Dentyboi
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Hello all,

Was just asking for advice from those with in-depth knowledge of the RAF, those going through training or in the RAF themselves.

I’m 18 and For the past 7 years or so I’ve always wanted to join the RAF in an Officer role. I’ve been part of the air cadets and I’ve been on an air defence course with Lincoln college so I have an In-depth knowledge already of the RAF and what to expect in training. I just wanted to know which roles are the hardest to get into and which are the easiest? My 1st choice is a pilot but after reading into it I’ve discovered how incredibly hard selection is. So I just wanted to know which roles I’d actually have a realistic chance of getting into, I’ve thought about RAF regiment Officer just wanted to hear other people’s advice.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Dentyboi)
Hello all,

Was just asking for advice from those with in-depth knowledge of the RAF, those going through training or in the RAF themselves.

I’m 18 and For the past 7 years or so I’ve always wanted to join the RAF in an Officer role. I’ve been part of the air cadets and I’ve been on an air defence course with Lincoln college so I have an In-depth knowledge already of the RAF and what to expect in training. I just wanted to know which roles are the hardest to get into and which are the easiest? My 1st choice is a pilot but after reading into it I’ve discovered how incredibly hard selection is. So I just wanted to know which roles I’d actually have a realistic chance of getting into, I’ve thought about RAF regiment Officer just wanted to hear other people’s advice.
None of them are hard to get into if you have the aptitude, qualifications, skills and interest. You have to choose your own branches on the basis of where your skills and interests lie.

You haven't told us anything useful about yourself to offer suggestions about branches, but to be honest, it should be pretty obvious, you either want to be a Regiment Officer or you want to be a Pers Admin Officer, they are very, very different roles.
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Surnia
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Picking a role based on how easy it is to get into is NOT the way to choose a career that you could be doing for up to 20 years, potentially. And not a discussion that is expected for an 'in-depth knowledge of the RAF'.

Selection isn't easy for any officer role, but it varies as to whether it's because of the requirements or the individual; some roles require particular mental skills and coordination, some roles have very exacting medical or fitness standards, some people struggle with the Filter Interview or at OASC no matter what they are applying for.

Pick a role that you are interested in doing. If it's challenging to get into, so what? Being in the military is challenging and you're not always going to be able to take the easy option.
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Ikaruss
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Second that from Surnia !
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Dentyboi
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(Original post by Surnia)
Picking a role based on how easy it is to get into is NOT the way to choose a career that you could be doing for up to 20 years, potentially. And not a discussion that is expected for an 'in-depth knowledge of the RAF'.

Selection isn't easy for any officer role, but it varies as to whether it's because of the requirements or the individual; some roles require particular mental skills and coordination, some roles have very exacting medical or fitness standards, some people struggle with the Filter Interview or at OASC no matter what they are applying for.

Pick a role that you are interested in doing. If it's challenging to get into, so what? Being in the military is challenging and you're not always going to be able to take the easy option.
I’m not picking roles based on how easy they mate, I am going to go in as a pilot and yes I have the attitude and I’m going to give it my all, but ultimately you cannot expect everything you want in life to go to plan, which is why I have a backup plan, my dream is pilot but my fallback is just to have an officer role which means exploring all the different types of roles. I’m asking advice from those who have gone through training so I actually know what’s it’s like and what to expect so I’m actually prepared for the role I wish to do. I have multiple interests which all have the same value to me so picking another role purely based off just my own interests is difficult which is why I’m asking this question so I’d actually know which role it is worth investing my time into.
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Dentyboi
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
None of them are hard to get into if you have the aptitude, qualifications, skills and interest. You have to choose your own branches on the basis of where your skills and interests lie.

