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Hello and welcome. We really appreciate you taking the time to join us here and you’ll undoubtedly be able to answer some questions and share some useful advice.

Thanks again
 

Zozo

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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?
 

Oyibo

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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?

Hi. 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.
 
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BT9

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Hi. 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
 

Oyibo

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Excellent advice and really fascinating background. I’m in the process of joining as an Officer with my sights set on Para Reg

I wish you every success. As has been said on the 'Joining as an Officer' forum you will have to have a single-minded determination to do well at RMAS and on P Coy - There are many easier routes to other units that will open up to you at RMAS, so stick with your aim at all times.
 

Aldo

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Hi @Oyibo out of interest did you have many dealings with 4 PARA and if so what was your opinion on them. I’m hoping to join and am trying to gauge their relationship with the regular battalions. Thanks!
 

Oyibo

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Hi @Oyibo out of interest did you have many dealings with 4 PARA and if so what was your opinion on them. I’m hoping to join and am trying to gauge their relationship with the regular battalions. Thanks!

Back in the day (I left in '98, so there will be others far better placed to comment for more recent times) we used to have a few 10 PARA toms seconded for overseas exercises and the like, and sometimes TA officers seconded for 2-3 years. I never worked with TA (Reserve) PARA units or sub units.

As a soldier the general attitude from regulars was a scornful "You haven't been through Depot PARA". That said, TA soldiers who were professional and got on well with their regular Pls were, after an initial period, treated no differently to regulars.

On the officer side it was similar, but without the Depot PARA cachet.

I think the attitude (amongst regular soldiers and officers) would be "Don't pretend that by doing something part-time you are as good as those doing it full-time." But if you do a (full-time) secondment and fit in well you will be accepted.

Happy to hear from more recent perspectives though.
 

Aldo

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Thanks @Oyibo for that answer! Makes a lot of sense. There is definitely a part of me that is gutted that I can’t go for regs but I’ll be throwing everything I’ve got to pass for 4 PARA
 
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