Which one would be more appropiate

Discussion in 'Officers' started by SeanGoesPop, Jun 27, 2007.

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  1. Hello,

    I'm wanting to become a helicopter pilot for the army.
    When i finish college i'm planning on going to university. Whilst at uni though, i'll already be in the TA but would it be worth it to take up the UAF as well, so i could learn about being a pilot whilst in university, or the UOT for learning to be a officer, or neither and just stick with the TA :D

    Now then, let me go grab my solid silver mirror and admire myself whilst you talk about advice :p

    Seriously though, i do want to be a pilot in the AAC, and was wondering which one is more worth joining when wanting to be a pilot.

    Just for info, i'm currently doing a BTEC for it, and in uni i'll be doing a BSc of Computing, possible adding a extra year to do the masters, and ill be joining the sherwood rangers yeomanry at nottingham's TA.

  2. Optional? I thought it was something you had to do to graduate.

  3. Sean - Good luck. First of all learn to spell appropriate and its not the UAF it's the UAS (University Air Sqns). The Sherwood Forresters is a first class TA unit and whilst gaining military skills you will earn a few bob to help you through Uni. I would try and enlist in the TA now and the join the OTC not the UOT. Have you any CCF or Army / Air cadet experience ?
  4. Oops, sorry about that slight mishap, thought it was university air force :oops:

    I was in the cadets for a while, but its been a while since being in there. I remember going camping with them a couple of times. I still have experience from there, but its nothing compared to someone who's been in there for ages. So put bluntly, basically no.
  5. Are you sure you want to be an officer, as in the army it is the NCO's that do most of the flying its different to the other services as the officers tend to end up commanding a flight of aircraft after their initial tour rather than concentrating on the flying.

    There is always the option of trying the Royal Marines as they let booties fly rotary wing aircraft as well.

    If you are serious about learning soldiering skills at Uni you are better off joining a TA regiment doing your basic training then applying to be a TA officer when you may be sent along to an OTC to complete your pre-sandhurst training.

    The OTC is fun but is ultimately a bit of a drinking club, I actually enjoyed my time as a platoon commander in the TA much more than I did as an O/Cdt in OTC.

    The UAS are the only place you will get to fly at uni but ultimately they are still crabs and a bunch of posers (I lived with 2 of them for year so am a bit biased).

    One thing to note you can't be in the TA and the UAS at the same time as UAS cadets are actually in the RAF Volunteer Reserve and you can only be in one military force at a time

    Join the TA, get your commission and at the same time join a local flying club...thats what I'd do

    If you are serious about the army I would suggest getting down to your local careers office and getting yourself on some familiarisation visits, see if it is really what you want, and you'll learn a lot more about the units and get advice about what would be your best path at uni in relation to the armed forces.
  6. try and get your aircrew aptitude tests done now as well...what about RCB?

    just thinking, if you can pass RCB and get an offer from the AAC to fly whirly birds then there might be the option of a bursary through uni...nice extra bit of cash to see you through/ reduce the debt
  7. Interesting responses here. Depends what you want to acheive by being in the TA/OTC/UAS before Sandhurst.

    1) UAS: I'm not AAC and haven't done UAS, but I don't know how much flying you would do with UAS and whether it would count for much when you got to AAC, other than to give you a small head start. Probably best not to tar yourself with the RAF brush before RMAS...

    2) OTC: Brilliant fun, yes it is a "drinking club", but depending on which one you go to will depend on how much "soldiering" you do. I learnt alot from OTC, but didn't do it to short cut anything for RMAS. It gave some useful tips and generally fits in better with Uni, as it is a Uni organisation whereas TA isn't - TA may clash.

    3) TA: Obviously the more "professional" choice for soldiering. BUT as above, will it fit with Uni? Will it place more demands on you during study? Do you want a TA commission? Will beng a TA Woofer help in your quest to reach AAC pilot status?

