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Becoming an Officer

Eligibility

Before considering a career as an Army Officer is it worthwhile taking the time to ensure that you are eligible by checking the basic Entry Requirements.

The Selection Process

So as not to waste time re-inventing the wheel, I have provided the following like which will enable you to download the official ‘Are you Ready to be and Army Officer’ guide. This together with Army Website will tell you almost everything you need to know about AOSB, Sandhurst and the training you will receive. This website is dedicated to providing the you with the information and advice that you will not be told anywhere else. This advice is based on my experience as an Army Officer having worked in Officer Recruiting to enable you to succeed.



Interview with Army Careers Advisor

Medical Examination



AOSB Briefing



Attend Regimental / Corps Familiarisation Visit 1

AOSB Main Board

Attend Regimental / Corps Familiarisation Visit 2

Pre Commissioning Course

Pre RMAS Course






RMAS Commissioning Course





Visit Army Careers Office


The Role of the Army Careers Advisor

The role of the Army Career Advisor (ACA) is to assess your suitability as an Army Officer, provide the information you need and mentor you through the selection process. The ACA will be your focal point of contact throughout the process, arranging your medical examinations, booking you on to the AOSB Briefing and Main Board and sending you on Familiarisation Visits.

Without wanting to offend, most of Army Careers Advisors are retired Senior Army Officers, some of whom can sometimes be slightly out of touch with the workings and needs of the Army. The advisors can be very busy and you may find that you need to chase them on occasions if you are desperate to get through the selection process as quickly as possible. A word of caution here - take care not to become a nuisance as some of the ACAs are easily irritated and can quickly bring a halt to your progress should they take a disliking to you.



The Pre RMAS (PRAMS) Course

Depending on your performance at AOSB you may be invited to attend the Pre RMAS course (commonly referred to as PRAMS) which takes place in Worthy Down. If you are offered a place on this course it means that you have demonstrated the potential required to become and Army Officer and have gained a conditional place at RMAS. The Pre RMAS course is offered to those individuals who need a little more development in certain areas prior to attending the Commissioning Course. This course should not be confused with the Potential Officer Development (POD) course, which is specifically for soldiers who are commissioning from the ranks.


Do not be downhearted if you are invited to attend this course. Most Potential Officers who complete it find it a very rewarding experience and ideal preparation for Sandhurst. You will have the opportunity to develop your leadership, communication and presentation skills while working alongside like minded individuals.


There are certain circumstances when attending the Pre RMAS course can work to your advantage, with respect to reducing the time it takes to get to Sandhurst. Depending on the time of year there can be a long waiting list for those who have passed Main Board waiting for a place at Sandhurst. There have been circumstances when candidates who have attended the  same  AOSB Main Board have started the Commissioning Course before other candidates who were offered a direct place . Therefore you could actually get to Sandhurst sooner by attending this course.This is due to a peculiarity whereby everybody who starts the Pre RMAS course is automatically reserved a place at Sandhurst the earliest  opportunity after completion.

The Pre-Commissioning Course (PCCBC)

The PCCBC orientates Officer Candidates to the demands of the Commissioning Course (CC) and gives some idea of the challenges ahead. There are opportunities to meet Directing Staff and Officer Cadets in training. Administrative details will be covered and combat boots are issued so that they can be worn-in prior to the start of the CC.

The full Initial Medical Examination is conducted. No one may start on the CC without having passed this Medical. A Personal Fitness Assessment is also carried out. Anyone who fails the test may be deferred to a future course to allow for sufficient preparation. This is to minimise the possibility of injury during the early stages of training on the CC. Visit the Getting Fit page to find out how to prepare.

The Commissioning Course

There is little point in me providing you with any more detailed information of what awaits you during your time at Sandhurst. The course is constantly evolving to meet the needs of the Army and it would be unhelpful for me to provide, what would most likely be an outdated perspective of what to expect. In essence the basic structure has not changed for many years but rest assured that you will receive the most intensive and demanding training that you are likely to find at any other Army Officer training establishment in the world. The Officers and NCOs who will be instructing you throughout the Commissioning Course will have been hand-picked from across the Army, having themselves gone through a rigorous selection process. The moment you step foot into Sandhurst you will most probably no longer have any use for this site, and to be honest your highly unlikely to even find time to check your e-mails. If you have any specific questions about the course you should contact the RMAS direct at ocac@rmas.mod.uk.

Kit & Equipment Guide

What is most important is that you are fully prepared for what lies ahead. Included with the RMAS joining instructions that you will receive in due course is the recommended kit list. Due to popular demand I have included a page on the additional items that will be useful to have before you arrive. These recommendations are based on my personal experience and those newly Commissioned Officers who have recently completed the course. See the enhanced Kit & Equipment recommendations.

Timescale

From start to finish the entire application process can vary but usually takes between 9-24 months depending on your performance at AOSB Briefing. The timescale will also vary depending on the time of year that you apply; the majority of university graduates will begin the Commissioning Course in September (RMAS training terms begin tri-annually in Jan, May and Sept). You can make productive use of the time prior to Main Board by attending familiarisation visits with those Regiments or Corps that you are interested in joining. These can be arranged through your ACA, however due to high demand most candidates are limited to attending two Familiarisation Visits prior to Main Board. Most of the delays will be caused by waiting for a date to attend Main Board (there is often a long waiting list) together with the promulgation of your medical records through the notoriously slow Army mail system.

If you are keen to get through the process as quickly as possible, you should ensure that you minimise delays by returning all of your paperwork as soon as possible. I have known of some candidates who have waited several months for an AOSB date until finally contacting the office only to be reminded that they have still not returned their application forms. Suffice to say that made for a very embarrassing phone call.