Cavalry commision from the ranks

#2
I'm relatively current and I have never met an ex-ranker (DE) cavalry (as distinct from RAC) officer. I do believe that one joined the RTR, having served as a soldier in another RAC regiment, within living memory.

A bit more detail might help. Approximately how old are you? Which regiments were you thinking about (FR or Armd)? Why the cavalry (did you mean HCAV or the RAC)?

There is a wealth of quite well informed and some dreadful out of date or just plain uninformed discussion on the social requirements of potential cavalry/RAC officers on Arrse. I would summarise the key facts as follows: 1. No you do not need a personal income. 2. No you don't need to have been to a particular school. 3. As with all parts of the army, the RAC tends to attract similar personalities as potential officers; if you get on with these people, meet the quality required to compete for a place and like the role and the sort of soldiers you will end up leading, then are a suitable candidate.

Feel free to send me a PM if you want some off-line advice.
 
#3
Potential cavalry officers will visit their regiment choices for a couple of days, they'll be escorted around the regiment to get a feel for it. Or should I say, so they can get a feel for you. They'll pretty much decide if you are right for them or not.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#6
I personally knew an Int Corps Cpl who got a DE commission in the 5th Skins in the late 80s, so certainly not impossible. The way these things work nowadays, it's all up in the air until you're at Sandhurst anyway. If you do well there, you will have your pick of regiments; if not, you wind up as an MSO in the RAMC.
 
#7
I know the said KRH DE to the RTR, as mentioned by Brave Coward if you want his details. Indeed not only did we commission together we went too school together. He has now left and in the city. PM me if required.
 
#8
The social thing seem's to have slipped off behind the curtains a tad so that people don't notice it an...

(Snipped for brevity)

...on the way down to the Falklands.

So, no, you don't need money or connections but it helps. For the officers that are offended, I do have connections and money so its not sour grapes just recollections.
That is one of the most out dated I'll-informed posts I have ever read. How long have you been out? I suspect since at least the 1970s. Were you even in the RAC (or HCAV)?

Although I have replied to the original question separately, my advice to any potential officers who stumbles across this thread is to ignore this rubbish. In very brief summary: 1. You do not need a private income of any sort to join the cavalry. 2. You do not need to have been to a particular school, have a title, land, anything else people might suggest to join. 3. You do need to show potential/quality to compete for a place, you also need to get on with the other officers, normally meaning you will share a common outlook with already serving officers (NB this does not necessarily mean you need to be from an identical background).

Sometimes I really wonder whether posting replies to officer recruiting thread should be restricted to those still serving or at least those whose personal weapon was magazine fed and breach loaded!
 
#10
Whilst Brave Coward is completely right, and I know Cavalry officers who are the contrary to the stereotypical view, I still know many who are the stereotype.
You are right that there are stereotypical cavalry officers. I believe this is down to a combination of two things. Firstly the term "birds of a feather flock together", meaning that potential officers from the same sort of backgrounds as serving officers will naturally be attracted to those regiments. This is the same in any part of the army, potential officers will naturally be drawn to regiments or corps where they have most in common with the officers already serving. Secondly, young newly commissioned officers tend to try to emulate the image they feel they ought to project. Again this is the same whether you are a young cavalry officer trying to fulfil the cavalry image, a young RA/RHA officer or a young PARA officer, each to some extent will try to be what he feels he should be and to shake off the perceived generic-ness that they feel they have picked up at Sandhurst.

The result is that as the officer's confidence in himself builds, he feels more able to be himself and less wedded to the idea that he must fulfil the stereotype associated with his regiment or corps.

In my experience the best young officers are those who, while not rebelling against regimental custom and accepted standards are comfortable to be themselves and concentrate on being professional. I admit it took me a few years to understand this myself.

For some the tendency to be "more cav than the cav" will always be too strong but normally these characters don't last in the regular army and are most commonly residing in the Wessex Yeomanry (apologies, but true!)
 
B

bokkatankie

Guest
#11
I did it but way back in the 80's, Cav Tpr to RTR Off. left with OfC and into TA, ended my days OC yeomanry sqn (but not Wessex!!!) so probably I am not up to date or do not have a large enough chin to give an opinion.

But here goes, change of route from RA to Cav/RTR should not be too much of a problem, I was sponsored to RMAS by my Cav Regt., rule was do not come back, no problem with this either, shortlisted RTR, RA and believe it or not LI, but RTR was original and best choice and had a great time. Interesting but irrelevant point is that we had 3 from my regt., at Sandhurst that year, 2 went to RTR one went to the RE (postal service).

Sorry should also add that in my plt at RMAS we had an LI who had done nationality, went back to LI and an RE Cpl who went back to Armoured Eng in BAOR.

All of the above I think were what is now called DE Commission.

I now enjoy the OCA of my old regt., RTR and Yeomanry and am very proud to have been involved with all of them.
 
#12
As a point to note from my intake that I can remember:

Cpl RMP to RE
Cpl Int Corps to RE
Cpl RSigs to RSigs
Cpl REME to RE
LCpl KRH to RTR

All bar KRH now Majors.
 
