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Privately Educated Officers

#1
Hi all, this is my first thread so go easy on me...

As an aspiring RMAS cadet from a comprehensive school, I'm wondering why kids from private schools want to be in the army? I mean private school kids grow up in luxurious million pound homes and have every comfort they could wish for. Why then do they bother joining the hardship that is the army? I saw on the Sandhurst programme that cadets at RMAS have to clean floors and things and I cannot imagine many Etonians doing that! After that fun, then there's Afghan! I guess I'm wondering why people who could have any job they want (banker/lawyer etc) choose such a hard life when they're not used to it!

Did you notice guys at RMAS who find the culture shock of hard graft too much because of their background?
Or am I setting too much store by background?
 
#4
What staggin says. It seems to be a family tradition, amongst the well-to-do, for a son to go off with the Army for some time.

Of course times have changed. Back in history the higher up the social ladder you were, the better off you were with rank. This spawned many the incompetent commander. Now the silver-tongue must mingle with 'commoners'.
 
#8
I think you are asking two separate sets of questions here?

a. are private/public school applicants very different from Comp applicants in their motives?

b. why would anyone want to take on the profession of arms, with its particular hardships, compared to any other occupation?

On the first:

1. many "private schools" are used by parents, who don't have that background you seem to indicate, but choose instead to spend money they have grafted for for that purpose.

2. how many of your fellow comp students have those experiences of mucking in with the work of a family and home, or getting out to work voluntarily with people in worse situations than themselves, or indeed these days or "real hardship"? I suggest no more and no less than any family of high income - that is down to parenting style, not school, class or money.

3. I think there is still a small core of entry by habit, as the family just do that, but I suspect this is declining.


On the second:

1. Why does anyone take it on? Perhaps they simply want to be soldiers? Using your own arguments on those you see as privileged, why especially would that group do anything at all? ?

2. Why would a comp student who goes on to get a first or a 2.1 Hons degree go to Sandhurst? They could choose a host of other easier occupations? But they do.

3. Something they see as challenging?



There is, and I think this applies across the board, and to both questions, and though maybe with more choice in occupation available to guys who don't have to get out and earn a living quickly, an element of guys who wish "to serve" in the respect of doing something for their nation.
 
#9
From my experience, a lot of public school boys are quite bored with the routine they fall into so easily, especially if they are not one of academic high-fliers. Then the excitement, sense of adventure and leadership the Army offers is really quite attractive. And some people like a challenge in life, rather than the easy option of a city financier.
 
#10
The people who had the least culture shock on my basic were the lads who had wandered in straight from boarding school. It was just boarding school with polish and without buggery, as far as they were concerned. On the other hand, some lads with decent post-grad degrees banged out quickly having found being treated as vermin unconscionable.
 
#12
I think you are asking two separate sets of questions here?

a. are private/public school applicants very different from Comp applicants in their motives?

b. why would anyone want to take on the profession of arms, with its particular hardships, compared to any other occupation?

On the first:

1. many "private schools" are used by parents, who don't have that background you seem to indicate, but choose instead to spend money they have grafted for for that purpose.

2. how many of your fellow comp students have those experiences of mucking in with the work of a family and home, or getting out to work voluntarily with people in worse situations than themselves, or indeed these days or "real hardship"? I suggest no more and no less than any family of high income - that is down to parenting style, not school, class or money.

3. I think there is still a small core of entry by habit, as the family just do that, but I suspect this is declining.


On the second:

1. Why does anyone take it on? Perhaps they simply want to be soldiers? Using your own arguments on those you see as privileged, why especially would that group do anything at all? ?

2. Why would a comp student who goes on to get a first or a 2.1 Hons degree go to Sandhurst? They could choose a host of other easier occupations? But they do.

3. Something they see as challenging?



There is, and I think this applies across the board, and to both questions, and though maybe with more choice in occupation available to guys who don't have to get out and earn a living quickly, an element of guys who wish "to serve" in the respect of doing something for their nation.
Sorry, I'm not sure how to do the "quote a bit, respond, repeat" thingy yet...I would say that there are a fair few volunterring opportunities at the my state school to help in the community and things and so we've definately got a perspective on hardship. Also, i juggle studying with a part-time job, which is something not many private school people do I doubt!

I suppose the adventure and excitment and patrotrism is classeless though!
 
#14
The people who had the least culture shock on my basic were the lads who had wandered in straight from boarding school. It was just boarding school with polish and without buggery, as far as they were concerned. On the other hand, some lads with decent post-grad degrees banged out quickly having found being treated as vermin unconscionable.
Wow, really? Guess leaving the ivory tower was a bit of a shock...
 
#15
Not all public school boys live in multi million pound houses, dad was a squaddie when I went off to boarding school and only got his commission half way through my school life. I'm joining because I think it's a rewarding job that provides security for wife/kids in the future.
 
#16
Not all public school boys live in multi million pound houses, dad was a squaddie when I went off to boarding school and only got his commission half way through my school life. I'm joining because I think it's a rewarding job that provides security for wife/kids in the future.
No offence but how could they afford boarding school on like a squaddies wage?! Aren't these places like 30k a year or something mental like that?
 
#17
I went to a private school that prized itself on being a dickensian hogwarts, except that there was nothing magical about the staff - they were idiots.

My favourite film is now 'If...'

After seven years of horsehair mattresses, shite food, a ludicrous uniform, no heating, bed blocks, no privacy and having to march to lunch - RMAS was a sophisticated, enjoyable, comfortable, entertaining and testing year.
 
#19
I would say that hardship in monetary terms in probably less well understood at public school, but in terms of physical or mental hardship, public schools defiantly provide that in bucket loads so I think it's probably difficult to say absolutely who has the better 'perspective on hardship'. Also, I'd like to add that public schools have community service as well, and they are more similar to comprehensive or grammar schools than you might think.
 
#20
I have noticed that officers i see being interviewed for the news speak nothing like officers did when i was a soldier, this would seem to indicate the privately educated contingent are on the decline. How are you supposed to recognise them in the dark on exercise......
 

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