Rejected as an Officer...so should you join up as a squaddie instead?

#1
As everyone on here knows, the only way into the Army (support roles/proffessionals aside) is to join up as either a squaddie or an officer. I'm interested in people who are/want to be officers: if you hadn't got that Cat 1/2 at Mainboard, would you/did you attempt to join the ranks...or done something else?

More generally, do people think that it displays the wrong attitude to say 'I'll only go in as an Officer'? It could be argued that the application process is all about saying how much you love the Army and want the military life...is it a bit hypocritical to walk away from that? Being a squaddie is afterall the main other way to experience military life (though of course, the role is different from that of an officer.) On the other hand, is all of the above rubbish, is it natural that people will look at the pay and conditions and those a job that pays the best, and choose a path that is more lucrative/prestigous etc?

Very interested to get everyone's take on this...I'm not sure what to think one way or the other. Also, how common is it for people who join up as a squaddie to go through the ranks and commission? I mean, I know it's possible *in theory* but how much does it actually happen? Is it a realistic route through for say a 22 year old graduate to go?

Edit: Not to imply that people who do fail Officer selection would necessarily get in as a squaddie.
 
#3
If you weren't good enough to be a Rupert, what makes you think you'll get in as a Tom?
 
#5
Stop intellectualising. You know in your bones if you want to do it. If not stop fretting and do something else. I am sure the nation and services will go on without you.
 
#6
As everyone on here knows, the only way into the Army (support roles/proffessionals aside) is to join up as either a squaddie or an officer. I'm interested in people who are/want to be officers: if you hadn't got that Cat 1/2 at Mainboard, would you have joined the ranks...or done something else?

More generally, do people think that it displays the wrong attitude to say 'I'll only go in as an Officer'? It could be argued that the application process is all about saying how much you love the Army and want the military life...is it a bit hypocritical to walk away from that? Being a squaddie is afterall the main other way to experience military life (though of course, the role is different from that of an officer.) On the other hand, is all of the above rubbish, is it natural that people will look at the pay and conditions and those a job that pays the best, and choose a path that is more lucrative/prestigous etc?

Very interested to get everyone's take on this...I'm not sure what to think one way or the other. Also, how common is it for people who join up as a squaddie to go through the ranks and commission? I mean, I know it's possible *in theory* but how much does it actually happen? Is it a realistic route through for say a 22 year old graduate to go?
You'll find a lot of lads with degrees are soldiers. Many gain their degree whilst serving, but some do join (as the ACIO term it) ''Graduate Soldiers''.

You'll find it is more common in the RE or Int Corps to have graduates in the ORs because of the skills required of some of the roles.

However, it should be noted that by just having a degree is does not mean you're automatically Officer material; there's plenty of well educated blokes that couldn't lead a kettle to boil let alone soldiers. I'm, as it so happens, a 22 year old graduate (Law, History and Politics) and joining as a soldier. It is not uncommon for soldiers to commission from the ranks providing you can display the right skills, attitudes and values - you will still have to do pre-AOSB and AOSB though. If you haven't got the right stuff for Sandhurst just yet then some time as a private/trooper/sapper might give you that.

Should I be offered the chance to attempt AOSB during my career then I'll take it, the attraction of better pay etc would be stupid to turn down. Be prepared to argue your case for choosing soldier entry well with your recruiter - I had a very long chat during my interview 2 and 3 about my choice.
 
#7
I have got a degree and did AOSB briefing and I hated it, not so much because of the other people, bit I felt like I couldnt be myself. I got a Cat 2/12. Dont feel just because you have a degree you should go officer. I am now waiting for my phase one as a CMT in the RAMC, choosing the soldier route was the best thing I ever did.
 
#8
I have got a degree and did AOSB briefing and I hated it, not so much because of the other people, bit I felt like I couldnt be myself. I got a Cat 2/12. Dont feel just because you have a degree you should go officer. I am now waiting for my phase one as a CMT in the RAMC, choosing the soldier route was the best thing I ever did.
You can judge that from the application process? In that case I just applied for a job as a Burger Technician at McDonalds. I would recommend it to anyone its the best thing I ever did.
 
