Officer class?

Discussion in 'POC Section' started by StNazaire, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. StNazaire

    StNazaire New Member

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    Hello all,

    Something was brought to my attention recently when I found these 3 PDFs on the Army's website
    http://www.army.mod.uk/documents/general/rmas_cc113_list.pdf
    http://www.army.mod.uk/documents/general/rmas_cc112_list.pdf
    http://www.army.mod.uk/documents/general/rmas_cc111_list.pdf
    If you're blind or perhaps stupid these are the Commissioning lists for men and women who have earned their commission from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

    After looking at the names and schools on the list, I realised that quite allot of the men commissioned into the Infantry and RAC come from perhaps higher up the social ladder (I.e Public and Private Grammar schools) than my self. Therefore could it be the army still recruits on Social Merit? That this so called classless army is a lie? (Except in the Household division)

    This raised a question in my head about the Marines and my Officer application, is it the same in the Marines, are Potential officers more likely to be picked under social merit than actual officer potential? Under the guise of not fitting into the mess?

    I could be wrong about the army but do any currently serving or potential officers have any clue about what class is like in the Marines?
     
  2. Batman

    Batman Royal Marines Commando

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    It's probably more to do with there being more pressure for those higher up on the social ladder to go for officer.
     
  3. Baron

    Baron Active Member

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    I am most likely incorrect; but I've always had this perception of Sandhurst being, like you said, very much based on one's socioeconomic background.

    I know three people I went to University with who I wouldn't have put in command of my five-a-side team, never mind a front-line troop; and yet, they went on to Sandhurst. All 'posho's', all morons.

    From what I've noticed about RM YO recruitment however, it seems to be based on merit, rather than your family/school attended.
     
  4. StNazaire

    StNazaire New Member

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    True, you get these long military families e.g. "My Dad was an officer in the grenadier guards, his dad was an officer in the grenadier guards, so I'm going to be an officer in the grenadier guards." so I suppose it's hard to break the cycle.
     
  5. DhobiWanKenobi

    DhobiWanKenobi Royal Marines Commando

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    As far as the Marines are concerned, spaces on the YO batches are given purely on scores from the POC and AIB. If you pass POC and score highly at AIB, you will be given a place regardless of your upbringing.

    It may be the case that those from public schools are given more opportunities to develop their leadership potential, but they still need to pass the same tests as everyone else.

    I'm pretty sure none of the YOs I spoke to while on POC were from a public school background. They were 'just' normal lads with high levels of fitness and exceptional leadership abilities.
     
  6. StNazaire

    StNazaire New Member

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    Those are the blokes who join the guards division or what ever, to spend all their time on public duties, waiting for daddies inheritance money to come in. However we must make a distinction, I don't know whether you saw the Documentary about Sandhurst, where the electrician (Essex boy didn't go to Uni) got a commission into the Paras. But then it did seem allot of the blokes in his platoon were fairly well off.
     
  7. Batman

    Batman Royal Marines Commando

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    I was skimming through this a little while ago
    http://people.exeter.ac.uk/acking/Papers/RMethos4.doc
    As well as generally being a good read for those who want to join the marines, it dose contain good insight on royal marine officers relevant to this thread(watch out though its easy to get lost in).
     
  8. StNazaire

    StNazaire New Member

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    It's good to hear that. Cheers.
     
  9. C

    C Guest

    It has been said to me or on here, I can't remember which, that if there is a YO pass out or family day and a recruit pass out or family day both on at CTC you'd be hard pressed to work out which group of family and friends where there for the YO event and which for the recruit.

    I still think that those those from more well off backgrounds are often more likely to end up as officer than those from less well off backgrounds as stated above due to the culture differences between those in lower and higher socioeconomic groups, but that's not to say that people from poorer areas can't become officers.
     
  10. Old Man

    Old Man Ex-Matelot

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    Very balanced, chip on each shoulder, eh?

    I was at my son's pass out and the officer taking the parade was a Bootie Brigadier. Made a point of coming around and talking to everybody.

    Talking about his own career, and how he'd started as an OR, he said -

    'Not bad for a scallie from Bootle, eh?'
     
  11. alex18

    alex18 New Member

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    I'm a former UOTC and TA Officer Cadet (just to give some background on my insight into this) and I'd like to make one thing clear, AOSB is damn hard to pass, There was a time when RCB, as ASOB was then known, was simply a case of turning up and name-dropping, but those days have passed.

    However, to get into your regiment you have to have an interview, usually this involves the RCO (Regimental Careers Officer), the Regimental Adjutant (a retired officer at the RHQ who deals with regimental administration) and a senior regiment figure (a General who began his career in the regiment). To get into the regiment you need to impress them. However, you can see the board and get accepted into your regiment before you actually get to Sandhurst, or even pass any of the selection tests. This is called getting 'Regimental Sponsorship' and in Sandhurst you will be known as a 'Confirmed Cadet' and will be guarenteed a place in your regiment when you pass out. Of course, this stage is very open to abuse and I personally know people who mentioned the name of a relative and were waved straight through into the regiment.

    Saying that, to get into an Infantry or RAC Regiment you generally have to pass out in the top third of your course and confirmed cadets come under an awful lot of pressure to do that. Regiments are known to ask that their cadets get 'back-termed' so that they can reach the required standard before they pass out.

    I'd say that private schools do push their students to aim to be officers. The first time I ever went to Sandhurst out of 35 Officer cadets, only two of us had gone to standard state schools. Many private and grammer schools have long-standing relationships with certain regiments for example Ampleforth College has many Irish Guards officers and King Edward VI School sends young men to the Royal Anglian Regiment.

