Career Advice?

Hello all!

Basically im in my 1st year of college, ever since i was about 6 or 7 I have been set on a army career and in the last couple of years I have been keen to join the Gunners. When I saw my recruiter he strongly advised going to University before attending Sandhurst. However this is something that I really dont want to do, I just want to get stuck in! I was wondering if anyone had any advice about attending Sandhurst at 18 without going to Uni?

Thanks in advance!

Look in the officers' forum, I'm pretty sure that this has been covered a multitude of times.

If I were you though I'd go to university first. Perhaps you could join the TA as a potential officer while you're studying.

Best of luck.
Im no expert, but i think it will aid your career and chance to join as an orciffer if you have a degree under your belt.
I remember an officer who went to sandhurst as a l/cpl, joind my unit as a troop commander whi iirc had to do a degree before he was promoted to captain.

course i could be wrong.
Although I am not in the army yet my recruiter told me that although you will still get into Sandhurst (if you pass AOSB) without a degree you will often stay as a junior officer for longer. He said often you will also fail the AOSB and they will tell you to go to uni to get some life expirence.
Hi Mad,

You say you are at College... is there an Uni OTC near you? if so get into it now.

If not get yourself down to your local TA centre and have a chat, do not be behind the doors, if necessary insist that that you have an interview with the Coy Comd (but just to be PC ask your CSM to arrange the interview).

At the end of the day in your early years a uni degree will do you no end of good (extra cash, one year's seniority etc) but if you are set to be a high flyer then it dosen't really matter in the long term.

Go and get advice

I personally did 7 years in the ranks, eventually attaining the elevated position of L/Cpl before being commissioned, but the down side was that I was commissioned late & so I was pre ordained to be retired not at an early age, but at the max rank that I could hopefully attain before I became too old to be a rambo (I was an infanteer).

Notwithstanding anything above I do regard my time in the ranks with a lot of pride, and latterly my soldiers respected me for having been a 'soldier'

I doubt if you could do what I have done in these modern days but my advice is GO AND GET ADVICE.

Wish you luck with your fire missions

cheers & quis separabit
Thanks for the advice guys! I think it would be best to speak to someone who went through RMAS at 18. Unfortently there is no OTC near by but there are 3 TA centres close by, it might be worth me popping in when I turn 17 (not too far away!)

Thanks again lads, keep the advice coming please!


Just a quick note! I have emailed my local TA unit about joining at 17, hopefully they can determine what will be best for me!
ARMY_MAD, there are many threads on ARRSE extolling the virtues or otherwise of going to Sandhurst as a non-grad.

I can see your point about "getting stuck in" and not wanting to go through 3 years of Uni first, but as I have said on other threads, in my experience non-grads will:

1. Wish they had gone to uni, as they do the same job as their mates, but get paid less;

2. Wish they had gone to uni as they missed that experience;

3. Have a chip on their shoulder for having to struggle through Sandhurst and as a Subbie on less money (see point 1).

Also think of the other benefits - if you are bright enough to go to Uni, then a degree is no bad thing. not only will you further your education, but will gain extra "life" experience and maturity.

I personally don't see the problem with going to Sandhurst at 18, but you will be in the minority, you will be paid less, you wont have as much to fall back on if it goes wrong (pessimistic) or just if you do 3 years and then get out (although you could then go and be a Mature Student).

My advice - think about Uni. If there really isn't anything that flicks your switch as a degree, then go for Sandhurst at 18, but the Army Careers office should be able to give more advice - you will have to see them to get your RCB (now called AOSB - commissions board) slot anyway. they may say GO FOR IT at 18, or may advise doing uni to broaden your horizons etc.
just go to uni, its only 3 years, its pretty easy, the beers cheap, there's no responsibility and you'll probably have more sex than any other time in your life.
Go to university, get the best possible degree you can. Avoid the OTC and Join the TA as a gunner - or indeed anything else - for some practical experience , a taste of army life and to avoid the company of wanky students as much as possible.
Use the time to work on your fitness and develop as much life experience and understanding of the civilian and military worlds as is possible within the confines of a university.

Then apply for Sandhurst as a graduate.

If you leave the army after five years you won't have to resort to selling insurance for a living as nobody in the job market will give a toss about your military experience. They will just see you as an A level educated man with no practical experience in any relevant field.

If you stay in the army your career will progress faster as a graduate and you will have a broader outlook than those who rocked up to Sandhurst straight from School.

Having said all that; the best Pl commanders I served under were the young rogues who had joined at eighteen. They were a lot less arrogant and aloof and weren't afraid to get their hands dirty. The graduate officers seemed to think they hailed from a superior species to the other ranks (sweeping generalisation I know...) but it's how I remember it.
OTC is alright - not mixing with "wanky students" might be hard as you will be one and live with them and have to see them every day at uni...the bonus of OTC is that it is geared around Uni timetables and understands the commitment to Uni - TA may not.

I would have thought that leaving the Army after 5 years as an officer gives you at least 5 years of Management experience, if nothing else (I hope so - my degree isn't too relevant any more!). CVs can be altered to reflect the civilian equivalence of military learning.

As for the 18 year olds being more down to earth/less up there own ARRSEs, well maybe they were just more indoctrinated - its a shame if the graduate officers in your Battalion were arrogant and aloof.
Thanks again for the advice lads, im contemplating joining the TA until im 19, yes Uni doesnt do it for me but I think a year of life experience wouldnt hurt! I heard something of a 'In Service Degree' that is also a possibility.

I emailed the local TA unit yesterday so im waiting for a reply to see what they think is best!

Thanks again guys, keep it coming


p.s If anyone can PM me about infomation on my local units, there are 2 PWRR units one at Farnham and one at Camberly and a RE one I belive somewhere as well!

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