Phase 2 training (concerned parent)- to sign or not to sign?

#1
Hello

I hope this is posted in the right section of ARRSE (forgive me if not!).

We need to seek advice about signing Phase 2 papers - our lad is a Junior Soldier. Phase 2 papers are apparantly on their way to us for signature (he is 17 and will be until early Autumn). He is very much in two minds about leaving (more for leaving than against). What we need to find out is our legal rights as parents.

He is convinced that if we sign Phase 2 papers he can pass out and then give notice to leave inbetween joining Phase 2 training, and be free of any repercussions. We are convinced that is not the case; we don't think that is the way the Forces work!

We believe the last date he can apply for DOAR is v.early March ... but we would love him to pass out from College. (His friends are also of the opinion that they can pass-out and then leave, with no need for a lengthy notice period).

Is our understanding correct? We have read that after a certain period (6 months of signing-up) they then tie junior soldiers into a legal contract which ties them up until they are 20 years of age.

BTW, we are not your classic interfering parents but we are acting on his best interests (and from knowing how he feels about becoming cannon-fodder - his expression).

Any help/guidance would be very much appreciated.

Thank you.
 
#2
Hi CheChatter,

Why waste his, and the Army's time? If he's not intending to complete the course and serve - he should leave now. Whilst I accept there may be some personal benefits for him from passing out from the College, I suggest you (and he) need to take a "long" view. Time for HIM to grow up and make some tough decisions.....?

SB.
 
#4
Having worked in a phase 2 environment I do know of young soldiers who have still had the right to DAOR, I believe it is up until they are 17 years 6 months but don't qoute me on that.

If you there is any ambiguity in the information that you're son is giving you then his PC should be able to tell you exactly what his entitlements are.

I know that you're son will not want you to speak to the PC but having three teenage boys myself I know that they can tend to bend the truth a little so that it suits them.

As I say you can't beat the information from the horses mouth.
 
#5
CheChatter, for advice on the legal matters of the signing up for Phase 2 or not, then I would suggest you contact the ACIO. Or even phone your sons Plt/Coy Staff up. They should be able to help you, there is nothing wrong in checking up on what the "actual facts" of the situation and contract are.

I have toyed with this one, on and off, but I'll put it in anyway.

Why is your son wasting everybodies time and effort? If he feels he is only "cannon fodder" why is this? Did he have this beleif on entering the college? If he doesn't want continue his career, he may as well go now.

I passed off the Uniacke Barrack Square, a soldier. As did many of my friends and others. Why does your son wish to pass off, just to jack?
 
#6
Ill be straight to the point. Why waste more of taxpayers money if he has no intention of carrying on with it? If you know he has no intention of staying in the Army then dont sign the papers. "Cannon Fodder" we may be but we have paid our taxes, and been invested in by the people of this country. It makes me angry that he would talk of completing Phase 2 then leaving at cost to myself and everyone else.
 
#7
Thank you too, GunnerFan and Chocolate_Frog ... all he ever wanted was to join the Forces, never had any other interest in looking at other "career choices" so the fact that he's in such turmoil speaks volumes. I detest interfering parents so the fact I'm on here, asking q's, is also quite something!

Kids eh? You think they've grown up, left home ... and what happens?!!!!

Thanks guys - your advice is most appreciated. Where's the brandy ...
 
#8
Without wishing to interfere there are are few misgivings here:

You dont sign up for phase 2 training ,when he enlisted at the careers office and signed on the dotted line as they say ,this is his contract.

There are options to leave during trainin(DAOR) they are simple if he was under 18 when enlisted then he has 6 months to leave or if he was over 18 he has 3 months ,once these periods have passed he is cntracted to serve the minimum 4 years (starting from his 18th birthday).

The advice i would give (and i d work in this field on a daily basis) is :

if he is not happy and within his DAOR ;LEAVE.

if he is outside his DAOR : bite the bullet serve your time giving it your best ,as all the contract etc and parental consents were given and explained during the enlistment process.

Is he at AFC and when did he start Sep or Jan ?as an under 18 there is aduty of care and an option to leave.

Please feel free to PM me if you wish(parents)
 
#9
Sounds like a situation that may need the Padre, you, your son and maybe a soldier he trusts.

It doesn't seem like he should carry on. But at the same time, WHY is he feeling this way?

Has anything happened recently? Freind affected on tour/training. Bullied. anything happened at home.

