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What are the regulations on leaving the RAF early? Watch

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    Hi all,

    I'm currently looking at becoming an Apprenticeship Electrician in the RAF. From what I've read and heard it seems like it would be something I would really enjoy, the only thing putting me off is I don't know if I would be happy doing it for twelve years, so I was wondering if anyone knew if there are ways to get out early after just a couple of years.
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    After a "couple of years" you'll likely barely have finished training, you likely wouldn't have any qualifications from your apprenticeship.
    Leaving early is possible, but there will be various forms of penalties. You won't be popular.
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    After a "couple of years" you'll likely barely have finished training, you likely wouldn't have any qualifications from your apprenticeship.
    Leaving early is possible, but there will be various forms of penalties. You won't be popular.
    Okay thank you. A couple of years was the wrong phrase to use, I meant at longer down the line than that. I also think I probably wouldn't want to leave early I just didn't know what the options were if you did.
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    I feel the same way as @Stocky343. I wanted to go into the RAF but I don't want to be there for 12 years, after 12 years serving that's half of my life gone *clicks* just like that.
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    (Original post by Camacho)
    I feel the same way as @Stocky343. I wanted to go into the RAF but I don't want to be there for 12 years, after 12 years serving that's half of my life gone *clicks* just like that.
    You might want to brush up your maths.
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    You might want to brush up your maths.
    I turn 18 in 5 days lol
    12 years later i'd be 30
    at this rate i will probably not live past 60, and that's my personal analysis
    so before you go assuming everyone lives until whatever age you think is plausible, please, brush up on your intellect.
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    (Original post by Camacho)
    I turn 18 in 5 days lol
    12 years later i'd be 30
    at this rate i will probably not live past 60, and that's my personal analysis
    so before you go assuming everyone lives until whatever age you think is plausible, please, brush up on your intellect.
    Given that, so far, you show precious little suitability to join the armed forces, you don't need to worry about spending time there.

    Remember, it's likely to take the best part of a year to pass all the tests and get in. Not including the time it would take you to get fit - and if pre-supposing your life to be ~20years shorter than the UK average the assumption is that you're far from fit and healthy right now.
    That altogether makes it likely that you'd be closer to 20 than 18 when you joined, thus, if you served 12yrs it would be much closer to a third of your life than half.

    Like I said. Maths.



    Anyway, larger point remains. It is possible to leave 'early', but not easy. You have to sign up on the understanding that you will serve a good amount of time. 6-8yrs as a min, I'd suggest.
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    Well to be honest, you're thinking in one way of being in, get your qualifications, then leave which would probably take at least 3 years? Mines 3 years for avionics but by the time you're set in the ways of being military then you'll probably stay in and enjoy it more to what you think
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    I've only looked into information about aircraft technicians so I'm not sure if it will be the same for all the other trades but I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that if you fail the trade training either before or after serving your time as an AMM then you could be released from the RAF.
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    I've been lurking on these forums for a while now and I don't think I've ever read a reply from Drewski which isn't insulting to the person he's responding too. As he clearly doesn't know the answer to your question and instead resorted to insulting rather than just not replying, allow me to give you as detailed as answer as I can:

    If it is your first enlistment into the Royal Air Force you have the right to claim your discharge, with no subsequent reserve liability (although still be liable to recall), you will be able to claim your discharge by giving 14 days notice to your commanding officer and then subsequently required to complete 28 days of service. This can be done at any time during the first 6 months of your enlistment or up to your 18th birthday, whichever comes first.

    If after this point you still want to leave, it does become a bit more difficult, especially if you have completed your basic professional training. If you have completed this, you have no legal right to end your service and it will only be agreed that you can discharge if it is certain that it is the best thing for both parties. However, it is likely your request to be discharged will be refused and at this point you must complete at least 3 years of air force service from the end of your basic training. Further to this, if you do any addition training which attracts a "return of service", the restriction will be that you must complete this after completion of that course or assignment in question.

