Officer Entry with A levels only

#1
Hello all,

I'm currently 17, in my last year of sixth form studying Law, It and Applied science. I have been in cadets for 6 years and currently hold the rank of cadet colour sergeant. I have progressed steadily and I am also now the lord lieutenants cadet.

I have always wanted to join as an officer and on leaving sixth form I will hopefully fill all the requirements to.

My questions to all of you are:
1. what is the likelihood of me getting through AOSB briefing and main board with a cat 1/2?
2. What regiment is likely to take me with no degree?
3. To further the last, is the Army Air corps likely to take me?
4. How many Non Grads make it through and become officers and in what third are they when they commission (best, middle, bottom)

If at all possible could someone with a wealth of knowledge enlighten me to the answer of these questions.
Thank You.
 
#3
Hmmmmmmmmm

1. Your chances of getting through AOSB will be entirely dependant upon your character, physical and mental abilities and your inherent personal qualities; not really something that can be assessed by people who don't know you on the basis of one internet post.
2. Almost any regiment will take you with no degree (if you are good enough) although some will expect you to do one in service and certainly the more technical Corps (RE and REME) would probably prefer that you have one.
3. See previous point.
4. The percentage tends to fluctuate from year to year. It used to be roughly 50 - 50 but I suspect the ratio of Grad to non-Grads is probably higher now (even though many of them will have totally useless Mickey Mouse degrees from an utterly naff 'new' University).

If your post was serious then your apparent naivety suggests to me that maybe a little more life experience prior to AOSB and/or RMAS may be useful.
 
#4
Hello all,

I'm currently 17, in my last year of sixth form studying Law, It and Applied science. I have been in cadets for 6 years and currently hold the rank of cadet colour sergeant. I have progressed steadily and I am also now the lord lieutenants cadet.

I have always wanted to join as an officer and on leaving sixth form I will hopefully fill all the requirements to.

My questions to all of you are:
1. what is the likelihood of me getting through AOSB briefing and main board with a cat 1/2?
2. What regiment is likely to take me with no degree?
3. To further the last, is the Army Air corps likely to take me?
4. How many Non Grads make it through and become officers and in what third are they when they commission (best, middle, bottom)

If at all possible could someone with a wealth of knowledge enlighten me to the answer of these questions.
Thank You.
Slim to none. To clarify theres not many 18 year olds straight out of school who have the life experience necessary to do well at AOSB/Sandhurst/Unit. How can you advise a young private soldier on things like debt, mortgage, court proceedings, unwanted pregnancy, CSA, etc etc etc... when youve only ever lived at home and been to school?

Some do make it through no doubt but remember youve only got 2 attempts and the Army will still be there in 5-10 years. Go to university and get a degree or go travelling/working/shagging around the world for a bit if you dont fancy that. Enjoy yourself while you can and come back in 2-3 years secure in the knowledge that if you dont make the grade now then you never will.
 
#5
The ACA I went to said with the experiences I have had so far and maybe some volunteering I should be well on my way to RMAS.I have done the Nijmegen march and I am going to the arctic part of Norway for 5 weeks later this year aswell as doing the great north run and maybe try and find something else to do. On leaving sixth form I am going to volunteer with a local charity and regards to my cadets I hope to progress to CSM in the next few months.
 
#6
As a cadet colour sergeant they'll be fighting over you. Make sure you mention your rank at every opportunity.
This isn't going to be a popular thing to say...BUT....I'm sure to people in the real army, it must seem funny that we young people go on and on about cadets/dofe/sports teams etc etc. But sadly this is the world in which we now live, everything is focused on selling yourself and pointing out how you are developing yourself as a person. Just look at any UCAS form personal statement or job application. As I say, when you've done the real world I'm sure it's all fairly laughable but we're not equating it with being a regular soldier...just trying to show evidence of our commitment and developing interest.
 
#7
Hello all,

I'm currently 17, in my last year of sixth form studying Law, It and Applied science. I have been in cadets for 6 years and currently hold the rank of cadet colour sergeant. I have progressed steadily and I am also now the lord lieutenants cadet.

I have always wanted to join as an officer and on leaving sixth form I will hopefully fill all the requirements to.

My questions to all of you are:
1. what is the likelihood of me getting through AOSB briefing and main board with a cat 1/2?
2. What regiment is likely to take me with no degree?
3. To further the last, is the Army Air corps likely to take me?
4. How many Non Grads make it through and become officers and in what third are they when they commission (best, middle, bottom)

If at all possible could someone with a wealth of knowledge enlighten me to the answer of these questions.
Thank You.
You will have as good/bad a chance as a person with a degree. The attitude toward those who are not graduates joining has changed. It depends entirely on you as a person so long as you fulfil the minimum educational requirements. Non-grads do as well/as bad as their grad counterparts depending upon how intelligent and committed they are. If you are the right person then not having a degree in the modern army will not hold you back in the slightest. Anyone who tells you different is a tad old fashioned.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#8
The bottom line is that if a non-grad is good enough, he or she will get in: having or not having a degree won't matter.