S

Screw_The_Nut

Guest
#9
You can judge that from the application process? In that case I just applied for a job as a Burger Technician at McDonalds. I would recommend it to anyone its the best thing I ever did.
Hey, don't knock it - half these "graduates" will be doing that by the end of the year!
 
#10
I think you should join as a soldier, but make it quite clear to everyone in training that you're only there under protest because you're better than them.
 
#11
Spent 3 years as a private soldier before hand in the TA which no doubt swayed my decision slightly, but yes still the best choice I think I have made career wise so far.
 
#13
My thought process would go like this, what! not toffie nosed enough to be an officer, lets face how hard can it be?, we've all seen them get the convoy lost and I once saw one have major trouble trying to fold a sleeping bag, back to my answer, if I was rejected, I would try to find something interesting in civy street, and at the same time join the TA as a soldier, join an HQ unit if possible, plenty of officers their to watch and to see how things are done which would give one some insight.
Then I would try again at a later date, if all else fails buy a labrador and take elocution lessons and change your name to charles or something along them lines.
 
#14
More generally, do people think that it displays the wrong attitude to say 'I'll only go in as an Officer'? It could be argued that the application process is all about saying how much you love the Army and want the military life...is it a bit hypocritical to walk away from that?
No. Why would it be? Some people want to be leaders of men from the start. Nothing wrong with that.

is it natural that people will look at the pay and conditions and those a job that pays the best, and choose a path that is more lucrative/prestigous etc?
Of course it is natural. If you have the qualifications then why wouldn't you want the best for yourself? Obviously some are quite happy to be in the ranks even with the necessary quals for officer selection. Nothing wrong with that either.

Also, how common is it for people who join up as a squaddie to go through the ranks and commission? I mean, I know it's possible *in theory* but how much does it actually happen?
It isn't too common. I've only known around 4 blokes go this route in 24 years. I know a few who also failed the RCB as well.

Edit: Not to imply that people who do fail Officer selection would necessarily get in as a squaddie.
If should imagine those failing officer selection would only be refused from serving as a regular soldier on grounds that would omit anyone serving such as medical reasons. Let's face it, even people that can't read or write and have very little in the way of brains can serve these days. Stacker 1 is serving!
 
#15
You'll find it is more common in the RE or Int Corps to have graduates in the ORs because of the skills required of some of the roles.
Are you sure?

You'll find it common in the Royal Signals and CAMus... Both of which have training courses set up to deliver BSc (Hons) to selected personnel in their ranks. Niether the Int Corps or RE do that.
 
#16
I haven't access to the stats, but from recent experience am well aware of Cat 1s who crash and burn at MB while there are certainly those Cat 3s who absorb their reports, act according, and pass.
 
#17
My initial route into the Army was as an officer, i bought into the ACA telling me 'well you have a degree, you must go forth and be an officer' and tbh didn't bother looking at the alternative at the time. Got to main board and failed for reasons ranging from my own lack of preparation in some areas to my dad dropping his arse down an elevator shaft and almost dying 2 days before. Either way in the weeks that followed i came to the conclusion that the job and what i wanted from a role in the army couldn't be achieved as an officer, so i scrapped my application and went down the other path. Got many funny looks from my officer ACA, and had some serious chats with the Sergent major at my office about my motives for changing my path. He didn't think i was too much of a nutter and let me carry on. Start basic in June for CMT and couldn't be happier.
 
#18
I think you should join as a soldier, but make it quite clear to everyone in training that you're only there under protest because you're better than them.
Phil, you are a bad man, but nail fairly and squarely hit on the head.... we must have met some of the same people, or there are a lot more shimfing failed officers than I thought...
 
#20
Interesting, were they fairly exceptional blokes?
They have had to earn, and beat otehrs to, the ranks of the following LCpl, Cpl, Sgt, SSgt, WO2 and probably WO1... then be deemed suitable for Late Entry Commission...

What do you think?

Or they have to serve as a tom for a bit and then prove themselves to be worthy of a shot at a commision by talking to their CoC, having an interview with tehir CO etc.

If you want to be a rupert, it is better to go via AOSB, no othe rroute is easy.
 

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