parachute Regiment

Hi there.

I'm currently making enquiries about the paras, however I was just looking for some advice to a couple of things.

I live approximately 20 minutes from my local 4bn para unit (TA) in Croydon, South London.

Even though I have no desire to go into the TA, would it be of any benefit to perhaps go down and see if I could get any extra gen from them, or perhaps join for the meantime??

Is it worth giving them a call about a regular commission, or would it be a pain in the a*** for them?

Any info any of you wonderful people could put forward would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance guys



War Hero
No no no! You don't want to be a Para! :D
But, if you are insistent on joining them... The TA thing depends on how long the flash to bang time is between now and RCB/Sandhurst. If the answer's "Not very long," then don't bother. If it's a few months or so, then it might be worth looking at. However, I don't really know much about the TA Paras, and whether they have to get their wings, etc. before being allowed to do anything with 4Bn.
One question though: have you been on the Para's POC (Potential Officer Course)? If you're seriously thinking of joining the Para's, I'd suggest getting yourself on this, because it gives them a good chance to have a look at you (and vice-versa), with a possible view to offering you Sponsorship through the selection process. However, if you turn out to be a complete waste of time on the POC, don't even think about putting them down as a choice if and when you get to Sandhurst as they just won't be interested. They are one of the few Regiments that is currently over-recruiting, and that includes Officers.
Hi Macks

I haven't been on a POC yet, I just thought it may be an idea to make contact with the regiment any way possible.

Just out of curiosity, where d'you get the gen on their levels of recruitment?? Also, could it be put down to the war??

Thanks for time mate

You are very unlikely to get on a Para POC, if they are engaged in operations in Iraq - it's simply because they have more pressing things to be doing than assessing the huge amount of intrigued potential officers. Don't take offence if the Asst Adjutant snubs you at the last minute.

Showing a keen interest and plenty of ability will get you noticed. Being in 4 Para might not be as advantageous as you might think. I did RCB with a couple of 4 Para lads. They failed because a) they failed to integrate with anyone, keeping to their own language and banter, b) they failed key physical tests like pressups, because they assumed they would pass because of the badges they wore and c) they got pissed and started scrapping...not too clever when you think how closely you will be watched at RCB.

Those 4 Para chaps had no assurance that if they commissioned out of RMAS, they could join Para Reg. Even wearing wings, and having seen active service isn't enough. You have to be outstanding to get chosen after RMAS. It's just a simple fact that the Paras are the most over-subscribed regiment of all.

You can't get awarded a Regular Commission from the start, I believe, unless you are planning to join RMAS as a University Cadet. You'd be looking at obtaining a Short Service Commission, and upgrading when you've done a few years.
Hi Lt George,

ok, I see what you're saying regards to the 4bn lads.Do you feel then that it wouldn't be that much more of an advantage? How else might one be able to show a keen interest?

In regards to POC courses, I guess all I can do is ask at the AFCO, or perhaps phoning the Regt HQ??

I'm keen to know more of what you know, you've certainly got the knowledge, and I'm willing to do whats required.

Any extra gen at all would be extremely appreciated

once again, thanks in advance for all the gen lads



War Hero
BC, good idea to get in contact ASAP, but like Lt_George says, don't be surprised if they postpone things for a while.
Recruitment figures and such like are published somewhere or other (I think), but I know a lot of people in Recruiting Group (that's what living in Upavon does for you!), so pick up the odd bit here and there. Plus, if you do go and see the Paras, they'll probably drill the fact that they've got loads of people wanting to join into your head!
Yes, the rise in interest could be something to do with the war, but bear in mind that the Paras have always have much more applications, simply because they are the Paras. Do not, however, believe the myth that it is only the Paras that get sent anywhere. That's the way the media portray it. The Paras are excellent shock troops, so are likely to go in first anywhere, but they're not much good at the old hearts and minds ops and the like, which is when you need a good line Regiment!
Just a thought, but you might be able to pick up some useful recruiting info on the Infantry Manning website, under the "Serving Soldier" section on the main Army website. Trawl through it, and if you keep an eye on the updates, you might find something about the Paras.
For what its worth why not join Para Reg as a tom then go for officer selection a year or two after (assuming you get in). I knew a couple of lads who did that when I was in 1 Para.

The downside is you may not get posted to a Para Battalion once your an officer :cry:

Either way I'd recommend 4 Para (as a tom) to make sure you like it first, its not everyones cup of tea. :lol:
You need to know exactly what you want to do, as although The Paras are undoubtedly The Paras, you can also serve in the Brigade as a Gunner (7 Para RHA), Royal Engineer (9 Para Sqn/23 Engr Regt), a R Signals officer (216 Sqn) etc etc. I suggest that you might want to do some familiarisation visits with some of these units. You should contact Regimental HQ The Parachute Regt in Colchester, RHQ Royal Artillery in Woolwich and RHQ RE in Chatham (or is it Minley Manor?) for starters.

Then you can decide which arm (i.e. infantry, artillery, signals, engineers etc [you can do cavalry, but it is the Household Cavalry Regiment, so forget that unless you have a private income] you fancy. At least one of them will be required to sponsor you to and through RCB/ Sandhurst, and then while you are at RMAS you will be asked to give your preferences for arm/ regiment. There is NO GUARANTEE that the arm/regt which sponsored you in to RMAS will take you; it all depends on your performance at RMAS. Those like the Para Regt, Gunners and Engineers who are over-subscribed can afford to pick and choose.

Best of luck!" :)
Listen to MezMeister he is wise. Basically when you get to Sandbags, about mid way through the course you will have to choose where you go (and find out whether they will take you). So whilst you need to find a regiment to sponsor you, you aren't making the final decision.

regarding 4 para. It is a fine idea with a couple of caveats. Firstly, the paras tend to treat their recruits pretty badly, so don't get put off. Secondly, Paras are very good infanteers, but have a huge ego problem in general, and if you let that infect you may create problems for yourself at RCB and Sandhurst, if you have the character to maintain your British Self-deprecating sense of humour, then you will be fine. Thirdly if you have long enough to do TA PCoy and get your Squashed Moth, then you will find it harder to be Grey Man, which is what you really want in 1st term.

On the other hand, TA PCoy would be a decent physical prep for Sandbags as if you are fit you will find the rest of it less of a nightmare.

You sound like you aren't too tainted with Walter Mitty fantasies, and you will do well to keep that attitude. It will make it so much easier to go with the flow when you get there. Previous military is not always an advantage!

Oh and one other thing, if you are from Croydon, then the Household Cav isn't for you :wink:


I spent time in a TA Para Reg company before I joined up. It was the best thing I ever did. Even if you are only there a few months you will get a great grounding in military skills, and get a good idea of what a half decent physical beasting is like! It also means that in the first few weeks at RMAS you are 1 step ahead of everyone else, as you (should) already know your basic military skills, and can concentrate on the command stuff. My advice to go for it - you have nothing to lose (apart perhaps from a few smooth edges!)

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