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Good Qualifications for Potential RM Officers

Discussion in 'POC Section' started by Stroll147, Apr 18, 2020.

  1. Stroll147

    Stroll147 Active Member

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    Hey guys, first proper post. (Sorry for length)

    I am hoping to do my application throughout year 13 to (if successful) begin officer training in 2022 batch and I am expecting GCSE results sometime this holiday (even though I'm not sitting them, OFQUALo_O). During the break I've realised there really isn't much I've done for them to even consider taking me, so I was just wondering if anyone could suggest anything that would help bolster my CV and make them want me as an officer.

    So far I am thinking of:
    1. in my spare time getting a btec (aswell as the 3 A-levels I get at 6th Form) in 'Unformed Protective Services', showing i have the correct understanding of the military etc.
    2. returning back to volunteering at my local Cub Scout Group, showing I have the leadership skills.
    3. My family are quite into swimming and that has led my sister to swim teaching, by Year 13 I will be a Level 2 swim teacher which is basically a fully fledged swim instructor teaching kids from 4-teens how to swim and I would have a significant amount of teaching time by then - hopefully showing water proficiency and ability to lead and teach.

    If anyone has anything to add to these or any other reccommendations are please let me know, I am quite stumped.

    Thanks.
     
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  2. Johnny_Anonie

    Johnny_Anonie Moderator

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    Many degrees develop the ability to improve research skills, to apply analytical and critical reasoning and the opportunity to display high quality oral and written work. There is no specific degree that makes a better officer. It really depends on you and what subject you enjoy.
     
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  3. MasterPrestige1234

    MasterPrestige1234 New Member

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    I got involved in Gold DofE whilst at college; in-fact the person who ran it was ex-RM. I was very fond of him, but the more snow-flakey of the group thought he was a bit intense. The Bronze and Silver awards are not a prerequisite either. The course itself is good as the onus is on you and your group to plan and create the routes, book all the campsites/admin for it and do all the navigation, so you really have the opportunity to push yourself to the front as the leader and also be apart of a team. We also had the opportunity to do an expedition leaders course on top of that.
    Also, if you do decide to go to university, you can get involved in the UOTC which is great for a bit of paid leadership development. We went to Gibraltar last summer for our annual training event which was awesome. You also get a lot of exposure to the wider army and various other regiments that exist, which have given me an insight in to the other available career paths.
     
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  4. CGEdith

    CGEdith Member

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    I’m just hopping on this post to ask, does UOTC still help with it being Army focused? I’ve been advised by my officer liaison to do it but I always love a good second opinion! *text deleted* in reference to the original question, do a degree you enjoy but preferably one with analytical skills as mentioned. My options that I liked were sports and exercise science or history. My AFCO recommended the Sports one as he didn’t think that history would’ve been best.
     
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  5. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    UOTC will give an insight into service life while being compatible with academic studies. Think of it as another university society. UOTC is sometimes knocked by those who don't understand its overall mission. Don't expect to emerge with a comprehensive set of 'green' skills.

    Really? :confused: History is arguably one of the most analytically demanding degree courses. It is regarded as the 'gold standard' degree by many blue chip corporations because of the critical thinking skills acquired by graduates.
     
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  6. MasterPrestige1234

    MasterPrestige1234 New Member

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    Do a degree in a subject that you enjoy and think you're going to do well at. There really isn't such thing as 'the best' degree. I do Sports and Exercise Science and has definitely tested the more analytical part of my brain (if it even exists).
     
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  7. MasterPrestige1234

    MasterPrestige1234 New Member

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    Yes. As Chelonian has said, you're not going to come out of it being some plt commander field ninja, but you'll get a better appreciation of the job and the role of other members within a plt, such as put Sgt, section commanders and 2ic's. These are the roles you will normally fill during training exercises. Any leadership experience, is good leadership experience.
     
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  8. Stroll147

    Stroll147 Active Member

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    cheers for the answers, but I am planning on going in straight after Sixth Form if possible so a degree isn't an option.
     
