complicated story

#1
i will try and keep this short.
i'm 25, was born and raised in switzerland, still live in switzerland too.

i applied for the army the first time dec. 2008, with RE in mind. ACIO couldn't equate my grades and quals with UK ones, so despite a high BARB score they only gave me Driver/C3S/Infantry as choices. not until i reminded them that i'm a fully qualified draughtsman, did they put me in a grey spot. so i can go DD.
got a medical deferral in march 09. got the medical okay in nov 09, after i called them up they found somebody had 'archived' my file to be forgotten...
i had only called in out of interest, to put the army idea to bed, i was hoping for a big fat NO. instead it was a "come in for an interview".... so i froze my application because i was just offered a job, only just moved in with my gf and everything.

2010 i've still got the army idea nagging at me. office job depresses me. then i got fecked over by them to make matters worse. so i re-started my application. did the tests again, high levels of literacy/numeracy etc etc

now we're coming to the actual reason i'm posting.
i would really like to get a commission now after thinking more about it. i had previously written it off, because of bureaurocratic reasons. i don't want to be a victim of bureaucracy though. i've already been in contact with my recruiter, apparently it's a no. because of my quals...

i definitely have the confident, responsible and leadertype personality. i have a swiss federal commercial diploma as a draughtsman. i speak a foreign language fluently. i have 7 years experience working for civil engineering companies, aswell as manual labour in construction and has an assistant in exploration drilling in the australian outback. i'm worth 40000£ on the civi market. is there no way to even get a chance to at least prove myself?

any help would be welcome.
:(
 
#2
Well there is a simple answer - take some UK "A" levels. Once passed, re-apply.
 

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
If you were born in Switzerland, how do you meet the Nationality and Residency requirements?
 
#4
they only gave me Driver.

Wodger mean ONLY gave me driver, feckin cheek.
 
#5
If you were born in Switzerland, how do you meet the Nationality and Residency requirements?
just the one british passport. parents moved to cheesyland 2 years before i was born. my 3 brothers were all born in the UK and all my extended family lives in the UK.
 
#6
If Nationality is not an issue then I don't see why the ACIO is getting hung up on your qualifications Proper_Gander. I didn't have a single UK educational (or otherwise) qualification, and the matter was never raised during my own application process; that I had the equivalent educational qualifications for my country - RoI - was all that mattered.
 
#7
Not sure how being born and raised in switzerland qualifies youu as British, but I guess there are ways of that happening.

You have applied to the system and they have equated your qualifications to the UK equivalents and calculated where you can go.

If you don't have the equivalent of 3 A levels, then you can't go as officer Direct Entry. That you're a bright, well educated (but perhaps not technically qualified on paper) and enthusiastic individual with an earnings potential above that of a Private Soldier's will not change the fact that you don't have the qualifications to apply for a commission.

HOWEVER (and this is hard and not common and not something you can initially push):

You may well join as a Private soldier in one of those trades offered to you and be noticed by your training staff and Troop Staff at your first Regiment as having leadership potential or the potential to commission from the ranks.

The reason you can't push it, is without qualifications, your Commanding Officer will need to recommend you and essential waive that part of the requirement if he believes you have the wherewithall to make it as an Officer. It is REALLY REALLY unusual for this to happen before you hit your first regiment, as your Directing Staff in Phase 1 and 2 training wont see enough for long enough (I suspect) to be able to sign that form. Your CO at your first unit will be able to see you and after a year or so make a decision - this may be swayed by reports that your Training Directing Staff will make on you. They may flag that you have the potential and should be observed more closely. If you rock up at Phase 1 training and tell everyone it's beneath you and you could be earning £40k in civvi street, so offer you a commission from the ranks, I reckon you'll put noses out of joint and they may just recommmend you leave to earn the higher wage outside.

