The Student Room Group

advice on joining the army/raf???

i'm a grade 9 student in most subjects and is preparing to do medicine in uni but i've always wanted to join the army. my parents say that the army is for people who dont do well in school etc but it has been my dream. I think there is a high chance of me getting into medicine so will it be a waste if i choose to join the army??

Edit: I've decided to continue doing medicine at uni and hopefully join the UOTC! I've had a talk with my parents and they have agreed with the idea(thankfully). Thank you to everyone who's given me advice!!
(edited 1 month ago)
Reply 1
Hi Yabeanie, as always with these sort of queries, it’s often difficult to drill into what the poster actually wants to achieve in life and what their ambitions are? You talk about joining the Army in your post, but your subject header is about joining the Army / RAF. My immediate thought is that you could combine medicine and the military eg this or any other medical related role in the Army / RAF where you could even get sponsorship through Uni. But is that what you’re talking about? Or do you want to join the military in some role not related to medicine?
Reply 2
Original post by Ikaruss
Hi Yabeanie, as always with these sort of queries, it’s often difficult to drill into what the poster actually wants to achieve in life and what their ambitions are? You talk about joining the Army in your post, but your subject header is about joining the Army / RAF. My immediate thought is that you could combine medicine and the military eg this or any other medical related role in the Army / RAF where you could even get sponsorship through Uni. But is that what you’re talking about? Or do you want to join the military in some role not related to medicine?

Hi, thanks for the response. I'm not entirely sure what my ambitions for the future is yet but I have always wanted to be part of the military, but my parents are quite strongly against this, as they want me to do medicine. I am definitely open to a medical role in the military but I would much rather have a combat or an aircraft related role. I'm a bit conflicted as I want my parents to be content, yet I know it wouldn't make myself happy if I chose to do medicine
Reply 3
Original post by yabeanie
Hi, thanks for the response. I'm not entirely sure what my ambitions for the future is yet but I have always wanted to be part of the military, but my parents are quite strongly against this, as they want me to do medicine. I am definitely open to a medical role in the military but I would much rather have a combat or an aircraft related role. I'm a bit conflicted as I want my parents to be content, yet I know it wouldn't make myself happy if I chose to do medicine

Hi, really feel for you and I do understand your predicament. However, this is Great Britain in the 21st century and it’s your life. Why don’t you do some research on military roles which appeal to you and see if you can speak / visit the people who perform those roles. That will give you a feel for the lifestyle and enable you to decide if it’s for you. You may also join the military even for just a few years. If you don’t like it, you still have plenty of time to change direction as many young people do nowadays.

But you probably need to have an honest, informed and respectful conversation with your parents to explain what makes you happy and that you need the space to make your own decisions. They also need to understand that their stereotypical attitude about various occupations is unhelpful to you. While some entry level roles in the Army for example may appear to be last chance saloon for the candidates, many other roles are highly professional and well respected, especially in the Commissioned branches. Anyone succeeding in these roles would be considered very well rounded and a great catch for many employers in civilian life. That’s what you need to explain, clearly and without emotion.

But I don’t underestimate the task ahead of you and the challenges you face. My two kids did not follow me into the military but have made their own choices in life, which I fully support and respect. That’s what’s really important to me as a parent, to ensure my kids are happy with whatever they do.

But very best of luck to you. I’m sure you’ll succeed in whatever path you choose.

Ikky.
Reply 4
Original post by Ikaruss
Hi, really feel for you and I do understand your predicament. However, this is Great Britain in the 21st century and it’s your life. Why don’t you do some research on military roles which appeal to you and see if you can speak / visit the people who perform those roles. That will give you a feel for the lifestyle and enable you to decide if it’s for you. You may also join the military even for just a few years. If you don’t like it, you still have plenty of time to change direction as many young people do nowadays.
But you probably need to have an honest, informed and respectful conversation with your parents to explain what makes you happy and that you need the space to make your own decisions. They also need to understand that their stereotypical attitude about various occupations is unhelpful to you. While some entry level roles in the Army for example may appear to be last chance saloon for the candidates, many other roles are highly professional and well respected, especially in the Commissioned branches. Anyone succeeding in these roles would be considered very well rounded and a great catch for many employers in civilian life. That’s what you need to explain, clearly and without emotion.
But I don’t underestimate the task ahead of you and the challenges you face. My two kids did not follow me into the military but have made their own choices in life, which I fully support and respect. That’s what’s really important to me as a parent, to ensure my kids are happy with whatever they do.
But very best of luck to you. I’m sure you’ll succeed in whatever path you choose.
Ikky.

Thank you so much for your help, I'll definitely do some more research and talk to my parents about it. You've been very helpful so I thank you again!!
Hi,

Have you thought about joining the Army Reserves ?
You could join and infantry unit.

