Joining as an Officer in 30’s

BdrBeaumont

Swinger
Just a quick update. I passed AOSB MB and I will be looking at the September intake. Any ideas on best ways to prep for the CC in the intervening 7 months?
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Just a quick update. I passed AOSB MB and I will be looking at the September intake. Any ideas on best ways to prep for the CC in the intervening 7 months?

Congratulations. Physical fitness and up to speed on current affairs. Learn how to use a map and a compass. Soldiers hate being taken the wrong way.

Covid permitting, you'll see me in one of my dodgy collection of shirts.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Just a quick update. I passed AOSB MB and I will be looking at the September intake. Any ideas on best ways to prep for the CC in the intervening 7 months?

This will give you a flavour. Are you coming from being a Bdr? The youngest ex-ranker I've met was just two years in as a Guardsman. Now commissioned.

 

BdrBeaumont

Swinger
This will give you a flavour. Are you coming from being a Bdr? The youngest ex-ranker I've met was just two years in as a Guardsman. Now commissioned.

Ex scaly back. I’ve been out for about 8 years
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Ex scaly back. I’ve been out for about 8 years
The oldest OCdt I've met was 34, the youngest was 18. The average age is about 24. Well done for AOSB.

See you in September. Lock down appears to be on the mend and you will meet some fascinating people from more than 40 countries.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Ex scaly back. I’ve been out for about 8 years

No names and no pack drill, but you will get the chance to meet people from the west coast of Latin America, via North America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, both sides of the Middle East, former Soviet states, the Indian sub-continent, the Far East and all the way to Fiji. Never a dull day.

These are the people you will be working with in the future, so get to know them. Learn a language or three.
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
Just a quick update. I passed AOSB MB and I will be looking at the September intake. Any ideas on best ways to prep for the CC in the intervening 7 months?
Congratulations and all best wishes for the commissioning course. Are you hoping for the Royal Corps when you commission?
 

chimera

LE
Moderator
Congratulations.

Brotherton Lad gives some great advice above, but a couple of other thoughts.

You will have an huge advantage on arrival in that you have been through Army training before, so you will not experience the "shock of capture" of some of the others.

Your basic skills should be (or soon will be) well above the others - use this to you advantage, not by sitting back and relaxing, but by staying ahead of the game: when they are on lesson 1, you want to thinking about lesson 5.

Fitness, fitness, fitness. This is not about being a gym queen, but it is easier to command a platoon in the attack, or whatever it is you are picked for on a particular day, if you are not breathing out of your hoop.

Avoid a constant stream of "...when I was in etc etc..". Ears open, mouth shut (just like basic), but don't be afraid to help others around you that are struggling (and be seen to be doing so, but don't big yourself up).

If you are not already interested in politics, world affairs, etc start reading, and have a go at some of the classic miitary stuff (not Bravo Two Zero, but things like Slim's Defeat into Victory), and look at websites such as RUSI.

Look beyond CC to what you might be doing in your Corps: if there is any technical stuff you might brush up on, then use the time now.

Enjoy RMAS!
 

BdrBeaumont

Swinger
Congratulations.

Brotherton Lad gives some great advice above, but a couple of other thoughts.

You will have an huge advantage on arrival in that you have been through Army training before, so you will not experience the "shock of capture" of some of the others.

Your basic skills should be (or soon will be) well above the others - use this to you advantage, not by sitting back and relaxing, but by staying ahead of the game: when they are on lesson 1, you want to thinking about lesson 5.

Fitness, fitness, fitness. This is not about being a gym queen, but it is easier to command a platoon in the attack, or whatever it is you are picked for on a particular day, if you are not breathing out of your hoop.

Avoid a constant stream of "...when I was in etc etc..". Ears open, mouth shut (just like basic), but don't be afraid to help others around you that are struggling (and be seen to be doing so, but don't big yourself up).