    To summarise, you can voluntary discharge yourself from the Royal Air Force at any time during the first 6 months of service although you must wait at least 14 days to request a discharge in writing and then must serve another 14 days totalling 28 (Maths) before you can leave. If you complete your basic professional training, it is then a whole world of trouble if you then decide the RAF isn't for you. It's almost certain you would have to serve 3 years. Looking at the big picture, 3 years is a good amount of time for you to say that you have given it time and a decent crack of the whip.

    Hope that helps.
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    I'm thinking of joining as a RAF Police Officer, but I'm really worried to some level I wouldn't like it.

    Surely, if it became a horrendous and perhaps even humiliating experiance you could leave? I don't really know how this sort of thing works. I mean I was bullied in one of my old office admin jobs a several years back. As the job was nothing fancy with no real career prospects and my parents at the time were in a good financial position (I was only 18 at the time) I just walked out, slammed the door on the way out and said something along the lines of "I can't take this **** anymore" I never looked back, I can't imagine you can do that kind of thing with the armed forces though?

    I have heard horror stories of severe forms of bullying in the armed forces, I don't know how true all these articles and sources are, but they do play on your mind a bit.

    Then theres the fact I know of someone local in my town who was almost driven to suicide in the army because his experience was so bad. Personally, I think if It gets to that stage you should just be allowed to walk away no questions asked, as its no good for either party. You don't want to be there and so the RAF, Army etc would just be wasting their time to continue training you.
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    (Original post by Alex_Smith_1993)
    I'm thinking of joining as a RAF Police Officer, but I'm really worried to some level I wouldn't like it.
    Read above for the specifics, but bear in mind they could change.

    The best way to mitigate this, though, is to get as much experience as possible. Go on station visits, talk to people in the branch and see what you think of the atmosphere and environment.

    I don't think I'm out of place in saying that, as RAF Police, you'd be the butt of many a joke, so you'll need a thick skin!
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    Read above for the specifics, but bear in mind they could change.

    The best way to mitigate this, though, is to get as much experience as possible. Go on station visits, talk to people in the branch and see what you think of the atmosphere and environment.

    I don't think I'm out of place in saying that, as RAF Police, you'd be the butt of many a joke, so you'll need a thick skin!
    I would love to do the role of RAF Photographer, I've been Photographer for many years (since shooting with my Polaroid camera years back, I've shot multiple weddings, my work has been featured in several magazines, its also been part of a touring gallery exhibition and i've also contributed to stock photography websites etc.

    Unfortunately, even though I got a first in my criminology degree and several modules covered mathematical formulas and data analysis in my Criminological Data & Research lectures, the RAF said I wouldn't be eligible for the role of Photographer, because I got a E in maths 8 years ago at school and would have to settle for a lesser role.

    I never got the opportunity to show the RAF samples of my photographic work either, which I think would be far more important. It sounds ludicrous to me, but Surely, if you've spent considerable time getting educated to degree level it should overwrite your existing qualifications? The E in Maths was the lowest grade I ever got, but Maths never was my strong point and is my biggest flaw.
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    It may seem ridiculous to you, but those are the standards the RAF has set. If you really want a career in the RAF, retake the GCSE.
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    (Original post by jannisjr)
    It may seem ridiculous to you, but those are the standards the RAF has set. If you really want a career in the RAF, retake the GCSE.
    Yes, but it's not unheard of for the RAF to make allowances when you have higher qualifications.

    Retaking the GCSE might be the obvious course, but it's worth him finding out for certain if allowances can be made.
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    (Original post by jannisjr)
    It may seem ridiculous to you, but those are the standards the RAF has set. If you really want a career in the RAF, retake the GCSE.
    Its easy for you to say online, but I have already re-taken my GCSE Maths whilst doing my A-Levels at college and unfortunately I still received the same outcome an E grade . My parents even paid a private home maths tutor back in my school days, but that didn't help at all. Mathematics is my biggest failing and the bizarre thing is I never had any problems or difficulty with any other school subjects.

