reserve to reg

I liked to gently taunt a friend (he's a Royal Marine so if I overdid it he might kill me) by asking whether he was properly addressed as 'Sergeant Doctor...' or 'Doctor Sergeant...' (he's since been persuaded into a commission - needs of the service rather than his preference, he's a top bloke regardless).

Lots of very bright, well-qualified Other Ranks out there if you look..
Yep, in recent years a GP joined the RNR as a Rating as that's what they wanted to do.

Similarly the RMR had a bloke who was a prof at CERN (the Hadron Collider thingy) and he was a Mne1 HW.

Likewise there's an RM SF Brigadier who will tell anyone who will listen, in his broad Scouse accent, that he was told when he joined at Liverpool AFCO that he'd never make Officer as long as his Arrse pointed downwards.

To be fair, he never made it as a regular RM GD Officer, though ;)
 
I absolutely would not advise becoming an officer just because of academic qualifications. I did this and wasted 2 years of my life despite knowing all along that I would prefer the soldier career path. My theory was that it would be a waste of my degree if I did not go for an officer role which was a pretty naive thought.

What role interests you?
A long time ago both soldiers and officers were suspicious of soldiers with degrees, except perhaps in the Int Corps. It sounds like it's got a lot better now, but I suspect it will vary between cap badges.
 
A long time ago both soldiers and officers were suspicious of soldiers with degrees, except perhaps in the Int Corps. It sounds like it's got a lot better now, but I suspect it will vary between cap badges.
There are a lot more degrees out there nowadays student numbers more than doubled when the change from poly's to uni's happened. I know we went from being a poly & uni city with around 18,000 students to knocking on the door of 33,000 students the year the changeover happened. So I think nowadays people are more accepting of grads and do not see them as the uber clever git's they used to be seen as.
 
why would they be suspicious?
Bear in mind I am talking ancient history here...

The Army was never seen as an intellectual career, unless you were RE or RA, and had to do sums. In which case you were trained in the 'shop' at Woolwich. If you were in some other, lesser arm, if you had no chin and an Adam's Apple the size of a ball cock, and if Daddy owned half a county, the main qualification was the ability to take a hot crumpet from behind without blubbing.

So if cav and social infantry regiment officers struggled to talk to people who could do sums, how much more potentially embarrassing was it for a cav/inf officer with at best 2 crap A levels to deal with soldiers with degrees?

I'm sure it's a lot better now, but old habits do die hard. I'd try to visit the unit and talk to them if that were possible...
 
I have met officers with all sorts of degree and some with none - I did my OU degree in my spare time and it helped me gain an LE Commission and I got a Masters later- in fact a degree was a prerequisite for my chosen cap badge. I have met soldiers with Masters degrees and again some with few qualifications.

I'd suggest the Intelligence Corps, not least because I had 15 [mostly] enjoyable years doing [mostly] interesting jobs in [mostly] interesting and [occasionally] strange places. If you are good enough then [age permitting] you could have a go at getting to RMAS or play the long game for an LE Commission or you might take a few years, have fun and leave with something else to put on your CV.

Good luck with whichever path you chose.

PS, the RAF now have an Intelligence officer spec so maybe consider them too.
 

Faded

Clanker
A long time ago both soldiers and officers were suspicious of soldiers with degrees, except perhaps in the Int Corps. It sounds like it's got a lot better now, but I suspect it will vary between cap badges.
Maybe I was lucky in training but I never remember anyone being concerned about education. I can't speak for everyone though.
 

urban_spaceman

War Hero
Hi all.
So, I have a BSc in evolutionary anthropology, I am currently studying a MSc in forensic anthropology.
I am in the OTC at my university, however I believe I am not smart enough to pass officer selection.

Should I attempt an officer application just because of my academic ability? Or Join as a regular soldier because that's my dream.

I do love management and leadership, I have experience in both from working. However, I still believe I am not smart enough for the selection board. And I want to be in the army and contribute at any level.
DO NOT underestimate the value of your training. If you really want to become an officer you should go for it. You will make mistakes, we all do. Army training will teach you how to learn from them.
 
OP,

What do you want from a career in the army?

A degree can make all or no difference dependent on what you want to achieve and in what field.

A degree in basket weaving won’t help you be an officer in the signals and a degree in bio-tech won’t help you write orders for w platoon attack at dark o clock in the rain.

Similarly a degree may make you question why you’re staring into the dark at 2am in catterick but might help you in corsham. Other than wearing uniform, what do you want from life?

I’ve been an infantry platooon commander and “lead men” for about 2 years our of ten, the rest has been staff etc jobs.
 
Hi all.
So, I have a BSc in evolutionary anthropology, I am currently studying a MSc in forensic anthropology.
I am in the OTC at my university, however I believe I am not smart enough to pass officer selection.

Should I attempt an officer application just because of my academic ability? Or Join as a regular soldier because that's my dream.

I do love management and leadership, I have experience in both from working. However, I still believe I am not smart enough for the selection board. And I want to be in the army and contribute at any level.
Have a look at your uni alumni, see if there is anyone you could approach for advice.
 

Asayyadina

Swinger
If you are bright enough to get a degree and a masters then I am sure you are bright enough to at least attempt officer selection. Do you research and work out what the process involves. Even boffins like me with a 2:1 from a Russell Group and umpteen A*s at A level and GCSE are needing to work on things like my speed/distance/time calculations. But then I always hated maths at school.

Rather than decide (on no evidence) that you are not bright enough, why not try it and see? If you don't make it through the office selection that doesn't mean the army is closed to you totally.
 

verticalgyro

MIA
DirtyBAT
Met a chap once, or twice, who had done history of art, or fine art, something like that he joined as a soldier and ended up soldiering at the most highest level.
There was a chap in my Pl at RMAS who had a 2:1 in Classical Culture (basically Roman and Greek including the language!!!) who had served 4 years as a Tom in the Paras, including a BANNER tour (the Clegg/Joyrider tour) before going to Sandhurst.

Awfully nice chap.
 
Even boffins like me with a 2:1 from a Russell Group and umpteen A*s at A level and GCSE are needing to work on things like my speed/distance/time calculations. But then I always hated maths at school.
Like, have we got time to get to the pub before last orders?
 
If four officer cadets are travelling at 4 miles an hour and the pub is 0.8 miles away...
... they'll end up in open countryside three and a bit miles in the opposite direction from the pub 60 minutes later.

Being serious, I have in the course of the last two decades encountered more than my fair share of Majors and Lt Cols who have confided that they had similar doubts to the OP, but gave it a go, and it seemed to have worked out alright. A couple had commissioned only after serving for a few years and concluding that they did want to be an officer (and in one case, the line 'and I came to the view that if X [points to fellow ICSC student] could be an officer, then I could definitely do the job' was used)
 
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