Joining RAF as officer at 42

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gazberg
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#1
Report Thread starter 3 months ago
#1
Hello all,



I was wondering what peoples thoughts are on joining the RAF at 42 years old?

For some time now i have been extremely frustrated with the day to day, 9-5 lifestyle and feel totally unsatisfied by it.

I am currently single and no children so family life/work balance is not something i have to worry about.

I've always been interested in becoming an Air traffic controller so i went onto the RAF website to look at requirements but the cutoff for that role is 38 so not possible.

Using the 'find a role' feature I entered my age and degree status and it returned around 46 roles.

I like the sound of these 3:

Personnel support officer
Intelligence officer
Air Operations Systems officer


Is there anyone on here currently serving who has come across mature new starters? If so how were they received in your experience?

Personally i have no issue with age/gender/sexuality/race/religion etc but i suppose i am wondering if i will stick out like a sore thumb at my age although i do frequently get told i look 10 years younger at least.
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Schotel
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#2
Report 3 months ago
#2
I don’t think age really matters as long as you’re physicality up for the job. Plus it’s the RAF, so I think you’ll be up to the job. Go for it - make a few enquiries first, and then see if you want to go for it.
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gazberg
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#3
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#3
I'm in relatively good shape for my age. I'm just within the BMI boundaries but I think that's because I do a fair bit of weights regularly at gym so will change focus there to more cardio based to trim down to be sure.I just popped into the local armed forces office whilst shoppijg for clothes for new office job starting tomorrow but no one available to chat unfortunately so will call them to make an appointment.
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ZappaKappa
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#4
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#4
I'm 46 and going through the application process at the moment. Lots of 30 year olds saying they are the old man in their squadron so I am expecting some comments on being the granddad!
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LegalOfficerRole
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#5
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#5
(Original post by ZappaKappa)
I'm 46 and going through the application process at the moment. Lots of 30 year olds saying they are the old man in their squadron so I am expecting some comments on being the granddad!
I am also going through the process as an 'old' 35 (will be 36) before starting...
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gazberg
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#6
Report Thread starter 2 months ago
#6
Good luck to you both! I am currently going through the process myself as well. Started it 24 hours after posting.

Fingers crossed we all make it!


Are you both also going in as officers?
Last edited by gazberg; 2 months ago
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LegalOfficerRole
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#7
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#7
Good luck to you too!

Be good to keep in touch as the process goes on.

Yes, i've applied for a legal officer post - how about you?
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gazberg
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#8
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(Original post by LegalOfficerRole)
Good luck to you too!

Be good to keep in touch as the process goes on.

Yes, i've applied for a legal officer post - how about you?
I've gone in for 3 officer roles which are Air Ops Systems/Intelligence and Personnel Support.

I am happy to update on here when things start happening. As it stands i've just sent off all my degree certificates ID etc. Not had an interview or test yet.
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LegalOfficerRole
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#9
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#9
That's where I am - had a flurry of communication requesting things, and now silence. I know things can happen really quickly though when they finally get going.

I'm concentrating on the fitness for now, I know the rough time scales for things, so I know what to be working towards.
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gazberg
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#10
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#10
Good stuff. I've just had a message from the AFCO. I am having my Officer Selection Day in 2 weeks time.

Off to google it!
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ZappaKappa
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#11
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#11
I've just had my PJFT and passed, one good thing about being an older recruite is fewer press-ups needed! Good luck both. I applied for cyber initially, currently on route to Intel analyst but keeping an eye on the options ahead.
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gazberg
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#12
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#12
Congratulations Zappa! Glad to hear you passed
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isothermal
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#13
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#13
Interesting thread to dip into - keen to get back in as a late thirtysomething. Great to read of people going for it first time - put my (rejoiner) app in two weeks ago and itching to get going!
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kingcutt
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#14
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#14
Definitely great to find and read this thread - thank you for posting!

I'm 36 (37 at the end of the month) and recently contacted my local AFCO to arrange a meeting and discuss my potential options. Would have been a dream to go for WSOp or WSO, but sadly a few years too old now. Therefore, interested in IntO (but my wife is a Spanish citizen which I believe disqualifies me from this role) or Air Op.

Glad to know I won't be the only aged whiskey in the process if I am able to go ahead. Best of luck to all of you with your applications and the process!
Last edited by kingcutt; 2 months ago
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isothermal
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#15
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#15
(Original post by kingcutt)
interested in IntO (but my wife is a Spanish citizen which I believe disqualifies me from this role) or Air Op.

Glad to know I won't be the only aged whiskey in the process if I am able to go ahead. Best of luck to all of you with your applications and the process!
Snap - my spouse is a (recently minted) German - whoops 😆

But looking at other things - Air Ops does look good, as does Pers Trg ...
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kingcutt
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#16
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#16
(Original post by isothermal)
Snap - my spouse is a (recently minted) German - whoops 😆

But looking at other things - Air Ops does look good, as does Pers Trg ...
haha! Glad to hear that i'm not alone in that boat either then!

Yeah Pers Trg sounds like a varied and challenging (at least for me) role also. What did you do in the service previously, if you don't mind me asking?
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isothermal
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#17
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#17
Had a go at ABM - it was tough but there were bits of it I was enjoying! Wonder with the merged branches if the bits I preferred have grouped together, or, if for me personally it's best avoiding haha! Quite keen to do something different another time around.
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gazberg
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#18
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#18
Well i had my officer filter interview today and failed so i can either wait 12 months to build up charity work and take on external responsibilties etc which is what i am missing or go through as a non-officer.

Air Ops specialist has now closed so my 2nd choice was Intel Analyst which he said i have passed the test for and is recruiting so i am going to take a week to decide on that or giving up on the RAF altogether. I don't think waiting 12 months is right for me as the role could stop recruiting in the meantime.
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Surnia
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#19
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#19
(Original post by gazberg)
Well i had my officer filter interview today and failed so i can either wait 12 months to build up charity work and take on external responsibilties etc which is what i am missing or go through as a non-officer.

Air Ops specialist has now closed so my 2nd choice was Intel Analyst which he said i have passed the test for and is recruiting so i am going to take a week to decide on that or giving up on the RAF altogether. I don't think waiting 12 months is right for me as the role could stop recruiting in the meantime.
Sorry to hear this! As an ex-Recruiter I know it's upsetting and still very raw at this point. Some people will no doubt say "you can get commissioned from the ranks", but that isn't a quick process. Just take time to consider your options, do your research, and ensure that if you go for a non-commissioned role you are happy with doing the job, with a different range of responsibilities to that of an officer, for x number of years. Of course, there's the lifestyle factors to consider as well.
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gazberg
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#20
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#20
Thank you. In the hours since failing at lunch time i have already decided i will not wait around for a year. I will give the NC role a weeks thought and if i'm not 100% i will withdraw my application for now and re-visit officer in a year or 2.
(Original post by Surnia)
Sorry to hear this! As an ex-Recruiter I know it's upsetting and still very raw at this point. Some people will no doubt say "you can get commissioned from the ranks", but that isn't a quick process. Just take time to consider your options, do your research, and ensure that if you go for a non-commissioned role you are happy with doing the job, with a different range of responsibilities to that of an officer, for x number of years. Of course, there's the lifestyle factors to consider as well.
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