Enlisting before applying to Sandhurst, a good idea?

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Regular Officer Recruiting' started by Harrifer, Mar 29, 2011.

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  1. Let me introduce myself, I'm 21, finishing a history degree and currently applying to join as a soldier. My main ambition is to join the Intelligence Corps, but I understand that selection is pretty tough, so naturally I need a backup plan.

    I personally don't feel ready to go to Sandhurst yet, I feel I lack life experience, and this is only exacerbated by the fact I look young for my age. I've heard from numerous people within the Army that the best officers come from the ranks, so my question is this: Is it a good idea to enlist as a soldier, with a view to serving 4 years or so before applying to Sandhurst?

    I would likely be applying for roles in technical trades such as engineering and signals, if that helps answer this question. I have no objection to applying for combat roles, but I don't know if I could get my run times down within a workable time frame. Currently at about 13 minutes.

    Thank you for your time.
  2. Firstly and most importantly, if you haven't already tried, go to an AOSB Briefing. You will come away with a much better idea of how suitable you think you are for Sandhurst, and a clear judgement from your DS on whether you have the potential, and if so whether you need to mature. From there you will know where you stand, and where you need to improve.

    Don't go on second hand gossip, from here or anywhere else - you might be pleasantly suprised. I went to RCB out of curiosity more than anything else, and was quite suprised to pass - in the process I saw quite a few guys who at first glance seemed to be much more suitable fall by the wayside. The caveat was that I had to pass Rowallan Company, a tough & very physical course which borderline candidates had to attend to prove their persistence more than anything. You know what? I was good at it - since then some of the time I was very good, some of the time I was pretty mediocre. But I've always proved more capable than my 18 year old calllow self believed.

    Secondly - get fit. It is not hard, just a combination of hard work and persistence. There are no tests or courses in your first few years of the Army that are not made significantly easier if you are fit. Thereafter your fitness will always be a strong influence on how your peers and DS view you. It baffles me why people turn up to Sandhurst or basic training unable to easily beat the standard assessments. Not all of us can be intelligent or incredibly warry, but we can all be fit. Listen - all of us can get our run times below 13 minutes if we want to. After you join you will whether you like it or not!

    Thirdly - I sound like an old git now, but what do you want from life? If you seriously want to lead men, throw yourself at AOSB with determination and do everything you can to pass. It really is almost a binary choice - and you need confidence to pull it off. You can only get this from preparation and the knowlege that you are persuing a path you really want.

    Following on from that, lets say you don't desperately want to be a DE officer, but want to have a try in a few years time. I did History, and I am certainly not a technical person. The R Sigs and REME have a relatively good track record of sending ORs to RMAS, largely because their organisational culture - especially among junior ranks - is much more conducive to graduates than the teeth arms. But is it what you want to do?

    You will find life in the barrack block of an Infantry or RAC regiment a good deal tougher, and potentially harder to move on from unless you desperately want to be an officer. But if you don't actually want to spend your time with radios or kit, don't get involved - go with what you want from life. In this respect the Int Corps would be a good choice.

    In summary, go to AOSB Briefing if you can and take a pause to have a good think about where you could best fit in. If AOSB find you have the potential to go to Sandhurst, get obsessive about it and keep that attitude whether you take a civvy job or join up as a soldier. You don't need to make the decision right now - if you've a fighting chance of passing AOSB take a normal job, get fit, learn your sums, read loads of papers and give it your best.

    Good luck

    • Like Like x 1
  3. Cant ask for better advice there!

    And so you know . . .

    Im 22years old,
    Look very young,
    Have 3 A Levels (grade C, D and E,
    Went to a comprehensive school,
    No degree (left uni after one year)
    And come from a very 'common town with not a great accent . . .

    And i passed AOSB! :)

    (all be it have to attend Pre-RMAS! Lol)

    But my point is dont worry about anything in terms of what you want to achieve before you apply, i thoight i didnt have a chance but. . . If you meet the grade, you get in! As the previous advice stated you may as well go to AOSB Briefing!

    Good luck!

  4. Im the same Powell UK, except I am 21!!
  5. you won't be going anywhere if you don't get your run time down to at least 10:30
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Hey Chaps.

    I was wondering, is "looking young for your age" a major disadvantage for gaining the respect of the lads? I ask, because I too look young for my age, very young in fact, and even though I am not particularly lacking in confidence, people do tend to judge me somewhat more harshly, for want of a better word, on first impressions.
  7. No, it makes no difference as long as you project yourself properly, i just turned 20 and am going in RMAS in May, i have come across soldiers quite a few times before and they don't always judge straight away. It's YOUR first impression that counts, as you look young, you have to make up for that fact by coming to the forfront of a group of people, talking from experience. However, don't be cocky and don't disrespect anyone-Best advice i can give.
  8. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    It's in the nature of how we work in the army that first impressions aren't usually very important. As a young officer, you will work very closely with the soldiers you command and with your superiors - over extended periods - and they will eventually form a very accurate picture of your qualities, good and bad. Looking young for your age may give them some fleeting amusement and gain you a nickname, but not much more than that.