A bit of a ramble, but I hope I get my point across - summary - you can join, keep you nose clean and hopefully your talents will shine through and a recommendation may be made (but may not - do you want to "only" be a driver - and I got your intonation, not that it's beneath you, but that they only offered you a couple of trades), you could join and not be bothered about gaining that recommnendation, as you're keen to be green, no matter what. OR you stay as a draughtsman and earn more than a private, in fact on £40k you'd be earning more than a lot of officers...
 
#8
thanks for that Django Strikes.

i broke my own "shut up until you've calmed down" rule. i had only just got the news and was frustrated.
i was so frustrated because after reading the job description i realised that i fit it perfectly. it's the job for me. but i can't do it. i had already written off the possibility in the past, and settled for going DD with the possibility of CoW after a few years of green stuff/fun.
but reading about commissions again made my mouth water, it would open completely different doors, y'know?

but i 'spose i'll just have to excel myself through the ranks. i've always been a bright bloke, but also always an underachiever with more potential, now i have the price to pay. so i'll have to work harder now.

btw, i didn't mean 'only driver', driver and C3S were just examples of the very few choices i had, because theoretically i had "no qualifications". so i essentially had the same choices as an 18 year old who left school early, which is a bit frustrating as a mature 25 year old who has a great variety of life experience, a good education, and has had the fortune to travel half the world.

If you rock up at Phase 1 training and tell everyone it's beneath you and you could be earning £40k in civvi street, so offer you a commission from the ranks
i knew mentioning my income could backfire. i'm surprised it took so long. :p
i don't want to join the army to make money, i want to change my lifestyle. i only mentioned it to show that i'm worth a bit more money on civvy street than somebody without education.

no work should be beneath anyone, you should always take pride in what you do. i know i did when i was working as a labourer, landscaper or in removals (furniture, not people).

Not sure how being born and raised in switzerland qualifies youu as British, but I guess there are ways of that happening.
simples, being born in switzerland to foreign parents doesn't grant you automatic citizenship. i don't want one anyway.
if i have a kid in switzerland it'll get a swiss passport automatically though.

besides, english is my first language, and it'd be a bit odd if i'm the only swiss person in my rather large family, don't you think?
 
#9
There's a bell ringing in my head about someone I once met coming through Sandhurst having never lived in the UK and always having been Swiss with a British passport (or rather, British, just living in Switzerland).

Of course many people choose to leave civvi jobs and earn less in the military. My words of caution for you would be the possible sense of frustration, that I could see emerging on two fronts:

- You were worth twice what you get (maybe nearly three times) as a private soldier in civvi street.
- You seem to be a bright bloke with aspirations - will starting at the bottom be a frustration?

You may not miss the extra income, it may not be important and you may not mind being (comparitively) treated like a brainless squaddie (and no, I'm not suggesting squaddies are brainless, just that if you feel underappreciated you may resent being bottom of the pack), but you may feel it is humiliating and frustrating.

Is there any way you can achieve the quals required to attempt officer entry? How long would that take?
 
#10
If you really want to do it then get the head down and do the A levels - if you want Army badly enough you will make this small sacrafice. Don't drop the idea now and live to regret it in the future.
 
#11
both vaild points DS

- You were worth twice what you get (maybe nearly three times) as a private soldier in civvi street.
yes, and it has just been made harder for me.
my former employers not only want me back, they want to make me construction manager.

- You seem to be a bright bloke with aspirations - will starting at the bottom be a frustration?
that's not my worry. i've always really worked bottom rung jobs. i have no problem with that. my main concern now is that i won't end up with worse prospects on civvi street if/when i leave the army than the chance that has suddenly opened up to me yesterday evening. (see above)
if i could go to sandhurst i would do it though.

2 hours after i got the medical all clear and arranged an interview.
 
#12
Well, you're not getting any younger. Factor in the extra education to get entry reqts for Officer and you'll be older still. "Every man thinks less of himself for never having been a soldier" or some such...if it's an itch, then scratch it. If the itch can be suppressed for 2 years while you study AND get a better job, then do that. If the itch can be forgotten about until you're too old to apply, then do that, but aboslutely DO NOT regret the fact that you could/should have applied now in some form or other.
 
