Joining straight from sixth form

Discussion in 'Officers' started by matt3007, May 14, 2007.

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  1. Hey, im currently in year 12 doing my AS levels and am looking to join the army as an officer. ive been on the army website and looked around and couldn't find anything about joining straight from sixth form, or even after a gap year.
    I just wanted to make sure that it is possible to complete my A -levels and then start looking into AOSB etc. If so is the best way to do this just to go through my ACA(O) or is there a different way?


  2. Jun 74. SeanBean (17yrs X months) had just completed his A Levels, walked into the ACIO in the Bullring Shopping Centre in Birmingham and said he wanted to be an Army Officer. Nearly 33 years later now and, on balance, probably the best choice I ever made.

    I guess it all depends on your level of maturity, motivation and determination to succeed.
  3. so im guessing thats a yes it is possible to do it
  4. Correct - it's possible. My second paragraph says it all really; these days you are going to have to be an exceptionally mature 17/18yr old - mature enough to lead men on operations who will, for the most part, be older and more experienced than you.

    [And pray for a gifted and understanding troop/platoon Sgt!]
  5. It is possible to do it and I planed to do the same however I was persuaded to come to university for three years to 'grow up a bit more' what finally tipped it for me was when I was asked if I thought as a guy who’s never lived away from home or had any major responsibilities I would be able to lead a platoon of soldiers that in all probability had been in combat.
  6. Go for it - you may get told to wait for a period of time, and will possibly feel like you're being stitched with regards to pay/seniority whilst doing exactly the same job as your peers but as an 18 year old entrant i have no regrets whatsoever about not going to university and getting myself into three years worth of debt before finally getting to do the job i was desperate to do in the first place.
  7. ok thanks for the replies. dutybooty thats exactly what i was thinking, theres no point going to uni and getting into debt if i can go straight into the job i want to do without the added wait and debt.
  8. Dont over think the command bit, there were plenty of 19 year old multiple commanders in province leading their much more experienced blokes not so long ago. Like seanbean says its all down to the individual and there are plenty of us who have done it the same way as you plan.
  9. The only bit that might grip you is being a Lieutenant for longer and potential getting into debt (or just being plain skint) by earning less than 80% of the mess (and your peers) for longer.

    I went to Uni and it is a valuable experience, also furthers your edumacation, which is always useful. It's not just an excuse to drink for 3 years and do a worthless course, getting "free" money while there.

    In my experience, most non-grads end up with a reasonable chip on their shoulder for doing the same job as grads, but not having the seniority of a grad getting paid less. Probably a separate discussion, but worth thinking about.
  10. The grad/non grad debate only lasts until capt when the senority balance is zeroed, and there are a number of advantages to having served longer, not least having more credibility as a Capt with the troops.

    But django is very right about lower pay, your mess bills and lifestyle can easily meet your basic salary by the 6th of the month!
  11. You will find that when you go for RCB most of the candidates these days will have a degree of some sort or another. They will in a lot of cases have been members of their respective Uni OTC and will have had other opportunities and experience which may help them to pass. These are perhaps all reasons for going to Uni and getting a degree.

    That said, if you really want to go for it now good luck to you. You will probably be questioned on why you haven't been to Uni and why you think you are mature enough at 18 etc, but if you can answer these questions and show the required qualities then there is no reason why you shouldn't pass RCB.
  12. Like sean bean, I too went in at 18.

    The points made Papa-Lazarou ring true, f-ing Mess Bills used to drive me mad and into debt. That said from aged 19 - 25 I was troop commanding. Included 3 Op tours and a lot of travel elsewhere. 2IC and Adjt's tours were much more enjoyable with that time behind me

    On balance I'd still do the same, despite it being v. frustrating when I was still a Lt after 4 years. Again as P-L said, it all balances out at Capt and I found that the troops were more than aware of who were the grads and who were the non-grads.

    Good Luck - you can always get a degree once in. I finally got my MA last year.

  13. The only bit of advice from the Civvie POV is you also need to think about what your coming out with. I hope you have a long and fufilled career in the military, but fate isn't always kind and coming out with a degree in a useful subject would be better than not having it.

    University is also (education aside) a great place for growing up and living life a bit, and becoming a bit more experienced in the world. The oppotunites you can get are great and the Army can offer support etc.

    But also, uni isn't for everybody! You don't wan't to waste 3/4 years if you can't educate yourself, but by the same token, if you can't do that, what will you do at RMAS.

  14. Matt,

    Nothing wrong with going straight in, you've heard it from the horses mouths. But, always have a plan B. The question is would a degree detract from your military career? The answer is no, but what you have is an insurance policy should things not work out as you planned. I've seen it a few times where friends pinned their hopes on the Army, and due to medical issues were thrown out of Sandhurst. Not an issue for the guy with a degree, but it meant another year of messing around for the guy who needed a degree to pursue his B career option.

    Good luck
  15. Quite concur. A lot of wise, sound advice.

    If you acquire a degree - any degree, so long as it stretches you intellectually - and are still minded to join the army aged 22-ish, you will have maturity as well as motivation, so being equipped for any selection outcome.

    If you are any good as an officer but have no degree, you will be sent to fetch one before you go any higher, in any case.

    Very best of luck!

    Edited wanst, for spasticity in spellinge. So it was/I dun.