Modern Army overstated?

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Regular Officer Recruiting' started by BorisJohnson, Nov 28, 2012.

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  1. Hello Chaps and Chappets.

    Before I begin with my rambling, please can I stress I've used the search feature and I'm well aware that this subject has been discussed before.

    After looking around the army website before I have found these 3 PDFs

    I decided to have a look through (Partly to find out how many places each Corps/Reg offers, partly out of nosiness!) Anyway I happen to notice that just about all the Officers commissioned into the infantry (My preferred arm) had gone to Public schools or Grammar schools.

    I'm slightly concerned about this as I'd been assured that selection based on Social standing was a long dead practice, apart from the household division, I'm worried about this as I'm not a Grammar boy and definitely not a Public School boy!

    So this has lead me believe that this 21st century army thing is a bunch of Bollocks, if you want to join the Infantry at least.

    Can any serving Officers or Soldiers shed any light on this?
  2. Bullshit. Every cap badge has a mix of public and privately educated Officers (with the exception of Guards and Cavalry who do only take on posh types).

    For example, I'm an Officer, and my Dad was a coal miner...
  3. JINGO

    JINGO War Hero Book Reviewer

  4. Only problem I ever came across was a guy commisioned when he was a Cpl - very balanced individual with MASSIVE chips on both shoulders towards his fellow officers who came from the upper strata of society. Apart from that, a good mix of various backgrounds.
  5. Was he ever made to feel inferoir?
  6. I'm a serving officer from the combat arms and I know that of the officers in my peer group and in my regiment, some went to public schools, some went to state or grammar schools, but most I haven't a clue because it's just not something I go out of my way to find out.

    I know plenty of infantry (and some RAC) officers who I either know or would guess went to comprehensive schools.
  7. To be accepted as an officer, you have to first apply. More meaningful would be what are the percentages of applicants from each social group and then what percentage of those are accepted, if that is your bag. If more applicants come from a certain group then it stands to reason that more will be accepted. Incidentally, my father was a teacher and I went to a local grammar school which eventually turned comprehensive. I didn't feel out of place at RMAS and that was in the late 60's. I did an infantry attachment and was asked to transfer. I didn't accept, but that was for long term career reasons. It sounds like you already have the makings of a first class chip on your shoulder, so don't bother applying.
  8. One can always tell, can one not?

    To the OP, it will only matter if you make it matter. Your comments so far indicate that it is a big deal to you and, as others have said, the fast growing chip on your shoulder certainly won't help you.

    For my part I joined as a Gunner straight from a grammar school and I had no problems at all. I also know two soldiers who commissioned from the ranks after a very short time in the Army (Arty and REME) and, as far as I know, are doing very well now.
  9. Trolling? If so, I'll bite - you're talking sh!te.

    Check out the biography of the next Director of Combat Arms, currently Brigade Commander in Afghanistan, late of the senior infantry regiment of the line. Effectively, the next head of the infantry. He did not go to either a fee-paying or grammar school - it was an MoD school for pad brats, filled almost entirely with the children of NCOs; then on to Aberdeen University, not Oxbridge.

    I was a state-educated pad brat. I joined the TA infantry; the one question that Sandhurst (or my Battalion, or the Regiment, or the School of Infantry, or any mess I ever visited) never asked me was "where did you go to school"*. They did ask me whether I was capable of doing the job; my nice DS (from DERR) even suggested that I might want to join his Regiment as a regular.

    I'd suggest that a far bigger hindrance is having a chip on your shoulder. As much as you can, treat people as individuals and not stereotypes. Never confuse accents, parentage, or schooling with competence, and never assume that anyone else does either**. Apart from Glaswegian accents, obviously, the Army has to have some standards.***

    *Obviously, being a STAB was such a social crime that nothing else mattered.
    Although there was that joke recruiting sheet for Gunner officers that started with "Do you live in a house with a number?..."
    ***It's another joke, for the benefit of the journalists reading this. My parents were both born and raised in Glasgow:)
  10. Remember to an officers mess in all of the combat arms regiments (RAC and Inf) our ethos and camaraderie is just as important to us as our professional competence. Indeed the two are directly linked. You are less likely to lend 3rd Tp a hand if the Tp Ldr is a total belter and has stolen your girlfriend or bummed your sister.

    What does this mean for recruiting?

    Well as far as schools and university go absolutely nothing at all. I'm from a cavalry regiment and got expelled from several schools and piled in at university. What it does mean though is that combat arms regiments place a great deal of importance on personality.

    Who makes this call though?

    Well in my regiment we let the people who will work closest to a potential officer decide. ie. The young Tp Ldrs. We invite all POs to the mess and see what there like. Once they have gone we get together decide what we think of him and write a report that says yes or no for the CO. That report sits next to the COs interview notes at regimental selection boards at RMAS. The General is unlikely, but it does happen, to allow someone into the regiment who all the subalterns think is a tool!

    What does that mean for you well we are more likely to pick people we like and people we get on with than the most competent person. We want an all rounder not a backstabbing belter. If the majority of officers in a regiment come from a certain background they are naturally more likely to pick people similar to themselves. If that means public schools then so be it. The combat arms is not about political correctness it is about delivering effect.

    In all the PO visits that I ran or participated in i never once asked or cared where someone went to school or what uni they attended. Get over your politically correct motivations if you're a good bloke you're in. If not well.......
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  11. This is totally incorrect see my above post. We have all sorts in my regiment from all social spectrums and ethnicities!
  12. My father was an Irish immigrant who started his working life digging the road for the electricity board. His son had the very great honour to lead a company of the 1st of Foot. The army does not care about your social origins.
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  13. When I was at RMAS back on SMC 2* the front row of the 1stXV was me (minor-ish public school), a foreign royal prince in the middle and the son of a lorry driver on the other side.

    Nobody, and I do mean nobody, cares. It's all about what you bring, not where you got it from.
  14. Indeed. At the Rgt dinner, the comp school subbie will eat using his fork as a shovel, the grammar school subbie will be shocked at this, whereas the public school boy will laugh at both as he eats with his fingers and uses the empty port decanter as a urinal
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