is it better to earn commission through ranks or sign straight up as an officer?

Hello,

I wish to be an officer and the problem I am currently facing is that I lack a grade C in GCSE English (I hold a D), I have called up and applied in the hopes of potentially receiving a waiver as I have a degree, but unfortunately I was turned down and that prevents me from joining as an officer straight up.
The dilemma I am faced with is that should I sign up as a regular soldier and earn commission from there and what are the actual chances of that? whereas the other option is to take time out to sit my GCSE English and then apply, keep in mind that GCSE exams are not currently running this year due to the pandemic so the time frame is rather unpredictable?

It may seem like an obvious choice to some but I have heard that it is harder to earn commission from within as opposed to being a civilian. any thoughts/advice will be a huge help.

Cheers.
 
Definitely a Friday question...

How old are you? what do you do at the moment? how badly do you want to be in the army?

If it was me, and all other things were equal (i.e. I was well within the age ceiling, had a job that wasn't going to run out any time soon and could support myself) I'd be resitting my GCSE and applying then.

I'd be going into the ranks if:

up against the age ceiling already

unable to support myself

happy with the idae of being in the ranks, making a career of it, and not thinking it would be the end of the world if I didn't commission

fundamentally if it's officer in the army or nothing, or if you've got time on your side, get the quals weighed off now

If you've not got age on your side, you're willing to roll the dice on whether you ever commission or not, and you fundamentally want to be in the army, then join now.
 
Hello,

I wish to be an officer and the problem I am currently facing is that I lack a grade C in GCSE English (I hold a D), I have called up and applied in the hopes of potentially receiving a waiver as I have a degree, but unfortunately I was turned down and that prevents me from joining as an officer straight up.
The dilemma I am faced with is that should I sign up as a regular soldier and earn commission from there and what are the actual chances of that? whereas the other option is to take time out to sit my GCSE English and then apply, keep in mind that GCSE exams are not currently running this year due to the pandemic so the time frame is rather unpredictable?

It may seem like an obvious choice to some but I have heard that it is harder to earn commission from within as opposed to being a civilian. any thoughts/advice will be a huge help.

Cheers.

Have you thought past the "I want to be an officer" part? What branch of the army do you want to be in? What degree do you have?
 
D

Deleted 166591

Guest
Firstly bare in mind that most people who reply on here are very out of date with information. So take it all with a pinch of salt and block out the “Definitely a Friday question” comments. Your question is a decent one and the answers will probably help others.

Commissioning from ranks is a lengthy and often very competitive process. Only a small number per RMAS intake comes via this pathway. Also it isn’t a back door and you’ll still require the same qualifications. It’s probably best you call the national recruitment phone line and ask them. That way you are sure to get accurate information.

Here is a copy and paste of the process.

1. Education at GCSE level. Soldier potential offices must follow the same guidelines at GCSE level as their civilian entry counterparts;

Education at GCSE level. Soldier POs must follow the same guidelines at GCSE level as their civilian entry counterparts; further or higher education, although desirable, is not required. GCSE requirements are thus:
a. 35 ALIS points or above (34 for SCEs)[1] from 7 GCSE/SCE subjects.
b. Minimum grade C/2 in English Language.
c. Minimum grade C/2 in Mathematics.
d. Minimum grade C/2 in either a science or a foreign language.
N.B. It should be noted that this is the minimum standard. ‘A’ levels and higher education give better potential; in particular ‘A’ levels may qualify them for an in-service degree[2]. Direct entrants will have an advantage in this area over those commissioning from the ranks.
2. Time Served. 2 years’ service must be completed in the ranks by the time they attend AOSB Main Board. This allows DM(A) to waiver the requirement to achieve UCAS points (used to calculate achievement at AS and A2 level) in addition to completing trade qualifications.
3. Age. The individual must be at RMAS by their 29th birthday. The selection and admittance process for serving soldiers is typically 6-12 months, but more time should be allowed. Individuals should be identified as early as possible.


[1] ALIS points from GCSEs: A* = 8, A = 7, B = 6, C = 5, D = 4, E = 3, F = 2, G = 1, U = 0

Potential Officer Process
1. The 9-stage process is explained below: however the soldier should concurrently register for an online officer profile on www.army.mod.uk ‘click’ JOIN.
a. Stage 1 - Identification/Interviews. Once eligibility is confirmed as above, the AFB 227 (Report on Candidate for Officer Training in Enclosure Link A) is to be filled out alongside interviews with OC and CO (or equivalent).

