Officer or OPMI?

Discussion in 'Int Corps' started by Petr_Katchouro, Aug 22, 2005.

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  1. I have a degree in Politics and am just finishing an MA in Terrorism and Security and was considering applying to join the Intelligence Corps as an officer but have just found out that OPMIs start as lance corprals, which means they start on the average graduate starting wage so as far as money is concerned to me they are both equal (I'm after a graduate wage to have summat to show for my studies!) So now I want to know which entry level would give me the more interesting career? Do officers perform the same tasks as the OPMIs or are they simply maganers? Eg if I started as an officer would I still be trained in the same trades as the OPMIs (languages etc) (I haven't been to the AFCO yet to ask them as I'm still waiting for the brochure to see what questions I wanna ask, so thought I'd ask on here while I'm waiting)

  2. This question has been asked several times on different threads in this section.
  3. I've looked through every page on the forum and although yes, I found some of those questions asked, they weren't answered!

    I've now got my brochure and had a flick through but that still doesn't tell me much more than on the internet sites (it says officers can "specialise in one or more favoured areas" - but doesn't say if they are giventhe same training as the trades)

    All I want to know (which I have not found the answer for on the forum) is a) are officers trained in the same things as OPMIs (eg languages, sig/int skills etc) and b) what would give me the more interesting career - entry as an officer or entry as an OPMI?

  4. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    These questions have been broadly discussed, particularly in the recruiting thread which is set as a 'sticky' above. However, generally speaking, officers and soldiers receive training in the same skills but with a different perspective. Officers in the Int Corps, as in most other parts of the army, are there to lead, direct and manage but they obviously need to understand what their NCOs are doing. In some specialist areas, officers and soldiers/NCOs do exactly the same training on the same courses, but their tasks will be different when they get to put the training into practice.

    As for the 'more interesting career', I'm not sure how you expect to get an answer to that: it's a subjective judgement which nobody else can make for you; how interesting you find your career entirely depends on what you want from it.
  5. To bluntly answer your depends what you choose to do in your career. If you are after interesting work...does this mean IT Sy floats your boat? It bores the hell out of most. Join as a soldier.

    Imagery analysis? Soldier. Again boring to many.
    Languages? DEFINITELY Soldier. LONG training.
    Humint/surveillance? Open to both although you may find you spend a much shorter period of your career in this field if an officer rather than a Soldier.

    The perception of what is interesting is open to the individuals interpretation. There are better ways to choose your career path.

    you may well find yourself happier as a LCpl/Cpl than as a 2Lt/Lt/Capt, and after Phase 2 probably slightly more money than the 2Lts who are in charge of Mil Trg.

    You WILL have better long term job security as an NCO, 22 years as opposed to 6-8(???). There arent many REG C Commissions handed out anymore.

    You may pass RCB, Sandhurst etc and not actually get picked for the Int Corps so if its Intelligence you want to work in above everything else join as a Soldier.

    If you want to be an Officer above any particular trade/specialisation, apply as an Officer!

    Officer training is not for everyone, and neither is living in a 4man room in Bulford as a JNCO.

    Take a good look at your personality, and then ask others what they think.

    As an Int Corps JNCO you will generally be respected by other Officers of different arms/corps, and generally have the sh1t ripped out of you by soldiers of other arms/corps. Thats Army life so dont whinge about it.

    Bear in mind, even with a specialist post grad degree like your MA, it means NEXT TO NOTHING in the Corps either as an Officer or Soldier. Experience and ability across the range as reflected in your CR does.

    Also you might find you are tempted to disagree with DS at Templer/seniors in your first section. I suggest you dont voice your opinions as FACT, and couch any quibbles along the lines of..."what is your opinion of...such and such...?"

    Your degree may catch the attention of the DS, and almost certainly Maj D et al at selection. However bear in mind this degree does not make you qualified, nor will it necessarily mean you will be a good operator!

    Do you mind me asking which Uni you attended to take this course? If its a decent Uni, and a course with true academic rigour, you should not need to worry about graduate average salary!!!

    What degree did you get? 2:1 or 2:2 ? (SURELY YOU WOULDNT BE DOING A POSTGRAD MA WITH A 2:2 or below ??? I could be wrong though)

    I presume if you got a first, you wouldnt be worrying about your salary. If you got a third, I hope you were sincerely dedicated to being on the lash
    7 nights a week(how did you afford it?!)

