How young is too young?

#1
From a very young age i've always been dead keen to join the army, as i've gotten older i've been more inclined to sign up as an officer as a platoon commander, but as i'm only just turning 18 i am wondering whether i should put it off for a few years to gain a bit more life experiance. i have the opportunity to go to Uni but to be honest if i was to go it would only be to satisfy my parents asperations... Currently at college studying science and thats boring me no end. Also from what i've heard a large amount of officers are a bit more civilised, i prefer the banter with the lads and the sick jokes that entails.

My question is whether i'm too immature and young for the army at the moment or should pursue a degree?

Ain'tNoCracker
 
#2
Sick jokes and banter will happen regardless of the rank if you really want that.

Have a good long think about the responsibility that being a YO entails, its something that people tend to forget about in the whole 'I want to be a soldier, or pilot or command a tank" excitement. First and foremost as a YO you are there to learn, and watch ready for greater responsibility as you gain rank.

Yet even as a 2lt, lt you will still be responsible for the careers and lives of 30 odd young soldiers - its a huge responsibility. I'd suggest you wait, get college sorted and maybe even uni, in my experience (limited as it is) the guys and girls who've 'done' the university thing tend to take to initial officer training better than those who didn't, in many ways.

Just my thoughts
 
#3
You had to ask a question on this forum.
On that basis you are too young.
 
#4
From a very young age i've always been dead keen to join the army, as i've gotten older i've been more inclined to sign up as an officer as a platoon commander, but as i'm only just turning 18 i am wondering whether i should put it off for a few years to gain a bit more life experiance. i have the opportunity to go to Uni but to be honest if i was to go it would only be to satisfy my parents asperations... Currently at college studying science and thats boring me no end. Also from what i've heard a large amount of officers are a bit more civilised, i prefer the banter with the lads and the sick jokes that entails.

My question is whether i'm too immature and young for the army at the moment or should pursue a degree?

Ain'tNoCracker
Get the degree now, if you want to get out after a few years it's already done.

18 is not too young, but 14 is.
 
#5
Thanks for the advice YD, I do realise that its a great responsibility but i really do dread the thought of Uni, the amount of ********* i know going through the student route is pheonominal.

TB: Whats your beef? i apologise for seeking the advice of some senior rankers and officers that lurk in Arrse.
 
#6
Gawd ... i thought this was another sex thread in the NAAFI ;-)

Hello, new poster, and welcome to the lion's den. I've been in your position [OK, in the Dark Ages when chaps wore hats] so listen in ...

I was commissioned into the RN at around 17 3/4, on the understanding that I had to pass the Commissioning Course at Dartmouth [I know, wrong Service, but bear with me]. I had done CCF and ATC, got Glider Pilot and Private Pilot Licences through that, and I was going to be a RN Helo Pilot [in theory]. There were 2 small snags ...

1. I wasn't as good a pilot as the RN needed.

2. Although my academic results were fine, I was still basically a big kid and doing things by checklists [kit inspections, drill, signalling, that sort of thing]. I could do 8 wwp Morse by lamp or buzzer, my drill was brilliant, and I never crashed an aircraft. But I was simply too young to be a 'leader of men'. The demands these days are substantially higher than they were in the 60's.

My perspective? Finish the degree [swap courses if necessary], spend less time on the lash than the others, join the OTC/whatever, and "get some time in". You are developing at a rapid pace at your age ... just make sure you're developing in the right direction.

Best of luck from an old fart ... ;-)
 
#7
Although dangerous to judge solely by first impression, judging by your post alone I would strongly recommend you go to university and attend a UOTC during your time as a student. While there are some young men and women who are genuinely mature enough at 18 (19 on commissioning) to command soldiers on the very complex sort of operations in which we are currently engaged, these are a very small and exceptional minority.

I note that you don't get on with many of your contemporaries going to university and would caution that you need to be able to get on with a wide variety of people to succeed in the army (whether as an officer or as a soldier).

If you feel so inclined, go along to the recruiting office and seek their advice on university. If you do want to be an officer, don't take it badly if you get knocked back at this stage, just get off to university and join the UOTC which is as good a way as any to prepare for the officer selection process.
 
