TA vs. OTC while at University

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Reserve Recruitment' started by lewismansell, Sep 26, 2010.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. I've justed started University aged 23, with the aim of joining the Army as an Officer once I graduate in 3 years time. I recently went through the first stage of application to the OTC (15 minute interview, leadership tasks, easy stuff), but I've found the whole thing to be based mostly around drinking and having fun, rather than core Army issues. As I'm one of those weirdo's whose gone to university to get a degree rather than party all the time, I'm looking into joining the TA instead. I'm going to meet my local TA unit this week at some point (should I go on their training evening?) to ge an idea of the committment and training, etc, but would appreciate your thoughts on this. I have a friend in the same situation as me who has been in the TA before and is going to continue at university. I'm looking to begin applying for my commission early next year or in my 2nd academic year. I've got a fair bit of leadership experience through my work history and Scout leadership, and also passed Navy Officer Selection earlier this year.
     
  2. I looked at joining a TA unit when at university, as my tutor happened to be a TA officer. But decided to go for the OTC instead because the schedule is better adapted to university schedules and they don't have a problem with you saying you can't turn up because of uni work. Went on to the TA after university.

    Having studied at a number of places, I went through Birmingham, Cambridge and Leeds UOTCs and greatly enjoyed them all.
     
  3. You could try reading the myriad threads on this subject here already, of course. However as you say:

    You may find that getting a degree & serving in the TA, especially if you are aiming for a commission in the latter, are mutually exclusive. I was already Commissioned when I went to University & serving in the TA undoubtedly had an adverse effect on my result...
     
  4. If your aim is to get your pips then the OTC. Yes it is a drinking club, but thats just the sales pitch. There is hard work in there, you get out of it what you put in. Plus its flexible around uni which is your immediate and paramount priority.

    Though i would highly recommend trying to get on weekends with your local TA units, just ask your PSI or company commanders. Many have open slots and are happy to have you along as a potential "commission into us" sales pitch. There is more relevant training to current ops, but also a chance to work with different people and build on your people skills. Important as the OTC can be in a bubble world of its own at times.
     
  5. There's no harm in going along to your nearest TA unit and speaking to them on their training evening. You will be able to discuss how much time you would have available to commit to the TA and how this would work into that unit's training plan.

    Certainly if you choose the TA over the OTC you will gain a grounding in the fundamentals of being a soldier first and should you commission whilst with the TA you will only have to sit a transfer board at AOSB (rather than briefing and main board again) to become a Regular Officer (though you would still have to do Regular RMAS).
     
  6. Really? I thought an AOSB pass was an AOSB pass and (subject to being in date) was valid for TACC and Regular CC...
     
  7. The TA unit that I am with, views UOTC as more of a drinking club.

    To be Honest mate, at 23 get on the TA. At least there you have a chance to gain real would experience, as well as learn from those that have served in the regular army.

    I have recently graduated, and found my unit to be very flexible in terms of commitment, especially during the final year.

    It might pay to speak to someone other than your TA unit to get an idea which of the 2 will benifit you the most in the long run, and enable you to achive your overall objective.

    Might be worth keeping the scouts thing on the low low, may result in a serious ribbing,
     
  8. A pass at AOSB is the same TA or Regular, the point I was making was that if he passes AOSB for the TA and takes up a TA commission if he then wants to transfer to the Regulars (after his AOSB pass has expired) he would only need to sit a transfer board rather than main board again.
     
  9. Cheers, JD150, as I've made it clear I'm a bit out of date. Should stop commenting on these advice threads!
     
  10. Thats not totally true. I know a number of very good officers who were private soldiers in the TA while at university, and then went on to join up regular afterwards.
    By all accounts you can work around it if you are willing and get some money in to the bargin. You just need a decent and understanding TA unit near by, and be willing to put the work in.
     
  11. I'm in a similar position, but have decided to join the TA as a soldier to get a bit of experience, and then looking to apply for Sandhurst with the regulars after university.

    How would people recommend travelling for TA units? Where I am there is only a unit of Fusiliers, and after University I am wanting to join 42 Engineer, but I'm not sure what would be best; get experience in the unit I am wanting to join, or a similar role whilst still at Uni or try something else to widen my perception. Both seem tempting
     
  12. Having served on the staff at ULOTC some years ago there is a lot to be said for both routes. If you are going to join a TA Unit though join the Fusiliers as a Fusilier. Mix with the boys, learn something about them and you will be a better officer.
    I had issues with a lot of Officer cadets that they were not fully grounded and had a view of themselves that they couldn't substantiate.

    Incidentally the least effective TA Officers were those through the OTC route. They seemed to poorly value their soldier and seem to have a sense of entitlement rather than of service. My experience is that the Factory is not the place to have that corrected - and correct it they will.

    Additionally you will have the opportunity to learn from experienced soldiers and NCOs who have been to war, and in a less formal setting than OTC training. As a TA Officer, particularly in an Infantry Unit you will learn by your mistakes (a good thing) and be told in no uncertain terms by your NCOs what thsoe mistakes re. In n OTC unit you will most likely lern not to vomit on the COs shoes
     
  13. I faced this dilemma when i joined university. I went down the OTC route and it panned out OK. One thing I would say, which is what my old careers officer said to me, join OTC to learn the basics and have a quality time. Take advantage of that quality time while you have it. Also, I found that a lot of my uni friends came from OTC; probably the best way to make life long buds.
     
  14. cpunk

    cpunk LE Moderator

    First off: integrity. You've either done a year in the OTC now or you're fibbing and have no real clue about the UOTC. If you had actually just joined, you would understand that you haven't yet started the early stages of Mod 1, but that this will be a basic training program much like you would be undergoing in a TA unit, with added leadership elements. The difference is that it is geared around University terms.

    JD150 - you're talking out of your arse.

    Creature5334 - you too.

    The fact is that, from next year, you will have to train with the OTC if you want to commission into the TA, and quite right too. RTC OTWs are dire collections of clueless STABs who should not be allowed within a hundred miles of officer training. The bottom line is that serving in a TA unit is perfectly possible if you are at university but it will not enhance your training and will not enhance your chances of commissioning, but if you like the craic of serving as a non-deployable trainee in a TA unit, then go for it.
     
  15. cpunk - do you a reference or DII link, all ours are still going via the RTC...