Reserves Officer - dont have the quals

Hi everyone

I am in abit of a pickle so to speak, i have been a Prison Officer for some time now and i THOUGHT i enjoyed it.. i am 28 years old and im considering a career change..

Personally i would love to jack it all in and join the army as a soldier but i am married and have a 7 month old baby girl so i dont think i could support them both on the wage.

I have been looking at the role of reserve officer but im stuck at the first hurdle which is the quals, I only got a double pass in business which is like 38 UCAS points, i dont fancy waiting the 2 years to complete a distance learning A Level.

Would i be able to work around it or shall i just go down the soldier route whilst i do A Level?
 
I'm not really up on the Reserve Offr recruitment path these days, but time spent in the ranks is always a good thing- within the AR anyway.
I need to ask, how is becoming a Reserve Offr going to solve your career problem?
 

Mbongwe

Old-Salt
Hi everyone

I am in abit of a pickle so to speak, i have been a Prison Officer for some time now and i THOUGHT i enjoyed it.. i am 28 years old and im considering a career change..

Personally i would love to jack it all in and join the army as a soldier but i am married and have a 7 month old baby girl so i dont think i could support them both on the wage.

I have been looking at the role of reserve officer but im stuck at the first hurdle which is the quals, I only got a double pass in business which is like 38 UCAS points, i dont fancy waiting the 2 years to complete a distance learning A Level.

Would i be able to work around it or shall i just go down the soldier route whilst i do A Level?
Just a suggestion, but it's common practice on here not to use your real full name as your username, nor to give away other details e.g. family stuff and year of birth (if indeed you haven't altered them already) . Especially when applying for the Armed Forces and / or holding a custodial role; personal security.
 
Sorry i completely forgot to add the last paragraph..

I want out of the Prison Service, i was thinking of going into teaching which would mean an open university course which is 6 years

It doesnt really have much to do with the Army like
 
Personally i would love to jack it all in and join the army as a soldier but i am married and have a 7 month old baby girl so i dont think i could support them both on the wage.

Look at Ammunition Technician (Regular Soldier). You’ll be a Lance Corporal in a year and a Corporal a year later.

You would also be on supplement 3.


There are also other trades across all three services that offer quick promotion and pay, although these trades may not be available as a reserve.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Not sure about the Army Reserves but I can speak from experience that the UCAS points thing is rigidly adhered to in the Royal Naval Reserves.

Doesn’t matter if you’ve got a PhD, if you don’t have the UCAS points you aren’t getting through.

Join as an OR, prove to everyone how awesome you are, then become an officer that way.
 
Sorry i completely forgot to add the last paragraph..

I want out of the Prison Service, i was thinking of going into teaching which would mean an open university course which is 6 years

It doesnt really have much to do with the Army like
I don’t understand the last sentence.

If you are not set on being an officer, you have more AR options. Outside your day job, you might enjoy being an infantryman, for example.
As a prison officer, one might think that MPS is a natural fit (Mil equivalent of prison service), but if you broaden your horizons, the AR has a lot to offer.
Good luck with whatever you opt for.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
Not sure about the Army Reserves but I can speak from experience that the UCAS points thing is rigidly adhered to in the Royal Naval Reserves.

Doesn’t matter if you’ve got a PhD, if you don’t have the UCAS points you aren’t getting through.

Join as an OR, prove to everyone how awesome you are, then become an officer that way.

True, that.

Turned up at the AFCO interested in going RNR; despite a BEng(Hons) and a MSc and being a Chartered Engineer, if I couldn't show the right A-level grades I wasn't joining as an officer.

Cue some effort to find (a) who ran my A-levels back in the 1980s, (b) who'd taken over those exam boards, (c) how to get acceptable proof that I'd got the grades I got, before I got the chance to try my luck at AIB.

And for the last sentence... I'd guess @Ravers is at least as capable of getting gold on his shoulders as I was, even if he paid less attention to his schoolboy studies than I did. Doesn't mean he should, just saying I think he could.
 
Look at Ammunition Technician (Regular Soldier). You’ll be a Lance Corporal in a year and a Corporal a year later.

You would also be on supplement 3.


There are also other trades across all three services that offer quick promotion and pay, although these trades may not be available as a reserve.

Don't you need a decent maths pass for that? They PFO'ed me and a couple of others for no maths O Level, before your time though.
 