    Whether that is a bad thing or not, I've never been entirely sure, but one reason (not the main one, but nevertheless a reason) why I decided not to persure a career as an infantry officer was because I've never felt comfortable among other officers and I've never really enjoyed things like mess dinners.
     
  12. StNazaire

    StNazaire New Member

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    And what makes you think I have a chip on each soldier, where have I shown prejudices to anyone? Let alone a bloke who's risen through the ranks like that? I'm just trying to see what the current climate is like when it comes to Officer Class in the Marines, in contrast to the army.
     
  13. StNazaire

    StNazaire New Member

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    I'm well aware of the system, may I also make not that a "regimental sponsorship" is in fact a regiment or corps taking over the paper work for your application, but does have a very good effect on actually getting into a chosen regiment/corps, as you become known. A confirmed cadet however is accepted into a Regiment/Corps for passing the CC, these are rarely handed out, and mostly to people who've done gap year commissions or who have a member of family in the regiment.

    Saying that what you've said has just about backed up my, point but I think that it's the beauty of the British Army that regiments have such choice in the selection of candidates, but also a beast considering that it would be naive to think that regiments don't take men on social class (not based on this alone of course); as in the PDFs during the last three terms only one state school student has been commissioned into the guards (and according to my Dad an ex-Coldstreamer) he was probably commissioned from the ranks.
     
  14. Old Man

    Old Man Ex-Matelot

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    This, in response to Baron's post mentioning 'poshos' and 'morons'.
    Further, your 'snappiness' to posts you don't like comes across as a touch of arrogance, as does your constant whining about class.

    Has it occurred that public schools have a history of teaching their pupils that they are future leaders? In whatever field they choose?

    Has it occurred that a family history of serving in a particular service/regiment/whatever, might instil the relevant ethos into their offspring, who will gravitate to like-minded people/regiments/corps/whatever?

    Because it had to me, and no university has ever offered me so much as a push off the side.
     
  15. StNazaire

    StNazaire New Member

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    I thought it was addressed to me, as you quoted me.

    How have I been 'snappy' or arrogant?

    Yes, but if I'm perfectly honest it seems like a very big coincidence that some regiments may commission one or two state schooled boys, where as others may commission majority state schooled.


    Again yes, my dad wanted me to join the Coldstream Guards, but since I want to be an officer and I didn't go to Eton that's not possible. What I mean by this is sometimes it happens that people with family in the reg will get in at the drop of a hat. After talking to a few Lads on ARRSE one told me there was a bloke in his platoon at RMAS who got back termed, but because his father was in reg he still got in.
     
  16. Old Man

    Old Man Ex-Matelot

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    It was addressed to you. I was addressing your response to Baron's post.


    You said you'd snapped at something someone said, can't be bothered to go back and find it for you.

    And you keep on about class. You've made class important to yourself. You've decided class distinction exists, you've decided it has some import and you've shown disdain for those you perceive to be of a different class. Hence arrogant. At least as inferred by me from your posts.

    Those more meritorious will always shine. I have no idea whether the class distinction you keep on about actually exists. All we can judge is your perception of it and your reaction to that perception.


    Is going to Eton a prerequisite for being an officer in the Coldstream Guards? The Army website mentions no such thing, so I don't know. And why is your father choosing your future career?

    Seems to me, you're looking for a reason not to join, think you've found one, and are now searching for evidence to back-up that reason.
     
  17. MacheteMeetsBiscuit

    MacheteMeetsBiscuit Member

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    Excellent! Spent about 20 minutes of a half hour conversation today talking about this Brigadier. There is an IT teacher in our college who was Royal, he is 'bessie oppos' with said Brigadier - they met on the train down to CTC and they were bivvy partners all the way through RT. Ended up going to different Cdo units on pass-out but keep in touch to this day, both have done some amazing and gucci things in their careers.
     
  18. Old Man

    Old Man Ex-Matelot

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    Odd really. Ostensibly about class, this thread could otherwise talk about 'elitism'. And the RM appears to be all about elitism. But elitism based apparently, on merit.

    The minimum standard of the officer elite is higher than the minimum standard of the ORs, who are themselves considered elite.

    Pre Herrick 14, I was at a families day at 45 Commando, presentations being given to the families of ORs and officers together, accompanied by their Marines. At times there was some queuing to be done, and I would have expected the officers to go to the front of the queue.

    Contrary to expectations however, they, and their families, queued just like everybody else.

    Expectations and reality are not the same.
     
  19. Jbc

    Jbc Royal Marines Commando -Moderator

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    I have never questioned the social standing of any RM Officer I've had the pleasure of working for. I've never once been made to feel beneath an RM Officer despite being as educationally qualified and mostly as old (if not older) than the majority I've worked with. Money, social standing or class have never been an issue.

    I can't even tactically fault a single RM officer I've had command me. Every single officer I've ever worked for has been polite, courteous, honest, respectful but direct. What's this thing you mention about elitism and class structure?
     
  20. TheDoc

    TheDoc Member

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    Interestingly, in the very early days of the Marines (pre "Royal") a commission into the Marines was much cheaper and seen as far less desirable than gaining (i.e. buying) a commission into one of the Foot Regiments. Their social standing and pay were considerably lower.

    My how the tables have turned?

    Also, any selection, particularly for Officers in the Army or RM is by definition elitist. I just hope that merit and performance at PRMC/POC/AOSB count for much more now but it would be naive to think that which school you went to or where daddy works doesn't make a difference.

    Nepotism is everywhere but if anything it means that those who achieve, despite not having the right connections, can be that much prouder of themselves when they do make it.

    I personally am quite proud to be sat in an office of PhD students, the vast bulk of which went to private or grammar schools whilst I went to a bog standard (but perfectly nice) comprehensive.