Enlisting for Experience

Discussion in 'OTC and ACF' started by Gremlin0790, Apr 3, 2008.

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  1. A few weeks ago when we were in on a free weekend practising rifle drill for our MTQ1 pass out parade, one of our PSIs was talking about a particular route to Sandhurst. He suggested we do MTQ1 and I think MTQ2 and then go for the AOSB. Once we've (hopefully) passed, he said we should enlist in a TA regiment as a Tom/Jock etc. and stay in it until then end of uni and then go to Sandhurst so we can gain a bit of experience before getting commissioned. Is this shameless promotion of the TA or a genuinely good idea? It seems like a smart plan which I am tempted to try - and obviously I'll ask my OTC staff about (although we're on Easter Leave) - but I suppose there's no harm in getting some more input (or is there....). Has anyone gone through this particular route before or known anyone who has done this?

    Cheers for the help
  2. woopert

    woopert LE Moderator

    This Q gets pinged about a bit.

    Benefits of OTC

    You get to see more of the army via attachments and visits than you ever would as a TA Tom

    The whole system is geared towards either encouraging you to take a commission or look favourably on the reserves when you are a big hitter in the City or wherever and so gives you access to places and people you wouldn't get as a Tom in the TA

    You will get more varied training and adventure training than you would as a Tom

    But most importantly:

    you are on the B List and so not liable to call up and the structure of the training is based on your academic year.

    If you join the TA you will get more focussed training and experience BUT camps and courses will be timed around the TA's training cycle and will likely clash with your studies.

    You COULD be called up.

    You will be a Tom and seen as a Tom and all of the visist, attachments, and opportunities to take on command appoinmtments within the OTC (or on attachment to either the Regs or TA) will evaporate overnight.

    Sandhurst is designed to take everyone back to day 1 and to turn out a functioning 2Lt at the end, hence why its nickname is "The Factory". It makes baby officers. All of the experience in the world won't advanced you any as you will do the same things at the same time as the guy who walked in off the stgreet BUT the DS will know you have been through the mill before and will probably expect more of you than your colleagues and you'll get a harder time for screwing up. As it is also a training course, you have to do everything by the book. All the little innovations, gucci bits of kit, and everything else you learn via the TA will make everything seem so much harder than if you appproach the course with a little naievety.

    I'd say stick with the OTC then go to RMAS when the time comes. You have years of a pressured career path ahead, you might as well enjoy what you can while you can and face the challenges of RMAS when you get there rather than strressing about it now.

  3. An interesting post for 3.40 in the morning.

    I agree with much on what Woopert says although my understanding is that if you are if full time education you have no call up liability, perhaps someone can confirm this.

    Do you know which TA unit you want to join? If they know you want to go for a commission they may encourage you to do this while you are still at Uni here.

    The OTC timetable is based around your academic year, are you going to be about during the summer as your TA unit will probably have a fairly full training cycle going on, or, will you be looking to go home and only be about during the Academic terms (its not clear if you are resident in the area your OTC is)

    Your main focus should be on getting as good a degree as possible, remember study pressures will increase as you go through uni, this MAY not fit in with your TA units training cycle (e.g. investigate when they usually go for annual camp are you going to miss it every year because its during your exam time).

    Have you thought about doing Summer Leader/Summer Challenge? Do you know what this is about??

    I benefited from being commissioned through my unit where I started as a Pte soldier and then being commissioned but then I was never at an OTC.

    You do need to sit down with your staff and have a good chat about what you are thinking about doing. There are a number of staff in the unit commissioned through the OTC, from the ranks and through regular service who can help you, they are all back from "leave" now.
  4. Wrong.

    TA are liable to compulsory call out to serve anywhere in the world. Broadly, depending upon which section of Part V is relevant, the liability for service is limited to 12 months. However, that can be extended to two years under this Act...and lets be honest if things were that desperate two years is easlily enough time to get parliament to extend that further.
    See The Reserve Forces Act 1996 Part VI http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1996/ukpga_19960014_en_7#pt6

    Whilst current mobilisations are not compulsory, that may not always be the case and there is no automatic exemption for anyone, in education or not.

    woopert's advice is spot on.
  5. Cheers for the advice, woopert and Jag. I hadn't thought about conflicts with training schedule and I know it will definitely come into conflict with my course in the next couple years - people seem to have a hard enough time keeping up with the OTC let alone the TA.

    I live in the US (at home during holiday) - I'm not THAT bored.

