Parachute Regiment Officer Selection

Would anybody know the number of officers the Parachute Regiment take from Sandhurst per intake? How competitive is it? And would they take an officer that is only 18?

Many Thanks
 
I'm not PARA, however:

As a three battalion regiment, they probably take an average of a couple of officers per intake.

PARA Regt is one of the most competitive choices at Sandhurst and by and large they will only take absolutely top quality candidates.

Would they take an 18 year old from Samdhurst? Yes in theory, but in reality the chances of an 18 year old making it into the very top echelon of Officer Cadets and thus being in position to be seriously considered is low. This is because the 18 year will (probably) lack the maturity, life experience and graduate level academic reasoning ability that his peers in their 20s will have developed.

However, don't let this put you off. There will be a very small number of 18 year olds who can make it into that very top echelon. You might be one of them! The best thing would be to go on a PARA potential officer visit. this would certainly give you an idea of how you compare.

Good luck.


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Have a look at the sandhurst documentary it focuses on (amongst others) a quality bloke heading for the paras. Ginger Looks like plug (Thomson)

 
Have a look at the sandhurst documentary it focuses on (amongst others) a quality bloke heading for the paras.
Based solely on what we saw in the documentary, I'm not sure I can whole heartedly agree that he is 'quality'.

It clearly appeals to the BBC editorial team to focus on 'boy from wrong side of tracks done good' and 'do down' the public school boys (I think in the second episode).

Clearly these guys are of a different generation to me, but from what I have heard from the guys who were at Sandhurst when this was filmed, the ex-electrician who went to the Paras was in fact pretty middle of the road at best and was lucky to get in, while the HCav bloke who was shown as weak and relying on nepotism to get into his regiment in the next episode, I have heard, was actually quite good.

I would say though that most serious Para Regt candidates would have to be significantly better than this guy appears to be.

As I say, I'm neither Para Regt or of the generation in the documentary, therefore I base my comments only on what I have heard through the Army grapevine.


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Based solely on what we saw in the documentary, I'm not sure I can whole heartedly agree that he is 'quality'.

It clearly appeals to the BBC editorial team to focus on 'boy from wrong side of tracks done good' and 'do down' the public school boys (I think in the second episode).

Clearly these guys are of a different generation to me, but from what I have heard from the guys who were at Sandhurst when this was filmed, the ex-electrician who went to the Paras was in fact pretty middle of the road at best and was lucky to get in, while the HCav bloke who was shown as weak and relying on nepotism to get into his regiment in the next episode, I have heard, was actually quite good.

I would say though that most serious Para Regt candidates would have to be significantly better than this guy appears to be.

As I say, I'm neither Para Regt or of the generation in the documentary, therefore I base my comments only on what I have heard through the Army grapevine.


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Let me rephrase that, he was the only character I could see myself having a pint with

Ultimately he got the coveted cap badge and went of on ops The donkey walloper as far as I'm aware is I/c shiny horses negative gongs in London making sure stuff is polished
 
It clearly appeals to the BBC editorial team to focus on 'boy from wrong side of tracks done good' and 'do down' the public school boys (I think in the second episode).
I have no knowledge of either of the officers concerned, but wonder if you are perhaps being a little unfair to the programme producers. The series as a whole did not appear to have entirely the agenda you suggest, but they will of course have been looking for something that makes the documentary appear a little more insightful and unusual - and in fact to suggest that the Army has changed and is longer just a game for the toffs. (Ironically of course, the Para Regt is historically more meritocratic than most - the REAL story might have been an electrician commissioning into HCR...)

Unfortunately the HCR OCdt just happened to have a bad moment when the cameras were watching - and this was of course exploited in a way that did him no good at the time. Most of us have a tricky moment or two on a course like that (haven't we?) but usually only in front of DS and peers - and not beamed into the living rooms of a watching nation. Had my rather absurd physical confrontation with a DS on an Ex at Warminster been filmed, my own military career would have perhaps gone even less far than it did...

A word to the wise: think very carefully before agreeing to be the subject matter of a documentary being filmed at times when you will be under intense pressure. I suspect that those who agreed were naïve or ill-advised. Personally I would have gone for a pixelated face any day!
 
A quick look at the London Gazette should highlight roughly how many PARA reg take from each CC in recent times. From memory - and this was at least 5 years ago - it was at least 4 at the various CC parades / balls I've been to.

Apparently the HCR bloke did make it through having re-taken the senior term.

I doubt very much that any of the cadets had any choice in whether they appeared on the show or not.
 

Ceres

LE
A quick look at the London Gazette should highlight roughly how many PARA reg take from each CC in recent times. From memory - and this was at least 5 years ago - it was at least 4 at the various CC parades / balls I've been to.

Apparently the HCR bloke did make it through having re-taken the senior term.

