Non Graduate

#1
Hi guys,

I've recently put my paperwork through to ACA(O) for a commission, am looking at several regiments within the infantry, however I don't have a degree.

The only reason I ask about the importance of a degree is that much of the army literature that there is seems to indicate that thats their target.

Now I've just turned 21, When I finished school I worked for just under a year to fund going travelling, which is what I did between June 2002 to June 2003. I started off in the US, then the pacific, NZ, worked in Aus for 8 months, then did a few treks in SE Asia including Laos and Vietnam.

Given that I'm gonna be up against grads, how much of a disadvantage will that be for myself??

Any gen guys would be of great use,

Cheers in advance

BC
 
#4
The way it was put to me was that the degree itself wasn't the most important thing. It's the life experience of being at University. You seem to have bags of that without stepping foot in a hallowed hall of further education! :D
Also, I was also told that a degree probably wouldn't become much use until competing for more senior positions, but I would have thought much more emphasis would be placed on your military performance up until that point, rather than a degree you got years ago...
 
#5
I am MOST defenitily NOT the person to perhaps bring this up..........being as I am from 'umble horigen's....but dont senior officers get determined on the Basis of Staff College. (It's a bit like the EFP 1 only less demanding)
 
#6
Macks, thanks for your post, certainly gives me a confidence boost.

In the meantime, I'm joining my local TA unit as civvie life is unbelievably boring, and its something I feel will be of an advantage. I know people have mentioned about the 'know-alls' at Sandhurst such as OTC and TA members who learn the hard way because they think they know it all, but I realise that if I make it to RMAS that I'll have to shut up, swallow any pride and do it their way!! :mrgreen:

By the way, I've heard that RMAS is filling the May 2005 slots already!!! Has anyone heard any different???

Any extra gen would be great guys

Thanks All

BC
 
#9
I have a couple of mates going to RMAS in May 2005. I'd recommend getting started asap, places on the RCB are booked well into this summer. I actually got bumped off one a couple of weeks back to make way for people going to RMAS in the next year.
 
#10
haha guys, now that you mention it, I'm going for 4bn (TA) Paras at the moment, as they're (conveniently) my local unit, and hopefully I'll be sponsored by them for RMAS. That is iof course, if I get through RCB!!! 8O

Hopefully I'll have my initial interview within the next 2 weeks :wink:

p.s. As mentioned before on this forum, as I'm from Croydon, the Houshold Cavalry is definately out!!! :lol:
 
#12
Hello BC,

I, being of non graduate status find this subject fairly close to my heart. Secondly, I now work in the Officer Recruitment cell for my regiment so deal with chaps like you on a daily basis.

I normally advise all those that have not been to University or are planning not to go to actually go to university. This is solely on the facts of money and promotion speed. 24 months from 2Lt to Lt for Non grad, 12 months for grad. About £7000 difference in pay at the factory and £3000 on commission. Lt to Capt. Non grad expect up to another three years. Grad Lt to Capt 18 months or there abouts. :evil:

However, life experience is the key and I would suggest in my humble way, that the toms respect you a little bit above those that come in with a degree. It is really all about time in post and rank. However, being the age you are take the RMAS option. You will be hammered on it at RCB so have some decent reasons for not going to Uni.

With regards to RCB, look at it taking 6 months for the whole process. Three months frm initial interview for RCB(b) and an additional 3 months for RCB Main. At this time, I'm still getting guys onto Jan 2005 intake but your best bet now IS May 2005. Consider also that you may be required to go to Rowallan.

With regards to your area, PWRR would be a good regiment to be sponsored by. I am not convinced you can be sponsored to RCB by a TA unit. Sponsorship is just a means of getting you there and holds no obligation at RMAS either way.

I hope this is of some help. :D
 
#13
A degree is for life, not just for Christmas...you may not wish to be a soldier all your life, and a huge amount of employers will simply not look at you if you don't have that poxy piece of paper, no matter where from (within reason). Its no indication one way or the other of your quality - thats down to you. However as a life experience and a final opportunity to enjoy 3 years of pretty innocent fun before moving on to big-boys rules, its priceless. Moreove, you can use the time to add extra strings to your bow that will be of use in and out of the military.
 
