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Manchester UOTC

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M&SUOTC is one of 19 UOTCs dedicated to maintaining pub fitness, er, I mean military-mindedness among the student population. Based at its dedicated barracks(1) near Owens University, it offers the recruit all that good UOTC banter, including ‘GREEN STUDENT’ and ‘AIRBORNE STUDENT’ as well as stacks of AT. With its own dedicated climbing wall, it has particular appeal for mountainy leadery types. The bar overlooks the climbing wall, which was my usual perspective.

Formed in 1898, the unit’s forebears fought in the Boer War, WW1 and WW2, and there are a brace of Military Crosses and a DSO in its lineage. The unit’s capbadge is set against the square red flash of the King’s Regiment. That’s LANCS in new money. I’ll update that bit after the next SDSR.

Like all UOTCs, one of the best and most exclusive clubs you can join, with friends for life, a lively social calendar(2) plus a good window into both regular and reserve career paths. It’s not for dimwits either – the MTQ syllabus demands mental agility and the ability to concentrate under some pressure.

The UOTC was the reason I eventually joined up, and a lot of people will say something similar.

(1): Opened by the Queen in 1994. The previous barracks had been earmarked for demolition, so we had the mother of all sledgehammer parties there, and then a big fuss kicked off while the Sahibs debated making us pay for damages. The bulldozers went in a month later.

(2): While duty for the Bad Taste Party, we turned away 2 folk in Klu Klux Klan rig, and one guy who’d sourced a Waffen SS uniform, complete with a swastika armband and death’s heads all over the shop.