Is Attending AFC Harrogate worth it or should i attend college?

I’m just about to turn 16 this august and planning on going to Harrogate to join the Royal Medical Corps but i was wondering if it’s worth joining at the age? I’m just scared that when i do leave the army i won’t have any good qualifications to get a decent paying job on civvie street but i genuinely hate education, i’ve barely made it through secondary school and even though college is only 2 years my parents also want me to go to uni but at the end of the day it’s up to me. I’m also scared that with me being black and not having A Levels promotions could could come incredibly hard or even never...

PLEASE HELP!
 
Your colour means nothing in the army. If you listen and learn, you'll get promoted, whether you're black, white, green or purple.

The Army will also give you the qualifications you need to get on. If you just about scraped through school, don't bother with uni. Unless you are going to do a hard course at a top uni, it's a waste of money. You can get a degree through the Army for free.

Go to Harrogate and give it your all. If you throw yourself at it and try and learn as much as possible, you'll probably find that you do well.
 
The Army will give you plenty of skills and provide you opportunities to improve your education whilst paying you as a soldier. If you don’t want to do your A levels or go to uni, don’t. It’s your life and there’s nothing stopping you going back and doing these things later if you desire.
 
Your colour means nothing in the army. If you listen and learn, you'll get promoted, whether you're black, white, green or purple.

The Army will also give you the qualifications you need to get on. If you just about scraped through school, don't bother with uni. Unless you are going to do a hard course at a top uni, it's a waste of money. You can get a degree through the Army for free.

Go to Harrogate and give it your all. If you throw yourself at it and try and learn as much as possible, you'll probably find that you do well.
What about promotions though? I heard that A Levels are a MUST if you want to progress up the ranks without going through Late Officer Entry at like 30.
 

Dalef65

Old-Salt
What about promotions though? I heard that A Levels are a MUST if you want to progress up the ranks without going through Late Officer Entry at like 30.
From reading this comment it seems clear to me that you don't know whether you want to join the ranks as an enlisted man, or whether you want to Commission as an Officer.
I'm not actually sure if you're aware of the difference between the two options.

I think you should do a bit more research into the different ways and options open to someone wishing to join the Army. I also feel that given this, sticking with further education will be beneficial to you in order to keep your options open.
 
Have a think about what exactly you are finding difficult about education.

Is it the learning process or is it the general school environment?

If you actively dislike learning itself then I really don't see how we can help you.

I massively under achieved at school, and the place in general hindered my interest in learning anything.

But in a completely different environment, ie the Army, I found being taught stuff I was interested in by people I respected was a completely different thing and I lapped it up.

If you do not want to learn anything you are not much use to the army or yourself, but if you feel changing what is around you is what is required then plunge in.

All the very best of luck with it.
 
What about promotions though? I heard that A Levels are a MUST if you want to progress up the ranks without going through Late Officer Entry at like 30.
Anything that you need to get promoted, the Army will give you. Everything.

To be a late entry officer, all you need to do is get selected on merit once you reach Senior NCO rank.
 

conjurer

Old-Salt
Don’t give up on your education. Get as well qualified as you can and then pursue a career. If you give up on education and then find the army isn’t for you you’ll have nothing. Obtain a proper education and you will find greater opportunities are opened up to you.

People do succeed without educational qualifications but far more succeed with them And go further. A proper education, to the best of your ability, followed by military career will have far greater benefits than no formal education and a soldier career trying to catch up on distance learning courses.

You want to join the RAMC. Army Medical Services comprising RADC, RAMC, QARANC and RAVC. They offer soldier careers in nursing, environmental health, radiographer etc all requiring a formal education but they then sponsor successful candidates to university to complete the associated degree after basic training. Gain your A levels and apply for soldier service through this avenue. University on a soldier wage with paid for accommodation - why would you forgo an education?

edit due to poor referencing.

nonetheless there are a number of professionlly qualified roles within the forces which become available due to a decent education prior to joining. Some are available due to GCSE attainment and others as a result of A level (or equivalents). The ability to go to university, as a soldier, from basic training and to be paid shouldn’t be sniffed at and remains little known.
 
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Don't worry about your colour. There is racism in the military but probably less so than civvy street. If you're a grafter you'll fit in. One colour, green.
 
