Wannabe Officer

#1
Intro as is mandatory, I attended AOSB for the first time and 'just' missed out on a pass having literally borderline passed everything but still seen as 'just' too high a risk for Sandhurst, I was advised to try again in 9 months time.

Being fully aware that you only receive 2 chances at AOSB in your lifetime, I spoke to my CSM and he recommended that I enlist as a regular, gain soldier and leadership experience and then try the officer route again, whilst giving myself the best possible shot at it.

The CSM advised it would be a simple process where I inform the CoC that I want to do it, and apply as is normal on the British Army website and he also said that I can do this at any time I like after training, however he recommended that I at least stay for a couple of years in my unit as a soldier.

Attended my AC, received a high A and was advised to go down the officer route in my final interview, which was obviously frustrating feedback as it was clearer to me that I could have done better at AOSB which was disappointing. So, I start basic at Pirbright in Nov as a Surveyor for the RE.

Having done plenty of research on multiple websites including the forums on here, I have come across a lengthy process for the "Late-entry" route to officer with no mention to the (assumed up-to-date) simple apply online process.

I would like to know if it is as simple as the CSM said, apply online like a civvy would whenever I like and just inform my CoC, like you would to a civvy employer (get a reference etc) or would you have to go down the potential officer development course etc. route that the late entry process states and be recommended by your CoC etc etc.?

All help is appreciated, been on the forum a while now giving and taking, this is a question I should have asked a while ago.
 

crustyrusty

On ROPS
On ROPs
#2
Why do you want to be an Officer?
You will probably do more hands-on work as a soldier and gain good qualifications.
Officers lead the men, so more management in some RE trades?
Then say in x years time apply for a commission as an experienced RE soldier with good trade Quals.
 
#4
Why do you want to be an Officer?
You will probably do more hands-on work as a soldier and gain good qualifications.
Officers lead the men, so more management in some RE trades?
Then say in x years time apply for a commission as an experienced RE soldier with good trade Quals.
The main reason I wanted to join the army was to lead and to learn to lead better.

A change of career and a few industry-relevant qualifications were a bonus to that, however not essential as I would get myself a relevant degree whether or not funded by the tax payer.

You have a similar mantra to my former CSM in that, gain experience and go on to commission which made complete sense and is a path I am currently undertaking.

However, it is simply the process and how 'simple' it is of commissioning from the ranks as my CSM seemed to think you just apply online like a civvy would on the website etc etc as explained above.
 
#5
The main reason I wanted to join the army was to lead and to learn to lead better.

A change of career and a few industry-relevant qualifications were a bonus to that, however not essential as I would get myself a relevant degree whether or not funded by the tax payer.

You have a similar mantra to my former CSM in that, gain experience and go on to commission which made complete sense and is a path I am currently undertaking.

However, it is simply the process and how 'simple' it is of commissioning from the ranks as my CSM seemed to think you just apply online like a civvy would on the website etc etc as explained above.
I may be now out of date but over the last 150 years the biggest percentage casualties in the Army are-
LCpls.
Cpls.
2nd Lt.
Lt. (I suspect that is the wrong abbreviation).
This was and probably still is because they are the leaders, after that whilst still a leader you are more of a manager as well.
 

crustyrusty

On ROPS
On ROPs
#6
A mate had the qualifications a HNC in Avionics and went for a commission in the RAF as an engineering officer.
When told he would lead and not get his hands "dirty" he went down the SAC(T) route.
Did 12 years an an avionics technician and his RAF quals helped him get his current role in civy street.
Every course offered and ended up with an HND and finally BEng & all in the ranks.

On resettlement managed to convert to CEng.

Being an officer probably would have got him a BEng/MEng & CEng and better pay/pension sooner.
But with less "hands on" engineering experience vital in his RAF role

So up to you, if you failed once at AOSB what happens a 2nd time?
Or go the soldier route and see what happens?
 
#7
I think your CSM has sold you a pup, and that if you want to be an Officer, join as an Officer.
 
#8
A mate had the qualifications a HNC in Avionics and went for a commission in the RAF as an engineering officer.
When told he would lead and not get his hands "dirty" he went down the SAC(T) route.
Did 12 years an an avionics technician and his RAF quals helped him get his current role in civy street.
Every course offered and ended up with an HND and finally BEng & all in the ranks.

On resettlement managed to convert to CEng.

Being an officer probably would have got him a BEng/MEng & CEng and better pay/pension sooner.
But with less "hands on" engineering experience vital in his RAF role

So up to you, if you failed once at AOSB what happens a 2nd time?
Or go the soldier route and see what happens?
I have to admit, the practical experience is one of the many appealing sides of being a ranker which is essential to all memberships of professional organisations such as RICS etc.

Like @javaguzzisti mentioned above, another perk of the British Army is that all ranks are trained to lead and lead well.

