14
MadeUpName said:
That way if a sunray down scenario occurs they would be best choice to takeover the reigns and you wouldn't have a relatively junior captain ordering senior captains around.
No when it all goes into the air conditioning and the OC cops it, the bloke who best understands the plan gets to finish the game - i.e. the FOO!
 
#15
Cuddles said:
MadeUpName said:
That way if a sunray down scenario occurs they would be best choice to takeover the reigns and you wouldn't have a relatively junior captain ordering senior captains around.
No when it all goes into the air conditioning and the OC cops it, the bloke who best understands the plan gets to finish the game - i.e. the FOO!
That is until the 2IC of the armoured sqn gets to the FOO, conducts a handover, and then the man with the armoured experience and sense of direction takes over...
 
#16
"Office"r. The clue is in the name. Once you've finished your stint as a Tp/Pl Comd, and maybe done a second tour Tp/Pl Comd you go to an office somewhere and stay there until you command a Sqn/Coy. And even then you spend your life in the office.

The army don't hire literate and numerate graduates to throw grenades and shoot people. They hire you for your brain, which is best employed through poking keys on a keyboard doing battle with the tide of nugatory staff work, writing reports, filling in returns, organising things which then get cancelled, reinventing the wheel, HR, saving money, toadying and doing all the other things that good public-sector managers do.

Stay for the fun and then leave. Otherwise you'll just sit there counting down the years until your pension point and pretending that you are a soldier just because you wear green to work and wear boots instead of shoes.
 
#17
A 2Lt is 'on probation' - when he finally realises what a map is for (after two years, or one if he is a grad) he gets a second pip, looses the '2', and carries on doing the same stuff but not on probation. If he finds out how to use the map he is then promoted to Captain when he can play with specalised platoons (recce, signals, mortars, anti-tank etc, etc) he can even eventually become the Coy 2i/c where he gets a bit of a rest from things like work.

If he is a super bloke (can use the map without getting lost) and does a fancy course he may get to be Adjt and read the newspapers (this is harder than reading a map).

After that he gets a Crown and can boss the Lts and Capts around (except of course for the Adjt, who is a special Capt)


edited to say that AFAIK the signals bit no longer applies, I think
 
#18
omegahunter said:
Company 2IC's generally spend vast amounts of time filling in paperwork, staring at radios at two o'clock in the morning, and wondering why the hell they joined the army.

The ones who can survive this process are gazetted Major, and given a company to play with.
This is the stage where you look at the Appointment pages!! The Platoon Commanders phase is one of the best appointment you get (I did 6 years over three appointment The Battalion, Demo Bn and The depot) all as a 2Lt and Lt, thankfully dodging the Mech Bn 2IC appointment. The Company 2IC is very admin but a good training ground for thrusters looking for Staff Appointments, however should an operational tour get hairy you could become an OC quickly.
 
#19
asr1 said:
Stay for the fun and then leave. Otherwise you'll just sit there counting down the years until your pension point and pretending that you are a soldier just because you wear green to work and wear boots instead of shoes.
Are... are.. are you my conscience? Sounds way to much like my (spectacular but temporary) career.
 
#20
Platoon Commander - Best job in the world! Try and keep it as long as you can. Some cap badges don't get long in post. If you join the Booties you may not even get a platoon of your own to command - at least that was the score 'in my day'! Tankies and Gunners aren't trusted as Subalterns with anything so important, as for the rest of the Army - who knows, indeed, who cares?

I had a Rifle Platoon, (two actually - having been moved across to rescue one, it having had a Grad in charge of it for a year or so), a Recruit Platoon, a Recce Platoon and a Machine Gun Platoon (Corps of Drums when Adjutant). Pure joy. Real soldiering and more to the point, real officering! Wonderful.

Get the Platoon bit right and you'll have real comrades and friends for ever.
 

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