Hi everyone

I am in abit of a pickle so to speak, i have been a Prison Officer for some time now and i THOUGHT i enjoyed it.. i am 28 years old and im considering a career change..

Personally i would love to jack it all in and join the army as a soldier but i am married and have a 7 month old baby girl so i dont think i could support them both on the wage.

I have been looking at the role of reserve officer but im stuck at the first hurdle which is the quals, I only got a double pass in business which is like 38 UCAS points, i dont fancy waiting the 2 years to complete a distance learning A Level.

Would i be able to work around it or shall i just go down the soldier route whilst i do A Level?

Mate, couple of pointers for you:

1. There are well paying tech jobs in the army you just have to find them. Go down the army careers office, have a chat, and see what is what. You are not committed to anything when having a chat - pop in in uniform, it adds a bit of credibility and authority. I wandered into the careers office for a coffee and a chat when I was a copper as it was on my patch. Picked up a trade, earned good money, saw some places, did some things.

2. If you are thinking about university I can endorse that. I went after I left the army. It ain't hard work for someone who has had the discipline of working for a living. They do 16 - 17 hours a week in class which leaves plenty of time to get a part time job to top up the student loans. My daughter just finished her degree and plenty of her mates were working jobs to pay for uni and cost of living expenses.

You could do uni, get a job, and possibly start reserves when you get to your last year of uni.
 

Wetneck

Old-Salt
Not sure about the Army Reserves but I can speak from experience that the UCAS points thing is rigidly adhered to in the Royal Naval Reserves.

Doesn’t matter if you’ve got a PhD, if you don’t have the UCAS points you aren’t getting through.

Join as an OR, prove to everyone how awesome you are, then become an officer that way.


I'll second what Ravers has said. The Reserves seem to be incredibly stuck when it comes to UCAS points. I've got one BSc and a MBa but not enough UCAS points to have joined the Officer path.

They wouldn't accept proof of courses, certificates, exam board references or anything I could come up with so OR it was!
As it turns out I'd say there's far more opportunities to actually do things you're likely to want to get out of it by going that way anyway so don't get hung up on it too much.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
And for the last sentence... I'd guess @Ravers is at least as capable of getting gold on his shoulders as I was, even if he paid less attention to his schoolboy studies than I did. Doesn't mean he should, just saying I think he could.

Indeed. It’s never gonna happen.

Having spent a fair bit of time with a chip on my shoulder because the RNR wouldn’t let me join as an officer, I had a bit of an epiphany.....

Why do I actually want to be an RNR officer?

Apart from a little bit of extra cash and marginally nicer digs, I can’t think of anything that actually appeals to me about the job. I have infinitely more opportunities to do fun stuff as a rating and the idea of doing what is basically my civvy job in rig doesn’t appeal.
 

Dwarf

LE
Something I'm not too sure about here. You want to do an OU course to become a teacher, so I assume you will keep your day job to keep the money coming in. That's fine.
Plus you have a family with a baby girl and you want to go AR as well?

That might be a step too far. I understand the desire for a bit more money and to do something that takes you out of your day job and the AR is a good option, but I would think seriously about if you will have time to do all these things sucessfully.
You might find that you get your OU degree, get a couple of stripes up and discover that you no longer have a family, for example. Officer commitment is, or should be, more than the average AR soldier, so right now I would be leery of that.

It has been suggested that certain Army trades might be the way ahead and you could do the OU for when you come out.
 
I'll second what Ravers has said. The Reserves seem to be incredibly stuck when it comes to UCAS points. I've got one BSc and a MBa but not enough UCAS points to have joined the Officer path.

They wouldn't accept proof of courses, certificates, exam board references or anything I could come up with so OR it was!
As it turns out I'd say there's far more opportunities to actually do things you're likely to want to get out of it by going that way anyway so don't get hung up on it too much.

It may have been different for merchant navy personnel joining List 1 RNR in the '80's. I passed AIB and was a Temporary Acting (unpaid) Lieutenant RNR, didn't follow it up, went back to sea and never did the Dartmouth course.. I left school at 16 with half a dozen O levels, never did A levels.

Also blagged my way into Uni to do a law degree, still no A levels
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
It may have been different for merchant navy personnel joining List 1 RNR in the '80's. I passed AIB and was a Temporary Acting (unpaid) Lieutenant RNR, didn't follow it up, went back to sea and never did the Dartmouth course.. I left school at 16 with half a dozen O levels, never did A levels.