What about promotions though? I heard that A Levels are a MUST if you want to progress up the ranks without going through Late Officer Entry at like 30.
AFC will give you all the qualifications you need for progression up the NCO ranks
 
Think of AFC as an apprenticeship in basic Army, could help your career, but slower start than just joining the workforce.

I joined the infantry and went to AFC in 2006 before Catterick for 10(?)weeks.
I had no GCSEs so the extra education at AFC was good for me, and you get to do a lot of extra sport and adventure training as you’re there for so long. I served just under 6 years in the end and think I benefited from doing AFC as an addition to normal infantry training. Don’t be thinking thought that you’ll get to unit and they will treat you like it’s a masters from Oxford!

If you need qualifications (eg. A levels) for your career then you either need it to join on the first place or it will be built into the career structure, just like most industries. And that’s normally for SNCO level promotions, which isn’t really a concern for the next 10years

Every generation of soldiers say the next generation gets it easier, and it is a bit fluffier now that it was 10 years ago, and 10/20/30 before that...but I do think if you’re 16/17 then AFC is a good environment to join service life. There’s a lot to get you head around as a young person who’s just started to experience freedom to then have it suddenly controlled in training.

Downsides you are there for a year vs a few weeks normal basic training, which slows down the start of your career (granted you might catch up faster down the line). Life is better at unit, if your joining a trade it’s already a slow path there.

My biggest point would be that AFC doesn’t set you up for life after the army the same way a normal college course might. I’ve been lucky career wise after leaving but more emphasis is being put on qualifications in the outside world as that is what the schooling system has been adapted to fit; everyone needs an A level / NVQ. Plus you might regret missing the ‘normal’ parts of being a teenager, which *might* be just as important for setting you up as a human in the world as any Alevel or AFC.

Bottom line:
Join the army because you want to be in the army, and do a trade too if you want. But if you want to do a certain career and the army is just an ‘easy’ route there, stay in college.

Side note: Harrogate is boring as far as things to do, but beautiful to look at.
 

theoriginalphantom

MIA
Book Reviewer
My poor referencing; Army Medical Services. Edited above.

Ta


not forgetting that unless already qualified there is a three year university degree course to get through after basic training. If the OP isn't enjoying education now, it isn't going to get any better.
At one point potential nurses needed a minimum level of education to get accepted. I had a couple of my CMT's go that route and one RLC driver (and he was thicker than a thick thing from thickville).
Two of them had to get through some additional A levels

I do not know what the current requirement is.


edited to add I do now

STUDENT NURSE (SOLDIER) - 120 UCAS points plus 3 GCSEs Grades 9-4 (previously A-C) including Maths, English Language and one of the following: Health and Social Care, Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Science double/triple award or equivalent. Full entry requirements on Birmingham City University website
 
Was an instructor at AFC(H) from 2007-2009 and have held a range of roles in instructor development since. Also joined Army with very few qualifications, now have an MSc at distinction and a defence-funded PhD place. Few quick points:

- Is race an issue? Rarely, certainly less than years ago, but there’s occasional bigots in all walks of life and uniforms attract some of them. Patience and strength of character will generally overcome the few you may meet.
- Are you ready or appropriate for Higher Education at the moment? To be honest it sounds like you’re unlikely to find out bud. Right now you don’t have the desire or focus to succeed - ie excel - at university. However military training and discipline will probably positively affect that and if you think you can avoid written work as you go through the ranks - not a chance. Writing concisely and effectively is a vital skill above Cpl and most late-entry officers are absolute ninjas at exacting detail and interrogation of
facts.

However the learning environment in the armed forces is different - supportive for people who are ‘non-academic’ and competitive in a generally fair way. Hard work generally beats raw talent over time.

- AFC(H) isn’t the London School of Economics - but it’ll be challenging and will give you a foundation for future success if you persevere.
- You complete a short career in the Army and learn from the best around you then many of the better universities will take you as a mature student without A levels and the Army will fund a 3 year degree course (educational, not living, costs). That’s a pretty good deal.

I would usually recommend staying in education. However you probably need what the Army can provide - discipline, focus and a (metaphorical) kick *********** plus some role models. My recommendation would be Harrogate.
 
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