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Opinions on joining age!

Discussion in 'General Royal Marines Joining Chit Chat' started by OCH73, Mar 26, 2019.

  1. OCH73

    OCH73 New Member

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    Morning,
    I’m new to the forum as a Dad of a 16 yo.
    I served as a Para for 8 years (a few years back now) signed up when I was 16. My son is 16 and is adamant he wants to join the RM. He’s very fit with a great mental attitude, but I’m concerned he’s too young to join RM.
    Obviously I don’t want to sound hypocritical as I was 16 when I signed up to the army, but I’m thinking RM is a whole different ball game!
    What are people’s opinions on this please?
     
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  2. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    Hopefully you'll get some experiences from both those who joined close to the lower age limit and from their parents. The 'sweet spot' for success in RT is somewhere close to age twenty-two I think. But blokes do it at age sixteen and and at age thirty-two! The extremes have their own specific risks.

    The forum is haunted by a few ex Pongos who are politely tolerated. The wit, charm and elegant sophistication of ex Paras is always welcome. :)
     
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  3. OCH73

    OCH73 New Member

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    Cheers for that! My opinion now as a Dad of a 16 yo joining to my opinion when I was 16 is somewhat different, funny how it changes when you become a parent. I’ve always taught my lad to aim high... and this is exactly what he’s doing. I don’t know much about RT but I do know it don’t get much harder.

    Maybe I should have kept the ex Para bit quiet :)
     
  4. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    Not at all. The forum has at least two currently serving Paras who used the forum while preparing for PRAC and during RT.
     
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  5. Caversham

    Caversham Former RM Commando, Moderator

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    Definitely not! @Chelonian is a stalwart member of the forum, despite his Para Reg background! :) We also have former infantry, @arny01, whose own son joined the Corps at 16 and has now passed out as a trained rank. We even have our own RAMC Medic, @Johnny_Anonie

    I take it your son did not think about following in your footsteps?

    Alan
     
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  6. MumtoRM

    MumtoRM Moderator

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    In my opinion I think 16 is too young.

    The body is still growing and maturing and RT is as about as tough as it gets.

    Add to that the mentality needed to be an RM it does not make for happy healthy bodies.

    Potential RMs are not the kind of people who give up when they should. My own lad has troubles with his body now that he will carry for the rest of his life. He turned 19 one week into RT.

    Whilst @arny01's lad made it through I have seen more instances of youngsters being MD'd due to injury.

    Just my two pennorth.
     
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  7. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker Admin

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    It's an interesting one. As a parent, we are virtually honour-bound to be hypocritical when it comes to our kid's academic attainment & career aspirations, I guess. My son got two A's & two B's at A Level. My comment? "If you'd pulled your finger out, you could've got four A's". He could too, but I neglected to compare that with my own lone CSE in crayoning.

    Very often, as a recruiter, I found applicants who's Mum or Dad was in the Army would tell them to join the RM, RN or RAF. I noticed this particularly when visiting the garrison schools in Germany. The fact that Mum & Dad lived in a mahoosive five-bedroomed Married Quarter and each drove a brand new, top notch Range Rover seemed to have slipped-by unnoticed. ;)

    Age-wise, it really does depend on physical and mental maturity. Some can, some can't. Those that succeed age 16 tend to shout loudest, simply because the majority (who don't reach Kings Squad) tend not to shout about it.
     
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  8. OCH73

    OCH73 New Member

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    Good to hear!

    I have spent most of his life talking about my time in the Paras, and promoting what a good career choice this is. Unfortunately I was discharged due to an injury but I loved every minute of it. The last year we’ve had quite a bit of banter re; paras or RM. I actually promoted AFC Harrogate as a good ease into it, especially when signing up at 16, but he’s adamant on RM, he’s saying RM is the elite, and he wants to join the best! Para’s vs RM.... that’s for another topic haha, but I support his choice.
    My only concern is joining the RM doesn’t have the gentle ease of Harrogate, but then again I don’t know much about RT now hence opinions will help.
     
  9. OCH73

    OCH73 New Member

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    And just to add; unfortunately he’s not very academic, that’s to say he’s not doing very well in his GCSE,s despite having private tutors and his Mum being a teacher! He certainly won’t be applying to any universities put it that way. Takes after me in that way:(
    It seems a military career is all he wants!
     
