Is it pointless doing a civvie skydiving course before joining the military?

Hello chaps, hope this is the right section of the forum.

I'm planning on joining the army in a few years as an officer, aiming for the paras as a first choice. Originally I had intended to join after I finish my A-Levels this summer, however I knew that it would be damn hard to pass AOSB etc at 18, despite having a packed cadet career.
While my mates are in uni I basically want to get 3 years or so of 'life experience'. Revolving around having a job for around 2 years to save up for some real travel experiences (to the countries we have no current intention on invading).

Now recently I had done a tandem skydive for charity with some buddies, and I have to say it was bloody fantastic. I had a look at maybe doing skydiving courses, but I wasn't too sure. Would there be any point in doing so if i was joining the army anyway? I've heard that apart from the whole PARA wings etc you could also do the Advanced Free Fall course at a much cheaper cost through the services.

What would your thoughts be on this? both useful and condescending.



It's probably pointless from a para specific viewpoint - they are unlikely to say you can skip the training on account of already being a ninja.

However, it will probably set you in a good light on account of being such an adventurous young man.


Military parachuting and skydiving are poles apart. Skydiving is a hobby, mil parachuting most certainly isn't. The Advanced Freefall Course is a civvy skydiving course that happens to be run by the military for qualified skydivers as AT. That you're a skydiver by the time you get to RMAS will have feck all influence on whether you get in PARA Regt and even if you do, it will still have feck all to do with your chosen career.

If you want to skydive, skydive.

It's probably pointless from a para specific viewpoint - they are unlikely to say you can skip the training on account of already being a ninja.

However, it will probably set you in a good light on account of being such an adventurous young man.
Yeah, I always believed the view that even if you have done something similar before, you must still go through the proper training as everyone else.
It's completely unrelated to military jumping in just about every respect. However, being able to draw on examples you might encounter of being under pressure can only add to your 'life experience'. I personally found I have encountered few situations that felt as pressured or stressful as learning to skydive and hence future supposedly stressful situations have been much easier to handle (which is obviously part of the whole point of doing AT). If you can afford it now, do it. If not it will be significantly cheaper to undertake at JSAT.

As somebody else alluded to, it will also help demonstrate you have an adventurous persona.


Wouldnt do the civvie course cos when you do the training and see the kit you get issued you will seriously shit yourself.

Ha ha

Go skydiving for yourself not for your career, its a great sport enjoy it whilst you still have knees. Keep it going when you get in there is lots of guys that do it, if you get a qual might even lead to Red Devils, though someone on here can talk you through that.
As mentioned above, it's cheaper to do it through JSAT, getting on a course and getting qualified is another matter though...

If you have the cash to do a civvie AFF course then that would be the way forward.

Deleted 20555

Long distance hiking with an extremely large handbag would probably be more useful - or digging holes in the garden, sleeping in them then filling them in when you wake up?
Jumping in a civvy club is a sport which is well worth doing, doing serious sport before you join will however not be for nothing, experience is 90% of what the military is about. Civvy parachuting however has nothing at all to do with military parachuting.

My tip, just do it!


My tip, if you're intent on doing a course; make sure you pay 'by the jump'. That way you won't be out of pocket when you stoof-in on your first solo.
OP, there's no good reason not to do it mate. It shows a certain 'get up and go', a spirit of adventure and taking yourself out the comfort zone. I'm a diver myself and at my AIB it was quite a topic of conversation as to where I wanted to take it. If you're competing for places with other students who don't have such a background / hobby / experience, it can only add to your application, certainly not detract from it. As other posters have said, do it and enjoy it for the sake of it, not just as an addition to your CV. Good idea about the life experience, i went in straight from uni and struggled in this regard against candidates who had travelled the world and seen a lot. It's horses for courses mate - just use your time between now and joining in getting as much crammed in as possible.
Cheers for all the advice,
I'll definitely be saving a pool of cash for it.
Are you OTC/TA? If so look and see if any of the Regimental Freefall Teams are running any AFF courses. They should be a (bit) cheaper than going through Civvy street (although you'll wipe out all your savings on beer).

The RA Black Knights certainly used to run them and a number of OTC students made up bodies on the courses. Enjoy!

EDIT: consider one of the 'perks' of the OTC/TA as being able to try to get on these AT courses as & when you finish your exams and move onto higher education.

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