TA Officers - upper age limits

Alright guys,

Need some help here and would like to draw any experience you may have. I am 28 years old and currently a Pte in the Infantry and am in the process of transeferring to 4 PARA where I will undergo some initial recruit training again. I was looking forward to possibly going on an Op as a Tom and then hopefully applying for officer training.

I assumed this would not be a problem. However, I have just read that Infantry officers should have completed their training by 30. Not sure that I have time to complete this even if I started officer training in a few months let alone after a future tour!

How flexible is this age limit and does anyone know of any officers who have completed training beyond 30? I would like to think that potential and ability would be the key factor and not just age (especially with the introduction of these new laws to help old gits like myself).

Any advice or experience appreciated..
Thanks for that, but this only states what I had previously read that the maximum age limit on completion should be 30 (except for late entry officers and I don't want to go down that route).

Surely there must be some flexibility to the 'advertised age'. I remember when I was on CIC our company commander was encouraging a bloke of 32 to apply for officer training. Although he was 32 he was highly intelligent, suberbly fit and had obvious leadership potential. I can understand when an applicant is considerably older than 30 (though these days in the TA older soldiers are often embarrassingly fitter than the young ones). However, why would the TA refuse a potentially good officer when it has a shortage of them just for the sake of a few years? Particurly when in the TA older officer applicants can bring previous leadership experience and maturity from their civilian careers.

Any answers on a post..
From TA Cell at RMAS dated end Sept 06:

RMAS will accept OCdts onto Module 4 of the TA Commissioning Course up to age 35 provided all entry criteria have been met. They are also prepared to consider applicants older than age 35 on a case by case basis.
It very much depends on the unit.

I know of several who are getting very reluctant to commission post about 27 years old despite what the regulations say about eligability. They justify this on the basis of how long initial officer training takes these days and on their assumption that once you commission you should be looking to get promoted further and will therefore go away on yet more courses so they won't see that much of you.

Arrse in my opinon but that's what I'm seeing. I even had one TA CO say that he wouldn't accept anyone over 23 to start officer training - a balatant nonesense in my view particularly as I also know one or two TA solidiers who have gone to regular RMAS at 27ish and then into the infantry, but that was his line .
spearhead said:
Surely there must be some flexibility to the 'advertised age'. I
I believe the document does include some info about the flexibility, especially by unit e.g. media ops. If not, there is a previous thread which spawned it which will tell you about that. Haven't enough time to look it up for you though, sorry.
Hopkins said:
It very much depends on the unit.
To a degree this is correct but the authority for selecting TAPOs for PO training is the Army Officer Selection Board which does what it says on the tin i.e. selects potential officers. RMAS then trains and commissions those selected for training.

Some Units may have age policies which they chose to enforce but the age limits are set by TA Regulations and RMAS.

Hopkins said:
I even had one TA CO say that he wouldn't accept anyone over 23 to start officer training
The average age of TA officers on commissioning is 27. The average age of officer being commissioned into the UOTC is 21 but 60% of those end up in the Regular Army whilst nobody can tell how few of them actually transfer to the TA on completing their studies.
I was recommended for commission (Infantry) at 32. It is down to your unit.
This is probably the best place to put this:

DIN200602-229: The introduction of the new TA Officer Career evelopment (TA OCD) with associated Length of Service (LTOS) based terms of service for TA Gp A officers.

This DIN details the rules and transition arrangements for the change from ATOS to LTOS terms of service with the introduction of the TA Officer Career Development (TA OCD) scheme. The revised OCD package will consist of three interlinked elements; career management, career structures and education and training. The first two elements will be introduced as of 1 Apr 07, (JPA permitting), with the education and training aspect being introduced from 1 Apr 08 following further work by DITrg(A).

Quite a long quote follows, but not the whole do (too big):

Changes. The full changes are presented in the schematic at Annex A. However, in summary, all TA Gp A Officers will serve on Length of Service Terms of Service (LTOS) with progression based on experience and performance, whilst taking into account potential. This will be introduced from 1 Apr 07 on a phased basis in accordance with the transitional arrangements outlined below. Officers will only be considered for promotion after a set period of time in each rank in order to allow officers to gain experience and in particular to ensure junior officers
have the time to develop key command and leadership skills. Additional factors include:

a. Additional concentrated military service such as FTRS and operational tours may attract credit in terms of promotion (ie being eligible for earlier promotion). However, those who cannot commit to additional service will not be penalised. The detail of how this may be achieved will be decided upon in the near future and promulgated during the communications implementation plan.

b. All Officers will be appointed to a post for a specific tour length, such as 3 years, and will then be expected to apply for a new post in order to develop wider experience. Army Manning Priorities will however be applied to ensure that the most important posts are filled first. This is not to say that TA officers will be forced to accept posts that they do not want or are administratively impractical for them to take up, but there will be more encouragement to apply for certain posts throughout an officer’s career.

c. Officers will be encouraged to undertake staff appointments in order to develop the wider experience needed for them to compete effectively and to develop the skills required by the Army.

d. All officers, regardless of their entry method, (ie. direct commissioning, via some service in the ranks or as PQOs) will be able to apply for all appointments providing they are appropriately qualified. This will be a significant enhancement and recognises the unique position that many TA officers find themselves in after commissioning compared to their Regular LE counterparts who under the current rules are still limited, by virtue of their age and experience, as to the future posts they can undertake.

