Little help and guidance please!

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Regular Soldier Recruitment' started by Army-Girl, Jan 7, 2012.

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  1. I hope that you guys can help me.

    I have been reading this forum for days now on and off looking for guidance, my situation is a little more bespoke than many so thought I would stop lurking and just ask.

    I am 23, female, in a full time job as an IT Technician at a school that I have been working at for just over 3 years. Completely boring and monotonous, to be honest I feel like I've been drifting through life like a zombie thinking 'well, this is my life now.'

    Bit of back story, may or may not be relevant... I was home educated my entire school life, at 16 I had no qualifications or GSCE's so went to college for 3 years studying IT Support and Key Skills English and Math (for the 'special people' that didn't have GSCE's ' passed eveything with flying colours. I had the determination and drive to prove I wasn't going to end up in a warehouse.

    ANYHOO! I always wanted to do something extraordinary like join the forces, but never had enough confidence in myself to be able to hack it. But now I have spent three years in 'normal' work I realise it's not for me. I want to make something of myself... I can't stand just milling through life in an office job.

    I have been looking at Royal Artiliery IT Systems Operator and Royal Logistics Corps - Driver Comms Specialist. These seem to closely match my skill set.

    I sent off my application, and got a call for an interview with an Careers advisor on Wednesday.

    Here are my concerns, maybe you guys will be able to help with.

    I am worried my fitness levels aren't up to scratch to pass the training, I go to the gym regularly, I'm not overweight or anything but the concerns are there... I am more than prepared to hit the gym harder to pass the fitness tests. Will I have the opportunity to do so after speaking to my careers advisor, or will I get a blank 'no you're not fit enough' there and then?

    My other main concern is, I have a job, bills to pay etc... and don't want to put my job at risk by getting so far with the Army, leaving my job. Then getting told I have failed and and being left without a paddle.

    I know it's one or the other but with the climate being what it is, I am obviously concerned.

    Sorry about the long post, just wanting to give some insight... Try not to flame me too much! :)
  2. If you are unsure whether or not you want to commit fully to the Army, why the user name?
    You have at least identified the correct thread to pose your question, but I fear for the responses it may generate! The internet is probably the last place you want to go to in order to get the right advice. Bottom line is, if you are seriously considering a career in the Regular Army and concerned about your fitness levels, do something about it! If, as you say, you are a regular gym user, take the advice of their fitness expert(s) - it is part of the monthly subscription you pay.
    However it pans out, Good Luck to you.
  3. No it's not that I am unsure whether I want to or not, I definitely do want to join. I'm just concerned that I will throw everything at joining, quit my job, then get told I've failed and loose my house and end up becoming bankrupt!

    I am just looking for reassurance from other people who have been in the same situation and come out the other side...

    At the end of the day changing your entire life takes a bit of consideration especially if it goes pear shaped half way through.

    And as far as fitness is concerned I am prepared to do what it takes.
  4. A-G

    My internet tuppence worth.

    Fitness. Unless you are grossly overweight and have problems waddling, let alone walking an running, your fitness level will not be an issue at the ACIO on Wednesday. ACIO is the very first step, it's a long way to getting to basic training, or 'Phase 1' as it is now called. Wednesday is more of an exploratory session, a view of the Army and an initial view of you, to see if there is a match. In between that an getting as far as Basic, there is a recruitment and selection process that can last many months, and includes a two day (iirc) testing session where you will be tested at a very basic level of fitness; the 1.5m run and so forth.

    There is a thread or two here regarding how to prepare for the run (or what your run times are). There are some opposing opinions, but the end result is the same. Continue at the gym, but start to include running if you dont already do so. The only relevant advice at if you use cross- or gym trainers, DONT run in them, buy a pair of running trainers too. Dont be phased by the selection fitness tests, or the level of fitness required for Phase 1. The selection test is ridiculously easy, and the Army Phase 1 assumes that every recruit is essentially unfit and starts from that level.

    Life. Well, until you actually embark on Phase 1, you will still be working at whatever you do in civvy street, working and paying bills. When you start, you will be in the same boat as everyone else. Why might you leave?

    You might decide Army "life" is not for you. Well, life in Phase1/2 is not Army life, it is training. Army 'life' is very very different. Training is hard to separate the wheat from the chaff, those who can from those who can't. Frankly, a lot of people who leave at this point are 'wimping out' and using any excuse. Not all, by any means, but some. Fair enough, that's what the system is there for. Just about every recruit thinks about quitting at some stage... The Army - obviously - wants the ones who don't! Its down to how much you want to be 'in'. If you fall into this category, then your concern is redundant; the Army will not have failed you, you will have failed yourself.

    Injury is another reason (assuming an injury severe enough to result in medical discharge), and wholly unforeseable. In this case, your concern is reasonable,-ish, but you could be run over by a bus next week, leaving you in the same boat.