#13
it's now or never for me. it's soldier or construction project manager.

both have advantages and disadvantages that couldn't be more different. one day i feel more inclined to the one, the next day to the other.

there is only one thing i know for sure. i'll enjoy and do well in both (on entirely different levels), and there will always be times where i will wish i'd've done the other.
 

terroratthepicnic

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#14
it's now or never for me. it's soldier or construction project manager.

both have advantages and disadvantages that couldn't be more different. one day i feel more inclined to the one, the next day to the other.

there is only one thing i know for sure. i'll enjoy and do well in both (on entirely different levels), and there will always be times where i will wish i'd've done the other.
If you spent 10 years in the Army would there be other construction project manager jobs out there for you to do?
If you spent 5 years as a construction project manager, would the Army still be a viable option?
 
#15
If you spent 10 years in the Army would there be other construction project manager jobs out there for you to do?
If you spent 5 years as a construction project manager, would the Army still be a viable option?
lots of ifs and maybes in the first question. i suppose i could be a CoW with the RE after 10 years in the army. which is similar.

second question. NO.
 
#17
Your Swiss Federal Commoercial Diploma would appear to be the Swiss national qualification just below that of the "Swiss Federal Maturity Certificate".

It is the latter which is accepted matriculation requirement for British University degree courses, and I suspect that is the one which would be held by the army as equivalent to "A" Levels.

It wouls seem to me that the qualification you have gained is similar in some ways to our BTEC, and the extension of that to "BTEC ND" would equate with A Levels.

It has ever been the case over the years that jobs are available in the construction fields with that level of qualification and with good work experience, but you would find in the UK that a draughtsman qualification would not put you in the ball-park for most construction jobs. There are too many experienced and qualified civils, construction and building engineers about.

As far as the Royal Engineers are concerned, many of their senior nco's in the parallel fields will have Clerk of Works qualifications gained professionally and many will have degrees, so professionally you don't cut a lot of ice there yet.

You may find a little residual concern that you have left the gap in applying, having gone with the girtlfriend/job decision, but if you are keen enough now that may vanish.

It has been suggested you do "A" levels; my suggestion would be that you float the "Swiss Federal Maturity Certificate" in front of the recruiters, and if, as I suspect that is seen as a match for "A"levels, and you may well find that that is an easier progression with available courses local to you.

My feelings are that if you want soldier entry, do it now. If you want officer entry, succeed in whatever job you are doing now, take on the Swiss Federal Maturity" (having checked it out as above), which may be available on a part-time course, and apply for Sandhurst.
 
#18
thanks Tom_dkg

that makes sense. the Maturity Certificate takes a year full time, or 2 years part time.
i think i'll go soldier entry, but it's worth a second thought.
 
#19
Soldier entry will take longer than either route to the qualification - with less money, more messing about and not being with your girlfriend. Less to fall back on if it doesn't work out. Fools rush in.
 
#20
i'm not rushing in, and i'm certainly no fool.

i'm turning 26 in 3 months, i don't have all that much time. i should be in for 4 years by now. but financial problems/crisis, medical, job opportunities etc etc have delayed everything ridiculously.

my former employers got in touch with me and i met them for a chit chat. they not only want me back but want to make me a construction project manager, they said initially. yesterday they called me wanting to come in to sign the contract by this thursday. 80% workload with friday/saturday morning school. pay would be excellent bla bla bla. funnily it's not CPM anymore, it's a school for site foreman.

no thanks, i can get the same (if not better) quals through the RE.

so feck them, i can't stand the thought of going to bed not wanting to wake up again like last year when i worked for them, for 3 years. only to get a qual that is not of a huge use to me internationally. even if i am further up the payscale.

i'm sick of being in limbo, it's draining me. i need a clear direction now.

i suppose this thread is in the wrong section now...
 

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