Not sure whether to commission straight away or from the ranks

#1
Hi guys I’m currently 17 and doing my A levels which I’m hating although hope to have 3 of by next June. I’m wanting to join the Paras and I’m wondering whether it would be best to join as a soldier and then commission after a few years or go straight to Sandhurst at 18. I don’t want to be lumbered with paper work straight away and would rather just get on with pure infantry stuff for a few years before taking on the officer responsibilities. Can anyone give me advice or a point in the right direction?
Thanks
Jonny
 
#2
See if you can pass Officer Selection.

Only then will you have a real choice.

You sound like I did when I was 17, but that was in the dark ages. These days the majority of officer candidates are graduates, so that would make direct entry to Sandhurst very much a minority sport.
 

Sixty

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#3
I’m wondering whether it would be best to join as a soldier and then commission after a few years or go straight to Sandhurst at 18.
That's not even close to being a given. Either option.
 
#4
Hi guys I’m currently 17 and doing my A levels which I’m hating although hope to have 3 of by next June. I’m wanting to join the Paras and I’m wondering whether it would be best to join as a soldier and then commission after a few years or go straight to Sandhurst at 18. I don’t want to be lumbered with paper work straight away and would rather just get on with pure infantry stuff for a few years before taking on the officer responsibilities. Can anyone give me advice or a point in the right direction?
Thanks
Jonny
This has been discussed many times in the joining threads (both officer and ORs).
Don't take it as a given that you could simply be commissioned from the ranks when it suits you. The competition can be fierce and there are many ORs with degrees nowadays. You would need to shine quite brightly to even get the recommendation you need before applying.

Going to Sandhurst without a degree would put you way down the pecking order although it is done. Very rarely at 18, though, as they would be looking for a bit of life experience whether at uni or in the big, wide world.
 
#6
Hi guys I’m currently 17 and doing my A levels which I’m hating although hope to have 3 of by next June. I’m wanting to join the Paras and I’m wondering whether it would be best to join as a soldier and then commission after a few years or go straight to Sandhurst at 18. I don’t want to be lumbered with paper work straight away and would rather just get on with pure infantry stuff for a few years before taking on the officer responsibilities. Can anyone give me advice or a point in the right direction?
Thanks
Jonny
You sound like me in 1980!

I decided to go into the ranks first to get a bit of life experience. Also set on joining the Paras, but was misled by a Royal Engineers recruiter at the ACIO in Holloway co-located with an Engrs TA unit, that there was a two year waiting list for the Paras and that with my qualifications I should join the RE. I said sod that and went and joined the Foreign Legion for five years (1981-86) and got to jump out of planes in 2 REP as well as learning French, doing other interesting stuff and going on two op tours,

After coming home I passed RCB sponsored by the Parachute Regt and got to RMAS, whereupon I found out that there were only two slots available in the Regiment and both were taken by men with Regimental connections. Things didn't work out quite the way I expected them to and I got chucked out for "Conduct Unbecoming" (I still had my Legion Para head on) shortly before I was due to be Commissioned.

I went to work on the security circuit and later joined a TA unit, which led to various mobilisations adding up to ten years in total including instructor posts and six op tours as well as an eventual LE Commission. So things turned out quite well in the end and I had a varied, remunerative and interesting twin-track career.

So remember to be flexible and don't let setbacks dishearten you, just see them as enablers for other opportunities.

All the best to you.

C.
 
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#7
Finish your A-Levels. Do AOSB Briefing (this is a no-commitment few days where the army gets the measure of you). You will learn a lot about yourself in that time. The army will give you some advice about your options at that point - they will *probably* tell you to spend 6 months or more getting some seasoning.
 

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