Potential officer questions

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Regular Officer Recruiting' started by jvb1988, Dec 18, 2010.

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  1. Hi all

    I apologize if this is grammatically incorrect or it doesn't make sense. I am a new poster here and just starting off so spending a bit of time getting used to things

    Im 22 and a new poster here and i am looking into joining the army as an Ofiicer. I am interested about being a Pilot in the AAC ( would love to do this, I undertand it's very tough and I am probably not suitable , but I would like to try nonetheless) or an Infantry officer in the Royal Irish and i have a few questions to ask about these roles. I understand that some of the questions may have already been asked. I apologize if they have and I am going over old ground but for some of them I feel the answer needs to be tailored towards me as an individual , not a broad solution

    1) What activities would be deemed satisfactory for life experience? I have been to university, done some local volunteer work and at this moment in time I am going through screening to become a special constable ( I understand this would have to be given up to pursue a career in the forces). What other activities would help ?

    2) i have a history of Asthma and Hayfever, I have been medically clear of asthma for about nine years and my hayfever is treatable with over the counter medicine. I understand the British army website says that a history of either is " Normally a bar to pilot training". Im picking up heavily on the normally part of that sentance and I assume from it that there must be a way in with having these conditions (even if it is only a silm chance). Can anyone possibly elaborate on that ?

    3) I have a history of mild depression and i keep getting different answers as to how this can effect an application , With some people saying that you need to be clear of treatment for three years before applying, to each case being handled differently by the medical board

    4) Advice on what I should be preparing in view of going to AOSB excluding, keeping abreast of current affairs, practicing and prepping for interview, building up fitness, and learning some grammar.

    Any help/advice would be much appriciated
  2. I went through a black dog mood and insomnia period a few years ago which resulted in my GP writing a prescription for some antidepressants and sleeping pills. Looking back this wasn't representative of my mental health or robustness but as it's on my medical records I thought I should declare it (you know integrity etc, given that the NHS lost most of my vaccinations record I doubt any evidence of that prescription exist to be checked up on). Having ticked the potential nutter/invalid box I had to go see the doctor at the end of my briefing. She said given my circumstances the main board medical may overlook depression if I can convince them certain criteria are met. Unfortunately for you, and more importantly for me, as I have to blag my way past the AOSB doctors next month my memory has gone a bit hazy on the exact details but they were along the lines of:
    - There has to be a reasonable cause for the depression, e.g. some big stressful event, not just unprovoked bouts.
    - Depressive episodes should clear up pretty quickly, within 2 (might have been 4) weeks
    - You shouldn't have had a depressive period for a while, mine was over 3 years ago which was fine, don't know what the minimum period is.

    If you don't want to wait until briefing to hear the outcome or advice from the Dr's mouth I would ask your ACA. I remember meeting other candidates that were told their medical problems ruled them out of the Army an hour after being told by the DS that they had got a Cat 1. Probably preferable to know that before putting the effort in.
  3. Both of these issues will be dealt with during the medical screening process. I would advise against taking specific advice on either from here or even the ACA. Be honest on the medical forms and your case will be considered on it's individual merits.

    As you say a history of asthma is not necessarily a bar to pilot training although clearly it can be depending on severity and how long ago it effected you. Only an MOD Dr qualified in flight medicine is likely to be able to tell you conclusively, which will happen if you apply.

    Again depression takes many forms and effects people in different ways. Likewise (as I understand it) diagnosing and classifying it can be a somewhat subjective matter in some cases, so once again I would advise against taking non-medical advice too seriously.

    Not a great deal of hard advice, I'm afraid, other than: apply, be honest on the medical forms (they will check) and your case will be assessed. If you pass then all good, if you fail then I'm afraid it was not to be. In short, don't be put off by people who are unqualified to give you a medical answer (this includes any personal oppinions given by the recruiting staff in the Army Careers Office), if you don't ask you don't get!

    I won't comment on the AOSB questions as there are plenty of posters who have been through the process much more recently than I.

    Good luck.
  4. There is no definitive list of activities which determine life experience, for it is very much that, experience. University, for example, will have given you experience in managing money, fending for yourself but on the flip side; (now excuse the bluntless) a child with a crack addict mother and a dad in jail will also have experience in fending for themselves.

    Depending on the area you live, i.e. if it's a rough one, being a special could give you just that extra bit of nouse, that extra bit of street sense to develop you as a person.

    Do things, see things, live things.
  5. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but a history of asthma or hayfever is an automatic bar to serving as a pilot in the AAC, as it is also a bar for any aircrew role in the RAF. There is no way around this, believe me, I have a history of asthma and was interested in being a pilot. I have also spoken to a serving major in the AAC, who is currently part of the staff at RMAS.

    Asthma- according to the info you have provided above you can be considered for any ground role so infantry would not be an issue. Your age may be a hindrance however. The army requires that you are treatment free of asthma for at least four years, using your last prescription date as the start of this period.

    Hayfever- I'm not 100% sure on the ruling regarding this so to avoid misinforming you, I wont speculate.

