Officer or soldier

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Regular Soldier Recruitment' started by hull_lad, Nov 3, 2008.

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  1. Im in my first year of sixth form at the moment and have been planning to join the Army as an officer when I finish my A levels. However, I am only half a term in and already I am extremely unhappy with being in sixth form and i'm concerned that after half a year I may be depressed. I am considering joining as a regular soldier, however everyone, including my dad who was a soldier in the REME, is telling me to join as an officer as it is a much better route and career. I feel like this is expected of me though as I did get very good GCSE's (A's and B's) and theoretically should be fully capable of completing my A levels. I would be more convinced to join now as well if I was going to get a trade but I am only interested in joining an infantry regiment (Parachute Regiment preferably). I was wondering if anyone had any advice for me or was in the same situation. By the way I have attended the Parachute Regiment insight course and got the following results:

    1.5 mile: 8:15 mins
    Press-ups: 65
    Sit-ups: 83
    Pull-ups: 4 (trying to improve)
    Bleep Test: 13
    Log Run: Completed

    So as for my fitness I know I am not far off. The Para told me in my interview that I am ready to join but I still want to get nearer to peak physical fitness.
  2. Do you like salmon pink shirts, and corduroy?

    Your fitness is good enough, but heaves could be improved.
  3. Join how you want to join and not how others think you should.
    If you are unhappy with the education you are receiving now, as much as we rib and jibe at ossifers, you will struggle with all the stuff Sandhurst etc. has to throw at you.
    It is good enough that you wish to serve, distinguishing yourself from the great unwashed masses so you should be happy in your choice. Your old fella won't like this answer but my old fella wanted me to join the Navy. How weird is that. :roll:
  4. Thanks 'the_butler', good advice. I should have mentioned though that it is not primarily the work that I am struggling with it's more the whole sixth form life in general and I don't want to re-sit a year at a different college even if I would enjoy it. I believe that I would really enjoy every aspect of Sandhurst.
  5. i dropped out of sixth form and am going down the Combat medic route. like the butlers said, its your choice, your life etc. And contrary to what people may tell you the infantry is a good solid career path, with many oppertunities to progress and get a trade. My parents didnt want me to drop out, so i told them to cnut off and dropped out ... best decision of my life.

    Don't mss a chance that you will regret not taking later on in life.


  6. If you want a full career int he Army then being an officer would be the best route although many many soldiers prosper from a full 22+ years service too, if you are thinking of joining for a full career, the infantry is definately not the way to go, especialy in terms of promotion, pay, qualifications etc etc.

    This is what i have been told from serving soldiers, thought it may help, but my advise is, if you want it, grab it, and never let go, there is a little bit of usefull philosophy for 'ya!!!

  7. Oh, and dont drop out until you have your phase 1 date!!!!!

    Best of luck.
  8. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    But therein lies the problem - you need to get A levels (or equivalents) before you get to Sandhurst.

    There are any number of intelligent and well educated Toms in the infantry who chose not to go the officer route, or did not have the appropriate qualities to pass AOSB so you would not be out of place as a Tom.

    However, if you do not make a full career out of the army, having a more advanced level of education will be essential to you having a wider set of career options on leaving. Every man and his dog has a 2:2 in meeja studies nowadays - you need to consider how your decision to leave education now will impact you in the future..

    My advice? College is only 2 years. Work hard and leave all your options open. Jack now and you will be far more limited in your choice of jobs.
  9. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer

    And also that he can spend those two years in the Para Regt's TA Battalion. Get your wings, good military experience and an operational tour during your gap year allowing you to pass out of Sandhurst with some colour on No.1 dress.

    Come on Duke you're slipping man, must I do all your work for you?! The old Duke would have had the poor f*cker filling out an AFCO4 form by now!
  10. Thanks for all the advice. One more thing, is it 18 you have to be to join 4 para?
  11. Reply to topic
    Reply with quote

    Joining Royal Artillery
    Posted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 2:01 pm

    I think im in the right part of the forum for this, im just intoducing myself as a new member of ARRSE!
    Im joining, (or should be joining anyway) the Royal Artillery at the beginning of next year (I think thats about right because im just at the medical at this stage?), im not sure what part tho, do i have to have decided what job in the RA before selection? Im leaning towards gunner light gun as i like the idea of getting attached to either the paras or rm's!