    4) RMAS: Generally, the staff at RMAS frown upon prior experience. you are at Sandhurst to learn "the Sandhurst way". If you keep piping up that you did this in OTC, or that in the TA, you may just drop yourself in the shisl. The experience you gained may help you/relieve some pressure (ie you dont need to learn from scratch), but it can hinder you if you try to do things the way you know, not the way they want you to know.

    Furthermore and this bit is contentious, the guys we had in my OTC that had Cadetships or TA commissions were sometimes choppers as they thought it made them better than everyone else. Once they reached sandhurst too, they thought it made them something special. This is a dangerous road to go down IMHO - bigging yourself up. RMAS will teach you all you need, anything before may just give you a "warmer in the bank".

    Finally - do something fun with some practical use that doesn't get in the way of studies. If that is TA then go for it. Commission later if you want for some leadership/command experience. If it is OTC to meet like minded people, some of whom will also want to go to Sandhurst then go for that. Proabably steer clear of UAS though....hope I have helped a bit!
  8. Bloody hell this is allot of advice, not like its bad. Thanks for all this.


    Haile: I was told you had to be a officer to be able to be a pilot, not a NCO. So i thought the officer entry way was the only way, ill have to ask the army recruiter down at the AFCO about this. I wouldn't mind leading a flight but i would like to fly more. I'll also have to ask my AFCO if it's a good idea to go to a flying school/club whilst in university to get a head start on knowing how to fly so i will be a better pick than someone who doesn't (yet will still have to re-learn the AAC's way)

    Cannon: Ill have to see my AFCO regarding what to do with the APT and the RCB whilst in uni/college. It would be helpful to have a bursary during university.

    django: Since I'll be in the TA, and i can't be in more than one force at a time, i think the UAS is out of the question. The demands about studying wouldn't have to be looked down upon really, since in the IT course I'm aiming for, we have no tests and it has large hand in period, with small lessons, meaning that if i buckle down and do work when i can, instead of going out and getting wasted, and get my mentors to check through it in that period, it *should* be easy enough to do. Since i won't really be looking for 1st class honors, i won't have to put a lot of extra work in meaning that i can go out and socialize, as well as fit in the TA with weekends (its only a couple of hours on a Tuesday anyway, excluding the weekends) and with the 2 weeks training happening in the July period, that's plenty of time since I'll be on holiday.

    About the RMAS, I'm not the one to go around going "this is how i did it elsewhere", as i can listen without speaking until i need to speak.

    Here's a question i was wondering about, what are the physical requirements to be a officer/pilot? I have the navy's with me, and I'm aiming to be able to get past them easily, but I'm not sure if the army is more or less lacked in that area than the navy.

    Thank you lot so far with all this advice, it's something i can bring to the AFCO and be more knowledgeable about my choices, as well as being able to ask about the different ways i can get in to be a pilot.

  9. My advice may be a little out of date it was 11/12 years ago that I did a lot of this stuff.

    At Glasgows AFCIO there was a specific person who dealt with potential officers who I think was a retired Colonel, he got me on a general familiarisation visit down Warminster way (the weapon effects demo was impressive particularly when harriers came in and bombed some caravans) then I went to visit 3 corps on specific visits the AAC being one. They are certainly great for deciding which Corps might be for you, and convincing them to sponsor you to RCB.

    The OTC is great as django says but it is very different to being in a TA unit, I did MTQ1 and 2 as a member of the OTC then managed to get offered a place as a platoon commander with a local unit who had a serious lack of subbies. I stayed attatched to the OTC to complete my MTQ3 but at the same time was running a platoon of 32 soldiers which was a hell of a lot better than what my OTC peers were doing.

    At the OTC you get leadership training and experience but you are competing with a large number of other people for opportunities so they don't come up very often. You also learn some soldiering skills but bear in mind these are taught to you by older cadets who have little/no experience outside the OTC.

