RMAS Visits


War Hero
I am currently trying to decide between joining as an Officer or joining the ranks and I was wondering if anyone knew if there is the chance to visit Sandhurst before I make my final decision. The AFCO are being very, very vague and all they will say is 'Once you've started your application we'll talk about visits'.
The thing is I don't want to waste time applying to be an Officer if I'm not going to enjoy or be comfortable with the atmosphere at Sandhurst. Can anyone enlighten me on what the policy is for visits?

Cheers, Bean


Why would you potentially find applying as an Officer a 'waste of time'? You will have to fill in much the same paperwork if applying to the ranks, in many forms it's just a tick box difference between them. If you change your mind, it's easy to fix and they will already has most of your information.

Also, why do you feel that a visit to Sandhurst will help you decide if you wish to be an Officer? Sandhurst is a training college alone, there is much more to being an Officer than the 11 months you spend there.

There is a potential Officer's visit to Sandhurst, but the Army pay expenses for people to go on these trips so you can understand the fact that they may be reserved for applicants rather than someone who hasn't even filled in the forms yet.


War Hero
Applying to be an Officer would be a waste of everyones time and resources if I decide that being an Officer isn't for me. I would rather have a clear view in my mind of what I want before wasting time getting into booking places at Westbury etc. when I could already be on the list for Soldier Selection.

I fully understand that there is more to being an Officer than Sandhurst but surely Sandhurst is there to teach you what you need to know to go on to become an Officer so will therefore show you the kind of people you will spend time with and what is expected of you as an Officer. I could make the decision without going, but what I am very concious of is making the wrong decision about something which is going to affect the rest of my life.

I see the point about paying expenses for those already filling the forms in, but surely some of them go on the PO visit and think 'My Lord...get me out of here what have I done?!'

Cheers for the answer though subs, helpful.
Potential Officer visits for 16-18 year olds take place about once a month or something. I couldn't say about other age groups visiting, I've only ever seen young ones on these visits.

I'm not sure how enlightening they are to be honest. I would say visiting a few different units you have an interest in would be far better for understanding the kind of people you would be working with and what an actual day is like in the real army, as Sandhurst is quite different.
The visit I took part in (granted it was 8 years ago) comprised of trotting round the assault course with a log, a couple of nights in the bar and a short presentation from a handful of the cadets.

You would be far better served getting in touch with a Regiment (perhaps your local) and making contact that way. By going down that route you will at least come into contact with "proper" officers and a chance to meet the blokes which doesn't even happen whilst you're at the academy.

The visit was fun in that it got me a couple of days off school but it teaches you sod all about being an officer. Of course you could argue that in that sense it's perfect prep for the course


War Hero
Cheers for the answers guys.


Why not apply for the briefing at least anyway? It doesn't take very long and it would give you something to work toward fitness wise etc. Then you'll be able to meet other young POs and see if you click with them, you get to talk to officers and let them decided whether your suited for the job or not. Not much of a waste of time from that prospective, might as well keep your options open mate.
There is a chance to visit Sandhurst as I am going on one in June. It is a residential couple of days but obviously I can't give you any other info about it (as I haven't been on it :D ) but when I went and had a chat with a guy in the Shrewsbury Army Careers he told me the trip can be quite important for people considering Officer Entry.

I can pass you on to the person that got me onto this if you want?


War Hero
Cheer Somerandomguy, but I have decided to go down the Officer Route and I have my Briefing on the 29th/30th June.
SomeRandomGuy, what do you want to know about what? There are many on this forum who have been down the Officer route, myself included - if you have any questions, fire away, chap!
Just sort of general things really like how is life in the army as an officer? whats good and whats bad, whats the training like etc. Just some personal experiance of the army as an officer...
The training is really exceptional, done at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. It's a 44 week course, split into 3x 14 week terms, with 2x 1 week Adventure Training periods as well. You spend the first term learning how to be a soldier, much like a soldiers training. Taking care of yourself in the field, basic tactics in combat, and lots of fitness to build you up to a good level.

The next term (called inters) is then spent building on this solid foundation of fitness and fieldcraft, and gets far more physically challenging, and the exercises get longer and more challenging as well. This includes trench construction and a FIBUA (Fighting In Built Up Areas)(Fighting in an urban environment) exercise, which are challenging and will push you.

You then enter the final term, Seniors, where there is a noticeable slackening in the physical training, which they say they are trying to rectify, but you are meant to go and do your ow PT in your own time. More stock is placed on Officer training, and actually learning what it is to be an Officer. Some cracking exercises, such as the Insurgency exercise, the live firing exercise, and your final exercise, almost always taking place abroad somewhere.

It's really excellent training, immensely tough at times, enjoyable at others, and you make some outstanding friends whilst there. It's not easy, some find it more difficult than others, but havingjust done it, I can safely say there's no greater feeling than walking up the steps of Old College at your commissioning parade.


I went on the two day residential last year, it's fairly enlightening as to the army way of thinking if you aren 't used to it. You'll either love it or hate it by the end of the two days. There are presentations by an officer on what to expect at Sandhurst, you'll get to meet third term cadets to ask them what it's like, you get to have a look at the British Army weapons, along with some foreign ones, have a go on the signals equipment and get shouted at round the 1.5m run. It's a good couple of days, and I'm sure you'll get the chance to go on it once you've applied. I did.