21 / 23 SAS

Hammerhead26

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Go on then, I'll be THAT guy...

Maybe one of the more appropriate forums to get the ball rolling on 21 & 23 given the close proximity to the regiment.

I have many questions as I'm sure many others do...but I will start with this and no doubt it will take off from there....

What is the current role of 21/23 SAS? One can read quite conflicting information.
 
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Iron

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Interest in UKSF is just a fact of life and there is no point denying it. Many Paras go on to pass regular and reserve selection. SFSG is built around 1 PARA. So at any given time there are 100s of Paras working directly with or directly as UK Special Forces wherever they are deployed in the world.
But let’s keep this sensible gents and not Walt porn. Simple answer is all you need to know is on their official career pages. This is all a potential recruit is able to glean within disclosure rules. This might change but at present that is the state of play.
SAS (R) has an operationally strategic role within UKSF. As said elsewhere if anyone is genuinely interested in joining then it is best to contact them directly instead of sorting the wheat from the caff online. Serious candidates will have to pass an interview prior to further information being passed.
 

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@Chelonian posted a comment on this very topic recently. For anyone that missed it I’ve quoted it below.

UKSF (R) is severely restricted by disclosure regulations so credible and current information about role and service isn't generally available on t'internet. This hampers recruitment for obvious reasons.

Anyone seriously considering a Direct Civilian Entry to SAS (R) should make an expression of interest via the official website. An expression of interest does not carry any obligations. It's the first step to gathering information from which an informed decision can be made.
For the avoidance of doubt SBS (R) does not permit Direct Civilian Entry.

We genuinely do welcome questions and recruitment queries on here, particularly ones that generate discussion. That being said- There is only a limited amount of verifiable, accurate recruitment information available for SAS (R) which can be read via the links below. Anything else is likely to be unverifiable conjecture and should be avoided.

For more information and contact information please see :

https://www.army.mod.uk/who-we-are/corps-regiments-and-units/uk-special-forces-reserve/
https://www.army.mod.uk/who-we-are/corps-regiments-and-units/uk-special-forces-reserve/21-23-sas-r/
 

Dot

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Can SAS (R) attach to 22 SAS the same way 4 PARA can with the regulars?
 

Scraps

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As @Iron was saying above, it's no surprise this topic will pop up as it's of obvious interest to people. But the thing to remember is that we are an open, public facing site so in the interests of not getting ourselves in trouble with things like the official secrets act, you'll be directed to their website. If you're serious about getting badged then you'll be told what you need to know, when you need to know it.

As just a practical consideration on this, if you're a DCE (Direct Civilian Entrant) the overwhelming likelihood is that you'll be sent to a 4 PARA det before getting anywhere near selection anyway. So like I said on the mental health thread, break it down and worry about what's going on in front of you before worrying about something maybe years down the line. Getting a maroon lid is challenge enough.
 

Aldo

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As @Iron was saying above, it's no surprise this topic will pop up as it's of obvious interest to people. But the thing to remember is that we are an open, public facing site so in the interests of not getting ourselves in trouble with things like the official secrets act, you'll be directed to their website. If you're serious about getting badged then you'll be told what you need to know, when you need to know it.

As just a practical consideration on this, if you're a DCE (Direct Civilian Entrant) the overwhelming likelihood is that you'll be sent to a 4 PARA det before getting anywhere near selection anyway. So like o said on the mental health thread, break it down and worry about what's going on in front of you before worrying about something maybe years down the line. Getting a maroon lid is challenge enough.

Is it definitely 4 PARA or any Infantry unit mate?!
 

Nutter

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Is it definitely 4 PARA or any Infantry unit mate?!
4 PARA isn’t a requirement but remains one of the AR infantry units that you may be sponsored out to. The slight issue is that 4 PARA recruit training is all in house and due to the added pre P Coy weekends and P Coy the time to trained rank can take longer than other Infantry AR units who only require you to complete basic training and CIC.
 
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Chelonian

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This book from the 1990s might be of interest. Don't expect any insights into role or specifics about training. What is conveyed is the amount of commitment a Direct Civilian Entrant will be required to make, particularly during the first phases of training. It also emphasises that previous military service is no guarantee of success.

