Graduating University and joining as a Soldier

Discussion in 'The Training Wing' started by DrBigCurls, Dec 3, 2007.

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  1. In the next week I shall make a call to the local Armed Forces Careers Office to arrange a meeting. However I thought that I might be able to gain some advice from here aswell.

    I'm currently a second year University student studying Law. At the start of the course I was very much interested in pursuing a career in law, however, after a number of work experience placements I've rather lost my appetite for it (the reasons for which aren't important but don't cause a particuarly inspiring view of the profession).

    Whilst I don't wish to continue with law after University I am interested in the degree and will continue to see it through until the end. I've been thinking a lot about joining the armed forces though I do think that I need to look in more detail to decide what would be the best career in it for me.

    What I would like some advice on then is whether this is a common accurance. Are there many people who become Soldiers whilst having a degree in a subject they will not likely be using in their trade? Would it be seen as an asset or a hindrance?

    Any advice that can be given would be very greatfully recieved.
  2. Redcap Springs to mind
  3. The Sappers have quite a number of soldiers with degrees(not all of an engineering/Science nature)
  4. You're a law student you say; and you can't work this one out for yourself?

    It's obvious really; a degree is not required in the majority of soldier career applications, if you are the type of person who gains personal satisfaction from intellectual engagement at a higher level than, eg, 'pub chatter', then perhaps becoming an OR is not for you. There are many exceptions to this assertion but, on the whole, if you want an intellectual challenge where your powers of situational awareness, specific judgement, subjectivity, analysis of wildly varied factors and the presentation of its product in an environment where your conclusion will unlikey match your commander's intuitive opinion (whilst remaining politically astute and sensitive to wider implications) are regularly tested to the fullest extent, soldiering will unlikely blow your hair back.

    [An ability to carve long and verbose sentences with lots of background info and pauses for breath inserted for effect can also be useful.]
  5. That would be quite similar to my military experience, however, still had ten rather topping years!
  6. Come on mate, the Army is a big social beast, and you have to ask yourself are you the pub chatter type who talks endlessly about footie, women, puking, footie, kebabs? If not, well a squaddie life is maybe not for you UNLESS you want to join and get a couple of years life experience and can go along with this!

    It is not snobbery, just social interests, you might find that you are bored out of your head with not being able to discuss the merits of being a Stoic and how Seneca was just a boring fart. Look at yourself and identify yourself in a pub, do you mix with the blokes in the footie shirts or the serious types in the bar talking about politics etc. This is not to say the guys in the footie shirts are dim, or the others are boring, just that you need to identify your social circle! But if your do join as a Tom, think about your 'top trades' ie, Int Corps, Engineers, Signals tech etc. Go for the top mate, go for officer, your preparing yourself better for life and it is worth loads on your CV.
  7. It really depends on what you want out of your time - a "career" - in which case I agree with all the above, or to challenge yourself in testing circumstances for a few years before deciding what to do with the rest of your life.

    There have been plenty of educated guys join as Toms for a bit of action, and at the moment there is action a-plenty.
  8. Perhaps, but what about a career in education with the ETS?
  9. You're posts have been very informative.

    I suppose I might come across as though I wouldn't fit in (this imrpession being both on this forum and in my daily life), but at the same time I don't believe that the role of an Officer would suit me.

    Regarding what I wish to gain from the Army, I don't think that I would make a career out of it, but I would like to do four years and see for myself what it is like.
  10. Go for it then -- I'll be surprised if you regret it. The biggest regret would be to arrive at 40 years old wishing you'd done it.

    Best of luck.

  11. I can't speak with any generality but certainly there were a number of soldiers with further/higher education in my former regiment (cav). I can't say I noticed that being a problem for them in the slightest and you might be surprised quite how many squaddies are capable of holding their own in terms of politics or philosophy et al although some may choose not to.

    I don't think time in the ranks does any harm and it will certainly give you some experiences that would be hard to reproduce if you chose instead to join the normal graduate recruitment milk round.
  12. Or wishing that you hadn't?
  13. I know a couple of friends from University who joined the Int Corps as Soldiers and seemed to really enjoy it. I have also met some of their muckers in a similar position and the same applies. It really boils down to your personal character and what you want to get out of the whole experience. In my opinion, having a degree does not automatically make somebody 'Officer class' and vice versa. Trust your instincts and if nothing else just remember that bloke from Sharpe. Harris was it? He was really smart and a bloody good soldier to boot. Perhaps you should join the Rifles.
  14. Ive got to agree with the majority of posts on here that there are valuable technical jobs as Technicians in the REME, R Sigs and Royal Engineers, some of these if you show enough initative during trade training and Class 1 you can be fast tracked through the Artificer or Clerks of works. You also have the RMP and Int jobs that require that bit extra and can excelerate your promotion or either into the Education side as Biscuits suggested.
    I had quite a few people in your position come into the ACIO pondering the officer route and the easiest way of descibing it is are you wanting a hands on technically challenging job, if so an OR. If you would rather be using your mental and communication skills then maybe the Officer routes better for you (remember an officer in REME or RE is not a tradesman but a manager). I had a few of them with degres who's been mangers in civvy street who just wanted to be an infantry soldier and didnt want to use their management skills. If you choose this though you can still get selected to go officer once in the Army once they see your way above your peers and your management skills.

    Saying that we dont know you and some people who have degrees and are extremely clever have no common sense at all (no saying you honest :wink: ) so quals dont mean you can automatically walk straight in as an officer or OR. If I was you I would nip into the ACIO and speak to the Senior Recruiter and ask him for more info on both paths he may then put you in for a chat with the ACA(o) for a more detailed chat on officer entry. On the other hand join the TA for a short while first to get a taster.
  15. msr

    msr LE

    Try your local TA unit, get some time in as a tom and see if it is for you. If you decide on the Offr route you will have some good experience.

    If not, then you still have some good experience ;)

    If you decide not to go regular, then you are ideally placed to carve out a TA career.