Join as a Grad - a degree in street sign maint will do...

Discussion in 'Officers' started by spursandchampagne, Sep 15, 2003.

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  1. Just a thought and probably in the wrong area but never mind...

    A number of years ago, the Army decided to give preferential treatment in promotion ( and pay) to graduate officers.
    This was all very well at the time as they realised that they needed to recruit possibly brighter officers. Fair enough....the only problem in that they did not stipulate what degree and from where. Now it is fair to say that there are good degrees from many varying universities, but over my time I have come to realise that there are some very thick people out there with a degree in ¨daft studies¨ yet they are at an advantage when it comes to para 1.
    Would it not be better therefore to have a more comprehensive test at officer selection so that those who come out shining, grad or not, are rewarded and those who are grads but incredibly stupid don´t get acc. promotion for 3 years on the piss.....and do not tell me that the computer tests are a good system to judge that.....time for change.....let us be as cut throat as the civvies we dislike......
    Or bin the present method and have everyone start with the same chance....

    The disgruntled Non Grad(could be thick, could have studied, but did not...)
  2. Lots of officers are joining at 25 years of age plus these days, with more experience of life and not necessarily a degree-the system seems to date from 20+years ago when only a small proportion of Officers were grads. It has swung the other way now with only a few "doing a Harry" and joining after A levels. The system does seem to be in need of a revamp
  3. CGS

    CGS War Hero Moderator

    The utility of a degree from a British University is to educate and to provide a firm basis for the professions available to those who seek a vocation relative to the degree read.

    Upon completion of Sandhurst, they are presented with accelerated promotion to the rank of Capt. This is understandably a sensible and pragmatic recompense to the requirement for a more mature (OK, just) 20-something who brings a range of experiences and skills that would potentially have been lacking otherwise.

    In the light of the reduction of standing of a British Degree, there would be a required review regarding the validity of its acceptance as a credible piece of paper. There is NO objective evidence to suggest this, regardless of your subjective opinion!

    Life would be pretty dull if evey Officer fitted a more specific mold than the architypal Rupert. It would also make for a far more narrow minded Officer Corps with the potential for a raft of worrying traits, such as the compounding of errors on a potentially catastrophic scale!

    Ultimately, those who graduate have to work for it. Those who do not graduate should try harder next time.

    Stop Whinging! Your wages are balanced. If grads get a reduction, you would too!
  4. I did not expect a response from you!

    I must stress at this point that I am not after any more money, just a little more recognition that a degree does not often give you the upper hand, and that Non Graduates quite easily get left behind, when they are potentially equally as capable. Tell me where a degree in Film Studies helps an army officer. Or a degree in Art.......4 Years in the real world earning a living, makes you a father more mature and wiser person.

    It is not a case of whinging, however I am sure you would agree that ´try harder next time´is a obvious grad response´....Maybe´you should have gone´ might be more accurate, however had I known that I wanted to join up, or had I known the potential hazards, then all might be different. And I think it is wrong to think that all degrees have an element of work...So do GCSEs but it is not difficult to get straight As, nor is it taxing to get the same in A levels. and yes I would love a degree, however it would make no difference now and besides I am not eligible. However it might make me a better officer......
    My point has been taken on a purely personal level, and that is not what I was trying to get across. I am sure you will agree that unless an officer is outstanding, then a)rarely does he have much experience at all upon wearing the rank of Captain and b) he can possibly feel quite undertrained for the job he has to undertake.

    A Non Graduate can go two separate ways. He can either stay in the same position for longer and become extremely proficient at it, or move around and gain a wider experience. Either way, he ends up a far more suitable candidate for the Captains job.

    Is that any clearer?
  5. Surely it comes down to experiance, both of the real world and the Army.

    During Telic there were more Captains than you could shake a stick at. Great you think loads of exprerianced officers to lead the boys. Wrong loads of Grads who have been in the Army 10 mins.

    The army is an art that takes time to master, for non grads this is recognised 2 years as a 2Lt gives you time to make mistakes and learn your trade, 3 years as an Lt give you time to mature and get to know people, then your ready to be a Captain withreal resonspbilities.

