RAF into SAS


Hello all,

My first post here and having looked through a few of the threads I'm hoping I'll be able to get some good information here.

I'm a serving RAF Officer at present (not regiment) and am interested in applying for selection at some point in the next 12 - 18 months. Just wondering if anyone has heard of many non-infantry people attempting/passing and how I might go about applying - current station isn't overflowing with info of this sort!

I know of one crab who went Regt a while back. He was a rockape though. Although thats not really Inf in the military sense. He ended up swimming in a Hawaian shirt and flip flops...but thats antoher story....... :wink:

So in reply, yes it has been done before but if you have no military background, the going will be harder. When I say no military background, I'm taking the pish due to you being a crab. You should be able to find details on how to apply on DII or JPA.
Not being infantry isnt a problem, not being army is. Things may have changed in recent years, but I cant see any easy obvious paths for you. Back in the day, the route may have been for you to leave the service and attempt selection into 21/23 and from there, try for 22, but even then you would require sponsorship. If you'd been a rockape, I'm sure they'd have stretched the rules. Do you fly anything other than a desk, as I'm sure that might pique their interest.


War Hero
Blinking flip....I didn't realise it was a Hawaian shirt, I thought he'd been to a toga party!

Sorry DN12345 - no help to you whatsoever.
The head DS there 5 or 6 years ago, I hate to admit was ex RAF Regiment so all is not impossible!!


yes, I've just stopped flying Fast Jets and am looking at transfer to multi-engine fleet. However this doesn't float my boat as I joined the military to get involved so looking elsewhere at the moment before making any decisions.

With regard to JPA; getting info from it would require logging on successfully, which is never easy!


its fairly easy put chit in do UKSF breifeing course then after that ( if you pass) you will do a pre selection infantry package at catterick pass that and your on the course as a trained infantry soldier, then its a case of crack on with every one else
your best bet is to phone hereford garrison up and speak to some one on training team they will give you all the facts but saying that being non inf nowadays isnt a big thing to you it just means you have to work that bit harder to get on course in first place nothing to stop you but you give it a go you never know ayear from now you may have sideburns down to your knee caps lol


never suited big sideburns! Thought about giving Hereford a call but didn't know if that was the done thing.

We've got the UKSF communicators coming to our station next month to do a recruiting brief of some sort, but I think that's more to do with signals etc. so don't know if that would interest me.

Thanks for the replies

Another option for you before going to UKSF Ltd may to become a BLO with the commando or para brigades that would get you some grounding in soldiering before attempting selection.
Selection is hard enough for giys from the Para's etc but coming straight from the RAF it will be 10 times more difficult.
Another option would be the newly formed Special Recce Regt that used to appear on your pay statement term Special Duties.

Altenatively you could try an attachmet to the RAF Regt to see if you enjoyed soldiering !



Good luck! You will need to weigh up the chances - would SF want a former fast jet officer in preference to a teeth arm Army officer? If you think they would, you should have a look at how your background and experience has prepared you for service with SF. Army officer candidates are generally Captains with two tours behind them and a good grounding in the arcane arts of the estimate, use of ground, land navigation etc etc. The infantry skills course at ITC will prepare your personal skills and drills, but could you prepare yourself well for the more cerebral stages of selection?

My submission would be that you should get first to your nearest infantry bn and try to get some exposure to what an inf bn ops officer does and the decisionmaking processes etc so that you can speak the lingo - getting on JOTAC (Junior Officer Tactical Awareness Course) for three weeks will also give you good background on capabilites, decision processes and weapon ranges/ employment.

While they are looking for POTENTIAL, they examine it in a military context - so to do well you need to have that background or familiarity with it. As a bright bloke who flies jets you undoubtedly have decision making and assessment skills in spades - you need to try to transfer tham to the land environment.

Finally - how old are you and will you meet the criteria?

Good luck!!
The SAS accept aplicants from Army and RAF - have done for 30 - 40 odd years.
me n bee said:
The SAS accept aplicants from Army and RAF - have done for 30 - 40 odd years.

Thats not the issue- issue being you need some kind of relevant experience if you are to progress to the trees.
me n bee said:
The SAS accept aplicants from Army and RAF - have done for 30 - 40 odd years.

What about the senior service?

I may be short sighted, incontinent and in the early stages of Alzheimers but I do still have all my own hair and teeth. I feel that I have a lot to offer, not least a detailed knowledge of steam turbines and Bofors guns.

I've also had some of my literary efforts published (but nothing as substantial as a novel). I believe this is of vital importance in the modern SAS.

Being afraid of heights and spiders might not be as big a drawback as it first seems as my zimmer frame pretty much rules out parachuting and jungle warfare anyway.

If I get in I would be willing to use Grecian 2000 to restore my tache to its former glory. How would you rate my chances?


The answer to your question is yes. Go for it now if you do not, you will lose out big style. The biggest problem SF have is people pre- selecting themselves. Give it a go if you do not make it first time the system will ensure that you are asked back if you have what is required. GOOD LUCK
All good advice . The CO of 21 is currently RAF with a strong SF pedegree. I suggest you might want to contact him for the best RAF steer. Best of luck


thanks again all and also for the PM's. Going to give RIC at Hereford a shout later today and get some more info.

Thinking of calling up a local TA unit also to see if I can join them over a few weekends/exercises to get to grips with the basics - never really that easy to sort this out, however, as info/authority on the matter is rarely available on an RAF base.

Anyone on here have any good links with the ITC @ Catterick? - I noticed they do a 2 week TA induction course which could probably be a good start.



War Hero
I'd love ya to do really well and get in - however !!!!!! ure RAF.

You've really got your work cut out, but all I can do is admire you for wanting a go at it - GOOD LUCK. Keep us posted.



War Hero

Although never a flyer, I graduated on 111 IOTC back in '88. Saw the light 5 years later and moved through the TA to a regular Army Recce Regt. The difference is marked to say the least and one of the biggest hurdles will be learning the Army MO. You can be a career fell runner with the mental aptitude of a seasoned ninja, but one of the problems is that you have no experience of doing the business in a operational Land Forces context. I applaud the approach, but can't stress how difficult you are going to find this. If it were me, I would go multi engine or rotary and work my way onto one of the SF Flights. You are going to get a lot of the best of both worlds there.

Failing that, have you considered Special Duties? They still use toilet paper, on occasion.

Best of British


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