    Depression- no idea of the army's take on this.


    Read 'the week', keep up to date with current affairs, and most importantly have an opinion and be able to back up your views with facts, I found the best thing to do was to read the commentary sections in the times newspaper, which are articles that are slanted one way or the other depending on the journalists own view.

    I found the best way to prep fitness wise was to do some kind of circuit training, I did this going to classes at my local leisure centre.

    Be honest in interviews, really look at why you want to join the army, and be passionate about those reasons, read the officer recruitment guides, lots of useful 'buzz words' there.

    If you need any further info, pm me and I will do my best to answer.

    My background-
    Briefing Cat 1
    AOSB Pass
    RMAS started Jan 2010, left RMAS Mid Feb 2010 for personal reasons, restarting RMAS May 2011.

    The reason for the background info is for you to decide as to whether the info I can provide is of any use. If so PM me with any questions, if not no problems and no grudges.
  6. I have had the opportunity to talk to many AAC Officers and the general consensus is that they only select those candidates who are going to pass flight training. This may sound pretty obvious, but what you seem to be indicating are potential reasons why you wouldn’t make it as a pilot within the AAC.
    History of Depression

    I actually would also advise you to consider the reality of trying to join the AAC. The ACA’s words of “Your an Officer first, a Pilot second” is very true within the Army (alarmingly different to the RAF). Therefore, unless you are certain that a career in the Army as an Officer is for you then it might be worth pursuing something else.

    Don’t get me wrong, there is every possibility that you have what they require. However there is a high chance that you will not, after all in the last commissioning course of over 450 OCs, just 7 were accepted into the AAC.
    You might also want to consider the RAF or RN (FAA). Believe it or not you have a higher chance of getting in the military as a pilot. The aptitude requirements are higher, but so are the number of places. This year we were told that the RAF is taking roughly 120 pilots, the AAC are taking roughly 15.

    Good luck

  7. - I went through a three month period of some quite intense events. I'm happy to talk about them but I don't feel its right to start throwing around my life story on Arrse without good reason.

    - The actually period was more or less 4 weeks, then I improved over time but to stay on the safe side I kept taking medication / seeing a counselor. I did have occasional blips but the symptoms were not depressive I.e my nan died just before my exams , I wasn't depressed I just couldn't focus on doing work

    - The main depressive period would be just coming up to being over three years ago however the other incidents which are minor have been more recent. I do keep taking my tablets purely as a precautionary measure because of my situation. As it stands I have low chance of employment , long term prospect of unemployment and naturally finacial restrictions. However despite all this I don't feel depressed even though it could be said i have good reason to be.
  8. It's an interesting mix . Friday night out is known as 'Friday fight night' by the local police and there is quite alot of drugs in the area plus the usual stacking of chav's and other estate associated problems.

    It's what I hope to get from the specials as well as developing skills such as initiative and responsability , or at least getting an oppertunity to use and develop skills that may come in handy being an army officer. I have some experience of sorting out fights diplomatically as there was one outside our student bar virtually every week and I always seemed to get involved with making sure they ended peacefully

  9. I realistically don't think I would make it becasue of the medical requirments. But my big issue with this is due to visiting an RAF careers office when i was 15, It was a case of big grins when I said all about what I had been doing and what lessons I was taking and how much i wanted to be a pilot. Then the second I mentioned asthma they couldn't get me out of the door fast enough. It was like I asked if I could curl one out on the desk.

    At the time and rather ironically, I was in space cadets and I seemed to have more of an interest in the fieldcraft and tactics side and I tended to perform better in those circumstances. ( I know this will probably count little towards being a valid reason to join the army and won't nessesarily show off much life skill on its own)

    I would very much like a career as an officer in the army , to some extent it seems entirely natural but then i don't just want to be roadblocked like i was when i was 15 and looking at the RAF. If there is an absolute zero chance of me getting into the AAC then thats fair, but if its any amount higher I would like to try.

    The above is not to say I just want to join the army to fly and i'll disregard the other officer positions.It was a while ago since i was 15 and my time in cadets showed I had the potential to happily adapt into a ground role. I would love to be an army officer, It would be a dream come true if I got to fly and be an army officer at the same time.
  10. Now is not the time for RAF commissioned aircrew. Stories abound - all potential aircrew students having finished Cranwell, told there was no vacancies - therefore chopped after 30 weeks of faff. Out of 60 students training for Helicopters at Shawbury, the whole course told only 28 now needed.

    Think very carefully about which way to jump - could you not go RIRISH and then get a 3 (or whatever) year attachment to AAC later?
  12. The thought has come across my mind of doing a ground role then moving to the AAC side. I went to a TA fam weekend with the RLC a few months back and they seemed to suggest that route. Doing a few years in a regiment and potentially getting a trade. I only put the TA off whist deciding whether or not which way to go regs or TA and in the meantime the police slipped in ( I applied for both at the same time).

    It is definatly something i am going to think hard about i've set myself a realistic application time for 6 months just to ensure i know im making the right decision