Potential officer fitting in before officer selection

It's probably very much unit specific and driven by command personalities.

Apologies for going off thread but.... some examples;

A keen as mustard reserve JNCO turning up at a regular unit post Chilwell on a HERRICK mobilisation with razor sharp creases, starched MTP and bulled boots that would make a R SIGNALS RD drool, to be told by the regular sergeant major to remove the bull and de-crease MTP as it would show up the lads that were already there.

Another comment in a PXR written by a reservist commenting on a 'lack of professionalism' of the regulars compared to the reserves on the exercise.

Reservist LCpls addressing regular Cpls as 'Corporal' etc etc

I guess generally reservists are mad keen and also when the uniform goes on it's a change from the norm; but it does get a bit Captain Mainwairing at times. Particularly if those in key command roles do not have much leadership or management experience in their day job. It is really not at all like life in a busy regular working unit, and those who mobilise or attach to regular units can find it a bit of a culture shock both ways. Probably one of the benefits (for the most part) in the number of ex regulars now finding themselves in the reserves
Having said that, the arriving reservist doesn't know how that unit works or the dynamics, and is therefore sticking exactly to the formal path until they are settled...

Given some of the stuff that is share via FYB and similar of WhatsApp chats and so forth I understand the stick to the rules until settled method!


Good advice on here. I too did the soldier then comissioned path. Just do a good job, listen to what you are told and learn.
But also don't be too intense about it, don't tell everyone you want to be an officer all the time, after all you may not pass.
Just relax, enjoy it and have fun. Join in with the banter and be part of the unit, moan about the senior ranks but learn from why the boys are moaning. That taught me more about what a bad officer is than any amount of lectures.
When you do get to put the pips up then the lads will adjust, it won't be the first time it's happened. Your mates will understand and work with the situation. My particular best mate became my radio op and a huge asset to the platoon as he knew how to work with me.
The Reserves have this type of thing happen all the time and aren't as hidebound as the Regulars. So don't be stand-offish, get in and enjoy it.

And good luck.
Thanks for all the advice. I was already very excited but if everyone in my unit is like the good folks here then I think I'll have a great time.

My plan, then: extra effort to improve fitness and navigation, get to know people, behave. And I will definitely scribble down a few of these pearls of wisdom to reread later on.


Master the basics; fitness, nav, fieldcraft, weapon/shooting skills. Ultimately you’re going to Sandhurst where if you’re good at the above you can concentrate on what matters like the leadership etc.

Have a drink, but not too many; those drunken troop night out photos will be used against you.

Be careful with personal relationships; best avoided unless they really are ‘the one’ etc etc.

Be a grafter; get stuck in to mix concrete, carry a spare barrel or lug a piece of comms kit around, whatever the particular role/trade your unit is. Be known as someone who’s not afraid to get their hands dirty or shy away from hard work. Also your role as an Officer will be to step back and supervise, so take the opportunity to get stuck into whatever trade it is whilst you can.

Particular to the AR is to learn from your fellow soldiers why it is they joined, attend and what they want out of the AR. If they joined for a ski trip and there’s not been one for 5 years, make that happen. Conversely soldiers may just want a challenging, well run trade skills weekend.

Just a few reflections on my own experience. Don’t overthink it!
And from a personal point of view, get trade qualified in what ever your unit does!

Walking into the comms det when the det commander was pleading that they had it all set up it must be the other end and toggling a few switches to make it come to life stops the lads trying to pull the wool for an easy life.

And the extra pay is nice at RMAS.
Being arrogant will get you nowhere, first day and standing even by a guy who was attested same time as me, I remember he sought a commission, don't know the story but I'm guessing he flopped the board interview, he was a phyical trainer but very much an asshole, the demeanour made him stink, even if he smashed us all at the run during our "RSW" back than.

Another fellow who came along later was younger but very down to earth and likeable, I was bemused when later I saw one him as a one pip wonder so it was fair play to him.

A bit of modesty perhaps?

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