Discussion in 'Officers' started by Will90, May 11, 2009.
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I considered this and on a visit had it put to me that as an 18 year old who had, never lived away from home, had bills to contend with, had to survive without the parental safety net how was I going to help one of my soldiers if they got into financial trouble, or with personal issues.
I didnt think I could, so went off to university.
I know this doesn't exactly answer your question but it sticks with me as something very true and something I hadn't considered before that point.
Mate the intents good but you've got to go to uni or travelling! Don't go to Uni to study, go to turn up and live the life of a student. Spend 3 yrs appreciating an easy life and experiencing unique things and women then join. You don't have to try hard....... choose a subject like sport studies or sport science and get a 2:2. It's easy!!!!!
Or go travelling... You're still at an age where you can sponge off your parents so go and meet exotic women, or just aussie birds in foreign climates and enjoy yourself. Don't be in a rush to join!
Go to uni.
Grow up a bit.
Then think about joining.
Unless you come across as being the next Napolean, you are going to find it v difficult to persuade the board to let you go forward at 18. Don't be in too much of a rush. Go and enjoy yourself. You will be in a much stronger position in 3 or 4 years time.
I'm currently at uni, and I had the same thoughts as you during Sixth Form.
My advice to you would be the same as the others (as frustrating as that might be). It's quite tempting to get on with life instead of bumming it at uni. However, uni is really quite easy in terms of workload. I'm doing International Politics and Strategic Studies at the moment at that requires around 10-12 hours of work a week (more when I have essays, but not alot more). So it's not as much work as Sixth Form by any means.
Also, you may well leave the Army at some point. It's usefull to have a degree to fall back on. No matter what it is.
There's also the OTC or TA if you want to carry on with Army activities.
I hope this helps
I agree with Rawr. I'm at uni at the moment, I also worked and travelled for a time before uni. At 18 I wanted to go off and do it all, but to be honest, you'll be surprised how much you change within the space of 4 years. Of course its important to actually do something with this time as well, not just the bare minimum of uni work! Travel and volunteering overseas is very broadening.
Rawr is right, you can keep your hand in, Service wise, at uni. Many people join the OTC because that is the more expected route for an undergrad, but consider the TA. You can go for TA officer if you wish whilst at uni, or you can use it as a dipping-your-toe-in-the-bathwater exercise to make sure you are suited to the military life before going reg. You can deploy with the TA too, something the OTC does not offer, and there is a different character to the two organisations. We've had one member of our platoon deploy, come back for his final year of uni, and he is now at RMAS, for example.
Uni is a bit of a bugger at times though. In fact I find myself actually wanting more contact hours! But thats where keeping busy comes in, and a good social life, TA/OTC, long distance girlfriend and parttime work will help you fill that time, believe me
As an example of how hard university is, myself and Voltiguer have both posted at around mid-night
But yeh, although it might be weak on the work side, it's definitely a good idea to get involved with other activities like sports and TA/OTC.
Too right Rawr! Thats another thing about it, your sleeping patterns get a bit out of sync!
Will, just in case you do go off to uni and end up being a territorial, and just in case you do end up going for officer training whilst there, you could do worse than to get on this course: http://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/viewtopic/t=90142.html
I know this is probably way in the future for you at the moment, but worth bearing in mind - I did Summer Leader last year, and it's a good, if busy, course. There is the way of doing your modules via weekends of course but this gets it over and done with in a oner, sorts you out at least some saved up money over the summer hols, and I can't help but think you'll get a lot more out of 6wks solid than you will out of weekend courses. Recommended.
If you really want to get in early, consider Welbeck College. If i am correct (and please ammend accordingly) Wellbeck is a Military College for Technical trades such as future REME Officers etc. Either way your interest in the Military should not be discouraged due to your age. Take a trip to your local Armed Forces Careers Office and ask for some advice. Be careful though and stick to your guns about being an officer. The AFCO are full of conmen and it wouldnt be unusual to see a young man like yourt self enter as a Potential Officer and leave as a Pte in the Infantry!
Either way, good luck.
Another downside of going into the Factory before uni is that you get paid considerably less and probably have your seniority capped at some point in your future career.
Get yourself into uni, and if you still want to get a taste of the Army while your there get involved with a UOTC (I know they get a bashing on this site - but they are a perfect way for you to get your studies done and get some leadership qualities), or get involved in another TA unit while at uni. Even go for a Territorial Commission in the summer holidays.
This is what I've done and it made me want to join the Regulars even more.
I've pretty much reiterated what Rawr and Voltiguer have said. But it is sound adivce.
As a non grad officer, I would tend to agree with most of the things said except this one:
The Length of Service Terms of Service (LTOS) career structure allows for young non grads to achieve the same promotion to Maj as a grad. In fact the promotion opportunites from Maj to Lt Col for an 18 yo non grad and a 21 yo grad are the same. An older non grad and an older grad are potentially disadvantaged.
I wouldn't recommend TA whilst at Uni. Trying to mix TA tours and Uni is dangerous. The time to prep up and then away is significant and would affect your studies.
The OTC is there to give you experience of life in the Services and whilst you give up some time, it is designed to work around what is most important, you finishing your degree.
Remember though, that at OTC if you progress and enjoy it and want to put in the extra time, there is the opportunity of going forward to the TA commissioning course after a couple of years experience.
I wouldn't worry about trying to get on tour just now - I am positive there will be plenty to go on after you have completed studied and commissioned if that is what happens.
As enough folk here, have said, we are likely to be in at least one sandy place for years to come.
Regards and good luck
It is enitrely your decision and you should know what you are capable of. If you are doubting your ability, go to Uni. If you think you could pass both AOSB and Sandhurst, just do it and prove the doubters wrong. As far as Grad v Non Grad at a later date, there is no distinction made on your Educational history but on your military ability - your attendannce at ICSC (Shrivenham) and your potential are what is considered.
Bottom line. If you think you can and want to go straight in go straight in.
Whilst I don't dispute the "your decision" bit, the rest of the statement is unduly optimistic. I had one very competant non grad subbie in my last company riling at the fact that he was seeing his contempories march on to FS Coy and BHQ jobs whilst he was left filling in the gaps. Sad but true. Grads need to progress and not giving them the jobs can foul them. With only one in ten of commissions going to non grads, do you really think that you aren't going to be in some way prejudiced against, no matter what the PC answer to that is?
As to ICSC. How many years before he gets there and achieves equatable status?? Commission at 19 say and off to ICSC at 31/32? Against Grads that get to the same stage in half that time?
As I've said earlier, if I had my time again, I know which route I'd take and it wouldn't be the non grad one.
Go to uni...or get a job and join the TA's.
I went to Uni and have studied Sport and Health Science (By no means an easy degree, contrary to popular belief). Put the work in, live away and then apply. It's been the most eye-opening experience of my life and I would reccomend it to anyone!
Good Luck with whatever you decide!
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