Top 1/3 for Infantry Regiments?

#1
Hello Arrse's,

Relatively speaking I am an Army virgin; I passed AOSB and owe it somewhat to the Arrse forums. Thankyou.

I am currently organising familiarisation visits to Infantry regiments, and have had a few interviews. My problem is that I am going to volunteer in an orphanage for the next three months and probably will not be able to fit in battalion visits before January intake to Sandhurst. I understand this will put me on the back foot with me desired regiments (Anglians and Rifles).

In addition, both these regiments, not surprisingly require a PO to perform in the top 1/3 of there platoon. This is more relevant to me as I wont have built much of a relationship with any regiments... So anyone who has recently started or completed Sandhurst - what’s expected of the top 1/3rd fitness wise (1.5m and 8-10m runs). I have bought a few of the more available books to prepare on counter insurgency, a-symmetrical warfare and war history and officers in general.

I am really committed to going combat arm, so I'm asking what I need to prepare physically and academically to be at the top of the class?


Thanks in advance!
 
#3
biscuitbrowns said:
Top 3rd isn't just fitness, you can be a machine but be an absolute bellend so other things come into it
Yes, I realise this. I was hoping most bell ends get weeded out in the selection process. If I am a bell end, which I hope I am not, there is not much I can do about it now. By 'the other things that come into it' do you mean personal characteristics e.g. commitment, humility, determination, communication skills, discipline, loyalty and grit etc.

EDIT: biscuitbrowns - Not a criticism or an accusation but I asked the question to a specific group of people and since you have been a member since May 18th 2009 just wondering if you have been to Sandhurst or are about to go? If the former can you shed any light on the fitness and academic side?
 
#4
BenJk said:
biscuitbrowns said:
Top 3rd isn't just fitness, you can be a machine but be an absolute bellend so other things come into it
Yes, I realise this. I was hoping most bell ends get weeded out in the selection process. If I am a bell end, which I hope I am not, there is not much I can do about it now. By 'the other things that come into it' do you mean personal characteristics e.g. commitment, humility, determination, communication skills, discipline, loyalty and grit etc.

EDIT: biscuitbrowns - Not a criticism or an accusation but I asked the question to a specific group of people and since you have been a member since May 18th 2009 just wondering if you have been to Sandhurst or are about to go? If the former can you shed any light on the fitness and academic side?
My bold, BenJK, you'd be very surprised! Its would be easy to say just get down there and do your best, but, a little bit more is required of you than that! A Fam-visit is an ideal opportunity to get a feel for the type of officers your potential unit has and also the attributes that they may require of you. As you alluded to, you're either a bellend, or you're not. Prepare as best you can reference suggested reading and fitness etc. Remember though, its a LEARNING course, you will be taught everything in fine detail that you are required to know, how you assimilate and project your new gained knowledge may determine your standing in the platoon at the end of the course. Good luck.
 
#5
BenJk said:
In addition, both these regiments, not surprisingly require a PO to perform in the top 1/3 of there platoon. This is more relevant to me as I wont have built much of a relationship with any regiments... So anyone who has recently started or completed Sandhurst - what’s expected of the top 1/3rd fitness wise (1.5m and 8-10m runs). I have bought a few of the more available books to prepare on counter insurgency, a-symmetrical warfare and war history and officers in general.

I am really committed to going combat arm, so I'm asking what I need to prepare physically and academically to be at the top of the class?

Thanks in advance!
Firstly, why would you assume that the Infantry can demand the top tranche of candidates? Whatever your local contacts may have told you, there is just as much (if not more) competition to get into many other parts of the Army. Fitness is taken as read and will have little bearing upon your overall performance and grading (unless you are a knacker which will obviously count against you). It will be your other qualities and performance in command appointments that determine your relative position at the end of the course.

Some branches of the Army would also be quite interested in a basic ability to write reasonable English (including correct spelling and sound grammar). Fortunately for you, I suspect the Infantry may not be quite so picky! :lol:

Good luck with your ambition.
 
#6
Firstly, why would you assume that the Infantry can demand the top tranche of candidates? Whatever your local contacts may have told you, there is just as much (if not more) competition to get into many other parts of the Army
I don't think anyone is assuming anything. What BenJk said - that competition is most intense for a commission in the combat arms - corresponds to everything I have been told (on Fam visits and in conversations with Officers) have read (here, on offical websites and in books). This isn't a dig at the CS or CSS arms, its merely a statement of fact about the preference of OCdts in Sandhurst.

