Officer at 18?

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Regular Officer Recruiting' started by AlexH, Nov 11, 2010.

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. I am currently in my last year of sixth form college and am confident of achieving the required 180 UCAS points.

    I am not interested in going to university and want to join as an officer as my first choice after i have finished at college.

    Will my age play a large part in the success of my application or does age come before personal performance?

    Thanks for any comments
  2. Congratulations on your anticipated results.

    What I would say is that officership (for tis a word) is based on more than simple age or qualifications. A great deal of it relates to social experiences. Knowing when to say 'enough is enough', or simply understanding the need to get stuck in with the lads and have a laugh, often at yourself.

    If I were in your shoes I'd actually hit university. Not for the degree in terms of academic achievement, but for the social aspect. It gives you a chance to grow up a bit, learn something of the world, interact with others, and get a proper clue as to how to interact.

    In terms of age being considered a part of application - no, not necessarily. However experience and outlook does.

    There are few better ways to get that experience and build that outlook than university, which is why the army recruits so many graduates. I'm sure you can guess what my suggestions to you would be, so I won't insult your intelligence by going ahead and making those comments.

    However, think carefully. You will not have learned everything by age 17-18, none of us will have done.
  3. I do remember seeing a bell curve of passes at AOSB by age. Regardless of academicals you'd need to be pretty stellar. The odds are against you.

    Not that university need be the answer.
  4. Thanks for the quick replies.

    The term "Life Experiance" comes up alot and I understand that at 18 I' ve got alot to learn, I don't see University as an option as their is no one subject I wish to study so I feel that I would gain a low value dergee and a large student debt.

    Has anyone done any alternatives to university which has benifited their selection process?
  5. I suggest that spelling it correctly would be pre-requisite. Sorry to come across as a tosser but you would need to be properly goldenballs to get the route you'd like to take and I suggest that's not quite where you are. Go to uni. Seriously.
  6. Sorry for the spelling issues, will reconsider University and will look into other areas of further education.
  7. If you really don't fancy uni - and there is nothing wrong with that point of view, I'd suggest trying for AOSB now - if you do pass, you can join up - I passed at 17 (albeit many, many years ago).

    However, make sure you have a proper plan - whether uni or something else - in case you don't come up to scratch - on maturity or anything else. If you do fail, listen to the advice, work on any recommendations and move forwards - whether to another go at AOSB or to something else.
  8. Hmmm. Be careful you don't waste a chance by going when you don't have your best chance of passing. You can only go twice....
    Aged 18 I'd suggest getting out and about a bit and Uni might well be a good idea - there must be a course that interests you ? You can always get some TA/OTC time under your belt.
  9. Stonker

    Stonker On ROPs

    55yrs old now, joined RMAS in 1974, aged 18.

    Life experience? Depends what you mean - most 18 yr olds (if my son is anything to go by) are still in dreamland. It takes more than a gap year, especially when you are in competition with guys half-a-decade older.

    Could I have gone to uni? Yes.

    Did I want to go to uni? no

    Do I now wish I had? You betcha - sadly I could never talk the Army into sending me, nor did I choose the OU route.

    Don't rush at it. Get yourself set up to give yourself the best chance of passing at the first attempt.
  10. If you are absolutely sure University is not for you, then have a go at getting selection for RMAS. Don't under-estimate the challenges of competing with 22-25 yr olds at selection, training and ultimately when trying to command respect of soldiers. I just about managed at 18/19 yrs of age, one of my contemporaries nearly got Sword of Honour at same age - it is not about your age, it is about whether you are ready and good enough.

    If AOSB think you will not cut it due to your age/maturity then the worse that will happen is they will defer you and ask you back at later date. In that case, take their advice, do something useful and try again. Don't sulk, give up or waste your time - stick to your guns and go back and show them you are good enough.
  11. Don't underestimate the calibre of the individuals you will be alongside at Briefing, you may feel perfectly confident and outspoken in your daily interactions, but I know I for one felt quite intimidated when I was surrounded by the older and, for the most part, graduate applicants. Probably not adding anything new to this discussion, but I would definately recommend getting some sort of 'life experience' under your belt before going, if for no better reason than believe me, if you don't have much to say when it comes to "So what have you done so far?" than that you have been to school, your chances go down like a lead balloon if you're not, as the others have said, a stellar applicant.
  12. There are a whole load of other oppotunities other than university. People bang on about "learning about life" at university, but you're actually just sitting around getting drunk and pretending you know about everything just because you read some pseudo intellectual BS in one of the set books on your reading list.

    Do a good audit of your skills and abilities - your ability to work with different people, think on your feet, make fast, but informed decisions etc. Also think about your physical fitness and your general knowledge of political and world affairs. If you think your up for it, go for it. Otherwise think about how you can best develop those skills. I went to university, and while I wouldn't call it time wasted, I think I could have developed more as a person by working for those three years and living a more independent life.
  13. Although I was commissioned at 18 I would caution against trying straight away; all those years back the ratio of graduates to non-graduates at RMAS was about 3:2, I think it is tilted significantly more in favour of the graduate and hence slightly older candidate now in number terms. As several posts have already said you will therefore be competing against candidates 5 years or so older than you, in my youth us uneducated here kept well away from the graduates.

    If you don't fancy university why not get a job for a year or so, join your local TA and get a bit of the life (and military) experience others are talking about before applying. One firm thing I would say is be wary of being pressured into going to university and subsequenty dropping out; it will probably not look good!

    Good luck with whichever option you choose.
  14. Speaking as someone who joined up as an (RN) officer at 19, after leaving school with A-levels, I'd recommend you do something else first. Actually, the thing I'd most recommend is that you get a bit of cash together, and travel overland in Asia as much as you can. That's what I did when I was chopped from flying training two years after I joined, and it did me the world of good. In fact, after I got back, I suddenly realized I was then the person the RN had actually been looking for two years ago when they took me on. Damn!!!!
    University is also a great idea, if only because when you join, you effectively get promoted to the same rank you'd have been as if you'd done your time in the military.
    The biggest thing is - how ready are you for doing officer training well? If you really are the kind of rounded, switched on guy that they need, or are close to it, at 18, then fill your boots. But in my experience a lot of blokes at that age are not. And it would be a hell of a shame to screw up the chance to do it well, just because you did it too early.
    I went to university after the navy and was the world's best student -thanks to my training in RN I was fit, switched on, and had a great time. I got a good degree as well as having loads of fun, shagging and drinking and doing loads of other stuff as well as doing very well academically. But I still regret the fact that University time could have made be a better potential officer, who might not have failed flying training, rather than the navy making me a good undergrad. My advice - do something else first. There's a big world out there, and putting the military blinkers on at 18 is not always the best way to see it. Go and see Nepal first. Whatever you decide, do it to the max and good luck.