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After sticking with it for nearly 2 years, DS has given up on his dream

(153 Posts)
FinnyStory Fri 07-Aug-20 18:27:32

Bloody Capita "managing" Army recruitment.

Since he was 13 DS1's only ambition has been to be an Army Officer. Threw himself into everything as a cadet and succeeded there in a way he never did at school.

Not naturally academic, he had to work really hard to get the A level grades needed, which he did.

Submitted his application in Nov 2018 and spent 9 months being constantly told they needed this piece of information then another piece, all of which were sent straightaway and acknowledged. At one point they cancelled his application because he hadn't responded, when he had emails confirming they had everything they needed.

Then spent a day travelling for the medical and was deferred because of his hearing. Despite having met the published standard, he showed some slight hearing loss which they wanted investigating. Fair enough but it took 4 months to arrange the follow up appointment.

The Consultant wrote a letter saying he did show slight hearing loss but no cause for concern just to be careful with hearing protection. This was sufficient for them to reject him on medical grounds, despite the fact that he had met their own standard and their doctor wasn't concerned.

He appealed and won but this took another 5 months.

Then he was due to go for selection which was cancelled due to lockdown.OK I'll give them that, it wasn't their fault.

However, the process apparently restarted in June but by this time his original medical is a year old and he needs another one, before he goes for selection which is currently set for September. He's been told he must not attend if he doesn't have an up to date medical.

He has been promised a medical date before then but nothing has been forthcoming. He has phoned and/or emailed everyday for the last month chasing up this medical appointment. The person he needs is either not there, promises to call straight back or doesn't return his calls. The emails are unanswered. He's asked to speak to someone in charge and was promised a call within 48 hours but...

This is for a lad who was the most senior/successful Army cadet in the county and has an absolutely glowing recommendation from the County Commandant, a recently retired General. They should be chasing him, not the other way round.

Anyway, today, he's decided enough's enough and it's no longer his chosen path.

I'm just venting really but isn't it reassuring to know our military is so well organised?!

OP’s posts: |
Bishybarnybee Fri 07-Aug-20 18:32:27

If he can't cope with frustration he probably wouldn't cope in the army, would he?

It does sound frustrating but why wouldn't he keep trying?

AutumnLeavesSeptember Fri 07-Aug-20 18:33:32

Could he look at the navy or Air Force? I agree that is v frustrating.

Lurchermom Fri 07-Aug-20 18:34:47

I have nothing but sympathy for your son - having had my DH in the military (RAF) I can vouch for their incoherent bureaucracy. But, please please don't let him give up! He will always regret it I know it seems like a non existent path but he just needs to keep doing what he is doing - calling, cajoling etc. My husband used to 'joke' that it seemed on a Monday Wednesday and Friday all paperwork that went to admin was put in the shredder. On a Tuesday and Thursday they set it on fire.
Is there someone in the cadets he can speak to for advice if he was a glowing student they must want to help him out?

FinnyStory Fri 07-Aug-20 18:37:05

Omg really? He has shown tremendous resliance and perseverance throughout all of this. It think most would have give up after they cancelled his application more than a year ago.

So you're OK that not only is the Army losing high calibre candidates like this but wasting taxpayers' money on the process? It must have cost thousands to get him this far.

Believe me DS will be fine, whatever he chooses to do, precisely because he is resilient and tenacious.

OP’s posts: |
FinnyStory Fri 07-Aug-20 18:39:17

No, he's done. He's been offered a degree level apprenticeship where he went to work "temporarily" while persuing his application, he will do that. This is very much more their loss than his.

OP’s posts: |
Honeybobbin Fri 07-Aug-20 18:41:06

Capita are an absolute shower of shite. My DH used to work for them, fortunately he was taken on directly by the employer via TUPE when they finally binned Capita off. DH is fantastic at his job and constantly embarrassed at how badly run they are.
I don't know if there's a way of contacting someone who is not employed by capita, but I'd say that would be his best bet. Raise a formal complaint.

Shallowsubmarine Fri 07-Aug-20 18:50:33

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Lockdownseperation Fri 07-Aug-20 18:53:30

It’s a known problem

FinnyStory Fri 07-Aug-20 18:54:01

Asking for emails to be answered, for them to follow their own medical requirements and advice is special treatment?

