Leadership opportunities in different roles.

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Regular Soldier Recruitment' started by Josh93, Jun 13, 2011.

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  1. I've been browsing the forum for a while now and now I've decided to make my first post.

    Basically, I've just finished university and I got the application for SOLDIER recruitment in easter. I got 55 on the BARB. Could be better I guess. I went straight for soldier because I feel I am not at that level in leadership and management yet, and having a degree doesn't make you a leader.

    The roles I've chosen so far are as follows:
    1 - Int Corps (OPMI)
    2 - EW Sys Ops
    3 - Tank Crewman (Recce) in the QDG

    Like I said before, I know I'm not officer material right now but I would like the chance to show a degree of initiative and to an extent, get promoted. I was wondering if I would get the chance to do this in these roles and if not, what you would suggest. I have, I guess, both physical ability and technical aptitude.

    I understand my third choice may seem odd and it was a toss up between that, CMT, or an observer in the RA. Something without DV and a bit more combat oriented if you will.

    For those wondering, my degree is Law from Aberystwyth (not an ex-poly) and it is almost certainly going to be a 2:2 when I formally graduate in July.

    Oh and I know every soldier has the chance to get promoted and it's always crucial to go with a job you enjoy (which I will), I just want to get a sense for things.
  2. Your question is . . . . what, ferzackelry?

    Until you get that kind of focus sorted, you will not lead.

    You will also struggle to function as an Int analyst, IMHO.
  3. Grumblegrunt

    Grumblegrunt LE Book Reviewer

    officers have no management skills either so you'll be perfect

    apply anyway.
  4. Question was what a promotion prospects were like in the roles I've put down on the form (and subsequently this thread) but more importantly, my chance to show some extent of leadership and initiative in. I know all jobs have these two things to an extent obviously but these are the jobs I put down on the form out of genuine interest in the areas.
  5. Welcome to ARRSE, Josh.

    So, you have a Desmond in Law from a reasonably good university and you want to join the Army as a soldier?

    Hmm. One barrack room lawyer coming up... :)

    Have you spoken to the ACIO about applying for a commission? Have you undertaken any research into commissioning? Have you looked at joining the Army Legal Services as a Professionally Qualified Officer?

    The mis-conception outlined in your post is that the Army recruits ready-cooked leaders; it doesn't. It looks for potential and uses Sandhurst to start the long process of developing that potential. The entire process is well-tuned to developing those skills that the Army needs in its commissioned ranks (and brutal to the extent that officers who do not meet the standard are quickly weeded out).

    I am heartened by the fact that you recognise that you "might not have management and leadership skills". Recognising that such skills exist is the first step on the path to developing those skills, and you will better develop those skills (and justify 3 year's hard labour at university) via a commission.

    If you are 21/22, as I suspect, you have plenty of time to start the commissioning process. Holding off enlisting as a soldier will give you time to think about your future as well. Time that you will not have had in university.

    So, knock the switch marked "soldier" to the "off" position and the "potential officer" switch to the "on" position. Browse the "Officer" threads on here, read the threads about good leadership books and read them over the next few weeks! Read the MOD website about officer recruiting.

    I am not advising you to forget about signing up but I am suggesting that you might not have undertaken sufficient research to break through your pre-conceived ideas.

    Finally, are you wedded to the idea of joining the Army or would you consider the RN or the RAF?

    • Like Like x 1
  6. Excellent thoughts from Litotes.

    I am interested in your

    I am wondering if this may not be a confidence and knowledge issue, but whether you may have approached officer entry and been kicked back?

    If that were the case I could see a recruiter suggesting the soldier route.

    The other approach if that has been the case, is to look at (and ask if necessary), why were you not snapped up?

    There are many ways you can look at yourself in the light of "why you are not officer material", and do something about it to place yourself into that ball park.

    If you end up in the Army you are going to have every opportunity to do the job, and to take part in any sports or adventure training etc that take your interest.

