I'm going to uni in September near Telford.. I was wondering which would be better... to do UOTC (with Army sponsorship), and travel to Birmingham every week, or to go to a local TA unit, just down the road?
Any helpful comments welcome,
Went to uni then did TA (So I'm biased)...

Although, with the TA you're kind of committing yourself to a service which might draw you away from your studies (and knowledge is a beautiful thing!) so I'd say do UOTC (it will help prepare you for TA) plus it won't put as many demands on your studies, I'm sure the TA will wait a couple of years for you :)
Ah... sorry.. didn't explain myself properly.. I'm wanting to go into the Army after studies anyway, not the TA.
You are probably about to be drowned in a shower of replies along the lines of "the lads will respect you more as an officer if you've been a Tom first". Take this with a pinch of salt, those with experience in the ranks often never really shake off the attitudes that go with being a soldier, also in terms of general soldiering rather than specialist roles the UOTC is better (with the exception of TA infantry). If you want three years of cheap beer, not bad women, adventurous training and plenty of freebees join the UOTC, there's always slightly more military stuff you can do like Cambrian patrol if you're so inclined. If the travel time is an issue what some people do is join a TA unit close to where they live and then get themselves attached to UOTCs for specific training (generally the ski trips). Most Group A units are more than happy to do this if they think they're going to get themselves a shiny new subbie at the end of it.
Jimbleep said:
Went to uni then did TA (So I'm biased)...

Although, with the TA you're kind of committing yourself to a service which might draw you away from your studies (and knowledge is a beautiful thing!) so I'd say do UOTC (it will help prepare you for TA) plus it won't put as many demands on your studies, I'm sure the TA will wait a couple of years for you :)
if you are in fulltime education you are exempt from mobilisation.
Oh and as for the lads respecting you more if you were a tom before thats rubbish. I new an officer who was a lance jack before. The blokes that liked him said it was because he was one of the boys before. The ones that didn't said he was a cnut as a lance jack and he's still a cnut now just thinks he is better that us. Bottom line is if you are a good officer the lads will respect you. Nuff said
You can take my advice with a pinch of salt too, because I never planned a career in the regular army.

I joined the TA and had been in an infantry company for almost two years by the time I went to do my degree. The Adjutant gave me a letter and told me to present myself to the PSAO of the UOTC when I got there:

"Opportunity for a TA commission blahblahblah, lots of fellow students blahbahblah, develop your leadership potential blahblahblah."

Oh well, I thought, why not?

Turned up and did a weekend with them. Easily the most self-obsessed bunch of dullards I'd ever met. Their skills were non-existent, they ran around pissed with their Bren gun like it was funny and the really posh ones had hilarious "I'm a grown up army officer honset" accessories like Irish Wolfhounds, Black Labs, swagger sticks and cravats.

What an utter waste of time. Furthermore, I learnt that the pay was less than the TA and I wouldn't be getting my all important third year bounty.

Sod that, I though, and went and joined the local infantry company. Got my bounty, had a laugh, made friends outside of the usual student social scene and didn't regret it whatsoever. Furthermore, a mate of mine did his officer training there, also eschewing the OTC and did a 12-month "S" type to Bosnia as a PC after he graduated which he reckoned made his CV look pretty good. Lastly, you are spared the call-up for Ops if you are in full-time education unless you volunteer.

I did for GW1 but they weren't interested in inf.

Like I say, just my 2p. I'm sure there are OTC people who will say that my experience was unrepresentative (it was a notoriously posh UOTC) and maybe they're right.

Rather than saying that "The lads will respect you more if you've been a Tom", might there not be some, or more merit, in the approach that a few years seeing things from the 'other side', even in the TA, will give an Officer a useful perspective that will serve them well later?
skills and drills vary a great deal. As someone with experience of both the UOTC and Group A, I can say that generally OCdts beat group A soldiers every time, what they may lack in knowlegde they make up for in physical fitness and their ability to learn quickly. This applies to TA inf v. UOTC as well as the Corps of the TA. TA specialist units tend to be very good at their role but don't go believing the old myth 'soldier first, specialist second'. TA inf tend to be a very mixed bag in general. If you're going for a regular career anyway, join the UOTC and have fun first, they're in a much better position to prepare you for Sandhurst.
If I were a regular soldier and somebody said "Lt. Snooks was in the TA for three years as a Pte," I'd not be particularly impressed I'd imagine, but at least I wouldn't be as unimpressed as I would have been with "Lt. Snooks was a bursar in the UOTC."

Here you go: instant answer for you, ACF girl

stop asking bone questions and read what's been done before


this one too; new 2Lts and the pitfalls

So you're "going to join the Army after studies anyway, not TA?" Bless. Pop in to your local TA rifle coy and tell them all that, you'll be SO popular.

The lads MIGHT respect you more if you've been a tom - but they might not. I've seen both ex Toms and instant Ruperts succeed or fail dismally; a good officer is a good officer, wherever he/she comes from.

Edited for cr@p linking! somewhat defeats the argument..
Errr, those links don't work! :)
Your OTC should be geared to letting you get the best degree you can get, which is why I assume you are going to Uni.

There are losts of valid points already been made particularly IRO the pro's and con's of joining a Group A unit.

Remember your TA unit does not gear up its training around Exams etc. so you need to keep a clear head when you are being pressurised to attend TA weekends when you have exams coming up. This may be a problem with annual camp as a TA units will not be designed to fit in around term time.

You've not said if you will be away from home studying. If you are away, going home for the summer could effect your attendence with your TA.

You OTC may well only enlist once a year (Sept/Oct time) if you miss this you will probably not be able to enlist untill this time in 06.

You will have a better chance to go on jollies in the OTC and there will be loads of chances for FAM visits.

If you want to get away from the Student side of things I can guarantee you the TA social will be a lot different.

The pay issue is valid particularly bounty which is substancially less.

I would get in touch with both the OTC and TA units, look at their forecast of events see how it will fit in with your studies remember you should be able to transfer from an OTC to a grp A unit and vice versa even once youve joined.

Whatever you do good luck.
Cheers. :wink:
Thank you for all your inputs.. I've just this minute typed out a letter to the local TA, investigating.
However I think I'm swinging the TA way (rightly or wrongly!).. However great the hooray Henrys are, running around like headless chickens, I think I'll need my reality check. Having come through 3 years of the ACF, it has already taught me plenty of lessons.. " from the other side".. although, I think I've got time just to fit in a few more!
Any more info that anyone has.. feel free.....
Rifle-Green-Sex-Machine said:
Vegetius - did your friend who did an S Type as a PC stay with the regs?
No, he left afterwards. He really enjoyed the experience, though. He now has a silly money job buying and selling derivatives.

Make sure that your Tp/Pl Sgt and Tp/Pl Comd know when you are going to be away for exams and pre-exam study. Don't just "not turn up". Apart from that, enjoy yourself, work hard and learn lots.

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