Career as a officer concerns

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Regular Officer Recruiting' started by KleenUpGuy, Dec 6, 2010.

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  1. After my first exercise with the army cadets I knew that the armed forces was the only real career path for me. With a few years of cadets now gone I am looking towards a commission in the infantry. The reason I went for this is my dream job and the role I feel myself most in is platoon commander, my only fear is I will not spend a lot of time doing this whilst in the army, from reading a lot of the “day in the life of” it seems most officers seem to spend most of their time training soldiers and doing paperwork.
    I will ideally be joining the Parachute regiment and will be starting college next year whilst applying for the army bursary fund.
    I do not mean to sound arrogant with this post, any of this is purely down to lack of knowledge which I seek to rectify by posting this.
  2. KleenUpGuy, from what I've seen of platoon (and troop) commanders, training soldiers and doing paperwork is exactly what their role is when not deployed. What else do you think is involved? I'm just curious as to your thoughts.

  3. I wasn't sure what else was involved hence my post. Sorry if this wasn't clear. I suppose my military aspirations are not in paperwork, but for my military aspirations to be available I fear a war may be needed, and nobody can wish this upon the world. I simply wish to know what the day to day routine of an officer is and what course/regiment I need to join/take to get the maximum amount of part I love, leading soldiers on the ground. I obviously do not expect my whole career doing this and realize at some point my career will amount to making decisions behind a desk but I do not wish this fate upon the early years of my career.
  4. Doesn't sound arrogant, sounds confused. How do you know it is your dream job if you don't know what the job entails?

    Why not get the ball rolling, and speak to an Army Careers Advisor? It can't hurt.
  5. I think whatever you go into in the army, you'll spend a lot of time not doing the bits you like the most. You'll have to deal with the day to day problems of the soldiers, administration, etc. Sure, if you're deployed you'll get to the stuff you want, but that's not all it's about.

    I don't actually have any experience of this myself though, I'm just an UOTC officer cadet. The above is just what I've gathered by talking to others, and actual officers. We had a talk about what's expected of an officer, and there's more to it than meets the eye. I hadn't realised beforehand that sometimes if one of your soldiers breaks the law or something you might be called to represent them and be a character witness for example.
  6. My best advice, a la Switchback, would be to talk to someone in the know, namely an army careers advisor, or some infantry officers you know. You'll need to be speaking to an ACA anyway about your intentions to go for the bursary (undergrad or 6th form?) and they should be able to get you onto some fam visits too, which will help with your questions.

    If you can, get yourself on some kind of attachment. I did a 3 week attachment when I was in UOTC and that gave me a good idea about what officers do both in barracks and in the field (and on the lash, naturally). I hate to say that you may have to revise your ideas about spending time behind a desk but fingers crossed it'll still be totally worthwhile. When I was in the ACF I was in the same position of not wanting to go near a desk with a ten foot barge pole but I'm not so bothered by the potential for deskwork now.

    Good luck
  7. Thanks for the advice. I have already done the soldier look at life course and achieved very good results, over the next year I plan to do both the officer look at life an the insight into the parachute regiment course. I tried to get a talk with the AFCO but they told me that they don't talk to persons under a certain age. I am currently in my last year of school and starting college next year.
  8. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    You need to speak to your local ACA(O) who you can contact through your school careers office or directly via the Army website Army Officer Recruiting Start page. Way back in the day I started this process at age 15 and more recently my son started at age 14. In my experience, AFCOs are much more focused on soldier recruiting and can come out with some utter bollocks on the officer recruiting front.
  9. KleenUpGuy - trust me, as much as you might want your life to be a version of MW2, you cannot be constantly deployed on operations. The reality is you do the op, come home, train your soldiers (not literally you in all cases, but you're involved), both for trades and promotion (they are linked). You too will need personal development - promotion is not free in the cornflakes one morning after time served.

    You will be the soldiers' manager, leader, advisor (finance, relationships, legal and more) and trainer. You will have a brilliant team of NCOs to help you and to help carry out the decisions you make - you are but a cog in the machine. You then will build up towards the next op deployment and train for that specifically before again living the dream as MW2 on the ground. But even deployed, your responsibility as leader and man manager does not stop. And yes, paperwork is a big part of being an officer.

    How your career progresses and how much time you spend doing the in camp/admin/boring stuff, will depend on where you go, how well you do and what you want to deliver.
  10. but for my military aspirations to be available I fear a war may be needed, and nobody can wish this upon the world.

    Is this some sort of joke? You are still at school, yet already 'dream' of being some sort of lean, mean killing machine Officer? FFS fella, I would suggest going off to College, getting laid and making sure you get good enough grades before thinking about volunteering for every war we might or might not get involved in over the next few years.

    Django is right, you will be nothing more than a cog in the machine, with lots of experienced NCO's, SNCO's and others to assist you, do not think that you will be some sort of super hero Captain Flashheart, giving it large with the GPMG saving the lives of your men.
  11. I did not meen it to sound as a joke or even some wanna be MW2 guy, netehr do i wanna be some stoney eyed cold blooded killer. I just dont want to sign up to be a officer in the army then find out most of the time i spend pushing papers and signing things. I did not meen to offend, soudn dreamy or anything along those lines i just wanted to know honestly what a job as a officer includes other than the whole Be The Best lead men in combat stealy eyed assassin of the night. I understand now that it seems most of the time will be spent training men and advancing their careers, thankyou.
  12. I heard it described as team captain and team coach rolled into one. You'll still get exercises and so on to sharpen your military skills, and it's unlikely to go through a whole career without an operational deployment, but most of your job is making sure that they're able to perform as British soldiers should when they do deploy.

    A thought - yes, a lot of your job will be paperwork. But can you think of a job which has less paperwork and anything close to the other benefits? I certainly can't.
  13. It's kind of selfish of you really. If you have the capacity to be a MW2 soldier, use it. I personally would if I could respawn.
  14. The first thing my new Adjutant said to me after commissioning was "Remember, it's not all about you any more". There are those in my cap badge who love getting their warry thing on and neglect the paperwork: They aren't good officers, because the blokes end up suffering. You will have to spend a lot of time working with the unholy trinity of Word, Excel and Outlook. On the other hand, and certainly in the Infantry, there will be opportunities for you to get out on exercise and ops and do what you joined up to do.

    It's a long way away yet, but if you want to join the Reg you need to do well (or at least, be seen to do well) at Sandhurst.
  15. If I were you, I would enlist into the Para's; once you have done the things you want to do with very little responsibility and zero paper work, you can then begin the process to go on to RMAS.