e. Officers commissioned via the traditional Late Entry route will be initially commissioned in the rank of Captain.

f. Specific Employment Training (ET) will be undertaken prior to taking up any appointment. The practice of training ‘just in case’ will be replaced by specific training focused on appointments, combined with some wider developmental education and training. This will limit any nugatory training done at present, allowing the TA officer to concentrate on the training required, rather than that which is nice to have. It also means that if an individual is qualified for a post and can attend the ET, then he can be appointed to any post within his capabilities and availability. The supporting education and training plan is subject to further work by DITrg(A) for introduction from 1 Apr 08.


a. Operational Effectiveness. LTOS will reduce career compression, easing undermanning in junior command appointments, and increasing time at RD. Additionally, better structured and more equitable career management processes will increase competition and improve quality. TA officers will be better prepared for role through more relevant and focused training and education. Together these measures will improve operational effectiveness.

b. Recruiting and Retention. The revised system will give junior officers more time in command of soldiers. This will allow them to gain more practical experience to enable them to compete for the full range
of command and staff posts later in their career. The leaner, more focused training and education package, will be tailored to the professional needs of the Army and the personal needs of the individual. Together these measures will improve recruiting and retention.

Target Population. All TA Group A commissioned officers will be affected by the new LTOS rules in due course.

Introduction. All TA Group A officers commissioned after 1 Apr 07 will be immediately commissioned on LTOS. Currently, TA officers are eligible for promotion by complex age criteria qualifications (i.e. Age 27 for captain, 34 for major and 38 for lieutenant colonel), and also have to have achieved various mandatory courses. Under the LTOS scheme, all officers commissioned via the DE commissioning course will have to spend a minimum of 3 or 4 years as a 2nd lieutenant/lieutenant and all officers, regardless of commissioning route, a further 6 years as a Captain before being eligible for promotion to major. Depending on whether or not the officer qualifies for antedated seniority or accelerated promotion criteria detailed in Appendix 2 to Annex B.

7. Transitional Arrangements. The transitional arrangements to LTOS for all officers commissioned prior to 1 Apr 07 are shown below and summarised at Annex B.

a. DE Officers. There will be no adverse impact on promotion to the next rank as officers will either promote when eligible under ATOS or after transfer to LTOS, whichever is earlier. For example an
officer due promotion at age 27 to Captain will still promote at age 27, subject to qualification, and will then be required to transfer to LTOS. 2Lt and Lts will not be eligible for transfer to LTOS until they are promoted or eligible for promotion to the rank of Captain. This is to ensure junior officers are given the opportunity to gain experience and the Army retains individuals where greatest effect can be realised.

b. There will however be an impact on the time it takes officers who commission between the ages of 26-30 to progress 2 ranks up under LTOS as opposed to ATOS. That is, for example the pace at which officers who are currently Lieutenant will promote to Major. These officers will be delayed in being eligible for their second promotion from between 1-4 years respectively, this equates to approximately 25% of officers. This is necessary to ensure that officers are sufficiently trained and experienced to be truly capable for role. The number of officers affected could well be less because many will not have gained the relevant qualification or recommendations for promotion in the short time available under
the existing ATOS scheme.

c. LE and QM Commissioned Officers. From Apr 07 all officers commissioned late (ie over 35) or from the ranks (after more than 8 years service) will receive a TA Gp A commission in the rank of Captain
and the QM commission will no longer be offered. The effect of a move to LTOS is:

(1) QM Commission. Historically the QM commissioned officer attracted a higher pay rate and also retired at age 55, significantly later than some LE officers. The advent of Pay 2000 and the introduction of the New Retirement Age for all TA Group A officers of 60, as of 1 Apr 06, has
removed the advantages of commissioning via this route. Therefore, QM commissions will no longer be awarded. Officers will continue to commission as Captains and will be selected for the QM appointment in accordance with their suitability for the post. This approach will continue to
allow officers to take up QM appointments but will increase the potential pool to all officers.

(2) Others. Under LTOS, this cohort will be commissioned as captains and will be required to gain 4 annual reports before being eligible for promotion to major. The transition arrangements will permit officers who are holding the rank of Captain on 1 Apr 07 to promote to Major based
on their eligibility for promotion under ATOS arrangements, ie at least 2 satisfactory appraisal reports and a recommendation in their latest OJAR. Officers holding the rank of 2 Lt or Lt on 1 Apr 07 will be promoted to the rank of Captain and will transfer to LTOS. They will be awarded
½ year antedated seniority in the rank of Captain for each full year of commissioned service at that time.
Hijacking this thread but hey ho. Does anyone else find that the introduction of LTOS will mean that they can promote earlier? I can (not just gloating btw). But this is not referred to at all in any of documentation I have seen! I dont know whether this means that I just have to wait till 34 under the ATOS and then transfer to LTOS, or if I can be eligibel to promote early. I have sought advice from Officers section of TA & Res MCM Div as both Unit G1 Staff and Bde MS admit they only know what is in the bumf so far ie the din and briefing notes.

Is anyone else like this?
You can apply in writing to your unit to transfer to LTOS on 1 Apr 07 rather than waiting to be promoted under ATOS (ATOS will continue to apply to you until you are promoted under the ATOS rules at which time you will move to LTOS automatically), at which time, if you have sufficient number of reports under your belt (and the right qualifications) you will be eligible for substantive promotion to the next rank.

From what you are saying I think you would be best to write to your unit (CO) and request a transfer to LTOS.

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