Advantages You get paid, you have fun and it boosts your CV!!
Disadvantages The politics involved and you could go to war!
Where to start….I joined the TA back in 1996 whilst at university. I joined a branch of the TA which is called the Officers Training Corps (OTC), which is like the TA but for university students and to be honest it has been the best career move I have ever made inmy life. If your at university and you need some cash, don't get a weekend job stacking shelves, get a weekend job playing soldiers, getting drunk having fun and learning something totally new. My experience of the OTC is one of fond memories where I went on numerous camps, training exercises, officer's dinners and above all I made a lot of friends, a lot who have proved to be very useful in my civilian life. The aim of the OTC is as a recruiting tool, if you like, for potential Army Officers, both TA and regular. It starts at fresher's week where, if your university is near a local OTC centre then you can bet your bottom dollar they will be recruiting at freshet's fair. You are invited along to a selection weekend, and although its all running around, lifting things and answering questions, it's a damn good laugh. If your successful you are then invited to join. Once you are in you will begin by completing basic training (Military Training Qualification (MTQ) parts 1 and 2), which will take most of your first year. Once they are complete you can apply to City and Guilds for a COMEC leadership award which comes in useful. As OTC's are sympathetic to the student cause you don't have to turn up every weekend, if say for example you have some studies to do. Once you have completed MTQ 1 & 2 you can then join one of the troops, platoons or squadrons, depending on what's on offer at your particular OTC…I opted to join the Artillery Troop.There are 18 OTC's in the country, however I cannot remember them all as it was a while ago. The ones I can remember are:
Queens (Northern Ireland)
Most of my time in the OTC was spent gaining gunnery qualifications and working my way up from Officer Cadet to Company Senior Under Officer, again something that looks good on the CV. You hold a position of responsibility and you have been trained to a certain standard in leadership/management.Depending on what university course you are doing will depend on how much time you can commit to the OTC and if you have the time there are always opportunities to do something different.
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