Regular Officer or civvy rozzer plus TA?...


Hello all,

First post & all that, maybe this should've gone onto the "Joining Up" board? Hmm... anyhow was looking for a sounding board for a choice I'll have to make in a while.

Here's my situation. Wanted to be a PC in London after coming out of uni. Got hoodwinked by Met recruitment targets & am now a PCSO. Whilst waiting to apply as a PC, I decided I wanted to scrabble about in mud & get sent to hot, sandy places.

Now I've passed my PC tests & convinced them I am a politically correct, hug-a-hoody person who only uses gender neutral speech, I've got a minimum of a 6 month wait from tomorrow for security clearance before being given a date to start training.

On the Army Officer front, I've got my Briefing at the end of April where my biggest worry (besides trying to get CAT 1) is the doctors saying my ACL reconstructed knee isn't up to scratch. Assuming I pass all the officer selection hurdles, my strongest inclination is to say no thanks to policing & get good at ironing for RMAS.

My sarge at work suggested doing what he did & be a copper but do TA. He eventually stopped doing TA to do secret squirrel business with the Met but did say that I ought to think of that option for a "best of both worlds" experience.

Now my worry with that is that it could end up being not best of both but just a taste of the army & a career hinderance as a rozzer. Is there the option of a lateral move from TA to Regular should I choose this option & decide I really like it or is it a case of starting from scratch?

Meh... I've rambled enough,
Thanks for any thoughts.
If your knee isn't up to scratch then you won't be joining TA or Regular.

Try the TA first; if you want to switch, then you can do and the experience will help. If not, then it provides a refreshing break from not being allowed a sense of humour.


Yes I realise I can't do Regular or TA if they don't pass my knee but c'est la vie, it'll suck & I'll just look wistfully at Army related stuff in the future... *small small violins* :p
I left the Regular Army after 9 years and then got hoodwinked through a mate of mate to join the TA - which I have now been doing for 9 months

My experience is that it is very easy to play soldiers in the TA and have a civilian career, but if I am being honest outside mobilisation for Operations that's all it really is - playing.

Whilst you will no doubt get some experience of soldiering it is nothing like the Regular Army and being a good TA Officer is an extremely time consuming business - I place fairly heavy demands on my Officers and my experience has shown that RMAS just does not prepare them adequately to Command Platoons particuarly from the G1 (personnel management) perspective.

My considered advice is this:

(1) by all means join the TA but do it as a Private you will still have a much fun with half the hassle.

(2) Secondly you can transfer from the TA to the Regulars several precendents have been set in the past and I know of one Officer (at least) who changed his commission from a TA one to an Intermediate Regular Commission. However he still had to attend PCBC and I think struggled initially to deal with many aspects of Platoon Commanding. Another Officer I know completed an Operational Tour with a Regular Battalion and they have sinced invited him to stay - I am not sure what his terms of service are though.

My advice to you is if you want to do it then go for it; don't get put off by Rumour Control over RMAS - it's actually not too bad once you've got over the shock of capture. In terms of your knee - it makes no odds TA or Regular, if you're not medically fit for the Army then that's it. However I'm not a doc and the best way to find out is to speak to the ACIO and ask them.

Also it doesn't have to be a career for lifeyou always have the option of serving your Short Service Commission and then banging out in your mid twenties to start another career.

If you want any more info drop me a PM.
I asked a similar question about joining the police and the TA on here a couple of years ago. The gist of the advice I got was to leave the TA until you had finished probation. Some forces won't let you join the TA until your probation is complete.

All of the answers I received are here
Many police forces, and mine included, will not let you serve in the T.A if you are serving as a sworn constable - whether regular or Special. The Home Office guidelines state that they have no objection to Police Officers being part of HM Reserve Forces, however individual Chief Constables reserve the right the prohibit it in their own force.

I did resign from the T.A when I was sworn in but, interestingly, I was never asked for proof by the police that I had actually done so!!


War Hero
It would have been slightly incongruous to have enough faith in your honesty and integrity to allow you in as an officer of the law, but not enough to believe you when you say you quit the TA.


Youll be ok if youre in the met, there are even a couple of SO19 guys and one CID bloke in my unit. I believe you have to go on a list, and when you are allowed to enlist in the TA they will sign your application form and you can do so.


Good luck with trying to get in the TA if you're a PC in the Met. I've been on the waiting list for over 12 months now and i'm still nowhere near close to the front to be allowed to apply.

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