Discussion in 'Officers' started by boredcivvy, Jan 5, 2009.

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  1. Hi all, I’m reasonably new to all this forum chat, but I have decided I would like to attempt to obtain a commission with the RAF Regiment, and if you current forum users would be so kind to answer some questions I have regarding the process, it would be much appreciated.

    I know this is a Army forum, but I have had very little feedback from 'e-goat' the RAF forum, and I guessed there will be a few RAF Regiment guys on this forum, and people who just have a greater deal of generic military knowledge than myself!

    1) Is there still one JROC course per year?
    2) What happens if there is a gap between IOT and JROC ? as in my understanding you are a commissioned officer but do not have any trade training, and thus a kind of a ‘blank’ officer.
    3) If I pass IOT but then fail JROC due to injury or not being of the required standard, what happens to you? Do you get a chance to choose another trade? Or resign your commission and re-enter the civilian world?
    4) How arduous is JROC compared that of 1) Line Infantry Platoon Commanders Battle Course 2) Royal Marines YO course
    5) Is there an accelerated promotion structure if you have a degree?
    6) Is there a further accelerated promotion structure if you have a Masters Degree?
    7) What is the minimum commitment service time?
    8) Is being 28 years old (probably around 30 if I get through IOT and JROC) a disadvantage with regards to promotion?

    Thanks for your help and time
  3. I'm not a Rock but can add to mr C's comments:

    1. Yes which starts around June.
    2. 'Holding' posts can be varible in their use. If you get on the right unit with the right boss you will learn loads and have an excellent time. There is also the potential to engage in expeds although you'd probably be wise to spend as much time learning about your new branch as possible.
    3. Suspension from any commissioned specialist trg results in you returning to OASC for 'reselection'. Here you can either elect to leave the Service, or apply for another branch. If you elect for the latter, reselection involves resitting aptitude tests and medicals for your chosen branch (if applicable) and undergoing further interviews to ensure the Service wants you in that role. There is no guarantee you'll be accepted for another branch (either because of lack of vacancies or because you are deemed unsuitable) and you may be forced to leave.
    4. I don't know but I can't imagine it is as arduous as YO trg.
    5. Yes. However, remember that you wear rank but have to earn respect.
    6. See above.
    7. Look on the RAF careers website!
    8. Joining at that age will not prevent you reaching sqn ldr rank although you would probably be much older than the majority of JROC studes. Indeed, you may wish to research the upper age limits for RAF Regt officer as many moons ago it used to be similar to aircrew (ie around 26). Longer term, your age would be an issue as you would be extremely unlikely to be selected for Staff College by the time you reached the appropriate seniority as a sqn ldr. Whilst the current age bar is now being relaxed, I still think you'd be lucky to progress to wg cdr.

    I suggest you get yourself down to an AFCO smartish if you're serious. Good luck.

  4. Thank you for your reply, It has been extremely helpful, my BSc and MSc are both Human Science based, so I doubt they will help me in my chosen role as a potential RAF Regiment Officer.

    Have you any standards info on fitness levels for IOT and JROC?

    I'm guessing there is a bit of a jump between the two?

    at the moment I'm hitting 9:50 on the 1.5 mile run and 60 press ups (2 mins) 105 sit ups (2 mins)
  5. Subject relevance doesn't matter for seniority purposes - you'll get as much for a Fine Arts BA as for an International Relations one, or a Biochemistry BSc as Civil Engineering. All that matters is that you hold the qualification. The subject you studied may bias or even affect your selection process (but clearly not as much for rocks or infantry as for, say, R SIGNALS or REME).

    Don't, regardless, disparage the proven ability to learn and regurgitate (even analyse, if your studies have taken you that far :D ) - there will be plenty of career courses which will take just that skill set! And, if 'Human Science' means physiology or psychology - I can see both of these being useful as a combat leader.
  6. It's been a long time since I did IOT but in my day fitness standards were high. Of course it's a lot easier now!! 8)

    I believe that there is a website or 2 offering advice for OASC and IOT somewhere.

  7. 1. Not entirely sure on the amount of JROC courses per year (either 1 or 2), but it now lasts for 9 months.

    2. If there is a gap between the end of IOT and JROC you will be attached to a Regiment Squadron. You could get lucky and get attached to a squadron preparing for Ops, meaning you get loads of valuable training in that will aid you on JROC. In some cases due to a lack of officers, you may actually be given the command of a flight, but this all depends on the OC and the squadron.

    3. If you get injured on JROC you will be recoursed and given another shot at it after you have recovered. Im not 100% sure, but I believe you get 2-3 attempts at JROC to pass it. I suspect that if you fail, but show potential, you will get another chance, but complete biffs will probably be binned. If you fail completely, you will be assigned another branch.

    4. Cant really compare JROC to the other courses. A lot of the RAF Reg Officers will tell you that you need to be nails to pass it and ive often heard that "in the last group through JROC only 4 ex-NCOs passed it" etc. But after speaking to a couple of Junior Officers who completed it in the past 18 months they said that its not as tough as its made out to be - just the common sense approach of keep your head down, stay fit, and work hard.

    5. As a graduate you will go through Cranwell on Pilot Officer pay, be commissioned as a Flying Officer, and be automatically promoted to Flight Lieutenant two years after your commissioning.

    6. Not sure, but with a masters I think the time to Flight Lieutenant is reduced to a year or six months.

    7. Dont know, probably 4-6 years.

    8. Dont know enough to comment on promotion. You will be older that most on IOT and JROC, but there will be a few ex-NCOs on IOT and JROC around your age.

