TA soldier or Commission?

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by OCS001, Feb 7, 2010.

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  1. I am in my second year of university and I am aiming to go to RMAS as a reg in either September 2011 or January 2012. I have passed AOSB Briefing with a cat 1 and looking to take main board in the summer.

    I tried to get into the UOTC at the start of this year but was told because of recent budget cuts the local unit could not take me (as I only had two years left on my course). I told my recruiting officer this and he recommends I join the TA for the 18 months until I graduate.

    I have been told to try for a commission in the TA. However I am unsure as to whether this will be a good idea or not.

    I was told at the local careers office that I would only have to do briefing and main board once, but the guy did not seem to confident when answering this question. Does anyone know whether he is right or wrong?

    The advice I am looking to get from anyone on here is whether they think I should join the TA as just a soldier before going to RMAS (as a regular after finishing my degree) or whether I should go for the commission in the TA?

    Will there also be any problems with me going to Sandhurst as a regular with the TA unit? For instance they may want me to show more commitment?

    I know the benefits of joining the TA but I am unsure as to whether the valuable resources will be better off with someone staying in the TA for the long run?

    Obviously this all depends on me passing main board, but I am just hoping for any guidance anyone can give me.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Considering the numbers that don't stay for 18 months then why not?

    I suggest that 18 months as a simple number would do you the world of good, you will learn the basics without the pressure of a potential commission hanging over you and you will learn a lot about officering by watching yours from a soldier's POV and seeing what is good and bad about them. You will also learn what the soldier looks for in his bosses, all good experience. It certainly gave me a boost.
    To join for 18 months, work at getting a comission and then binning it simply seems a waste of effort as Sandhurst will make you do it all again, and I think that your unit would be unhappy to support you through the officer process if you then bugger off as soon as it is over.
  3. Thanks Dwarf,

    I have been thinking the 18 months would be better off spent as a soldier for exactly the reasons you said. My careers advisor is pushing the officer route but I will just have to explain that I see more of a benefit from going this way.

    Thanks again.

  4. 1. If you are using your real name as your nomenclature/avatar, I would change it.

    2. A pass at AOSB briefing and Main Board is a pass for both regular and TA. A MB pass is valid for 7 years.

    3. You can join the TA as a soldier and yes, it may have all of the benefits as described above. Equally, you could join as a TA potential Officer (TAPO) and acquire valuable experience of both Officer Training and Sandhurst before embarking on a Regular career. You will still have to complete the full Sandhurst course but will not be required to redo AOSB.

    4. It's horses for courses really - personally, I would go for the TAPO route.
  5. & if you are using it out of respect for Jack Sadler then maybe change it anyway!
  6. Not using it as a tribute. Just a coincidence.

    Thanks for the advice MrTracey, I can see the benefits of doing either option I am just going to take a little time to figure out what will be the best choice. I don't intend on joining up straight away as university is my priority at the minute. I will look into being a TA Potential Officer until I make my decision though.

  7. If you are dead set on trying to become a Regular Officer ever thought about doing something away from the green? Once you're in your life will revolve around your troops (first of all), duties, Operations, courses, mess life and everything else which is part & parcel of military life.

    This could be the time to take up that obscure sport or activity which you've always wanted to participate in. Once you get to RMAS, and even worse your Regiment, it will be a long time before much of your time is your own.

    There is as much value, both at AOSB & in the Army generally, in having a wider outlook on life than being the ACF/CCF-OTC Nazi...
  8. The_Duke

    The_Duke LE Moderator

    With the time you have left available, either follow Capt Plume's very sound advice, or consider enjoying 18 months as a Private soldier in the TA. You will get a taste (but no more than that) of green life and see it through to completion of recruit training. The TAPO route is probably going to remain unfinished before you need to go to regular RMAS anyway.
  9. I would like to suggest you neither join the TA as an officer nor a soldier whilst still at Uni.

    My reason for this is that I believe you should get as good a degree as possible. Trying to get a good degree AND be a good TA soldier at the same time almost certainly means not committing fully to one for the sake of the other. So jack the idea of the TA and concentrate on your studies.

    That being said, there are things you can do to help your fitness, leadership skills and impress the main board whilst not infringing to the same extent as the TA (and will benefit your service career to boot).

    I don't know how outdoorsie you are, but you could certainly take up hill walking, climbing and kayaking as hobbies (your uni probably has such activities run through its union) with the aim of getting the Mountain Walking Leaders Award, Single Pitch Award and Level 2 Kayak Coach award.

    Have a think on it and good luck with your career!
  10. Hey,

    Just wanted to back up what StickyToffeePudding has said. I've been TA for 5 years now, before I went to Uni and now while I'm at Uni. Year 1 and 2 at Uni are ok - however, some more things for you to think about.

    You'll need to do the recruits course, 6 weekends plus 2 weeks - will they fit well with your deadlines; trust me it's no fun going on a weekend and on a night having sometime off and watching the lads go on the piss while you're sat catching up on reading or writing an assignment.

    Secondly, final year WILL hit you hard. I laughed and thought nothing when people told me that. Honest, I'm targeted to 40 hours a week for my dissertation, and 30 hours a week for my other modules - how many people can honestly say they do nearly 70 hours a week and have time to relax and time for work? I've been in once a month for the past 3 months as that's all I can afford to do - but I'm now missing the money that I've been used to.

    It's unfortunate because you're clearly keen and willing; but logically you couldn't even train over the summer because of stand-down periods. That's just my opinion though, and not all courses will be as challenging as others. Best of luck to you, what ever you decide mate!
  11. Thanks for all the advice.

    Captain Plume - If I am honest that was what I wanted to do at first. I was told by both serving and ex servicemen that once I am in, I will have wished I had done more beforehand. The TA route has been pushed so strongly by my recruitment officer and other officers I have been in communication that I began to feel that if I did not do it, I would be showing a lack of commitment. (Having not done ACF, CCF, UOTC or TA).

    The_Duke - If I was to join the TA I would have most definitely joined as a soldier and done 18 months that way, but again it has been pushed to try officer route. I think I am going to follow Cpt Plumes advice as it is the one I keep hearing most often by the people I know already serving.

    StickyToffeePudding - That was always a big worry of mine, I don't see the point in wasting all this money not to get a good grade. I love being outdoors, I enjoy rambling and climbing but I have never done it as part of a group (partially because the university does not have one to my knowledge). I looked up doing the mountain leader award on the internet but I don't know whether I would tick the requirements. Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated?

    Ant01 - Thanks for the head up ant, I am studying law so the work load remains pretty high all year round, I dread to think what next year is going to be like. I can see clearly that if I was to join the TA I could possibly set myself up for a fall when the deadlines come thick and fast.

    Thank you all for the help. Thinking about what everyone has said (both on here and elsewhere) I think I will go and do the things that wont be possible to do once I have joined. If anyone has any information regarding the Mountain Walking Leadership Award I would be grateful for any information. I have looked on the website and the one problem I see is proving I have 12 months hill walking experience?

  12. msr

    msr LE

    Which Uni are you at?

  13. Nottingham Trent, can I ask why?

  14. Check your PMs mate.
  15. msr

    msr LE

    Speak to your Student Union: http://unumc.com/?p=3 There is a mountaineering club.