What should I choose? Officer or Soldier?

Discussion in 'Join the Army - Regular Officer Recruiting' started by Knightwars4, Feb 21, 2011.

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  1. Hello everybody

    My predicament is this; I am 14, currently in the ACF. I want to go in to the Army. Specifically the Parachute Regiment. Either as an officer or soldier. I've spoken to many people. One of them, a Canadian reservist/Science teacher says I am too intelligent for the Army and I am wasting my potential. Naturally I disagreed with him, but I didn't object outright.

    The other person I spoke to was my detachment commander, Captain Johnson from the Royal Corps of Signals 31. He has given me tips regarding being an officer etc.

    Though I rather not share this piece of information, my true aspiration is the SAS.
    Though I don't know if I want to go in as an officer or soldier. As officers tend to be selected by the Regiment, not opted in as the case is for soldiers. (Please don't rant) I have considered my decision for over a year now.

    I am also considering whether to still carry on with my aspiration of a PhD in astrophysics from Imperial if I'm going in as a soldier. After all, what need do I of a piece of paper when I have a rifle as my qualification (My attempt at humour).

    Further information about me:

    14 y.o, Indo-British (Mother and father are both Indian but I was born in the UK)

    GCSE predictions to be A and A* in the sciences but As and Bs in other subjects.
    I'm in the Alpha stream (Best) for all my subjects (We did our Options early, we were also given the choice of early GCSEs)

    I'm a fitness fanatic.

    I'm also a cadet in the ACF because I want to go Army.

    Aspirations:

    A Levels, University, Ph.D. in astrophysics from Imperial

    Want to prove to myself that that being Indian is not a disadvantage when it comes to athletic ability.

    I want to see combat (I know am ignorant and young when it comes to contacts)
    I have read Andy McNab and other somewhat "credible" authors.

    SAS. Then I'll leave the Regiment and go British Intelligence or the Circuit.

    Thanks for reading this far.
     
  2. It's nice to have ambitions at your age.

    So you're sharing it here? Strange. Nothing wrong with wanting to go Special Forces.

    It is volunteer for selection for both. Although the criteria are slightly different. And officers will return to their parent regiment after their first tour and may be invited back.

    You're planning on doing this before you join? So you'll be looking at starting your army career in 9 years or so? I wouldn't start making too many decisions now, then. There may not be much of an army left by then ...
     
  3. I have come across this "wasted in the Army" comment before :)

    Certainly Idrach is correct, in that deciding on a PhD would take years! If you wished to pursue astrophysics that would no doubt have been well spent, but less so if you then decided to go into green baggy clothes!

    The Army though, also, is not without its First Class Honours degree holders!

    Apart from your abilities, the greatest thing you have on your side is lacking in nearly all of us on this forum - you have plenty of time to think and to plan, and every credit for asking the opinions of others. That is, I suspect, a quality seldom found in the average astrophysicist :)

    Your options can be left open certainly through to your getting your first degree, and I would tend to recommend this. mainly because I suspect if you went soldier entry you might resent the time it would take you to prove your academic as well as soldiering abilities.

    I have, though, (as ex ACF), an ex cadet who chose Sandhurst entry after a brief spell at University, where he found that a frustrating and unexciting way of life. Fair to say he has made Colonel, caught up on the academics, and not been retired yet :)
     
  4. Hell, I've got a Physics degree, Physics PhD, and have just passed AOSB to hopefully start at RMAS in May. Go wild and do it all.

    That said, the age for intake is, I believe, due to come down soon... You could always go back to finish studying later - Brian May finished his PhD at Imperial after being a rock star in some beat combo band for a few years. Getting external funding may be harder when you're older though.

    My serious advice: Get the degree done (strange lot at Imperial though...), speak to the ACA when you're a bit older, and keep up on the fitness and current affairs awareness in the meantime. As said above, you've got time on your side, which is a fantastic position to be in.

    If it's any help, I know plenty of officers with no degrees, two soldiers with PhDs, and everything in between. Intelligence is certainly an asset, however that is shown.
     
  5. Oh, and just to point out - remember that 4 Para and 21 are both in London, so you could join the TA and see how you liked it.

    I'd probably go for LUOTC while you are doing your first degree though - they'll appreciate you're less in control of your time than you will be later on.

    Oh - and do cosmology not astrophysics. That's just my prejudice, mind.
     
  6. All I can remember from undergrad days is how much can be written about the vacuum of space. Interstellar medium? Interstellar tedium more like...
     
  7. Looking at too macro a scale. Much more interesting when you get down to the Planck length ... But let's not derail this thread.

    South Ken Poly for his undergrad as well, you reckon?
     
