Officer Careers Advice Thread

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#1
The purpose of this thread is to act as a discussion area for individuals seeking officer careers advice of a general nature, which doesn't fit into the RCB/RMAS threads. This is a NODUFF thread where I would like seekers after the ancient wisdom of ARRSE to be treated with tolerance and courtesy.

Crack on, ladies and gentlemen.
 
#2
Hurrah, new thread arrives just as I discover the forum and need to ask questions.

I'm just starting to apply to do an undergraduate army placement next year. Apparently, the application process (and the actual year) is practically the same as getting a GYC.

I want to do my year with Signals, so I wrote to them, and they replied with the number of a careers chap whom I subsequently called. He told me to turn up at the Worcester careers centre next Wednesday, for some sort of interview. He said it'd last 1.5 hours at least, perhaps a bit more, depending on how many other people are there. I asked whether there was any specific preparation I could do, and he just said to have a think about my reasons for wanting to join, and what I can bring to the Army.

So, a day later, train tickets are booked - and then it hits me... what is this I've got myself in for? Is it a formal interview? Will it be me asking them the questions about what the year will be like, or will they be asking me? Will I need to wear smart clothes? Should I cut my hair? Or is this just a familiarisation thing that's just meant to show me what I'm letting myself in for before I make any commitment?

Does anyone else have any experience with applying for a UGAP or a GYC? Any advice/what to expect for this first 'interview', if it is an interview at all?

Cheers,
Dan

(and yes, I probably should have asked the chap himself, but at the time I was too excited at the idea of finally getting my application started to think straight :))
 
#3
Im applying for a UGAP from September. Only the technical regiments offer them (before you start thinking of going inf / cav / gunners). The interview your about to have is the first step into a carrer. Take every step as seriously as possible but use each one to learn about what your going to go into.

Prep lots of questions, wear a suit (obviously) learn about RCB and have some fun as the whole process is a good laugh :).

Apparantly you need to be in the top 10% of your RCB pass group to get the UGAP.


Good luck! If you want it enough and your fit / healthy then there is no reason that you wont succeed with some preperation and dedication.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#4
n0mj121 said:
So, a day later, train tickets are booked - and then it hits me... what is this I've got myself in for? Is it a formal interview? Will it be me asking them the questions about what the year will be like, or will they be asking me? Will I need to wear smart clothes? Should I cut my hair? Or is this just a familiarisation thing that's just meant to show me what I'm letting myself in for before I make any commitment?
You should really make an effort in all your dealings with the Army to look like you're taking it seriously, which will mean wear a suit, get a haircut, look smart, don't turn up with a hangover etc etc. You are always being scrutinised at this kind of event, even if it's only casually, and it won't do you any harm to get into the habit.
 
#5
Better get my suit dusted off, then...

Top 10% sounds a little daunting - there's no reason why I couldn't qualify at that level for most things, but fitness is kinda worrying. I've started training since the end of the summer, and I'm confident that I'll be able to meet (hopefully surpass) the pressups/situps quotas relatively easily by the time that my RCB comes around (if I get that far), but running is a bit worrying. Plus I've never been much of a sportsman; I climb (although haven't for a while; need to get back into it) and play Airsoft, but apart from a kickaround every day or two during the summer, and lots of golf when I was younger, I've never been much of a conventional sports fan. Are they going to be looking for 'yeah, I'm captain of my uni rugby team' types?

Cheers,
Dan
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#6
n0mj121 said:
Are they going to be looking for 'yeah, I'm captain of my uni rugby team' types?
It doesn't do any harm but they won't mark you down if you aren't. One of the keys to most military selection processes is that you have to demonstrate the ability to operate as a member of a team; the key to being selected as a potential officer is that you can show that you can lead a team (the primary mechanism for doing this is, obviously, RCB). Any past history that shows that you have some successful experience of doing this won't harm your case.
 
#7
I'm guessing I should come along having thought about what I can give to the Army, and examples of how I've demonstrated these skills in the past... will they be interested in career-specific stuff at this stage, or just general proficiencies?

And while I'm at it, is there any other handy advice anyone feels like dispensing? Hopefully this can end up being a useful thread for officer-wannabes everywhere, rather than just me demanding answers to my specific questions :)

Thanks a lot,
Dan
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#8
n0mj121 said:
I'm guessing I should come along having thought about what I can give to the Army, and examples of how I've demonstrated these skills in the past... will they be interested in career-specific stuff at this stage, or just general proficiencies?
Career specific stuff isn't required; general proficiency is always useful, but the army does do its own proficiency testing at RCB. You need to show that you are genuinely interested and that you have followed up your interest and made an effort to find out what it's all about. It's a hideously long time since I went through all of this, but I recall that a basic knowledge of the structure of the army was useful, combined with a good grasp of current affairs. At the particular interview you are having next week, I suspect it will be a mutual eye-ing up, the army will want to get to know you, and you will want to get a grip on what the army wants from you. Think that process through, having decided what your aim is, and you should work out how you should be presenting yourself.

And while I'm at it, is there any other handy advice anyone feels like dispensing? Hopefully this can end up being a useful thread for officer-wannabes everywhere, rather than just me demanding answers to my specific questions :)
That's the purpose of the thread.
 
#9
Well, I cannot extend my gratitude enough. It's surprising how little info about stuff like this there is online, really, seeing as it's pretty easy to find a tutorial on how to have sex with dolphins, for ****'s sake.