#14
To quote an Adjt of a Cavalry regiment that will not be named during a Potential officer visit this year while seated at lunch the next day.

Cavalry 2Lt to Adjt - 'what is the opinion on the PO's from yesterday?'

Adjt - 'one of them was ok but the other three were nothing but trailer trash....'

Nice.

I don't know if that's representative of all cav regiments but as far as I'm concerned attitudes like that are every reason to NEVER join the cav.

(anyone want details of exactly which regt that was or how I know about it, feel free to PM me.)
 
B

bokkatankie

Guest
#15
As a point to note from my intake that I can remember:

Cpl RMP to RE
Cpl Int Corps to RE
Cpl RSigs to RSigs
Cpl REME to RE
LCpl KRH to RTR

All bar KRH now Majors.
what year was that, mine was 87, would like to think still working as good now as then
 
#16
You are right that there are stereotypical cavalry officers. I believe this is down to a combination of two things. Firstly the term "birds of a feather flock together", meaning that potential officers from the same sort of backgrounds as serving officers will naturally be attracted to those regiments. This is the same in any part of the army, potential officers will naturally be drawn to regiments or corps where they have most in common with the officers already serving. Secondly, young newly commissioned officers tend to try to emulate the image they feel they ought to project. Again this is the same whether you are a young cavalry officer trying to fulfil the cavalry image, a young RA/RHA officer or a young PARA officer, each to some extent will try to be what he feels he should be and to shake off the perceived generic-ness that they feel they have picked up at Sandhurst.

The result is that as the officer's confidence in himself builds, he feels more able to be himself and less wedded to the idea that he must fulfil the stereotype associated with his regiment or corps.

In my experience the best young officers are those who, while not rebelling against regimental custom and accepted standards are comfortable to be themselves and concentrate on being professional. I admit it took me a few years to understand this myself.

For some the tendency to be "more cav than the cav" will always be too strong but normally these characters don't last in the regular army and are most commonly residing in the Wessex Yeomanry (apologies, but true!)
I'm not a soldier, so my knowledge is admittedly limited, but there undoubtedly remains a public perception that some regiments in the British Army (at officer rank) are effectively closed shops to certain sectors of society. It would be interesting to establish, for instance, the number of state sector educated officers across the whole of the army and then compare that to the percentage of state educated officers in the Household Cavalry. If, as I suspect, there is a significant difference, is that acceptable in a professional army in the 21st century?
 
#17
It is true that brids of a feather flock together. I was H Cav, a couple of Troop leaders from Harrow, Eton, etc. We once saw the officer NOK sheet on the guard room and that was for some very interesting reading, over half had fathers who were Maj or Lt Col (Retd), a couple of Lords, a RT Hon.
There were some that did like a good fight, but they still had a plum in their mouths!
As much as I believe it is possible to join the Cav as an officer from a middle class state school background, I wouldn't really say it's the best thing to do. We had one 2ic who in Bosnia we nicked named "The Lord flasheart, because it really was him, I believe he left the army to be a Thespian, another officer's father owned a large scale brewery, Says it all really.
 
#18
it is true that brids of a feather flock together. I was h cav, a couple of troop leaders from harrow, eton, etc. We once saw the officer nok sheet on the guard room and that was for some very interesting reading, over half had fathers who were maj or lt col (retd), a couple of lords, a rt hon.
There were some that did like a good fight, but they still had a plum in their mouths!
As much as i believe it is possible to join the cav as an officer from a middle class state school background, i wouldn't really say it's the best thing to do. We had one 2ic who in bosnia we nicked named "the lord flasheart, because it really was him, i believe he left the army to be a thespian, another officer's father owned a large scale brewery, says it all really.
dadt? ;-)
 
#20
I'm not a soldier, so my knowledge is admittedly limited, but there undoubtedly remains a public perception that some regiments in the British Army (at officer rank) are effectively closed shops to certain sectors of society. It would be interesting to establish, for instance, the number of state sector educated officers across the whole of the army and then compare that to the percentage of state educated officers in the Household Cavalry. If, as I suspect, there is a significant difference, is that acceptable in a professional army in the 21st century?
I think you rather miss the point. What does it matter that one regiment might have a greater proportion of public school educated officers while another might have a greater proportion of state school educated officers? What is important is the effectiveness of each group of officers and the individual officers themselves not which school they went to (an effective officers' mess is normally a happy one where officers are most comfortable in one another's company). The army is not like a university or civilian firm where you can socially engineer it by imposing quotas to ensure that you have perfect balances of age, sex, race and educational background; start doing this and you will seriously unhinge operational effectiveness. Also you can't force someone to join a regiment if there is another he would feel happier in (assuming he meets the professional quality criteria to join either). Finally there is the quality aspect. You should not discriminate against one high calibre candidate in favour of a less capable candidate because the type of education that the first received is over represented in that particular regiment.

In short, social engineering not required or wanted; thank you.
 
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