If you're good at organising people and equipment and enjoy leading a group a job in army logistics/support could be the right career for you
As a logistics/support officer in the armed forces, you'll be responsible for the management and efficiency of the logistics, support and administrative functions.
In the Army, you may be known as a staff and personnel support (SPS) officer, part of the Adjutant General's Corps (AGC), or you may be a specialist officer in the Royal Logistics Corps (RLC). Either way, you'll be trained in supply, distribution or commodities (e.g. ammunition or petroleum).
The role is also known as a logistics or supply officer in both the:
In each setting, your purpose is to enable each service to carry out its allotted role in peace and war.
Your tasks will include supervising and planning the work of individuals and teams who deliver of a range of specific services and functions including:
In the context of the infrastructure and services of a base, typical activities include:
Additionally, in field operations, your activities might include:
Income data from the The Ministry of Defence 'Pay16 The Armed Forces Pay Model'. Figures are intended as a guide only.
The armed forces also offer benefits such as an excellent pension scheme, private health and dental care and subsidised accommodation.
Depending on your role, you may need to work shifts. When on operations, officers work long hours in a challenging and often stressful and dangerous environment.
There are opportunities for part-time work and sabbatical leave.
All three armed services recruit graduates as officers and provide initial officer training and a continuation of technical and professional training.
Graduates in any subject will be considered, since suitability for service life is more important than degree subject. However, a high level of numeracy is expected, and GCSE, or Scottish Standard Grade, maths and English language (grade A to C) are essential.
The following degree subjects may increase your chances:
The acceptability of higher education qualifications other than a degree varies between forces, depending on both the subject studied and the specialist area that you want to follow. In general, all three forces will consider applicants with a minimum of 180 UCAS points (not including general studies) for officer training.
Professional qualifications and experience may be acceptable as an alternative to a degree, and all three services have specialist branches, for example:
Pre-entry postgraduate qualifications are not generally needed, but membership of an appropriate professional institution may be helpful. For example, seniority is offered to qualified solicitors or barristers joining the Legal Services Branch of the AGC.
Generally, you must be a UK, Commonwealth or Irish citizen and have been resident in the UK or Ireland for five years prior to entry to the armed forces, but some exceptions and restrictions apply. For most branches of the armed forces there are medical, physical fitness and eyesight requirements as well as age limits.
Competition can be fierce for certain roles. All three services offer student bursaries or sponsorship, but amounts vary according to the subject you are studying and the needs of the service. University service units also pay students who join and attend training.
Up-to-date information on bursaries, entry requirements, vacation training and familiarisation visits to service units is available from university liaison officers (ULOs) and local armed forces careers offices. You can also find this information on the websites of the:
You will need to show:
Pre-entry experience is not necessary, but some training can be helpful with:
There are four armed forces employers, namely the:
The armed forces are an arm of the government, which defines their purpose. At the present time, the purposes of the armed forces are given as follows:
Much of the time, the armed services achieve these aims through membership of alliances, particularly the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), but unilateral responsibilities (for example the Falklands Conflict), may mean that they act alone and thus need to be equipped and trained for all aspects of modern warfare.
Britain's membership of the United Nations (UN) and its permanent place at the Security Council may also necessitate the use of armed force in defence of international security (as in Afghanistan), or in support of humanitarian and peacekeeping initiatives (as in Bosnia or after the Asian tsunami).
The services have an important diplomatic function in representing Britain overseas with goodwill visits and in training other countries' armed forces, both in the UK and abroad. There is also action in support of the civil power (as in Northern Ireland).
Many opportunities exist for officers upon retirement from the armed forces because of the management and professional training, as well as the experience they gain, during their period of service.
Look for job vacancies at:
All three armed services recruit graduates as officers and provide initial officer training followed by specialist, professional or technical training. Continuing professional development (CPD) and training are features of a service career and provide opportunities to gain qualifications and accreditation with civilian professional bodies.
If you are successful at the army selection board you will go on to the officer training course, which lasts for 44 weeks and includes physical training, military training and exercises, adventurous training and participation in a range of sporting activities at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. Academically, you will be taught about:
A similar pathway is followed by graduate officer recruits to the:
Training in these services lasts for 30 weeks and recruits enter the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth or the Royal Air Force, respectively.
Some officers, after several years' experience, will be selected to attend extended command and staff-training courses at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, part of the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom at Shrivenham, in preparation for senior and top management appointments.
After initial officer training with either the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth or the RAF you will be posted to your chosen regiment or corps, to a ship for fleet training, or to a squadron or station, where you will undertake specialist training to enable you to gain the detailed skills and particular knowledge that you will need before assuming your first command.
Career officers are selected for a sequence of command and staff courses and further professional courses, which may include postgraduate study at the College of Management and Technology, a college of the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, or other universities or colleges, depending on your specialist area.
The normal route in all three forces is to achieve command of your own unit (for example, in the Army a unit of about 550 to 750 soldiers) by the age of 40.
Further promotion is normally into increasingly senior staff posts. Advancement involves increased responsibility and may lead to a command and staff training course at the Joint Services Command and Staff College at Shrivenham, as preparation for a senior command or managerial appointment.