Changes to Officer Career Structure Announced

#1
ABN 46/11: THE FUTURE OFFICER STRUCTURE

1. The Implementation of the Future Officer Structure from Jul 11.

TARGET AUDIENCE

2. All Direct Entry (DE) Regular Army officers, Officer Cadets currently at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) and those considering applying for a Direct Entry Regular Commission, particularly those who are currently members of University Officer Training Corps (UOTCs).

KEY POINTS

• The following changes to the officer structure will be implemented:

o The length of validity of an Army Officer Selection Board pass will be reduced from 7 years to 5 years.

o The maximum age of entry to RMAS will be reduced to 26 years for all DE officers, but remain at 29 years for soldier entry[1], AGC(SPS), AGC(ETS), AGC(RMP), RAMC(MSO) and INT CORPS officers.

o Antedated seniority for graduates [2] will be removed, thereby reducing the inflow requirement by 10%.

o The length of reckonable service required for promotion to captain will reduce to 3 years[3].

o Mark-time seniority will be implemented for officers completing full time in-service degrees[4].

o A ‘board and offer’ policy will be adopted for SSC to IRC and IRC to Reg C conversions.

o All SSC commissions will be 8 years with an ‘opt out’ option for the Army and the individual at the minimum 3 year engagement point.

o The average first look promotion to major will be reduced from 35% to 10%.

o The full career for those commissioned from 2012 [5] will increase from 34 years to 35 years.

BACKGROUND

3. The current demand of the officer structure is unlikely to be met on an enduring basis by the output from RMAS. The aim of the Future Officer Structure is to guarantee the supply of Regular officers to match future liability demands, and make more efficient use of the Army’s officer career structure. The new structure will deliver the following benefits:

a. Lower the age at RMAS, which will assist the Army in positioning itself as a profession of first choice.

b. Reduced the output required from RMAS.

c. Removing the distinction between graduate and non-graduate officers. This will assist in resolving the pay disparity highlighted by the AFPRB.

d. Deliver more time in Career Stage 1 to alleviate some of the pressure on junior officer T&E and ensure that junior captains are more experienced on assumption of their appointments.

e. Facilitate an early indication of the Army’s talent by reducing the first look quotas for promotion to major.

4. The changes will have the effect of:

a. Matching the changing demands the Army faces now and in the future.

b. Considering the impact of demographics and Higher Education trends.

c. Altering the officer structure to match forecasted inflow.

TRANSITIONAL ARRANGEMENTS

5. Transitional arrangements are detailed in the Implementation Plan which is available in DIN 2011DIN01-165: The Future Officer Structure.

POINT OF CONTACT

6. Point of Contact. Requests for further information should be made to SO2 Offr Pol, Directorate of Manning (Army) on Mil: 94393 6165 or email: LF-Manning(A)-Policy-SO2(2).


Footnotes:

1] This is required as the process for identifying and then commissioning talent from the ranks can take time.

[2] The pay disparity was highlighted by the AFPRB during the 2009/10 pay round. Initially, DM(A) will alter promotion policy to achieve the effect of removing antedated seniority for promotion purposes for graduates whilst retaining the graduate pay level of OF1 – IL7 for Army graduates on completion of RMAS. The current PS10(A) sponsored paper for AFPRB 2012 pay round seeks to address the long term issue of pay parity for non-graduates.

[3] The majority of officers (85%) are graduates and currently spend 2.5 years in the rank of subaltern. Therefore there will be an increase in service as a subaltern for the majority of the Army’s junior officers. For non-graduates this is a reduction of 2 years.


[4]This applies to undergraduate residential full-time degrees only. In line with current policy on career breaks, time spent on an in-service degree may be added back at the end of an officer’s career.
[5] Reducing the inflow requirement by up to a further 1%.
 
#2
o The maximum age of entry to RMAS will be reduced to 26 years for all DE officers, but remain at 29 years for soldier entry[1], AGC(SPS), AGC(ETS), AGC(RMP), RAMC(MSO) and INT CORPS officers.
When this has been talked about lately it's been said that those currently awaiting a place on AOSB, or passed briefing and awaiting main board are "in the system" and the change in upper age limit will not apply to those at such a stage...

Is this still the case?

