Female hoping to become a Para Reg Officer. Journey so far.

CrestedViper

Swinger
Hi all,

Firstly I'd like to say I'm grateful for all of the great insights I've gained from this forum - had many Qs answered without even asking and plenty of knowledge gaps filled! I'm 23 y/o female from south east England and a geography graduate from Bristol Uni. After reading a few of the previous AOSB threads to get some inspiration, I too will try give a brief overview of who/what/why/how. My father was RAF in the late 80s and my mother served in the RAF too. Both officers. In my early teens, ever since I began to understood what it meant to be an Officer, the ambition was firmly set. I firmly considered joining the OTC during uni but decided against it over fear of impact on my performance at uni. Upon leaving school I knew I'd eventually be applying for the Army, but in all honesty wanted to live the uni experience too, and knew 1) it would allow me to live independently first and mature further 2) get a degree which would set me in good stead in later life if and when needed - as I've seen many times on here, people worrying about when to apply and if it's too early etc. - I personally knew I'd always be applying, so I took the opportunity to go and study something that interested me, play a load of sport, party hard, come out with an expensive piece of paper and some quality memories I will laugh about forever. Certainly not pushing uni as a silver bullet, as I was never set on going - but as soon as I found a degree that definitely interested me, it made sense. Not attending an OTC did not effect my application or interview at all. Luckily at AOSB the staff will try to assess the person, their character and their potential. That is why your final interview is almost completely about you. Remember they want a mix of ages, genders and background.
After graduating I put in my application for Officer. I appreciate the potential controversy over a female wanting to become a Parachute Regiment Officer, but my sights are set.
Why Officer? I genuinely didn't consider this option until about mid-way through uni. It was only when one of my dad's old friends mentioned it too me that I began looking into it. Don't want to bore you with interview prep but simply put, as I've got older, many situations I've been involved in have enabled me to build up experience and potential. After others complimented my abilities, felt I'd be doing disservice to myself if I didn't try. I’d encourage other female aspirants to ignore the stigma and engage with the recruiters. The experience I’ve had from application to passing AOSB has been fantastic and supportive.
I submitted my application in late October 2019, had an initial careers discussion after the Xmas break and a medical just before lockdown hit hard. Everything slowed but I went on to pass briefing main board with a Cat 1 pass now awaiting a start date/POIC. If anyone wants me to post a diary detailing how the briefing and main board panned out I will.
Best advice is not to over think any of it, give 100% and be yourself. Some people really seem to linger on silly mistakes and let them snowball- try not to do this and let mistakes wash over. Don’t waste energy beating yourself up instead they want to see you direct you energy into finding the learning in it and pushing on. You can’t change the past, but you can still do well on the next job. I also tried to bring humour into the different activities which helped. Obviously during the planning ex I wasn’t cracking jokes but I tried to remain cheerful throughout the entire board.
During my interview I discussed how I spent my free time during lockdown, which was to successfully plan and execute a charity event which raised over a grand for NHS charities. It was a sponsored mountain hike in Wales. I explained how I liased with the local uniformed services to check that they are happy with me running the event.
I briefed my safety volunteers and moved them from A to B. I placed out safety vehicles at either end of the route and safety teams of 2x people spaced out at 5 mile intervals equipped with safety tents, stretchers, first aid kits and high nutrition snacks. I formulated a robust medical extraction plan should the worse happen. I also conducted all the admin with collecting and donating. They really loved that example and hopefully it helps inspire you.
I’ve also been in touch personally with Para Reg recruitment team in order to gain more insight into the unit. General theme being you have to work hard to pass the regimental board at Sandhurst, harder to pass p company and then even harder to be a good platoon commander! But I’m up to the challenge. They run Insight Courses for potential officers which are designed to give you a structured look at how the regiment operates. The course is run by The Parachute Reg Recruitment Team, who aim to give an 'insight' into the training, responsibilities and opportunities of a paratrooper. They have loaded me into a course and state it is designed to assess whether candidates have the potential to serve as an officer in the Parachute Regiment. Candidates are required to undergo a number of physical tests in which they are expected to show both mental and physical robustness, as well as a team task to evaluate their airborne leadership potential.
The Para Reg recruitment team have been excellent with me and very professional. They are very approachable and if anyone reading this is on the fence regarding Para reg just contact them.
Any questions about my personal experiences or application, please don't hesitate to ask. I’m also a big believer in running an idea past multiple people in order to pick up gems of advice. So any guidance on successfully passing POIC and the Regimental board at Sandhurst to join Para Reg will be appreciated.