Also blagged my way into Uni to do a law degree, still no A levels

When I joined the RNR in 2013 my application for officer was rejected because I didn’t have A levels. This was despite me having various diplomas, professional quals, being a senior manager at a world leading factory, successful business owner and ex full time Royal Navy with around 1000 days sea time under my belt.

I also had a pretty solid recommendation from my local RNR unit and AFCO to be given a waiver. Apparently I scored the highest in the psychometric test that AFCO had ever seen. (Not a massive achievement given the fact it was in Carlisle).

Still got rejected. Wasn’t even given the opportunity to go to AIB despite months of preparation and wearing pink shirts and Timberland deck shoes.

Meanwhile some honking fat bird with 2 years work experience as a barmaid at Wetherspoons breezed through the process because she had 2 A levels in drama and art. Of course she failed AIB horribly.

Could’ve told you that was gonna happen just by looking at her.

The system quite clearly failed. She should never have been given the chance to go to AIB. You could tell she wasn’t capable from day 1. But some **** with a tick box sheet decided it was worth wasting a few months of process and in unit training on her because she had two certificates from school.
Great.
 
Last edited:
When I joined the RNR in 2013 my application for officer was rejected because I didn’t have A levels. This was despite me having various diplomas, professional quals, being a senior manager at a world leading factory, successful business owner and ex full time Royal Navy with around 1000 days sea time under my belt.

I also had a pretty solid recommendation from my local RNR unit and AFCO to be given a waiver. Apparently I scored the highest in the psychometric test that AFCO had ever seen. (Not a massive achievement given the fact it was in Carlisle).

Still got rejected. Wasn’t even given the opportunity to go to AIB despite months of preparation and wearing pink shirts and Timberla

Meanwhile some honking fat bird with 2 years work experience as a barmaid at Wetherspoons breezed through the process because she had 2 A levels in drama and art. Of course she failed AIB horribly.

Could’ve told you that was gonna happen just by looking at her.

The system quite clearly failed. She should never have been given the chance to go to AIB. You could tell she wasn’t capable from day 1. But some **** with a tick box sheet decided it was worth wasting a few months of process and in unit training on her because she had two certificates from school.
Great.

Things were very different for List 1, if you had a ticket in the MN you were in. I went to Sultan for AIB there were about half a dozen of us from the MN there. We didn't have to do the crossing a river with a bit of wood and piece of string type stuff just a desk top exercise "What would you do if you were lost in the jungle" kind of thing and a couple of tests, general knowledge and navy knowledge, both were quite basic and an interview. There was a normal AIB going on at the same time but we were kept separate and put up in the officers mess with access to their bar which was nice, steward brought me a cup of tea in the morning.

Regret not taking it further but in those days keeping a job at sea was difficult enough as the British MN was going down the tubes.Know a few who did do the RNR, a couple of Commanders and one Lt. Commander, doubt if they have an A level between them
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Things were very different for List 1, if you had a ticket in the MN you were in. I went to Sultan for AIB there were about half a dozen of us from the MN there. We didn't have to do the crossing a river with a bit of wood and piece of string type stuff just a desk top exercise "What would you do if you were lost in the jungle" kind of thing and a couple of tests, general knowledge and navy knowledge, both were quite basic and an interview. There was a normal AIB going on at the same time but we were kept separate and put up in the officers mess with access to their bar which was nice, steward brought me a cup of tea in the morning.

Regret not taking it further but in those days keeping a job at sea was difficult enough as the British MN was going down the tubes.Know a few who did do the RNR, a couple of Commanders and one Lt. Commander, doubt if they have an A level between them
I believe it’s a different kettle of fish these days.

Sensible ideas like that would never pass through the net in today’s Navy.

There are two former RFA officers at my unit, both of whom were quite amused and disturbed by the fact that they had to do AIB and the whole of RNR Dartmouth to become RNR officers, despite having already done AIB and Dartmouth as RFA officers.
 
I sometimes think the armed forces are cutting off their noses to spite their face. They really don't deserve the talent they've spurned because they are so **** about things like UCAS points. Not everybody knows what they want to do when they are at school and plenty go off in a different direction instead of concentrating on academic qualifications, but still become successful and return to academia a few years down the line.

Despite many fine traditions the armed forces are so often behind the curve when competing for talented people and really do need dragging kicking and screaming into the modern world where employment is concerned.
 

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