You don'tneed to answer by the way, just some ideas.

If all he has wanted is to join up, why this sudden change of heart.

Has he a back up plan? Would a change of phase 2 destiniation alter his perspective?

If he DAORs, he could always join up again as an adult.
 
#10
I disagree with a fair bit of what's been said above - he should crack on with phase 2.

The atmosphere and experience of phase 2 are different from phase 1 and he well find he gets a lot out of it and comes 'back on board' having sorted his head out.

Phase one hits even keen, 'army barmy' young lads like a smack in the face - it's supposed to. I fully remember calling home and saying 'I can't take any more of this' but sorting myself out, having a good chat with my training corporal and then going on to do well and enjoy army life. If his training team think he's got enough to keep going he should give it his best shot.
 
#11
I must admit I do agree with Mister Angry but this information needs to be given to him by his Plt staff.

If you can get him to sit down with a member of his Plt staff and get them to advise him.

No matter what you say, he will always think he knows better.
 
#12
Interesting things you list there, PWRMN ... thank you. As always, it isn't a cut-and-dried tale but we only want to find out how to support him, whatever he decides. I would never attempt to influence his decision because I left home at 16 (wilful child!). Thank you also to everyone else for your thoughts, it helps to have a balanced opinion from those who have lived through it or deal with these issues on a daily basis.

What's changed? Reality, I think ... disillusionment on a daily basis, the fear of being despatched out to a theatre and not having the right equipment etc.

Yet he loves the discipline, the routine, the relentless activity, the sheer willpower and effort to do some of the physical activities. We thought he was a born PTI, so did our friends who active serve in the Forces. With hindsight, I think he should have done something first, seen just how dire it is in civvy street, before entering into the Army. He has no back-up plan which has been an endless source of frustration to us (once he knew he was in the recruitment process, he gave up at school).

Apparantly we need to give authorisation at that age to enter Phase 2 training - so we just wanted to be entirely sure of rights, which aren't at all clear to civvy parents.

His Plt staff etc are very keen to keep him on board, he's shown great leadership abilities, very dependable and has always been a great one for "looking after others" ... but to be honest, I think he's terrified of being killed. That's the bottom line. He also had a mountain of health issues since joining yet over the past few weeks he's up and shining again.

Thank you for all your comments and your time, I really appreciate it.
 
#13
Like others have stated - Phase 1 is a big shock to the system and i'm sure everyone, atleast once, considers binning it, I know i did .... 3 weeks later and i had signed for 9 ... ended up doing more than that, enjoying almost every minute, then getting out and then regretting leaving.

Can't get back in cause i'm too old and too fat !! but hey my choice and i'll live with it


If you can stall on signing anything for a few weeks i would, just to let the young'un think on it.
 
#14
CheChatter said:
Interesting things you list there, PWRMN ... thank you. As always, it isn't a cut-and-dried tale but we only want to find out how to support him, whatever he decides. I would never attempt to influence his decision because I left home at 16 (wilful child!). Thank you also to everyone else for your thoughts, it helps to have a balanced opinion from those who have lived through it or deal with these issues on a daily basis.

What's changed? Reality, I think ... disillusionment on a daily basis, the fear of being despatched out to a theatre and not having the right equipment etc.

Yet he loves the discipline, the routine, the relentless activity, the sheer willpower and effort to do some of the physical activities. We thought he was a born PTI, so did our friends who active serve in the Forces. With hindsight, I think he should have done something first, seen just how dire it is in civvy street, before entering into the Army. He has no back-up plan which has been an endless source of frustration to us (once he knew he was in the recruitment process, he gave up at school).

Apparantly we need to give authorisation at that age to enter Phase 2 training - so we just wanted to be entirely sure of rights, which aren't at all clear to civvy parents.

His Plt staff etc are very keen to keep him on board, he's shown great leadership abilities, very dependable and has always been a great one for "looking after others" ... but to be honest, I think he's terrified of being killed. That's the bottom line. He also had a mountain of health issues since joining yet over the past few weeks he's up and shining again.

Thank you for all your comments and your time, I really appreciate it.
Has he got any mates who are currently ont he civvie circuit? Or someone that he trusts that could breif him up on either living as a civvie or as a soldier.

Is he just (as Mister_Angry suggests) hitting his wall a little late?

Despite the papers, etc. The army is pretty well equipped in theatre (obviously we'd always like more but everybody in every trade will say that :) ). If he's terrified of being killed, well. Many people are. But it is still pretty rare.