#8
about 18 but could go as low 16 if she was more mature for har age any thing younger and your nonsing
 
#9
Thanks for the advice YD, I do realise that its a great responsibility but i really do dread the thought of Uni, the amount of ********* i know going through the student route is pheonominal.

TB: Whats your beef? i apologise for seeking the advice of some senior rankers and officers that lurk in Arrse.
Realistically examine the comments in your earlier post, You are in a position to decline the offer of a place at Uni? Most soldiers have come from the background where they would never be given that chance. You have referred to the differences in civility between soldiers and officers? A platoon commander is not and never has been a civilised environment on operations.
Take the chance to go to Uni, join the OTC maybe even the TA for a couple of years. If you go for an interview in your current state of mind you might very well be written off as neither Officer nor soldier.

i have the opportunity to go to Uni but to be honest if i was to go it would only be to satisfy my parents asperations... Currently at college studying science and thats boring me no end.

Commitment? a valuable attribute. or lack of commitment, the sign of a waste of rations.
You did ask
 
S

Snoreador

Guest
#10
My two pence... Caveat: I'm not serving yet, and have yet to pass Main Board.

I'm at the upper end of the application age profile, and have used my time for education (lots of), travel, activity, and generally getting this magic "life experience" thing under my belt. I think, respectfully, you should perhaps go back and read your posts in a detached manner, and see if you think the following applies:

"My question is whether i'm too immature and young for the army at the moment or should pursue a degree?"

My take on it, from the very few posts you have made, is that currently you probably are. This may be an incorrect snapshot of your personality, but it's all I've got to go on.

Couple this with an observation. What would you do, if you were not enrolled at uni, and were given a Cat 2 at Briefing, with a 24 month delay? This is not uncommon for younger applicants. Also, what to do after leaving Army service? Sure, you may currently be wanting a life-long career out of it, which is no bad thing, but reality and circumstance can change aspirations.

Also, as a friend of mine who joined the Navy straight out of school pointed out, are you ready at your age to deal with the crap that can come your way? His first 'Oh crap' realisation was when one of his blokes came to him as his wife was having an affair and wanted a divorce. He was basically unprepared for this kind of situation. In a few more years, you and / or your friends will begin to be exposed to this kind of thing, which prepares you more for it.

My advice: By all means start the application process, but don't screw your one shot at Briefing (cat 4 means never come back again!) by going in with rose-tinted spectacles and an immature attitude. I would seriously recommend taking some time, going to uni (or doing something else worthwhile with your time which develops you), joining a sports / activity club or UOTC, and then picking up the application in a few years.
 
#11
Parental aspirations are a terrible burden ... the OH was 'driven' into training as a Doctor. She lasted 3 years of training [out of the 5].

Be what YOU want to be.

So, "GO ARMY" with the best possible CV and background you can ... don't do what I did and dive in at the deep end when you're not ready. BTW, I was eventually commissioned 2 years after joining the RN, albeit in a different Service ... I was older, and subsequently had a good and successful career ;-)

[edit ... and what all that "snoreador" said while I was 1-finger typing!]
 
#12
Cheers for the responses, I do realise my attitude seems very immature, in response to TB: i didn't mean how civilised i meant would i suit being an officer with that kind of sick banter attitude? i'm not really great at writing about how i perceive things, i have put in my UCAS and will hopefully go down that route, I take all that you blokes have said and appreciate it. But as i planned on lingering around these forums i would like to get your first oppinion of me rectified because i've possibly came accross as a bit of a w*nk. commitment i have, i've been doing this science course for about a year and a half and have not enjoyed it since day 1, i'm still doing it... From a young age i was a chubber but over the years i've been following a pretty hard Phys programme 6 days a week, aspiring to do the para 10 and possibly a marathon., also the fact that i broke my elbow pretty bad to the point i have very little resembelance of a joint, but through plenty effort i actually have almost full movement.
If you still think i'm a bit of a toss, well i tried.

Ain'tNoCracker!
 
