Should I join the army as an armoured officer or join the police and work to become a CTSFO?

Both are very appealing and I am very interested in tanks but at the same time being part of a counter terrorist team seems fun but it looks like not everyone gets in. Does anyone have any insight into either career?
 

RTU'd

LE
Go CNC or MoD Plod and get a gun from day 1.
ARV & SFO vacancies are sometimes filled by ex military due to the nature of handling firearms.
That said you would have to do at least 2 years in uniform before applying for Firearms Duty.
 
Go CNC or MoD Plod and get a gun from day 1.
ARV & SFO vacancies are sometimes filled by ex military due to the nature of handling firearms.
That said you would have to do at least 2 years in uniform before applying for Firearms Duty.
So being in the army might make it easier in the long run if I join the police after ok I'll probably do that thanks
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
This is apples and oranges and I wonder whether you've thought this all the way through.

Officers in the Royal Armoured Corps command RAC soldiers and the platforms they take into battle. It's a close combat role and very demanding. It requires obtaining the necessary standard of education, passing the Army Officers' Selection Board, passing the course at the RMA, competing for and gaining a place in a Regiment, completing special-to-arm training - all before you get to see your first command. It's the start of a career as an Army officer, which, over the years, willl see you spending a lot of time away from soldiers and tanks in staff jobs and moving (one hopes) up the promotion ladder, with increasing responsibility.

A CTSFO is a highly specialised police officer. In order to become one, you first need to be a policeman - oddly enough - and do your time as a uniformed Constable before even thinking about specialising. The CTSFO job is hard to get into, the criteria for selection are strict and the training intense - and, once done, the job itself is demanding and - from what folk tell me - 99% excruciating boredom and 1% adrenaline. You can quite easily remain a Constable for your entire career, as well. It's not the Parachute Regiment, it's not the SAS, it's a highly specialist police role with all that entails.

Service as an officer might not be hugely helpful if you were to join the police with a view to becoming a CTSFO downstream. If that's your long-term aim, it might be more useful to look at an infantry or related close combat role as a soldier, perhaps considering attempting selection for airborne forces, or Commando training, or even special forces. All of these would see you spending much more time hands-on with small arms than being an officer would.
 
Go CNC or MoD Plod and get a gun from day 1.
ARV & SFO vacancies are sometimes filled by ex military due to the nature of handling firearms.
That said you would have to do at least 2 years in uniform before applying for Firearms Duty.

If you join CNC you cannot transfer to a home office service, so it defeats the point. Think you can from Mod Plod.
 
As @Glad_its_all_over said - completely different careers - I can count the number of RAC Officers who went on to be Police Officers on less than one hand.

If you want to be a copper, join the Police. If you want to be a Soldier, join the Army. Don't join the Army to be something else.
 

RTU'd

LE
This is really terrible advice.
But what is the advice you would give then?

Join the Met, do probation, 2 years in uniform plus, apply for AFO, pass, ARV or Static.
Then posted to - SCO19, Protection/Security or Terrorist Command.
IF you pass the mental & physical training and background checks you are highly trained & paid.

Why not join the Army, go to RMAS, pass out, join your Regiment & in 3 years apply to the SAS.
Get badged, know the colour of the boathouse & the weight limit of that balcony, go on black bag op, retire as a Major then join the Met as a fully qualified ex UKSF Officer.
 
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This is apples and oranges and I wonder whether you've thought this all the way through.

Officers in the Royal Armoured Corps command RAC soldiers and the platforms they take into battle. It's a close combat role and very demanding. It requires obtaining the necessary standard of education, passing the Army Officers' Selection Board, passing the course at the RMA, competing for and gaining a place in a Regiment, completing special-to-arm training - all before you get to see your first command. It's the start of a career as an Army officer, which, over the years, willl see you spending a lot of time away from soldiers and tanks in staff jobs and moving (one hopes) up the promotion ladder, with increasing responsibility.