You haven't told us anything useful about yourself to offer suggestions about branches, but to be honest, it should be pretty obvious, you either want to be a Regiment Officer or you want to be a Pers Admin Officer, they are very, very different roles.
Well I’ve explored the roles, I’m still going to go in as pilot first, however I know achieving that role is a very very hard task to do I’m still going to give it my all but I’m not allowing myself to get my hopes up so that it doesn’t knock my confidence if I don’t make it. The reason I ask the question is because I have multiple interests Aircraft, vehicles, engineering, IT, sports, force protection because of this it’s not exactly easy for me to favour one over the other. The question I should have really asked is which is worth my time, I currently have the required 5 GCSEs needed and I’m currently completing my second A level equivalent course. I know some of the engineering roles require a degree which is something I’m debating going for as engineering is something I’m interested in. It’s alright hearing stuff such as ‘non of them are hard if you have the right attitude’ from someone with a good outlook in life such as an air cadet but I just find it more valuable from people who’ve actually gone through training for a particular role so I know what to expect. It’s important that you strive in life but at the same point I believe it’s important that you are realistic which again is why I ask this question.
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Surnia
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(Original post by Dentyboi)
It’s alright hearing stuff such as ‘non of them are hard if you have the right attitude’ from someone with a good outlook in life such as an air cadet but I just find it more valuable from people who’ve actually gone through training for a particular role so I know what to expect.
You are hearing advice from people who are currently serving or veterans, and people who have worked kn RAF Recruitment.

What do you mean when you ask what to expect? In what regard? There's plenty of information on the RAF Recruitment website and on here about training and typical tours within roles and the military lifestyle.

As I've said, you choose on the basis of something that you could be doing for many years, and having an interest in a topic doesn't necessarily make for it being a career choice.
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tinygirl96
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Use the information on the recruitment website as fodder. Make notes. Do not choose a career just because you think that the pay is good or you have the required skill set either. In other words while that is somewhat important what technically matters is your interest and passion for it.
Talk to a few different army workers first to gather valuable information and learn more before making a decision either way. Find out if you truly do have what it takes to survive in the army. Remember that army training is way tougher than what you originally expect it would be as well.
You will need to pass many hard selection tests, and probably also have a interview in addition. Making it into the army is definitely far from easy and a few recruits each year drop out. Bear that in mind as you register and apply.
There are people who have experience who should be able to answer your questions about the entire process so do seek them out. Post a engaging question about the whole process on a army forum and you will get some relevant information. Good luck.
As part of the entire evaluation is about assessing your current level of physical fitness do ensure that you are relatively healthy and also in tip top condition. Other important skills will be evaluated. Get up to date contact information. Read the information carefully. Be realistic with yourself. But not too hard. Military life and army culture is tough and certainly not suitable for the weak. Your army officer can give you more details as to what to expect.
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Surnia
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(Original post by tinygirl96)
Use the information on the recruitment website as fodder. Make notes. Do not choose a career just because you think that the pay is good or you have the required skill set either. In other words while that is somewhat important what technically matters is your interest and passion for it.
Talk to a few different army workers first to gather valuable information and learn more before making a decision either way. Find out if you truly do have what it takes to survive in the army. Remember that army training is way tougher than what you originally expect it would be as well.
You will need to pass many hard selection tests, and probably also have a interview in addition. Making it into the army is definitely far from easy and a few recruits each year drop out. Bear that in mind as you register and apply.
There are people who have experience who should be able to answer your questions about the entire process so do seek them out. Post a engaging question about the whole process on a army forum and you will get some relevant information. Good luck.
As part of the entire evaluation is about assessing your current level of physical fitness do ensure that you are relatively healthy and also in tip top condition. Other important skills will be evaluated. Get up to date contact information. Read the information carefully. Be realistic with yourself. But not too hard. Military life and army culture is tough and certainly not suitable for the weak. Your army officer can give you more details as to what to expect.
1. The OP is interested in joining the RAF, not the Army.

2. There are people with relevant experience replying to the OP on here.

3. Check what is involved in selection and training before quoting what may or may not happen, and how difficult it may be.

4. The AFCO staff can provide answers but, again, to pertinent questions. Research should have been done as there's plenty of info available in the public domain.
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Dentyboi
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(Original post by Surnia)
You are hearing advice from people who are currently serving or veterans, and people who have worked kn RAF Recruitment.

What do you mean when you ask what to expect? In what regard? There's plenty of information on the RAF Recruitment website and on here about training and typical tours within roles and the military lifestyle.

