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Warfare Officer AIB Feb 2020

This is spot on. The selection board for the 11th May intake sits on the 23rd of March. I was told candidates will be written to on the 24th-25th saying either "successful" or "unsuccessful".

I passed my aircrew AIB in February Domino, so if you have any questions, feel free to message me. For anybody that is curious, here are some notes on my experience:
  • Fitness test: mine was cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, and so my board wasn't assessed on this. I would still get your fitness nailed though - practice track runs to get used to outdoor running if you've only used a treadmill.
  • First day was quite pleasant and helped to manage nerves. Bond with your team and pay attention to everything in the PLT brief. Techniques are super important and you can practice them in the common area. Consider going to the pub down the road to get to know your team, and/or, consider doing what we did which was running through some practice planning exercises from online with your board. We spent 15 minutes reading and 15 minutes discussing the situation so that we were ready for the plan ex on the next day.
  • The planning exercise is what most people find the most challenging. Make sure you run through some practice examples between now and your AIB to get a flavour for what they're giving you. Practice a system of notetaking for that first 15 minutes reading time that works for you. The discussion phase is a good place to leverage your style of leadership; for example, if a member of your board is more confident and bullish, you shouldn't compete with them. You should instead ask targeted questions that develop and consolidate the plan with the team as a whole rather than trying to take away any team member's contribution. e.g. "that's a great idea candidate 4, but if aim 1 is our utmost priority and factor A means that we cannot achieve aim 1 within the required time, should we not consider doing *insert your idea*?". I'm saying this because it's important to be yourself - and I am not particularly bullish - and so this was my approach, which got me good marks.
    The questioning phase is intense, but just remember to answer every question in your head rather than just the ones asked to you, as it will develop your situational awareness and will ensure you're ready when a question gets passed on to you. Just stay level headed and react confidently to the pressure (but not too confidently).
    For the written brief, make sure you get some quality writing down in all sections and ensure that somebody could pick up the piece of paper not knowing anything about the situation and understand the plan. Make sure plenty of speed distance time is in the plan section of the report - get good at that stuff quick! speeddistancetime.info
    Finally, be confident in your presentation and use the pointy stick. Focus on delivering a concise 2-minute presentation that encompasses your aims, plan, and some timings. Be prepared for 1-2 questions on the plan. Be willing to adapt the plan if they throw something at you that shows a flaw, but don't change on a whim. Be prepared to say no to any suggestions or coercion if you still think your plan achieves the aims better than the suggestion.
    Finally, try to enjoy the plan ex. The intensity is actually quite fun in hindsight.
  • The PLT was my weakest part of AIB, specifically my led task. For all other tasks, get stuck in as much as possible and be the first to volunteer for any open role. Be loud at all times. For the led task, you really want to have positive control of everything the team does, including techniques. You almost want to micromanage everything they do (I was told), whereas I was too relaxed and allowed the team to take too much of their own initiative. I had zero experience of any PLTs going into it, and so I was happy with the mixed feedback coming out of it.
    Don't splash the officers in the wet tasks like us. We got dunked at the end for it, and the water was very cold! (but we all had smiles on our face).
  • My interview was fairly pleasant. Have a strong "tell us about yourself" answer ready that gives them plenty of opportunities/areas to ask questions. I was asked nothing on the training pipeline (although others on my board were), or on the service. Demonstrate commitment to your role and becoming an officer with evidence. Have some good answers for values and standards that demonstrate a strong moral compass (i.e. moral courage). Demonstrate that you've had to overcome and manage adversity, and be prepared for some curveball questions! I won't share the exact questions they asked because they want to test how you respond, but they are a varied bank of questions that could ask about times when you fell short of your own moral standards and how you dealt with it, compassion, and fear. You want to show reflection on the experience and the personal development that came from it.
  • Finally, run through some psychometrics online to get yourself prepared for them. They're fairly straight-forward.
  • Never forget the sense of occasion. Always be smart, speak confidently, and address people correctly.
  • Your team are not the competition.
  • Remember that the day is about measuring potential - not the finished article. If you take it seriously and prepare properly, whilst being yourself, you'll be fine.
Best of luck for your AIB. Again - try to enjoy it! I saw it as my first taste of being a Naval officer and really enjoyed the pressure and sense of urgency. You'll build a sense of camaraderie with your team throughout the days - and you might even be training with them at BRNC.

Brilliant review mate - definitely put my mind at ease on some points.

In my last conversation with my ACLO I was advised to focus heavily on: Interview prep, especially the opening 'tell us about yourself'; memory recall for the Planning Exercise, and like you say preparation to answer your team's potential incorrect answers and to be vocal with the PLT.

I think my biggest worry is around the planning exercise task but I have since looked through threads on here and borrowed a planning exercise book to get some preparation - but saying that, I only have 7 days until im down at AIB.

Did they give you an idea on how likely you were to be picked for May entry?

Thanks,

Domino
 
No worries mate. The buildup to AIB is a little scary, but have faith in yourself!

Your ACLO is spot on there - memory recall is vital in particular. There is a lot of information (even down to specific phrases to describe somebody in a situation) that are to be remembered. Very few of these questions were answered correctly (or rather, with the specificity desired) on my board. Remember that you cannot and are not expected to get everything right.

7 days is plenty of time to thoughtfully prepare for the plan ex. Remember the personal aspect (regarding you and how you deal with the intensity) is just as important - if not more - than the technical aspect. Managing your emotional state, remaining focused, and applying yourself without getting flustered is essential. Deep breaths!

I was personally told to be reasonably optimistic for selection in May. I did meet a couple of pilots at RNAS Yeovilton that were on grading on my POV that scored average FATs and borderline AIB scores - so I'm trying to not think too much about my own score in order to not get my hopes up. I still have an aircrew medical to pass, but I'm personally hopeful for BRNC in May for Pilot.

Any other questions, just ask. Best of luck and get back to us all with how you get on!

Well I wish you all the best with a May intake and hopefully next Thursday I’ll be getting back to you with some good news - if radio silence then assume the worst!

Thanks again for your input - some sound advice there!


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Well I wish you all the best with a May intake and hopefully next Thursday I’ll be getting back to you with some good news - if radio silence then assume the worst!

Thanks again for your input - some sound advice there!


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No problem. I hope you're successful at AIB and that you get a good shot at May intake. Hope to see you there!
 

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