How should I combine a degree and the army?

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Regular Officer Recruiting' started by irezumi, Jan 7, 2010.

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  1. Bit of background info first. I applied to join Royal Engineers just over a year ago but due to having had physio within a year I was given a medical defferal. The motorbike injury that caused this (knee) doesnt give me any problems now, nor then. I went in to work then decided to study an Access to Sports Science course (pre-degree) which is one year with the intention of getting a degree. I am now at a point where I can re-apply to the army.

    My question is what is the best way to combine getting a degree and joining? As I see it I have three options. Join then study after having served in the army. Do UOTC whilst studying or join then study part time whilst in the army. Does anybody know the pros and cons of these and anyone with experience with having studied in any of these ways? I am now 24, will be 25 in the summer for reference. I have been in contact with the recruiting office and the Sgt I have been speaking to has left it in my hands so just trying to gether as much info/opinion as possible.

    Thankyou for any help/guidance as this is giving me a bit of a headache!
  2. I - check your pms
  3. OTC pros (from my experince) good laugh, lasting friendships, they will help you with RCB, getting paid to drink on a weekly basis it doesn't happen much in any of the companies that I have worked for. You get to do some expeditions which are usually fairly unadventerous, but a good laugh in places you probably would not get uni clubs going to. exposure to the army you may decide its not quite right for you or that there are other branches you want to investigate.

    Cons are it can be quite uninviting socially ( although less so than a lot of ni club in crowds) and a bit snobish. Have a read of Patrick Hennessey's Young Officer's Reading Club - he has an interesting thought on the OTC and his decission not to join.

    I however had a really good time and enjoyed it.
  4. BBear

    BBear LE Reviewer

    OTC is a brilliant way to open your eyes to the military world, without it biting off your hands and shaving your head. I'd highly recommend it. During my time with my otc i went skiing 4 times, climbed swedens highest mountain and did some challenging green training.
  5. Don't the Army pay for you to study for your degree? When it's done you, you sign on for a short term commision or whatever it's called now, and Robert's your mums brother. You end up with a degree all paid for by the tax payer, the Army gets a bit of service out of you...Everyone wins!!! Just don't under any circumstances arrive a your unit as the most senior lieutenant in the regiment, Larging it. Especially if you've never ever spent a minute at a regular unit, (C_LL_G_N you fat useless cnut) as many of your less senior, but more experienced fellow subby's may take offence and administer a darn good officer style thrashing :wink: :lol:
  6. You dont get paid in the OTC now, and their budgets have been slashed beyond belief. My "local" OTC is going to struggle to do anything worthwhile for its anniversary. Also, the comment about them being full of posh people is largely pretty true, there is an atmosphere of snobbishness in the UOTC most local to me which would make most guards messes proud.
  7. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    Interesting fantasy world you're inhabiting.

    The current expectation is that pay for OTC cadets will resume in the new financial year. OTCs have a fixed training syllabus so it is not that difficult to operate and train within a set budget, provided that it doesn't get progressively reduced through the course of the year, which is what happened this year. At present, holders of Army Undergraduate Bursaries are being paid, despite the cuts.

    OTCs are "full of posh people"? Horsesh1t. They are full of people who fulfill the basic academic requirement for commissioning, are medically fit and have passed a selection process loosely based on AOSB. I don't see any evidence of snobbishness, but if there is any, it's entirely unjustified.

    What OTCs do is deliver a training package designed to develop leadership skills alongside some basic military skills. It isn't about turning you into a Ninja warrior. A good UOTC will prepare you for the regular or TA commissioning course at Sandhurst, and you can have some fun along the way: you can't expect much more than that.
  8. Could always join as a non-grad and complete a ISD.

    I heard rumours of the option of a OU style course being looked in to for the YOs, but not sure when they'd get the time to do such a course in between Troop Cdr courses (where they are completed during service not prior to first unit), Ord Officers etc.
  9. The non grad thing is very much an option for RLC, R sigs and RE YOs (non-grads).
  10. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    Not being a graduate is an option in most arms and services but I would suggest that anyone contemplating it should think carefully before they go down that road.

    Apart from the usual arguments about competing with individuals on a level playing field, I strongly suspect that funding for in-service degrees will get quite tight. For the benefit that the army accrues from individuals getting degrees, it's much more cost effective to sponsor them as bursars than to fund them on full pay once they've been through training.

    In the last ten or fifteen years, the army has basically decided that it wants officers to have degrees before they start training. It's prepared to look at individuals who don't but I would suggest that they have to be fairly outstanding to get a look-in.
  11. Thankyou very much for all the help so far.

    After all of this I have discovered a slight problem after having read through the forums. I have a tattoo which covers my thigh and my back (traditional Japanese). I was aware that visible or religious tattoos were not allowed but did not realise excessive tattoos also fell in to the rule. I realise that this is not to everybody's taste. What I'd like to know is does this seriously dent my chances of applying via the officer route, and potentially even as a standard soldier?

    Also chocolate_frog, could you please elaborate on what an ISD is?

    Thanks you for all the help as mentioned.
  12. Irezumi - The Tattoo issue is a misnomer - I know many officers & soldiers who have got in with quite a lot of ink. Declare it on your application & see what happens, or phone the careers office - can't hurt but to try, although the real decision will land with AOSB.

    A ISD is an in-service degree. You take 3 years out of your career and go to uni on your full pay. I've got a couple of mates doing it at the moment, both enjoying it, but were limited in their degree options to things relating to their Capbadge (RLC).

    An ISD is very competitive to get on - there is no guarantee you'll be selected for one.


  13. I'm not certain that's across the board, bursars in my OTC are not being paid, while those in, for example, EMUOTC are.
  14. Maybe you could join the Japanese army. If it's traditional they will respect you for it.
  15. Irezumi will be 25 in the summer, which means that hell be at least 28 when he gets to RMAS if he gets a degree. It may be more wise for him to try and get to RMAS as a younger person, as if he starts at 28 he may find that his options are a little limited. Its just a thought, and that was why I mentioned the ISD. I have no doubt that in ten or twenty years time it will be a requirement as with the yanks that all officers are graduates.