Thinking about career as infantry officer

For some time now I have wanted to be an infantry officer. I am still a bit of a way from joining as I am yet to begin my degree in September but I have been met with some problems. My parents are against the idea of me trying to be an infantry officer. They said that it would be down to chance, and bad ones at that for me to make it. Additionally, even if I did, employment after the army is very poor. Is this somewhat true, or are they very misinformed? I do know getting there will include many challenges, but they make it seem hopeless for me to get where I want to be.
 
Well they are only concerned for your welfare and safety. It is a huge thing to ask them to be happy with the idea of you being in harms way etc. Perhaps - once you have done your research and are sure yourself - you could gently thank them for their concerns but ask them to be proud that they have reared someone who wants to serve.
 
For some time now I have wanted to be an infantry officer. I am still a bit of a way from joining as I am yet to begin my degree in September but I have been met with some problems. My parents are against the idea of me trying to be an infantry officer. They said that it would be down to chance, and bad ones at that for me to make it. Additionally, even if I did, employment after the army is very poor. Is this somewhat true, or are they very misinformed? I do know getting there will include many challenges, but they make it seem hopeless for me to get where I want to be.
Join the OTC at university
Learn about life as an officer and the different roles open to you (and drink a lot)
Make an informed decision
Present said decision to you parents, explain your reasoning, and remind them that you are now an adult capable of making your own decisions
 
Join the OTC at university
Learn about life as an officer and the different roles open to you (and drink a lot)
Make an informed decision
Present said decision to you parents, explain your reasoning, and remind them that you are now an adult capable of making your own decisions

What he said.

Alternatively, go join your local Army Reserve as a private to find out what life is like for the blokes, and to gain some very valuable insights, skills and experience. A fair few very good officers went for this route whilst studying and, as said, the experience made them very good/excellent career officers due to the insights and experiences they had.

Most parents are chuffed but, understandably worried if their spawn joins up.
 
What he said.

Alternatively, go join your local Army Reserve as a private to find out what life is like for the blokes, and to gain some very valuable insights, skills and experience. A fair few very good officers went for this route whilst studying and, as said, the experience made them very good/excellent career officers due to the insights and experiences they had.

Most parents are chuffed but, understandably worried if their spawn joins up.
Depending on your lifestyle the perks of being a reservist might outweigh the advantages of being regular... especially if you earn decent money in a civvie job, mostly it's focused on pure soldiering once Alpha and Bravo out of the way and less of the drill and stagging on 1 in 4 weekends etc...
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
I’ve been around the Infantry for 47 years and love it. Join the OTC at uni and see how it goes.
 

olafthered

LE
Book Reviewer
For some time now I have wanted to be an infantry officer. I am still a bit of a way from joining as I am yet to begin my degree in September but I have been met with some problems. My parents are against the idea of me trying to be an infantry officer. They said that it would be down to chance, and bad ones at that for me to make it. Additionally, even if I did, employment after the army is very poor. Is this somewhat true, or are they very misinformed? I do know getting there will include many challenges, but they make it seem hopeless for me to get where I want to be.
Which university?

I would recommend the OTC, potentially with a reserve commission while at uni, it all helps the experience.

Post service there are excellent opportunities for former officers, but you have to make the most of the opportunities while in green. If there is a civilian qual associated with a course, get it. If you have an opportunity to make contacts in industry, do so, etc.
 

olafthered

LE
Book Reviewer
Which university?

I would recommend the OTC, potentially with a reserve commission while at uni, it all helps the experience.

Post service there are excellent opportunities for former officers, but you have to make the most of the opportunities while in green. If there is a civilian qual associated with a course, get it. If you have an opportunity to make contacts in industry, do so, etc.
And if you want up to date info on the OTC, drop me a PM...
 
Joining the army reserves will give you a handy income during your studies and some spends during the holidays might even get a HGV driving licence out of it depending on the unit and get some agency work to top up the bank account
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Do you lot get driver’s license from the OTC?

Nay
I did driver training in the OTC but didn't get my licence until I joined the Regulars the following year. This is over 40 years ago, though.
 

olafthered

LE
Book Reviewer
Do you lot get driver’s license from the OTC?

Nay
No, but if you can already drive you can get Fam training and can then drive some military vehicles. Depending on age when you join and how long you have held a licence you may get minibus or trailer licences, but all depends on how much you turn in etc.
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
For some time now I have wanted to be an infantry officer. I am still a bit of a way from joining as I am yet to begin my degree in September but I have been met with some problems. My parents are against the idea of me trying to be an infantry officer. They said that it would be down to chance, and bad ones at that for me to make it. Additionally, even if I did, employment after the army is very poor. Is this somewhat true, or are they very misinformed? I do know getting there will include many challenges, but they make it seem hopeless for me to get where I want to be.
Unclear whether they have a problem with you joining the Army, or specifically as an infantry officer? Also unclear what 'make it' means? Get selected for the infantry? Get out of the Army alive? These details matter given what you are asking, some are truer than others.
  • Few officers of any type have employment problems after the Army. That is untrue.
  • It is true that being an infantry officer doesn't really give you any relevant qualifications, but neither do most of the Corps / arms as an officer. Most relevant qualifications are gained prior to the Army and then maintained by it or not used. So infantry officer is neither better nor worse than the rest, with the exception of being a PQO.
  • Even though they don't often realise it, a lot of companies value qualities Army officers tend to have. It's unlikely to be much of an advantage getting a job, but if once in you are good, they often attribute that to 'leadership' and other military intangibles, which mean you are more likely to have better career prospects, advancement, etc. This does rely on you being good, however. Remember career prospects are relative to others, and the Army actually sets you up quite well relative to most graduates.
  • Chances of dying are very small and anyone who says otherwise is ignoring the statistics and speculating about worst case scenarios.
  • You have no obligation to do what your parents want, it is your choice.
You haven't said why your parents are against it. If for practical reasons, see above: your prospects as a graduate doing 3-8 years in the Army (particularly in present economy) will be better than the substantial majority of your graduated peers. It's after that (Maj and beyond) that the Army can become a career sink. If for ideological reasons, then you need to ask yourself and them whose opinion really matters in this decision.
 

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