UOTC vs joining a reserve regiment

I would suggest that people cannot take time off whenever they want in most civilian roles....

If the perception of the leadership at your reserve unit is that this is the case that requires adjustment.
Sure but more in many cases, they are less limited. I'd say a far greater proportion of non students reservists are more flexible in when they can take time off work compared to students.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
Having been to OTC meant that I knew roughly what was coming, wasn't picked for many command appointments, cruised PRACTAC, and sailed through the first term barely breaking a sweat. Cheers, easy!
When at BRNC (longer ago than I like to admit...) previous OTC/TA experience - even of the "thank you for trying, perhaps you're not quite what we were looking for" variety - came in quite handy on occasion.

To reinforce your point, the important issue for the two of us with some prior knowledge of bivvying up in the woods, stagging on and living off 24-hour packs for a couple of days, was that we shared what we knew and helped the five others (some of whom were finding this quite the culture shock) out. Teamwork - it's for winners. (Since then, the pre-BRNC stage includes more of that militarisation)
 
the main issue regarding reserve units are that they are designed for people who have a job but can take time off for work any time they want. A student obviously has more holidays but there are obviously certain times in the year when they cannot take time off (term time and exam periods). Depending on what part of the army reserve you join you may well end up finding yourself not being able to do a trade course because it runs only once a year and clashes with your study commitments, thus reducing your utility within a unit.
My italics - shouldn't be true, but unfortunately is.

Many of our blokes would come in and say "I've lost my job/ I'm between contracts/ I can time when I leave my current job - can I smash out several key courses before I pick up my next role?". Almost invariably they came away with a slack handful of MTDs but no more. The system just couldn't accommodate them.

OTC PSIs know everyone is free over the summer and can pimp out OCdts to all & sundry. I spent every July & August attending other units' annual camps, doing exercises, AT, going to Canada etc.

The usual reply is "well, yah, I was too cool to be in the OTC. I spent my holidays in Thailand or interning in the West End - not under a poncho, you loser."

Fair enough - but I was a sad bastard whose idea of fun was a 6 week infantry exercise or hanging out with a different capbadge. Unsurprisingly I didn't get invited to any cool parties anyway. Horses for courses and all that.
 

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