Age 32, want to join the forces and get a degree

#1
I know this is pushing the boundaries, but hear me out. I started a BSc in Electrical Systems Engineering about 10 years ago; it wasnt for me. I dropped out and went to Africa where I started a commercial diving business. Now the armed forces are seeming more appealing; for the discipline, job security and for the pension.

Business here in Africa has been fun. But in pounds the money is not good, it has no real pension; I'm not travelling like I thought I would be - and most importantly I'm not doing what I really want; which is to get an English Literature degree and go into writing.

I am a fit, highly qualified and experienced commercial diver, so I definitely have something to offer the Navy.

My question is - how realistic an option is it to join the forces and get an 'artsy' degree like Eng Lit? I understand the Open University is very accommodating and there is financial assistance provided by the forces. However - are there the time and facilities to study while serving?

So - say I were to apply for a position as Navy Clearance Diver. Is studying for a degree once my basic training is up a feasible idea? Any advice, knowledge or practical experience on the matter would be most welcome.
 
#3
If you can, I'd recommend the RN CT (Communictaions Technician) branch. I and many others have completed degrees through Staffs Uni. BA and BSc Hons in Intelligence/Security/IR.. 2 years worth of credits given for our training and experience, 1 and a half years of distance learning. A £2k learning credit. Only cost me £500. And a lot of late nights.

You're eligible for these degrees once a qualified CT.
 
#6
^For any at RR tempted to reply:

Already covered (with six pages of advice/discussion/opinions)
Thanks, I should have linked that in the first post.

Thought I should post here as well, as many there are more knowledgeable on Army positions rather than Navy. General consensus is very much the same though - start with military training and look to a degree later on, which seems very sage advice.
 
#7
If you can, I'd recommend the RN CT (Communictaions Technician) branch. I and many others have completed degrees through Staffs Uni. BA and BSc Hons in Intelligence/Security/IR.. 2 years worth of credits given for our training and experience, 1 and a half years of distance learning. A £2k learning credit. Only cost me £500. And a lot of late nights.

You're eligible for these degrees once a qualified CT.
Thank you very much, this is very useful info. I don't know if you are on the ARRSE forum where I asked the same question, but how is it to be in a more 'desk job' position like this? Is there still a physical aspect to your days or is it more sitting around? Is there anywhere I could see some sort of typical daily timetable?

I am very interested in the forces particularly for the effect I hope them to have on my personal discipline - with an aim to writing books later on. I know how hard it is for authors to try and manage themselves and a strongly instilled sense of structure is one of the main things I hope to eventually take away.

Would I still get this with a desk job? I'm sorry if this comes across as a stupid or condescending question but I really do have no idea in this area.
 
#8
@TehGymReaper hey man, if I were you I'd look to call the AFCO soon and get the ball rolling. Reasoning being if I've read correctly you've been out the UK for 7 years. In terms of your security vetting, it may be a long one, as Africa puts you a bit off the map.

I seen @ElQuesoGrande suggested CT however the security clearance stuff was pretty intense from my personal experience and you'll want to start revising for the recruit test to give yourself a wide variety of choices (hope you've kept on top of math).

Now I have heard a suggestion show up a few times that may (or may not) tick a few boxes.

Royal Navy Chef.

There is currently a £5k package on completion of training, if you go on the subs you get another £5k.

Also once they complete training they get a lot of specialisations offered to them, an example of an awesome one is to attend the AACC (All Arms Commando Course), also there is a gentleman in this forum who was a chef and specialised to be pilot as well, apparently not uncommon.

Now I'm doing some guess work, but I reckon as a chef outside of your standard schedule (which after training will likely be a demanding and tiresome role) you will probably get the time you need to go forth and study.

Sent from my Pixel XL
 
#9
Re CT Application - As the OP seems to have been/is an ex-pat for seven ( ? ) years perhaps even NV might pose a problem...
I called the recruiters and you are correct - it is one of the only positions which stipulates, "You, your surviving parents and your spouse/partner must hold sole british citzenship and you must have continually resided in the UK for a minimum of 10 years".

Also my father is South African so it's a double no-no.
 

janner

MIA
Book Reviewer
#10
@TehGymReaper hey man, if I were you I'd look to call the AFCO soon and get the ball rolling. Reasoning being if I've read correctly you've been out the UK for 7 years. In terms of your security vetting, it may be a long one, as Africa puts you a bit off the map.

I seen @ElQuesoGrande suggested CT however the security clearance stuff was pretty intense from my personal experience and you'll want to start revising for the recruit test to give yourself a wide variety of choices (hope you've kept on top of math).

Now I have heard a suggestion show up a few times that may (or may not) tick a few boxes.

Royal Navy Chef.

There is currently a £5k package on completion of training, if you go on the subs you get another £5k.

Also once they complete training they get a lot of specialisations offered to them, an example of an awesome one is to attend the AACC (All Arms Commando Course), also there is a gentleman in this forum who was a chef and specialised to be pilot as well, apparently not uncommon.

Now I'm doing some guess work, but I reckon as a chef outside of your standard schedule (which after training will likely be a demanding and tiresome role) you will probably get the time you need to go forth and study.

Sent from my Pixel XL
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#11
@TehGymReaper

Now I'm doing some guess work, but I reckon as a chef outside of your standard schedule (which after training will likely be a demanding and tiresome role) you will probably get the time you need to go forth and study.

Sent from my Pixel XL
You're all too right about the vetting. CT looked like a genuinely awesome position, I'm actually sad that one's off the table. I've got the AFCO guys scheduled to call back to discuss other options on Tuesday after the public holiday.

I never would have thought about cheffing. But with the advice of the guys over at ARRSE I've gone from the idea of bayoneting people to being the comms support behind the guys actually bayoneting people - why not take it one step further and be the guy feeding the guys bayoneting people.

I am most curious to hear what some actual chefs have to say about the presumption they might have plenty free time though...
 
#12
Woah woah, I said no such thing.

I know a few civvie chefs and they work really long weeks. So I wouldn't want to imagine what a forces chef has to put in.

I'm just saying they seem to get a good stab at the badge collecting club. So in theory you could maybe work something out educationwise.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#13
One thing to bear in mind, assuming you hold a valid Brit passport but have been resident overseas for a period in excess of 180 days, during the last five years, a residency waiver is required to gain security clearance.

All you need do is provide your AFCO with a list of dates & postal addresses during your period of overseas residency covering the last five years, a police-check printout from the local cops showing that you have a clean record whilst resident in that country and usually an employer, local professional/government employee or an educational reference confirming your dates of residence, what you were doing and an overall character reference vouching for your good character.

It's worth bearing in mind, if resident overseas in a non-Commonwealth or expelled Commonwealth country, security clearance can take yonks - sometimes up to twelve months. The age criteria for entry applies to age upon entry into initial training, not the age at the commencement of the application.
 

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