Crunch time, officer vs soldier?!

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Regular Soldier Recruitment' started by wishfulthinking, Oct 18, 2010.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Basically, i'm 17, i'm doing my a levels and uni application time is on the horizon. I'm pretty sure that I want a career within the army, hopefully with the intelligence corps, although i'm also interested in the artillery, signals and agc (I would join the infantry, but i'm female).

    I initially planned on attempting to join as an officer (because of the financial benefits and responsibility etc) but to be honest, although I generally perform well academically, i'm not very keen on uni because i'm getting sick of endless studying for endless tests, and i'd really like to get on and get to work, doing something hands on and active. Would I be better off trying an asob as a non-grad, going ahead with a degree (most likely in french and spanish), or joining as a soldier, perhaps with the possibility of comissioning later on, when i'm more experienced and mature?

    I've chatted to a few servicemen, and they all have different answers, essentially i'm guessing the army will tell me where they want me, but i'd like the widest possible range of opinions!

    thanks :)
  2. CJT


    Hey, obviously if you've got the GSCE grades you could just go to ASOB and give it a shot. Having a degree in french and Spanish is great but not so if you decide to go into artillery, plus if you're tired of studying you might drop out of uni after first year, which will be a year wasted, and going to ASOB after just dropping out of uni wont give a good impression. I have heard of regular soldiers during phase one being selected for Officer after showing leadership qualities during training, but i wouldn't join as a regular hoping just for this alone. Personally, if you've got the entry requirements already which is GCSEs grade A-C in 5 subjects including english and maths then go to ASOB.
    Goodluck with whatever you do
  3. CJT you've just stated the requirements for regular soldier, if she is trying for officer and going to AOSB she needs to at the very least finish her A-Levels.

    wishfulthinking make sure you finish your A-levels as you will need them if you want to try for officer, these make up the required UCAS points. Even if you decide to go for regular soldier having a few A-Levels in the bank won't do any harm for the future if you ever decide to leave the army.

    You do not need a degree for officer but it is seen as good to have one from a life experience point of view - there are varying opinions on this but if you are going to command a platoon you will need to be confident and independent, remember your men, some of whom may even turn out to be older than you will look to you for guidance and support, if you're battling homesickness and missing mummys cooking they're not going to think much of you.

    If you do go to uni join some clubs and get very active in their your communication, teamwork, organisation and leadership skills. If you don't go to uni join some local clubs in your area and do the same.

    If you think uni isn't for you then you are probably right...but use your time between A-Levels and applying to the army wisely and constructively.

    At the end of the day whether you go for soldier or officer is something only you can decide. Personally speaking, in your situation I would probably give the officer route a bash (if you never give it a go you'll never know) and if i was unsuccessful or decided it wasn't for me then would have happily taken a soldier role.

    Good luck with your A-Levels and whatever path you choose.
  4. CJT


    Sorry u03sem6 Regular Soldier has no specific entry requirements except for technical jobs.

    Officer requires a minimum of 7 A-C standard grades or equivalent (GCSEs) including English and Maths.
  5. you're a numpty.

    the requirements for Officer are:

    *at least 35 ALIS points from best seven GCSEs which must include English language, maths and either a science or a foreign language at a minimum grade C/3

    *180 UCAS Tarriff points at GCE AS and A Level or at SCE Highers, including a minimum of two passes at GCE A2 at grades A-E or SCE Highers at grades A-D or equivalent qualifications.

    Alevels or equivalent ARE required for officer. I'm in the process at the moment.

    And I wasn't arguing with you on the soldier requirements, they pretty much let you in if you can write your own name and count to ten.
  6. Here's a hint: If you're not certain, you'd better avoid the commissioned career path.
  7. Stand by for a shock...

    Should you ever be commissioned... you might find that some of your soldiers are more highly qualified than you are.

  8. A number of points:

    1. Education of any form is never wasted, and it is easier to jump through the academic hoops when you are young. An aptitude for languages will help you in some areas but a more academically rigorous subject will improve your chances of a good career.

    2. If you are "tired of tests", how do you think the Army will check to see if the training has sunk in? Yes, that's right... lots of tests!

    3. If you think you have the aptitude and motivation to try for a commission, then follow that route first. Do not be persuaded to join as a soldier with a view to commissioning later. It happens - but not as frequently as people want!

  9. I did not say they wouldn't be more qualified than myself, merely stated that they didn't have to be qualified to the hilt to become enlisted... My physics teacher was a doctor of the subject and was a TA soldier, I know fine well that rank is not an indicator of intelligence.

    If i don't get commissioned i will simply apply to be a regular soldier. If i didn't at least try to get commissioned i would always regret it so I have to at least try.
  10. Neither, frankly, are qualifications. But the point that was being (too) subtly made was that a bit of humility goes a long way (and one casual remark can be a thorn in your side for years to come.) On the other hand, most soldiers have a lot of experience of retraining arrogant subalterns and little reluctance in wielding it.

    To the OP - if you are not keen on Uni, try AOSB now. But remember that if they come back to you and say that you are not mature enough, it is because you aren't. I'm amazed they let me in at 17 (but that was a long time ago).

    Enlisting as a soldier and hoping to be selected for a commission is a perfectly viable if somewhat uncertain route. But then so is doing three years at uni, with TA or OTC thrown in, and a qualification - just in case the Army doesn't want you (or you decide you don't want it).
  11. I was in exactly the same position. :)

    I'm 20 now, but was deciding what I wanted to do when I was doing my A Levels. I did alright at school, got 10 GCSE's A*-C, but by the end of my first year in 6th Form I was getting a bit fed up with being at school.

    I decided unless I was 100% 'yayayayay uni!' then it really wasn't worth spending the thousands of pounds it would cost to go.

    Finished my A Levels with some alright grades, nothing special - but passed them nonetheless. Got a job in IT whilst I decided what I was going to do. I really really really want to fly helicopters ultimately, and the only way I could do it was Army Air Corps Pilot (officer entry). I went to the recruiting office and spoke to the Staff Sergeant there, and he said I had a choice: Air Corps Pilot as an Officer, or choose a regular soldier job and when I reach Corporal bang on to my commanders about going to try out for pilot training as a transfer from whatever corps I was in.

    Figured this was the better option. So now I'm at the stage where I'm off to selection next week, with Electronic Warfare Systems Operator as my first choice, with Communication Systems Engineer as my second.

    All worked out in the end! Pay for undergraduate officers wasn't hugely different to fully qualified regular soldier anyway.
  12. CJT


    My bad, didn't see the small print on the army website where it mentioned about the A levels. But for you to stereotype soldiers across the board is plain stupidity. Have fun attempting to become an officer, with your attitude they'll love you.
  13. You cheeky ******* ****, clearly you need to get your head out of your backside. I noticed you said your in the process off trying to become an officer.... well until you do become one (if you do), then keep your shit **** opinions to yourself.
  14. Thanks to everyone for their replies! Although, as before, there seems to be a divide between going to uni to improve chances on an ASOB and as a form of insurance for the future and just going ahead with the ASOB after a levels and joining up as a soldier if I dont get through. I'm leaning towards the second route at the moment, as I'm guessing things might be more hand on if I go that way? Also if I joined up as a soldier, it would be to be a soldier, and not in the hope of commissioning later! Whilst i'm here, can I be cheeky and ask if you reckon my a level choices (french, spanish, history, politics) will be of any use when applying to my preferred regiments (intel, artillery, signals, agc)? Thanks :)
  15. Really??I can see you will do well