Hi, as you can probably guess from the post I'm new here. So. After nearly joining the armed forces twice (Once when 16 or 17, put off it by the RAF recruiter that clearly didn't want to be talking to spotty oiks at school and once a few years later), I recently decided that as I've just turned 28 it might be a good idea to do something about it pretty effing soon or it's not going to happen, so I've been looking into joining the TA. I'll mention my skills as they're relevant - IT, but particularly networking - I'm pretty much at the top of my career in networking technical terms (CCIE for those who know the industry) which is part of the reason for wanting to join the TA - more of a challenge. Looked online at the various web sites but the information there is sparse. Filled in the online form... well, what do I want to do. Originally I was thinking specialist but I didn't know I could apply to join as an officer nowadays (That's new) but as that's what I'd have signed up as if I'd joined the regular army looks interesting - something to tax my brain. (And the leadership training wouldn't go amiss career-wise either) On the online form, I can apply for only one of Soldier, Officer or Specialist. Really I don't mind too much and I want one of the latter two but that's not an option so I just selected officer and listed I had IT skills. (Could choose either IT or Communications but not both... but I figured "Communications" in the armed forces is more radios than computer networking so I chose IT instead.) Got a glossy "Territorial Army Officer" brochure through which actually didn't put me off at all as I thought it might - quite the oppoise. Also had a letter from 70 Signal Squadron and also E Coy, East of England Regiment asking me to ring up/pop in on their training evenings for more information. (Both are my nearest two units) However. I then got another letter from E Coy saying that the age limit for joining as an officer is 26. (Everything else I've seen says it's 30) Not sure if this is an E Coy thing, an EER thing or just a TA thing - I guess from the fact that the central recruiting place didn't tell me to go away right at the start that this is some sort of EER or E Coy limit? The letter does then go on about officers having to join as a private and then get officer training when they're ready, whereas all the other stuff I have says you join as an officer cadet (I.e. I guess you make the tea) and then move up when you're ready. (Or get kicked out as unsuitable) I'm not sure if this is just what happens if you're over 26 however, it would imply that it applies to everyone why bother telling me if I'm too old anyway. The East Anglia Reserve Forces Association also sent me some officer-related stuff, but of course they may not have checked my age. Now having read some of the other stuff I've been sent I'm also in two minds about joining as a non-officer specialist. It looks like most of the people joining up as specialist from what I've read are pretty young - I don't know how the Army handles such things but I can imagine it's going to cause problems with someone at my level being lowest of the low when I'll probably be one of the most qualified people about technically.... or is that not likely to be an issue? The only thing I know about joining as a specalist officer is that it's got it's own 60 second bit on the TA DVD I was sent. (Out of 45 mins or so of stuff on the DVD) Am I too old for this officer stuff at 28 and am I wasting my time by looking? If so, I could start looking further afield at some of the (apparently, again information is thin on the ground) more highly specialist units. (E.g. LIAG(V) looks like it might need more specialist skills, but they don't reply to EMails so it possibly means ringing them up to find out when they're open followed by a trek down there one evening. 81 Signal Sqn also popped up a couple of times during my searches.) On the other hand, there's the one evening a week - if I did something further afield I'd not be able to go to them eaisly and I gather they're pretty much a requirement or an expectation.... is it different for specalist units as they recruit from UK-wide? (I know the weekend training requirement is lower for specalists) I'm planning to pop down to 71 Signal Squadron next week on their training evening (Their letter asked me to do so) to talk to a recruiter there but I'm starting to get the same impression (Maybe unfairly) about the TA recruiters as the regular armed forces recruiters last two times I looked - quite a few of them really don't seem to want to be doing the job and much of the information you get is at least on the surface directly contradictory. I figured after asking a few people I knew in the regular armed forces that the best thing to do was to ask people already in the TA... and this site seems the best place to do it. Sorry, that's a bit long. I'm just not sure I'm going about this the right way, should I just be ringing up all the units that look like they might be interested and seeing what they have to say rather than going through the central process? As I'm not sure what I want to/would be allowed to do, turning up at random units for a chat at this stage seems almost a waste of time. Random flames welcome, I'm in that sort of mood. Or, if anyone knows a specalist unit not too far from Chelmsford, Essex that I might be interested in feel free to let me know.