Thanks,
Nick
 
#3
So an 18 yr old goes to RMAS and is a Captain by 22? Arrse.If I am also reading reading it correctly, then there will be no financial incentive for people to get a degree, thus 18 yr old with couple of A levels gets the same as an officer trying to join the RE who has a degree in engineering from Oxford? Arrse.So officers who go on an in-service degree will 'stand still' for 3 years... So why would any officer then bother with getting an MSc, etc in their field? Dumbing down the military and trying to generate the excuse in a couple of years of closing Shriv "well no military officers come on the courses so we are closing the place down." Arrse.None of the above will help attract higher quality candidates. More shit and social engineering from cnuts. Arrse.
 
#4
So an 18 yr old goes to RMAS and is a Captain by 22? Arrse.If I am also reading reading it correctly, then there will be no financial incentive for people to get a degree, thus 18 yr old with couple of A levels gets the same as an officer trying to join the RE who has a degree in engineering from Oxford? Arrse.So officers who go on an in-service degree will 'stand still' for 3 years... So why would any officer then bother with getting an MSc, etc in their field? Dumbing down the military and trying to generate the excuse in a couple of years of closing Shriv "well no military officers come on the courses so we are closing the place down." Arrse.None of the above will help attract higher quality candidates. More shit and social engineering from cnuts. Arrse.
Or a 21 year old with real life experience in a relevant field but no degree gets treated the same as some 21 year old with a buckshee degree in basket weaving from an ex-poly.

Personally I think the better option would have been to treat all parties the same but actually have a real selection for Captain - that way a good officer (regardless of being a graduate or not) would promote quicker (2.5 years) but a worse one could take 5 years. This would have also allowed someone doing an in service degree the opportunity to remain competitive.
 
#5
o The maximum age of entry to RMAS will be reduced to 26 years for all DE officers, but remain at 29 years for soldier entry[1], AGC(SPS), AGC(ETS), AGC(RMP), RAMC(MSO) and INT CORPS officers.

The new structure will deliver the following benefits:

a. Lower the age at RMAS, which will assist the Army in positioning itself as a profession of first choice.
Thanks for posting this barbs.

I find the decision to lower the age limit for entry to Sandhurst (yet again) strange, if not downright illogical. It was 25 back around 1998, then raised to 29 (when I passed RCB aged 28 years in late 2003), then lowered again about two years' ago, and now it's down to 26 (with the exceptions listed above).

The one question I ask is why? Assisting the Army in "positioning itself as a profession of first choice" to me sounds like evasive management-speak. And first choice as opposed to what? Isn't the limit 32/33 for soldier entry (as it is in the Royal Marines)? The now considerable difference for Sandhurst strikes me as odd.

If, as stated, the thinking behind this is to "assist the Army in positioning itself as a profession of first choice", that seems a curiously bloodless goal for an Army currently engaged in pretty intensive operations. It's the sort of talk one would expect to hear at a management conference. If this is the sort of mindset that will come to predominate in the next few years, I shudder to think what will happen after Afghanistan winds down.

There were a high proportion of candidates in the 'older' age bracket going through RCB when I was there - and yet although I and many of them passed, it now seems that in future countless numbers of 'old' 26+ year olds are effectively shut out of Sandhurst.

The only way this makes sense to me - and I suppose I could be dismissed as using this topic to air my own 'grievance' - is if the overriding intention is simply to reduce the number of Army officers.

As I have said before - the age limit policy stands in stark contrast to that of the US and Commonwealth armies.

Removing the distinction between graduate and non-graduate officers. This will assist in resolving the pay disparity highlighted by the AFPRB.
So this is the only reason being given for doing this? Again, weird.
 
#6
So an 18 yr old goes to RMAS and is a Captain by 22? Arrse.If I am also reading reading it correctly, then there will be no financial incentive for people to get a degree, thus 18 yr old with couple of A levels gets the same as an officer trying to join the RE who has a degree in engineering from Oxford? Arrse.So officers who go on an in-service degree will 'stand still' for 3 years... So why would any officer then bother with getting an MSc, etc in their field? Dumbing down the military and trying to generate the excuse in a couple of years of closing Shriv "well no military officers come on the courses so we are closing the place down." Arrse.None of the above will help attract higher quality candidates. More shit and social engineering from cnuts. Arrse.
I fully agree. How can these ill-thought out possibly incentivise graduates to join the Army. Unless DTUS is expanded masively, where will the technical Corps get their science and engineering graduates from? BTW, I am not a science and engineering graduate, but I am a graduate with a BA in History from Bristol University and an MPhil in International Relations from Cambirdge University. Over the years I have found my qualifications useful, sometmes direcly relevant and always commented upon favourably by 1 and 2 ROs (with one exception). This is just another ill-thought out savings measure and in due course could lead to a real disconnect between the Regular Army and TA, with the majority of TA DEs being graduates and the majority of Regular DEs either not being graduates or subsequently acquiring their education later on in their careers.
 
