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Join as an officer

As an officer, you’ll be in charge of a team of soldiers. It’s up to you to look after their welfare, make the most of their skills and direct their work to get the job done. At home on base or on operations overseas.

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Female Officer

About officers

As a Regular Army officer, you will spend your first few years in charge of a team of soldiers. You will be responsible for managing their skills and workload as well as looking after their welfare to ensure they’re able to work effectively and to the best of their abilities.

As a Reservist officer, you'll do all your training and military duties in your spare time. It makes it possible to get many of the benefits of Army life and combine them with your civilian life and career.

Officer straightening his hat

Your career as an officer

We're committed to ensuring that all personnel have the resources they need to continue their professional development. Once commissioned you’ll be expected to undergo further training before your next promotion, and on top of that, you can choose from a wide range of courses, to complement your required training. And while your brain is being given a workout, you can be sure that your body will be too, as staying fit is vital to your role in the Army.

Officer

Army Reserve Officers

Becoming a Reservist officer means that you complete your training and military duties in your spare time. It makes it possible to gain many of the advantages of Army life and combine them with your civilian responsibilities and career.

Study at Welbeck

Students at Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College talk about what they've learnt and how they've developed while being at the college.

Sandhurst

As an officer cadet, you’ll spend 44 weeks at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

To join the regular Army as an officer, you need to be between 18 and 26, plus 180 UCAS points.

Sandhurst officers

Reservist training

Initial officer training is a series of modules to develop your military leadership and skills. Module 1 is 6 weekends at an Officer Training Regiment, followed by Module 2 which is delivered either over 10 weekends or a 2-week consolidated course. Module 3 brings these new skills together, culminating in a concentrated 9-day field exercise which prepares you for officer training at Sandhurst.

FAQs - Officers

What happens at officer selection?

You will be invited to attend a two day Army Officer Selection Board briefing, where your leadership and teamwork skills will be tested. This will help you prepare for the Selection Board, which is a three-day assessment of both your physical and mental suitability for the role.

More advice on preparing for the Army Officer Selection Board (AOSB)

How long is officer training?

The course takes place at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and lasts 44 weeks for Regular officers, or three weeks for Reservists. People with certain experience or qualifications may be eligible for the fast-track Professionally Qualified Officers’ (PQO) course, which lasts ten weeks.

 After this initial training, you will go on a second course to learn specific skills related to your first appointment. The length of this course varies depending on the type of role you will be doing.

How much will I earn as an officer?

You’ll earn a salary of £25,220 while you train. This rises to £30,314 when you are commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. If you’re still serving in the Army after five years you could be earning at least £38,847 as a Captain.

Can I get financial help while I study?

If you’re studying for a medical qualification, you can apply for our Undergraduate Cadetship, which gives future doctors, nurses and dentists who pass officer selection the chance to earn money while studying for a degree.

There is also an undergraduate bursary scheme, worth up to £8,000 available to students who plan to join as an officer. You'll be expected to join an OTC whilst at university and serve as a Regular officer for at least three years after commissioning.

How can I get involved with the Army while I’m at university?

University Officer Training Corps (UOTCs) introduce students to the Army and develop life skills – such as leadership and teamwork – through exercises, adventurous training and community projects. It’s about having fun, making friends and discovering just what you are capable of. You get paid for the days you train, and there is no requirement to join the Army when you graduate.

You can serve with the Army Reserve while you are at university – you’ll train in the evenings and at the weekends, and get paid for the time you spend with them.

How do I apply to Welbeck?

If you’re hoping to study for you’re A-Levels at Welbeck, you will need to apply online by December for the September intake. Your application will be processed and if you’re successful, you’ll be invited to Army Officer Selection Board before you’re given your place. You also need to meet the Welbeck fitness standards. More information can be found on the Welbeck site.

How many soldiers will I be in charge of?

For the first couple of years as a junior officer you will be in charge of around 30 soldiers. On rising to Captain, you could find yourself helping to command a unit of around 120 soldiers. Alternatively, you could move on to command fewer soldiers in a more specialised team.

What is the Army Officer Scholarship Scheme?

The Army offers a Sixth Form Scholarship (AOSS) to talented students who have good Regular Army officer potential. Only 100 scholarships are awarded each year across the whole country so competition is tough. Scholarships are given on merit, irrespective of your background or schooling.

What's the Joint Graduate Training Scheme (JGTS)?

The Joint Graduate Training Scheme (JGTS) offers the opportunity for employees of commercial organisations to undertake Army Reserve officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as part of their internal graduate/management training programmes. This might be as part of the employer’s own Graduate Training scheme or as an addition to other formal training. Individuals who commit to this scheme will be expected to serve as officers in the Army Reserve for at least three years, continuing to develop their military skills in parallel to their civilian careers.

  • More about the JGTS

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