Glass Ceiling for Non-Grads?

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Regular Officer Recruiting' started by privatescruff, Jun 22, 2011.

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  1. Ok, I have the dubious pleasure of persuading liberal-pacifist parents (you know the sort) to let me follow my ambition and join the army. They took it better than I though, but when I told then I'd immensely prefer to join at 18/19 as a non-grad officer, my dad was insistent that there is some glass ceiling meaning that I will not get beyond a certain level. I have found no evidence to support this, but now there's doubt in my mind, does anyone here have the answer? I know about the lower pay and seniority, no need to clarify that
  2. I took my boy along to a recruitment office a while back and this is how they explained it to us. If you join as a non graduate, you will have to sit promotion exams at each level of promotion. If you join as a graduate officer, when you are being considered for promotion, you don't need to do the exams. I assume that's up to a certain level? I'm sure others who are much more qualified than me will give more details.
  3. Everyone sits the same exams regardless of academic qualification. The only policy advantage to being a graduate is that you get a deal of seniority over non-graduates; this means that you have to wait significantly longer to get promoted.
  4. LancePrivateJones

    LancePrivateJones LE Book Reviewer

    Serious question,

    Why should this be?
    Is there any evidence that grads make better officers than non grads?
    Why would a person be given enhanced seniority purely on the basis of possessing a degree?

    Or is it just another example of copying the yanks?
  5. Utter and total balls. Everyone goes through the same process, nothing extra for Non grads.

    No Glass ceiling, just a slower promotion to Major. After that, it all evens out more or less.

    Because in what can be a difficult employment market for an employer trying to attract the cream of British Society (not my words), then there needs to be some form of attractive offer to get Graduates in. So what better than fast promotion and more money.
  6. LancePrivateJones

    LancePrivateJones LE Book Reviewer

    Thanks for the clarification.

    My own thoughts (as a grad and an ex-soldier) are not too impressed with this but I don't make the rules of course.
  7. Its not faster for promotion as a grad, its slower as a non grad. If you join at 18 and your mate goes to uni at the same time, you will both finish sandhurst at different times, BUT you will both hit captain at the same time. you will have been earning for three years and developing your understanding of the army. He will have been running up a student debt and broadening instead of focusing his experience.

    If you are going to go the non grad route do it early! you will promote in line with people your age after captain if you join at 18, but if you leave it later youll be a 30year old jnr capt being overtaken by 24 year old non grad captains.

    There isnt a glass ceiling but review boards will favour young non grads over older ones.

    PM me if needs be.
  8. In the AAC there's a compelling argument that the flying return of service (i.e. RD) is longer as a non-grad and therefore non-grads may make more sense when contrasted with the length and cost of the Army Pilot's Course...
  9. As an ex-officer and a non-grad having done the Simple Minds Course that was Sandhurst in those days, I can only offer my simpleton opinion.

    The Army like so many other employers switched to a graduate majority recuitment policy in line with the perception that Graduates were better educated thus better people in the long term; this was sometime in the 90's. The demonstration of apptitude for learning, amply demonstrated by a 2:2 in Media Studies from Hull, was all that was needed to get your CV read.

    The belief that non-graduates, as they tended to be younger, would not be respected by their soldiers has not been adequately explored, in my opinion. The Jesuit tradition of give me a boy and I will show you the man was what, intrinsically, Sandhurst stood for. And many Troop / Platoon Sergeants would testify to.

    Graduates are older but are they maleable? The concept of the Regimental officer has been replaced, to a large extent, by the careerist. The correct ticks in the right boxes and presto you have it. Too much is now compressed into the one or two years of subaltern experience and the damage is beginning to show at every level (this is made worse by the new reporting structure that appears to see a failure as career ending rather than as a learning experience). An 18 or 19 year old would typically, and rightfully, expect to spend 4 - 6 years from 2Lt to Lt and then Captain. A graduate at 22 - 24 will spend no time as a 2Lt and only 1-2 years as a Lt, this is regardless of UOTC experience. Laterly RMAS selection has begun to refocus on life experience as part of the selection process, but what better life experience can there be than leading soldiers?

    So for your boy, I say go for it, if the glass ceiling exists, it will also, sadly exist in all other walks of life. The fact that most HR departments are run (dictated) by second class degree holders from second class unversities is testament to that.
    • Like Like x 3
  10. Although I hear where you are coming from Pillager, I believe you are wrong. For a start, the MoD would be sued for discriminating against a non grad. You cannot say, because you have not gone to university we will slow your promotion, but you can say because you have gone to university we will speed up your promotion. The career path is 10 years for first look at Major, it just happens that your time spent at university counts for seniority, and thus accounted for as service although you could not necessarily say you were serving the colours at the point.
  11. There is no glass ceiling joining as a non-grad. The seniority issue has been explained correctly - there is no 'penalty' from joining as a grad or non-grad.

    If you are 18 and go to Sandhusrt, you will become eligible for promotion to Maj after 13 years = aged 31

    If you go to University at 18 for 3 years, the to Sandhurst you will become eligible for promotion after 10 years = aged 31

    It doesn't amtter which route you take, promotion to Capt after 5 years (2.5yrs for Grads) and then the same time as a Capt until eligibility to Maj.

    The issue of experience of the army vs broader experience will always be discussed, but this is just something the individual has to be aware of and look to compensate accordingley.

    In the Army the debate will rage endlessly, but for the original poster - you can take either route (some even get the opportunity to do a degree In-Serive on the Army expense). If the selection board consider your son in need of wider experieence then they will recommend it rather than just pass him directly into Sandhurst.
  12. Right thank you for the advice. I shall stick with my plans to join as a non-grad. The army has been my ambition for as long as I can remember, and I don't want to spend 3 years not doing that, and running up a large debt in the process. I will probably try for a 6th form scholarship, but first I'll get onto on of the insight courses.
  13. In the end, do what you want. Speaking from experience I was in the same boat a few years ago and have ended up marking time through my uni degree, wishing I'd joined the army proper. If I had my time again, I would have applied to Sandhurst at 18, especially if I was facing 9grand tuition fees.
  14. Sorry M_O_B but I think you are wrong there.

    Go to RMAS at 18, commission at 19 then serve 10 years as a non grad - eligible for first look 29 years old
    Go to University, graduate at 21, commission at 22, then serve 8 years as a grad - eligible for first look at 30 years old.

    It is 8 years for grads, 10 years for non grads. Though I will stand to be corrected because I am dubious about the 18 - 21 year old period. I am pretty sure service counts from Commission post 18 years old, but it does not count towards your pension.

    Promotion track
    2Lt - Lt = Grad (12 months) Non-Grad (24 months)
    Lt - Capt = Grad (18 months) Non-Grad (36 months)
    Capt - Maj = (66 months) Non-Grad (60 months)

    Happy to be corrected, but I know what path I am on!
  15. If I had my time again, I would go to university. I have had some great times as a Non Grad and I have had the pleasure of doing some cracking jobs that probably would not have been available to me as a grad, but it is a bit galling watching people that you commissioned with move onto their Coy Command slot while you wait to see whether you have picked up on the board. Oh, and getting paid £11K at RMAS while everyone else (grads) were on £18K, is a bit of a stinger.