Non-Graduate Sandhurst Entry

Discussion in 'Officers' started by SickMyDuck, Feb 2, 2011.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Dear all,

    May I first add that I am not asking of you the typical Non-Grad questions that you undoubtedly get time and time again from people yet to trawl through the countless posts on said topic.

    I am nineteen years old and currently on my gap year resitting several exams with a view to getting a place at University. However, when I get my results in March, if they have not gone to plan I am in the position of considering entering Sandhurst in the May 2012 intake. I have done my Briefing and received a Cat 1 and wish to attempt the Main Board in June/July of this year, regardless of the outcome in March.

    Assuming I get offered a place at Sandhurst I am set on the Guards assuming they will take me. In short I am wondering 1) Will my potential lack of degree influence my success at Main Board and 2) In light of the fact some regiments have my name down as a post-university entry PO, will regimental selection be hindered by being a Non-Grad?

    I look forward to your views,

  2. 1. No.
    2. No.
  3. Thank you for your short but sharp answers. May I ask the basis (in no way derogatory) for your answers?

  4. I would answer potentially and potentially.

    First, your chances of getting through the AOSB and Sandhurst as a non-grad are statistically lower than as a graduate; however you are judged as an individual and if you personally are mature enough to get through the Commissioning Course at your age (with a view to leading soldiers thereafter), then you should be fine. I would question whether failing to reach the academic standard for university would necessarily make you an ideal prospective Army officer. Clearly there may be a slant on this, but in general if you are not academically able enough to get onto a degree course at a university (whether you choose to go or join as a non-grad), then you are probably not suitable to be an Army officer.

    As to your second question, it depends. Regiments (and the smaller corps) tend to try to line up their potential officers so that the sponsor the number (per expected year of commission) that they will have spaces for. What this means is that by changing the year in which you would commission, you may end up in a year in which your chosen regiment has already sponsored the maximum number of potential officers that it realistically can. However things have and are changing. Principle amongst the changes, from your point of view, is that potential officers and sponsoring regiments are now less committed to one another now than they were, until the point that in the third term at Sandhurst when final decisions are made on both sides. This means that, if you perform better at Sandhurst than the next man, you will be accepted by the regiment and he may not be. I simplify a bit and it tends to be a bit more gentlemanly in reality, but you get the idea.

    My advice would be to speak to you sponsoring regiment and see how they feel. I had heard that the infantry had started to veer away from youngish non-grads and towards guys further into their 20s, due to the amount of responsibility and complexity piled onto Pl Comds nowadays.
  5. 'brave-coward',

    Thank you for your measured, informative and unbiased response. I am able to get onto a degree programme if I choose, the resits are merely for a place at a 'better' university to read History, it would be a matter of choice.

    The response to the latter question from potential regiments was varied from '...if we like you during visits, during phone calls and have a good AOSB pass under your belt then why not...' to ' would be competing with several PO's who we have known for a long time and as such place you in a difficult position but in theory if you did well at Sandhurst there would be no reason not to take you...'.

  6. It may depend on whether your cat-1 was given on pre-AOSB thinking you had 3 more years of education to go. Conversely, they may have thought you ready now, hence the cat-1 and not going to uni is your choice. I would add, that if you have a place and are merely re-sitting to go to a "better" uni, why not take the place? Is the course you are destined for really that bad? Is doing history at a "better" uni any more useful?

    When AOSB comes around, being able to explain why you are choosing NOT to go to uni will be a test and given that you are academically able, but are considering not going, you should think about your measured response to that question. In effect you're wasting potential. Perhaps you feel you have more to offer in the army, via RMAS, than delaying that with a degree.
  7. 'django_strikes',

    Again, thank you for a very useful response. You are right, the course at the University I can already attend it not bad at all. However, as you have mentioned in your second paragraph I feel I can offer the Army more now than delaying with a degree. Is there an impact on career length, for example would it be unlikely to be promoted past a Major without a degree? It may be useful to state that either way I go, I fully intend to make the Army my career.

  8. Technically no - no impact on promotion. As a non-grad, you spend longer as a 2LT, LT and then Capt before you get to beige list (promotion to Maj).


    right now, they are suppressing the beige list and also I suspect (but haven't heard specifically), suppressing the award of IRC (intermediate regular commission - 16 years - you get an SSC 4-8yrs from RMAS).


    If you go as a non-grad, you could expect to hit Capt within 5 years (IIRC - someone feel free to correct), so would have to extend your SSC to 8 years, then be REALLY good to get Major in your last couple of years, rather than entry as a grad, getting to Capt quicker and doing crunchy captain type jobs sooner, thereby increasing your chance of getting IRC and then Major.

    If that doesn't make sense, let me know, but I would be inclined to get the degree, unless you really think it pointless. Going to Uni, gaining "life experience" and proving that you can stretch yourself at further education can often outweigh the benefit of going in immediately as a thrusting, uber keen subbie, with a chip on his shoulder from being paid less than his grad muckers for doing the same job and taking longer to get to the promotion zone as a result.
  9. Thank you for the information, well I am due to meet with my ACA(O) later this month to discuss this very issue. I am in no doubt that I should go to University for all of the aforementioned reasons but there is still a strong desire to join without a degree, something I'll have to deal with.

  10. I would suggest that something else to bear in mine is the 'what if' scenario. What if you find yourself unable to stay in the Army for a full career; do you have anything else to fall back on? There is no right answer to this, but give it some thought.
  11. I hope you realise how incredibly pompous you sound there by saying that. There's definitely a slant on this - you're talking shit. These days anybody can get to university - becoming an Army Officer should have nothing to do with pseudo-academic achievement and everything to do with leadership potential.
  12. Is that a potentially positive thing for me then 'Bubbles_Barker' or were you merely countering his point?

  13. Both.

    I started at Sandhurst in 1979 and I'm still serving. I don't have a degree and whilst I know I shouldn't be proud of that, perversely, I am. I do know that many more 'qualified' than me have fallen by the wayside.

    But that's only because I lack imagination.

    Anyway. Look on it as a positive thing.

    And hope that I'm on your board...................
  14. msr

    msr LE

    And you seem to have a massive chip on your shoulder about those who have an education and wish to educate themselves further.

  15. Earning the Queen's Commission is not about 'educating yourself'.

    I have a great deal of respect for those who have a degree, honestly - no chip. I simply don't agree that 'education' means excellence from a commissioning point of view. There must be room for those who might have have little apparent 'academic' prowess but who nevertheless show leadership potential.