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Whether to join as an Officer or Soldier.

Join as an officer or a soldier?

  • Officer

    Votes: 7 43.8%
  • Soldier

    Votes: 9 56.3%

  • Total voters
Alright all, basically I'm rather uncertain and wondered if some of those who know a bit more than me might be able to shed some light.

I'm 19 years old, I've done my A Levels and I'm currently studying public services at college.
I'm not sure whether Id be best suited going as an officer, as it comes with rather obvious benefits, more money, respect, better career opportunities after, etc. However I know it's difficult to get in as an officer, I'm reasonably intelligent and have the necessary qualifications but I don't have a degree and wondered if this is something that would hold me back going for in as an officer? Also, as I said I'm 19,who am I to command a group of men who have been professional soldiers for several years? (although I suppose that's more of a personal moral question that one).
At the same time the idea of being a soldier and one of the lads seems appealing, and actually being the one on the front line actually doing something rather than being stuck working on the more logistical side of planning or what have ya. Also I imagine it is 'easier' and quicker to get into comparatively.

Basically, I think I'm leaning towards the benefits of an officer and the challenges that would bring, but I think I may prefer the lifestyle of a soldier?

I know I've not really made a question but any advice or suggestions would be really appreciated.
Some people want to join as a soldier because they want to experience that particular challenge but if I had my time again, I'd go in as an officer.

Better money, more responsibility from the outset and in the longer term a better career path provided you stay the course.

There are some excellent opportunities that can open up to you during your career as a soldier. I left quite early but many of my friends did very well.

The opportunities for those who hold a commission from the outset can be even better than those of a soldier though so If you can make the grade, go for a commission.
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There are officers that soldiers will do anything for and others that they will avoid, age doesn't come into it. You earn respect and don't take it as a given.

Yeah I would, I just think am. I going to be respected as I am still very young?
Your attitude and performance will matter much more than your age. You won't be the youngest officer the modern army has had; my intake had a number of people who were 18 when they entered Sandhurst.
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If you need to ask join as a soldier once you have good qualifications. If you have the aptitude to lead it will be recognised.
If you go for Int Corps or RMP you will be competing against similarly academically trained people. Therefore I suggest opting for infantry/RE/RA.


Reserves whilst at college/university might be an idea. You'd gain insight into the Army and if you're still at home with your parents it's a better way of earning a bit of money than working in Asda.

Not to sound negative, but there's also the very real possibility you get rejected for a number of things out of your hands (medical, usually). It'll be easier to face that now and plan your future accordingly whilst you're still in education.
Long, long, long time lurker - years in fact. I thought I would finally break my duck with this one as the question is obviously genuine.

Sandhurst crossed my mind as a boy but I wasn't ready for the responsibility then. I don't think looking back that I was particularly thick but neither was I blessed with the urge to gain formal qualifications.

The potential salary, pension etc of an officer never crossed my mind at that stage, it was all about joining up one way or another. I decided to enlist as a soldier and had a great time for the first five/six years, doing a lot of growing up and gaining experience, good and bad, while doing so.

After a while I thought about a commission but didn't want to jump through hoops of burning fire with various 'educated' types in a 'school' environment at that stage so I chose to stay in the ranks and eventually knuckled down. I was a Cpl at 27 years old and then a RSM at 35. Retired as Lt Col.

And the point? Not one really other than you make your bed and lie in it and with a bit of luck and the right attitude you may well succeed either way; looking back, hindsight being 20/20, I wouldn't change a thing (why would I) I ended up with the best of both worlds. Oh, and the pension ain't bad!
Good luck OP.
A quick glance through any recent Sovereign’s Parade will reveal that these days about 90% of those commissioning are in possession of a degree. Not necessarily from a Russell Group university – but very definitely a degree. So you might want to acquire one of those first. Advantages; you won’t be one of a tiny minority, and you’ll no longer be 19.
If you need to ask join as a soldier once you have good qualifications. If you have the aptitude to lead it will be recognised.
If you go for Int Corps or RMP you will be competing against similarly academically trained people. Therefore I suggest opting for infantry/RE/RA.
I'm primarily interested in the armoured Corp really, however being part of the close quarters protection in the RMP seems interesting, especially as later on in life as a civi I'd like to join the police.

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