    I can tell you that at the moment the RAF Reg are absolutely desperate for Officers as they are well below the required levels. This should make your life a lot easier at OASC as they are desperate to recruit decent Reg Officers to fill the manpower holes.

    On the fitness front you are fine for OASC. Cranwell dont do the 1.5 mile run; instead they do a "multistage fitness test" (bleep test shuttle runs). Like the whole test, its easy to pass if you have a reasonable standard of fitness, but its worth practicing shuttle runs if you havent done them before.

    The pass marks for the RAF 17-29 male fitness test is:

    9.10 on the bleep test (approximately 10 mins of running back and forth)
    20 pressups in 1 minute
    35 situps in 1 minute

    These are easily achievable with reasonable fitness and a bit of hard work. You are asked to complete it to the best of your ability, so keep going for as long as possible. I believe that you will be grouped on IOT with those of similar fitness results, so dont slack and get stuck with the fatties.

    For JROC your fitness levels will need to be high. Probably worth getting out and doing some tabbing around countryside with weight in your bergan. I know that the RAF Reg's fireteam assessment requires you to tab 2 miles in under 20 mins in full battle order.

    Hope this helps you out.
  8. That makes a change...they used to be full of officers below the required level, who were absolutely desperate...
  9. Barkfest,

    Thank you for your reply; is the shortage of RAF Reg Officers just part of the Armed Forces in general being undermanned as the mainstream media report?

    Or is it more specific to that of the RAF Regiment?? and if so why?

    I have 2 friends in the forces at the moment, one who is in the Royal Engineers said something along the lines that the RAF Reg are a load of crap, and Army combat support units have better soldiering skills than the RAF Reg!

    The other one has just come out of 1 PARA, and said the RAF Reg he worked with whilst in SFSG were "fu##ing top notch" especially the FAC boys! and would rather work with them as opposed to the Royal Marines who he didnt have a high opinion of!

    Not sure if this was because of the age old rivalry between Para and RM, but he seemed quite passionate with his negative views of the Marines.

    I'm more inclined to believe my para mate as his synopsis of the RAF reg was more constructive as opposed to my RE mate who just put them down straight away without even had the chance of working with the RAF Reg
  10. The shortage of RAF Reg officers is not just part of the general undermanning of the forces as the media report, they are well below the required levels. At the moment quite a few NCOs have taken on the mantle of flight commanders in several of the squadrons that are in need of officers. Holding officers (between IOT and JROC) are also being used as flight commanders.

    And on a whole the RAF is undermanned after job cuts a few years back bought them below the required manpower levels. Now over the next two years they are looking to recruit en masse to fill various positions and branches across the whole service. So theres no better time to join the RAF, if thats what you are interested in (although some on this site will probably argue that there is no good time to join the RAF at all :) ). This is straight from the horses mouth - the AVM of 22 Group (responsible for recruitment and training).

    I dont know enough to comment on why the RAF Reg are undermanned in terms of Officers, but id guess it is something to do with the low-profile of the Reg publically ontop of the undermanning of the forces in general. The RAF Reg simply are not as high profile or as well known as the Marines or Paras.

    The Reg get a lot of shit thrown their way from the Army units, and its pretty standard to get abuse or banter from them as the Reg are largely seen as glorified security guards who doss around miles away from the action. And like every unit there are complete biffs that give them a bad name, but the majority of the gunners are top notch. Your friend from the RE has a pretty standard view of them.

    However a good deal of those who have properly worked with the Reg have a fairly good opinion of them. They dont just sit around inside the wire, but spend a good deal of time patrolling 20-25km out from the airfields in order to make their presence known and eliminate any threats.

    The standard of the average recruit in the Reg also seems to be higher than that in the army. Although there are some mongs, the majority are very professional, well disciplined, and switched on - most of them have been through the air cadets and wanted to join for a long time. From my experience, the majority seem to be shit hot with their drills, soldiering skills, and professionalism; they just get a lot of unfair and bad rep.

    However I have two personal concerns with the RAF Regiment (you may or may not share these).

    The first is that for Officers the Reg is a very narrow promotion pyramid. There are a lot of Flight Lieutenants hanging around and very few Squadron Leaders, Wing Commanders, and above. You have to remember that the RAF is run by pilots, so promotion to the higher elchelons is a lot harder (or near impossible past Air Commodore) for those who are not pilots. If promotion past Flight Lieutenant/Squadron Leader does not concern you, or you are only interested in a short comission, then this should not be a problem.

    My second concern was that the RAF Reg dont get out and do enough "proper" soldiering. At the end of the day, they are tied down to guarding the airfield and you will never see them forming part of a large operation, striking into enemy territory, peacekeeping ops, or generally conducting anything where there isnt an airfield. This didnt appeal to me, but it may appeal to you - they have the comfort of being able to return to a bed and shower at the airfield (think kandahar) and are generally much safer than their Army cousins.

    I recommend you watch "Rocks in a Hard Place" on youtube and the Warzone documentary next Monday on Channel 5 (last week it covered RAF Reg, but not sure whether it will do again).
  11. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    To be fair, the RAF Regiment are very good at what they do, but they have quite a narrow and limited role and they lack the critical mass of say, the Royal Marines or the Army Air Corps, which would enable them to get people into the top levels of either their service or defence as a whole. That isn't to say that you can't have a satisfying career as a RAF Regiment officer, but it's unlikely that you'll make it as CDS.
  12. Nail on the head there.
  13. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    Chief of Defence Staff = the top banana
  14. oh ok! well I am being positive with my attempt at gaining a RAF Reg commission, but I think I will concentrate on hopefully passing selection first! then contemplate running the UK's armed forces! :D