Officer requirements

Discussion in 'Officers' started by Dist, Dec 25, 2007.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Is anyone here able to confirm or not if i will be able to become an officer or not. Ive been told conflicting answers, and when i contacted a recruiting rep by the live chat on the army jobs website, he was unsure and said i had to go down to the local army careers office, which is not realy viable for me at the moment.

    My issue is that i have no GCSEs or A levels, but i am studying for a degree with honours at the open university. Some have told me that without A levels and GCSEs i have no chance of getting in, even if i did have a degree, others have told me a degree alone will be enough to cover the entry requirements.

    My degree is a ICT degree, and i plan on joining the signals so it is a degree in a relevent subject, and the degree is also made up of some math as well which is at least on level with GCSE math, possibly even A level.

    Edit: I just noticed the time, Merry Christmas everyone reading this :)
  2. Cannot comment on if you meet the requirements. What I can say is that OU Foundation Credits certainly used to be accepted as A Level equivalent by many academic institutions.
  3. I'm not following the university option and am going through my AOSB pretty soon. From the information packs from my local AFCO's and internet research:

    A - Level leavers require a tariff of 180 UCAS points in order to be accepted for officer selection. (Must have completed A/S and A2).

    GCSE's - Unable to join as an officer. (Unless I assume you join as a regular after Year 11 and then pick up the required qualifications in the Army and then get selected for Sandhurst that way) - - - -> As Im not in yet, I'm not 100% on this process.

    A lack of any GCSE's/A levels would be a great disadvantage to you, however I'd assume that a University degree would speak quite loudly for itself and depending on the qualification earned (1st 2:1, distinction e.t.c), I wouldn't see why it would not be accepted. Perhaps you might consider picking up a few extra GCSE's or A-Levels whilst your studying? Or is this too much?

    But as the guy said, getting down to your AFCO, if only for a few minutes would probably clear up alot. Not sure if that helps, if not.....oh well.

    But I think that good qualifications act as a "foot in the door", personal qualities, a moderate intellect, good morale standing and a good view on current affairs, (not to mention leadership potential :wink: ) goes a LONG way.

    Oh and Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year.
  4. Honours degrees from the OU are treated the same as any other degree by the Army. Trust me on this-I know

    Devexwarrior (BSc (Hons) OU.)

    edited to actually answer the question-the mob are only interested in your highest level qual-if you have a degree it really doesn't matter what else you have. The absolute worst they could say is that they require proof your literacy and/or numeracy is at Level 1. (GCSE pass). If they say this or you need more info then PM me.

  5. Firstly how far into your OU Degree are you?

    I would suggest that if you have completed your first year you are most probably in the qualification bracket.

    Academic qualifications are not the be all and end all especially O levels and A levels. In the early stages of your career as an officer you will not be overly challenged in that capacity (one GOC's essay a year, a couple of short essay's as the culmination of short courses a year), however as you progress to Bn staff, SO3/SO2 level your capacity for work will be more than challenged, particularly if you remain in the combat stream, or G1.

    I personally achieved all of my qualifications through CPD during my career, and never felt I was out of my depth academically (I was in the combat stream at all levels).

    The OU is most definitely not frowned upon in the armed forces, and in fact it has become ever popular for Officers to study the OU MBA programme in order to further their employability beyond SO2/SO1 or prepare them for the inevitable jump into Civvie Street.
  6. As others have commented, there is almost certainly some flexibility over the qualifications required, but you need to check with someone in the know (the Army website should provide you with a 'phone number) rather than relying on the guesses of arrsers (pace any recruiters!)

    Whilst you may not be overly challenged in a narrowly academic capacity, I would dispute any implication that the life of a junior officer is not intellectually challenging. You need a good brain to cope with:

    * Successfully juggling and prioritising your responsibilities
    * Expanding academic roundness - whether that be report/essay/defence writing for a science student, or a grasp of technical detail for an arts student
    * Quickly understanding (and assessing the full implications of) new doctrine/equipment/policies/etc

    Whilst none of these are particularly what civilian academic learning prepares you for (and without going around the buoy on the whole officers/degrees debate), being bright is one of a whole host of other characteristics which is desirable in an officer...

    Or indeed (perhaps particularly :) ) in tech, log, or def pol.

  7. i think any officer recruiter would, given most soldiers now have a handful of A-Cs, be wary of anybody that didn't have requisite GCSEs, irrespective of OU degree.
  8. I have serious doubts about the officer qualities of some one who can post this type of question at 12.12 AM on Christmas Day. You need to get out more. :)
  9. Away you go you gobby crow!!

    His question was based firmly upon academic suitability! Having observed a rather large cross section of the Army during my not too short service, I think if most subalterns were honest with themselves they are not overly academically challenged (note no one mentioned who could juggle the most balls, that is a given in officer employment) In fact I would suggest that the hardest working academically challenged subaltern role is that of an Int Corps Officer working at Bde HQ on Ops.