If you are not already interested in politics, world affairs, etc start reading, and have a go at some of the classic miitary stuff (not Bravo Two Zero, but things like Slim's Defeat into Victory), and look at websites such as RUSI.

Look beyond CC to what you might be doing in your Corps: if there is any technical stuff you might brush up on, then use the time now.

Enjoy RMAS!
Some great advice thanks. I’ve found a few unofficial Sandhurst reading lists so I’ve started making my way through those. With regards to what I might do when joining the Signals, I have something in mind but might need to spoke to someone in the Corps. Are you in the Signals or do you know someone who is I could ask?
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Some great advice thanks. I’ve found a few unofficial Sandhurst reading lists so I’ve started making my way through those. With regards to what I might do when joining the Signals, I have something in mind but might need to spoke to someone in the Corps. Are you in the Signals or do you know someone who is I could ask?
Definitely keep reading. As an experienced soldier you will sail through the first term and will be helping your fellows and making some great and life-long mates. I don't know your academic background but you will be up against Oxbridge types on that side of the fence, so get your mates onside in the first term and they will return the favour later.

It is all about teamwork, but there is a competitive edge as well.
 
Just a quick update. I passed AOSB MB and I will be looking at the September intake. Any ideas on best ways to prep for the CC in the intervening 7 months?
First off, brilliant news about AOSB MB. Well done. Don't get too fussed about age. TACOS are changing and age will be increasingly irrelevant. You might pick up some seniority from your soldier service but a HR ninja will be better placed to let you know that. If you think about future timelines you should be in line for Major at 40 and Lt Col in your late 40s. You know the Corps you're joining and you will arrive with a decent degree of credibility. As to prep, get fit, learn about leadership, square away any life admin that might get in the way of training and throw yourself into RMAS headfirst. Good luck!
 

chimera

LE
Moderator
Some great advice thanks. I’ve found a few unofficial Sandhurst reading lists so I’ve started making my way through those. With regards to what I might do when joining the Signals, I have something in mind but might need to spoke to someone in the Corps. Are you in the Signals or do you know someone who is I could ask?
Not R Sigs.
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
Some great advice thanks. I’ve found a few unofficial Sandhurst reading lists so I’ve started making my way through those. With regards to what I might do when joining the Signals, I have something in mind but might need to spoke to someone in the Corps. Are you in the Signals or do you know someone who is I could ask?
I can probably sort you out with a conversation with someone who might be in the know. Drop me a PM.
 

BdrBeaumont

Swinger
No different to commissioning from the ranks and going to Sandhurst in your late 20's, or early 30's - I have seen it done successfully.

Depending on your fitness level it might hurt you a bit to run around during what is effectively basic training. But, I would assume that you know how the game is played and that you are still relatively fit and you would have no problems. You would be streets ahead of most of the other cadets with your "already served" knowledge which would compensate for any age related drawbacks.

Mine offered me back in at age 34 straight after I gained my degree, wish I had gone. I was still fit, running and yomping during my uni downtime.

Good luck.
You mentioned that you were offered back in after your degree. Did you sign off to do a degree? Would you have rejoined as an officer?

I'm in the last few months before my projected start date and still touting with whether to join or not
 
You mentioned that you were offered back in after your degree. Did you sign off to do a degree? Would you have rejoined as an officer?

I'm in the last few months before my projected start date and still touting with whether to join or not

I had received recommended commission on my report out of basic training, and every subsequent annual report for 10 years. Two reasons I didn't do it:

1. I did not have a maths O Level,
2. I had ambitions that would have been severely limited as an officer.

As it was the Mrs came up with the magnificent idea of university so I toddled off there.

When I was coming up to the end of my degree I met a Colonel who I had known as a Major and he asked/advised me to look at getting back in. The round about plan mooted to me was that I rejoin as a Cpl, as I had been out for a while, do 6/12 months get Sgt back and within maximum a couple of years get SSGT* and then on to a commission.

If you join as a soldier with a degree, have a good reputation, and keep your nose clean you can be pretty much guaranteed a commission if you have the ability.