As I've said, you choose on the basis of something that you could be doing for many years, and having an interest in a topic doesn't necessarily make for it being a career choice.
Yeah I have read up about the different roles but again after reading them I’m still clearly undecided which is exactly the point why I’ve come here to ask any advice from people in these different roles, you can research all you want but you aren’t going to get a better insight then someone who’s gone through training or in a particular role. If you’re in the RAF then maybe you could help me by telling me what your role is? And offering some more information about it, because no offence just telling me to ‘go with a role that’s right’ isn’t really going to be useful in helping me to decide my backup option. Either way at the currently moment in time I don’t have the right qualifications or fitness to join but that’s what I’m working on, I ask for more information about different roles because some roles such as the RAF regiment are obviously more physically demanding so my main focus would have to be getting an even higher standard of fitness which would require me to sacrifice say research for physical training, however technical roles would require me to obviously focus more on my education and gaining the correct qualifications and knowledge.
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Dentyboi
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(Original post by tinygirl96)
Use the information on the recruitment website as fodder. Make notes. Do not choose a career just because you think that the pay is good or you have the required skill set either. In other words while that is somewhat important what technically matters is your interest and passion for it.
Talk to a few different army workers first to gather valuable information and learn more before making a decision either way. Find out if you truly do have what it takes to survive in the army. Remember that army training is way tougher than what you originally expect it would be as well.
You will need to pass many hard selection tests, and probably also have a interview in addition. Making it into the army is definitely far from easy and a few recruits each year drop out. Bear that in mind as you register and apply.
There are people who have experience who should be able to answer your questions about the entire process so do seek them out. Post a engaging question about the whole process on a army forum and you will get some relevant information. Good luck.
As part of the entire evaluation is about assessing your current level of physical fitness do ensure that you are relatively healthy and also in tip top condition. Other important skills will be evaluated. Get up to date contact information. Read the information carefully. Be realistic with yourself. But not too hard. Military life and army culture is tough and certainly not suitable for the weak. Your army officer can give you more details as to what to expect.
Yeah I’m not joining the army 😂 no way I don’t know why you thought I was wanting to join the army I mean the post did say RAF officer roles I’ve done my research into the army because it was part of a UPS course I did and non of the roles even appealed to me. No offence all that information you provided about research is useless anyway when you say talk to people what do you think I’m doing right now? Plus I never asked an insight in how to get into the RAF generally I asked about specific roles, which is why I’m seeking out information from those in the different types of roles not from people who know the exact same information as myself.
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Drewski
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(Original post by Dentyboi)
Yeah I have read up about the different roles but again after reading them I’m still clearly undecided which is exactly the point why I’ve come here to ask any advice from people in these different roles, you can research all you want but you aren’t going to get a better insight then someone who’s gone through training or in a particular role. If you’re in the RAF then maybe you could help me by telling me what your role is? And offering some more information about it, because no offence just telling me to ‘go with a role that’s right’ isn’t really going to be useful in helping me to decide my backup option. Either way at the currently moment in time I don’t have the right qualifications or fitness to join but that’s what I’m working on, I ask for more information about different roles because some roles such as the RAF regiment are obviously more physically demanding so my main focus would have to be getting an even higher standard of fitness which would require me to sacrifice say research for physical training, however technical roles would require me to obviously focus more on my education and gaining the correct qualifications and knowledge.
The problem you'll get is that people can only give you perspective on one role - very very few people will have done more than one so can't give you qualitative comparative feedback.

You say that you want to be an officer in the RAF. Why? What appeals to you about that?
You've done a UPS course, so from that you've been able to gain an insight into the forces, so something must have made you go towards the RAF, what was that something?

No role will require you to sacrifice one strength for the sake of another. They don't expect less knowledge from a RegO than any other officer, even if you think the fitness standards are different. So you might need to rethink your approach to preparation.

Re bold. Yes it is. There's no point us telling you to be a Logs Officer because you'll get in, when you actually find the role deathly dull. It's your life and your career. Your opinion on it matters.
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Dentyboi
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(Original post by Drewski)
The problem you'll get is that people can only give you perspective on one role - very very few people will have done more than one so can't give you qualitative comparative feedback.

