Prospects for Promotion

Discussion in 'Infantry' started by SmithsRail, Dec 9, 2007.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. What are the actuall prospects for a soldier starting at private? There are loads of WO2's etc who have been in and served up untill their 22nd year, but then there are others who are in their 11th/12th years and are Major's - even though they've all started off as privates.. What is the earliest you can receive a commision? And what is the earliest you can become a WO2.. talking in years. Sorry if this sounds rediculous but I'm really confused. Cheers in advance for any decent replies!

  2. Earliest to WOII in the Infantry varies, exceptional candidates and there have been some have been WOII's in there very early thirties (although the perception of what it is that has got them there depends on who you are talking to)

    The system is geared for a standard progression assuming that an outstanding individual will promote to WOI in or around year 18 - 22. Assuming at the very least they will have held appointments at CSM and RQ (thought there are a number of appointments which WOII's can hold including OpsWO, Trg WO etc.) so with that in mind years 14 - 16 are the optimum time IIRC to be promoted to WOII.

    You can be picked up for a commission any time, provided that a) you are recommended and b) selected. Normally age 20 to 24, is the ideal age to be picked up, however you will not be a major at 30, it is more likely that you will beige at around 32 - 34 in those circumstances.

    edited spelling
  3. oh I see, so you can be selected for a commision at any point? this I didn't know.
  4. Firstly, it is important to understand that there are two different career paths open in the Army, Commissioned and Non-Commissioned. Asking about the prospects for a Private soldier to become a Major is a bit like asking the prospects of a Labourer to become an Architect. If you want to be an Architect, one doesn't start out as a labourer, similarly, if you want to be a master builder - one doesn't waste time training in Architecture - do you follow?

    That said, there are two ways in which a private soldier may become a Major (well three actually but the third involves joining the Legion of Frontiersmen!). Non-commissioned entrants can indeed go all the way to WO1/WO11 and then be promoted Captain onto Major and even Half Colonel. Not sure on the specific rules on this but it is usually something that happens only to a very very few non-commissioned entrants and usually a commission comes towards the end of their 22 years service. They are then extended beyond 22 years and may be a Major at, say, the 25 year point. These officers are called LE's standing for Late Entry officers and are big scary hard men who in the Infantry have almost always been the RSM before taking a commission.

    Then, there are people who enlist as a private soldier and after starting out as non-commissioned entrant, ask (or in some cases are advised) to switch. This is done early in your career - I believe the age limit on officers is now 28 or something (?) so if you are under this age you can potentially switch. In this case, one starts from the bottom of the ladder as an officer (though you do get some seniority). So, it is possible that one may enlist, spend a couple of years in the ranks perhaps gaining promotion before starting again as an officer. So it may be possible to become a Major at about 12 years total service as you've suggested. However, this isn't a career path as such - this is a starting out in one place and then switching and whilst some soldiers do switch and retrain as officers it is advisable to choose the right route for you at the beginning.

    Hope this answers?
  5. that's hit the nail on head xinflurker. Although I think you may be a tad confused as to the Major bit lol, I meant I know of Soldier who started out as a Private but was recently in the news for something as a Major, was just curious! Thanks a million anyways that exactly what I need to hear. One more question though, are the same qualifications needed to switch as an officer would have when they start, ie 5 GCSE's / 2 A-Levels?????
  6. I'm not so sure - a good friend of mine started Officer training after 4 years in the Army and he only had one a-Level - I assume the Army concluded that he had the mental bus fare using other tests/criteria or maybe he slipped through!

    If you describe me as a 'tad confused' again, particularly when I take the trouble to answer your bone questions, I'll come to your house with a big winding handle and windlass your neck back in.
  7. There is no academic qualification requirement to become an officer, however academic success is in the army (as in all walks of life) an indication of both your capacity for work, and your ability.

    I would not recomend anyone apply from civvy street with nothing as you will get a short sharp shock.

    The selection process as a soldier is longer and is monitered in such a way that you will have been identified as having potential if you get as far as RCB. You still have to pass RCB before you can be accepted, and you will need qualifications if you wish to serve beyond an 8 year SSC.
  8. Current GOC Scotland used to be a private soldier (actually a Signaller), though not sure if he switched as an NCO or before.
  9. He switched as a Cpl. And he's GOC 2 Div, commanding a large swathe of N England as well as Scotland. We did away with Scotland District back in 2002 or so.
  10. I have 10 GCSE's Graded A-C a One Year BTEC In engineering and 2 Year BTEC in Graphic Design graded Pass,Pass,Pass and was told I was not qualified enough to be accepted for Officer entry due to inadequate UCAS points!
  11. I suspect someone has misinformed you as i comissioned on 3 scottish standard grades made up modularly (i had more interest in boxing than schooling).

    UCAS points are nothing to do with it, as Sandhurst is military and vocational and nothing to do with university. The selection procedure is based on ability and potential, you could have 15 Masters degrees and still not have either.
  12. Was this on applying for the Army though? We're on about when you actually in, transfering to Officer from Soldier..
  13. My apoligies, scan read the post and didn't realise you meant a late commissioning :oops:
  14. hey no probs, not as such late commisioning.. just like a commision after say 4 years service =]
  15. It is unwise to enlist if you ultimately want to end up as an officer (assuming that you are capable that is.)

    If you want to experience life as a Rifleman before doing the Sandhurst thing, join the TA, you could even go for an operational tour as a Private Soldier but it would be a mistake to spend 4 years in the Regular Army as an enlisted man as a means to then applying for officer training.