Para officer questions!

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#1
Hey guys this may be really pathetic but im 14 and my dream has been to join the paras since I was 9. It's all I wanna do and im thinking of joining as an officer how should i prepare? I know I've got lots of time but I want to prepare so when the time comes I will be prepared ! any tips guys? Cheers
 
#2
You need to have a good idea of Regimental History. I would suggest you start with the last operational jump ^~
 
#6
Ok well how could I prepare fitness wise I'm quite good at running I run around 18 miles a week at school as I do cross country I do 120 press ups at night and 50 sit-ups what else should I do?
 
#7
Aren't you a bit young to be deciding on what you want to do already? It seems a waste to me to set out your whole life and then find that you get some injury or decide you don't like it - if I were you, I'd focus on your qualifications and general life for the moment, then make the decision when you're old enough to apply and if you can't/don't want to do it then you've got options.
 
#11
Good for you. As a little boy of seven I spent hours playing with my toy Scottish soldiers and I knew then that I wanted to be a soldier one day. I did.
What to do? Get yourself on an Outward Bound course as soon as you can. Test yourself in challenging outdoor circumstances. Then see where you go from there.
As far as leadership is concerned to be an officer (or at least a good one) start by asking if there is someone who has a copy of the outstanding Sandhurst leadership document Serve to Lead. Read it many times until it resonates with you. Officers are two-a-penny but good officers are rare.
Good luck and go for it!
 
#12
Thanks I will I don't want to do anything else. If I failed medical or anything I would be so disappointed. Can I join even though I'm half german? And grew up in the uk so I consider myself fully British even though my dads german...
 
#13
#15
Three suggestions:
1. Join the cadets (it's not the army but closest you will get under age)
2. Get on work experience (iv had a great time on my work experience courses, got the para and officer being planned this year or next)
3. Your only 14 so don't worry about it yet, get out and party, you'll get to the point where you have revision or course work every night (i do now) and you wish you had more parties, so whilst you have time get out and have fun.
This is from my current experiences :) and I'm still learning/taking advice
 
#16
Hey guys this may be really pathetic but im 14 and my dream has been to join the paras since I was 9. It's all I wanna do and im thinking of joining as an officer how should i prepare? I know I've got lots of time but I want to prepare so when the time comes I will be prepared ! any tips guys? Cheers
I don't regard this as pathetic at all actually. You are right to have a firm ambition to aim for, too few people your age do and end up drifting into jobs and lifestyles they don't really like. I wanted to be an Army officer since as long as I can remember and when I finally commissioned (a few years ago now!) it was one of my proudest moments.

So what do you need to do to get there?

Firstly, you need to work hard at school. Despite the stated minimum academic requirements, realistically you will need to exceed them. 3 average to good A levels and the requisite GCSEs (I think you need English language, Maths and a science in there but someone more current or the Army recruiting website will give you line and verse). You should also plan to go to university to get a reasonable/"proper" bachelors degree (i.e. not a degree in knitting or some other non-subject). While there is much chat on the value of graduate officers, the fact remains that your chances of commissioning into the regiment of your choice (starting from where you are at the moment) are greatly increased by having a degree. Despite what you may have heard, PARA officers nowadays are selected as much for their intellect (proved by academic achievement) as they are for their physical ability. The days of them all being mindless gorillas has gone (if it was ever there to start with).

Equally important is what you do outside the class room. Sports are important and clearly cross country running is an excellent sport for an aspiring army officer to pursue, however I would also recommend team sports; rugby is the obvious one, although this may interfere with the cross country season.

In terms of fitness standards, I wouldn't worry too much at this stage, you should just continue to maintain a decent fitness level through sport and training for sport while you are at school and then start the more specialist preparation at university. In short continue what you are doing for now and ask again when you are 17 or 18.

The army (for officers) and the Parachute Regiment in particular are competitive to get into. This means that you need to have something about you that the next guy doesn't. To that end I would recommend you look into the whole Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, potentially look at doing some sponsored activities for charity (climbing a series of hills/mountains in Scotland in aid of a charity is always a winner). If you are not already, you could certainly join one of the youth organisations CCF/ACF or the Scouts, etc. but don't if it will interfere with your sporting or academic activities (cadets in particular can be a double edged sword in terms of officer recruiting). When you get to university you should probably join the UOTC and continue whatever sports you are interested in. If you take a gap year between school and university, you would need to go off and do something interesting and valuable (again look at this further down the line), otherwise go off and do something during the long university holidays (this is what I did).

Hope this helps, in summary you need to be academically proficient, probably with a "proper" degree, you should continue to play sports (including team sports) and you need to have "wider life experience". Finally and not mentioned above, you need to have the "right" personality; I can't help you with this, to some extent you either have it or you don't. However if you are as determined as you appear at the age you are (and if you keep it up) you are probably on the right track.

Good luck, don't give up!
 
#17
Hey guys this may be really pathetic but im 14 and my dream has been to join the paras since I was 9. It's all I wanna do and im thinking of joining as an officer how should i prepare? I know I've got lots of time but I want to prepare so when the time comes I will be prepared ! any tips guys? Cheers
Not at all pathetic mate! In fact, this is exactly what I wanted to do at your age, and I'm starting my training in March! I'm joining the Signals now, and bloody well chuffed!