You say that you want to be an officer in the RAF. Why? What appeals to you about that?
You've done a UPS course, so from that you've been able to gain an insight into the forces, so something must have made you go towards the RAF, what was that something?

No role will require you to sacrifice one strength for the sake of another. They don't expect less knowledge from a RegO than any other officer, even if you think the fitness standards are different. So you might need to rethink your approach to preparation.

Re bold. Yes it is. There's no point us telling you to be a Logs Officer because you'll get in, when you actually find the role deathly dull. It's your life and your career. Your opinion on it matters.
An officer role appeals to me because it is a management role. I’ve wanted to join the RAF for a while but the dream of a management role only came to me when I started doing leadership courses and leadership exercises at cadets then I eventually knew I wanted to go in as officer as soon as I was given responsibility by achieving the rank of corporal. Again this is why I’m asking for multiple perspectives I’m not just asking for a single perspective I was just asking to hear from multiple roles. Officer training is the same for every officer but you’d be very much mistaken if you think every role is the same, I’m not necessarily sacrificing one thing over the other the other I’m choosing to direct my preparation for a particular role, if I compared RegO to a pilot yes you need the same knowledge to pass officer training but you need to bare in mind the fitness test for regiment is different to pilot and it’s a more physically demanding test I would understand your point say if you where in good shape already but for someone like me getting to the correct standard to pass isn’t something I’m going to accomplish say within a week, there’s also the fact you need to try and aim significantly past the pass mark last time I did the multistage fitness test I only got level 7 and when I last timed a 2.4km run it took me around 14 minutes. So a lot of my time would be spent on fitness. Also engineering officer roles require you to have a degree which is obviously something you need to go to uni for. At the end of the day it is ultimately my decision what role I choose I’m just looking for some insight from others to help me decide.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Dentyboi)
An officer role appeals to me because it is a management role. I’ve wanted to join the RAF for a while but the dream of a management role only came to me when I started doing leadership courses and leadership exercises at cadets then I eventually knew I wanted to go in as officer as soon as I was given responsibility by achieving the rank of corporal. Again this is why I’m asking for multiple perspectives I’m not just asking for a single perspective I was just asking to hear from multiple roles. Officer training is the same for every officer but you’d be very much mistaken if you think every role is the same, I’m not necessarily sacrificing one thing over the other the other I’m choosing to direct my preparation for a particular role, if I compared RegO to a pilot yes you need the same knowledge to pass officer training but you need to bare in mind the fitness test for regiment is different to pilot and it’s a more physically demanding test I would understand your point say if you where in good shape already but for someone like me getting to the correct standard to pass isn’t something I’m going to accomplish say within a week, there’s also the fact you need to try and aim significantly past the pass mark last time I did the multistage fitness test I only got level 7 and when I last timed a 2.4km run it took me around 14 minutes. So a lot of my time would be spent on fitness. Also engineering officer roles require you to have a degree which is obviously something you need to go to uni for. At the end of the day it is ultimately my decision what role I choose I’m just looking for some insight from others to help me decide.
But you are making us do all the work. In this thread so far, you've spoken to about 5 different roles and branches, with over 50 years experience between them, on multiple aircraft types, stations, operations etc. None of us are going to 'give some insight' by exposing our career stories to some randomer who seems to have lots of words but have no concrete idea what they want to do. Your proposition about your career (skills interests, abilities, qualifications etc) is too vague and your demand of us it too big. Some of us have got time in service longer than you've been alive, would you answer 'can I have some insight into your life?' just like that?

Come back and ask something specific, that isn't available on the website, about the training, or tasks, or promotion etc of an IntO, pilot, air eng etc and one of us might be able to answer.
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Surnia
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(Original post by Dentyboi)
Yeah I have read up about the different roles but again after reading them I’m still clearly undecided which is exactly the point why I’ve come here to ask any advice from people in these different roles, you can research all you want but you aren’t going to get a better insight then someone who’s gone through training or in a particular role. If you’re in the RAF then maybe you could help me by telling me what your role is? And offering some more information about it, because no offence just telling me to ‘go with a role that’s right’ isn’t really going to be useful in helping me to decide my backup option. Either way at the currently moment in time I don’t have the right qualifications or fitness to join but that’s what I’m working on, I ask for more information about different roles because some roles such as the RAF regiment are obviously more physically demanding so my main focus would have to be getting an even higher standard of fitness which would require me to sacrifice say research for physical training, however technical roles would require me to obviously focus more on my education and gaining the correct qualifications and knowledge.
My background is already on here, if you look.

