Joining the TA for more experience, assault courses and to prove I am serious?


I recently failed my first MB. I passed all the opening phys tests, got good scores on my MAP tests, got on well with my team and had mixed but generally positive on most indoor tasks but have had two letters from my two ACAs - each with a different emphasis.

My original ACA has placed massive emphasis on my assault course performance, saying it was 'exceptionally poor'. I managed half a lap, although when I was strangely sent to the wall after the three minutes was over I went straight over - which I was hoping would make the difference.

He said I was described as 'enthusiastic, highly articulate and personable', but my assault course really let me down. This suprised me, as I thought the assault course was not something they based decisions on - I thought they just wanted an aggressive performance (I certainly yelled and grunted!)

My sponsor ACA (a line infantry regiment) has placed more emphasis on my dodgy educational background (expelled from school) and somewhat eclectic academic achievements. He said they weren't convinced I was serious enough.

Regarding fitness, I have worked hard. I came top 1/3 in the recent Spartan race in Cambridge and the 8 mile 'Kamikaze' in Dorset. However, I am 13 stone at 5'9" and very much a strength/stamina person - all slow-twitch/little fast-twitch.

- Get plenty of assault course experience
- Get experience with command tasks
- Demonstrate I am serious about the Army
- Keep my social skills sharp (I live in the sticks!)

The TA seems a perfect choice. I have heard they don't like to be used as an Officer training club though. My nearest is for logistics and signals - but I am 50 minutes from a line infantry TA regiment though.

Will this give me these opportunities (if not, what will) - and what is the best way of approaching them? I'd like to go back for my second MB in six months ideally!
I'd appreciate any advice on preparing for obstacle courses as well.
I am only echoing what your DS will tell you on the rope/platform when he demonstrates jump, hands on rope and quickly feet up - rather than a traditional rope climb. He tells you this for a reason.

Apart from that, most obstacles are made easier by running fastly and aggressively - this is how I cleared an 8 foot wall (I failed on a 6 footer previously!). I thought making loud grunting noises would help. If it did, then clearly not enough!
The TA seems a perfect choice. I have heard they don't like to be used as an Officer training club though.
Not true. Go along and explain the situation to them and see what they can do to help.

TA were very enthusiastic when I explained a similar situation to them. Thoroughly enjoying phase 1 training at the moment aswell and if nothing else it will make you much more comfortable around a military environment if you haven't had much experience of it previously (like myself). Also as far as commitment goes at least you can come back and say "Look, I joined the TA, had a great time of it and it has solidified my decision that the army is for me" at least if that's the case, otherwise it may point out to you that you actually don't enjoy the army and it is not for you, either way you're far better off.

As far as the assault course goes, lets face it if your phys is good and you go into it with a "Come on then" attitude you should breeze through it. Also aggression is not just grunting, though if that's how you get your kicks who am I to judge, but I would thoroughly recommend just throwing yourself at every obstacle like your life depended on it.

Yeah, would definately go and have a chat with them if you're even mulling the idea over. Did you ACA give you a specific timescale for when he thought you should aim to have another crack at MB?
Assault courses are just controlled aggression.

If you have good fitness levels for running and good upper body stregnth (press ups, dips and heaves, sack all that weight lifting shite) then it is just having the right attitude.

Can't comment on TA policy on letting you in or not, MSR or someone similar probably give a better answer, personally not that sure the TA will improve your fitness, but it will give you some insight into regular service and show your committment to it. Being in the TA might give you the personal motivation to get fitter, but it is not a gym club.

I am 5ft 7, weigh 12 stone and i have no problems with assault courses (but then i have had 22 years of practice), so your height and weight are not the key issues.


Getting only half way round the assault course is pretty wet and I'm not really sure how joining the TA is going to improve that. Not a difficult problem to address however.

What were you expelled from school for, and what do you mean by eclectic educational achievements? You can PM me if you want.

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