Regimental visits/sponsors

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Regular Officer Recruiting' started by coulddobetter, Nov 13, 2009.

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  1. I had my briefing earlier in the week and got a CAT 1 which I am very pleased about, I have requested the forms to book my main board but my careers advisor raised the fact that I have not been on any regimental visits. I have one booked with the Air Corps in Middle Wallop but as everyone knows it is very difficult to get in so I really need a back up.

    The Artillery appeals to me, but I have been told that they don't do them until you have been to main board as they are over subscribed!

    My next choice I think is going to be the Armoured Corps, as it seems it might be a mixture of technology and action, which is really what I am looking for. Signals/Logistics etc don't appeal to me at present, although my knowledge of them is very limited. Does anyone know much about life in the Armoured Corps?

    I would really appreciate any advise regarding which route to go down and also any information on life in the Armoured Corps or other regiments that people have enjoyed??
     
  2. Tankie2ndrtr

    Tankie2ndrtr Old-Salt Reviewer

  3. The thing wth the army air corps is, even if your aptitude is good, if they dont "like" you, you wont even get a shot at flying grading. My advice would be, if youre looking to fly, do the aptitude tests for either the RN or RAF and see if youre good enough. Army air corps officers only fly for 3-5 years. Have you looked/are you interested in the Royal Engineers?
     
  4. Yeah I have heard that the Air Corps is very tricky to get into so am not expecting too much, I have also just turned 24 so might be quite old in their books maybe too.

    I hadn't really considered the Navy or the RAF as I consider myself to be much better suited to the Army, I've heard the RAF selection criteria is extremely strict, my age would probably be a problem.
    I would be quite happy to move into a ground role in the future, I'm keen to get a broad experience, as long as its not dull!! That is my only criteria as thats why I am leaving the software industry!

    I hadn't considered the Engineers either, again I know very little about them but my (probably naive) view at the moment is that I would like a combat/combat support role as it will be the most exciting. The thought of doing that kind of engineering/signals etc role in a conflict zone doesn't really appeal, I would rather be taking it to them, if you see what I mean?
     
  5. If you are interested in flying, then have a look at the Fleet Air Arm, when I finish uni and go regular its going to be either them for me or RMAS then royal artillery or royal engineers.
    If and when you pass main board, do pay a visit to the gunners, as they have lots of interesting jobs/roles as theyre so big. Pm sent.
     
  6. For what it's worth, a mate of mine just got into the FAA and he's 25.
     
  7. I was at Sandhurst a few weeks back for the pre course briefing and they drilled the importance of FAM visits into us.

    Definitely a good thing to come on here and ask for advice as it's always welcome, but if you can, get out there and have a look for yourself; I knew a bit about a couple of regiments and not a lot about some others so paid them all visit and I've learnt something from each of them.

    In some cases, individuals are starting the CC in January and are yet to see any regiments/corps at all. 7 weeks or so does not leave a lot of time to become acquainted and see "what's what", and the Colonel even advised them to consider postponing their intake due to the Choice of Army procedure changing and the lack of available time to do extra-curricular visits whilst at Sandhurst.

    Plenty of time left between now, MB and CC so get out there and do some window shopping, it's all good experience and the interviews etc you'll be invited to are all beneficial. Good luck!
     
  8. The Gunners do an excellent one day course as a 'catch all' prior to going to Sandhurst, just go to their website and e-mail: www.army.mod.uk/artillery/career
    :)
     
  9. Thanks for all the info, very useful. I have a visit to RAC Bovington in January so looking forward to that, also going to a general infantry officer event with lots of different cap badges after that. Still keen to get something with the Artillery sorted though so will try emailing them. Cheers!
     
  10. A couple of pieces of advice from one who has been where you are now (a few years ago, I admit).

    Firstly, the AAC. If you want to be an Army Officer and fly, this is a no brainer, go for it. Don't get put off by people telling you how hard it is to get into and how hard the pilot selection process is. This off putting advice is generally given by those who weren't strong enough candidates themselves. The pilot aptitude test is one of those things that you will either pass or you won't, although a fast mind (in terms of mental arithmatic) and eye hand coordination of course help. The "Regimental" interview is competitive, the only advice here is: be yourself, venture your opinion and get familiar with current affairs. If you pass these (and pass the AOSB) you will be sent on the Flying Grading Course. Work your nuts off on this and you'll pass, simple as. You'll normally get a potential officers' visit to an AAC regiment thrown in there somewhere as well.