Anyway, as I've said on here before, and I will say again, a chap once told me to "get fitter" - his only words. When I did selection in Sept, I got my name put up on the wall for getting one of the fastest times that year, but I'm still doing what he said. If you CAN get fitter, do it. What's the harm? It'll help. Ignore the "requirements" and just get as fit as you can, and you'll be fine!

Education wise, you need to keep your head down at school (find the balance between living life, and studying, you CAN do too much studying). when it comes to college, or Welbeck, keep your head down again, look at what you know you want to achieve, and bloody work hard for it! Again, it's important you keep a balance between working and living your life!

Unfortunately I bolloxed the Sandhurst thing up by narrowly missing out on my UCAS points for Sandhurst. P Coy will come after Phase 2 training for me, I hope! And I've got a personal recommendation for a Commission on my selection report. - Don't do what I am trying to do... I have been told time and time again, by people who have taken both routes, that the direct path to an Officer Role is the way to go!
As has been said on here, get yourself down to Cadets, or Scouts/Explorers! Both are top, in my experience, though I'll be honest, I learned more about life in Scouts, and did more challenging things!

Get on a "look at life" course as soon as you can. I did mine at 15/16 and I was the youngest one there, so perhaps you may have to wait a year yet.

If you know anyone in the Army, or your parents do, try and have a chat with them, they will know what they're on about!



If you need any more info or advice drop me a PM. I'm no expert on the "once you're in" stuff but I can help you out with everything else.
 
#18
I don't regard this as pathetic at all actually. You are right to have a firm ambition to aim for, too few people your age do and end up drifting into jobs and lifestyles they don't really like. I wanted to be an Army officer since as long as I can remember and when I finally commissioned (a few years ago now!) it was one of my proudest moments.

So what do you need to do to get there?

Firstly, you need to work hard at school. Despite the stated minimum academic requirements, realistically you will need to exceed them. 3 average to good A levels and the requisite GCSEs (I think you need English language, Maths and a science in there but someone more current or the Army recruiting website will give you line and verse). You should also plan to go to university to get a reasonable/"proper" bachelors degree (i.e. not a degree in knitting or some other non-subject). While there is much chat on the value of graduate officers, the fact remains that your chances of commissioning into the regiment of your choice (starting from where you are at the moment) are greatly increased by having a degree. Despite what you may have heard, PARA officers nowadays are selected as much for their intellect (proved by academic achievement) as they are for their physical ability. The days of them all being mindless gorillas has gone (if it was ever there to start with).

Equally important is what you do outside the class room. Sports are important and clearly cross country running is an excellent sport for an aspiring army officer to pursue, however I would also recommend team sports; rugby is the obvious one, although this may interfere with the cross country season.

In terms of fitness standards, I wouldn't worry too much at this stage, you should just continue to maintain a decent fitness level through sport and training for sport while you are at school and then start the more specialist preparation at university. In short continue what you are doing for now and ask again when you are 17 or 18.

The army (for officers) and the Parachute Regiment in particular are competitive to get into. This means that you need to have something about you that the next guy doesn't. To that end I would recommend you look into the whole Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, potentially look at doing some sponsored activities for charity (climbing a series of hills/mountains in Scotland in aid of a charity is always a winner). If you are not already, you could certainly join one of the youth organisations CCF/ACF or the Scouts, etc. but don't if it will interfere with your sporting or academic activities (cadets in particular can be a double edged sword in terms of officer recruiting). When you get to university you should probably join the UOTC and continue whatever sports you are interested in. If you take a gap year between school and university, you would need to go off and do something interesting and valuable (again look at this further down the line), otherwise go off and do something during the long university holidays (this is what I did).

Hope this helps, in summary you need to be academically proficient, probably with a "proper" degree, you should continue to play sports (including team sports) and you need to have "wider life experience". Finally and not mentioned above, you need to have the "right" personality; I can't help you with this, to some extent you either have it or you don't. However if you are as determined as you appear at the age you are (and if you keep it up) you are probably on the right track.

Good luck, don't give up!
What would you recommend as a good gap year activity? I know I definitely wan to between college and uni, obviously Ibiza is out of question but would they prefer a working holiday out with the Aussie or maybe if I planned a expedition type thing with a purpose to Canada? Thanks
 
#19
What would you recommend as a good gap year activity? I know I definitely wan to between college and uni, obviously Ibiza is out of question but would they prefer a working holiday out with the Aussie or maybe if I planned a expedition type thing with a purpose to Canada? Thanks
Travel around Europe via train - Interrail

Personally I've stuck in the UK, and done expeditions and so on over here. Decided not to go to uni in the end though. :p

If you want to do something fun in summer, that will go towards your CV too, I recommend working at a Music festival for Oxfam too! It's voluntary work, and you develop your social skills, and your communication skills too.
A recognised first aid course is well worth doing also.
 
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cpunk

LE
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#20
What would you recommend as a good gap year activity? I know I definitely wan to between college and uni, obviously Ibiza is out of question but would they prefer a working holiday out with the Aussie or maybe if I planned a expedition type thing with a purpose to Canada? Thanks
Your gap year is probably the last chance you get to do something you really want to do until you retire, so think carefully about it, and don't feel obliged to do something worthy and expensive just to enhance your CV. Unless it is really extraordinary, your gap year is likely to amount to no more than one or two questions in the AOSB interviews, so provided you haven't spent it burning down orphanages or dealing crack, anything positive will be OK: it isn't obligatory to attempt to bring about world peace.

On the other hand, becoming a 'World of Warcraft' guru isn't likely to impress anyone, so use your common sense.
 
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