The author doesn't give it big lips about how nails he is. It appears to be a thoughtful, considered delve into his journey through selection.

TQS.jpg
 

Scraps

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Decent book that. I read it YEARS back. As @Chelonian rightly says, this book is the guts of 25 years old at least so don't expect the selection course described inside to resemble the modern one in anything other than some ex that have been a staple, long drag for example.

It does do a good job in emphasising just how dedicated you need to be though.
 

Big_Shep

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As @Iron was saying above, it's no surprise this topic will pop up as it's of obvious interest to people. But the thing to remember is that we are an open, public facing site so in the interests of not getting ourselves in trouble with things like the official secrets act, you'll be directed to their website. If you're serious about getting badged then you'll be told what you need to know, when you need to know it.

As just a practical consideration on this, if you're a DCE (Direct Civilian Entrant) the overwhelming likelihood is that you'll be sent to a 4 PARA det before getting anywhere near selection anyway. So like I said on the mental health thread, break it down and worry about what's going on in front of you before worrying about something maybe years down the line. Getting a maroon lid is challenge enough.

Top advice. Aspiring to pass selection is fine and to be expected within the battalions. Regular and reserve. The fact is very strong links exist between Hereford, their reservists and Para Reg.

But Scraps is so right about working on the ability to break your goals down. You might be shocked at how much you might need to break them down even during recruit training!
There are times that I had to break the course down into short-term goals just to keep motivated. For example on a monstrous tab or log race you might end up breaking it right down into 1 mile sections. You might then need to break that mile section down into smaller goals like get to the tree line, get to the bottom of the hill , get a third of the way up the hill, keep putting one foot in front of the other or right down to just don’t stop moving.
I think it’s best to focus on one goal at a time. Once you achieve the first goal, praise your efforts and move on to the next goal.

Shep
 

Hammerhead26

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How do.you eat an elephant? One bite at a time right?

There's clearly many things that factor into those that pass and those that fail, but I think what really sets those apart in any selection, especially SF, is the ability as mentioned above...to think small under immense physical and mental pressures in order to accomplish the bigger task at hand.
 

Big_Shep

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How do.you eat an elephant? One bite at a time right?

There's clearly many things that factor into those that pass and those that fail, but I think what really sets those apart in any selection, especially SF, is the ability as mentioned above...to think small under immense physical and mental pressures in order to accomplish the bigger task at hand.
As said above, nothing wrong with goal setting. It is a versatile and effective mental tool to focus attention in order to improve performance. Breaking down long term objectives into short term goals allows for immediate improvements in performance to be identified, resulting in increased motivation.
Personally I think a clear target to aim for is more motivational and better than a general ‘do your best’ mindset.
 

Chillly32

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It is my ambition to apply for SAS (R) selection however I’m genuinely on the fence regarding joining 4 PARA first. Seeking some sensible advice about it. I’ll be joining as a direct civilian and understand that I’ll require an Infantry AR unit to complete basic training & CIC first.
However I have time on my side as I’m 24 years old and this is why I am considering Paras first. Or would those in the know suggest I just use my closet infantry cap badge (non para local infantry battalion) to tick the boxes.

1)Would it be a huge advantage for my overall goal to come in from a Para background?
2) Do many 4 PARA go on to pass selection
3) Is it worth gaining a few years experience in 4 PARA first?
4) would joining 4 PARA and then attempting selection be too much of the “long way round”
5) on average how long do successful SAS (r) serve in the AR prior to passing?
 
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Snows

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It is my ambition to apply for SAS (R) selection however I’m genuinely on the fence regarding joining 4 PARA first. Seeking some sensible advice about it. I’ll be joining as a direct civilian and understand that I’ll require an Infantry AR unit to complete basic training & CIC first.
However I have time on my side as I’m 24 years old and this is why I am considering Paras first. Or would those in the know suggest I just use my closet infantry cap badge (non para local infantry battalion) to tick the boxes.