Thank you both for your constructive replies.
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
#10
Not sure your man gave you the best advice. It's a time- and energy-consuming pain going the AOSB route as a trained soldier - and a late entry commission is irrelevant, that's when warrant officers are selected for commissioning at around the 18-year point or later.

You don't say how old you are but the great Army Officer Career Structure (for which the Army is merely the bearer ecology) is hilariously age-related and you'll be at a signficant career disadvantage if you end up at the RMA at 25 or 26 or so.

I assume you're a graduate, so I think if you want to be an officer (and you certainly seem to have the right motivation for it), then look to work on the points which were raised on your AOSB feedback and then go an have another go. If that doesn't work, well, it wasn't for you, then consider the Army as a ranker, it's still a great job and a fantastic life.
 
#11
#12
Not sure your man gave you the best advice. It's a time- and energy-consuming pain going the AOSB route as a trained soldier - and a late entry commission is irrelevant, that's when warrant officers are selected for commissioning at around the 18-year point or later.

You don't say how old you are but the great Army Officer Career Structure (for which the Army is merely the bearer ecology) is hilariously age-related and you'll be at a signficant career disadvantage if you end up at the RMA at 25 or 26 or so.

I assume you're a graduate, so I think if you want to be an officer (and you certainly seem to have the right motivation for it), then look to work on the points which were raised on your AOSB feedback and then go an have another go. If that doesn't work, well, it wasn't for you, then consider the Army as a ranker, it's still a great job and a fantastic life.
+ That's what I was afraid of, becoming an officer is definitely where I wanted to end up, hence me being over-cautious and wanting to give it my best chance by having some experience under my belt. Is it more uncommon than I thought ex-rankers becoming officers at an early stage?

+ I am 23 currently and a part-qualified chartered accountant for a large firm, I was under the impression maturity counts for a lot. Are promotion prospects altered if going in later?

Thank you for your reply.
 
#15
+ That's what I was afraid of, becoming an officer is definitely where I wanted to end up, hence me being over-cautious and wanting to give it my best chance by having some experience under my belt. Is it more uncommon than I thought ex-rankers becoming officers at an early stage?

+ I am 23 currently and a part-qualified chartered accountant for a large firm, I was under the impression maturity counts for a lot. Are promotion prospects altered if going in later?

Thank you for your reply.
Maturity counts for a lot, age far less.
Not sure if that helps in your decision.
So I'll leave it as I hope whichever way you go it works for you and the Army.
 
#16
As the Army is composed of Officers and Gentlemen, do you have any experience of being one of the latter?:)
I'm a Naval Officer, so de facto not a Gentleman (and quite proud of it!).
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
#17
+ That's what I was afraid of, becoming an officer is definitely where I wanted to end up, hence me being over-cautious and wanting to give it my best chance by having some experience under my belt. Is it more uncommon than I thought ex-rankers becoming officers at an early stage?

+ I am 23 currently and a part-qualified chartered accountant for a large firm, I was under the impression maturity counts for a lot. Are promotion prospects altered if going in later?

Thank you for your reply.
It's not at all uncommon for ex-rankers to go to Sandhurst, having been selected as junior NCOs, but they will have five years' service by the time they're 23 and probably picked up at least one tape. If you join today, you're still a few years from that point.

Maturity does count for a lot, but so does being the right face in the right place at the right time and there's distinctly an age-related ladder to climb. Serving Army officers can give better chapter and verse, but bear in mind that the average Sandhurst entrant is going to be a 21-year old graduate with all the piss, vinegar, fitness and enthusiasm that implies and that the typical young officers' career paths are predicated on that.
 
#19
Quick point from me to the OP. Once you are in the ranks, you're in the ranks. You cannot simply pop into the recruiting office after initial training and attempt to join as an officer, letting your CoC know what you're up to.

Unless I am wildly out of date and the British Army has gone mental in my absence.

Junior NCO's have been known to be plucked from the ranks if they are deemed suitable, but that used to be rarer than a rare thing.

Good luck which ever route you take.
 
#20
Nearly at the 22 year mark, congratulations!

Do you know the latest process of joining as an officer from the ranks, is it simply done on the website or is there a bureaucracy maze?
From reading the Army Commissioning Regulations (which is hilariously badly written), you get your CO's endorsement, and then effectively go through the civilian process.

The key will be a) getting your CO's endorsement and b) then getting through the process to be at RMAS before your 30th birthday. I have had (Naval) COs who didn't believe in letting people commission from the Ranks, and made it as hard as possible. Regardless of that, I doubt many COs will just sign the form and let you crack on. Therefore, you may find the process delayed and protracted - all so you can do exactly what you are doing now.

As I said, if you want to be an Officer, join as an Officer from the off.
 

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