  8. Well, there's clearly some draw to Imperial for him. Certainly a good uni, but can be a bit insular. If elsewhere, they'll want a degree from any of the big names for a PhD place (Oxbridge, Bris, Dur, Manc, etc) - very competitive!

    That said, 'they' say that one should move between UG and PhD. I didn't though...
     
  9. Are you all in on this wind up then or just incredibly gullable?!

    14 into astrophysics, wants to be SAS and then become a spook. Feck me talk about showing your hand too soon.

    Wrong forum for this, try NAAFI bar for a better bite
     
  10. Age 14 I wanted to work at CERN, and had a passing interest in wanting to know that GCHQ were doing from a technical point of view.

    12 years later I work at the former, and could happily apply for the latter.

    I hope it's not a windup - if so I prepare to receive a good WAH!
     
  11. It does seem a bit dreamy for a 14 year old - PHD in Astrophysics? Really? And wants to be a Para, then SAS, then circuit or Intelligence. It just reads as being a bit too mapped out, a bit too perfect and typical ambition of a young man. Nothing wrong with that.

    I could point out that having done your PhD you'd be what, 24? Then commission into Paras - 25. Then serve a bit, before volunteering for SAS - 28/29. Do your tour - 30/31. Do you then plan to leave, having seen it all and done it as well? Attempt to join Intelligence, but if not go bodyguarding.

    It strikes me as slightly clinical, a bit too mapped out and maybe even mercenary. You may not have thought of the implications of doing all this as an Officer - Serve to Lead - and in achieving these goals, your duty of care to those in your command may suffer, or you may have to engineer not to have a duty of care and therefore why bother being an Officer?

    Then, why bother getting a PhD in Astrophysics? Just to prove you can? As you point out, it will have no relevance and by the time you have "done" RMAS, Para, SAS, Intel/Security, will your degree mean anything (I don't know if it loses relevance over time)? Or do you intend to then settle down to a stead job in stargazing having burnt out from all the other stuff?

    It could be a Wah, or it could be a young man with a dream, or more precisely a very complicated, very intense and multi-layered dream.

    My advice would be to keep the aspirations beyond commissioning a bit quiet. Think about whether you really want to commission, or if you can achieve what you want by enlisting as a soldier, BUT you will then definitely be wasting a huge talent (even more than joining as an officer - pte soldier with Astrophysics PhD??).
     
  12. Hi there, couldn't find a thread for it, but I'm not sure if I want to be the CGS or a private in the Pioneers.

    I'm 8 yrs old and have been told that due to my superior grades on my last Key Stage 1 (KS1) my teacher, Mr Touchy-Feely, said I'd be perfect for the army and I think he has a point. I play guns with my friends, except Jordan Smith who smells and has wonky teeth, and play escape and evasion from my yucky Uncle who likes to touch my bum.

    So the question is; Should I join the Army with the aim of making the Chief of the General Staff or enlist as a Private into the RLC with the aim of becoming a super sandbag filling assassin? ( I would try being a Chef, but I'm not allowed to touch hot things at home yet!)

    I've already sounded off MI6 and they just said I need a bit of experience under my elasticated Snake-belt

    Help please!!!!!


    :roll:
     
    • Like Like x 3
  13. There are a vast number of kids who leave our educational system seeing no future bar moving out from home and entering the funded by government system to have as many kids as they can with as many different partners as they like, drugged up on whatever comes their way lifestyle, until death do them take.

    There are, thankfully, also still many who have been enthused at school, see a world in front of them, and have ability, dreams and ambitions.

    I think it well worth the risk of a wah to risk a few seconds of my life answering the poster as written :)

    What the hell? A chance to help out someone genuine, maybe? If not, then I have at least helped out someone with nothing to do with their time bar run a wah? Both are services to society!

    PhD astrophysics is probably a first in my experience for an ambition along with the SAS, but hell, if the world can't be totally your oyster at 14 years old, it never will be!

    I have, however, genuinely come across a few lads of good honours degree potential at good old universities, who have swopped to private soldier entry because they got bored!
     
  14. Yeah Tom, Im such a cynic and I apologise for making the assumption that you are gullible.

    Now that we've made up and are friends, is there any chance you could help me? I need £10k to release some money Ive inherited, its a massive sum so Im happy to reimburse you double what you give.

    My account number is: 12345667, 16-19-70 account name Binky NmBoko, Nigeria.

    Many thanks

    Binky
     
  15. "Swapping" a degree for Pte soldier entry is one thing. A PhD though - that is such a specialist thing to aim for and surely something you wouldn't "throw away" by enlisting, perhaps even arguably, commissioning.