    Perhaps you have been a modern idle student and not thought outside your academic and social life? Fair enough, but nothing to stop you getting onto some climbing courses, and maybe over the next year set yourself a target of Summer Mountain Leader, or an instructor qualification? Maybe look to help manage local charities or youth groups etc? Things that show you can rub along with other people and achieve things?

    If my guess is wrong, my apologies, but if you have approached officer entry, and had a less than enthuisiastic reply, these are the sort of things will show them you have the capacity to be turned into a leader.

    And you taking a year, or even two, out to achieve this, if it secures you Sandhurst entry, will place you in time far ahead of any in-service opportunity for promotion.

    One thing is fundamental, if YOU don't have the confidence you can achieve something, the odds are firm you will not.

    If you build up your confidence in success in leadership solidly in little steps, your chances go positively exponential.
  7. Litotes, Tom, Thanks for your replies, they have given me things to have a good hard think about and the suggestions for how to sell myself to the officer selection board are definitely a help.

    I have thought of becoming a lawyer then a legal officer, but I feel if I were to join the armed forces, I would have to be in one of the jobs where the 'spirit of the military' really shows. I don't mean joining a teeth arm, but working actively towards the army's goals you could say. It would also require me to fully qualify as a solicitor or barrister, which is another 1 year at university (which I have been offered by my uni) and then 2 years on the job training (like gold dust and could take 5 years to be offered it in the current climate).

    You both seem to wonder (like some of my friends) why I gone for commissioning. Well, while I went for a chat with a recruiter with the RAF about 18 months ago I think it was. At this point in time I was deciding between trying for a commission in the rock apes or as an intelligence officer. I decided at the time to go for intelligence officer in the RAF (something I wouldn't really consider now), and then the applications came in for the role. The position got opened up before lunch time, so I decided to apply when I got home at night (I was at an away game playing for the uni fencing team). I did, and then about a week or two later I was told I wouldn't have my application even read out because of the sheer number of applications that had got in before mine. At this point I basically thought "Wow, is this seriously what I would be up against?" and getting a commission at this point in time just seemed to have ended at the first hurdle.

    I know some people apply for the forces like it was any other graduate job and just thought "sod it, the forces take anyone", like I have seen in the past, but I imagined for each person who applied with that idea there was probably several more who had been the president of so and so at uni, travelled and taught English in such and such and I just felt I couldn't do it, at least not now.

    The only things I could throw my way in terms of being an officer candidate at the moment are my volunteer work as an adviser at citizens advice (a lot of people and analytical skills I guess), house vice captain at school, and being on uni fencing team (not captain or anything like that though unfortunately).

    Perhaps there is more I could do, as suggested to make that pathway open to me, but my recent decision to go down the soldier route was because I saw on the army website a document specifically about graduate soldiers and other parts on the site welcoming such candidates. I couldn't find anything similar in RN and RAF information, even in brochures, and since I was becoming increasingly fitter through boxing and general exercise, and felt that I would like a role in the forces that is more like 'being in the forces' if you will, I shown a preference towards the army. I realise now as an intelligence officer in the RAF, I would've been left behind a desk to write reports and nothing else.

    For all its worth, if I was to apply for the army as an officer, I would either go for armoured recce or the artillery maybe in an STA role if I could.

    Like I said, I've been given a fair amount to think about, maybe about going for officer again after taking some time to make myself look good to them. Gives me a different way rather than going down the soldier route and working my way through to being an NCO.

  8. I am more convinced now that you should maybe look with more confidence on yourself and take especial note of Litotes
    Without being excessively critical of anyone, God knows how you set about the recruitment of people to an ultimate career as a Wing Commander responsible for a few buildings, a few airmen, some civvies and a lot of concrete!

    The Army will always need people with people skills, it needs the Captain of the Team and it needs the rest of the team. Not all will become Generals!

    Apologies for the thought of lazy student, and get into looking seriously at Army Officer entry!