TA/OTC - My Options

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Reserve Recruitment' started by MajorJon, Apr 24, 2013.

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  1. Right now I am in college studying for a BTEC in Applied Sciences. I hope to go to uni in 2014 and study Law (or Criminology should my grade profile drop) and gain an enjoyable career in the Public Services.

    At this moment in time , I am starting training to become a Special Constable (voluntary civ copper) in June and have my sights squared firmly on a career in Policing. But having seen the situation with Police reforms nowadays and how the job is just going to pot .... I am keeping my options wide open.

    Intelligence Corps and RMP (and thier RAF/RN counterparts) have both caught my eye as I would quite fancy a life in the Military. As it stands I am thinking of getting a bite of both cherries ... the baton and CS wielding civvi police life and the SA80 toting army life too. Chances are I will join the TA or UOTC when I get into uni.

    However I just wanted to know a few questions:

    a) Which is better to join? OTC or TA? After all the TA is probably less commitment than OTC from what I hear and I have the chance to experience one of the trades firsthand (Intelligence or RMP)

    b) What is RMP and Intelligence Corps like? Is RMP the boring job that I seem to see it described as all throughout ARRSE? or is there more to it than "someone nicked 20 quid from my locker?" and what is intelligence like?

    c) Is there a high animosity amongst those against coppers there. Bearing in mind I could end up becoming a regular civvie copper after uni and stay with the reserves in the TA.

    I'm new here , don't bite my head off


  2. As you will be at University, the University Officer Training Corps would be best....
    They train around the academic year and are monitored by external bodies to ensure academic work doesn't suffer as a result of training commitments. TA units train to their own calendar, not Universities. Based on what I've seen (as a grown up, not a Cadet), you should have a blast!
    Good luck
  3. If you want to be an officer then I suppose a stint in OTC could do no harm (although they're a social drinking club more than anything). TA whilst at uni is easy, and with the Summer holidays you can easily get your days in to qualify for your Bounty. In addition the long holiday may give you a chance to do a Summer Challenge, which gets you qualified in a few weeks, and saves wasting your weekends (which at uni should be spent knee deep in fanny batter).

    Int Corps is useful, and the profile of Int Corps soldiers may mean you fit in better. If you are a mature student the TA may also be better, because the OTC are a childish bunch off *******.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. To a man. All the serious ones tend to turn up, do their AOSB and **** off again. It's the no-hopers that remain, share houses, do every weekend etc.
    • Like Like x 2

  5. Depends on the UOTC in question in my experience.

    There is also the opportunity to become a TASO [TA Sponsored Officer] and train with both the TA and the UOTC which some of the more committed members do depending upon their University commitments.
  6. OTC will only train you to become an officer. It will be 3 years of infantry training. It's damm hard to do, as you cannot miss a single weekend's training, else you have to wait till next year to try again.
    TA however, IF there is an intelligence or RMP unit near to your uni, will be more relevant in terms of trade. If u miss a weekend training during recruit level, you only have to wait for the next course, which may be only a few months at most. Once ur trained u can do as many or as few weekends as u can. You will also get a TA bounty if u do matts. OTC bounty is about £185 after 3 years, TA bouty is about £1400 after 3 years.
    Once you graduate, if you end up as a lawyer, or at a later date if you go police, there is always the option of possibly going professionally qualified officer route.
    however it is very hard to be a police officer and in the TA. A lot of forces wont allow it from what I hear. But int/RMP on your CV will be way better for you than having OTC on your CV.
    Then again, if you want to just smash student totty for 3 years, OTC is the better option.
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  7. First of all thank you all who replied. I really appreciate it.

    Thanks for the insight. As someone who is going to be 20 by the time he enters uni (through years of pissing about and not doing any work whilst given two shots at a levels) , I relish being round immature youngers a lot! Think I might look at the TA more then seeing as I strongly mean business. Not just a drink up and a bit of clunge every Saturday.

    Is that possible? Turn up to OTC to do the AOSB then move onto the TA? In that case why not join the TA and do it straight? Just asking , seeing as I know all there is to know about Policing but very little on the army front.

    How does this work may I ask? I quite fancy this. Although with a degree AND already being a Special Constable and having to fulfill the minimum requirement of hours to the Police Force... it will be a bit of a push for me. Especially if I turn out needing a job to support myself.

    I noticed. This is the thing ... things are too fragmented with the Police Service. Different standard or SOP according to every force. I know of a few met officers who are full time job and still give thier time to the mob but again this is only the Met. I don't bet my chips on staying with them for good tbh...

    Funny you mention being a lawyer ... I noticed ALS seems a little bit interesting.
  8. ALS wise be aware you need to have completed LPC/Training Contract or BPTC/Pupillage before you can join the ALS as an officer.

    TASO wise - essentially you join the OTC, then contact a local TA unit and see if they are looking for TASOs [almost all TA units need Young Officers] and you then can begin the process of becoming a TASO [some TA units require you to come on a weekend with them to see if you 'gel' with them and if you are what they are looking for [likewise you can look at that unit and see if they are for you, and you can discuss how much commitment they require]

    AOSB wise - absolutely. Lots join the OTC and go through AOSB [OTCs are streamlined for this process more so than TA units and can [generalisation alert] provide more support to people going through the AOSB process more than TA units can].

    Upon gaining an AOSB Main Board pass you can then do the TA Commissioning Course and once commissioned immediately go into the TA [or stay at the UOTC]

    OTCs in general are having to change and become more professional and less of the 'drinking club' that they have been branded with [arguably legitimately] in the past.

    Which Universities are you applying to? As that would determine which UOTCs you would be able to join and each one is different in their own ways.
  9. I did the TA whilst at uni. That was 17 years ago and I still love it and I've done a few tours too.

    I enjoyed the extra money, the diverse friendship and the chance to do HGV and other non academic style courses.

    The only advantage, in my opinion, to the OTC is that it enhances your path to a (regular) commission.
  10. Officially you can't be in the Special Constabulary and the Volunteer Reserve Forces, so that's hour first choice
  11. I know a few lads who are doing both. They are both 'specials' and RMP TA soldiers and units don't normally have a drama with that.

    The bonus being you've got coppers who are both civvy law and AFA06 trained!

    Posted from the ARRSE Mobile app (iOS or Android)
  12. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    I think much of the commentary on the OTC in this thread is either well out of date or plain wrong. In essence, the UOTCs are designed and equipped to get Officer Cadets through Mods 1-3 of the TA commissioning process, and work through a set syllabus taking 2 years to do that; so a good thing to do at university if you are planning on becoming a TA officer. from a student's point of view, they work well because training is keyed to university term times, exams and so forth; they also give you a chance to earn some cash and get to do interesting things which probably wouldn't come your way in your first couple of years as a TA recruit, like ski trips and other adventurous training.

    The idea that UOTCs are 'just drinking clubs' is well behind the times. They do tend to have a cheap-ish bar, but they also have DS who are well drilled in their duty of care and most are sensible enough not to want to throw any career they have away through the antics of pissed-up students. When I was 2ic of a UOTC, damping down the drinking culture was a significant priority.
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  13. I concur. My son is in his first year of OTC, and the opportunities he has had - AT, foreign FTXs and competitions, Famil visits etc - would surpass the first year TA experience. The flip side is that you do less military training.

    The cliche "you get out what you put in" does apply. You could have a very dull OTC experience if you don't seize every opportunity.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. With respect, not at my Uni.
  15. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    Which is?