Oxford Degree + Army = Arm?

#1
Hi all,

First post so please go easy on me. I'll be graduating next year and aim to go into RMAS for Jan 2012. I tire of all the corporate training contracts and internships my friends are chasing in the city, and instead want to do something 'real' and get my hands dirty. However, I still want to go into an arm that lets me put my academic skills to use. My careers advisor suggested Int Corps, the Sappers or even the Gunners. Could anybody advise me on the potential balance between soldiering and more intellectual duties for officers in these arms? I know the familiarisations are the best route for this but I am keen to learn as much as possible.

Thanks
 

Mr_Fingerz

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
Well, if you're destined for a "gentleman's third", you could always opt for the chavalry.
 
#4
Hi all,

First post so please go easy on me. I'll be graduating next year and aim to go into RMAS for Jan 2012. I tire of all the corporate training contracts and internships my friends are chasing in the city, and instead want to do something 'real' and get my hands dirty. However, I still want to go into an arm that lets me put my academic skills to use. My careers advisor suggested Int Corps, the Sappers or even the Gunners. Could anybody advise me on the potential balance between soldiering and more intellectual duties for officers in these arms? I know the familiarisations are the best route for this but I am keen to learn as much as possible.

Thanks
What about the infantry?
 
#6
Do the Corps mention need media studies graduates?

(Big clue to what you might be graduating with)
Not certain what is meant by that. I study English so no obvious route to follow through. I would not join the Cavalry for prestige, my only criteria is an arm that, at officer level, balances soldiering with a tradecraft that is valued well if and when I return to civilian life.
 
#7
Not certain what is meant by that. I study English so no obvious route to follow through. I would not join the Cavalry for prestige, my only criteria is an arm that, at officer level, balances soldiering with a tradecraft that is valued well if and when I return to civilian life.
Infantry still sounds good. If you're an Oxbridge graduate then you have shown that you have intellectual capability. There's no logical path from an English degree to a service career (except perhaps the Army Education Corps if they still exist), so combine the intellectually proven ability with that of a vocation that shows ability to operate effectively under (sometimes extreme) pressure. You'll find plenty of potential employers if you can show you are capable of both.
 
#8
Infantry still sounds good. If you're an Oxbridge graduate then you have shown that you have intellectual capability. There's no logical path from an English degree to a service career (except perhaps the Army Education Corps if they still exist), so combine the intellectually proven ability with that of a vocation that shows ability to operate effectively under (sometimes extreme) pressure. You'll find plenty of potential employers if you can show you are capable of both.
Well stated!!
 
#9
To quote Wavell:


First, all battles and all wars are won in the end by the infantryman. Secondly, the infantryman always bears the brunt. His casualties are heavier, he suffers greater extremes of discomfort and fatigue than the other arms. Thirdly, the art of the infantryman is less stereotyped and far harder to acquire in modern war than that of any other arm. The role of the average artilleryman, for instance, is largely routine; the setting of a fuse, the loading of a gun, even the laying of it are processes which, once learnt, are mechanical. The infantryman has to use initiative and intelligence in almost every step he moves, every action he takes on the battle-field. We ought therefore to put our men of best intelligence and endurance into the Infantry.

If you want to be truly intellectually challenged, as well as physically there is only one option open to you.
 
#10
To quote Wavell:


First, all battles and all wars are won in the end by the infantryman. Secondly, the infantryman always bears the brunt. His casualties are heavier, he suffers greater extremes of discomfort and fatigue than the other arms. Thirdly, the art of the infantryman is less stereotyped and far harder to acquire in modern war than that of any other arm. The role of the average artilleryman, for instance, is largely routine; the setting of a fuse, the loading of a gun, even the laying of it are processes which, once learnt, are mechanical. The infantryman has to use initiative and intelligence in almost every step he moves, every action he takes on the battle-field. We ought therefore to put our men of best intelligence and endurance into the Infantry.

