Soldier to officer?

Joining the Army has always been what i wanted to do and was my dream since i was about 12 years old. I did and still do want to however, for reasons i will not go into detail (Illness) here i had to leave my sixth form without completing my A Levels, thus i only have AS Levels. After recovering i got a full time job and progressed to managment level in Waitrose but the Army has always been at the back of my mind. I have made the decision to fully pursue this path down the soldier route as i cannot apply as an officer.
Could anyone answer a few questions i have before my meeting at the career center from experience and honestly?
If i join as a soldier what is the process for potential officer development?
Is there a time serving limit or could i approach my CO immediatly after completing phase 1 and phase 2 training about pursuing that career path?
Waitrose is a very career orientated business with lots of personal development assesments and very focused on bettering yourself and moving onwards and upwards with lots of development opportunities; for someone such as myself who is very career orientated would i get frustrated y just being a soldier or are there everyday opportunities to prove yourself to your NCOs and platoon commanders?
Sorry for the convulted questions! Any advice would be greatly appreciated! :)

Oh and i come from a military family only last serving family member was 20 years ago so they are a bit out of the loop now! :)
Oh and finishing my A Levels and going to uni is no longer an option having a full time job and sylabus's have now changed so i would have to start again and do not have the time with a full time job!
If you really want to join up and do not have the qualifications to join as an officer then the only option is to do so as a soldier. You have until you are about 30 to commission or to go the LE route once you have reached a particular rank (dependant upon capbadge).

If the army is what you want then just join up and worry about commissioning etc later. You never know, you may enjoy being a soldier and decide not to commission.
Going by what you've said about your circumstances, a crack at officer selection can only be guaranteed by the following course of action :

1.0 - Find a college with intensive A-levels. These take 1 year instead of 2, with about 6 hours a week for each subject. You will only need two A-levels to achieve 180 UCAS points without going crackers.

1.1 - If intensive courses are not available I suggest you do the full 2 year job. There are colleges that cater specifically to adults and their lifestyles.

2.0 - Discuss part-time hours for next Autumn with your employer.

3.0 - Build up your fitness, and perhaps start saving up for a period of reduced income.

Without casting aspersions on your abilities, the opportunity to become an officer is in no way guaranteed when you're a soldier. However competent or intelligent you are, you may find it difficult to shine in just the right way to be recommended for a commission, or you may personally find that the life of a young soldier isn't really conducive to studying for 180 UCAS points in your spare time.

It could easily be longer than two years from the day that you apply to join the Army to the day that your CO approves you for the commissioning board.

If your AS-levels are grade C and above and are not in the same subject as your new full A-levels then they will still count as standalone sources of UCAS points. Feel free to PM me if you're close to London, I may be able to offer more detailed practical advice.

Edit : If you're champing at the bit, have you considered the TA to keep you ticking over while you consider your options?

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