LE Commissioning

Dear Sirs/Ma'ams,

I am considering commissioning, however the following areas concern me;

Do LE's basically do the jobs that Reg C's don't want to do (FAMO, QM, MTO)?

Why can't LEs go onto do staff jobs?

for me, coming from a techie world, I am unsure which Corps to apply to anyway (fancy a change from my own).  I do sometimes feel that LE's seem to be a bit of an Ex-RSM club where literacy skills are replaced by ruler writing and dogmatism seem to be the the common factor.  

My question is; as a SNCO who has done heaps of higher education, got the right ticks in the box etc, the thought of becoming commissioned does appeal, but the thought of being an MTO or Trg Offr just does not flick my switch.   The only bonus I can think of is a bigger MQ and a bigger pension.  Any thoughts or advise is appreciated.

You should be aware that the LE system is about to get a major overhaul.  Selected LEs (those who are deemed to have the aptitude ...and don't take that the wrong way) may be asked to go Direct Entry... ie compete on the Regular Officer roster.  In most technical corps where there are an abundance of weapons staff appointments, this is currently being actively encouraged especially for those who are capable of a bit of lateral thinking and are technically qualified or gifted.  

Sigs have loads of of LE officers doing staff jobs and not just the Yeoman and Foreman types, ex RSM types are also in the frame for reasonably arduous SO3/SO2 (W) appointments.  If its your bag it could lead to better promotion prospects.

Suggest first point of call should be your local RCMO.....

Hope this helps.
I believe that the Royal Army Medical Corps is currently the only Corps that places NO RESTRICTIONS on the employment of LE Officers in the Medical Support Officer Role.

We are desperately short of Senior Captains/ Majors, and I think we commissioned something like 30 LE Officers last year, over half of whom came from outside the Corps.

LE Officers in the RAMC can fill any Regimental appointment, can command Squadrons and Regiments (we have had a number of LE Officers as COs), can attend Staff College... Basically, they're thrown in the pot with everyone else and given jobs according to ability and requirement. (I've worked for an LE Sqn OC, and LE CO and an LE SO1 in a Headquarters).

As a result, more and more WOs from outside the Corps are looking at the RAMC (in my own unit, the RAOWO, RSWO and the REME WO all applied). This is causing a little resentment among some RAMC WOs who feel that theeir chances of commission are being eroded by outsiders, but its a policy that will continue for some time I suspect - we're just too undermanned.

I believe that there's a DCI out detailing the procedure, which involves an initial filter interview with an RAMC Lt Col  or Col, currently in a command appointment (ie CO of a Medical Regiment, or a Divisional Commander Medical). Then if successful you get boarded. I'm not sure what the success rate is at the board.

Hope this is helpful.
Another thing to watch is the letters coming out about the Acquisition Stream for SNCO/WO/Offrs.  This in essence is an attempt to create specialists who will work in the world of procurement (sorry - acquisition), and hopefully, stick with a project team (IPT) for longer than two/three years.  (The benefit of this is that hopefully some of our more esteemed contractors will not be able to screw the MOD as badly as they do at the moment, as our corporate memory will in effect be lengthened.)  Should be on file in your chief's office from the last couple of weeks anyway.  Good luck, hope it works out!! :)
The Gunners are just starting to let LEs take on direct entry jobs such as Battery Commander.  Not many of our traditional LEs are keen to do it.  You might find it difficult breaking in though as you won't have the same grounding as them.  With your technical knowledge you might be able to persuade the powers that be to let you become a Battery Captain (BK) - the Battery second in command and effectively the equipment manager.

Doing that for two years could give you the grounding to get into the gunner system fully.
B-S, couldn't find the letter proper, but found the annex - sadly unnotated like they should be.  Another point of contact could be DPA - Abbey Wood, Maple 2 is the building area.  Sorry can't help much more.
In the Army Air Corps we allow LE's to have some great jobs.  Imagine you to could be in charge of an AH FOB.  Far better than mincing about in charge of a filing cabinet. ;)


re redcrossrupert's contribution, the Education and Training Branch of the AGC also make no distinction between LE and DE in terms of jobs and postings and will also take people earlier in their careers than most-we routinely take Staffies and have taken Sgts in the past.  We also take NCO applicants from the other services

Oddly the only snobbishness I have found was from a Gunner LE who thought he was better than me because he had reached WO1 whereas I was commissioned from SSgt-wotanob!
Thanks FTB,

Presuming that you are ETS, do you have to have a degree to gain entry as an LE?


Forgive my ignorance here....

But do you have to be a SNCO to go for an LE commission?


War Hero
PtP, your ignorance is forgiven, but do try to keep up!

A Late Entry (LE) commission is given to those commissioned from the Senior Ranks i.e. Sgt and above.

A Direct Entry (DE) commission is for those who attend Sandhurst for the full Commissioning Course.

A recent change in MS policy means that holders of either type are being run together for the same jobs in many technical fields (if the LE holder wants to).  This is a method of filling the current gaps in the DE plot and making best use of the brains of the better LE officers.


Thanks FTB,

Presuming that you are ETS, do you have to have a degree to gain entry as an LE?


not necesserily-you might be a tiffie or a Yeoman of Signals or might hae a language diploma.  As it happens, yes I do have an OU degree and you can be considered if you have only done part of the required courses for degree.  Keep your mincers peeled for a DCI that usually comes out this time of year or ring your nearest Ed centre for a chat
I am an LE (RSigs) and my adivice to you is that you must really want to go for it. If you are half-hearted you will be very unlikely to;

(a) Get selected , or

(b) Enjoy it if you are. It is NOT the same as the WOs' Mess.

The hardest part in my experience (in RSigs, anyway) is getting to the position where you can apply in the first place.

Be very careful of the 'RSM thicky ruler writing' attitude too, you may get a nasty suprise.

A Late Entry (LE) commission is given to those commissioned from the Senior Ranks i.e. Sgt and above.
No Offence intended to any LEs out there but I did once hear it described as GOPWO.

Grossley Over Promoted Warrant Officer (only in a few cases!!) :D :D


As I was commissioned from Staffie does that make me a GOSST (pronounced gusset)-if so can I please be Kylie's
Civilian_In_Green said:
...what's an LE?
A very old man, with white hair and a long beard, wearing a tall hat, a red top with green tights and curly shoes. They are usually found hiding in the darkest corners of a place called 'The QMs', where they complain constantly of being 'up to their eyeballs in sh*t'. They possess many books and lots of clothes in different sizes. They are rarely seen in daylight and on the odd occasion where one comes out of 'the QMs', he can be seen riding a very old bike towards another place called 'the HQ'. It is not yet known what he does in 'the HQ' as he only stays a short while. If you are very lucky, you may see him cycling back to 'the QMs' clutching a bundle of letters and packages. Some soldiers believe that he has mystical powers.

Legend has it that there are other LEs, who are called 'the MTO' and 'the RAO'.
What about the Regt'l 2IC, Trg Offr, OC LAD etc. I have all the admiration in the world for our LE Officers as they bring 'Military reality' to most situations.
Whilst the DE Officers 'think' they know what will happen in a situation, and will say what they think the CO would like to hear (and I know only too well) the LE Officer will think before he opens his mouth, simply because he has seen similar situations in the past, and remembers the outcome.

In the technical corps (I am Late RSIGS) our ex Yeoman and Foremen of Signals arrive complete with a BSc. So too do the REME ex Artificers.

I had a Technical Officer Traffic (TOT) who was being chastised behind his back by a young DE Officer who had failed at Shriv.


Happy in elmpt

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