If you want to be truly intellectually challenged, as well as physically there is only one option open to you.
With the utmost appreciation and respect for your recommendation, I do not think he can follow your advice as all officers in the USMC must be American citizens. Nevertheless, your point is sound and I am confident that he can find a place in a British infantry regiment that will come close to the ideal. Getting my cover (hat) and coat..... ;-)
 
#11
Well, he could join the Regiment the USMC drew it's ideals from.... ;)
 
#12
Of course the Infantry only take top third at RMAS so unless you can cut it on all the other non intellectual bits then you may wish to consider being a lesser mortal!!
 
#14
Not certain what is meant by that. I study English so no obvious route to follow through. I would not join the Cavalry for prestige, my only criteria is an arm that, at officer level, balances soldiering with a tradecraft that is valued well if and when I return to civilian life.
Oldie,

The only corps that you will really get any professional qualifications that relate directly to civvie street, medics, lawyers, teachers and vets aside, are Air Corps, Sappers and REME. However, if you are looking to develop and display on your CV effective leadership, man and resource management, mental agility, robustness, flexibility etc etc then most of the remaining capbadges will provide that. I take issue with the Wavell quote; he obviously had no inkling of the technical demands of artillery in all its various guises. His quote might hold good for soldiers but not officers where the skillsets are more mentally demanding than laying, loading and fuzesetting. Your academic skills will be utilised in any commissioned role - most officers are graduates these days so you are far from a special case. In fact you are already sounding a little precious! Do the research, do as many fam visits as you can and get through AOSB - then marry a capbadge at RMAS.

UQFEGD

PP
 
#15
Oldie,

The only corps that you will really get any professional qualifications that relate directly to civvie street, medics, lawyers, teachers and vets aside, are Air Corps, Sappers and REME. However, if you are looking to develop and display on your CV effective leadership, man and resource management, mental agility, robustness, flexibility etc etc then most of the remaining capbadges will provide that. I take issue with the Wavell quote; he obviously had no inkling of the technical demands of artillery in all its various guises. His quote might hold good for soldiers but not officers where the skillsets are more mentally demanding than laying, loading and fuzesetting. Your academic skills will be utilised in any commissioned role - most officers are graduates these days so you are far from a special case. In fact you are already sounding a little precious! Do the research, do as many fam visits as you can and get through AOSB - then marry a capbadge at RMAS.

UQFEGD

PP
Thanks for the advice. I can see where you are coming from with the 'special' comment but I only wanted to suggest that I am more into the abstract side of things than the next guy. I certainly dont see myself as a special case. I'll do as you say and look into the infantry also.
 
#17
Of course the Infantry only take top third at RMAS so unless you can cut it on all the other non intellectual bits then you may wish to consider being a lesser mortal!!


Maybe true for the bulk of the regiments, but unless things have changed dramatically some of them would be happy with a 2Lt's uniform stuffed with rolled up newspaper (and have them tipped as a future CO).
 
#18
Is it Oxford Brookes by anychance?

Look at the different Capbadges and think what you'd like to do. You may enjoy running about as a Plt Commander you may like the chance to fly a chopper, you may like the idea of tinkering with IEDs.

Chances are your degree has nothing to do with what you will filter in to.

Whilst at RMAS you will get the chance to visit some of your favoured capbadges to see if you like it.... and if they like you, then you may get in.
 
#20
Start by making contact with some of the Capbadges you feel might be interesting: all recruitment is managed by Regiments/Corps, rather than centrally. See if you can arrange to visit units and become acquainted with their work and their people.

If in doing this, you opt to look at Infantry regiments, do your homework: as an Officer you should not automatically assume it is 'right' to join the Regiment that recruits most locally to you. Remember that (for good or ill) every single Battalion has a unique, strong and fiercely preserved culture/character, and all will be looking for a good 'fit' between you and them, so you will have to be able say why you opted to apply to them. Even if you choose not to stay beyond a few years, this is important: if you do decide to make it a career, it is critical.

Pick the right mob, and you could have a wonderful 5 years, and a successful career. Wind up in a regiment that is not right for you, and your 5 years could be grim, and your longer term career dead in the water very quickly.

That said, I have no idea how fierce is competition for commissioned officer places these days. The fiercer it is, the less likely you are to be square-pegged into the proverbial round hole, in an under-officered Battalion.

(P.S. If you get to feeling really ambitious, you might want to research which Regiments have a track record of breeding Generals, and which ones don't . . . )
 

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