Is 26 too old to be going to Sandhurst?

Do you think 26 is too old to start the regular commissioning course at Sandhurst?

  • Yes

    Votes: 1 2.9%
  • No

    Votes: 33 97.1%

  • Total voters
    34
I have received an offer to attend the regular commissioning course at Sandhurst but I am concerned about how I will be viewed because of my age. Upon arrival at Sandhurst I will be 26 and will be 27 by the time I commission. I am fairly fit, currently finishing a degree, and have no ties or commitments.

1) Will this put me at a major disadvantage at Regimental Selection Board? I am interested in commissioning into one of the Corps.

2) Many of my younger colleagues will attain Captain rank in their mid twenties whilst I probably won't reach Captain rank until I am 32. What effect will this have on my promotion potential in the army?

3) Would it be wiser to get on a good grad scheme and join as a reservist officer rather than joining the regulars?
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
I was at Dartmouth last year and got chatting to a cadet in his 30s.

He had a very niche engineering background and wanted to be an engineering officer on submarines, which suited his skills.

He did say it was a bit of a pain being 10 years older than everyone else there, but he was enjoying himself and was confident that it was the right career move for him.

He was under no illusion that he was gonna be an Admiral one day. He just really wanted to do the job and age wasn’t a factor for him.

I’d say go for it.

Having said that when I was your age, I’d already been outside 4 years and was married with kids.
 
Hi Throwaway, go for it. In answer to your questions:
1. Not necessarily, particularly with the Corps. Occasionally the combat arms can get a bit worked up about age.
2. Your potential for promotion to Captain is based on time served and recommendations. You will promote at the same time as your muckers from RMAS promote.
3. The regulars vs reserves question is only one you can answer. If you want to be a professional Army officer do it full time. If you want to pursue another profession then join the reserves.

Good luck whatever your decision.
 
I have said it before, and shall say it again: Officers with some life experience, and maturity, generally make better, well rounded officers. That is in comparison to a green, wet behind the ears, virgin, who has just left school, needs to be right about everything, and is incapable of taking advice.

Don’t worry about being as fit as 18 - 20 year olds, you will be……just put in a little work before you go.

As for promotions, put in the work, anticipate your CO’s need’s, do that little bit extra……like volunteering for xmas/new year duties, accompanying the football/cricket team and it will be noticed. Those who merit it pick up rank a tad earlier. Just be a far king outstanding leader of men.

Good luck.
 
Average age is between 23-24 each year so you really aren't that far 'behind' if you consider yourself to be 'behind' at all.
 

Daxx

MIA
Book Reviewer
I would only offer be fit, which you can prepare prior to attending, as it's one less thing to think about when you're there.
 

Pagan-Image

War Hero
My experience with this is an an enlisted soldier within a corps..

I joined at 25 and there was no issue other than being called granddad by the teenagers.

At the start it may cheese you off a little that you are being treated like you are in your late teens/early 20s but that is a mind over matter thing

The biggest issue as you rightly put, is when you get older and further up the ranks.

At 36 and a Sgt i was being evaluated for promotion against my peers who were 8-10 years younger than I was. Fitness and personal circumstances (Married, 2 kids) sometimes put me at a disadvantage . I had to work A LOT harder at 36 to reach the same fitness standards as my peers, I was also carrying a long term back injury, Injuries are also something that happen a lot more easily as you get older,

However your age will also give you a maturity advantage over your peers, you may find that you are given tasks and projects that wouldn't be given to others, the expectation will be higher.

Friendships may also be strained as your natural friendship groups will be in a different stage of their careers.

I would definitely go for it though, the age difference will generally only be in your own mind, but it is something to be mindful of.

Hope these ramblings help
 
OK, 35 years ago but I don’t reckon it’ll have changed in the aspects below.

We had a guy late 20s in the Platoon at RMAS and he ended up top of the pile. Reason? He was fit and mature. He latched onto the bullshit aspect quicker than anyone else and didn’t see helping others as a burden, he had mental strength to spare because he’d seen more of life. He became a bit of a father figure and Cadets and DS alike relied on him to keep the “team” going. That sort of stuff gets noticed for the right reasons; he did it because he recognised weaker guys were a burden for everyone so rather than try and look good by joining in piling on, he looked even better by reducing the burden for all by helping the guy get sorted.

Personally I reckon the older guys across the intake were the ones who I’d look to as good examples because they had years between playground and parade ground. Playground stuff doesn’t work and juveniles who were lucky enough to find it easy and who were happy to watch others struggle because they thought it made them look good got sussed pretty quickly and carried the Big Timer tag for the rest of their time at Sandhurst.

Good luck. I’d put money on you doing well.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Average age is 23-24. Usual limit is 30 but there are age waivers, so the oldest I’ve seen was 34. Just go for it.
 

Leo93

Clanker
Jumping on this.

I have a place for May (Well currently 20th on the standby list, but I'd back myself to get on).

Ill be 28 when I start, turning 29 in August. I was concerned about my age, but after reading this and talking to others I don't think its anything to be concerned about. As long as we can abstain from injury!
 
Jumping on this.

I have a place for May (Well currently 20th on the standby list, but I'd back myself to get on).

Ill be 28 when I start, turning 29 in August. I was concerned about my age, but after reading this and talking to others I don't think its anything to be concerned about. As long as we can abstain from injury!
Good luck and fingers crossed for no injuries!
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Jumping on this.

I have a place for May (Well currently 20th on the standby list, but I'd back myself to get on).

Ill be 28 when I start, turning 29 in August. I was concerned about my age, but after reading this and talking to others I don't think its anything to be concerned about. As long as we can abstain from injury!
You’re somewhat older than average but that can be an advantage. In terms of physical fitness (marathon) I was at my best between 26 and 34 years of age.
 

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