    Having a degree in modern dance does not turn you into Rommel.

    I belive that Applicable degrees ( engineering for the RE, electronics for the REME) should have some advantages, but if you join a teeth arm you all go the same route. If the Army does not want school boy officers,raise the age limit.

    I belive people expect to get promoted far to quickly, and all they really want is the money. Pay people more at the lower ranks, and they wold be happier to stay at the appropriate rank. After all being a troopy is still the bast job in the army.

  6. True, but it could make for some interesting times at sandhurst...

    Instructor. "OCdt Jones, how would you interpret your role in the Commanders mission?"

    Jones. "Oooh, I would start with a series of leaps and skips across the field as a dynamic outflanking movement followed by a soft shoe shuffle - maintaining surprise and momentum -up to the enemy position"

    Instructor. " Very good Jones - but how would you neutralise the enemy machine gunner?"

    Jones " I had thought of bringing tears to his eyes with a modern rendition of the dying Swan from swan lake before finally battering him to death with a spare Ballet shoe!"

    :lol: :lol: :lol:
  7. Muppet does indeed make an accurate and damning indictment of the QLR!

    There are a couple of things that have changed since the army first started differentiating between grads and non-grads. Firstly, as CGS pointed out, in the 80's only about 25% of 18 year olds went into HE (uni, poly, and FE college), a number which has significantly risen with the government wanting to get 50% of 18 year olds into a degree course. This has the consequence of degrees being worth less than they were because firstly 50% of the population doesn't have the academic acumen to read for a degree, so you have to dumb down to achieve that, and secondly smoe institutions can't compete with the better institutions and so take the worst students and have to water down the content of a degree to reatin those students.

    The army also had a specified career path. Grad = SGC at Victory College for 9 months which you did as a 2Lt and accelerated promotion to Capt so that you got there at the same age as the non-grads and weren't penalised by later promotion for having gone to uni. Non-grads = 11 months on the SMC at New College, average 5 years to Capt.

    The problem now is the turnover of officers at the 5 yr point necessitating earlier promotion. It isn't unusual to see a 24 year old Capt now which would have been very rare 15 to 20 years ago. The first look for promotion to Maj happens at about 28/29 because of this downward trend.

    I think that the army probably needs to start to differentiate between universities and operate almost an approved list of those which it believes to educate to an acceptable standards, and as has been suggested pay the subbies more as a compensation for not getting promoted as quickly. I don't think that the graduates of today are any better equipped than those of 20 years ago, and they are probably less so, and this needs to be considered.
  8. CGS

    CGS War Hero Moderator

    I agree. Applicable degrees do have some advantages, but the origins of a degree are founded on the requirement for a complete education, not just a vocational qualification. This is why we have qualified specialists in the trade fields who have lower order, primarily skills based, qualifications. As for the age limit, read my previous post (the part regarding diversification).

    My premise that the Army requires a certain level of conceptual understanding (provided through Higher Education) has not been challenged by anyone so far.

    Account for the fact that of all the Officers (Army) currently attending the ACSC, over 90% (93%?) hold at least one degree. Contrast this against the fact that on average, only 70-75% who passed through RMAS with them were graduates. The upper hand personified I think?

    The age for substansive majority (first shout) is now 30 and not less than this. There is a trend to push this back into the early-mid 30s in the coming decade to closer align the three services.

    As for my rather glib comment in the manner of 'work harder', I am a realist. Hard work (and a touch of genius) produces results. (Of course there are other factors, but this assumption is generally true).

    Should there be a review of educational standards across the service? Yes, maybe. But, this must be done very carefully in order that the wrong messages are not inadvertantly sent (as they were at the time of the White Paper and the SDR). Secondly, how are we to compete with industry for the more brilliant people, who are often the most academically capabable, if we do not incentivise the attainment of a degree and commission?
  9. Only a newbie here, and of course suitably deferential to the other contributors to this thread but I have to observe that there is some b*llocks being talked here.