Thanks all.
 
Good luck with your career, it sounds like you are making all the right choices.
 
Hi all,

Firstly I'd like to say I'm grateful for all of the great insights I've gained from this forum - had many Qs answered without even asking and plenty of knowledge gaps filled! I'm 23 y/o female from south east England and a geography graduate from Bristol Uni. After reading a few of the previous AOSB threads to get some inspiration, I too will try give a brief overview of who/what/why/how. My father was RAF in the late 80s and my mother served in the RAF too. Both officers. In my early teens, ever since I began to understood what it meant to be an Officer, the ambition was firmly set. I firmly considered joining the OTC during uni but decided against it over fear of impact on my performance at uni. Upon leaving school I knew I'd eventually be applying for the Army, but in all honesty wanted to live the uni experience too, and knew 1) it would allow me to live independently first and mature further 2) get a degree which would set me in good stead in later life if and when needed - as I've seen many times on here, people worrying about when to apply and if it's too early etc. - I personally knew I'd always be applying, so I took the opportunity to go and study something that interested me, play a load of sport, party hard, come out with an expensive piece of paper and some quality memories I will laugh about forever. Certainly not pushing uni as a silver bullet, as I was never set on going - but as soon as I found a degree that definitely interested me, it made sense. Not attending an OTC did not effect my application or interview at all. Luckily at AOSB the staff will try to assess the person, their character and their potential. That is why your final interview is almost completely about you. Remember they want a mix of ages, genders and background.
After graduating I put in my application for Officer. I appreciate the potential controversy over a female wanting to become a Parachute Regiment Officer, but my sights are set.
Why Officer? I genuinely didn't consider this option until about mid-way through uni. It was only when one of my dad's old friends mentioned it too me that I began looking into it. Don't want to bore you with interview prep but simply put, as I've got older, many situations I've been involved in have enabled me to build up experience and potential. After others complimented my abilities, felt I'd be doing disservice to myself if I didn't try. I’d encourage other female aspirants to ignore the stigma and engage with the recruiters. The experience I’ve had from application to passing AOSB has been fantastic and supportive.
I submitted my application in late October 2019, had an initial careers discussion after the Xmas break and a medical just before lockdown hit hard. Everything slowed but I went on to pass briefing main board with a Cat 1 pass now awaiting a start date/POIC. If anyone wants me to post a diary detailing how the briefing and main board panned out I will.
Best advice is not to over think any of it, give 100% and be yourself. Some people really seem to linger on silly mistakes and let them snowball- try not to do this and let mistakes wash over. Don’t waste energy beating yourself up instead they want to see you direct you energy into finding the learning in it and pushing on. You can’t change the past, but you can still do well on the next job. I also tried to bring humour into the different activities which helped. Obviously during the planning ex I wasn’t cracking jokes but I tried to remain cheerful throughout the entire board.
During my interview I discussed how I spent my free time during lockdown, which was to successfully plan and execute a charity event which raised over a grand for NHS charities. It was a sponsored mountain hike in Wales. I explained how I liased with the local uniformed services to check that they are happy with me running the event.
I briefed my safety volunteers and moved them from A to B. I placed out safety vehicles at either end of the route and safety teams of 2x people spaced out at 5 mile intervals equipped with safety tents, stretchers, first aid kits and high nutrition snacks. I formulated a robust medical extraction plan should the worse happen. I also conducted all the admin with collecting and donating. They really loved that example and hopefully it helps inspire you.
I’ve also been in touch personally with Para Reg recruitment team in order to gain more insight into the unit. General theme being you have to work hard to pass the regimental board at Sandhurst, harder to pass p company and then even harder to be a good platoon commander! But I’m up to the challenge. They run Insight Courses for potential officers which are designed to give you a structured look at how the regiment operates. The course is run by The Parachute Reg Recruitment Team, who aim to give an 'insight' into the training, responsibilities and opportunities of a paratrooper. They have loaded me into a course and state it is designed to assess whether candidates have the potential to serve as an officer in the Parachute Regiment. Candidates are required to undergo a number of physical tests in which they are expected to show both mental and physical robustness, as well as a team task to evaluate their airborne leadership potential.
The Para Reg recruitment team have been excellent with me and very professional. They are very approachable and if anyone reading this is on the fence regarding Para reg just contact them.
Any questions about my personal experiences or application, please don't hesitate to ask. I’m also a big believer in running an idea past multiple people in order to pick up gems of advice. So any guidance on successfully passing POIC and the Regimental board at Sandhurst to join Para Reg will be appreciated.

