Discussion in 'Officers' started by Colcombe, Aug 12, 2005.

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  1. ...and the best way to get there.


    I'm apporaching my RCB breifing (relax this isn't a RCB question =) ) and am currently preparing for an Infantry Officer Familirisation Visit to Westbury. Just a couple of questions, I really do help someone can help me.

    Now the first problem:

    I have no car, so train will be my method of transport. However I live in Manchester, and getting to Westbury from here is no mean feat by rail. From using a journey planner for that particular day (21st October) I would have to get 4 trains with 3 switches. Now I'm not some stuck-up 'Arry who has trouble with public transport, quite the opposite, the thought of getting 4 trains is not a problem. However for each of the 3 changes I only have a "window" of at most 20 minutes, at least 7 minutes to find and board the next train. In short, is there perhaps a longer, (in terms of hours and minutes) trip that involves less changes that anyone knows about? The current trip is clocked at a shade under 8 hours. (Including walking time)

    Second problem:

    Is there an actual limit (monetary wise) on how much the BA train warrants cover you for? This trip, as you can imagine with the changes, is running up quite a total at the moment.

    Third problem:

    What exactly will I experience on this visit? I know how to present myself and everything else in that fashion so please don't misunderstand this problem, but exactly how much "kit" - in terms of clothes, should I take with me, is clothing provided there?

    Fourth problem:

    Due to the length of my trip I'm travelling down a day early, and I am being set up accomodation by the army. Is this accomodation easy to find from the train station?

    Fifth problem/question:

    Is this location the same place as where the RCB breifing and RCB takes place? I presume so as Westbury can't be that big?

    Sixth problem:

    Does everyone that successfully makes it past the inital breifing get set-up with multiple (I have 6) familirisation vistis by their advisor? Is this a good-sign (as I initally thought) or a sign that perhaps they do not feel I am upto it and want to put the scares on me before I actually do my RCB breifing.

    Seventh problem:

    I'm currently at University but I am considering dropping out due to missing out on the under-graduate one-year comission due to time-constraints. Would this go against me in either my RCB or formal application? I meet all of the entry requirements.

    Thanks for any, any answers to any of these problems. I am not the worrying type, but I do like to be totally prepared for what lies ahead. I would ask my army advisor, but I'm sure he's sick to death of hearing my voice since the inital breifing.

    PS. Sorry if this does belong in the RCB thread, but as you can tell this is actually the first time I've stumbled across this site and although it is very helpful and informative, the sheer wealth of information is quite daunting and time-consuming to shift through.
  2. I have succesfully co-ordinated a cunning plan which removes the trouble of the train switches but involves a much longer and less direct route with only 1 change.

    If anyone can help with anything else I'd really appreciate it.
  3. If you can't work out this by yourself, how the feck are you going to cope with the RCB planning exercise?
  4. Oh come one, the RCB planning exercise is easy compared to trying to get anywhere by rail other than to or from London.
  5. As someone that's very familiar with the whole recruitment process I don't mind fielding this one...

    Most of those q's can be answered with a simple phone call to your ACA(O) or to Westbury itself. Pick up the phone and find out.

    Don't worry about cost of rail ticket, Army will pick up the bill (cheapest route though).
    As for infantry fam visit I haven't got a clue.

    IMHO dropping out of uni is a dodgy option, if it comes up in one of your interviews it may reflect badly on you. Just my opinion though.

    Regarding the fam visits, count yourself lucky as I've only been allowed a few - was told that the MoD limited the amount of pre-RCB pass visits for cost reasons. After you pass you can go on as many as you like. Don't read into it too much.

    Overal you sound like you worry WAY too much! Get on as many fam visits as poss, do briefing and go from there. That will give you a reliable indication of your chances.
    Hope thats of use.
  6. Hey Maverick00, thanks for your reply! The information regarding the train tickets has put me at ease some-what. Regarding being a worrier, I certaintly am not. However studying corperate strategy for the past 2 years has taught me the fundamentals of being successfull is to know as much information as possible on the task in hand and always plan by scenario. As for calling the ACA(O), yes I have done this twice already this week in reference to other points which I did highlight in my first post, and by now I'm sure they are sick of hearing my voice, however I did not even think of calling Westbury for any information, shame on me. Once again thanks for the tips.

