Not sure if to join as Reserve Soldier or Officer

Hi

I have just finished University with a Masters degree and I am planning on joining the Royal Signals as a reserve. I originally wanted to join as an Officer, but after reading some of the forums it seems that Officers just get drowned by paperwork at the office and don't really get to do any of the exciting stuff. Also, someone told me that since Signals is a support arm, Officers don't really need to be on the field leading. I like the leadership part of being an officer and I don't mind doing paperwork but I don't want to be just stuck at the office. So I am not sure now if I should join as a Soldier or Officer

Anyone who is part of the Signals got any insights? What does the role of a Signal Officer look like?
 

Dr Death

War Hero
What is your MA/MSc in & from which Uni?
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I’m assuming that as you’ve just finished at university you are in the jobs market or at the start of a new career.

Becoming a reserve officer requires a heavy commitment of time and being an officer can also be quite time heavy.

Joining as a soldier would give you a realistic view of what that time commitment is and what officers do.

Many people who would be quite capable of going for officer find that being a soldier is fully satisfying and suits their work life balance better. There are fantastic opportunities going up the NCO route.

Getting a commission opens up other opportunities too and I would never want to put anyone off.

It can be useful if your civilian career matches your military career but many people don’t always want a busman’s holiday when they go off with the reserve.
 

Dwarf

LE
I’m assuming that as you’ve just finished at university you are in the jobs market or at the start of a new career.

Becoming a reserve officer requires a heavy commitment of time and being an officer can also be quite time heavy.

Joining as a soldier would give you a realistic view of what that time commitment is and what officers do.

Many people who would be quite capable of going for officer find that being a soldier is fully satisfying and suits their work life balance better. There are fantastic opportunities going up the NCO route.

Getting a commission opens up other opportunities too and I would never want to put anyone off.

It can be useful if your civilian career matches your military career but many people don’t always want a busman’s holiday when they go off with the reserve.

All the above. With the added bonus of starting as a soldier gives you more insight into what a soldier needs and how he should be led. You will learn from the bottom up how officers are regarded as good and bad by the lads and this will help you be a better officer if you decide to apply later on down the way.
 
I suggest you join as a soldier for a year or two, then apply for a commission . By then you should realise which part of the Army suits you best.
 

Hohenidoom

Old-Salt
Plenty of leadership to be done in the Corps - especially given the, shall we say, inevitable sporadic attendance of your senior non-commissioned scary people. Good advice above, and you'll have to join as a soldier anyway given the odd way the AR recruit their officers.

The reality also remains that whatever you opt to do, as a subaltern you'll spend a lot of it doing paperwork or finding creative ways to avoid it.
 
Filling forms is better than filling holes... and usually warmer and drier.
 
I spent 31 years as an officer in REME. I filled in very few forms. Writing annual confidential reports on my men took some time and stress because men's careers were at stake and I had to be scrupulously fair and accurate.
 

Lt_Pest

Clanker
Admittedly it's coming on 20 years since I was an AR (TA back then) officer, but...

Having been an AR soldier, officer then regular officer my advice is join as a regular officer. Given the time commitments and length of time it will take in the AR, after 3 years as a regular officer you can transfer straight into the AR (at least you used to be able to), as an officer, having been reasonably well paid. You’ll have all the useful quals; range management, adventurous training etc, that will make you an asset to an AR unit. Do your research and join a regular unit that’s off hunting elephant poachers in Mali or some other ‘worthy cause’ that will add interest to your CV when you arrive back in the civilian job market 3 years later, with all the other unemployed graduates who’ve been fighting over the scraps in the post-COVID employment market.
 

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