Are you going to challenge this view, and if so, what is it based on?
 
#7
wager said:
Firstly, why would you assume that the Infantry can demand the top tranche of candidates? Whatever your local contacts may have told you, there is just as much (if not more) competition to get into many other parts of the Army
I don't think anyone is assuming anything. What BenJk said - that competition is most intense for a commission in the combat arms - corresponds to everything I have been told (on Fam visits and in conversations with Officers) have read (here, on offical websites and in books). This isn't a dig at the CS or CSS arms, its merely a statement of fact about the preference of OCdts in Sandhurst.

Are you going to challenge this view, and if so, what is it based on?
Based on the fact that the Sappers (for example) routinely have between 4 and 6 applicants for every place available. If you need help with the maths let me know. But obviously that is not a dig at the Cbt Arms. I'm sure some Inf Regts are very competitive but I would be surprised if they were all the same?
 
#9
I did not think my written English was that bad!

I did say, "Relatively speaking I am an Army virgin". My ACA and contacts at Anglians and Rifles all said they take the top 1/3rd (broadly speaking) so I did not assume it. Many (the majority) of the people I spoke to on the ASOB board and brief were aiming to go Infantry.

I realise that other PO career paths like the (for example) Air Corp and Engineers are also need a high standard but generally less people have engineering degrees or the desire to fly in the army when there is the RAF thus making them less competitive.

Just out of interest what are the more competitive Infantry regiments? Not Inc Para’s.

Skinn_Full - It is easy to forget that it is a Learning Course! Makes me a bit more confident as I have never done TA/OTC or was El Captain of the Uni Rugby team. Unfortunately, the chances of fitting a battalion visit between when I get back from Nepal and when I start Sandhurst is minimal. That’s why I am asking here.

So to bring it back to the origonal queston... Approximatly...
What does a top 10% at Sandhurst do 1.5miles in?
What does a top 10% at Sandhurst do 10miles in?
Will average PO candidates reseach war studies/history/management or leadership/field craft skills before they go?

I only ask - as I want to go there and do the best I can, and in my mind, some preparation is key. This may seem like obvious stuff to people in the know - but I am not.
 
#10
You will find that most regiments and corps say that they only take the top 1/3, and to an extent they are correct. The situation is a lot more complicated and there are a huge variety of reasons why people go to various regiments. I know guys who were bottom third who went to infantry regiments, including the rifles and guards regiments. Also the sword of honour winner from the last but one course went RE. It is in fact often harder to get into non teeth arms. The gunners can offer about twenty places a term, not thirty as previously stated. However they routinely interview up to fifty applicants for those twenty places. I believe they have recently offered as few places as twelve. Compare this with some infantry regiments who interview four applicants for three spaces. Which has the tougher odds?

You are as you state an army virgin, which means you don't really have a clue about the jobs done by Officers in various roles. A hell of a lot of people arrive at Sandhurst focused on one particular area. It's a mistake take some time to look around
 
#11
Sorry to answer your questions though:

1.5 mile time for top third? Somewhere between seven and ten and a half minutes.

Ten mile time, irrelevant as not tested.

Will cadets research war studies etc. Prior to entry? It depends. If you are interested then do the research, if not don't. As Slim said "leadership is just plain you." You can't fake your way through Sandhurst, you will probably end up where you fit in
 
#12
BenJk said:
I did not think my written English was that bad!
It is bad enough to get you shouted at by your seniors. See the next two quoted bits and count the basic spelling errors.

So to bring it back to the origonal queston... Approximatly...
What does a top 10% at Sandhurst do 1.5miles in?
What does a top 10% at Sandhurst do 10miles in?
Beyond a competent pass and clearly making an effort, you are making a bad mistake if you assume that excelling at RMAS is merely about being the fittest person there. As has been pointed out, which you have pointedly ignored, being a biff will definitely harm you but the staff will be looking at a much wider range of attributes than running or marching speed.

Will average PO candidates reseach war studies/history/management or leadership/field craft skills before they go?
Average? Mean, median or mode? More seriously, you are joining a professional organisation as a management trainee. Although you will be put through training, you will be expected to know something about the organisation being joined and more about the specific bits you wish to join. With regard to the leadership and field craft side - if you can do this, then fine, but remember that there is a Sandhurst way to do most things so channelling Ray Mears rather than listening to your instructors will be noticed and not in a good way. This is not to say that the Sandhurst way is the "one and only true way" but ...