But you need to be realistic. When you go to AOSB, you will be 'performing' alongside candidates who are, for the most part, in their early to mid 20s, whether grads or not. Amongst the things that the assessors are looking for is your ability to interact with the group you are in, and your ability to make a positive impact on it, influencing their decisions and so on. As a school leaver, without a huge amount of life experience, will you really be able to do this? Or is it more likely that you will struggle?
My personal view is that a good residential degree course, over three years away from your home environment, makes an excellent vehicle for picking up some of the life skills which you will need to impress AOSB. You may be able to pass AOSB as an 18/19 year old with A levels, but the odds are stacked against you.
 
#9
Go for it! I passed Briefing with a Cat 1 and Main Board first time and I'll still be 19 when I start Sandhurst in September.

From the questions I've asked it seems almost no Regiment except for some of the more technical ones will be put off by a lack of a Degree and generally Non Grads do just as well as Grads (albeit in different areas supposedly) also being a non grad you might get put on the PRMAS course which is suppose to be loads of fun and will start you ahead of a lot of guys when you start.
 
#10
I passed my briefing with a CAT 1, with no degree, and I'm 19.
However I recently found out that someone who I was in the ACF with, an RSM no less, got a CAT 4.

You need to understand that the cadets really means nothing to the actual army. When I introduced myself, and spoke to the officer, I mentioned I was in the cadets, had reached Sergeant and had done well in the national sports events hosted by the cadets, but I kept it as brief as possible. He was far more impressed with the fact I speak german and have worked abroad.

You also need to decide whether or not you are in a hurry to get to Sandhurst. Personally, whilst I could have gone through the application process a lot quicker, I've decided to take my time, and hopefully I'l be 20 by the time I start at RMAS, turning 21 a month later.
 
#11
Agree with most the points about it not being an issue. I'm 18 and passed briefing with a cat 1 and got a good solid pass main board.
I was the only person on my board who hadn't been to or currently was at uni yet it made no difference. 2 of 8 of us passed- one was a 25 year old maths graduate and there was me- further clarifying that so long as you have leadership potential, effective intelligence and they believe your a solid person you'll make the grade.
My only advice is that there is no sympathy or special consideration due to your age. They expect you to be just as good and the bar is not lowered or raised for anyone. If you feel getting a bit older, a bit more mature will do you good then don't rush! Average joining age is 23 after all.
Regimentally, like it has been said, engineers and technical regiments will potentially look for a degree. I have also heard on the grapevine that for Int. Corps it's almost an unwritten rule.
Finally, on the issue of cadets, don't mention it too much- it will make you seem like a one trick pony. I have done all 3 ten tors standards and I didn't go on about it too much- the army know all about them, tell them something they're not experts on. Furthermore, on my board 4 lads had done OTC. I'm not saying it made them less suitable; it was just the quality of candidate. But they have all failed.
Best of luck.
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#12
My only advice is that there is no sympathy or special consideration due to your age. They expect you to be just as good and the bar is not lowered or raised for anyone. If you feel getting a bit older, a bit more mature will do you good then don't rush! Average joining age is 23 after all.
Not entirely correct. The final boarding is made on the basis of what the assessors consider your potential to be, based on the evidence they've seen over the course of the board. They might therefore, come to the conclusion that a younger candidate has more potential to improve with training and pass him or her despite what might appear to be a weaker performance; alternatively, they might decide that a candidate is currently too young, fail them but encourage them to come back some time later.

Secondly, you've passed AOSB so well done, but that doesn't really put you in a position to pontificate over which regiments or corps want their candidates to have degrees, or whether to tell the interviewers about cadet experiences or not. Stick to what you know.
 
#13
Agree with most the points about it not being an issue. I'm 18 and passed briefing with a cat 1 and got a good solid pass main board.
I was the only person on my board who hadn't been to or currently was at uni yet it made no difference. 2 of 8 of us passed- one was a 25 year old maths graduate and there was me- further clarifying that so long as you have leadership potential, effective intelligence and they believe your a solid person you'll make the grade.
My only advice is that there is no sympathy or special consideration due to your age. They expect you to be just as good and the bar is not lowered or raised for anyone. If you feel getting a bit older, a bit more mature will do you good then don't rush! Average joining age is 23 after all.
Regimentally, like it has been said, engineers and technical regiments will potentially look for a degree. I have also heard on the grapevine that for Int. Corps it's almost an unwritten rule.
Finally, on the issue of cadets, don't mention it too much- it will make you seem like a one trick pony. I have done all 3 ten tors standards and I didn't go on about it too much- the army know all about them, tell them something they're not experts on. Furthermore, on my board 4 lads had done OTC. I'm not saying it made them less suitable; it was just the quality of candidate. But they have all failed.
Best of luck.
There certainly is special consideration due to age. Its why in the briefing, you are assigned to age categories.
 