    So yeah, eyup' to eveyone!

    Wow you have a lot of wisdom from someone who hasnt passed there medical yet.......
  12. Try asking yourself this question. Are you still in education because you wanted to be or are you there because you were expected to be?
    Education is always something you can do later, and in your own time if you wish, but being stuck in a routing you hate may do you more damage than doing something you 'now' you want to do. Being in your teens and stuck indoors with your nose in a book sometimes being fed utter drivel by people who know no better is not what a young enquiring mind should be doing IMHO.
    At your age I (along with many here I suspect) were already in training, and by the time you are looking at finishing your A levels were were all living abroad having the time of our lives.
    Besides, the army is a real career, and if you join in 5 years time you will start to see civvy mates who went the school-college-uni route working is call centres and other soulless places simply because someone kept telling them that they should 'stick with their education'. You will have been in fully paid employment and seen a great deal of the world by the time they emerge blinking into the world.
  13. In addition to the valid points above, please accept this modest and blunt advice in the spirit in which it's offered.

    Deciding if officer or soldier entry is the right route is the least of your problems. It's not like choosing which bus to get on. You have to get in shape mentally to convince either selection board that you're worth having. Fitness by the way, is an absolute given. At your age you have no excuse not to be fit and if you're a lumbering lump of lard good civillian employers for good jobs won't want you either. Get fit and stay fit whatever you do.

    The days of the rosy cheeked 18 year old officer cadet at Sandhurst are pretty much consigned to history. Most have a good degree or are soldiers with a good education and strong experiance. If you attempt AOSB at 18 you are more likely to fail than pass, unless you are exceptional. Most of the candidates around you will be well educated to degree standard, worldly and have a maturity that comes from being slightly older with experiances in a range of things from travel, summer jobs, adventure training, higher education, military service and so on. Remember, soldiers are better educated, more aware, more questioning and better briefed than ever before. They therefore expect, require and deserve a high standard from their officers.
    I cannot emphasise therefore, how critical it is that you work like a banshee for your A Levels; at least good A Levels will give you some potential choice. Fvck depressed, fvck moaning and get on with them, there is no other reasonable choice and get in the mindset that "average," is a word for other people. You should be aiming at this point to secure a place at a good university with those good A Level results and when there join either the university OTC or local TA regiment. If you're lucky, it might even be PARA.

    You may have interests outside home and school; if not get involved. Sport, local community, charity, adventure training, interesting hobbies, whatever; you need to be a more rounded indidvidual than someone who can run a fast mile, drink a few pints and has a bunch of angst about his future. The Parachute Regiment, the Army's shock troops, are a very fine Regiment with a proud ethos and history. The truth is, no matter what you may read here, there are no bad regiments or corps. When the sh1t hits the fan everyone needs and depends on everyone else. Get to know the rest of the Army, it won't do you any harm.

    Some things are indelibly imprinted on the Army's DNA which are recognisable to any generation. Remember these, work at them and your chances of success in whatever you do will be higher,

    - A sense of urgency
    - Humour
    - Tenacity
    - Self Reliance
    - Discipline
    - Fighting spirit
    - Teamwork
    - Selflessness
    - Physical and moral courage
    - Loyalty to those above and those below you
    - Integrity
    - Enthusiasim

    Others may add to these qualities but for now, ask yourself; "what have I done to demonstrate that I have these qualities or have the potential to have them?" The AOSB certainly will be looking for them.

    Don't think for a moment that you are the first teenager to get a bit down about his prospects but quite frankly, I have to suggest you take a cold shower and hit the ground sprinting with an overwhelming desire and demonstrable enthusiasim to achieve your aims. It's a great privilege to go to Sandhurst and eventually be let loose with a platoon, troop or whatever so if you want to earn it - start working.

    Good luck, I wish you well.

    Incidentally, a private soldier in a battalion........ now, that is a different kind of hard!

  14. Cracking post IMO Bumper. If you listen to nothing else hull_lad then listen to what Bumper has bothered to write here and you wont go far wrong.