Joing 23 SAS(R) - Further questions

Discussion in 'The ARRSE Hole' started by TheOtter, Mar 19, 2006.

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  1. Hi all,
    I am a new user to this site and have a few questions regarding joining the 23 SAS.
    Firstly i have read all the other posts and threads i could find on this site (so dont think im being lazy). From what i gather other people have mainly been focused on the fitness side of it, but i have a few concerns a little more specific to my background. i include a little of my background because i think it is important...

    Me: i am a Civilian, i did a degree in manchester in chemistry and am currently doing a PhD, i am 22, i grew up in the pennines . i have a girlfriend of 4 years
    Y do i want to join: i have always had the utmost respect for anyone (no matter what they did), in serving/fighting for their country and i believe no man is on the same level until they have done the same... i want to do my bit as much as i want the challenge
    My experience of TA/UKSF(R): I have always been interested, i have read immediate action by A Mcnab, and recently as reccommended by this site A quiet soldier by A billinger ( i especially liked this book because our backgrounds are similar), i enjoyed them both (only as a good read not a fact finding excercise), i know where my nearest 23 SAS base, i have not spoke to the yet.
    i willl not be joining (if i decide to do so) for at least 2 years, mostly because my Phd takes roughly 55 hours a week of my time, but also because i need training.
    Questions: does anyone know of a person that has joined from a similar background to mine? Realistically can a person do this with a non militiary background? is 2 years long enough to train? any other advice guys?

    Thanks for your time,

  2. Sort the spelling out mate, you're meant to be a PhD student, not a mong.

    As for the training, I recommend you buy 'Fighting Fit' by Adrian Weale - excellent book for those training for P Coy, RM CTC or UKSF.

    Stop worrying about your background and start worrying about preparing for selection if you are serious about it.
  3. msr

    msr LE


    Give them a call on 0161 862 9237.

  4. Otter, contact the Squadron (G sqn) directly on the number msr has given. Some more information can be found on the UKSFR website:

    Civilians can and do join, don't be worried about that. Consider how much time you'll be able to commit to the course. It may be that you can be more flexible with your time doing a PhD than holding down a job afterwards. As far as training goes, you need to boost your CV fitness by running/circuits and get 'hill fit' by getting out on the hills. Just go with a daysack and practice your navigation and speed, you'll have plenty of time to carry a bergen on the course but buy an old issue one to train with occasionally if your not used to carrying weight.
  5. Thanks for the quick sorry about the spelling..long time since i did english

    I will give them a call, just wanted to find out as much as i can before i did..does anyone know were they train and does it depend which base your posted to? i heard/read someone say its best to get out where they train and get to know the terrain
  6. Andy Macnabs ex mate ''Chris Ryan"" is ex 23 try his books . I would suggest you get
    involved in the military inbetween your studying .Dont just get fit as there is a difference
    civvy fit and army fit . Get in the TA now , if you really want to have a go for 23 you will
    have to get your skates on .Once you start the selection process with them it takes a long
    time to get badged . Good luck .
  7. Awful book, simply ghastly. I returned mine from the shop whence I purchased it. Obviously, I had to go in disguise, and so I went dressed as a roving pastry salesman, complete with trusty bicycle. Imagine my surprise when Lofty W, Binky, Legs and Big Dave all turned up in the shop at the same time, attired as the Banana Splits. H from the Ops Room was outside with Drooper's car etc etc etc...

    It's a very good book actually.
  8. msr

    msr LE

    I feel another wiki page coming on...

  9. If you really don't intend to go for selection for two years then take the advice of others here and join another TA unit in the mean time. It can't hurt to get some military experience before you go for it.

    Once you contact 'your' squadron, you will be taken into holding troop and will be advised on how/where to train by the DS. As there are two courses running each year, you will find recruits currently on either the aptitude (hills) phase or the continuation (skills) phase. Once you rock up you will be able to ask the other recruits what they have done to train and where. Where you train doesn't matter until you get near the test marches. Hills are hills, get off the internet and get up a few! Good luck.
  10. Thanks Sabre for your advice,

    I have planned my first excursion to "the Hills" this next saturday (25/03/06) and i train in the gym every weekday night anyway with short hill intervals and weights, i know its not the best preperation but its better than nothing. I will think about joining another TA unit in the mean time. There are quite a few in manchester i believe...i will look into one that is the most suitable.

    I suppose that will give me a taste of what being a soldier is about...

    (might have to invest in some know idea how to navigate yet!)
  11. Otter,

    I'm also doing a PhD at the moment, taking at the very least the same amount of time as yours every week. I would agree with everyone else that has advised you to join a TA unit sooner rather than later, I've found it quite a nice break from the lab so the fact that I do such long hours in civvy life doesn't affect my willingness to train.
  12. Yeah, i have decided to take that advice and am in the process of applying to another TA unit,

    Does anyone know how easy it is to transfer units (for example to 23's) once i join another one? is there a time limit you have to be with the old unit before you can do selection of another one?

    Thanks for the reply green manalishi
  13. Unit transfers occur for all sorts of reasons - they are part of the PSAO's stock in trade and 21 / 23 staffers know the drill. In fact, it's easier to transfer from within the TA than to leave and then get taken back on strength again. Should you join another TA/RNR/RMR/RAuxAF unit, complete a certain level of training then find yourself with too many commitments, you are best off requesting a leave of absence for a defined period.

    Note well, you should expect to be able to commit a significant portion of your life to UK SF Reserves AFTER you pass Aptitude and Continuation. You're there to be used, especially in this day and age.
  14. You'll have to pass CIC (TA) as a civvie to be considered for 23 SAS selection, so you may as well join a TA Infantry Regt. in the meantime to get a bit of experience.

    We got a 23 brief at the end of the CIC course - it takes a huge amount of commitment; you have to attend every drill night and every other weekend for a year during selection. Weekends take place in Brecon, so you need to be fit!

    If you fancy it and have the time to devote to it, good luck.
  15. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator


    As per most others, join a local TA unit that you would want to soldier in. Get CIC done, improve your fitness, gain knowledge. They will have no problem with you applyning to attempt 23 selection.

    My advice is chose your unit wisely - I am in no way casting aspersions on your fitness or ability, but many more fail UKSF selection than pass it, and there should be no shame associated with you attempting it. However, if you like the unit you join and do well, they will welcome you back and you can soldier on.

    Hope all goes well,


    PS Depending where you are, 4 Para are a great unit, would support your attempt at 23, and you are unlikely to get better fitness training anywhere else within the TA. Plug ends.