I doubt very much that any of the cadets had any choice in whether they appeared on the show or not.
So: HCR guy relegated. So much for "top third" for "better" regiments . ;)
 
The intake passing off in April have four going to the Parachute Regiment, out of ten who were taken to interview.

Apparently the regiment received some flak as if they only had four places they should only have taken eight to interview.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
I have no knowledge of either of the officers concerned, but wonder if you are perhaps being a little unfair to the programme producers. The series as a whole did not appear to have entirely the agenda you suggest,
I have a fair bit of knowledge about this, and I think BC is bang on in his accusation of intentional bias. I strongly suspect it was encouraged by Academy HQ, but that's a different issue.

The last episode was entitled 'Officer Class', which I think is a pretty clear declaration of intent. There were a lot of things not mentioned in that episode, like the HCR bloke's 9:30 PFA time - far from being unfit, he was unlucky to be in the intentionally weighted platoon that had an average time of 8:20ish. The PARA bloke failed arguably one of the major RMAS events, but oddly that didn't make it into the programme...

Combine that with heavy editing of the conversation between the HCR bloke and his platoon commander about sport (you can't do both beagling and shooting for the same term, you have to do a real sport on Wednesdays) and the fact that only the HCR bloke was shown getting his mess kit fitted despite every OCdt leaving Sandhurst with a set, things start to look a little like intentional bias.

And what if the HCR bloke now? Very well regarded by his blokes and a good Officer from all accounts. Go figure, as they say.
 
I have a fair bit of knowledge about this, and I think BC is bang on in his accusation of intentional bias. I strongly suspect it was encouraged by Academy HQ, but that's a different issue.

The last episode was entitled 'Officer Class', which I think is a pretty clear declaration of intent. There were a lot of things not mentioned in that episode, like the HCR bloke's 9:30 PFA time - far from being unfit, he was unlucky to be in the intentionally weighted platoon that had an average time of 8:20ish. The PARA bloke failed arguably one of the major RMAS events, but oddly that didn't make it into the programme...

Combine that with heavy editing of the conversation between the HCR bloke and his platoon commander about sport (you can't do both beagling and shooting for the same term, you have to do a real sport on Wednesdays) and the fact that only the HCR bloke was shown getting his mess kit fitted despite every OCdt leaving Sandhurst with a set, things start to look a little like intentional bias.

And what if the HCR bloke now? Very well regarded by his blokes and a good Officer from all accounts. Go figure, as they say.
Pretty much sums up what I had heard.

I would be fascinated to have some insight into the motivation from the Academy Headquarters. I simply cannot see what could be gained.

I also thought the HCav bloke was unfairly undermined as an officer. Thankfully it sounds like his soldiers and regiment have been able to see past some rather chippy editing (which I admit took me in, until I heard better).

To the original poster, clearly you should not take Caecilius's comments to indicate that you can fail key tests at Sandhurst and still go PARA. By and large, failing any of these would drop you out of the top third and thus out of the PARA recruiting pool. They have plenty of people who want to join and who can also pass all of the tests and exams.


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I have a fair bit of knowledge about this, and I think BC is bang on in his accusation of intentional bias. I strongly suspect it was encouraged by Academy HQ, but that's a different issue.

The last episode was entitled 'Officer Class', which I think is a pretty clear declaration of intent. There were a lot of things not mentioned in that episode, like the HCR bloke's 9:30 PFA time - far from being unfit, he was unlucky to be in the intentionally weighted platoon that had an average time of 8:20ish. The PARA bloke failed arguably one of the major RMAS events, but oddly that didn't make it into the programme...

Combine that with heavy editing of the conversation between the HCR bloke and his platoon commander about sport (you can't do both beagling and shooting for the same term, you have to do a real sport on Wednesdays) and the fact that only the HCR bloke was shown getting his mess kit fitted despite every OCdt leaving Sandhurst with a set, things start to look a little like intentional bias.

And what if the HCR bloke now? Very well regarded by his blokes and a good Officer from all accounts. Go figure, as they say.
Interesting stuff. I know nothing of the individuals concerned so am in no position to judge their relative merits. Hopefully they will both go on to great things.

As an aside, however, I'm not sure that a 9.30 PFA proves very much. I can do that without much difficulty and I'm in my 50s.
 

Caecilius

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Interesting stuff. I know nothing of the individuals concerned so am in no position to judge their relative merits. Hopefully they will both go on to great things.

As an aside, however, I'm not sure that a 9.30 PFA proves very much. I can do that without much difficulty and I'm in my 50s.
9:30 is nothing special aged 25, but it's well above the passing standard so it was a little unfair of the TV show to make out that he was particularly unfit.
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
9:30 is nothing special aged 25, but it's well above the passing standard so it was a little unfair of the TV show to make out that he was particularly unfit.
Ah, but was he good with weight? Those Scimitars don't carry themselves up hills, you know.
 

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