    In the TA you get basic training which is equivalent to MTQ1 training but you get to play with a lot more interesting stuff and have the advantage of working alongside soldiers who have been doing the TA for years and some who are ex-regs. If you can prove yourself suitable you can be selected as a TAPO (TA Potential Officer) and be attatched to the OTC for MTQ2/3 training which has a lot of the command/leadership training. Also as you are maybe the only O/Cdt in your TA unit you will get a lot of help from the Officers, NCOs and Soldiers in learning new skills that you might not get at the OTC, after all if you look/act a complete idiot that reflects badly on them.

    TA experience won't give you any passes on the regular comissioning course but from others I have talked to they do expect a slightly higher standard of performance than from people with no experience.

    I will agreee that people on bursarys and with TA comissions at the OTC were full of themselves but this was easily explained as unlike those of us in regular TA units they didn't have a platoon sergeant and 3 corporals to keep them grounded.

    I had no problem with mixing the TA and Uni summer camp still fell during the summer holidays and if you needed time off for exams then you could have it.

    Also the nice extra, OTC's are group B TA units who get a much smaller bounty than regular group A TA units, and whilst this should not be your main reason for being in the TA the extra money does come in handy for a poor student with a large mess bill :wink:

    As for joining a flying club one advantage some flying experience will give you is with the AAC aptitude tests, it also shows an interest in flying beyond having seen apocalypse now and wanting to fly helicopters because it is cool.
  10. I want to fly whirly birds because they are a technical marvel, as well as any aviational peice of equipment, but i like heli's more because they can have much more use than a fast jet (although with a fast jet you can retire to be a airline pilot) in certain aspects. I want to Pilot one because i want to. Not to sound synical, but i like the idea of piloting a peice of machinery which is genius in design and implementation as well as the way you can tip a battle with the presence of a heli. That, and i've wanted to be a pilot for god knows how long, and i've wanted to be in the army to help humanitorian missions, keep the peace, have fun and everything else the army gives you. As soon as i found out about the army having pilots i thought "This is great, absolutely outstanding".

    The TA i will be going to is great, since its a wrhecking unit, they will teach me how to drive different types of vechiles, as well as teach me soldering skills.

    So yeh, thank you lot for giving me some information, as well as questions i can ask at the AFCO, and i will hopefully be flying over your heads soon :D
  11. Hmmm. I'd certainly try to brush up on your english if you are planning to go in as an officer. The information given so far is sound. However, if you are really serious about being a pilot and there is the opportunity to join a UAS, then why not speak to the RAF? If you are what they what, you may even get a scholarship. Only downside is that you WILL have to be an officer to fly with the crabs. Other ranks just can't do the front seat thing any more.
  12. I did think about the RAF, but i also thought "they must get allot of applicants to be a pilot. I don't want to be just another applicant". I had also thought about being in the navy to be a pilot as well, but i didn't like the idea of being at sea for long periods of time. Not like i don't like the navy or the sea, it's one of the reasons why this country is so great and prosperous, but I'm a land lubber dammit.

    I do believe that the army also offer scholarships, unless i am incorrect about this.


    i've been reading around, and it does seem there is not alot of flying available in the army, whereas in the RAF and navy i can stay and fly all the time. I'm still not keen on the RAF where they have tons of applicants.

    I'll have to, once more, talk to the AFCO people.
  13. Fleet Air Arm are a good move if you are interested in flying for a career. I am like you and the RAF doesn't interest me, despite the chances of flying for the entirety of my career.

    I'm going AAC despite the lack of flying on offer, because I want to be an Army officer and do the things the army offers. Flying would just be a major boon! :)
  14. I'm surprised that nobody's pointed towards the fact that the type of flying differs from service to service, as do the platforms used and the roles performed. I'm no expert but, that is to say, in the RAF you'd likely be flying SH and transport types such as Chinook, Puma or Merlin, in the Navy maybe Lynx or Merlin, whereas in the Army you might get to fly the AH and get up close and personal with the enemy.