Deferring entry to RMAS

Discussion in 'Officers' started by too_tall, Feb 26, 2008.

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  1. This question is on behalf of a friend of mine who is a non-arrse user.

    Essentially he has had a Sixth Form and University scholarship with the Engineers and is due to graduate this year. He has not taken a gap year and went straight to Uni from sixth form. He had planned to defer entry to RMAS for 1 year to get some experience travelling. The engineers have told him that he can only defer entry until the May 09 course, any longer and he would have to pay back the money for his Sixth form, and university scholarship. This seems a bit unfair considering it is not uncommon for bursary holders to take a gap year between Sixth for and University.

    Does anybody know the exact rules and regulations with regard to deferring entry to RMAS if you hold a Bursary, and if my mate has a leg to stand on?



    (This question is also posted in the OTC section)
  2. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    A potential officer who has been awarded an army bursary won't actually have received any of it until he gets to university, so the situation is somewhat different. Your friend would appear to have been benefiting from army largesse for the past 5 years.

    This doesn't seem at all unfair to me. What your friend is asking for is the opportunity to spend 15 months doing his own thing in the knowledge that he has a secure job waiting for him at the end of it all. It strikes me that the army have very decently recognised that he might deserve a bit of time to himself post university and appear to be offering him 11 months to crack on with it. My advice: tell him to stop bloody whinging!
  3. Thanks for the prompt reply.
    I do not wish to be drawn into a moral argument debating whether or not he should be grateful for the army’s money etc, (That said I understand your sentiments).
    I’m looking for facts regarding his position.

  4. If the sappers have said that May 09 is the latest then it can probably be taken as a fair bet that this is accurate. In terms of finding the arcane regulations that govern bursars then surely he has some form of terms and conditions that he signed when he was awarded the bursary. Also not fussed on the morality of this but he should probably make up his mind whether he wants to join or not. If so then May 09 looks good.
  5. His best bet is to get on the phone to OCAC as soon as possible to get their opinion from the horse's mouth. From my recollections he will need a pretty good justification for deferring. If he is allowed to defer until May he will have almost a year off anyway, won't he?
  6. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    I would suggest that he already has all the facts that he needs to know, i.e. that his sponsors are prepared to let him defer until May 09. However, as Barbs says, he would do well to contact OCAC for the official view. If he wants to fight his sponsors' decision, I'd suggest he's signing up for the wrong career.
  7. Sympathetic_Reaction

    Sympathetic_Reaction LE Book Reviewer

    To be honest, if he sorts his life out, then end of Uni till the May intake is almost a year. He'll finish his exams by June unless he is unlucky, and possibly in May if he's doing basket weaving (a common RE bursary subject).

    So tell him to get organised and have 11 months fun not 12...he'd just waste the last month getting pissed in Bankok anyway.


    p.s. get him to check with RMAS at least 2 months before he goes to make sure he's on the books, I deffered till the January intake and even though I had confirmation I still wasn't on the intake list till I rang up and asked where my joining instructions were.
  8. "Get experience travelling" = get drunk, loafing on the money he has already been paid by the Army.

    Surely, as has been said above 11 months is enough. Any more and they may question his commitment. I would - why defer any longer than necessary? In fact why defer at all, get Sandhurst out of the way and he'll be travelling to exciting places pretty bloody quickly anyway...gaining far more experience than can be gained backpacking through the far-east.
  9. Like I originally said I was simply making some enquiries for a friend. I did not wish to be drawn into a moral debate about commitment etc.
    I have deliberately left out personal details with regard to his situation because I am not prepared to put them on a public forum.
    Considering that people do not know his current personal circumstances it would be more useful if people stuck to the facts, rather than speculating on the nature of his time spent between University and RMAS. I will add however that only a minority of the time will be spent travelling.
    Hopefully after explaining his personal circumstances to RMAS they will be more lenient, but he asked me to find out what he could do if they will not grant a full years deferral.


  10. 'The facts' are what people seem to be going on - you ask a hypothetical question about someone wanting to 'get some experience', and the general consensus is that 11 months is more than generous before we get a bit of return on the cash we've all forked out to contribute to his education.

    If there are other factors (such as injury or compassionate problems), then OCAC will be in a position to give all the advice he needs. 'The system' is not unsympathetic to such things, and indeed in deserving cases RMAS will go to remarkable lengths to make things work. If his idea of 'reasonable' and OCAC's do not intersect, however, he'll find that the answer might not be to his satisfaction!

    I'm afraid that you won't get anything more helpful what you've already been told - sound points based on the broad detail you've been given, but there's only one set of people who can actually give him the definitive answer. Tell him to call OCAC and quell his misery one way or the other.
  11. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    You probably shouldn't have said a. that he wants to get experience travelling and b. that the RE response seems 'unfair', if you didn't want this kind of commentary.

    If there are specific personal reasons why he should have a 1 year deferral then fine, tell him to make his case to OCAC.
  12. Thanks for your help everyone, I will admit that my initial post was probably misleading and that the responses were fair enough. All I wanted to do was ask here to see if anyone else had had a similar experince, in order to explore the problem from all angles, to help my mate.

    Thanks again,

  13. Bear in mind the May intake is traditionally the least attended, whereas Sep is bursting. This causes problems with the Sep Troop Commanders Courses getting too big. Might be why the RE are happy to defer him until then, but not a full year.