Parents think im daft !!

#1
HI there its my first post so here is a bit about me.
Im 16 and doing my highers this year and i want to join the paras as an officer this summer.
As im under 18 i need parental consent and that is proving pretty hard to get. My parents think im signing my life a way but this is what i want to do and i have had my mind set on it for a few years now.
Just wondering if anyone else is/was in the same position as me and if they have any tips to help swing them round.
Cheers Ross.:)
 
#2
Well considering you need at least A levels to become an officer you won't be 18 till you can even be considered. Do you're research and talk to the advisers at the AFCO.

Edit to add* Highers? at 16?? My knowledge of the scottish education system are beyond me!
 
#6
If they don't agree, try to make it make sense to them, after all, I'm sure being able to get your point across in a calm and sensible manner would be a good attribute of an officer. That or wait 'till you are 18 :)
Not to mention life experience and - although it sounds a bit silly - age itself will help. If you're a few years older than the baby recruits in your platoon, that will no doubt help hugely in winning their respect.
 
#7
Yep, totally agree with you on that one. I cringe at my youth sometimes, but we all learn. Perhaps consider Uni seeing as it's still free for scottish nationals (I think) and join an OTC, or maybe even the TA. Lot's of relevant experience can be gained in a couple of years. Better than moping about working because your parents won't let you join. It can also be a measure of how dedicated you are to be an officer. I know I wouldn't and didn't do that and that is why I am joining as a soldier, I can prove myself in other ways.
 
#8
Well in unless they have a dramatic change of heart then it looks like i will need to wait anothe year and a bit.
They said to me that i could go in this year if i took a technical role like joined the RE or REME but i really want to get to the paras and i see no sense in joining the RE just to please my parents.
 
#9
Yep, totally agree with you on that one. I cringe at my youth sometimes, but we all learn. Perhaps consider Uni seeing as it's still free for scottish nationals (I think) and join an OTC, or maybe even the TA. Lot's of relevant experience can be gained in a couple of years. Better than moping about working because your parents won't let you join. It can also be a measure of how dedicated you are to be an officer. I know I wouldn't and didn't do that and that is why I am joining as a soldier, I can prove myself in other ways.
A Coy 4PARA are based in Scotland. Have a look at 4para.co.uk and give the PSI a ring when you're a little older. You can serve with them during Uni and TA PPS isn't a bad way of finding out if you've got the minerals to pass All Arms.

Get Fit.
 
#10
Well in unless they have a dramatic change of heart then it looks like i will need to wait anothe year and a bit.
They said to me that i could go in this year if i took a technical role like joined the RE or REME but i really want to get to the paras and i see no sense in joining the RE just to please my parents.
Since you won't choose your regiment until partway through Sandhurst, why not tell them you'll go for the sappers?
 
#12
The Parachte Regiment is usually over subscribed, make sure you go in with the odds on your side, that means with at least the commitment to go to uni.
 
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Snoreador

Guest
#13
Since you won't choose your regiment until partway through Sandhurst, why not tell them you'll go for the sappers?
Integrity fail? I'd spent the couple of years attempting to persuade the parents while getting out there and getting fit, playing sport, getting out in the hills, sailing, whatever. Set you up in good stead for applying at 18.
 
#14
Right lads thanks alot for the info. Got another appointment at the AFCO in a couple of weeks so untill then i will just keep trying to persuade my parents. If the worst comes to the worst i only have a year and 6 months till im 18 anyway.
 
#15
TAKE_UM - Do you want to join as an officer? And why only the paras?

Whay do your parents not want you to join? Do they think that as a para you are wasting your intellect (hence their suggestion at RE/REME)?

It all sounds a bit confused -you're too young to go to Sandhurst, but not to join as a soldier. If they think being infantry is too dangerous, then that's bonkers - all cap badges deploy and all face the same danger - just look at the headlines to see it's EOD (RE and RLC) that are losing their lives on ops as much as infantry. If its because they think you're a bright lad and "only" being infantry is a waste of your skills, then you have to explain to them why you want it and what you can offer, beyond just "I've always wanted to be a para".

Think about what you want from your military career - is it to be an officer, is it just to be a soldier, do you know exactly what you want to do and why? Maybe if you can't answer all of these questions, getting some more experience and maturity and perhaps even qualifications, under your belt will help persuade your parents that it's what you want for the right reasons.

At the end of the day, waiting until your 18 and then doing something that is obviously upsetting them, isn't going to upset them less - effectively you're sticking the V up a them without persuading them why they should want to support you in this - and believe me, when you're at Phase 1 as soldier or even RMAS as a potential officer, you want the support of your family.

Food for thought.
 
#16
There's a lot of good advice in these replies. I would like to emphasise the age factor though that's the hardest part to accept when you are a teenager. Firstly to be a leader a bit of maturity helps not just in your relations with the men but also at the first step of AOSB which you will have to pass first. Secondly as you want to be a Para it is physically and mentally demanding and a bit older would not hurt at all.

However what you can do is to start the process, talk to your recruiters, learn about your chosen regiment try to get a visit, and demonstrate to the army that you are keen. Meanwhile as said why not look at 4 Para or your local TA infantry unit, it will give you a grounding, show you if it is what you really want, and show the army you are interested.
Get fit and learn to run, there is no hurry to run marathons, extend distance slowly paying attention to flexibility and stretching as supremely important, take it from your Uncle Dwarf with his duff knee. Build a bit of upper body strength, and do something in a team like rugby, which is the second best team spirit in the world.

Talk to mum and dad, remember they love you and their advice and worries are based on that. If they don't understand you there will be conflict, ditto if you don't understand them. Make time to help mum in the kitchen when she is cooking for example while you do the dishes, it is surprising how that can open a way to conversation. Go and do something together with your dad, footie match or fishing or whatever, same thing. Then find time to talk openly and honestly and LISTEN to them as well. If they let you go with love and respect for your path and you show that you love and respect them too then it makes all the difference in the world.

Good luck anyway lad.
 
#17
I can see where my parents are coming from they want me to go to uni or college first so that when I return to civilian life I have a trade or qualifications to fall back on. I have applied for both uni and college just now so if I get an offer I think I will take.
One more question can u do an open uni course while serving ?
Cheers Ross.
 
#19
Integrity fail? I'd spent the couple of years attempting to persuade the parents while getting out there and getting fit, playing sport, getting out in the hills, sailing, whatever. Set you up in good stead for applying at 18.
I would probably say something like 'I don't know for sure yet [true, they could reject you], but I'll have a look at the sappers [which you could do with no obligation to join them]'. You don't actually have to lie to them; indeed if you have a look at the ARRSEPedia page on Serve to Lead it's full of examples of officers choosing their words carefully to avoid worrying the men
 
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Snoreador

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#20
I would probably say something like 'I don't know for sure yet [true, they could reject you], but I'll have a look at the sappers [which you could do with no obligation to join them]'. You don't actually have to lie to them; indeed if you have a look at the ARRSEPedia page on Serve to Lead it's full of examples of officers choosing their words carefully to avoid worrying the men
Very good point.
 

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