#14
Both are true and inevitably, as with a lot on here, is what we have heard read or been told and in that sense is open to be wrong- happy to be corrected. I was steered away from int. core by my ACA due to being nongtad, as well as reme. Any ideas which reg is best for a possible inservice degree?
 
#15
Both are true and inevitably, as with a lot on here, is what we have heard read or been told and in that sense is open to be wrong- happy to be corrected. I was steered away from int. core by my ACA due to being nongtad, as well as reme. Any ideas which reg is best for a possible inservice degree?

I was also steered away from the Int corps as I'm a non grad.
 
#16
The ACA I went to said with the experiences I have had so far and maybe some volunteering I should be well on my way to RMAS.I have done the Nijmegen march and I am going to the arctic part of Norway for 5 weeks later this year aswell as doing the great north run and maybe try and find something else to do. On leaving sixth form I am going to volunteer with a local charity and regards to my cadets I hope to progress to CSM in the next few months.
Get a good time in the GNR or don't bother mentioning it. I made that mistake - I got a truly awful time (one which I will have to get around to beating before I go to main board no doubt or I'll look a fool) and got ripped for it. "What? Were you running backwards? A lad your age should be doing it in 90 minutes"
 
#17
You will have as good/bad a chance as a person with a degree. The attitude toward those who are not graduates joining has changed. It depends entirely on you as a person so long as you fulfil the minimum educational requirements. Non-grads do as well/as bad as their grad counterparts depending upon how intelligent and committed they are. If you are the right person then not having a degree in the modern army will not hold you back in the slightest. Anyone who tells you different is a tad old fashioned.
Speaking as one who joined RMAS straight from school in 1974, when OCdts with degrees were a very new-fangled thing, I'm not sure I can agree with your 'old-fashioned' thing.

The Army has traditionally (meaning for generations) had a properly sceptical view where the academic abilities of its junior officers are concerned. That may have shifted slightly, given the ready availabillity (until recently) of grant-funded University education, but 10 years of all-too-serious combat should have restored a focus on the central qualities of the young men and women appointed to junior command, while the fact of Uni fees and recession, will mean that Graduate entrants (who made up 71% of RMAS entrants, last time I looked a coupla years ago) are going to become rarer.

Point is this - if you have the minimum educational qualifications, you're in with a shout.

To get in (aside from the very useful matter of having some kind of cap-badge sponsorship in your favour) you need to be able to turn up at Westbury with sufficient confidence and maturity for your age, to stand up favourably in comparison with others who have had a gap year, time at Uni, and in some cases, real jobs.

When/If you come out of Sandhurst with a pip on each shoulder, you'll find that all the skiing, climbing, rugby or Cadet experience in the world, is no preparation for dealing with (f'rinstance) the marital problems of an immature or troubled soldier who may/may not be older than you, but who will almost certainly have at least one op tour - and a much tougher upbringing - under his belt. Regimental officering ain't just about 'the working day' - it's 24 hour-365 days a year thing, even if you're not in the field.

Go when you're ready, not before. But don't let anyone talk you out of having a go, if it is what you really want to do.

You might want to look on YouTube, for the RMAS documentary aired on BBC last year. All sorts to be learned from that.

Good luck.
 
#18
When/If you come out of Sandhurst with a pip on each shoulder, you'll find that all the skiing, climbing, rugby or Cadet experience in the world, is no preparation for dealing with (f'rinstance) the marital problems of an immature or troubled soldier who may/may not be older than you, but who will almost certainly have at least one op tour - and a much tougher upbringing - under his belt. Regimental officering ain't just about 'the working day' - it's 24 hour-365 days a year thing, even if you're not in the field.
This is far and away the bit about being an Officer that scares me the most...any tips about how to manage it effectively? I mean, there must be such a gap of life experience between soo many young officers and the squaddies they lead. How do you go about convincing them that you A) seriously care about their welfare and B) actually give advice that is helpful and useful?
 

cpunk

LE
Moderator
#19
It isn't necessarily as daunting as it might seem. It is something that you will learn about at RMAS where you will be taught where to seek the help that you need. The welfare of the soldiers you lead is a key part of the job of being an officer and it isn't neglected in your training.
 
#20
If you are the right person then not having a degree in the modern army will not hold you back in the slightest. Anyone who tells you different is a tad old fashioned.
However except for a very lucky few the Army is not forever & not having a degree is likely to hold you back severely in civilian life.

Whatever anyone tells you a Short Service Commission, except in the case of some very lucky, well-connected or extremely talented individuals serves only to put you four years behind your peer group. The drop in standard of living from a single graduate Lieutenant/Captain is bad enough, as a non-grad it will be worse.
 

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