    (Off-thread - To the one guy in the Corps that I know for definite has a third, especially from a fcucking agricultural college???...yes your degree is mickey mouse and you are a wastrel too! :wink: :) )

    Oh, and one last thing. How good are your brews?

    EDITED to correct a glaring mistake.
  6. Nice, I didn't get to where I am today without being able to make a good brew. No, wait, I ONLY got to where I am today because I make a good brew................

    Good Post odh
  7. Always make a crap brew, then it's never your turn!
  8. No way, you just get more chances to practice!!

    A comforting thought though, even a Lt Col is the brew bitch for CDS!
  9. olddearhunter:

    "Do you mind me asking which Uni you attended to take this course? If its a decent Uni, and a course with true academic rigour, you should not need to worry about graduate average salary!!!"
    I did it at Leeds Uni, but the MA degree makes no difference whatsoever to my career prospects (and therefore salary prospects) as there are exactly the same amount of jobs available to me as when I just had a BA degree (ie there are no jobs that want an MA in political/int relations subjects - well there are some at the UN but you need years of experience in int relations)

    "What degree did you get?"

    "I presume if you got a first, you wouldnt be worrying about your salary"
    Well most graduate jobs want a 2:1 or 1st so it wouldn't make much difference really. You need extra stuff on your CV to make it stand out (I applied for GCHQ but my application didn't get accepted even with my degree and MA!!)

    Anyway, all the specialisations in the corps look really interesting and in particular languages, counter intelligence and HUMINT. I know if I join as OPMI thats what I will be (or will have the chance of) doing, whereas if I join as an officer I haven't been able to find out what exactly they do. Basically, will I be able to learn a language like Arabic or Russian if I join as an officer?!

    "Oh, and one last thing. How good are your brews?"
    Better than they make in Weatherspoons!
  10. Surely living in Bulford in any any type of accommodation is bad enough! Do they all get Z types now, if not, then yet more ruination by Chickers.........
  11. The optimal route by far to becoming an officer in the Intelligence Corps is:

    1. Get a Commission in any part of the army you like, except the Intelligence Corps.
    2. Along the way, try and alienate yourself from as many of your original cap-badge as you possibly can.
    2a. ( never paying a blind bit of notice to your Pln / Troop Sgt is always a useful start here)
    3. Keep track of the resignation rate in the Intelligence Corps, somewhere about Maj or Lt Col you will usually find a gaping chasm.
    4. Apply to transfer and complete officer tranferee course or special to arm training ( don't worry there is't any)
    5. Apply item 2 again, in your new Intelligence Corps unit.
    6. Apply item 2a again, but substitute CSM / RSM, for pln / troop sgt.
    < the slime will never think to ring your old cap-badge, and the transferee slime CO will always be on your side>
    7. Ensure you brief at every bird-table, be particularly sure never to let your SO3 or Int WO brief.
    8. Whenever you brief, always stick to 3 slides < the intelligence estimate is an outdated concept anyway, CNN is much faster>
    9. Remember the soldiers can always be trusted: to make the brews, JNCOs stick maps together, SNCO's and WO's can sometimes be allowed to answer the phone.
    10. It is especially important that you do all your HUMINT collection yourself, and for security purposes do it on your own. This is especially important if you are a Staff Officer.
    <It's all smoke and mirrors anyway and the training requirement and RIPA 2000 is a mere distraction>
    10a. In certain circumstances it may be acceptable to take SO3 G1 or SPS with you for cover purposes, provided you swear her to secrecy beforehand. ( It helps here if you tell her you have " worked with SF before", if you take her for dinner afterwards, don't forget to claim "missed meals" )
    11. Remember, like your MoT certificate, the collection plan is always out of date the moment you have completed it. It has no function in todays fluid and high- tempo operations.
    12. Protective Security is a risk-averse, compliance-based activity that serves no purpose on operations.
    13. Never miss a VTC, and always ensure you are seen in the crowd behind the Comd.
    14. Remember, nature abhors a vacum, RCDS awaits you, enjoy the ride!!!
  12. Counter Intelligence is not half as exciting as it sounds btw...just like most of the trades. You are likely to be in a security section doing a lot of physical security reports first.(SHUDDER)
    James Bond it is not. The chances are that if you do uncover something really juicy, it will be taken off your hands by those more senior to yourself or to a different agency...
    CI is nterviewing individuals within the Army who are sympathetic to certain organisations/political 'parties' mainly.

    how good are your foreign language skills?

    not much call for russian,or eastern european(basically there is a big enough pool of manpower to draw from)

    arabic(not egyptian,.but Iraqi dialect. MSA can be a basis for learning street Iraqi though), also farsi and pushtu needed to a good level.
    minor langages like turkish quite useful.

    cant see gchq accepting ppl unless they are very good, if not fluent, and in the languages they need. they pay for Int Corps linguist training btw.and thus decide numbers and to an extent syllabus.

