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Join as an Officer

To find out more about a Commission in The Rifles contact: Major D C Day, SO2 Officer Recruiting. Tel: 01962 828531.  E-mail: officers@the-rifles.co.uk

Can I apply for a commission?

There are two fixed criteria you must fulfill to apply for a commission:


Candidates for a Commission should be over 17 years and 9 months, and under 26 years on the date of entry to Sandhurst.


Candidates for a Commission require 35 ALIS points at GCSE (or equivalent) in your best seven subjects. This must include a minimum of Grade C (or equivalent) in Maths, English language, and either a science or a foreign language.  At the equivalent of the A Level stage, 180 UCAS Tariff points are required which must include at least two A levels at grade E (or equivalent) or better.

What The Rifles look for in potential officers 

The kind of leadership and personal qualities that we look for in our officers is not always easy to define, particularly as so much depends on the individual. This is one reason why we take special care in the selection of officers. The Rifles do not work to any rigid formula in its choice of future leaders.  Much of our strength is a result of having officers with diverse interests and talents - a cross section of very different people who nevertheless identify with a common outlook.  What we look for are potential officers who show imagination, personality and a zest for life.  People who are prepared to have a go at anything.

Whilst leadership itself is an elusive quality, fortunately leadership potential can be recognised and developed to a high degree. These are the functions of the Army Officer Selection Board, the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the Platoon Commanders Battle Course in Brecon.  During this development process you will need to prove you are worthy of a commission in The Rifles.

A career as a Rifles officer

From the moment you join the Rifles your future will be planned with great care. All officers join the Army on Length of Service Terms and Conditions, which ensure that you spend sufficient time in each rank before being promoted to the next. Initially you will spend some time as a platoon commander, after which postings become more varied, but equally challenging.

Each step of the way you will be guided in the direction most suitable for you and your career. Much depends on your own talents and preferences. You may decide that you would like to specialise in the various tactical and technical aspects of military operations. You may complete the rigorous selection and training for attachment to the Special Air Service Regiment, which incidentally, is always well subscribed to by our officers. You could add to your qualifications by taking a university, technical or language course. All officers on promotion to Major undergo staff training at the Defence Academy and those, on promotion to Lieutenant Colonel compete for entry to the Joint Command Staff College. 

It is some indication of our high professional standards that we have provided the Army with many of its most senior officers. It will come as no surprise that we have officers in every rank from Second Lieutenant to Lieutenant General - from a Platoon Commander to the Commander of The Field Army.

Choosing a commission

The 'stepping stone approach' to Commissioning allows you to take a series of planned and carefully co-ordinated steps forward in developing your career. It allows you to assess how long you want to serve and under what conditions.

Short service commission

For most officers their initial engagement will be for a period of 3 years on a Short Service Commission. If you wish, and if your Commanding Officer supports your desire to do so, this period can be extended to allow you to remain for up to a maximum of 8 years. During that time, once you have received two annual reports, you can apply for the next level of Commission, provided that your Commanding Officer supports your request. Approximately 72% of all Short Service Commission officers completing their military training will be able to make this transition. Bear in mind that some will not wish to do so, having opted for relatively short periods of service before embarking upon a civilian career.

Intermediate Regular Commission

The next level is known as the Intermediate Regular Commission. Once you have been awarded this Commission you will be eligible to remain in the Army for a period of 18 years of Reckonable Service. After 2 years you will be eligible to apply for the final level of Commission; once again this is dependent on the support of your Commanding Officer. Approximately 63% of those allocated Intermediate Regular Commissions will be able to convert to the next level. Remember that some will never plan to do so and will leave the Army at this stage in order to embark upon a civilian career.

Regular Commission

The third and final level is the Regular Commission. Once you have reached this you will normally be able to serve for a full pensionable career, eligible for promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, selection and subsequent progression to the highest ranks.

Undergraduate Awards

The Army Bursary Scheme is awarded to approximately 200 candidates each year. It is an annual tax free lump sum, and is designed for those undergraduates who only wish to commit themselves to a 3 year Commission. However, it can also apply to those who have longer-term aspirations as well.

Contact us for officer recruiting

Major D C Day SO2 Officer Recruiting

Telephone: 01962 828531

Email: officers@the-rifles.co.uk

RHQ The Rifles
Peninsula Barracks
Romsey Road
Winchester SO23 8TS
If you have not already made contact with us or you need further information about a commission in The Rifles please contact Major D C Day SO2 Officer Recruiting

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