A CTSFO is a highly specialised police officer. In order to become one, you first need to be a policeman - oddly enough - and do your time as a uniformed Constable before even thinking about specialising. The CTSFO job is hard to get into, the criteria for selection are strict and the training intense - and, once done, the job itself is demanding and - from what folk tell me - 99% excruciating boredom and 1% adrenaline. You can quite easily remain a Constable for your entire career, as well. It's not the Parachute Regiment, it's not the SAS, it's a highly specialist police role with all that entails.

Service as an officer might not be hugely helpful if you were to join the police with a view to becoming a CTSFO downstream. If that's your long-term aim, it might be more useful to look at an infantry or related close combat role as a soldier, perhaps considering attempting selection for airborne forces, or Commando training, or even special forces. All of these would see you spending much more time hands-on with small arms than being an officer would.
I see thanks. For me if I were to join the RAC I just want to be in a tank commanding it or some other role maybe, I don't particularly want to always be away from the tank doing admin and writing reports is that what officers do? Does a RAC officer ever command a tank?
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
I see thanks. For me if I were to join the RAC I just want to be in a tank commanding it or some other role maybe, I don't particularly want to always be away from the tank doing admin and writing reports is that what officers do? Does a RAC officer ever command a tank?
An RAC officer in a regiment will command a tank - and the other tanks in the troop he commands - as his first job and will do so again, when commanding a squadron. This, as you'd imagine, is very difficult to do - @Caecilius may well tell you more about this.

If you want specifically to be a tank commander, then enlist in the Army and get yourself to a cavalry regiment operating MBT. You'll spend a much larger proportion of your career with your head sticking out of the top of a large and heavy mobile obstacle to road traffic (and a larger proportion still on the tank park doing all the incredible number of maintenance jobs these beasts need in order to operate at all).
 
I see thanks. For me if I were to join the RAC I just want to be in a tank commanding it or some other role maybe, I don't particularly want to always be away from the tank doing admin and writing reports is that what officers do? Does a RAC officer ever command a tank?
If you don't want to do admin, don't join as an Officer.

Although there is no trade where you will be permanently in a tank - Whilst Officers are doing admin, the lads will be in the tank park bashing tracks, sweeping the floors etc.

Same as the comment earlier about being an armed ninja copper - 0.01% slotting Terry Taliban, 99.99% mundane bollócks.
 
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I have a mate who joined the Rifles, did his 4 years (and had the time of his life exploring the world etc) and then left and got a job in the met as an armed copper. He has said being police is nothing like infantry & very boring but he earns well & now has enough free time to support his family.

If you are young and want to see the world and enjoy everything the army has to offer, then this is your best option.

If, however, you only want to join the army because you want to be a policeman, then I don't think it is the right route to go down, as you won't last.

I am not in the army yet still at application stage but I have a mate who did a similar thing so thought it would be worth pointing out!
 
An RAC officer in a regiment will command a tank - and the other tanks in the troop he commands - as his first job and will do so again, when commanding a squadron. This, as you'd imagine, is very difficult to do - @Caecilius may well tell you more about this.

If you want specifically to be a tank commander, then enlist in the Army and get yourself to a cavalry regiment operating MBT. You'll spend a much larger proportion of your career with your head sticking out of the top of a large and heavy mobile obstacle to road traffic (and a larger proportion still on the tank park doing all the incredible number of maintenance jobs these beasts need in order to operate at all).
Ok I tried to contact Caecilius however when I click on the conversation I can't send my message? I can write a response but where is the send button may I ask?
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
Ok I tried to contact Caecilius however when I click on the conversation I can't send my message? I can write a response but where is the send button may I ask?
It would probably be more tactful to wait and see whether he responds in this thread, he'll be alerted that he's been tagged. A lot of folk around here don't appreciate unsolicited PMs.
 
retire as a Major then join the Met as a fully qualified ex UKSF Officer.
You would still have to do your two years probation, basic firearms course and ARV plus having to evidence all the woke diversity crap. Starting pay is around £25,000 a year and CTSFO's don't get paid any extra for the role than any normal PC although there is probably plenty of overtime. I think the said Major would have far better well paid options.
 
@Robin Dabank . You want to be a tank commander and an armed copper.
Whilst either are decent careers, time for a reality check.
Something needed about yourself. Age, educational attainment, etc.
Some form of statement of intent.
 
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