How did you end up commissioning after joining as a private out of interest? Did you apply or were you selected? Also did you find having experience of the ranks helped your officership?
Excellent advice and really fascinating background. I’m in the process of joining as an Officer with my sights set on Para RegHi. I was told near the end of Depot that I had been put forward for a officer selection by the Pl Comd (as had another guy). I don't know exactly how that came about, but I'm sure that asking to do officer selection would have had the same effect unless one was profoundly unsuitable.
In those days one did a 'Unit Selection Board' - interview with suitable officer(s) in the unit; then Pre RCB - run in Depot PARA along the lines of RCB; then RCB (from what I have read, AOSB is pretty much the same thing).
I went to 2 PARA as a tom, and the other guy went to 3 PARA. 3 PARA sorted out the admin way before 2 PARA, and the other guy went to RMAS 2 years before me.
On the subject of how the experience helped with 'officership', RMAS is undoubtedly much easier if one has been in the ranks. But the DS know that, so you are expected to pull your weight and help out the other OCdts accordingly.
When I got to Bn (1 PARA this time) as a 2nd Lt I found it helped to have been in the ranks both with my Pl and in the Officers' mess. However, the period of grace only lasts for a while - one has to show that one is an effective leader and not just an officer who has been in the ranks.
My advice to any aspiring officer would be to go for that route first rather than joining the ranks in the hope that one may get commissioned. At least if one does not pass AOSB one can still join the ranks.
Excellent advice and really fascinating background. I’m in the process of joining as an Officer with my sights set on Para Reg