Anyhow. I better get some reading done!

Cheers again,
Dan
 
#11
ring_binder said:
Evening,
I’m currently at university, at the end of my first semester. However, I’ve realized that I came to university for the wrong reasons and want out! I’ve always seen the army as my first (and only) career option, and I passed the rcb briefing in 2003 with a cat 2 - 12 month delay. Since then I’ve greatly improved my ‘CV’ with responsible work positions, university sports and the TA (inc. shooting team and Cambrian patrol). However, if I’m going to attend any fam visits (I’m looking at the infantry) will the fact that I’m quitting my course be held against me - especially as I’m leaving because I don’t like the academic aspect of University. Any advice on the way forward would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks
R_B
Hello, for your info, I've been through the system and enter Sandbags in Jan. There are a number of persons who would hold it against you as they will quite seriously scrutinise your reasons for leaving. They may not believe your dislike for the academic side..and then question your academic ability to pass Sandhurst. In the end, it is YOU athat passes RCB, not your CV, so if you're good enough...looking back (and I have been there mate, I know what its like!) I'd stick out Uni and then enter after. £7,000 a year more to start off and faster promotion for three years of lazing about? Easy choice for me...though the choice is yours!
 
#12
nomj,

Don't get too hung up on the interview. Having only dealt at distance, they will want to have a look at the cut of your jib. For all they know, you have two heads and can't find your a%^e with both hands.

Don't forget though, that you need to prove that you're serious. You should know a reasonable amount about any organisation that you're interested in. Get on the website and have a look at some of the organisation and equipment, particularly Signals, if thats what you're interested in. It will help you massively. Also, don't worry about having done the 'typical' stuff you think they're interested in. Leading a team of two in a chicken filletting factory is probably more interesting and challenging than having captained the first IV. (I guess so, but admittedly have done neither :) )
 
#13
Not really sure where this should go, but this seemed like the best place.
I have my Army 6th Form Scholarship initial formal interview in two days time. Does anyone have any tips, or know what sort of questions usually come up? How much of the interview is about current affairs/politics?
 
#14
sanderslr said:
Not really sure where this should go, but this seemed like the best place.
I have my Army 6th Form Scholarship initial formal interview in two days time. Does anyone have any tips, or know what sort of questions usually come up? How much of the interview is about current affairs/politics?
Seeing as it's your initial interview, your ACA(O) isn't going to expect RCB-standard answers. You will, however, be expected to have a basic understanding of the Army and how it is made up (i.e. Combat, Combat Support, Combat Service Support and who belongs therein), and of current affairs. Getting hold of the latest Economist or The Week should do you nicely, as well as reading that morning's paper.
Watch out for the usual, "What would your friends say about you?" questions. Essentially, this first interview is about you.
All the best.
 
#15
The initial interview isnt too bad go smart go with a basic knowledge of the army and go with the reasons you want to join. Have a look at the website and look at the regiements you would be interested in visiting i belive your only allowed to visit 2. You need to impress at those visits if your going to be offered a UGAP from that regiment (on condition of RCB UGAP Pass). Good luck its a good fun process.

Im also applying for a ugap for september 06. Might see you there. :) (Got my main board coming up preety soon!).
 
#16
Hello all,

Long time reader, first time poster etc.

I am very interested in attempting to gain a commission into the army. I have gleaned the necessary information relating to RCB, fitness standards etc., so the following questions will be rather specific.

1. Can anyone tell me anything about the Royal Regiment of Wales? I am not talking regimental history, or indeed anything that can be found on their website, but rather info. relating to their standing within the army; their exact role (aside from mechanised inf.) any words of warning/ encouragement etc?

2. How much are the ladies impressed by ossifer status?

The latter qu. is of course the most important issue :wink:

Much appreciated, diolch yn fawr y pawb.
 
#17
Hello to you all.

I was wondering if you could answer a question I have been pondering over for a while?

I am currently coming up to the end of my time at university but due to circumstances can’t commit to the army for another 12-18 months. So I wanted your opinion on whether I should start my application process as soon as possible. As I can always push back any commitments I may have to RCB or similar until later. Or if I should wait until I am free from all obligations and go through the entire process in one succession in 18 months time?

Any constructive advice would be gratefully received.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#18
Burgundy said:
Hello to you all.

I was wondering if you could answer a question I have been pondering over for a while?

I am currently coming up to the end of my time at university but due to circumstances can’t commit to the army for another 12-18 months. So I wanted your opinion on whether I should start my application process as soon as possible. As I can always push back any commitments I may have to RCB or similar until later. Or if I should wait until I am free from all obligations and go through the entire process in one succession in 18 months time?

Any constructive advice would be gratefully received.
Start the process now. 1. It takes a long time anyway, and 2. You can, as you say, be flexible about when you do things like RCB, RMAS etc.
 
#19
Start it now for the above reasons as well as it will give you more time to visit regiments and corps to get a feel of what you want to do. These visits are well worth it and provide a good insight into the atmosphere and day to day life of the regiments/corps
RustyH
 
#20
Start as early as possible. Preparation is the key on these things. The more people you speak to, the more visits you do and the more info you can collate - the better. It will also allow you to work on your fitness, which is looked at more and more nowadays. A PO attended a board last week and was asked "what difference will a commission make to you" and he answered, "people will have to salute me" - he was unprepared and had not taken the time to prep properly.
 
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