Case study

Educational and Training Services (ETS) Officer — Lieutenant Samuel Smith

Samuel studied Psychology with Sports Science at Bangor University. He now works as an educational and training services officer, developing soldiers to maximise their potential

How did you get your job?

I had to pass the Army Officer Selection Board (AOSB), which consists of psychometric, verbal reasoning and maths tests, command tasks, group discussions, interviews and fitness assessments. I then undertook the 44-week, Commissioning Course at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, which is designed to develop an individual's leadership ability by expanding their character, intellect and professional skills.

During the second term (of three) I was selected by the ETS, as part of a further interview process.

I then attended my trade-specific training over two months at Worthy Down, Winchester.

What's a typical day like?

In my current role I'm assigned as an ETS Officer in Paderborn, Germany.

On a normal day, I teach, mark and assess soldiers and support other Army units with any educational needs.

What do you enjoy about your job?

The role presents a unique opportunity to interact with, and support, many different British Army units. The best part of the job is getting to know the soldiers I teach. I get to be a part of their professional development, and it is great to hear how lessons I have taught have been applied to their roles.

In addition, a major selling point is that the Army funds my teaching qualification (PGCE) and subsequent Masters degree.

What are the challenges?

A major positive of becoming an Army Officer is the variety of job roles. However, this can also be the most challenging aspect of the job. You must be flexible and open to any number of new tasks.

In what way is your degree relevant?

Studying for my degree gave me a head start and a deeper theoretical understanding of the subjects and skills required to become an ETS Officer.

I also undertook placements as part of my studies, which allowed me to understand the practical application of educational theory.

How has your role developed?

My role has developed through the increased level of responsibility that I have gained.

I am interested in completing the Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) qualification in order to support British Army units on operations around the world.

What advice would you give to others wanting to join the British Army?

While at Sandhurst it's really important to find the right role and regiment for you.

Visiting the ETS enabled me to gain a better understanding of the different aspects of the role, and how I might see myself working in the future.

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