Joining as a TA officer while at University...

#1
Hi,

I'm 19, currently in my second year of uni in London. Basically, after lots of thought I've decided I want to do something with the army - maybe regulars eventually, but might just stick with the TA, either way I want to get involved now, while I'm still at uni.

Anyway the logical thing for me to do would be to join the UOTC, but I caught the fekin flu during the sign up period this year - which happens to be my last chance, as you need to be in education for another 2 years to join. But I don't want to hang around and do nothing this year and the next.

So, I hear you can join the TA while at university - however, I don't know whether to join as a soldier or an officer. I eventually want to be an officer, but from what I gather officer training takes 3 years or something? By the time I'm finished I would be out of uni... the question for me is, what do they do with someone who's been doing a year and a bits worth of officer training in the TA, who wants to then join the regulars?

In addition to that, has anybody had any experience of being in the TA while at uni/advice on the matter.

Also, one last question, I'm hoping to go to America in 2013, can you take a year's break from the TA?

Cheers!
 
#2
Yes you can be in the TA whilst at University. I was and after i finished my degree I volunteered to go on tour. It also allowed me to do something a bit different. You have dodged a bullet by not joining the OTC anyway! Little napoleans - nuff said!
The choice to go down the officer/soldier route is a personal one. It makes no real difference to any of your future aspirations if you want a regular commission. Bear in mind that the officer process is pretty drawn out with all sorts of time bars on some aspects of it. If you are going to go down that road make sure you have the time and motivation to commit! Where as the solider route is much easier going!

Hope this helps!
 
#3
Freols,

Why not give it a go as a soldier? Circumstances are against you if you want to be an officer.

First, there's not enough time to commission in 2010 even if you join tomorrow unless you've already passed AOSB Briefing. You can't start training as a potential officer until you've done TARS (the preliminary selection weekend) and AOSB Briefing. Once that is achieved you will have five months of recruit training and still two Modules of officer training to pass before you can go to RMAS.

Second, no-one is going to send you to the TA Commissioning Course in July 2011 knowing that you are off to Regular Commissioning Course in September 2011. Its not even likely that they would be prepared to send you in 2010 which would give about 6 months TA service from commissioning until you disappear to do your finals and to have a few months off before joining the army in 2011.

Have a year or two as a Tom. You'll learn a lot and enjoy it too. There are a lot of good units in London.
 
#4
I think you're right, I've sent of my application to join as a soldier. Wish me luck!

Having had a search, you're right about there being lots of good units in London - too many in fact, I don't have a clue what to go for...

Cheers for the replies chaps.
 
#5
Well done in not joining the UOTC- tbh lot of them are poorly trained and have a sh*te attitude, and as a student in the TA I can thoroughly recommend it. Im a soldier, and intend to stick to the soldier thing until I leave uni, and hopefully go regular.
 
#6
I too am at uni and want to join the TA as an officer. I m not sure if I ll be able to as i have a feeling training will clash with my studies. My uni makes it impossible to have a life outside of it. My main concern is the annual camp since i start uni next year on the 13th of september. Would this clash in any way? and is there any way around it? Does anyone here know how Officer training in the TA works? And how do you apply to join as an officer? Do you just go down to the TA center? Are you obliged to be mobilized when you become an officer or is it voluntary ? I m asking this because i would like to start my career first before leaving for 8 months. I spoke to the people at the TA center about this and they said that it is totaly ok. but I think they were talking aobut being a soldier not an officer.

Loads of questions I know, and I' m not sure if they are good questions or stupid ones, but I just dont want to keep going down to the the TA center to only ask questions.
 
#7
easer - annual camp is usually around July/August so wouldn't clash with uni. However, the rest of the training is not set around the academic calender so you will probably miss other camps.

TA officer training - you start off with initial recruit training (mod 1), mod 2/3 can be done through summer leader. you need to do AOSB, then you can go to RMAS for 3 weeks for the TACC. it's possible to do it within a year but you need to start now.

If you are in full time education you can't be mobilised (officer or soldier). Plus they wouldn't send you straight out there anyway - you need some experience first.

Done be too hard on the OTC - yes it does have some muppets and wannabees - but so does the TA. There's some pretty decent guys in the OTC and there training programme is geared perfectly around the uni timetable. You can still gain a TA commission through them, and then transfer to a TA unit.

However - you guys do read the papers don't you? You do realise the whole of the TA (barring those preparing for ops) has been stood down for 6 months - they won't be taking on new recruits until April.

GB
 
#8
Easer,

What Uni are you at?
 
#9
I go to drama school in london. Yes, i know it s a strange thing for a drama student to join the TA. truth is i have always wanted to join. I love acting dont get me wrong, but i m sick of actors and art people. lol. at my meeting down at the TA center i was told that it s not something that s going to be detrimental to my application or anything.

The thing is that drama school is unpredictable and they dont like it when you have a life outside of it. Which is bulls**t if you ask me.

I just want to make sure that it won t be a problem if i have to miss a weekend once or twice. And, to make sure that i can make the commitment needed to the TA because i just dont want to be in a situation where i ll have to let people down. I want to train as an officer but i m starting to think that it might be too much of a commitment. i sent an e mail to the TA centre a few days ago but they haven t got back to me about these questions. Should i just go down again?
 
#10
gun-bunny said:
However - you guys do read the papers don't you? You do realise the whole of the TA (barring those preparing for ops) has been stood down for 6 months - they won't be taking on new recruits until April.

GB
I'd heard a lot of rumours. I didn't really believe it at first, seems mad considering the level of conflict we're currently involved in - but the government is frequently verging on insanity of late.