    I've put my name forward for Summer Leader but we're still waiting to hear. I think a lot of people have given their name in but I think the COC is being very careful who they send - I've heard horror stories about OTCs sending 20 cadets and all but 3-4 drop out because they didn't realise how intense it was.

    Would you suggest the TASO option? I've heard that you can only do something like 40 days training which is a pain. I'm looking at the INT CORPS and 23(V) MI Coy are in my area.

    Regarding call up, what would be the circumstances that would result in one? Would it be only if Russia invaded tomorrow or there was some natural disaster and such? We've been told by our staff even if we were pushed up to Group A, as students, we still wouldn't be liabe for call up?

    Cheers (Sorry, lot of Q's )
  6. woopert

    woopert LE Moderator

    The TA are being used far more like a militia than a reserve force and so individuals are being called up as back-fill for gaps in a regular unit's orbat than the block mobilisation of formed units as was always the intention of the TA. If you are in a trade that has a high TA footprint (i.e. not much call for it in peacetime and therefore maintained mostly via the TA) expect your life to be very much naused up.

    My strongest advice is stay with the OTC. As I said before, they'll train you from scratch at RMAS no matter what you have done before (every cse will have one or two ex-rankers than have done 3 or 4 years before applying for DE and they go right back to square 1). Enjoy the OTC, it's what it is there for and stop worrying about trying to get one step ahead of the system. When you have been commissioned and done your YO cse THEN start worrying about doing MK1 & 2, JOTAC, and being loaded onto the right cse at the right time to progress. there is plenty of time for that when it actually matters. All you'll achieve by worrying about it now is to take all of the fun out of it by worrying about a time and place you aren't even at yet.

    Once you get to MQ2 there are literally shed loads of courses you can do if you want to fill your summer breaks up with soldiering that will give you a far greater depth and breadth of familiarisation than TASO (which is NOT designed to be done while at university as an alternative to the OTC) or anything else will give.

    FFS, OTC is there for students to experience the army in a way that fits their studies. If I were you I'd stop trying to find half-arrsed alternatives.
  7. There are several mentions above concering the liability of students for mobilisation.

    Personnel inTA Group B ie members of the OTC are not generaly liable for call up- bascially only in theory in the event of general war.

    Students in normal TA units (group A units) are in theory liable to call up but have formal grounds to apply for a deferral or exemption. In practice therefore they will not be called up while they are in full time education.

    below is cut and pasted from the Sabre site.

    Exemption, deferral and revocation of Call-Out
    Where an application has been made by either the employer or Reservist employee, an Adjudication Officer will have responsibility for reviewing the facts of the case and making a ruling. Where the findings is in favour of the Reservist or employer it will normally lead to a decision that authorises the following:

    Exemption: The Reservist will be exempted from the current and future Call-Out. An exemption will normally be followed by the issuing of a 'Revocation' in respect of the extant Call-Out Notice.

    Deferral: The reporting date on the original Call-Out Notice will be formally changed to a later date.

    Revocation: The Reservist will be issued with a formal notice that repeals the authority of the extant Call-Out Notice for a specified period of time.

    Grounds for exemption, deferral and revocation
    The definition of what constitutes grounds for exemption, deferral or revocation from mobilisation will vary from case to case; however, in general terms, sufficient grounds could be:

    you have primary parental or care responsibilities
    you are engaged in full-time education or training
    you are self-employed or work in a family-run business which would be seriously harmed by your absence
    you have entered into a contract of employment but have not yet started work under that contract, and the other party does not agree to postpone the start date or
    you have compassionate reasons for the MOD to consider
  8. [/b]
    Far better to ask now than regret later
  9. Int Corp don't do TASO for obvious reasons I'm afraid
  10. Yes, we are both right.

    I refer to the law. Whilst I am not suggesting that policy will change, and there is no foreseable reason why it should, it may. If you join the TA you are making yourself liable to compulsory callout on the terms set out in the Act (I gave you a brief outline, read the Act if you want).

    In the event of being called out you can apply for exemption, deferral or revocation. Being in full time education is one of the grounds which might get you exemption, deferral or revocation. But being in full time education does not give you a right to any of those things. Under current policy you would get an exemption, but policy changes require no more than the sweep of a civil servants pen.

    God knows what circumstances might lead to you being called up and not given exemption, deferral or revocation. Whatever they are they are unlikely to arise....but they may. I can only point out that every operation/conflict I have known has come as a bit of a suprise initially and I gave up trying to guess where, when and why the Army would be deployed next.