Tour of somewhere sandy

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by edd1989, Oct 15, 2008.

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  1. Little background

    As my username suggests I'm 19 years old and I am currently trying to join my local TA infantry unit. Last year I was applying to become an Officer in the Royal Marines and after passing a significant part of the selection process I was failed due to "lack of life experience". Being the age I am and given the fact the perfect candidate is 21-23 and has been through University I believe I’ve done quite well and I will remain proud of how far I got for a long time.

    Since I failed I got a full-time job, a car and have moved out from my parents (girlfriend). Currently I am studying a course at a University (yes I’m a stoodent) far from my home and my primary objective is to gain life experience necessary for my future application to be successful.

    Naturally RMR would be the best choice but unfortunately due to my University location and my course I can't commit to the amount of time I would need to. Also when I sign up full time I wouldn't want to be in a position where I am expected to know more than I do.

    So back to TA after I have passed training.
    During my holidays would it be possible to do a 3 month tour in either Afghanistan or Iraq? Being TA I am unsure whether I would be restricted or committed to a 6 month tour.
    3 months would tie in well with my course and I expect to use my next 3 years well. I would also hope to volunteer for deployments in Canada, America, Cyprus, Africa/anywhere else.
    I'm after making my years as useful and as jam packed as possible. If anyone has any thoughts they would be appreciated.

    Many thanks

  2. Command_doh

    Command_doh LE Book Reviewer

    last time I checked, all new recruits were being told to expect a 6 month sandy tour after joining - rationale being that in today's climate to join the T.A, you pretty much know what you are signing up for. Some may disagree and say 'intelligent mobilisation' is still the official line (people are available, they volunteer, they get the compulsory call and they go for their tour, job safe, etc), but FAS, SDR, TA reviews's etc. all seem to be pointing to more compulsory calls across more and more trades, as the Regs are straining from doing continuous Op's and need the shortfalls being made up.

    And more and more frequently there are fudged and oblique statements coming from the MOD indicating we are all going to get call under FAS and 'continuing Op's' rather than the old fashioned 'balloon going up'.

    I maybe wrong. But our new entrants all get leaned on hard to go out to the sand pits, told (in as many words) that its expected of them.

    Last I heard from RTMC Chilwell (admittedly out of date info) was you could either do 4.5 or 6 month tours, but not less than that. You had to factor in the OPTAG and other deployability training packages and add them to your in - Theatre time, so that prohibited shorter Tours being available.
  3. RP578

    RP578 LE Book Reviewer


    The only Infantry Bn offering 3 month tours as a regular option that I know of, are 4PARA.

    Have a look through this thread: Why Not THree Month Deployments?
  4. msr

    msr LE

    Concentrate on your degree, it will be far more useful in the long run.

    The Reserves are going to be deployed for the foreseeable future so do not be in a rush to mobilise.

  5. I don't know about 4 PARA (but see no reason why they are any different); however, an op tour with a mobilised TA infantry company or platoon is an 11.5 month undertaking. pre deployment training is 3 months followed by 6 months tour rounded off with 2.5 months leave, decompression and demobilisation.

    You should note that current policy is that you cannot deploy on ops until you have completed 6 months' service post-CIC.

    MSR is correct, this is not going away, so either take a 12 month sabatical from university at some point or wait until you are finished.
  6. msr

    msr LE

    No. Finish the degree. Then look for a tour.

  7. That said, have re-read your post. If your intention is to get back into RM with added "life experience", then you may well be barking up the wrong tree. If it was said that you lacked life experience then they probably meant that you are not a rounded individual, in which case you should be looking at developing skills (including social skills), interests and accomplishments outside the military environment. They have no need for you to go away and get military skills and experience, after all you will get that in abundance from them.

  8. You are a hard taskmaster MSR
  9. I totally agree with MSR I have a son at Uni and he is like an eel to get out, get the degree then the sun tan will follow!
  10. Edd

    Thirding(!) msr advice - get your degree done, you'll get plenty of opportunities for a tan.
  11. Failed or deferred??
  12. Thank-you for your responses.

    msr -I appreciate what you're saying and its sound advice I would be a fool ignore, so I won't.
    When I failed last year I was only 18 at the time and I was gutted. I had been training hard over the previous year and to fail for "lack of life experience" seemed like I was almost cheated since there is little I could really do to counter that.
    Ever since then I have been itching to do something military. Even so, I wouldn't take something up that I felt would prejudice my studies.

    A little more information about my fail.
    On something called an Admiralty Interview Board (AIB) I did well in the psychometrics, theoretical exercise and the leadership/leaderless exercises. What really let me down was the interview. I was being asked question such as the following:

    When have you ever been in command of a team and the people below you didn't listen to you?
    When have you disagreed with someone in charge of you and what did you do about it?
    When did you last challenge yourself?

    I was giving answers to the best of my ability working around my experience in a shop part-time and doing some work as a tennis coach. Needless to say my answers were limited and it really showed. Even I could see it, I briefly considered making something up that would somehow make me look good but I thought better of it.

    After a cup of coffee, I was called into the interview room by the Lt Colonel who was interviewing me amongst others and told I had failed.
    His words were "We're not saying don't come back, but just do so after a bit more life experience".
    It was my 18th birthday not a week before and the remainder of my board were aged 21, 24, 25.

    I do consider I did well even though I was disappointed and looking back even now I believe it was probably a good idea. I will go back once my degree is complete.

    I started rambling so back on topic.
    I am at University and am joining the TA right now. A sun tan is perhaps not the best idea until my degree is over.
    Does anyone have any experience or thoughts what I could do within the TA?
    I know I need to finish my degree but I’m itching for a game of soldiers.

  13. Edd,

    take a year off and do a long tour. I did and it fitted in perferctly. Why go backpacking for a year and slum it when you can backpack with the army and slum it! :lol: You will also come back with a pretty healthy bank balance 8)
  14. msr

    msr LE

    Leave. Honestly.

    You need to broaden your experiences and you won't really do that in the TA.

    Grow your hair, smoke dope, join the liberal democrat society, shag lefty chicks, join the debating society, do volunteer charity work... all the things you won't be able to do in the RM.


  15. Edd,

    MSR is right, AIB did not tell you to get some military experience, they told you to get life experience.

    Do a whole bunch of stuff that pushes you and takes you out of your comfort zone, but outside the military.