(i)Background study. As an ongoing process, the soldier should be developed as follows:
(1) Separation from soldier peers. If required, the unit chain of command may wish to separate the individual from routine soldier life. An example would be central employment (CO’s driver, Offrs’ Mess) or any position allowing for character and professional development, such as running AT packages or gaining extra AT instructional qualifications.
(2) Current affairs. ‘Reading in’ of newspapers/journals and joining organisations such as RUSI are expected.
(3) Essays. Relevant essay titles should be set and marked by a professional (i.e. an RMAS academic with the relevant qualifications and experience) rather than chain of command. These should be kept on file.
(4) Planning exercises. AOSB planning exercises are readily available on the internet (via Google search); ERLS have run sessions akin to that of the AOSB environment.
(5) Fitness. Individuals should be robust and fitter than the majority of their peers. Injury management/avoidance becomes important once selection draws near.
(6) Other preparation. The individual should also brush up on Corps history. Any extra-curricular development such as community work (Prince’s Trust) is recommended. Character should be worked on throughout.
Note: Once stage 1 is complete the soldier must then register for an officers profile online. This can be done by clicking ‘join’ on the www.army.mod.uk website. The Candidate will be asked to update service and academic history and they will be allocated a Candidate Support Manager (CSM) who works in the National Recruitment Centre (NRC).

b. Stage 2 – Medical. A full Pulhheems should be undertaken and faxed to the AOSB Medical Centre.
c. Stage 3 – Documentation. The following documents should be sent to RE Rec, as a flag brief, in order:

(i)AFB 227 Report on Candidate for Officer Training. Complete by OC and CO. Note that this form expires 12 months after completion and therefore it should be completed only if the soldier is ready to progress through the selection process.
(ii) Previous SJARs and Course Reports. Showing firm recommendation for commission.
(iii) Proof of Education. GCSE/’A’ level certificates plus any others.
(iv) Any other supporting evidence. Citations, essays, recommendations or notable achievements.
a. Stage 4 – Capbadge Specific Potential Officer Familiarisation visit (OFV) and Corps Colonel Interview. As soon as practicable, the soldier is to attend the OFV.
(i) Welcome. They will be welcomed and briefed by capbadge specific recruiting staff before the main visit commences. The recruiting staff will check all documentation is accurate.
(ii) OFV. The first day is particularly important to learn the career structure and responsibilities of an officer. The second day will focus on the wider opportunities within the Corps and give the recruiting staff the opportunity to informally interview the soldier candidates.
(iii) Col interview. During the OFV they will need to pass an interview with Capbadge Col. This will be arranged by the recruiting staff. The subsequent recommendation will form Part 3 of their AF B227. This will then be sent electronically to the candidates Candidate Support Manager in the National Recruiting Centre.
b. Stage 5 - AOSB Briefing. Once the AFB227 is complete the candidate is then ready to go forward to the AOSBB. The soldiers Candidate Support Manager will book an AOSBB and forward an AOSB CV for the candidate to fill in and send directly to AOSB.
Stage 6 – Potential Officer Development Course (PODC). Almost all serving soldiers will need to attend, based at the Army School of Education in Worthy Down. The individual will be loaded on to the next course once AOSB Briefing has been passed.


a. Stage 7 - AOSB Main Board. The individual will be loaded on to the next course once PODC has been passed. Should they fail Main Board, they will be deferred for 12 months until their second and final attempt.
b. Stage 8 – RMAS Entry. If successful at AOSB Main Board, soldiers have a place in reserve and will typically attend the next RMAS intake, even if it is on the Sunday after Main Board. If there is time, all will attend the Pre Commissioning Course Briefing Course (PCCBC). Soldiers should be given an assignment order to RMAS and if there are any administrative issues, the unit RCMO should arrange an assignment order via APC.
c. Stage 9 – Commissioning Course and Arms Selection Board. Once at RMAS, there is no obligation to re-join your original capbadge.
 
Go and get that C in English. You’ll need it anyway.
 
D

Deleted 166591

Guest
Go and get that C in English. You’ll need it anyway.

Especially if you have youth on your side. The Army isn’t going anywhere and it’s important you give yourself the best possible chance. Like I said, don’t think commissioning from the ranks is common or a back door. It isn’t
 
D

Deleted 166591

Guest
From Army careers - GCSE passes or equivalent in 5 subjects, including English Language and Mathematics at Grade C/4 (or above) or the nationally recognised equivalent. If you do not meet this criteria you will undergo an assessment at the Army School of Education, Worthy Down, before being recommended for the selection process.
 

RTU'd

LE
1. What is your degree in, grade & which Uni?
2. If you work at it with a goal at the end then crack on getting a C grade.
Most FE Colleges will do it & you might be able to take it in January if you start in September?
Or you could when I happened to fail my O levels in now what is known as an Arrse Way.
 
D

Deleted 15653

Guest
FE colleges run GCSE Schemes designed for people such as the OP. In my maths GCSE group there were several who were there purely because their chosen career path required a GCSE grade C in Maths. I was teaching Lower Tier where the highest grade you can get is a C but the questions are easier. One of them wanted to join the police. She became a PCSO and gave me a huge hug in training as I was doing PC training at the same time (raised a few eyebrows until full explanation given - especially as I'm actually old than her dad). She's since become a PC and is doing well, so it can be done.
 
D

Deleted 166591

Guest
Also consider the bigger picture. Think about life AFTER the Army. Gaining qualifications now whilst you are young, in the education system and with limited responsibilities may be the best option.

As for RMAS, commissioning from the ranks and waivers etc you are best asking the man in the know @ Brotherton Lad
 

New Posts

Latest Threads

Top