Would you stick with a job application process that took 2 years?

Anyway, it doesn't matter now, he's made his decision and he has another excellent offer.

OP’s posts: |
sadpapercourtesan Fri 07-Aug-20 18:54:28

It really isn't more their loss than his at all. That's a peculiar attitude.

If he's given up at this point, it's probably for the best. There's a lot of waiting around, frustration and putting up with shit that seems to make no sense in the forces. You have to be able to hang on in there.

Aroundtheworldin80moves Fri 07-Aug-20 18:55:43

DH is an Army officer. I've listened to his many moans about the incompetence of Capita and how many good candidates are slipping through the cracks due to unnecessary delays. Apparently they defer as many as possible to the last quarter so they get the bonus for being over target for that quarter.

Personally I would say... Take the apprenticeship and join the Reserves. Unfortunately Capita has a 10year contract.

sadpapercourtesan Fri 07-Aug-20 18:55:51

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felixowl Fri 07-Aug-20 18:57:59

Very sorry to hear this, our lad had a hard time in the Army because of time serving senior NCOs. They had 2 years or so left of their 22 and just wanted a quiet life. So they 'squashed' any thing that meant working after 4.30 weekdays and lunchtime Fridays.
If he wants one more go he could try his MP. Ours was in the Territorials and did serve in Iraq in the early part of the invasion.
MPs usually only take on problems from their own constituency.
Best Wishes to him whatever he does.

Whiskeylover45 Fri 07-Aug-20 18:58:40

I also have worked for capita, and I second that they are indeed a shower of shite. Had one temporary job through them. Getting a start date from them for a job they promised me sounded earily similar. I was on JSA at the time so really needed to know. Left after the contract was up and never went back. Agreed see if you can get in touch with the army about this via a formal complaint. Your DS won't be the only one

TerribleCustomerCervix Fri 07-Aug-20 18:59:10

My BIL has recently left the Army after 10 years.

He has a decade’s worth of stories of incompetence, jobsworths and people in command with very little common sense who wouldn’t last five minutes in the private sector.

Honestly it sounds like he’s making the best decision for him. The lack of co-ordination between recruitment and the other departments they’ve had to deal with are a good indication of what it’s like in day to day operations.

AlternativePerspective Fri 07-Aug-20 19:00:05

It is frustrating, but reality is that “they should be calling him rather than the other way around,” and “it’s more their loss than his,” are just phrases which make you feel better. It really isn’t the case. It’s shit but it clearly just wasn’t meant to be.

Hopefully he’ll be happy in his chosen career

Pancakeorcrepe Fri 07-Aug-20 19:01:19

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YgritteSnow Fri 07-Aug-20 19:02:06

* If he can't cope with frustration he probably wouldn't cope in the army, would he?*

Don't be ridiculous. It's been two years! I think he's shown remarkable commitment and patience. I'm am ex army btw.

Op if I had my time again I'd have joined the navy. Maybe something for him to think about?

Helmetbymidnight Fri 07-Aug-20 19:02:55

its interesting reading those with experience of capita, the armed services and recruitment respond sympathetically to the op, whereas some other posters seem to be enjoying just sticking the boot in.

YgritteSnow Fri 07-Aug-20 19:04:41


OP you make him sound like he is God’s gift to humanity, it might be better to set him up with more realistic expectations. There are so many talented young people out there, there will always be obstacles and competition and he needs to expect to fight for what he wants. Please get your mummy goggles off and get more real. It will do him and you the world of good.

MN is just so fucking sneery and snarky these days.

Ickabog Fri 07-Aug-20 19:05:09


its interesting reading those with experience of capita, the armed services and recruitment respond sympathetically to the op, whereas some other posters seem to be enjoying just sticking the boot in.

I noticed this as well. It's very telling.

Pancakeorcrepe Fri 07-Aug-20 19:05:20

@Helmetbymidnight nobody is saying that Capita isn’t crap and this that and the other, but did you read the OP? It really is a bit much grin

YouJustDoYou Fri 07-Aug-20 19:05:48

If he can't cope with frustration he probably wouldn't cope in the army, would he?
Oh, fuck off.

wentawaycameback Fri 07-Aug-20 19:07:01

@sandpapercourtesan - I assume your unpleasant comments help you to feel important and a little superior.

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