#13
Immature, overweight ******. Perfect for a Corps :)

Shame about the elbow ... my back's giving me sh1t at the moment, so don't take up Rugby!!
Work on the typing/capitalisation/spellung and sentence construction, though! :-D

Good luck ... you'll need it!! All the best.
 
#14
Are you going to pass the medical with an elbow as bad as yours apparently is?

Also I notice you refer to the "science course" you are doing. It's not clear what course this is but i would ask whether this will qualify you academically to join as an officer? Most officers have at least three A levels and a degree.

While I normally veer away from criticisms over grammar, I would suggest that if you intend to go to Sandhurst without further academic study, that you need to brush up on your written work (if your posts are anything to go by). This is intended as constructive criticism only and I'm sure that three years producing essays at degree level will lead to the required standard.

Seeing as the other posters are including their qualifications for answering; I am a serving regular officer.
 
#15
Well the elbow situation was always a thought, although i did show a physio the PULHEEMS outline and he was confident i would be ok. I do not stuggle with anything physical and can do far more phys than the majority of people my age.

I guess i shall give this spelling, grammer and sentence structure malarky a try!

With regards to my education i have 3 highers currently and am studying a HNC in Applied Science. It's not so much the subject that mores me rather the lecturers shit teaching standards (standing facing the board, head down mumbling at a sheet of scrawl) and overall repetition of day to day college life.

Brave-coward: I understand my writing skills are atrocious but i didn't realise i would be penalised for it at RMAS?


Ain'tNoCracker!
 
#16
if it helps i'm a homeless person currently squatting and stealing internet connection?

I guessed my answer :)
 
#17
Make no mistake, nowadays officers must be able to write to a reasonable standard. There is a lot of written work in addition to the "blood and guts leadership" piece, this is increasingly true as you rise through the ranks.

At Sandhurst you will be expected to produce written work at about the same standard expected at university for a first degree.
 
#18
@ Ain'tNoCracker! ... you see? Positive criticism!!

Everyone on ARRSE rips a new rectum out of people who don't use proper "English" as in language.
The Directing Staff will bury you!! You MUST be able to communicate as an officer ... simples.
The OH spent a while doing "Remedial English" at RAFC Cranwell ... noing ow to rite proper is a sential. :)

As for being Jockinese, there's little more to be said ... apart from "Ye're Doomed", although Pvt Fraser of 'Dad's Army' may have escaped your experience :-D
 
S

Snoreador

Guest
#19
Good to see you taking feedback on board. A good omen! Your last post was more readable already.

With regards to the elbow, when you apply for your AOSB Briefing, you fill out an RG8 medical declaration form, which your GP has to sign off. Your elbow would have to be declared on this, it is then up to the medical staff at Westbury to make a decision. If it's not in your favour, there is a route of appeal. The point is, you'll find out pretty early on in the process if it's a complete no-no.

3 Highers is roughly equivalent to 3 A-Levels, right? My knowledge of the Scottish education system is rather lacking. As long as it gives enough UCAS points, you're good to go. Having been involved in teaching (on the receiving and giving ends - oo err missis!) in a university setting, I can sympathise with your comments about bad teaching. It's a surefire way to screw up the students appreciation and excitement for it. Good teaching can make you interested in something you did think you were, bad teaching will make you wish you had never wanted to be an astronaut! I can assure you that not all universities have bad teaching - if you go down that route, make sure you talk to current undergrads on visits about the teaching quality.

brave-coward - Degree-level essays? Damn, I was told (tongue firmly in cheek) that the academic staff were lucky to get something handed to them at the upper end of the A-Level scale. Must dust off my pen - my education background is very much essay-free!
 
#20
brave-coward - Degree-level essays? Damn, I was told (tongue firmly in cheek) that the academic staff were lucky to get something handed to them at the upper end of the A-Level scale. Must dust off my pen - my education background is very much essay-free!
That might be an indication of the poor quality of my university essays, rather than the expected academic standard at Sandhurst!

I should clarify that I meant university standard in terms of the use of the English language rather than in content, as you seldom have the opportunity to research to the depth expected at university.

I wouldn't worry too much, although I understand that writing is (rightly) taken more seriously than it was when I went through many years ago.
 

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