    I have always subscribed to the theory that the time spent on the tank park as a junior officer was worth more than any "experience" a grad contemporary might be receiving concurrently - evidence of a trained mind or conceptual understanding my arrse! If that was the case we wouldn't be in half the state we are in at present. If evidence were required I know that top students at Camberley and RMCS have regularly included non-grads. Not sure about the new Joint Course but presume that is anyway non-competitive in line with "modern" educational (and light blue) trends.

    Furthermore the grounding a junior officer gets from being in the most difficult position of them all - leading soldiers who are his age peers or older without the comfort blanket of rank (yes even Captain) to fall back on. The affinity and wisdom he/she learns from that experience is the most valuable training of them all.

    As an aside I am not personally affected but I have always sympathised with the direct entry non-grad who discovers that his pre-21st service is non-pension earning - we should end this monumental injustice immediately.

    Lies, damn lies and statistics - the non-grads with common sense have largely discovered their marketability by this stage and left to make their millions.

    Selection should be entirely non-discriminatory otherwise, as the REME are finding to their cost (although they have yet to notice it themselves), potentially we preclude a significant population from our initial recruiting audience and we lose the diversity which has stood us in such good stead.

    Well said Yeoman and others.
  10. CGS

    CGS War Hero Moderator

    Oh the irony of it...

    Their millions? Really?

    Read letters to The Times: 03 Sept 'Britain's shortage of skilled engineers' and 05 Sept 'Engineering careers'

    In these articles, several eminent engineers bemoan the lack of adequate numbers entering the fields of engineering. With this being the case, I suggest that the arguements over the REME and other technical Corps are even less viable, as unless we a) seek to give incentives to technical candidates over those with specific qualifications and b) educate to a requisite level within the service.

    The problems are that a) is too devisive and difficult to implement due to the lack of available personnel and b) is altogether too expensive an ideal to expand beyond the present scheme (and would give further problems, as not only would the service be recruiting potential leaders, but would also have to recruit more individuals with academic potential who had not already furnished themselves with a higher education)

    I contend that we are currently (through financial and demographic constraints) unable to change the pattern of recruiting in the manner you desire and that without the historically diverse makeup of the Officer Corps we will make ourselves less enriched and charged with the ability for diverse thought and action.
  11. I may be a thickie but I believe that there may be a statistical twist of simple maths here. I don't have the figures but I understand the % of Graduates leaving RMAS to be approx 90% now. The % at the time those non-grads went through RMAS may of course 'only' been 70-75%. But assuming the % rose and remembering that non-grads will attend ACSC/JCSC 3 years later than their 'better' counterparts; they will be joining ACSC with people who went through RMAS 3 years later, when the % of Gwaduates was higher.

    Lies, damns lies and Statistics etc - but I do have a better arguement:

    I couldn't give a monkeys what my grad counterparts have/have-not done. I know for a fact that while they were sitting in front of the telly in their Y-fronts, scoffing baked beans off an unwashed plate complaining to mother that lectures are getting them down... I was defending the interests of the Queen, living in interesting conditions in interesting countries, working alongside some exceptional members of society, helping the not-so-exceptional ones and getting paid (albeit without pension refund) a fair amount of cash.

    I certainly didn't miss out on any beer drinking, cultural development or 'life-experience' .. OK I may be a little less mature for my time spent at a bar where shots were 13p (Germany) but frankly you can ram your useful degrees the same place useless ones come from.
  12. goes...

    Competing in a diminishing labour market it is obvious (to most of us) that to attract officers of the appropriate quality an incentive of some kind has to be offered. For the average graduate this is the 'Golden Hallo' (who thinks up these terms) of ante-dated seniority. Good for them I say. The down side is that after what seems like only 2 mins, they are strutting their stuff, wearing 3 pips and drawing their pop star wages. Magic! They may not have the full 'skill set' but presumably as they would have been recommended for promotion (I understand still a prerequisite!) they are ajudged to be of the appropriate quality.

    What I find slightly more disturbing is the non-Grad officer who, on seeing what his Grad counterpart is coining in, jumps on the band wagon and applies for an In Service Degree, invariably at the bastion of learning/life experiences, the RMCS. Out he pops at the other end with, probably, even less military experience than his Grad counterpart and an infinitely reduced experience of real life/sitting around in yer underpants watching Saturday morning TV/providing extra-mural entertainment for the local barmaid than your average student. He then takes up post as an A/Capt as Coy/Sqn/Bty 2IC or Ops Offr and is suprised when he/she finds the whole thing a bit of a challenge. Wot's worse? Take yer pick.