By doing this, you could carry on with medicine at university and get a great insight on the Army, and if you do want to join the regulars, you’ll already be a fully trained solider and would look great on your application.
You also get paid and receive a tax free bounty if you complete the minimum required days per year.
Original post by yabeanie
i'm a grade 9 student in most subjects and is preparing to do medicine in uni but i've always wanted to join the army. my parents say that the army is for people who dont do well in school etc but it has been my dream. I think there is a high chance of me getting into medicine so will it be a waste if i choose to join the army??

It might be a waste but you have to be happy with what you do
Reply 7
Original post by James9103
Hi,
Have you thought about joining the Army Reserves ?
You could join and infantry unit.
By doing this, you could carry on with medicine at university and get a great insight on the Army, and if you do want to join the regulars, you’ll already be a fully trained solider and would look great on your application.
You also get paid and receive a tax free bounty if you complete the minimum required days per year.

Hi, I hadn't thought about that but I'll definitely look into it now!! Thank you for your advice
Original post by equatorial-plane
It might be a waste but you have to be happy with what you do

I think your parents are just worried about you they are just scared they might lose you👨*👩*👦👻
Reply 9
Original post by equatorial-plane
I think your parents are just worried about you they are just scared they might lose you👨*👩*👦👻

haha maybe! i'll do more research and talk to them about it
Original post by yabeanie
i'm a grade 9 student in most subjects and is preparing to do medicine in uni but i've always wanted to join the army. my parents say that the army is for people who dont do well in school etc but it has been my dream. I think there is a high chance of me getting into medicine so will it be a waste if i choose to join the army??


I'm just going to say make sure you're 100% that this is what you want.
Reply 11
Original post by toiresekarayel
I'm just going to say make sure you're 100% that this is what you want.

I agree, there is always more research I can do to figure out if this is what I truly want to do but so far it seems all good to me!!
Reply 12
Original post by yabeanie
Hi, I hadn't thought about that but I'll definitely look into it now!! Thank you for your advice

Reserves isn't necessarily the best option whilst at uni. There may not be a unit close by, requiring you to drive, and it carries a deployment commitment.

University Air Squadron or University Officer Training Corps are designed for students and to fit around your studies.
Reply 13
Original post by yabeanie
Hi, thanks for the response. I'm not entirely sure what my ambitions for the future is yet but I have always wanted to be part of the military, but my parents are quite strongly against this, as they want me to do medicine. I am definitely open to a medical role in the military but I would much rather have a combat or an aircraft related role. I'm a bit conflicted as I want my parents to be content, yet I know it wouldn't make myself happy if I chose to do medicine

Technically, all roles are combat as every role is 'Warfighter first, job second'. Though if you're thinking infantry would you be happy mostly training if there is no involvement in any conflicts or support roles? And define 'aircraft related' as that's the point of the RAF; keeping the aircraft flying, even indirectly if you're in admin or catering. Do you want to be an airman or an officer?

As already suggested, you need to do a lot more research into jobs you are interested in.
Reply 14
Original post by Surnia
Reserves isn't necessarily the best option whilst at uni. There may not be a unit close by, requiring you to drive, and it carries a deployment commitment.
University Air Squadron or University Officer Training Corps are designed for students and to fit around your studies.

Yes, I have talked to some local reserves and I have decided that it probably isnt the best option for me, but I'll look into university options
Reply 15
Original post by Surnia
Technically, all roles are combat as every role is 'Warfighter first, job second'. Though if you're thinking infantry would you be happy mostly training if there is no involvement in any conflicts or support roles? And define 'aircraft related' as that's the point of the RAF; keeping the aircraft flying, even indirectly if you're in admin or catering. Do you want to be an airman or an officer?
As already suggested, you need to do a lot more research into jobs you are interested in.

Yeah...I definitely need to do more research, I'll take your advice into account!!
Original post by yabeanie
i'm a grade 9 student in most subjects and is preparing to do medicine in uni but i've always wanted to join the army. my parents say that the army is for people who dont do well in school etc but it has been my dream. I think there is a high chance of me getting into medicine so will it be a waste if i choose to join the army??


I for sure would go to university and do medicine. While there you can do ROTC (Royal Officer Training Cores) that means you’ll join as an officer at the higher pay grade.
Reply 17
Original post by jonathanemptage
I for sure would go to university and do medicine. While there you can do ROTC (Royal Officer Training Cores) that means you’ll join as an officer at the higher pay grade.

ROTC stands for Reserve Officers' Training Corps and is for the US military.

The OP has been advised of the UK equivalent, the UOTC, thanks.
Reply 18
Original post by jonathanemptage
I for sure would go to university and do medicine. While there you can do ROTC (Royal Officer Training Cores) that means you’ll join as an officer at the higher pay grade.

Yes, I think I've decided to join the UOTC, thanks for the advice!!

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