(Original post by maskofsanity)
I'm doing a part-time master's this September and I am set on joining the TAs for those two years before applying for the police force. I first looked into the UOTC but it seems that it's only for full-time students, plus it looked a bit less serious and not as challenging... just a bit student-y.
Anyway, it will therefore be Group A and I will be trained for mobilisation. My question is: how does this work exactly? I would be keen on doing a tour but how does that work with my master's and part-time job? Can I simply tell them I will be back in a few months or can my university kick me out or my employer fire me?
Right, I'm currently a serving soldier in the TA, so I'll give you the information straight from the horse's mouth.
The first question you need to ask yourself is: "Do I want to be an officer, or a soldier?". If it is the former, then it is going to be far more beneficial (and safer) to join an OTC. Firstly, the future of the Officer Training Wings that trained "TA" officers is seriously in doubt and supposedly all officer training is due to come under the remit of the OTCs. Secondly, if you complete all the modules with the OTC you will still come out of Sandhurst as a Group A trained officer; all you need to do is then transfer to another unit.
The quality of the UOTC is very variable though. I've met some very switched on, very motivated and fit O/Cdts and I've also encountered the complete opposite. Just something to bear in mind.
Now, regarding tours, as a fully trained Group A soldier you would be eligible for mobilisation (if you're a full time student you can appeal against it though with no dramas). If you volunteer for deployment your job is not protected. If you are compulsorily mobilised then it is protected. I'm not sure where your university would stand, most students I know who've deployed have tken a sabbatical.
I wrote that all very quickly, I may have missed a few things out, but thats the general gist of it all. If you need anything else just PM me.
(If you don't mind me asking, what unit are you hoping to join?)