I did wonder why my application hadn't received any response, the problem is the government and army seem to be trying to hide the stand down - there's no mention of it when you apply...

You go to RADA Easer?
Just wondered, it's right next to my uni (UCL).
 
#11
Freols,

There has been a U-turn on TA training cuts, but RHQs are still awaiting Chain of Command decisions in LONDIST.

Ex-Pompadour is, I think, the man to talk to about London District and joining..
 
#12
Freols.

There is a DETAPO recruiting presentation at Handel Street this evening at 7pm run by LDRTC.

If you want to join the TA as an officer, this is for you.

Ex_P
 
#13
Ex_Pompadour said:
Freols.

There is a DETAPO recruiting presentation at Handel Street this evening at 7pm run by LDRTC.

If you want to join the TA as an officer, this is for you.

Ex_P
I think joining as a soldier seems to be the wisest approach at this point - I would have gone along to the presentation regardless but I'm unfortunately busy this evening. Thank you very much for the heads up on that though!

Hopefully I'll get a reply to my application soonish - any idea when the ball will start rolling again in the London district? :D
 
#14
Freols,

Was in the same position as you (20 yrs ago now -eek!), joined 6/7 Queens (as was) before Uni, then thought, oh, OTC, that sounds good. It was, in so far as girls, parties, balls and PR type trips went, but real (TA) soldiering - no.

You have to remember that the OTC is only really about giving the Army good PR, giving undergrads a "taste" of army life (the nicer bits), so that they go off into their civvie careers and think back fondly of the "Army" and their OTC days....

Being in London is a great opportunity, there are so many TA units to chose from, take time to look at as many as possible - I moved straight out of OTC to 5 Queens, who at the time were NATO-roled and so far more "edgy" than 6/7, who were home defence - the contrast in attitudes to fitness, training etc were miles apart. There will no doubt be similar differences today between various units.

Lastly, enjoy your soldiering as a Private, it'll give you a very useful insight into how things look from the angle of your blokes, hopefully, like me, you'll pick up a few ideas about how to be a better officer after RMAS.

Most of all - have fun!
 
#15
gun-bunny said:
easer - annual camp is usually around July/August
Very rarely.


Done be too hard on the OTC - yes it does have some muppets and wannabees - but so does the TA.
Very, very few wannabees in the TA, given they know that they can be mobilised.

However - you guys do read the papers don't you? You do realise the whole of the TA (barring those preparing for ops) has been stood down for 6 months - they won't be taking on new recruits until April.

GB
Even though this quote is out of date, it was wrong when it was made. Recruits where still being taken on and trained.
 
#16
easer said:
I go to drama school in london. Yes, i know it s a strange thing for a drama student to join the TA. truth is i have always wanted to join. I love acting dont get me wrong, but i m sick of actors and art people. lol. at my meeting down at the TA center i was told that it s not something that s going to be detrimental to my application or anything.

The thing is that drama school is unpredictable and they dont like it when you have a life outside of it. Which is bulls**t if you ask me.

I just want to make sure that it won t be a problem if i have to miss a weekend once or twice. And, to make sure that i can make the commitment needed to the TA because i just dont want to be in a situation where i ll have to let people down. I want to train as an officer but i m starting to think that it might be too much of a commitment. i sent an e mail to the TA centre a few days ago but they haven t got back to me about these questions. Should i just go down again?
Noone will care what you do outside of the TAC - variety being the spice of life, and all that. Expect a bit of banter thought! It would be nice to see an actor being able to play a soldier more convincingly, too...
 
#17
Heres a quick thought.

At Uni, wanting to go down officer route but at same time don't mind doing soldier for a few years.

I have a plan to be a regular officer after university but probably will take a few years before i go for sandhurst.

Now heres the thing, i passed briefing back in sept 2008 and was put back 2 years and so main board in sept 2010.....i have a feeling this may well influence what the ta say??? anyone else agree?
 
#18
I was in the same boat 20 years ago.

I briefly joined the local UOTC unit; it didn't seem to be much of a step on from the CCf corps I'd just left. Some cracking people, and very good PSI's, but not soldiering.

I rapidly transfered to my local TA infantry unit, passed the officer selection board, and served as an Officer Cadet for about a year.

To echo what's been posted above, much training clashed with University Studies, including exams. I found the work itself much more interesting, and serving as an "Officer in Training" amongst squaddies makes life a lot more challenging. You have got to get everything right, and expect a lot of s*** jobs! Fair enough if you ask me! If you can't take it you shouldn't be there.

What did annoy was when a raft of course booking to fill my summer vac got lost... That made it pointless trying to get enough experience whilst at Uni (you've got to forget the 3rd Year), and I've never had a job that would have allowed me to go back to it.

With hindsight, I would have enlisted as a soldier, made my long term intentions quietly know above, but concentrated on building up as much knowledge as I could, with out the "Officer" baggage.
 
#19
Ha nice one re:actor. To be honest I'm so sick of actors. They are so emotional. I need to be around people who aren't worried about their E true hollywood story.

But joining up seems to be harder than I thought. Meaning- i went down to the Unit i wanted to join and they told me that they have too many people now and can't recruit. But they told me to go to another TA centre that are recruiting, but they start at 6:30 and there is no way to get there on time. So i went to yet another TA centre but they were closed or something, so I phoned up and left a message with someone. But they didn't get back to me. So I feel likeI ve been running around London trying to find a place to just apply to and yet zip. I' ll phone them again tomorrow to see if the message got through. That seems like the only sensible thing to do.

Any advice?
 

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