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  9. Johnny_Anonie

    Johnny_Anonie Moderator

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    Yep, it’s certainly not a requirement. I’m sure some of the better qualified on here will be able to comment on the number of non grads in YO batches vs grads.

    All I will say is degrees may not be essential but I suspect that they are becoming more desirable as much of an officer's professional development is within an academic framework.

    When all is said, non graduates have the same career prospects as graduates (though promotion is slower at the bottom end of the ladder within the Army apparently, unsure if this is mirrored in the Corps)

    Best of luck with it all. It’s incredibly competitive so put in place opportunities that allow you to develop and grow now.
     
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  10. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    Some years ago there was an article in The Globe & Laurel which addressed the issue of whether graduates were more or less likely to successfully complete YO training. The stats at the time suggested that graduates coped better but not because of their academic achievement. It matters not a jot whether one's degree is in music, international affairs or theology. The University of Plymouth was one of the first to offer a degree course in Surfing. :)
    The three years of independent living which accompanied many university courses were judged to give a significant advantage in maturity and broadness of outlook.

    This suggests the obvious: non-grad school leavers should seize every opportunity to step outside of 'comfort zones' and expose themselves to new experiences.
     
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  11. Stroll147

    Stroll147 Active Member

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    Thanks for this, I am trying to workout what sort of things this would be. I am going to return to my CCF, get a Btec in my spare time aswell as my A-Levels in Sixth Form, volunteer at my local Cub Scout Group and Get my swimming teacher qualifications. is there anything else you could suggest? qualifications/certificates? climbing Ben Nevis or other things like that (treks in places like North Wales)? leadership related activities that would look good? anything that shows commitment/leadership skills/stuff they want? I am just trying to think of things that I could do that would make me standout and show them I have the leadership skills and maturity they want.

    Anything you can think of is greatly appreciated. thanks!
     
  12. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    Firstly, don't pay to go on a gap year trip to Peru to help build an orphanage nobody needs. :)

    But seriously, there are opportunities in the UK which are accessible. For example, volunteering to work with young people who are often described as "challenging" for a variety of reasons including their brushes with the criminal justice system. In comparison, anyone can captain a school sports team; everyone in it is generally compliant, respects the hierarchy and aims for a common goal.

    Just now the COVID-19 situation makes access to some volunteer services tricky but it's worth reaching out to your local social services and asking anyway. Invariably a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) assessment will be required but often this can be undertaken concurrently with volunteering.

    On a more general note, don't assume that leadership must always be spectacular. What matters is getting things done. Often this can be achieved by quietly influencing people to reach the desired outcome.

    But get out there and make mistakes.
    Think about it: if someone is attending AIB where everyone else strives to impress with exotic and impressive tales of world class leadership the individual who cheerfully recounts all the disastrous mistakes he or she made and what they learned from those mistakes might just have an edge.
     
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  13. MasterPrestige1234

    MasterPrestige1234 New Member

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    The current situation with COVID-19 makes doing a lot of the things you want to hard. However, there is still plenty you can do within your community. We have two elderly ladies that live alone on our street. My mum goes out a few times a week to make sure they're okay, have a chat (adhering to social distancing guidelines of course), and to check they have everything they need, which has inspired me to do the same, or at least help out a bit. For them that weekly contact is a life-line. A compassionate heart goes a long way and is a great quality to have, especially in the job you want to do.
     
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  14. CGEdith

    CGEdith Member

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    I was told by my officer liaison that grads are better than non for “life experience” for officers. I went on a POV to Faslane with 43 and was the only one who hadn’t attended uni yet. The Bootnecks up there also told me that grads were better. By the way... if you ever go on a POV I recommend Faslane it will test your commitment to the RM as it’s grim and freezing :D
     
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  15. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    An interesting thread. Not all Officer candidates want to accumulate the debt associated with three years at university. And although a university degree is still promoted as a path to higher lifetime earnings I'm not entirely convinced.

    A consistent factor appears to be that three years of independent living after school provides for many the maturity and experience which aids sound judgment. Undoubtedly some of those who start YO training straight from school or college at age 18 do excel. And let's not forget that anyone who successfully completes 15 months of training at CTCRM is judged fit to be appointed to a command.