    Which really only leaves the scenario where you don't 'make the grade'. I can't comment how common this is, but I gather the MOD isn't too keen on it (instructors to the contrary) as it means the training process loses "efficiency". But equally, you could be in any job and in a 3month probation period be told "sorry, but it just isn't working out".

    I think - being brutally honest - your concerns are more rooted in having been home-schooled and to a degree, sheltered from life and not learning the lessons every other school child learns, the "untaught" lessons in developing self-confidence from those everyday things like climbing trees and bunking school.

    If the Army is what you want, really really what you want, then go for it. If you want it, and you believe in yourself, than that is 75% of the battle won already.

    Good luck. You'll get plenty of support and advice on here, and hopefully The Irons will be along in a mo with better advice than me :)
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  5. If you are already an IT engineer then CS Engineer in the signals is the perfect trade for you. CS Eng is a merge of tech and IS and the main trade ex is entirely IS related.
  6. As far as fitness is concerned. You will learn to graft and your fitness will improve massively over the 13 weeks of basic so don't worry about it just dig deep.
  7. Nip down to your local Army Careers Information Office (ACIO) where you will get the up to date version of the truth, simply by entering the doors does not commit you to a life of nasty soldiers shouting at you and you will not be tricked into signing anything.

    In the current climate the recruitment process can be very long winded, however, you do not have to give up anything until the day you leave for basic training. You will have to get time off work for various events during the process but it is entirely up to you whether you declare this to your current employer.

    As for fitness, you need to have a reasonable level and you need to be prepared to work at it, however the ACIO will be able to give you information on this as well.
    There are also lots of different areas of the army that can make use of your skills, regardless, good Luck with whatever you decide to do
  8. Once you get passed the Careers Office, the form filling, the medical, the tests and the long waiting times, you'll probably know for sure if you still want to join. Above all, don't lose your sense of humour. If you haven't got one...Get one.
  9. I quit my job today as i'm joining up soon, if it's what you want to do the only things stopping you from getting through it are your responsibility. I don't mean to sound preachy but that's the way it is. Also about possible injury, i was hit by a car one day before my interview, shit happens. I got deferred for 6 months to make sure i was fit and healthy (which sucked), came back and carried on. just my two pence/cents whatever...
  10. Army-Girl, compared to a lot of others who post on this forum asking for recruiting advice, your post strikes me as well thought-out and intelligent, with very little if anything in the way of grammatical and spelling errors. That may sound patronising, but I'm sure you've cringed as much as the rest of us reading posts from others, some of whom are looking to be officers! To that end, it would appear that home-schooling has not hindered your education or development to speak of.

    What it may have hindered is your self-confidence, hence your post. If you are of an average level of fitness, all you need to do before you start is get yourself to the best level you can. If this is only slightly above average, well so be it, the Army will get you up to the standard required, if, and this is the rub... IF you really want to.

    What the Army is looking for in a recruit is motivation. If someone is suitably motivated, they can do anything. I've served with some people who had very little (on paper) going for them except for a real drive to succeed. No matter how intelligent or naturally fit you are, it's those that want to succeed (deep down) that always do. I never knew anyone to be bined who really wanted to be there.
  11. Totally agree. If you want a job in IT, the Royal Signals is the way forward. CIS/IS in any other Arm/Capbadge is merely a posh name for "Glorified Radio Operator".
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  12. OK some good advice already....dont panic about fitness as long as your within the BMI range and eligable for all other things start the application....A lot of female applicants (well both really) are really bad to start with but with the process taking at least 6-12 months now a days just start working hard and get the Fit for the Army booklet from the ACIO.
    Regarding work you dont need to tell bosses your applying and definately don't quit...even after the long process and hopefully good IDST score (grade) at ADSC theres still plenty of time to give notice at work so as Zorber says only do once passed and allocated. Have a good read through the stickies and the Recruiter points we put in here but mainly speak with your own Recruiter for advice and put 100% in all you do.
  13. " more than prepared to hit the gym harder to pass the fitness tests..." Just buy yourself a cheap pair of Asics & start doing the steady state runs on the pavement / grass etc. There's an 8week program floating about for developing basic CV fitness for steady state running, possibly health & fitness forum?

    You sound eloquent, literate etc so intelligence factor shouldn't be an issue. If you can meet the physical fitness criteria then - positive outlook - it should only be a matter of time before you'd get a slot at an ATR. If you want it bad enough then you'll be able to work & pay bills etc on top of your ongoing application.

    Good luck.
  14. Crikey. At last, there are signs of intelligent life on this site. Usually, a post from a female results in a series of replies from various perverts requesting pictures by pm etc. Thank goodness she had the sense to keep her first post away from the NAAFI!
    I agree with SgtS that the R SIGNALS could potentially be an excellent choice of cap badge.
  15. If us sensible ones get in first the thread generally turns out ok!
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