    It does grind my gears a bit seeing those kids who didn't try hard at all during school, who messed around and left with no formal qualifications (mainly those from broken homes etc), being relatively easily accepted into the armed forces though. Knowing I've had a decent upbringing, tried my hardest at school/college and getting my First Class degree at University, but being told I can't so something because of one GCSE I scored low on almost a decade ago.

    I also police volunteered for two years doing various roles, including driving and crime awareness events etc, but none of this was taken into account as I asked the RAF if they would consider a waiver of the Maths issue, due to my degree education, but they said in this circumstance it just wasn't possible.

    However, the RAF Police Officer role only required a G grade in Maths, which I scored higher than so here's hoping I can do this role as the alternative and I'm going to look into this a lot more.
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    (Original post by Alex_Smith_1993)
    However, the RAF Police Officer role only required a G grade in Maths, which I scored higher than so here's hoping I can do this role as the alternative.
    It is odd that the degree doesn't count. Perhaps their perception is that it's not a particularly mathematical degree?

    You could try getting in touch with the photographer's section directly - they'll have some social media presence somewhere - and explain the situation, you never know...

    However, it was always my experience (I'll caveat that by saying this is a few years old now) that the photography trade is an extremely niche one, very small, with very few opportunities. Promotion was very much a "dead man's shoes" position.

    Being an officer does stand you in better stead for a much nicer way of life, however it obviously comes with very different responsibilities and expectations.
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    (Original post by Alex_Smith_1993)
    It does grind my gears a bit seeing those kids who didn't try hard at all during school, who messed around and left with no formal qualifications (mainly those from broken homes etc), being relatively easily accepted into the armed forces though. Knowing I've had a decent upbringing, tried my hardest at school/college and getting my First Class degree at University, but being told I can't so something because of one GCSE I scored low on almost a decade ago.
    Personally, I think you should stay away from the Armed Forces. They are obviously full of the sort of lesser people that you would want nothing to do with.

    Drewski - when he says 'Police Officer' and it's such a low GCSE, do you think he might mean enlisted RAFP?
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    (Original post by ProStacker)
    Drewski - when he says 'Police Officer' and it's such a low GCSE, do you think he might mean enlisted RAFP?
    Fair point, that's possible. I was giving benefit of the doubt that, as a branch where maths isn't needed - and having a degree in the subject - and presumably having the other prerequisites for officer that that was the path he's aiming for.
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    (Original post by ProStacker)
    Personally, I think you should stay away from the Armed Forces. They are obviously full of the sort of lesser people that you would want nothing to do with.

    Drewski - when he says 'Police Officer' and it's such a low GCSE, do you think he might mean enlisted RAFP?
    I'm not implying that at all. What I'm saying is why is it that in many circumstances those who messed around and didn't try hard at school are so often easily accepted into the armed forces without a single qualification prior to getting in? I know of three examples of students from my former school, who all left with mostly U grades etc. but still got accepted into the army and other forces pretty much without a problem.

    Generally speaking it seems like on a whole the armed forces only want to make allowances or waivers on your qualifications if you come from an unfortunate or deprived background, but if you come from a decent family background they dont really want to help much at all. I still really do love the RAF though and I've been having private flying lessons for about 8 months now. A pilot even just holding a PPL, instead of military would be the ultimate dream for me one day though.

    And Yes it is force protection, I'm very interested in the cyber crime side of it, it's what I studied for my Disertation at Uni and I just wanted to do something a bit different. https://www.raf.mod.uk/recruitment/r...on/raf-police/ wondering if I did this for a bit I could eventually tranfer over to role of RAF photographer instead?

    My village is quite small and there isn't much in terms of work around here so I'm just managing by doing my wedding photography. The RAF is something I've wanted to do for several years, and it was always in the back of my mind. I applied in 2015 just after finishing uni and this was when they said I couldn't do the role of photographer because of my maths unfortunately.
 
 
 
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