From Scholarship Award to Sandhurst

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Regular Officer Recruiting' started by Harrison00, Jun 2, 2011.

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  1. Hi, having done my scholarship board in february, i was awarded a scholarship on the condition i got the correct GCSE's. I'd already got the GCSE's, so i have the scholarship, and a place at RMAS if i get the A-Levels. I was just wondering, considering i have at the very least (if i didnt go to uni, havent decided yet) a year and a half between now and RMAS, what should i do? im on a sailing week this summer with the Army, but does anyone have any advice or tips on regimental visits, any courses i could ask about, or generally how to improve myself before Sandhurst?
    Thanks in advance.
  2. Congratulations on your Scholarship.

    In answer to your question: nothing you weren't doing before!
    The idea of the Scholarship is that you continue with being a normal student and get life experience in civvie street before going green.

    The only thing the Army will expect you to do is the AT in the summer holidays but if you want to get on some extra courses then you can ask your careers advisor about "potential officer visits" which normally consist of being shown a snap shot of a particular arm (Infantry, RA etc) and then doing loads of fitness; other than that you can get on visits to particular Regiments (again, ask your careers advisor). [Note that a lot of the visits have age constraints so get asking soon!]

    Speaking from experience however, I would suggest it is easier to leave most of the visits (other than those that have to be done by the time you reach 18 ) until you get to University as you will then get paid by the OTC to attend them and you can do a lot more stuff. If you decide not to go to Uni though you will struggle to get on decent courses as most of the ones I know about require you being 18 to attend and when you turn 18 you will be more worried about getting drunk/doing A-Levels!

    So in summary: carry on with what you're doing and just work on your fitness and studies (I made the mistake of neglecting my studies to go on courses) - the only thing you really want to do is the visit to Sandhurst which has to be done before your 18th Birthday.

    Any other questions then let me know.

  3. Thanks Willbilly, your advice is actually very helpful. I'd heard about the potential officer visits, i did a potential officer course at Strensall Barracks in 2009. think i shall write to my careers advisor about these visits, i was particularly interested in the paras one, seems hard but fun! One more quesion, do you know anything about the 4 Para Gap Year scheme, and whether they'll let you do it if you have a Scholarship? If not no worries, thanks for the reply!
  4. I have no idea about the Paras I'm afraid - again I would suggest asking your careers advisor.

    I would say however that if you're that eager to get into a uniform then maybe it would be easier to ignore the gap year scheme and just get to Uni and join the Officer Training Corp or local TA unit (there is a debate around here somewhere about which is better but I can't find it). I know one guy who did a year in the TA before going to University and joining the OTC who finds it boring as hell because for him it's a step backwards so be careful if that is what you choose because you might find Uni quite boring.

    However it is your life so you will have to make your own decision about what you want to do - good luck with the gap year if that is what you choose to do!
  5. tom


    I too am in a similar position, having passed the AOSB Scholarship Board. Would I have pass the TA AOSB briefing and main board to join a TA unit as an officer? Or do you know if the scholarship board counts as a full AOSB pass for both regs and TA?
  6. thanks again, the point about a step backwards seems very reasonable. i've written a letter to my army careers advisor, so hopefully he'll be able to shed some light on the paras aspect of things.

    tom- i wouldn't have thought they'd let you be a scholar if you only wanted to go TA, as part of the agreement is to serve 4 years regular, unless you meant TA while you were at Uni? If that's the case, i'd speak to your ACA. think they prefer you to do OTC, well that was the impression i got from it during my interviews, but your ACA is the best person to go to.
  7. Short answer: yes.

    Long answer:
    If you've passed the AOSB Scholarship board then you have passed AOSB and that allows you to be an Officer in the TA or the regular army. However if you hold a Scholarship then you are required to do a minimum of three years service in the regular army - there is nothing to stop you being an Officer in the TA after this 3 year period and if you go to University then after your first year you can apply to become a TA Officer through the Officer Training Corp and then transfer to a normal TA unit.

    @Harrison - That sounds like the best thing to do. If you have any more questions then let me know.
  8. tom


    willbilly, thank you very much for your answer. As an army scholar, would there be anything stopping me joining a normal TA unit straight away, rather than OTC?
  9. It depends.

    If you convert your Scholarship to a Undergradute Bursary then the contract states that you must join the local OTC instead of a TA unit unless there are extenuating circumstances such as the distance to the OTC unit - if you really wanted to join a normal TA unit then I'm sure you could get permission but I believe you have to get permission from Sandhurst to do so (although I'm not sure so asking a careers advisor would be a good idea). Bear in mind however that the OTC is designed for University students and as such it is a lot more understanding with deadlines, moreover if you work hard enough then after the first year you can transfer as an Officer to a normal TA unit or spend your summer training with a normal TA unit.

    If you don't ask for the bursary then you can join a TA unit while at Uni and they can't really stop you. Although it is worth noting that if you go down this route then you are less likely to get command positions (as they will be training for deployment), you lose out on the £1000 bursary and they won't be as flexible with training as the OTC is.

    Whatever you decide, good luck!
  10. Tom - nothing will specifically stop you joining a TA unit but they all differ in their degree of sympathy towards students. Some see guys like you as a valuable (albeit short-term) asset, others see you as requiring too much investment for too little return, given that you will be certain to leave them after 3 (maybe 4) years. "Normal" students are seen somewhat differently because there is always the chance that they will stay in the TA after university, subsequent employment allowing - the Army Scholar (who has quite possibly become and Army Bursar by then) won't.

    The other thing to consider is the requirement on your time. The UOTC is tailored around the academic year so all the important activites, courses etc fall at the most convenient time for the majority of students (there are naturally some courses where the workload and/or timetable simply don't fit and membership of the UOTC is difficult!) whereas the TA isn't structured or timetabled with students in mind and there might be serious clashes - annual camps over exam periods etc.... In addition, UOTCs are generally more understanding if you simply can't attend for a period.

    All of that said, there are lots of students who do join the TA very succesfully - much will depend on what you are going to read and where.
  11. tom


    willbilly and Scaly_Officer, thank you for your replies. They are very helpful. I've still got a while before I'm even old enough to join, so I've got plenty of time to discuss the options with my ACA.
  12. My son did the 'Gap year/4 Para' thing.It was very good and the making of him.I believe that it's no longer available.I don't know about the scheme,in detail,but it would appear that it has been part of the 'cuts?'

  13. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    With regard to the possibility of doing the TACC whilst at university on a bursary, the Army's general intention is to stop this happening. The army doesn't gain anything from it, it is expensive and it might deny a place on the TACC to a person who is intending to pursue a long-term career in the TA. There is some discussion about allowing university bursars who have passed MLDP 1 and 2 (and presumably Mod 3) to wear 2nd Lieutenants rank 'on probation' in their final year of university but I don't know if it has got any further than that.

    My own view is that it is not worthwhile for those intending to join the regular army to join a TA unit whilst at university and the TA units don't get much out of it either. Much better to concentrate on academic studies whilst doing UOTC training specifically tailored to the requirements of university students contemplating the commissioning course.
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