    As for your other points reference SO3/SO2 employment and academic challenges there in. Serve some time (or even peer through the windows,) and see which streams are still working after everyone else has gone on the razz, you will find J1/G1, J2/G2, J3/G3.

    But then as you have previously stated Battle group planning is well above your pay scale. so how would you know that.

    Do not attempt to discredit those who offer an honest opinion and advice by calling them Guessers!!

    It is my guess that you are wet behind the ears particularly as you could give a recent experiential overview of JOTAC.
  10. phone up the officer recruiting bloke at the regiment or corps you wish to join. they will give you the proper answer. career offices are more for soldiers and aren't too good on officer stuff.
  11. I believe you need to be able to wear red corduroy (?) trousers, a salmon pink shirt, and a mustard coloured jumper, and to think it looks good.
  12. Dist's original question was:

    The way Dist will get a reply to this question is to speak with someone involved in officer recruiting (as he's interested in the Royal Signals, the Signal Officer in Chief's Recruiting Liaison Staff would be the obvious port of call - their website is here; contact details are here). They will be able to look at the relevant regulations, and will know how much flexibility there is.

    This is where I was referring to the guesses of arrsers - you'll note I excluded any who were involved in recruiting, and so might be able to give Dist a detailed reply on arrse - this sort of information is best sought from the horse's mouth.

    You were subsequently offering some advice on academic suitability - and I certainly agree with you that, having completed an OU degree, Dist is unlikely to find himself academically challenged, particularly early in his career. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that the lower qualification pre-requisites (GCSEs and A-levels) will be waived - and he should check that with SORLS.

    I was broadening the debate, to suggest that, although few subaltern employments are academically challenging per se (ie, you're not going to spend too much time on medieval history, or pharmacology, or fluid mechanics, or basket weaving), there is still an intellectual challenge. I think it is important to stress this, as there is still an attitude in some parts of society, and particularly amongst the 'gatekeepers' (teachers, university lecturers, etc) that the army is an option for 'thickos', and it would be a 'waste of intelligence' for a brighter student to consider serving. My contention is that, whilst you don't have to be 'bookishly' clever, you do have to be intelligent.

    As you say, ball juggling is a given for an officer - but it isn't in many other careers - and it does need some intelligence to do it effectively. Similarly, the ability rapidly to assimilate new information requires a decent intellect. It is important for a potential officer to realise that, in addition to the other challenges and benefits of the job, there are times when it will be intellectually demanding. I completely agree that Int Corps subalterns have a particularly challenging job; that is why the Int Corps is particularly selective.

    I'm certainly not trying to suggest that G3 warriors don't work hard, and there are of course intellectually demanding jobs across the whole gamut of army employments. However, in terms of career fields, there are some extremely intellectually challenging jobs in technology/procurement (hence the battlespace technology course), and defence policy. In terms of staff branches, and particularly relevant to Dist, increasingly complex CIS means that G6 is a technically and intellectually demanding area - and his degree may be of some direct relevance.

    As for your other comments:

    You clearly have many years more experience than me; however, I guess I have more recent experience of the stage Dist is about to go through (ie subaltern), so we can probably both offer some valid opinions.

    I'm flattered that you've taken the time to look back at my previous posts - if you look again at the post in the EBO thread, you'll see that I was referring to Viper's treatise on EBO at the operational level as being above my pay grade, but that EBO (or, at least, effects based planning) did make a lot of sense to me at BG level.
  13. There's little intellectual challenge for most upto and incl SO2...the ability to multi-task and prioritise is however, a must.

    the challenge lies in learning the way the army thinks and communicates, this is vastly different from the world of academia that YOs are used to.

    The situation is not helped by (non-grad) OCs and (others of considerable experience) disparaging grad YOs for poor intellect...this is not the case.

    Offrs with 10-12 yrs experience have been truly indoctrinated into the army way...
  15. I don’t recall commenting on intelligence in this particular thread.

    However for the record, intelligence is far more important than academic prowess in the early stages IMHO (a lack of at least a good understanding of English will hinder you in the long term).

    I don’t recall being disparaging towards any particular brand of officer or trade/stream. All I stated is what in my opinion based on experience (also appears to be reflected in the Black Bag) were (generally) the more academically challenging roles and when they appeared. (ATO is a role which is technically/academically demanding, I would not deny that, but so far none of those have felt the requirement to chippily pipe up their defence, probably because I made a general comment)

    But that does not answer the originators question.

    So I refer to my original post which slated no one, and gave a good (and legal steer) which is current (and in a conversational tone (with none of my tourettesque sarcasm)). (or I could have sent them elsewhere rather than give advice, as is the current trend. But then I have tended over the years to be the sort to give advice rather than send someone packing because after all that for me is what A FORUM is all about)