    Frankly the ones ive come across(no pun intended) are a bunch of right weirdos. Badly fitting suits, no social skills. Civil Service pay structure!

    If you want to be a linguist you have one choice. Soldier. Officers tend to do shorter courses, or for different purposes than SIGINT. As Arabs may lose face if they are officers and a mere raqeeb or wakeel translates, etc, it is not unheard of for SNCOs to sport 3 pips in certain situations!

    It is a waste of training and resources to employ an officer in Sigint. Most Officers who are fluent speakers are Late Entry Officers ie WO1,WO2,SSgt, commissioned within the Corps.

    Be aware Middle Eastern languages are very different from learning eastern or western european languages. French and Spanish are a doddle in comparison. There is a fairly large percentage of people who dont make it(or choose not to do it once theyre in) so are you prepared to be a soldier who hasnt learnt a language if thats what you join for?

    Are you aware of the vetting process btw? It can trip up otherwise exceptional candidates.

    From what you have written I think you would be better off as an OPMI, or OPMI(L).

    My own personal opinion of Officers is that in the Int Corps they dont really do any of the specialisations, to the same depth as NCOs. They dont need to however, and they are good at what they are trained for. The DE female Officers also tend to have nice tits and tight arses, and flirt outrageously with the blokes....or is that just me??? 8)

    They manage other people and do staff work(all very necessary).
    A substantial percentage od Int Corps soldiers would be capable of being Officers in other Arms and Corps. Frankly some of the shite that goes to the RLC,AGC (dont even start about QARANCs) would struggle to do OPMI and undoubetdly would be outperformed by many people in the Corps if they decided to apply for a Commission.

    Do not be worried about joining the Corps as a soldier, even if all your Uni mates want to be Officers/Doctors/Barristers etc. You will see things most Officers dont, and you will learn skills which will be useful later while having a hoofing time doing it.

    If you join the Int Corps as a soldier, and youre very good you can get commissioned within the Corps. If youre good, but not that good(or simply siuted for other things,,and still young enough you can get commissioned as a DE at RMAS into another Corps/Regiment.

    If you pass RCB as a civvy go to RMAS and dont get selected for Int Corps...tough! You have to live with it.
    Your choice.
  13. It does not look like that from where I am sat just now :wink:

    Perhaps you need to get yourself on Vigilant Blade or Vigilant Shield??
  14. Quite often as an JNCO your first posting after Depot may be perceived as dull. That is not to say the work is not important, it just may appear that it is the exciting life you were expecting. As a result many JNCOs get down-hearted and some leave. My own experience was that this is a good grounding for what can become exceptionally rewarding and at times exciting work. You may be lucky and get a "glory" post straight out of the factory, but again this can mean that when JNCOs are later posted to "lesser" posts they sometimes become uninspired and disillusioned. If you can rise above all of that then NCO work in the Corps is excellent, as is the life you lead. If you can make the best of those JNCOs who are unhappy in post, or who are disillusioned, then perhaps the Officer route is for you. Either way the coal-face stuff is not dissimilar.

    Oh, and by the way, if you saw how some of my brews were made, and the ingredients added, you would do well to make your own! Keep your friends close and the "brew-bod" closer.
  15. olddearhunter:

    "James Bond it is not"
    I wouldn't have thought any jobs were like "JamesBond!"

    "how good are your foreign language skills?"
    Well I got an A at GCSE French but as you say, completely different to the 'hard' languages. I bought my mum one of those teach-yourself-Arabic kits so should really have a flick through that. I'd be quite interested in learning Arabic cos I'd like to do some travelling there (which brings up another question - are there any travel restrictions on Int Corps personel?)

    "cant see gchq accepting ppl unless they are very good, if not fluent, and in the languages they need"
    Nah the job I applied for was 'Intelligenc Analyst' and languages are not needed (they have separate linguists for the traslations etc) so the job I would have been doing would have been similar to some of the jobs the int corps does (ie watch CNN and make a report from it!)

    "Are you aware of the vetting process btw? It can trip up otherwise exceptional candidates."
    Er no? Sounds like I should tho...?