    The Royal Armoured Corps. Again this can be fairly competitive, although you should get an idea on this when you go to Bovington in January. Good idea to decide whether you are most interested in the Armoured (tank) world or the Formation Recce (FR) world, although the visit to Bovington should inform this decision. You will be interviewed by (almost certainly) a retired Lt Col while you are down there. If you don't have a strong preference as to which regiment you might be best suited to (and he will probably ask) he will be able to send you the the one which would best suit you (in terms of your personality and available spaces in your likely year of commission). If I were you, I'd ask to visit one armoured and one FR regiment (unless you are dead set on one or the other). Which ever Regiments you are pointed toward, you are likely to be interviewed by the Colonel of the Regiment (normally a retired General or Brigadier) and if he thinks you are a suitable candidate for a commission in that regiment, he will send you off on a potential officers' visit to the regiment itself.

    The Royal Artillery I know less about, except that they take a lot of officers, relative to the RAC and AAC and their potential officers' visits are polished and done on a large scale at Larkhill. Disadvantages with being an RA officer, you'll spend most of your time as a junior officer in a command post with a radio headset on and a pen and paper infront of you. You will get a troop to command, although it is likely that you'll have a Tp SSgt or even Tp WO2 who may end up in de facto charge. Advantages: the RA manage their officers careers extremely well, promotion is less competitive than the RAC or Inf (not sure about the AAC). Being a FOO/FST commander is a good job and its one which they will really sell on the PO visit. However you'll only be a FOO for a couple of years, as a Capt, and realistically it is your only opportunity to be at the front end.

    I would recommend that you do visit regiments before you go to the AOSB Main Board, at least so that you have a better idea of what you are getting yourself into and why. It used to be that you had to be "sponsored" (provisionally accepted) by a regiment or corps before going to the RCB Main Board (I don't know if this is still the case). I would certainly urge you to go on all of the PO visits you intend to before going to Sandhurst as you will not have time to do so there (despite what you might be told). So if you have even the most fleeting interest in some piece of the army, I would recommend that you go and have a look at it.

    Finally, if you want to fly don't get sold the line: "if you join us you can then transfer to the AAC or serve on attachment." Although it is possible, lots of people have been burnt by this one as it is inevitably the wrong time in your career when you decide to cross over. Also with the length of pilot training, particularly for AH (Apache), if you do a couple of years in another part of the army and then go on the pilots' course, you will be that much older and will have effectively missed that part of your career.
     
  11. great post brave-coward,
    very informative. Do you have a similar knowledge of the Royal Signals?
     
  12. Brave coward, agree with you on most of those points, apart from the pilot aptitude test. One of my mates flunked his first aptitude test for everything including Air traffic controller. He did lots of speed dist time, xbox type stuff and bought some kind of a computer programme on flying aptitude tests, and passed the next time, for both pilot and observer, and is now an operational pilot in the fleet air arm. My advice would be that if you know your mental maths and hand eye isnt exactly ninja like, then gen up on it as much as you can beforehand.
    Could do better sounds like a switched on bloke, and not one of these people who wants to be an apache pilot, commando and para winged SAS ninja.
     
  13. Sorry, I'm afraid that I don't know a great deal about the R Signals Officer recruiting process, although it is likely to be similar to the RA one. I would expect to be sent on a large central potential officers' visit, probably to Blandford and to sit an interview with one or more retired senior officers in order to secure sponsorship. I can't comment on how competitive the selection process is, I would have thought a bit less so than most, however they probably look for a more technical bent in their potential officers than most.

    Well I am glad that you agree with at least some of what I have to say and I'm sure that Could do better feels personally uplifted that you think he is a switched on bloke.

    I have heard the "play computer games to improve your chances on the pilot aptitude test" line and I can well believe that there is now a myriad of books and computer programmes you can buy to improve your chances but ultimately it comes down to individual ability and hard work on the courses.

    The only other comment I would make is that although the pilot aptitude test is (or at least was) the same for each service, it is scored differently, meaning that in theory you could pass for the army but fail for the RN and RAF or pass for the RAF but fail for the RN, etc.
     
  14. I was looking at FR regiments, and although that's my ideal job I really wanted a regiment that was more 'family' orientated, and less toffy! I've heard the RA are like that?
     
  15. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    coulddobetter,

    In most of your posts you comment at some point that "you don't know much about (XYZ) unit/role".

    That is what the fam visits are there to do - improve your knowledge and understanding of the unit/role/character etc. Don't select your fam visits based on what little you do know, as you might end up restricting your choices based on incorrect assumptions. For example, you say that you want Combat Support, but have not yet considered the RE, one of the key CS roles!

    Get as many as you can, and as varied as you can. This will give you a more informed basis on which to make your choices.