Was it something he was worried about when he joined but put it to the back of his mind? Now he experienced something akin to ground rush?

What does he want to go in to? Is he getting a trade, is there anyway of getting him to get a trade if he is not?

3 years in the (for example) Engineers could give him plumbing, sparky or similar quals that he could use in civvie street. And a chance to see the world and make some good friends.

Or, he is probably better walking now. And getting on with his life.
 
#15
Whatever the apprehension over phase 2 the life after is not going to get easier. Unless the soldier is female and can use the sex option in which case they will thrump themselves throughout the system then this may not be the career for "him"
 
#16
Che - When I joined up (coincidentally at the same age as your boy) the army was all that I'd ever wanted to do. Inevitably, the reality didn't match the fantasy and I was sorely tempted to leave during training. However, I stuck it out, went on to serve for a few years and now look back with pride and nostalgia at what I achieved.

Lots of us here will have seen it a thousand times, talking to people who dropped out during training and now sit in pubs desperate to be part of our select group. They never will be. They missed their chance to serve. What I am saying is that if your boy leaves now he will regret it until the day he dies. He will feel stabs of regret and pain from about the age of forty every time he sees the be-medalled vets on Rememberance Sunday. If he sticks it out and serves for 3 years, he will be proud of himself forever and still plenty young enough to pursue another career.

Easy choice.
 
#17
There are two ways to look at this, the first is to let him leave and be done with it, I suspect from what you've written he will live to regret that.

Second is for you to let him stay in for now and leave it until the last minute, perhaps contacting his Platoon Commander or Troop Sgt for some advice. This sounds like things are not going his way for whatever reason and he's looking for the easy way out. I joined at 16 and went through a similar time. Got in a fight and did 14 days in nick just at pass off time. I was adamant I was leaving but my Dad was ex Army and convinced me to stick it out. I went onto a very successful career and enjoyed most of it.

I think there may be a little more to this than meets the eye and a quiet chat with his training team could well be the way ahead.
 
#18
Wonk_Mog said:
Whatever the apprehension over phase 2 the life after is not going to get easier. Unless the soldier is female and can use the sex option in which case they will thrump themselves throughout the system then this may not be the career for "him"
Not overly helpful in this situation WM. Sounds like you've got a few brooding issues yourself? :D
 
#19
CheChatter said:
Interesting things you list there, PWRMN ... thank you. As always, it isn't a cut-and-dried tale but we only want to find out how to support him, whatever he decides. I would never attempt to influence his decision because I left home at 16 (wilful child!). Thank you also to everyone else for your thoughts, it helps to have a balanced opinion from those who have lived through it or deal with these issues on a daily basis.

What's changed? Reality, I think ... disillusionment on a daily basis, the fear of being despatched out to a theatre and not having the right equipment etc.

Yet he loves the discipline, the routine, the relentless activity, the sheer willpower and effort to do some of the physical activities. We thought he was a born PTI, so did our friends who active serve in the Forces. With hindsight, I think he should have done something first, seen just how dire it is in civvy street, before entering into the Army. He has no back-up plan which has been an endless source of frustration to us (once he knew he was in the recruitment process, he gave up at school).

Apparantly we need to give authorisation at that age to enter Phase 2 training - so we just wanted to be entirely sure of rights, which aren't at all clear to civvy parents.

His Plt staff etc are very keen to keep him on board, he's shown great leadership abilities, very dependable and has always been a great one for "looking after others" ... []but to be honest, I think he's terrified of being killed. That's the bottom line.[/] He also had a mountain of health issues since joining yet over the past few weeks he's up and shining again.

Thank you for all your comments and your time, I really appreciate it.
Has he thought about not climbing into a car again? Especially one driven by a male under the age of 25 after dark?

He has a greater chance of being killed or seriously injured in that scenario than he does of being killed in the Services.

Sad but true.

Litotes
 
#20
If I were in your position, while I can understand you posting on here, I would go to the nearest ACIO and make enquiries to be certain you get the most up to date information. If it is possible for him to complete the traing and still have th eoption of signing off I would authorise it.
There is every likelihood that once he gets out of phase 1 and on to more interesting activities he may decide that it was just the strangeness and horror stories that fly aroud training establishments that is putting him off, after all we all got homesick to a greater of lesser degree.
If after phase 2 he still feels the same then will be the time to make a decision.
 

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