Failed Application

Hello there,

I have recently applied to my local army schools liason officer for officer entry into the British Army. I have recieved a letter in reply indicating that I do not have sufficient academic grades for entry. The grades I got when leaving school were pretty arrse which I admit, however since leaving school I have spent 3 years at college and I am now on my way to picking up a HND in computer networking which I can convert into a degree in a year.

The reason I am applying now is for the chance to recieve funding from the army while I am at university (which I did indicate I was interested in on the application form) and also I wish to go on a few familiarisation visits. I would have thought that a degree would count for more than the exams I flunked while at secondary school. Can any fellow arrsers tell me wether this is right or not?
As far as I remeber you must have two A-levels as well as a certain number of GCSEs including English and maths. The ACA(O) will not have got it wrong. Why don't you take a couple of A-levels in your spare time while you are at Uni?

If I am correct, the minimum educational requirements for Sandhurst entry are 2 A levels. As you don't have those AND you don't yet have a degree, I cannot see that you will even reach the start line. As you will have seen elsewhere, lots of people are interested in becoming an Officer, but very few make it. You will be sifted out straight away!

I think that in trying for sponsorship, you are in competition with those who will have 3 or 4 very good A Levels. The Army will choose those (presumably younger) guys over you unless you have something else going for you. Based on the information you have provided, I consider that unlikely.

So, how do I think you could improve the situation?

:arrow: Gain the degree (although a degree in computer networking is highly specialised and I wonder if those skills are easily transferable into the military environment).
:arrow: Gain 2 A Levels whilst you are there. Make certain one of them is English.
:arrow: Join the TA? Join the local Cadet Force? I assume that your college does not have an OTC.

Talk to your Recruiting Office - they will be in the best position to advise you.

I'm not an expert, so take this with a pinch of salt! Regarding the degree and A-Levels, just get the buggers. It's not the subject matter that counts, it's the fact that you can achieve A-Level/Degree level work - try and avoid Sociology and Media Studies though. I've got 3 science A-Levels and a Computer Science Degree and want to join the Infantry!

Definitely join the TA though - I lost count of the number of times I was asked whether I was a member in various interviews at RCB.

Best of luck matey, get grafting.
I was in a similar situation to you and am still on the way to joining.

I have very poor A levels, so much so they are unacceptable by the army's standard. However I went on to complete the first year of an HND (in computing might I add) to a good level (all merits). After completing this year I moved onto university to study for an accredited degree. Now my ACA wasn't too keen either on letting me through to the next stage and wanted me to go away and complete lots of A levels etc. The concern was that RCB would not allow me to progress further than the Briefing without some sort of further education (as i didn't complete the HND and I hadn't completed my degree).

A few months later of my ACA being in contact with RCB they said that an HND year one certificate would be acceptable. I've completed my briefing gained a cat 1 pass and am doing well within my degree. I am also a member of the UOTC and have shown the determination and commitment in achieving all goals and hurdles that have been set out before me. I think the last bit is the most important. Keep showing a commitment to joining, go out and join your OTC / TA unit go and get the A levels if thats what they want. I know that if it had come down to it and they required me to do so I'd go out there and get them. End of story.

If this is what you want to do then do everything you possibly can to achieve it and don't give them a reason to fail you before you even start the main process (RCB)!
Just to back up what Hugogo said...

I'm pretty sure there was a guy on my RCB who did not meet the educational requirements. But like you he had done other things which made it obvious he was academically able. The point I'm making is that the Army decided to let him have a go at RCB without strictly meeting the requirements (as it happens he failed RCB but at least they let him have a whack at it). But how you get round your rejection letter I'm not sure, sorry I can't be of more help...

Without wishing to put you off, I had 40 UCAS points and an RCB pass, and still didn't pick up any sponsorship at university, despite asking.

If you're desperate for cash and genuinely interested in joining up, join the OTC or the TA. The TA will pay you more.
sorry, perhaps i have missed the point, but: you dont have a-levels, you dont have a degree, you are at college not university and you want to join the army for:

'the chance to recieve funding from the army while I am at university (which I did indicate I was interested in on the application form) and also I wish to go on a few familiarisation visits'

are you taking the p1ss? get to your careers office, ask for fam visits, then get the pre-requisite qualifications and crack on. otherewise see your careers officer or the public services lecturers at college, get fam visits and then join up as a soldier
daviroo i have private messaged you.
Wow, I don't feel safe knowing that there are officers with top class degrees running this show, let alone someone who wants to sponge off the army because he didn't work hard enough at school. I know an education isn't everything but it's one of those just get your head down and get on with it scenarios, I am sure there will be plenty of those to come- if and when you get in.

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