Thanks all.
That’s fantastic. I really hope you make it. You’ve probably picked one of the hardest things that anyone can choose to do, but that shouldn’t stop you.

Keep writing your experiences down, they will prove inspirational and reassuring to others following in your footsteps.

All the very best of British luck.
 
Have you ever considered a commission in the Women's Auxiliary Balloon Corps?

It's not as cushy as people think.

Good luck with your application and when you get your wings up and the Daily Mail are doing a feature piece be sure to give this website a mention.
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
based on what you have written, i imagine there might well be several regiments interested in you. Would be interested to know how you get on through the process.
 
My experience of Parachute Regt Officers was men of succinct speech, sharp eyes, and a barely suppressed attitude of hoping it will 'kick off' soon.
Like now , or quicker.


If you reckon you will fit in there - good on you.
 
Very best of luck. Do try not to give away information of use to a possibly hostile interrogator in your future on the internet.
 

CrestedViper

Swinger
Thank you kindly for the encouraging words and the sound advice. It is genuinely very appreciated.
I’ll probably not post too much for obvious reasons but I shall endeavour to post relevant updates.

Thanks all.
 
Thank you kindly for the encouraging words and the sound advice. It is genuinely very appreciated.
I’ll probably not post too much for obvious reasons but I shall endeavour to post relevant updates.

Thanks all.
Bon chance!
 

Slime

LE
Thank you kindly for the encouraging words and the sound advice. It is genuinely very appreciated.
I’ll probably not post too much for obvious reasons but I shall endeavour to post relevant updates.

Thanks all.
The advice in post #11 is very good.

It might be worth you removing some personal info from your initial post.
 

Dwarf

LE
I enjoyed reading that and if for whatever reason you dib out I'll take you on at my language school in Catalonia like a shot.

What impressed me the most is that you nailed it, Sandhurst and P Coy are hard but the hardest is being a good platoon commander. So many think they are and so many fall below that level.

I look forward to hearing about your progress.

ATB
 
Waaaaaaay back in the late '70's a lass, Jacky Smith greatly assisted the 'de-sensitivation' of the 16 Para. Bde. in seeing a female in a maroon beret, with the regimental badge as opposed to the numerous corps affiliations.

She may well have been considered a novelty at the time, part of a PR machine, but to this day, still talked about and more importantly continues to be fondly remembered for being a world sport para champion. The lass is still around. The Parachute Regiment followed her departure from the ' Red Devils' with another lass from the ACC.

Good luck with your best intentions in the Army. Get yourself to SRR after three years, should circumstance permit. I surmise, you'd enjoy a career much better there.
 
Waaaaaaay back in the late '70's a lass, Jacky Smith greatly assisted the 'de-sensitivation' of the 16 Para. Bde. in seeing a female in a maroon beret, with the regimental badge as opposed to the numerous corps affiliations.

She may well have been considered a novelty at the time, part of a PR machine, but to this day, still talked about and more importantly continues to be fondly remembered for being a world sport para champion. The lass is still around. The Parachute Regiment followed her departure from the ' Red Devils' with another lass from the ACC.

Good luck with your best intentions in the Army. Get yourself to SRR after three years, should circumstance permit. I surmise, you'd enjoy a career much better there.
I agree, and insofar as female candidates are able to surmount the physical obstacles, I see no issues other than being able to fit in.

That's a big obstacle; it requires the majority to accept and change both culture and practice to accept the minority. I found it hard enough being a four-eyed, clumsy chinagraph wielder. If it works, that's good for me (I'm no longer in the game and only pay for it all now, and so tend to write stiff letters to the newspapers when I sniff below-perfect performance from the Nation's Servants).
 