#7
It would be interesting to see the assumptions they used before removing seniority from graduate officers; whilst it isn't a major consideration for me (I've always intended to go to university), I'm sure that for some potential officers the reduced time to promote to captain and extra pay are rather more promenent on their minds whilst making not inconsiderable decisions about their respective futures. I feel that the Army could be potentially turning away very talented graduates.
 

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#8
Is this really going to sort the officer career path, or is it just rearranging the deck chairs?

I get the feeling that, while this will affect all future officers, it is it not going to improve the officer gene pool and thus improve the service that the army gets.

Like all changes there will be winners and losers - is the army one of the winners?
 
#9
I would presume that Army manning, just like RN manning, needs more time to grow Officers, and wishes to take the majority at 18/19. The extra 3 or 4 years in the RN's case means we can start reducing the average of promotion to Lt Cdr whilst maintaining the experience of those being promoted. At the moment, and under the rules there are 2 Cdr's in the RN young enough to become Full Admirals. That's a lot of eggs in one basket!
 
#10
It's simply the first in a long series of cost-saving measures masquerading as 'efficiency' measures. You ain't seen nothing yet. Wait till the New Employment Model hits the streets - the culmination of years of highly-frustrated, apparently-bright, young diversity-laden things, wildest dreams coming to fruition all at once. Going to be called the New Model Army apparently and here's a quote from the draft doctrine:

The New Model Army is a quasi-military force based on a person’s outlook rather than on their ability. If you are diverse enough, you will be an officer in it. The removal of this educational obstacle means that the New Model Army will be open to new and radical ideas and that social class and military aptitude will mean nothing. The preference will be for non-judgementalists, and many in the New Model Army will become socialists who know that the Human Rights Commission will be on their side. It will not be unusual for the 'men' in the New Model Army to sing 'We will overcome' just before going into battle for the Employment Tribunals.
 
#11
Is this really going to sort the officer career path, or is it just rearranging the deck chairs?

I get the feeling that, while this will affect all future officers, it is it not going to improve the officer gene pool and thus improve the service that the army gets.

Like all changes there will be winners and losers - is the army one of the winners?
Nope.

This smacks to me of tinkering about aimlessly, it is however nice to see that David Brent is still getting some consultancy work - positioning the Army as an employer of first choice - what a pile of steaming dung that is!

Glad to see that we are reducing the Officer requirement by 1% when we are reducing from c. 100,000 to c. 80,000. Proportionately more chiefs and fewer Indians is great news! (or perhaps not).
 
#12
Is this really going to sort the officer career path, or is it just rearranging the deck chairs?

I get the feeling that, while this will affect all future officers, it is it not going to improve the officer gene pool and thus improve the service that the army gets.

Like all changes there will be winners and losers - is the army one of the winners?
............................

As ever you see the second order question. The truth is that all will actually change very little but will almost certainly embitter the young men and women affected by it, who will feel segregated from their only slightly older colleagues.

It is as you say simply rearranging the deck chairs, but in a badly thought through, almost knee jerk and haphazard way. What is needed is proper analysis tempered with actual officer experience.

Anything less will only exacerbate a potentially critical situation.

I feel that we have been betrayed and I cannot understand how CGS and CDS have sanctioned this.
 
#13
I'm surprised at the negative reaction to this, overall its good news. To reply:

're-arranging the deck chairs' - certainly not; with university higher tuition fees and the introduction of the modular first degree for DE officers this is an astute move by the Army to set the conditions to get the quality from any generation.

loss of older entrants - the Army is dropping by nearly 20%. We need less so lets take younger officers who offer the possibility of giving more back.

graduate remuneration - those who want to prostitute themselves in the city will still do so. The reward package is still competitive compared to the opposition.

Let's finally shake off the cynicism and welcome a good initiative

WG
 
#14
I'm surprised at the negative reaction to this, overall its good news. To reply:

're-arranging the deck chairs' - certainly not; with university higher tuition fees and the introduction of the modular first degree for DE officers this is an astute move by the Army to set the conditions to get the quality from any generation.

loss of older entrants - the Army is dropping by nearly 20%. We need less so lets take younger officers who offer the possibility of giving more back.

graduate remuneration - those who want to prostitute themselves in the city will still do so. The reward package is still competitive compared to the opposition.

Let's finally shake off the cynicism and welcome a good initiative

WG
Hello PS(A).
 
