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Join the UAS or the RAFVR(T)? watch

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    Hi all, I've just started at Northumbria University in Newcastle doing Engineering with Foundation Year, which is a foundation year leading into a 3 year course in engineering (you can choose which type at the end of the year).

    My life time ambition has been to join the RAF, after a failed application for Weapons Technician (due to fitness issues) I decided to gain a degree in Mechanical Engineering and hopefully join as an Engineering Officer. While at university I would like to join the Northumbria UAS and I went to ask some questions at the Freshers Fair, I was all for joining but recently found out because I am on a foundation year I cannot be accepted but I will however be eligible to join next year.

    Also at the same time I have expressed an interest in joining the Air Training Corps as a CI, I was a cadet for 2 years and was a staff cadet Sergeant by the time I left, my OC is all for setting up an interview with my local squadron's OC but has warned me that if I am successful I will be taken on for 5 years, which means basically I either choose:

    - Waiting a year then joining the NUAS

    - Joining the ATC as a CI and hopefully progress to become an officer in the RAFVR(T)

    I would like to know which would be the preferred option from the RAF's point of view, which they would look more favourably on?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated

    Many thanks,
    Liam Hunt
    :-)
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    Hi there.

    Joining the UAS is a great thing to have before going though the selection process, as is the volunteer work at a squadron. The two aren't mutually exclusive however, why not do both? You can serve as a CI and be part of a UAS. You may then not choose to go for a commission in the cadets due to time or commitment constraints, but on my squadron CI's are free to come and go at their leisure providing they are fulfilling whatever job they are assigned. For example, I built, maintain and run a flight simulator, and teach the drum line in the band.

    On nights where this isn't happening, i'm not obliged to be there, although I do because I enjoy it and my experience in the cadets (~3 years, CWO) is useful to other staff.
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    That's not even a question. UAS without doubt.

    The UAS is all about recruiting potential officers.

    RAFVRT isn't incredibly different from being Brown Owl.
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    Thanks for the advice! The original plan was to be a CI during my foundation year then once i've completed it go for UAS (to basically show i'm doing something with my time, being productive etc.) and by the sounds of it I should be able to do that. I emailed my OC with the idea and as I mentioned he was all up for it, but the way he worded the email made it sound like it's one or the other, so I just wasn't sure on my options.
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    UAS without a moment's hesitation.
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    Ditto. No brainer.

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