As Drewski says, you'll get a very limited perspective as there are a very limited number of posters here with RAF experience. However, people have joined up for years by making their own decisions and without asking this kind of question on TSR and, given what is expected in your preparation and the qualities for an officer candidate, you aren't going to get it all spelt out on here. You've got a realistic chance of getting into anything for which you meet the requirements, so it's entirely up to you if you want to do an engineering degree or massively improve your fitness, but you can do both and give yourself a wider range of options, both for the military and civvy street if you don't make it or for the future. There are RAF Regt Officers who are graduates, and some who have gone on to jobs other than in Force Protection!
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Drewski
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(Original post by Dentyboi)
I’ve wanted to join the RAF for a while but the dream of a management role only came to me when I started doing leadership courses and leadership exercises at cadets then I eventually knew I wanted to go in as officer as soon as I was given responsibility by achieving the rank of corporal.
So you want a management role because you've done a junior leadership role at cadets.

Ok.

But why not an NCO leadership role? Why aren't you looking at trades where you could be promoted to Cpl, Sgt and above? Why aren't you looking at roles where you could be direct entrant Sgt?
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Ikaruss
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Mr Dent, I notice you haven't responded to all the recent comments which are exclusively from people with significant military experience as officers in a variety of branches. I hope you have taken their words and advice on board. I'm a veteran who served for 30+ years as non commissioned aircrew (and, incidentally, had a lot of management responsibilities as an SO3), but I echo their advice. I think you have the right idea, but have just articulated your query the wrong way, and that shows how vital it is to communicate correctly.

You are absolutely right to consider other alternatives to pilot. TbH, that is probably what every little kid wants to be other than a train driver or 'celebrity' ( and you probably have more chance of becoming a famous singer than either of the other two!). But the point is you definitely won't get to be a pilot unless you apply. If you stumble along the way (high probablity) then you need a backup plan, and that also needs the RAF to buy into your plan, you won't just be offered a new role as a consolation prize. And, if the RAF career plan goes belly up, what are you going to do then? The point is, you shouldn't put all your eggs in one basket, you need to do solid research to focus your ambitions and then work out a strategy for obtaining any additional information you need. I fully accept that you can read, and watch, all the recruiting material about a career, and still not really know what the lifestyle is about, but often in life you have to take a leap of faith and go with your best gut feeling.

There is at least one serving RAF pilot on the site, so if you had any directed and specific questions, you may be lucky to get a response from them. I'm sure if you asked similar specific questions about a particular role, then either one of us or RAF_Adam would point you in the right direction. But sure as eggs are eggs, (it must be breakfast time, I've got them on the brain) no-one here is going to give you a role by role comparison and tell you which one is guaranteed to get you into the Officers Mess - where, incidentally, they do a very nice breakfast.

Best of luck

Ikky
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Surnia
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(Original post by Ikaruss)
But sure as eggs are eggs, (it must be breakfast time, I've got them on the brain) no-one here is going to give you a role by role comparison and tell you which one is guaranteed to get you into the Officers Mess - where, incidentally, they do a very nice breakfast.
Muesli that was more dust than oats, and those toasters on an endless loop where bread came out white on the first pass and burnt after the second...:ike:
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Ikaruss
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(Original post by Surnia)
Muesli that was more dust than oats, and those toasters on an endless loop where bread came out white on the first pass and burnt after the second...:ike:
Your points are valid Surnia, particularly vis a vis the toasting technology. The best meals in either Os or Sgts Messes were always formal functions, followed by any SAR breakfast (free). And a mention in dispatches must go to the aircrew feeder at Finningley circa 1980, which provided essential sustenance prior to a 2:30 meander down the SW route before loosely navigating back to Doncaster International.

Anyway, I sense we've gone slightly off piste from the OPs query 😀
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