Will me not being a drinker have a negative impact on me?

#1
This question is more aimed at current serving personnel.

I've passed briefing and I am now in the process of preparing fam visits, in particular, the Infantry (Royal Welsh, PWRR, Rifles, Gurkhas). Infantry has always been where I have focused to join as an officer.
I know there is a culture of drinking in the Army, which doesn't bother me in the slightest as I am use to going out/ socialising with my university, work and home friends without drinking. I know there is a stronger sense of 'family/ comradeship' in Infantry regiments. I am currently serving in an infantry light role TA unit (which has confirmed my passion for light role), which I chose to join rather than the UOTC due to its heavy drinking culture, and it took at minimum a year for my company to accept it. Looking around the forum, I have noticed that fam visits also evaluate your ability to socialise and be one of them.
However, will this have a negative impact on my likelihood to be accepted into the Infantry as an officer, due to it limiting my ability to socialise with others?
I've always considered it a strength, as I interpreted it as a form of 'role model' and an example to how I have withstood pressure to drink for the last 3 years, which could be values for a good infantry officer.
 
#2
I never trust a man without vices
 
#3
Yes

If you cant drink an Engineer whilst standing on one leg on a bar stool while listening to “Why was he born so beautiful”. Then throwing it up into your glass and drinking it again



‘YOU WILL BE A lesser MAN MY SON’ :D
 
#4
No one is perfect. But, in terms of me not drinking, would that issue alone be an obstacle to a possible acceptance, even if I am able to socialise just as well without?

edit - Thanks CAARPS
 
#5
Tomtom4600 said:
This question is more aimed at current serving personnel.

I've passed briefing and I am now in the process of preparing fam visits, in particular, the Infantry (Royal Welsh, PWRR, Rifles, Gurkhas). Infantry has always been where I have focused to join as an officer.
I know there is a culture of drinking in the Army, which doesn't bother me in the slightest as I am use to going out/ socialising with my university, work and home friends without drinking. I know there is a stronger sense of 'family/ comradeship' in Infantry regiments. I am currently serving in an infantry light role TA unit (which has confirmed my passion for light role), which I chose to join rather than the UOTC due to its heavy drinking culture, and it took at minimum a year for my company to accept it. Looking around the forum, I have noticed that fam visits also evaluate your ability to socialise and be one of them.
However, will this have a negative impact on my likelihood to be accepted into the Infantry as an officer, due to it limiting my ability to socialise with others?
I've always considered it a strength, as I interpreted it as a form of 'role model' and an example to how I have withstood pressure to drink for the last 3 years, which could be values for a good infantry officer.
Can you socialise without drinking? If so - don't worry about it. There are a few non-drinkers kicking about, some who never drank, some who gave up and some that were told to give up :) Are you off the grog totally or do you have the odd sip?

Good luck!
 
#7
Tomtom4600 said:
I completely abstain from drinking. I drank when I turned 18, tried it for a few months and just came to the conclusion that it wasn't for me.
Doctor came to the conclusion that I shouldn't drink anymore - with a little help from my liver :)

Don't worry about it - there will always be the need for shark watch, minibus drivers, duty officers, etc, etc.

You don't need to be drunk to socialise so I wouldn't worry too much. (I'd keep a glass of wine on your table for toasts though.)
 
#8
Just a further note King Edward VII said it was perfectly acceptable for
officers to drink the Loyal Toast with water.
Not that many will believe this!
 
#9
RhodieBKK said:
Just a further note King Edward VII said it was perfectly acceptable for
officers to drink the Loyal Toast with water.
Not that many will believe this!
If only I'd known, must have been all that toasting that buggered me liver. (Or was it the vodka?) :p
 
#10
CAARPS said:
Yes

If you cant drink an Engineer whilst standing on one leg on a bar stool while listening to “Why was he born so beautiful”. Then throwing it up into your glass and drinking it again



‘YOU WILL BE A lesser MAN MY SON’ :D
Coupled with a few swift Babooning's with a minefield marker pole for every time you stop!!
 
#11
Tomtom4600 said:
due to it limiting my ability to socialise with others? quote]

This is the key point. If staying sober really limits you ability to socialise with others, you might not become one of the gang. But provided you can be friendly and get on with people without having a drink in your hand, I see no problem. Good luck with it!
 
#12
Good on you Tomtom. I think old Monty was teetotal. Took me about fifty five years to discover what was making me feel so crook in the mornings. Good luck, I wish that I had had your fortitude.
 
#13
CC_TA said:
Can you socialise without drinking? If so - don't worry about it. There are a few non-drinkers kicking about, some who never drank, some who gave up and some that were told to give up :) Are you off the grog totally or do you have the odd sip?
This is the key piece of advice. Long and short of it, go along be yourself, don't sucumb to peer pressure.
 
#14
Teetotalism is a positive aid to socialising, not a negative.

If proof is needed, consider how many friends you'll have on ops with a two can rule in force.
 
#15
So, the answer is no, not being a drinker will not directly impact on your being accepted as an Officer, or Soldier for that matter, in the British Army; ie, you will not be assessed on your ability to drink. You will however be assessed on your ability to perform as part of a group, including in a social setting. This leads me to my next point:

You said, 'I know there is a culture of drinking in the Army'. This is the moot point, which I do not believe to be true. British military culture is one of enthusiastic social exchange rather than of institutional alcoholism.

So, the extent to which you not being a drinker is relevant is up to you.


Are you a journalist?
 
#16
Interesting thread.

Sad though it is, I reckon that drinking is a fairly fundamental element of mess life for a junior officer. Not drinking might be awkward particularly in the early quiet 'keep your head down' stages of life in the mess and when your peers are having their entry in to a close-knit group lubricated with a beer or ten.

All that said, of course it isn't a huge issue and many will respect you for it.
 
#17
Just remember that when you get up in the morning, that's probably going to be the best that you feel all day.......................plus you won't have an excuse for that fat bird that you were seen with last night! :D
 
#18
Thank you all for the answering my question, I feel relieved, knowing there is a positive consensus towards teetotalism.

Dragstrip, I am not a journalist; I am a final year student.

Thanks all

TomTom4600
 
#19
Tomtom4600 said:
I completely abstain from drinking. I drank when I turned 18, tried it for a few months and just came to the conclusion that it wasn't for me.
Good Man Tom Tom,

You don't have to drink to be a good soldier/officer

Magic
 
#20
Just make sure that when at an all ranks do, you get your own drinks from the bar. While most will respect your abstention, there will always be one (officer or soldier) who'll think it's funny to spike your drink. Just the way it is, and probably not that different from civvy street too.
 

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