Officer or not

Discussion in 'Officers' started by alex.eastham, Apr 9, 2010.

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  1. Ok so I'm 24 and have had my own plumbing and heating business for 4 years now. However since a young age I have always wanted to join the army, over the past year this urge has been getting stronger so now I'm at the point of defiantly wanting to join.

    I went to my local army recruitment office hoping to join the Royal Engineers (possibly as a plumber since i have already worked in this trade) The army recruiter told me that i should join as an officer since i have all the qualifications needed i.e. GCSE's and A-levels.

    I have 3 questions, How long does this process generally take, what are my chances of actually getting in as an officer and would this be the best route for me? (I'm not from an upper class background and am more of a grafter)

    Also if i were not to get in as an officer is 24 too old to get the most out of joining the army as a private? Not sure i could live in barracks with 5 other lads after having my own house with my girlfriend for so long lol. If anyone can offer any kind of advise that would be great!
  2. Why join the army if you have your own successful business? Join the TA instead - you get to go on tour without all the rubbish of being in the regular army. Going from owning your own business to living in a block with a load of 17 year old scrawny little rats would not be a happy experience.
  3. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    1. As long as it takes to pass entry tests and medicals and gain place on a course.
    2. Can't tell you but if you have run your own business, you presumably will have an idea on what it means to work hard and direct staff, always seen in a positive light by those assessing you.
    3. Not necessarily but I think you might be v right when you say it would be a change in lifestyle!

    You might also find the pay a little different between OR and Offr.

    My basic advice is that if you have the quals to aspire to a commission, you would be mad not to try. If things don't work out there, you have the fallback of having a look at the OR route.

    Have a rummage in this forum and in Joining Up (regular). There is a wealth of info there to guide you.

    Good luck
  4. The pay doesn't bother me, I have never been money orientated. The TA seems like a bit of a cop out, my whole reason for wanting to join is to have the chance to go to Iraq/Afghanistan/whereever to build the bases, fit the plumbing, heating, air conditioning etc.

    I think your right about the change in lifestyle, it will be a shock even more so as a private i guess.
  5. You could join one of the private contractors and do all of that - no need to join up at all then and its tax free wages!!
  6. Besides, Officers don't do the work themselves. If you want hands on tools join as a Tom or better still take AFA06's advice.
  7. Private contractors eh? I thought it was the Royal Engineers who did it all?

    whats a tom?
  8. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    All right, bitter and twisted - another go at the non working officer class eh :D Who is the target of your ire this time?

    A Tom is a private soldier in para talk. Jock is the scottish term for the same. There are a variety of other terms used instead of Private too, normally specific to the Division or area they come from.
  9. 1. If you are determined to be 'hands on grafter' then the appeal of being an officer may well quickly fade, once (if not before) you have commanded a Troop of sappers. Even in the SAS, the officers primary role centres on coordinating troops on the ground (I generalise and overstate, but I hope you understand what I mean - there were no officers inside the Iranian Embassy).

    2. If you go for a commission, and get through Sandhurst, with the intention of making a career of it, you need to be sure the Regt or Corps that you join will value you for your abilities, rather than your background. Others on here will deny it, but the fact is that the social attitudes you see in Sharpe on TV are a long way from extinct across the Army as a whole.

    3. Whichever path you choose, TA, Regular, Commission or rank'n'file - good luck to you.
  10. If you have the qualifications to get a commision, get one. It's a long time since I was in but there is a very great difference between the two different roles in every way. Apart from the many perks that officers enjoy such as more pay, better working conditions and accommodation etc, someone with your experience will be more suited to working in a managerial role making sure that work is carried out properly and that the proper standards are met. You will have more of an aptitude for looking after the welfare of your soldiers as well and making sure people are treated fairly and properly. You will still get all the hardships that all soldiers endure when in the field and on operations but at the end of the day, it is more fun if you have a pip or two on your shoulder than none. Good luck whatever your decision.
  11. I'm going for it, If I dont get accepted at AOSB briefing/main board i'll join as a "Tom"

    If it doesn't work out for me then I always have my plumbing/Gas quals to fall back on.

    Thanks for your advice guys
  12. Thanks, great post this has spurred me on. I honestly think I will get so much more out of life being an officer in the army than plumbing everyday :D
  13. Alex,

    Some good advice on here. Read through the Regular Officer Recruiting Forum at the top of the Officers one; it will have a lot of info about the process and pitfalls etc etc. Good luck.

  14. Good luck Alex.
  15. [quote="alex.eastham]The pay doesn't bother me, I have never been money orientated. The TA seems like a bit of a cop out, my whole reason for wanting to join is to have the chance to go to Iraq/Afghanistan/whereever to build the bases, fit the plumbing, heating, air conditioning etc.[/quote]

    Plenty of chances to go out to Afghanistan in the TA, and do more than just change lightbulbs there too. You might enjoy doing something slightly different through the army anyway, rather than just doing your day job in DPM.