Knowing the history, both ancient and recent, of the Regiments you want to join (you clearly have a downer on the Corps) might help when you are being considered but they are more likely to take your character and how you would fit in to their work and Mess culture as the deciding factors.

I only ask - as I want to go there and do the best I can, and in my mind, some preparation is key. This may seem like obvious stuff to people in the know - but I am not.
If you ask, please be prepared to listen.

Edited to add - do you seriously think any bit of the army is going to advertise itself to potential officers as "we take the people who pass Sandhurst but nobody else wants"?
 
#13
The gunners can offer about twenty places a term, not thirty as previously stated
That was my mistake - according to their website they offer 60 places per year, split between the three RMAS courses.
 
#14
I believe they have recently offered as few places as twelve. Compare this with some infantry regiments who interview four applicants for three spaces
Stabtoreg, just to clarify something - do Inf and Cav units offer 4 places per year (as I thought) or 4 per CC? I'm not trying to nitpick, just genuinely interested in the process?

Cheers,

Paul
 
#15
Have you met with Major XXXX of the Rifles yet? He basically explains the whole selection process to you, and what the Rifles specifically are looking for. He also told me the importance of the familiarisation visits, in brief they are the best method of seeing how you would fit in with the rest of the regiment.

Also as he rightly said all regiments claim to only take the top 1/3, but if this was true what would happen to the other 2/3. They basically judge you on how well you do in certain areas which are important to the specific regiments. Don't worry about being an army virgin, as I was told after 8 weeks everyone should be on an equal playing field. :thumright:


EDITED - to remove officers name
 
#16
biscuitbrowns said:
Top 3rd isn't just fitness, you can be a machine but be an absolute bellend so other things come into it
Very true; being an absolute bellend almost guarantees a place in the top third.

:roll:
 
#17
stabtoreg - "You can't fake your way through Sandhurst" So preparation and background reading before you start a partially academic course is known as faking? From the beginning, I only wanted to know what to expect from other potential officers and know what I should be aspiring to. 10 mile is relevant to me. I aim go into most situations with an open mind, I have not completely ruled out another choice or arm.

Idrach - Can you answer the question or just analyze it. I hope that this is less offensive:

So to bring it back to the original question. Approximately:
What does the top 10% at Sandhurst do 1.5 miles in?
What does the top 10% at Sandhurst do 10 miles in?

"you are making a bad mistake if you assume that excelling at RMAS is merely about being the fittest person there" I wouldn’t have asked if I was not prepared to listen. Please see my second post. As I have already stated I realise that it’s not just about fitness. One, if I am already fit its one less thing to worry about and two, from the two currently serving officers I have spoken to they both said that the Infantry regards fitness highly and three, I cant prepare my personality while I can prepare in other areas.

"Edited to add - do you seriously think any bit of the army is going to advertise itself to potential officers as "we take the people who pass Sandhurst but nobody else wants"?" - Fair point.

SebaSmith – I have been to an interview with Major XXX – I liked him and what he had to say about the Rifles. I probably will not get a chance to go on a familiarisation visit before RMAS, for me getting into a desired regiment will be based on my performance during the first two terms, hence why I started this thread.

I don’t want to turn this into a keyboard jousting competition. If anyone can shed any light on some of the questions over what can be done as preparation for RMAS in ANY way AND what would be considered a good physical standard for an Officer in an Infantry regiment.

Edit: A spelling mistake and Officers name
 
#18
deleted.
 
#19
Wager: it varies from regiment to regiment and their current manning but it is closer to four a term.

BenJK: Some applicants will do research, some won't. My point was that you should relax, the academics are not massively challenging. Read a paper, read up on contemporary operations in the books you can find in any book shop.
I answered the question about fitness, just aim to do your best, I know guys with ten minute 1.5 times that went infantry, wheras the fittest guy in my platoon went royal sigs. It's pointless giving you a time because the intangibles play such a massive part.
 
#20
stabtoreg said:
Wager: it varies from regiment to regiment and their current manning but it is closer to four a term.

BenJK: Some applicants will do research, some won't. My point was that you should relax, the academics are not massively challenging. Read a paper, read up on contemporary operations in the books you can find in any book shop.
I answered the question about fitness, just aim to do your best, I know guys with ten minute 1.5 times that went infantry, wheras the fittest guy in my platoon went royal sigs. It's pointless giving you a time because the intangibles play such a massive part.
Thank you.
 

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