I wish you the best of luck... And I hope you are not under estimating the physical levels expected of you... You have to match the blokes at the minimum. And that’s no short order. Smash it!
 
I agree, and insofar as female candidates are able to surmount the physical obstacles, I see no issues other than being able to fit in.

That's a big obstacle; it requires the majority to accept and change both culture and practice to accept the minority. I found it hard enough being a four-eyed, clumsy chinagraph wielder. If it works, that's good for me (I'm no longer in the game and only pay for it all now, and so tend to write stiff letters to the newspapers when I sniff below-perfect performance from the Nation's Servants).
I agree with your assessment, hence my consideration for her eventual consideration for SRR, not currently on her radar.

Apologies, @CrestedViper I'm talking around you. Considering your venture, the physical demands, but more importantly the culture of the 'maroon machine', I'd love to see you with SRR. Tough territory for all irrelevant of sex, just saying.
 

CrestedViper

Swinger
From my limited but developing understanding of The Parachute Regiment their officers are rightly expected to display the highest levels of professionalism, integrity, selflessness and arguably the most important trait- loyalty which gains you the respect of the soldiers under your command.
I am also clear of mind and free of arrogance. I understand that there is an awful lot more to becoming a leader than having a degree and commissioning from RMAS. I’m very prepared to open my eyes and ears if I make it to a Battalion and learn from the established leaders already there. In my opinion, many people naively think to be in a leadership role you have to be an officer and that is nonsensical.. I know the real leaders are the NCOs. Leadership is completely relative. A 3 year private taking the new lad under his wing, leadership. L/Cpl getting grip of the section, leadership. Plenty of opportunities to learn from those on the ground.
There will also be no arrogance over the fact I have a degree, who cares. Today’s UK is very different than it was even 15 years ago. It would appear that more of the population has Higher Educational qualifications than don't these days. Whether that's a good thing or not is a separate issue but it has downgraded the qualifications to the point that they are not a good measure of intelligence or intellectual ability at all, if they ever were.
I am sure I’ll meet non-commissioned personnel who would of qualified for officer entry, likewise I’ll meet officers without degrees. Maybe in the Paras I’ll meet a slighter higher percentage of young people that struggled at school and joined the army as somewhat of way out. But that's because they took an advantage of an opportunity and they've made something of themselves.It matters not a jot to me.
I have been described as tenacious in spirit; mentally and physically robust and I aim to sculpt my intellectual capacity to plan operations under pressure and see them through to successful conclusion, even if that means in adverse conditions. It sounds cheesy but my goal isn’t to set PR records. Or break records. It’s to inspire confidence, whilst avoiding arrogance, being humble when necessary and putting soldiers' welfare before my own. If that has to done under a capbadge other that Para then so be it, but I am going to give it my very best shot. I genuinely do always strive to do my best.
The points raised about fitness are incredibly valid and I take them all on board. I understand that P-Coy will remain the most exceptionally difficult course to pass and I’ll be expected as an Officer cadet to excell not scrap by. The events won’t care if I have a dick and I am sure the process will take equal pleasure in inflicting suffering and on me. The reality is those that attend Para Depot and join as Officers , are supremely fit and capable people – their gender is irrelevant.
An awful lot of males aren’t particularly suited to the infantry and I doubt most enjoy the idea of an infantry lifestyle either. I seen some very sorry states when I’d be up at 0630 smashing an 8 mile run and the boys in my uni halls were stumbling back in from the night before.
Having grown up on RAF bases I can honestly say some of the men there joined in part because they preferred the idea of going to war with a steward and pink gin at his side. It’s how the mind ticks and not what is between your legs. I want to be out, in the mud, taking part in a platoon attack.
Fitness wise I have competed at a National level at a very physically demanding sport. I’ve ran two marathons, one at 18 y/o and the second at 21 y/o. I am a keen fell runner and I have recently been focusing a hell of a lot of effort in building my upper body strength. Again, I’m going to give this my all.

Thanks again to all that I’ve commented. I’ve read every post and extracted some fantastic advice.
 

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