    Sorry FredSmith, I didn't realise the planning exercise would highlight my inept inefficiency of grappling with the fact that public transport is, at best, unreliable and how to deal with the ability of reversing time in order to board trains that have been missed due to delays. Top bannana Fred, you are without a doubt the glowing reference to all those young London lads that believe the rail network starts at Euston and ends at Bristol.
  7. Without wishing to appear spotterish, if you want to go to Bristol by train you're best off going from Paddington.
  8. Having never been to London, I'll take your word for that.
  9. Mate, get a Virgin train direct to Reading,change there for a west country service, they all call at Westbury.PM me if you want exact timings.
  10. First Question - no idea where you're looking for train times but National Rail Enquiries website suggets that for the 21st October, Manchester - Westbury is four and a bit hours with 1-2 changes - check for yourself: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ (and click on planning your journey).

    Second Question - no financial limit on rail warrants - the only restrictions will be class (standard I'm afraid until you get yout Majority) and whether you can go via London or not. The journeys given by NRE above were all via Birmingham / Bristol / Reading etc.

    Third problem - what will you experience? Useful weblink to RCB site will give you an idea and also provides a practice planning exercise - the one exercise at RCB that can often turn grown men into a blubbing mess! http://www.atra.mod.uk/atra/rcb/ Kit - you will be given coveralls, helmet and numbered bib for practical exercises so sports clothing, trainers etc to go with that. Most other things - suit, no mickey mouse ties etc!

    Fourth problem - if they've not told you where the accomm is assume you're staying at RCB itself - there's loads of accommodation there.

    Fifth problem / question - RCB briefing and RCB are linked and are held at the same site using the same facilities. You will do tests at RCB briefing which will affect your ability to return to RCB especially the touch-screen intelligence test. Briefing will in effect run you through RCB and whilst it's not the real thing, you're abilities and input are monitored to result in the recommendation as to whether / when you return.

    Sixth problem - I wouldn't worry too much to be honest, although I would ask - where do you want to go?! I went to RCB briefing unsponsored by anyone although I was keen to join the RLC. I guess the infantry world is a little different with more Regiments to choose from - just go and visit, keep your eyes open, assess which battalion feels most comfortable and go with it! At the end of the day, your final Commissioning choice is not made until about week 22 at Sandhurst anyway.

    Seventh question - my advice would be if you have no problem academically with university, stay there! The overwhelming majority of RMAS entrants are now grads and I do know of some problems to some who have passed RCB, been at uni and subsequently dropped out including one guy who had a pass, dropped out and was then given an extra term in Rowallan Company before the Commissioning course - basically for being a bit week and spineless!! A degree if you're capable of getting one (which I'm assuming you are since you want a Commission) is worth having and will stand you in good stead as well as giving you a broader outlook on life etc, etc.

    Hope this helps and is vaguely useful - stop worrying!
  11. I have to get a train from Castelon to Piccadily first, hence the longer time and the 3 changes.

    Excellent, that's great to know.

    Ah I think you've mis-read my post mate. I'm not going for RCB, its an Infantry Officer Familirisation Visit.

    See point above.

    See apoint 3.

    Ah I didn't realise it was so late into RMAS when you actually made this decision. I presume the quicker you do the more chance you have of getting it?

    OK, that's pretty much what I already expected. However I would have to spend another 2 years at Univeristy due to missing out on an industrial placement this year (which is what my original Army under-graduate industrial placement application was for) Edit: Bear in mind I have just finished my 3rd year at University, another 2 seems too much at this moment in time, especially when I'm sure this is what I want to do if I did finish my degree anyhow.

    Great help Knocker, many thanks.
  12. Depends how you spin it of course...if you say you dropped out of university because you are seeking adventure, responsibility and a chance to "slot" your nation's enemies, in service of Queen and State then it may not be such a difficult point.
  13. That is exactly my reasons for wanting to drop out and join the services. I have the rest of my life to complete my degree, but only a small fraction of it to accomplish this.
  14. Like I said, t`was only an opinion! If you are confident you can provide a reason that the board will find acceptable then go with it. I have no doubt there have been many RCB candidates that have quit their university course yet still managed to get a place at Sandhurst. I just think that it will have to be a very convincing reason for it not to go against you. Good luck with whatever you choose to do.
  15. So you've dropped out of University seeking excitement,adventure and a chance to slot her Majesty's enemies, yet you've never visited London. Ever considered the Transport Police- if posted to the Underground you'll no doubt rub shoulders (and possibly other mixed up body parts) with those who despise our way of living, as well as visiting some areas of the capital which you will find hard to believe are part of the UK. Don't expect a gat tho' !!
    If you're still set on RCB I suggest you set off now mind....................