#15
"The truth is that all will actually change very little but will almost certainly embitter the young men and women affected by it, who will feel segregated from their only slightly older colleagues. " Surely the other way around, given that the some bright young school-leavers will be cutting around with 3 pips 2 years before their life-experienced and grizzled Lt non-grad predecessors.
However. I too think it's a good thing, but am concerned that the army is financially incentivising the young to chin off university- a decision they might regret after a couple of years when they've got dependants etc.
After 3 briefs on it in 24 hours... it's clearly not a rumour in the strict sense of ARRSE!
 
#16
I'm surprised at the negative reaction to this, overall its good news. To reply:

're-arranging the deck chairs' - certainly not; with university higher tuition fees and the introduction of the modular first degree for DE officers this is an astute move by the Army to set the conditions to get the quality from any generation.

loss of older entrants - the Army is dropping by nearly 20%. We need less so lets take younger officers who offer the possibility of giving more back.

graduate remuneration - those who want to prostitute themselves in the city will still do so. The reward package is still competitive compared to the opposition.

Let's finally shake off the cynicism and welcome a good initiative

WG
Cynicism? Not from me: I smell bullshit on your part and it isn't me being a cynic, but me recognising this for the piece of crap that it is.

So the Army doesn't want graduates to join? How will this improve the Army? How will this prove cost effective (e.g. RE officers with a non-engineering degree do a much longer course)? Graduates, in case you didn't realise, have 3 or 4 years of debts to pay off. Non graduates are (normally) much younger and immature. By all means what counts as a 'degree' should have been examined and changed: my degree in underwater basket weaving was of no tangible benefit to the Army...

...and don't slag off those who will "prostitute themselves in the City": who the **** do you think will offer cnuts like you jobs when you get kicked out at your 8 and 16 year points? So how does the fact that the army is getting smaller mean you have to lower the age of Commissioning? What happens when there is another round of cuts: only people sitting their GCSEs will be allowed to apply? The Army should always be taking the very best who are able to do so. To say that a 29 year old is incapable of having a full career is specious bunkum. On one hand you have the government saying the Police etc must raise their retirement age and people are living longer and more active lives (e.g. headlines yesterday that there are babies being born today who will probably live 120 years). Please explain how reducing the pool the Army recruits from increases the quality of the officer joining? Oh hang on... you can't because it is total bolloxs.

There is no point having an argument with you, as such is your 'on message' mentality that no reasoned discourse is possible. From your single post, it is possible to to accurately discern what kind of person you are: that you are unable to tell the difference between progress and change. Yes, all progress is change, but not all change is progress.
 
#17
I can't get my head around this - graduates lose salary benefit over non-graduates? Or do they not? It seems to say they will be kept on the same pay spine post RMAS.

If the extra salary is being axed for graduates, be prepared for a drop in applications from engineers.
 
#18
Get that off your chest there Dread?

Here's the question re Engineers: we spend forever telling our potential Officers that they won't be engineers, that they will be, at best, engineer managers, but should join with the expectation that they will be employed out of area. So why the concern?

As to the age vs "full career" where do we define the right hand marker age-wise - it's after 37 years service (18 - 55), which for a 29 year old takes you to the putative national retirement age. Do we really want 65 year old Maj or Lt Cols cutting around? Or do we put the right hand marker at 55, denying anyone who joins at 29 the possibility of progressing past Lt Col, having been a Sqn/Coy OC well past 40?

I'm not being facetious, I'm interested in your answers. (I know this is Arrse, feel free to throw abuse my way for an attempt at reasoned argument!)
 
#19
As to the age vs "full career" where do we define the right hand marker age-wise - it's after 37 years service (18 - 55), which for a 29 year old takes you to the putative national retirement age. Do we really want 65 year old Maj or Lt Cols cutting around? Or do we put the right hand marker at 55, denying anyone who joins at 29 the possibility of progressing past Lt Col, having been a Sqn/Coy OC well past 40?

I'm not being facetious, I'm interested in your answers. (I know this is Arrse, feel free to throw abuse my way for an attempt at reasoned argument!)
Well surely lowering to 26 only means you'll have a 63 y.o. Lt Col rather than one at the statutory retirement age? Hardly a world of difference?
 
#20
Well, that's the wider question - where do you draw stumps on a blokes career. As I said previously, the RN's ideal age for entry is 18, it means you can fit all the Junior Officer stuff in before you get to 26/27.

It seems like they're trying to split the difference, but can you imagine the uproar if we only recruited school leavers?
 

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