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Join TA as soldier or officer?

#1
I have the education and experience to apply to join the TA as an officer.
My questions are:
Would I be expected to join as an officer given my education and experience?
Is it common for people to join as soldiers even though their education may dwarf that of officers who lead them and that if they were to join the regular army they would probably join as an officer?

I really do not know whether to (apply to) join as an officer or soldier.
I have read about TA officer roles on tour being somewhat "watered down" and that being a TA officer is in many ways dissimilar to being a regular officer.

I would much rather join as a soldier if this were the case. I am aware that once in the TA as a soldier I may undertake the commissioning course, perhaps this is the best option.

Your comments would be appreciate, whether opinion or from experience.

Thanks.
 
#2
Not short of ego then !!! .... tell us what Experiance you have and how do you think that leading a group is better than being led ?
 
#3
Don't get hung up on education. Can you lead men or not? Will you be able to persuade your blokes to do something that they don't want to do, and might get them killed? If you think you might be able to do that, then try the officer route, the Army will tell you whether you can or can't do it. If you think that is either not something that interests you, or you just don't have it, then it's either rethink the whole idea of joining, or be a soldier.

Do not join the TA thinking along the same lines you would if you were joining regular. I've done both, and they are very, very different.
Soldiers also make decision's where lads can come in harms way , climb the ladder as an NCO and decission making isn't just for Commisiond Officers , either way you need to realise that both routes have consequences !!
 
#4
I've got two degrees and I'm fluent in a foreign language.

I've never considered or been recommended for commission.

Join as a soldier and you'll find your way.
 
#5
Don't get hung up on education. Can you lead men or not? Will you be able to persuade your blokes to do something that they don't want to do, and might get them killed? If you think you might be able to do that, then try the officer route, the Army will tell you whether you can or can't do it. If you think that is either not something that interests you, or you just don't have it, then it's either rethink the whole idea of joining, or be a soldier.

Do not join the TA thinking along the same lines you would if you were joining regular. I've done both, and they are very, very different.
If you join the TA as an Infantry Officer, you will NOT be leading men into combat against the Taliban.

If you join (soon) as a Grunt, you'll almost certainly get stuck in at the deep end. Be careful what you wish for.

I've had a bottle of Cotes du Rhone and a fair bit of vodka right now so will post more tomorrow...
 
#6
I had zero qualifications when I joined the army, but within a year or so I was selected to be sent to Mons to learn how to use a knife and fork properly and be granted a short service commission thereafter. I declined.

A few years later I did O levels at night school and an open university course and also learned to speak German reasonably well (very rusty now though) at the army language school at Mullheim A D R.

I finished a 22 year service career as a Warrant Officer. During my time in the army I was also a PSI with the TA and confirm that they are a very different animal.

From your original post I gather that you think that having a higher level of education than some may makes you special. It does but only in a narrow way - it means that you can assimilate learning and regurgitate some of it at will. Whilst education is important for everyone, having a degree or two will not necessarily make you a good officer. For example, being able to explain Eulers Polyhedral Formula is of no use to you when directing your team to take out a sniper who has you pinned down.

You might find it useful to join the TA as a soldier (lah did dah Gunner Graham) to get a feel for what the TA is all about - and to have some of your ego deflated - before moving on to take a commission, if indeed you have what it takes to be an officer apart from education.
 
#7
Some of the best Officers I know all joined (after Uni) but started as privates/ troopers - the extra experience from the lower ranks tended to make them much more well rounded in making decisions which effected the men they later commanded, while also having a better understanding of what the men had to actually do in reality after a "Command" decision.

The chain of command will be looking at your potential for the Officer process while you complete TSC(A)&(B) anyhow.

The OTC only route isn't perfect at the moment but is being heavily looked into. (many other threads on that)

In my humble opinion, joining as a soldier would be my preferred option - learn the basics properly and get some good courses done. Being able to administrate yourself in the field properly will make any future Officer career hurdles (TAPO/ RMAS etc) much easier.
 
#8
I had zero qualifications when I joined the army, but within a year or so I was selected to be sent to Mons to learn how to use a knife and fork properly and be granted a short service commission thereafter. I declined.

A few years later I did O levels at night school and an open university course and also learned to speak German reasonably well (very rusty now though) at the army language school at Mullheim A D R.

I finished a 22 year service career as a Warrant Officer. During my time in the army I was also a PSI with the TA and confirm that they are a very different animal.

From your original post I gather that you think that having a higher level of education than some may makes you special. It does but only in a narrow way - it means that you can assimilate learning and regurgitate some of it at will. Whilst education is important for everyone, having a degree or two will not necessarily make you a good officer. For example, being able to explain Eulers Polyhedral Formula is of no use to you when directing your team to take out a sniper who has you pinned down.

You might find it useful to join the TA as a soldier (lah did dah Gunner Graham) to get a feel for what the TA is all about - and to have some of your ego deflated - before moving on to take a commission, if indeed you have what it takes to be an officer apart from education.
That's what I said!

I'm gonna sulk now. And you got a like!

Is there no justice?
 
#9
Not short of ego then !!! .... tell us what Experiance you have and how do you think that leading a group is better than being led ?
I do not have a problem with ego at all. All of my assumptions have been based on what I have read here. The point of my post was that unlike many I do not want to suppose that because I have the education required to become an officer then that is what I should automatically do.
I have a BSc, PGCE and an MA. I'm currently a middle leader in a secondary school and I also work in further education in a local college and occasionally teach in prisons. I am not supposing that this would automatically make me a great officer but I do think if I were to apply to be an officer then the application would at least be considered.
 
#10
Not short of ego then !!! .... tell us what Experiance you have and how do you think that leading a group is better than being led ?
I don't think it is better, that is the whole point of my post. In fact I think that the opposite could well be more suitable. To put it another way: I manage at work on a day to day basis, I do not necessarily want to lead if I join the TA. How common a position is this, (already partly answered) and given the TA recruitment would I be likely to be recommended to join as an officer or is it completely up to me?
 
#11
I do not have a problem with ego at all. All of my assumptions have been based on what I have read here. The point of my post was that unlike many I do not want to suppose that because I have the education required to become an officer then that is what I should automatically do.
I have a BSc, PGCE and an MA. I'm currently a middle leader in a secondary school and I also work in further education in a local college and occasionally teach in prisons. I am not supposing that this would automatically make me a great officer but I do think if I were to apply to be an officer then the application would at least be considered.
Teach in prisons?

Infantry officer will suit you!