Edit to add: * I had been on the books for SSGT the month I left the army (bribery to keep me in) so it was not a pie in the sky notion when considering going back.
 
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Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
I had received recommended commission on my report out of basic training, and every subsequent annual report for 10 years. Two reasons I didn't do it:

1. I did not have a maths O Level,
2. I had ambitions that would have been severely limited as an officer.

As it was the Mrs came up with the magnificent idea of university so I toddled off there.

When I was coming up to the end of my degree I met a Colonel who I had known as a Major and he asked/advised me to look at getting back in. The round about plan mooted to me was that I rejoin as a Cpl, as I had been out for a while, do 6/12 months get Sgt back and within maximum a couple of years get SSGT* and then on to a commission.

If you join as a soldier with a degree, have a good reputation, and keep your nose clean you can be pretty much guaranteed a commission if you have the ability.

Edit to add: * I had been on the books for SSGT the month I left the army (bribery to keep me in) so it was not a pie in the sky notion when considering going back.
With regard to the lack of maths O Level, many don't know it is possible to get an educational waiver (as well as an age limit waiver)?
 
With regard to the lack of maths O Level, many don't know it is possible to get an educational waiver (as well as an age limit waiver)?

Indeed.

Happened to a friend of mine. He was predicted to get outstanding O Levels, at the time, flew through RCB, then discovered beer, and found out what girls were all about just before his exams. I think he managed to get an O Level in geography when all was said and done. He presented himself cap in hand swearing blind he had no clue why his results were so bad, and the army sent him to Beaconsfield on some education course prior to attending Sandhurst. He picked up the equivalent of a handful of O Levels at Beaconsfield, went to Sandhurst, did very well, the last time I saw him he was a Major.
 
Any update on how your prep is going @BdrBeaumont ?

My two pence worth:

1. Don't do tons of really hard phys and turn up with niggly injuries. Instead, focus on robustness rather than being a racing snake ready to set a new PB over 10k. You're a bit older than the others, so your challenge is to avoid injury rather than being fit enough to pass the individual serials. I found the challenge wasn't being fit enough for any thing in particular (you'll definitely get fit while you are there, as long as you turn up with a decent base standard of fitness), but the toll that getting fucked from pillar to post from dusk 'til dawn, added to a lot of time in the field, added to the actual PT takes on your body. As I said, robustness and resilience rather than absolute speed and strength.

2. As an ex soldier, you will have an advantage in some aspects. Never gob off about this. Ever. It is the quickest way to come across as a tósser. Instead, assume that you are on a level pegging with everyone else and always have humility. There are many things that others who are a bit crap at the soldier stuff will be good at, as you may struggle at something at some time. Humility and two open ears.

3. If the DS tell you the way to do something, then that is the way to do it. Anything you learnt previously is now superseded. If the DS say the sky is green, then the sky is green. No one cares about how you used to do things.

4. If you want to go back to the Corps, then best of luck. You will know some stuff that is useful. You will also need to learn how to be a Tp Comd. As with all ex-rankers (although you are a rejoiner which is slightly different), you are on a level pegging with normal Direct Entrants. As above, humility and two open ears.

Best of luck with RMAS - I heard it now actually teaches leadership rather than being a 44 week man test. I am jealous!
 

BdrBeaumont

Swinger
@TheSockPuppet I’d primarily been focusing on my phys. Like you say, I’ve got years working against me somewhat. I was working on all around fitness to help build that robustness. All of that training has taken a big hit in the last 2 weeks though as I finally managed to catch the virus (less than a week after having my first jab too!). It’s really knocked me for 6. Hopefully I can get back on track with my training and get to where I was in short time, but I’ll be playing it by ear.

Thanks for the rest of the tips. It seems from your advice and that from others that going into the course with a healthy measure of humility is invaluable. Nobody likes a throbbed after all. I’m genuinely looking forward to my first Tp Comd!
 

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