University or Army?

#1
Hello all

I am 18 years old, and I'm meant to start University in September, but my gut is saying to join the Army. I've been in the TA for just under a year now, and although it's good fun, it's just not doing enough to scratch my military itch. I can see the benefits of going to University first, as it means I have something to fall back on if ever I should leave the Army etc. I know it's the smart thing to do, but I don't know if I want to wait another 4 years to become a regular Soldier. My brain says "go to Uni" but my guy says "Join up". Any thoughts?

Cheers,
Liam
 
#3
Its a question only you can answer. However I would say that if youre going to study a proper subject then go to University, if youre going to study basket weaving or media studies purely to have a degree dont bother as it isnt worth the paper its printed on and youll find yourself 4 years down the line in a lot of debt with a useless qualification. I know several people with silly degrees working in paid by the hour retail jobs 5 years after graduating. The Army will still be there in 4 years.
 
#5
Haha, well it's a French degree, I speak it fluently already as I used to live out there... the original plan was to get the degree, then a teaching qualification, and remain in the TA whilst being a teacher... but like I say, I don't know if it's worth all the debt when what I really want to do is be a soldier?
 
#6
Haha, well it's a French degree, I speak it fluently already as I used to live out there... the original plan was to get the degree, then a teaching qualification, and remain in the TA whilst being a teacher... but like I say, I don't know if it's worth all the debt when what I really want to do is be a soldier?
In that case I agree with KH. Go to Uni and get the qualification. Its something you can fall back on later in life and opens up further options to you 4 years down the line when you do join up. Theres always going to be work for translators.
 
#7
Do Uni, join Army, pay off debt (eventually), and have something to fall back on if you need it. As Sundance says, the Army will still be there in 4 years time.
 
#8
Go to uni mate its 4 years (3 in my case) of getting pissed, shagging birds and spending lots of money that isn't yours on lots of fancy dress. Also you could come in very handy for that new Anglo-French Brigade thing which should be up and running in a few years?
 
#9
Well there is the getting pissed and shagging birds side of it that I was looking forward too as well! When I heard the news of our alliance with the French, I mentioned my language skills to the OC at my unit, and he gave me the most polite "get fucked" I've ever got lol
 
#11
Were you thinking Officer or Soldier route?
Soldier, as I'm hoping to join the Grenadier Guards, and I know how selective they are with their Officers. Also, I don't see myself as an Officer, unless I get one of them special promotions from WO2 to Captain, but that's a looooong way down the line.
 
#12
Well whatever you decide good luck but i would definitely advise going to university, i assume you would do a years placement in France which is what my mate is doing so that can't be too bad!
 
#13
Well whatever you decide good luck but i would definitely advise going to university, i assume you would do a years placement in France which is what my mate is doing so that can't be too bad!
Cheers, yeah it's 3 years studying in North London and one year in France (or possibly Canada). I haven't made up my mind yet, but whichever way I decide, I'm sure it'll be interesting. I'm glad I came on here for advice though, instead of going to a careers office, where I'd get nothing but promises of travelling the world, shagging birds and having a jolly up. Notice how they never mention anything about being on stag at 3 in the morning when it's pissing down? Lol
 
#14
Oooo Canada go there, at least if you can't be bothered with French you can just speak to the English speaking ones. Indeed, doesn't help when your section only has around 5 people init for each ex meaning you get to do stag 3 times but then again that's OTC for you hurrah!
 
#16
Hello all

I am 18 years old, and I'm meant to start University in September, but my gut is saying to join the Army. I've been in the TA for just under a year now, and although it's good fun, it's just not doing enough to scratch my military itch. I can see the benefits of going to University first, as it means I have something to fall back on if ever I should leave the Army etc. I know it's the smart thing to do, but I don't know if I want to wait another 4 years to become a regular Soldier. My brain says "go to Uni" but my guy says "Join up". Any thoughts?

Cheers,
Liam
I did the army and went to uni in my early 30's - there were a few ex-army guys there and we had our own "Sgts Mess" table in the refrectory. The conclusion we all came to was that we should have done it earlier in life and gone into the army with degrees under our belts.

Having met a fair few lads and lasses at uni that were considering a uniformed career there were those who went for OTC and the pseudo officers mess bs and there were those who decided to go it as a squaddie. In many cases the OTC crowd went on to marvellous civvy careers and never looked back at the military.

However, the best ones I have met did three or four years with the TA Paras and then went on to become regular officers. On joining as a regular they immediately had their wings, the experience of a few good courses, some pretty active Brecon experiences and some valuable first hand experience of what it is like to be at the bottom of the totem which served them well when eventually dealing with real squaddies. Wings look pretty on guards uniforms too.

As for Frog Canucks speaking english, ha! They are worse than the feckin ones in France.
 
#17
Pretty much exactly the same situation I found myself in. The reason I was iffy about it is because I don't want to go the officer route and hence I thought a degree would be a waste. But I decided now is the best time to get a degree (I'm young and the fee rise is due to kick in next year) and I can fall back on that after the Army

I am starting my degree this September, and in 3-4 years time I'll be going for the Army (And not the Officer route unless I have a change of heart). 3 years of drink, sex, partying and the only academic subject I have ever enjoyed and took a genuine interest in (History) is too good an oppurtunity to miss for me.
 
#18
At the risk of going against the grain I'd say if your looking at going in as a soldier entry then have a good long think of whether uni would be worth the cost, particularly now with the tuition fee rise. If I was 18 again I think I'd drop the idea of going to uni and join up as a squaddie as soon as I left school. You can get pissed and shag around whether your a university student or not. I got more action in 6th form!

I've not long left a good uni with a decent respectable degree but a career in the military is what I've wanted for a long time and as much as I enjoyed the OTC the Officer route doesn't appeal. The only bonus of a degree, which has already been mentioned, is it's something to fall back on, but as nearly half of graduates are in low-skilled jobs I'd seriously question whether the cost is worth it.

The posters above opinions hold more weight than mine as they've been both to uni and are/where in the forces but still I think it's worth weighing up the pros and cons before committing yourself to 3 years of study and 30k debt in this current climate.
 
#19
On the issue of student debt, if you are going to go to Uni, now is the year to do it. In 2012 the fee rise kicks in, so unless you want to end up paying an extra £6k a year its now or never.
 
M

Mark The Convict

Guest
#20
I mentioned my language skills to the OC at my unit, and he gave me the most polite "get fucked" I've ever got
Sounds like your OC needs to unfuck his attitude. Did that strike you as the sort of example that an officer should set? By the sound of it, I doubt that he's fluent in French or any other language, for that matter.

If your life turns out to be anything like mine, at some point or other, you'll end up needing every skill and attribute you've ever acquired, and plenty more besides.

Also, whilst you'll always be able to draw on your degree, you may not always be able to soldier. It can be a harsh way of life, and has left more than one bloke broken to some extent.

Degree -> Army; if you try to do it the other way around, there's a good chance that it won't work out.
 

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