1)Would it be a huge advantage for my overall goal to come in from a Para background?
2) Do many 4 PARA go on to pass selection
3) Is it worth gaining a few years experience in 4 PARA first?
4) would joining 4 PARA and then attempting selection be too much of the “long way round”
5) on average how long do successful SAS (r) serve in the AR prior to passing?

1) Not huge, no. It's in no way necessary, although previous experience is a plus and infantry experience is a big plus. The advantages of PARA are experience of an arduous course (for you) and constant training opportunities and field skills (for you). You can't guarantee those from a local infantry Bn, because not all infantry regiments support their reserve Bns as well as PARA. But no SF(R) DS will much care where you came from, they will judge you on how you perform on their course, and based on what they think you can offer to the unit.
2) No idea about total numbers, individuals with a PARA background tend to do well for the reasons above.
3) Yes
4) No
5) Totally dependent on individual. Some are direct entry, some are ex-regular. It's about how quickly you pick things up and how much actual experience you have, not time served. A guy with 10 years in a previous Reserve unit who only ever did MATTs has less advantage than the 1-year guy who got stuck in to everything available.

Unlike P-Coy, on Selection you might actually benefit from being older, both physically and by experience. P-Coy is about speed and staying with the group. Selection is more allowing for individual variation and rewards endurance and grizz, both mental and physical. Younger blokes tend to favour the first, older blokes the second.

Honestly your best option is to talk to 4 PARA and SF(R) recruiting teams and ask them openly about your 3 options: joining 4 PARA; direct entry SF(R) by doing CIC with 4 PARA; direct entry SF(R) by doing CIC with local regiment. See what their responses are. Make plans accordingly. Nobody in the units cares or remembers who sent in an email query to the recruiting team, they are there to answer questions like these and will be best able to give you the current gen.

Finally, consider that despite all of what I say above about experience being valuable, SF(R) selection is a life endurance event. As the saying goes, very few fail Selection, most simply VW (voluntary withdrawal). With SF(R), most just don't return one weekend. Doing 4 PARA recruits is good for your experience levels, but you are also significantly extending the time that you are spending on another arduous recruit course, and all the life, work and family stresses that brings. Consider whether your life as a whole is going to stand up to the 6 months of commitment required to pass PARA CIC, then go back to being a recruit for the 12-24* months required to pass Selection.

* Remember 12 months is the best case, not uncommon for blokes to get one or more reshows of Aptitude and/or Continuation, pick up injuries, etc.
 

Snows

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What is the current role of 21/23 SAS? One can read quite conflicting information.

Premise of the question is wrong. The general roles of SF are all public, and you can always find out what they did 10-ish years ago at the bookstore, or occasionally on the TV. But the point of SF is that their specific roles are varied and constantly evolving. So even if you read accurate information (and found a way to distinguish it from the 90% that is bluff, jealousy, horseshit and RUMINT), it will most likely be inaccurate by the time you get anywhere near it, and in any case is no guarantee that you personally would be doing that particular role.

Rolling stones and all that.
 

Chelonian

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It is my ambition to apply for SAS (R) selection however I’m genuinely on the fence regarding joining 4 PARA first.
SAS (R) accepts Direct Civilian Entrants for a reason. If I were to make an expression of interest to SAS (R) and have the opportunity to ask a question it would be this:

How many DCEs successfully complete SAS (R) training in comparison to those with previous military service?
 

Chillly32

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Many thanks for this reasoned and decent reply. Glad it wasn’t met with endless banter and I appreciate the anonymity this place affords.
I guess for me I want to strike a balance of being the best possible candidate but also I don’t want to put it off too long.
The issue I see with 4 PARA is although it would undoubtedly give me a solid base they only have two recruit intakes a year, each taking the guts of a year to complete. This is a big ask and a potential long wait before even starting selection. Especially when you consider that selection will take a similar if not longer period of time.
Glad that the capbadge in which you complete CIC with won’t matter. My thinking was that the Parachute Regiment is often listed as being the biggest contributor to UKSF and therefore 4 PARA seemed a natural first step.
Fully appreciate it’s down to individuals and individual circumstances though.
 

Collieryboy

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Just out of curiosity if SF(R) didn't work out for some reason, would you not want to be in the AR at all, or would you go to a regular AR unit?
 
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