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Sapper Officer

#1
I have just passed out from an ATR on friday, and am starting phase 2 at gib on sunday. A couple of weeks ago i was called into my squadron OC's office, who said that the training staff had been watching me for some time and they thought that i should apply for a commision. I had a chat with my section commander and the other SNCO's/ NCO's in my traing team who all came to the same conclusion. Last week i had a quick chat with my squadron 2ic, who told me in a roundabout way that its going to be nigh on impossible for me to commision into the RE as i dont have a technical degree. My academic record is pretty piss poor(8 GCSE'S and 1 A-level) so the chances of an in service degree are slim. I was just wondering what the score was for lads commisioning into the corps. Any sensible advice greatly appreciated.
 
#2
I know plenty of RE officers who don't have technical degrees! Your Sqn 2i/c is trying to disuade you. As for the qualifications isn't the new Army officer advert all about qualities, not qualifications. Go onto the online Army recruiting site and ask one of the on line recruiters. They are pretty good and should get back to you quite quickly i.e in the next couple of hours. If your Sqn OC thinks you should apply you must have something about you. In my old Sqn the recce tropp commander startedin the ranks and got his commission. The CO of 26 started as an apprentice at Chepstow, was posted to 26, got to acting sgt at training regt, got his commission and has since gone onto command the regiment he was a sprog in and he is the best CO I've served under. Give that example to your Sqn 2i/c and see what he says!! Hope this helps.
 
#3
Sounds like your "advisers" are not up to speed.
Go for it, I know plenty of non tech Sapper Hofficers.
Or you could dig in for the long term solution; serve 22-24-ish years, get to WO1, pass The Quickening, and get an LE commission. Result!
Apart from the wrinkles, of course.
 
#5
sandmanfez said:
staaken said:
Apart from the wrinkles, of course.
.....and the dodgy knees/back, multiple divorces, drink habit and of course, piles! :(

Aint life sweet? :wink:

(And no, thats not me, just a little LE vignette.)
You know me. Damn, cover blown (limps off)
 
#6
I know lots of non-degree holding Offrs, problem comes when you get crusty COs.

Mates of mine been told "you don't count as a proper Engr Offr because you don't hold a degree" :roll:

Most of the Corps offrs have really useful degrees like geography and philosophy anyway so the lack of a technical degree means feck all.
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#7
From my memory of time at Chatham most of the Officers on the JO course did not have technical degrees, in fact the guy who had won the Sword/Cup for best JO on course(can't remember exactly what the trophy was) had a degree in Botany!

Not sure exactly how that makes him more qualified to be an Engineer than you.
 

asr1

War Hero
#9
Go for it! don't worry about not having an engineering background. Not necessary. You may change your mind as to who you want to join as your time at the Sadhurst goes on and the Sappers may not take you. My advice- go for it, and look at all the other arms and corps before committing. Do an in service degree if at all possible as you can't stay in the Army forever.
 
#10
Why not start an Open University degree, it will show that you recognise your not brilliant academic record but are prepared to do something about. 3 years will see you with an honours degree or 2 will get you an ordinary BA or BSc
 

chimera

LE
Moderator
#11
Fawlty_B said:
Last week i had a quick chat with my squadron 2ic, who told me in a roundabout way that its going to be nigh on impossible for me to commision into the RE as i dont have a technical degree. My academic record is pretty urine poor(8 GCSE'S and 1 A-level) so the chances of an in service degree are slim. I was just wondering what the score was for lads commisioning into the corps. Any sensible advice greatly appreciated.
The advice is b*llocks.

You don't need a degree to be Direct Entry Sapper officer. Neither does it hinder your promotion prospects. There are also a significant number of Sapper officers who go to Sandhurst having served as soldiers or JNCOs, and the Corps is better than almost any other in helping people follow this route.

If you want to follow this route go for it. My advice is to register your interest now, wait until you finish Phase 2, and then really go for it once you are in the Field Army.
 
#12
Good for you, pal. Sounds like the world's your oyster.

My advice would be to think how long you want to serve in the Army for then work out where you will be in the next 6, 8, 10, 12 years if you stayed in the ranks or took a commission. After 12 years as a Tom you might be a Sgt or SSgt, still very much involved in Engineering. As an officer, you will spend an increasing amount of time behind a desk and as a Major (say after 10-12 years) you'll get one shot at squadron command and then many years away from troops (most probably).

Don't let that put you off: officers who serve long careers don't do it because they hate it! Just don't rush the decision.
 
#13
Your 2IC is miles off; you've got 5 more GCSE thingies than an RE officer not a million miles away from me now and he commissioned from the ranks. The only Corps that I know of that requires a technical degree is the REME, and then only to get promoted to Major (is this still true?).

Sounds like your 2IC is avoiding the staff work of putting you forward, horses arrse. Mention it when you get to your unit or, even better, ask if your OC is going to put something in your report along the lines of "Is a strong candidate for commission" which'll guarentee you some (possibly unwelcome) attention.

My humble advice: keep quiet about it around the rest of the Sqn until you know you're going down that route.
 
#14
Lots of really good advice here. At the risk of irking the Sapper world - and you at the beginning of a Sapper career- if the team around you reckon you've got what it takes and you really want it but the RE won't push you forward for a commission, there are other cap badges who would give you a good run for your money. Be a shame to lose a potential asset through one cap badges reluctance to take him on, nicht wahr?
 
#15
rickshaw said:
Lots of really good advice here. At the risk of irking the Sapper world - and you at the beginning of a Sapper career- if the team around you reckon you've got what it takes and you really want it but the RE won't push you forward for a commission, there are other cap badges who would give you a good run for your money. Be a shame to lose a potential asset through one cap badges reluctance to take him on, nicht wahr?
its not that they won't put you forward but more that they can't be arsed with the paperwork that goes with rcb procedure.

good luck whatever way it goes.
 
#16
plant_life said:
I know plenty of RE officers who don't have technical degrees! Your Sqn 2i/c is trying to disuade you. As for the qualifications isn't the new Army officer advert all about qualities, not qualifications. Go onto the online Army recruiting site and ask one of the on line recruiters. They are pretty good and should get back to you quite quickly i.e in the next couple of hours. If your Sqn OC thinks you should apply you must have something about you. In my old Sqn the recce tropp commander startedin the ranks and got his commission. The CO of 26 started as an apprentice at Chepstow, was posted to 26, got to acting sgt at training regt, got his commission and has since gone onto command the regiment he was a sprog in and he is the best CO I've served under. Give that example to your Sqn 2i/c and see what he says!! Hope this helps.
Aye, he's a top bloke, never met some one so down to earth and so for the lads.
 
#17
From my memory of time at Chatham most of the Officers on the JO course did not have technical degrees, in fact the guy who had won the Sword/Cup for best JO on course(can't remember exactly what the trophy was) had a degree in Botany!
Sound like he should be in charge of the mole stranglers.
During my time (swing that light) I came across plenty of officers who had degrees but I wouldn't trust them to hold a pen the right way!!. Go for.
 
#18
Best advice is to get on and finish your phase 2 training - and do well. If you do your report will be a good one and your first unit should notice (although not all will). Once there enquire about the Potenial Officers Development Course - this is the best kepp secret of Army courses. You will need to do this course to demonstrate that you have really got what it takes and -by god - you will have some serious fun on the way, regardless of whether you actually make it to Sandhurst - oh and you will learn so much about yourself that if you don't make it all the way you should soon be putting that first and second stripe on your arm.

Best of luck......
 

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