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    Hey, I applied to the RAF a while ago and sat my AST today. I needed a decent score to get in to my chosen branch and I managed to get it. The officer in recruitment was impressed and said I should maybe consider other options, such as going regular.

    Can someone explain some options? Does your AST open up any options in the regs that aren't available in the Reserves? I don't really have great qualifications though so I don't think I can be an officer.

    Thanks for any help.
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    It's 2 very different things.

    When signing up for the regular RAF you're not just getting a job, you're getting a life, in the Forces, with all the pros and cons that come with that. Aptitude is only one part of the package and a high aptitude is no guarantee of anything. And you don't necessarily qualify for "most things", different trades and branches require different aptitudes. The skills that make you score high in one are not necessarily the same as the skills that help you score highly in another. You may score highly for Int, but that doesn't mean you'll score highly for ABM, for instance.

    Presumably you were going for the Reserves because you've got a job and a life on the outside that you like/enjoy and want to keep. By going regular you're stopping all that, even your social life and, to some extent, your friends. You're at the beck and call of the military 24/7 then, it's not just one night a week, one weekend a month and an exercise week every now and then, it's full time and permanent.

    Yes, you can do degrees in service, but it is by far the hardest way round of doing them. Again remember this isn't a typical 9-5 job that gives you masses of free time to complete a degree at your leisure, it's the modern (stretched) armed forces.

    As for are other opportunities available to you... well, yes, but they come at the cost of not being 'free' to be a civilian on your down time.

    It really comes down to what you want. What was the reason you applied for the reserves in the first place?
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    I'm not saying this to be mean.

    Armed Forces recruiter school.

    Day 1, lesson 1: Tell them that their score is one of the highest you've seen and is really impressive.
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    To be honest I don't do anything in my life, that's the only reason I'd consider the regulars. Not sure I even want to do Int. The AST tests for all trade brackets and I scored very highly in them all. So it's not really a question of the test dictating what I can or can't do. You could say I'm stuck in a rut.

    Not much point going regular though if there's no real bonus to it except working more thus getting paid more.
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    (Original post by whatdo)
    To be honest I don't do anything in my life, that's the only reason I'd consider the regulars. Not sure I even want to do Int. The AST tests for all trade brackets and I scored very highly in them all. So it's not really a question of the test dictating what I can or can't do. You could say I'm stuck in a rut.

    Not much point going regular though if there's no real bonus to it except working more thus getting paid more.
    So why were you considering the Reserves over the regulars in the first place?
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    There's no regular RAF units in Northern Ireland. Would pretty much live in England.
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    (Original post by whatdo)
    There's no regular RAF units in Northern Ireland. Would pretty much live in England.
    You go where the Forces need you. If that's a problem, then don't join.
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    Recruiter Manual Lesson 2:

    When recruiters encounter any person who (a) seems to be at a loose end and (b) is asking about the reserves you should:

    Sell him the regulars as a career choice.
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    We're getting off topic, I just wanted to see what additional benefits there are to being Regular as opposed to Reserve.
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    (Original post by whatdo)
    We're getting off topic, I just wanted to see what additional benefits there are to being Regular as opposed to Reserve.
    Not a huge amount, really. Most of the 'good stuff' - the adventure training courses, the nice trips - are open to both, but Reserves are slightly lower down the pecking order. Less financial assistance is available. You won't get as much money towards doing qualifications.

    But, by being a reservist you get to still be you. You get to still live in the place you're from, know the same people, live like a civvy while having to do relatively little actual uniform work.

    Being a regular means you might get slightly faster promotion (to a point), you are earning full time, but you're moving around, you're not a civilian anymore, you're off and doing what they tell you, you're away from home.

    Perks are there in either, but you have to go and make them happen, none of them are just handed out. Why didn't you ask the recruiter what they meant when they said that to you?
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    He said I should consider phoning the Regular's career office but I don't know, wanted to see some opinions from neutral people first. Unless I was looking to be a pilot or something probably isn't worth going Regular.
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    (Original post by whatdo)
    He said I should consider phoning the Regular's career office but I don't know, wanted to see some opinions from neutral people first. Unless I was looking to be a pilot or something probably isn't worth going Regular.
    Very much depends on what you want to do. You say you're not doing much in your life and that you could say you're stuck in a rut. Well, joining the regulars is going to change all that. But that brings with it pros and cons.

    But if you're only considering it for the perks, perhaps that says it all?
 
 
 
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