Training and progression

A world of training and development with the Army

21 Jun 2023, 15:41

Looking for a graduate leadership role that combines personal and professional development with meaningful activities and ongoing training? The Army offers all this and more.

Two Army officers completing training at Sandhurst

What’s on your wish list for a post-uni career – challenge, service, travel, continuous learning, management training and a sense of purpose and satisfaction? Apply for Army officer training and you’ll find horizons beyond your current scope. It’s an exciting way to start working life – and a secure paid job that earns you the respect of your peers.

More than a graduate scheme

Army officer training takes you from the essentials of teamwork and beyond, to world-class leadership attributes recognised internationally. So, set aside what you might have seen about uniforms and assault courses – it’s not all about parades and polish, or guns and true grit (though these are definitely part of Army life).

There are no two ways about it, Army officer training is hard graft – a commitment and investment in your future that demands the best from you for personal growth and development. You will find what makes you tick, and encounter experiences and roles few employers can rival, no matter how extensive their graduate schemes.

If you’re accepted on to the 44-week commissioning course at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, you will:

  • discover how to motivate others
  • use empathy and your education to learn how to make life-changing decisions in moments
  • improve your aptitude for management and learn about leadership
  • be asked to draw on your deepest reserves to bring out qualities you didn’t know you had.

Get adventurous

Army officer recruits embark on Adventurous Training in the pursuit of personal development and gaining unparalleled leadership attributes. This range of programmes includes:

  • skiing
  • sailing
  • canoeing
  • caving
  • mountaineering
  • gliding.

If you have a taste for the extraordinary, the Army supports overseas expeditions of the kind that make the world sit up and take notice. Besides bringing the thrills, the Army expects you to plan and participate in tasks that will test you to your limits, all while taking responsibility for preparations and outcomes. These teach you to master deep and difficult scenarios while giving you a profound sense of personal achievement. You will gain a fresh outlook that will stay with you throughout your career, wherever you go next, whatever your other accomplishments.

Give back

Once you’ve raised your individual benchmarks and immersed yourself in life-changing activities, you can opt to mentor, empower and enable other people to take on the same challenges. Turn your sights to qualifying as a tutor and you’ll earn a good salary as you do so.

Keep studying

If you’ve enjoyed education and academia, you might like to explore the Army’s postgraduate qualifications (those joining officer training as school leavers can read for a degree), serving and earning while you learn. Graduates embarking on a masters will link their academic knowledge with the real life lessons, complexities and demands that accompany Army training.

Leading and learning, while developing analytical, project management and strategic management skills, are key elements of becoming an officer. Better yet, besides being an investment in yourself and your future military career, Army qualifications are recognised, respected and valued by all kinds of employers over the world, so they form a bridge back to civilian life if and when you move on from the Army.

Start with yourself

Sandhurst is a step up from uni life, that’s a given. Army officers are highly trained leaders who know how to bring out the best in their teams, so each potential candidate starts by developing and getting to know themselves. In common with other graduate programmes, Army assessors look for people who not only fit the job right now, but those whose enthusiasm and promise will shine through, given the right opportunities. The Army stands up for inclusivity and doesn’t look at where you come from, what school or university you went to, or where you live right now. It offers briefing days with tips on how to best prepare for the next stage of its selection process. These days comprise physical and psychometric tests, plus tutorials, and besides showing what you have to offer the Army, you’ll leave with an idea of whether Army officer training is for you.

Assessment, adaptability and ambition

If this path captures your imagination, and you’re prepared for the challenge, find out more by visiting the Army’s own website .

You can read what happens if you embark on officer training and get an insight into what to expect at assessments boards and beyond. If you and the Army agree you’re a good fit, with the potential to make a future leader, then you will be shortlisted. Once you’re invited to the Main Board – three days of residential assessments, which are as physically and mentally demanding – you’ll get all the details on what to expect next. Typically, besides strenuous activities, these days include assessments of your general and military knowledge, and your awareness of current affairs.

Stepping up

After a few essential background security checks, it’s on to officer training at Sandhurst, which has three intakes a year, split into three progressively demanding 14-week terms and a final 2-week exercise. Here’s where the work really starts. This 44-week course will teach you basic military skills and military leadership, fieldcraft and tactics. You will also focus on how to convey instructions to others. In your senior term, you’ll gain more responsibility and deal with complex scenarios, refining your skills while putting theory into practice on three field exercises. Successful officers leave Sandhurst as a Second Lieutenant and take command of about 30 soldiers.

Stepping beyond

Open the door to the Army, and the Army will open doors for you. Looking beyond the military, your Army training, qualifications and leadership development will earn you respect and esteem the world over. Future roles are as variable as life itself!

Find out more and apply

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