#14
GROWNUPS_BEWARE said:
A degree is for life, not just for Christmas...you may not wish to be a soldier all your life, and a huge amount of employers will simply not look at you if you don't have that poxy piece of paper, no matter where from (within reason). Its no indication one way or the other of your quality - thats down to you. However as a life experience and a final opportunity to enjoy 3 years of pretty innocent fun before moving on to big-boys rules, its priceless. Moreove, you can use the time to add extra strings to your bow that will be of use in and out of the military.
You make a fair point there GB, but if he goes to Uni now, say a three year course earliest he is out is 24. I would suggest that with the current manning projections, Inf regiments will not look at someone who will take up RD at 25/26. New ToS etc. Thus making the individual eligible for Major at 35/36.
 
#15
LoTS conditions now apply to all - as does employment law ref agism! Plenty of 24 yr olds passing out of RMAS into the Infantry. I was 24 when I passed out...all those years ago!
 
#16
BC,

Some good advice here from the others posts.

If you wish to make the Army your career, then you may have to attend lectures at some kind of institution for three years before you can get on with it. Personally, as a Graduate, I found University fun but of no use in the real world. Depends what you want. Consider a short servie commission and then get out and go to uni.

Also, don't worry about competeting with Grads once in the system , you will be the experienced one that everyone looks to. What use is a History degree on a tab? Many good officerswere not/ are not grads. Fact is you got off your backside, funded yourself and went out and took some real risks, IMHO much better than attending lectures and drinking cider for three years :!:
 
#17
GROWNUPS_BEWARE said:
LoTS conditions now apply to all - as does employment law ref agism! Plenty of 24 yr olds passing out of RMAS into the Infantry. I was 24 when I passed out...all those years ago!
Not suggesting that various human rights etc. don't apply but from my experience of the current inf recruitment, those that are of that age are being encouraged to look elsewhere. If ageism was not an issue, would there be an upper age limit on entry to RMAS?

Further to this, I do not disagree with regards to a degree. I think that within the Army they are worthwhile as mentioned on other posts. But I am suggesting that age is now more of a concern than in previous years.
 
#18
Hi Guys

Thanks for all your replies. Its been very interesting reading them all!!

I think, given my age, I'm gonna go for the non grad route. The reason is because I reckon that now is a good age to join, plus half of me says to myself that if going to uni is only to present a nice picture of myself to the RCB, then thats not good enough a reason to go.

After reading your posts, I realise that people do get in without degrees, and that a few of you have said that the degree has never come into use, however I don't ignore that it would be three extra years of harmless fun and a good pissup!!


Joker, Hooch and Grownups Beware, I'm especially thankful for your posts as you've taken time out to answer my questions in depth, but thanks to you all guys!!!!

Any extra gen guys would be great, and as always, I'm keen to read more!!!

Cheers guys

BC
 
#19
Well I am glad that we have been of some help. Just a couple of points that you may want to take on board.

With regards to sponsorship, get sponsored by a regular unit ASAP. This will enable you to go on visits to that particular unit. This is very useful as not only will you get an idea as to how the Field Army functions but also you will be able to determine which unit you feel most comfortable in.

Secondly, do not just visit Inf or teeth arm units. Try and get around as many different services and corps as you can. This will give you an idea as to the difference of the jobs that a YO does in each cap badge.

Any further questions, just ask. What you do not want is to go into the process unsighted as to your different options. There are very many people that use these forums that can give you all manner of advice!

:D

Joker
 
#20
Just a bit of a tip......GO TO UNI! This is not out of any sense of superiority over non-grads, but this is the advice that I would give anyone. Now that the Age Based Terms of Service (ATOS) is gone, there is no reason why you cannot go to uni, join the OTC, have a laugh, expand your mind, and your overdraft. I joined the army late, on the ATOS, and am suffering some career compression, but not really too worried about it. You will benefit from going to Uni, and meeting strange people. This life experience will help you in your army career - and being able to talk to your soldiers a little more convincingly about life issues (drink, drugs, clubbing and holidays to Ibiza) does assist you in your day to day work.

The only exception to this advice would be if you were looking to join REME, sappers and RSigs. You could go to RMAS, and then go on the Technical Undergraduates Scheme. This is where you apply to go to Uni in either Southamption or Newcastle to read a degree in a engineering type subject.

There will be lots of advice about do this, do that, but all I will say is that getting a degree is a bit like a safety blanket - if you don't like the Army after a few years, a degree makes it a lot easier to bale out and get something else!

Good luck
 

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