    There is of course the option to work and live independently for two or three years rather than attending university. Done in a structured way this could be a feasible approach with several advantages over the university path.
     
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  16. Johnny_Anonie

    Johnny_Anonie Moderator

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    I joined the Army at 18 which allowed me to essentially lead a student's social life but with the considerable bonus of an income.

    It also enabled me to develop a solid work ethic, maturity and priceless life experiences.
     
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  17. TheRents

    TheRents Valuable Contributor

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    Obviously I have a slight bias - Father of a non grad RM officer.

    As we are learning at the moment generalisations, whilst convenient, are often wildly inaccurate!

    I would put most of the emphasis on " life experience" label not the "grad" label.

    Most 18 year olds have less experience than 21 year olds, who in turn have less than most 25 years olds. Luckily the Corps and the RN try to assess the person - their character and their potential. That is why your AIB final interview is almost completely about you. Remember they want a mix of ages and background.

    As I was writing this the guys above pretty much nailed it.

    Get some jobs!

    My son's
    Paper round from 13 - 0500 starts
    Summer holidays from 15 - Kitchen Porter
    6th Form - Saturday Market 0730 - 1200
    Running club - Commitee
    Post school (2 years) - Full time job + Saturday Market + DOE instructor evenings
    - 2 month break for JOGLE (solo self supported)

    These are the things you can control, sadly other life experiences you cannot including bereavement and coping with long term illness or disability in the family.

    All of these help to shape you as a person and therefore as an officer

    In the present situation these jobs will be harder to find and you need to be thinking longer term than 2022 anyway, you have age on your side.

    It is a privilege to serve some of the finest men our country produce, so remember - you have to work hard to get in, harder to Passout and then even harder to be a good officer.

    As the guys on here like to say - The world is your Lobster

    Go catch it!
     
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  18. Johnny_Anonie

    Johnny_Anonie Moderator

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    Fantastic post.

    How is your son getting on?
     
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  19. Advocado

    Advocado Royal Marines Commando

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    Seize the opportunity that is infront of you right now.

    COVID-19 presents a great opportunity to raise some serious money for NHS charities by completing a sponsored charity event that you can organise off your own back.

    It wouldn't surprise me if at some point during your application/selection process you were asked what you did with yourself during the COVID-19 lockdown.

    The corps are looking for self motivated individuals who get out there and seize opportunities, so your answer could be one of two things:

    1. I sat on my backside during the lockdown doing a little bit of garden phys every day.

    2. I raised £10,000 for the NHS by completing the fan dance bare-foot with the weight of a ventilator on my back. An event for which I organised all of the administration such as:

    Liasing with the local uniformed services to check that they are happy with me running the event.

    Transporting 6x safety volunteers from A to B.

    Placing out safety vehicles at either end of the fan dance and safety teams of 2x people spaced out at 5 mile intervals equipped with safety tents, stretchers, first aid kits and high nutrition snacks.

    Formulating a robust medical/extraction plan inclusive of primary/secondary/tertiary means of comms and briefing all safety members on an in depth set of actions on.

    Conducting all administration involving sponsorship and donations going to an NHS charity.

    Perhaps a slightly extreme example but going into that deep detail shows a lot of leadership qualities that are sought after providing your plan is sensible and you don't end up getting rinsed a new one for breaking any lockdown rules.
     
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  20. TheRents

    TheRents Valuable Contributor

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    Thanks for asking

    Pretty much living his dream. He is deployed overseas at this time, due to the current situation the role has changed a little and he and his men may be away longer than originally planned!

    There is always plenty to do, from scrounging AT places, getting guys approved for inter service sport, training courses and qualifications for others, standing in for the Company OC, sorting out welfare problems, writing daily briefings to keep everyone in the loop with current taskings, liaising and planning with his Troop Sergeant and squirrel control!

    For those who say "You are only a Troop Commander for one year, and then it's a desk job", I would say a RM desk job is a hell of a lot more exciting than a civvy one!
     
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