    The bottom line is (I think) that notwithstanding age/experience/inside leg measurement, the Length of Service Terms of Service (LTOS) combined with 1ROs with a bit of bottle should stop wet behind the ear, mummy's boys being prematurely promoted to Captain just because they are elligble. "Dev" apperas on the MOD Form 2020 (OJAR) for a reason...use it!
  13. CGS

    CGS War Hero Moderator

    Two officers stand shoulder to shoulder at the age of 31. Both have just received notification that they are to gain their majority later that year and that they are both selected for the ACSC (lucky blighters). Both went to the same school in the same year (public or state, it's not an issue).

    Officer A is a non-grad. He joined at 18, when he passed his 'A' levels. He is comissioned at the age of 19 and achieves his Captaincy at the age of 24 and 10 months and goes on to complete the usual Coy 2IC and Adjt slots. Between finishing his studies and gaining his 3 stars he has just under 6 years' experience. During this time he has been enclosed in the military system (such is the nature of a vocation) with (on average) little experience of the world beyond than his family, friends and his work (a very varied vocation, perhaps, but with little or no experience of society). He has so far recieved approx £85,000 into his bank (and presumably found plenty of things to spend it on!)

    Officer B fails his 'A' levels and instead takes a foundation year in general engineering. This allows him to go to University (let us just say, for convenience, the University of East Anglia). He takes Biology (could be ANY degree, it makes no difference) and manages to scrape a 2:2 Hons. During this time he joins the OTC and gets paid to drink! He graduates at the age of 21. On comissioning he is given the rank or 2Lt (but pad as a Lt). Within 1 year he is a sub Lt and within another he has his Captaincy. He is 24 years and 11 months old and goes on to be Coy 2IC and then Adjt etc. By this time he has 4 years' military service and has gained a degree and an education (ie, he has had to feed and water himself and account for all is finance for 3 years, rather than let someone else take responsibility for his life). By this time he has banked approx £45,000 and has a degree. His experience will not be exhaustive, but will include the military and civilian aspects at the most formative part of his life

    Neither of them is held back, neither of them is given less chance than the other. This is life. It's just that by analysing statistical evidence and the comments of graduates of the Defence Academy over the past few years, (both grads and non-grads), the consensus is that those with a first degree are more likely to pass the relevent entrance tests and gain a place on the relevant course. The facts speak for themselves.

    No one is 'better' or worse. This comment serves to magnify some neurosis you may hold.

    I resent being called a liar, so I have tasked RMAS to provide the statistics regarding the entrance qualfications of all Cadets. The early indication is approx 80%. This is based upon the fact that the Sept course is very heavily loaded with the latest graduates and the latter courses with far fewer. The statistics are also skewed by the fact that the Welbexians all (almost) are sent for 'growing up' lessons at RMCS now, rather than the requisite watering down of training at RMAS as previously happened...

    But there is a specific thread about that!
  14. As a grad going into RMAS soon I'm a little disappointed with the views that some non grads have of us grads.

    I recently met a non grad who had been in for 5 years, he was really angry that people he joined with are now a rank higher and enjoying higher pay.

    I think this is unreasonable. I can remeber being 18 and not knowing anything about anything. Sure I knew I want to join up and sure I knew about my A-Leves, but little else in the real world. After 3 years at Uni I felt as if I knew how to manage myself much better and therefore was a more rounded person with a few opinions which I formed myself not simply taken from my CO.

    I'm in no way having a dig a non-grads. You don't join the Army for Money anyway so why are people so concerned about it? 8)
  15. Also bear in mind that soldiers do not give a sh1t whether their "troopie" or what have you has a degree or not-I had a Squadron commander who joked that he was the least qualified member of the ops team (in fact true). What was important was that he was a natural leader and a jolly good egg. We've all seen officers (grads and non-grads) who are useless. It is the quality of the person that matters.