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  10. dodgyknees

    dodgyknees Active Member

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    I think it depends on the physical development of the lad concerned. I have seen boys who are 6 foot, 200 lb monsters and others who are still not shaving and would get blown over by a stiff breeze. Having not met your lad, all I would say is that trg now is much more progressive than it was when you (and I) joined. Maybe send him on a look at life course before he commits to PRMC and let him make up his own mind. My own lad was very young when he joined and I must admit to having some reservations but he got through OK.
     
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  11. OCH73

    OCH73 New Member

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    Yeah agreed @dodgyknees
    So much has changed since my day so It’s good to hear opinions.
     
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  12. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    Some things probably remain the same. Particularly mental resilience. Buy your lad a locker from eBay for his bedroom and make him fold his kit into it in a precise A4 format.
    Your wife can then bellow "Corridor!" at 0500 while you tip the contents of his locker out of the bedroom window into a blizzard. :)
     
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  13. Caversham

    Caversham Former RM Commando, Moderator

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    Unfortunately the days of lads joining as Juniors have long passed and they are now pitched in to a recruit troop with everybody else for the 32 week, (minimum), training. Statistics show that they are more likely to suffer injury than someone in their early 2os, but having said that a lot of adult recruits also pick up injuries, so it's a hard call.

    I am biased towards the youngsters. My son in law joined as one and went off to the Falklands in 1982 after passing out a few weeks before it kicked off and my cousin was also one and he went onto become a WO2 PTI. I also meet up with former Juniors, who have an annual PU in Exeter, the next one being in July.

    I think that the advice by @dodgyknees, (I forgot that he is also a serving Percy, albeit with a Green Lid :D), is sound and perhaps you can advise your lad to go on a Look at Life course before deciding, but my guess is that you will have a hard job persuading him to wait.

    Alan
     
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  14. Chelonian

    Chelonian Moderator

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    I'm guessing that you didn't do a term in Junior Parachute Coy? Little hooligans. We called them Hitler Youth.
     
  15. OCH73

    OCH73 New Member

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    No I wasn’t the Hitler youth haha.
    I was at Harrogate, then known as Army apprentice school, then transferred into Paras. Narrowly missed out on JPC but I did serve with many of them. Best days of my life.
     
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  16. lilsis

    lilsis Member

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    I will chuck my opinion out there too, my son turned 18 end of February so he joined when he was 17 like your son GCSE wise struggled massively and came out with nothing, loved his fitness but ended up with a very bad crowd. Someone at work mentioned to me her son was looking at joining the RM’s so I happened to mention to my son do u fancy that and he became 100% focused on it and signed up straight away and he is currently in week 22 on violent entry as we speak. He has grown up massively whilst he has been there the only things that worry me about it is the drinking at weekends tends to go out and doesn’t know his limits. Fitness wise he hasn’t picked up anything yet bar an infection down to bites or the bush whilst out on the last exercise so he is currently on antibiotics. So I would say if that’s what he wants let him do it, least that way he can never blame u for holding him back. On the other side of the wall I also have a 19yr old daughter at uni and is hating the fact that life is so boring and having to work and study and fit the partying lifestyle into 1 and does nothing but complain. So at the moment the child that was the nightmare has suddenly done about turn and the 1 that was an angel is turning into more of a worry.
     
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  17. OCH73

    OCH73 New Member

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    Thanks @lilsis
    There’s no doubt that life in the services is a great career choice. Good luck to your son.
     
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  18. Hoofin

    Hoofin Commando Officer

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    I have strong views on it, which don’t always sit with current policy. However the chances of a 16 year old passing are around 10% with the chances of an 18-19 year old passing higher and a 20-24 year old higher still.
     
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  19. The guide

    The guide Royal Marines Commando

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    I firmly believe that 16 y/o should not be at CTC , The risk of getting a injury that is a long term one is high , besides the lad actually growing normally his body will have to contend with the growing / physical change process that CTC does to everybody , and with both together the percentage chance of a gaining a long term injury increases greatly , i have seen many broken 16 / 17 y/o and the mental impact is not that minor either they end up with a dream shattered...once again at 16 !!... The pure numbers gain to the Corps with those that pass is really negligible so i really cannot see the benefit. Maturity is also a issue , simply put the young guy has not lived and is going into a big boys world at 16 .!. Get educated , live life a bit... then join , the Corps is going nowhere.
     
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  20. OCH73

    OCH73 New Member

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    @The guide Thanks for the input, I happen to agree with a lot of what you say.
    Convincing a strong minded 16 year old on the other hand is a different kettle of fish all together!
     
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