Joining the TA: Officer or Soldier?

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by JayCam, Jun 6, 2007.

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  1. I had been intending to join the TA as an officer however after reading the "future of TA officers" thread I am starting to think that if I join as an officer I will never actually see mobilisation.. can some TA officers please chime in with regard to this subject. I am starting to think that perhaps I would be better off joining as a soldier. The more I think about this the more confused I become!

  2. I'm not an officer, but the rule seems to be as far as mobilisation goes.
    Pte - Cpl, you can tour the world. Officers seem to be able pick up a few tours as well. Its SNCOs that aren't required.

    If I'm wrong I'll be corrected I'm sure.
  3. My strong advice is to join as a soldier and serve in the ranks for a couple of years at least. You will have much more fun that way and will learn far more what the TA is about. You should certainly get trade qualified in whatever your unit does and do a couple of Annual Camps.

    If your background, qualifications or sheer ability make you an obvious candidate for officer training the Chain of Command are likely to push you that way. However, you should make that decision for yourself and only when you are ready.
  4. Thanks, good advice. I am not joining the TA as a career move, it's for the experience so maybe soldier would be the way to go.. I can always apply for direct officer entry after my 3 years is over no?

  5. Opportunities for officers are fairly limited and those that do exist are generally liason and HQ type work, which is all fine if you like being surrounded by very senior people and more likely than not removed from the pointy end of the action.

    I would completely agree with Mr Logic. Time spent as a tom will give you lots of valuable insight into the job in hand and get you to many places much more quickly.

    Good luck with whatever your decision is.
  6. If I had £1 for every time I'd heard "I want to join as an officer" I'd have £497.
  7. Probably depends on why you are joining.

    I'd venture if you weren't sure about being an officer, then the TA probably won't be too sure about you being one either.

    Mind, they may feel the same way about you wavering about being a soldier.

    Indecision is not an endearing character trait in this line of work.

  8. I fully endorse Mr Logic's post. Join as a Tom, have some fun and see what you really want to do. Learning your trade in the ranks is a great idea too; after commissioning your 'course' and 'career' time will focus on 'higher' level stuff and you can feel like you don't really get what your blokes (and girls) are doing - there simply isn't time to do everything. As you can probably guess I was a Tom who then went onto Sandhurst.

    Being an Officer is really rewarding (I have had the privilege of commanding some fantastic soldiers) but, being bluntly honest, a lot less enjoyable at times. There is a general tendency in TA Officer development towards becoming an admin machine who is capable of producing a good level of staff work. Wrestling with battlegroup and brigade level tactics and deployments is certainly intellectually challenging but perhaps not as much fun as bayoneting the s**t out of something on exercise. Depends what you want really.

    Happy to answer any PMs if you want any more advice.

  9. Join as a soldier and enjoy the craic.

    Your management will soon suss out if you have what it takes to be an officer, and you will have a little more insight to know if you want the challenge!

    Depending on who you join, you may well have the opportunity to deploy in role, both OR and Officer.