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Forces sweethearts

RAF application

36 replies

mummyflood · 26/01/2011 21:27

DS1 has just passed his fitness test, and knows that the next 2 stages are 2 days at Halton and an interview with someone above Flight Sergeant - but he's unsure what order these will be.

Does anyone know how 'in depth' the second interview will be, i.e. is it likely to be about 'him' - eg what makes him think he is suitable for the RAF, what qualities will he bring, etc. or will it, as he thinks/hopes, be AFTER he has been to Halton and more of a debrief about the two days?

Many thanks in anticipation!

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WingDad · 27/01/2011 01:54

I presume he's going for Airman rather than Officer (because that's the process you've outlined).

The 2 day stage at Halton is called Pre-Recruitment Training Course (PRTC). It's fairly docile to be honest, it's a bit of a taster of military life before actually committing to the service. This includes NCOs barking at you (I say you, I mean the plural sense, not the 'spitting-in-your-face' barking), and military barracks. There's no real training involved, just general advise about RTS (Recruit Training).

You're issued your boots which you will use during 'real' training. You're issued them then so you have a chance to break them in before training starts. It's cos they're leather so need to mould to your foot. Make sure he does this, if you've got a dog make him talk it for a walk while wearing them (him, not the dog).

I'm confused, I thought Day 2 of PRTC was the fitness test, but you say your son has only done his? Meh, maybe things have changed...Anyway, he'll get advice about mental strength during training, diet and nutrition, foot-care (vital) and how to conduct yourself on an RAF base and in accommodation. He'll also get to meet other people who will be on his RTS.

The final interview comes AFTER the 2 days, and is really just a informal chat about how it went. He must read and sign a few forms, and formally confirm a few details, but that's it really. It's nothing like the initial interview.

I hope this helps, if he wants any help in the near future, then whack it on here because I check on here every so often (I'm an RAF officer, if you hadn't worked out Grin).

Pass on my best wishes to your son, he is about to join one of the best organisations in the world. Oh and one last bit of advice.

Mummyflood's son, when someone tells you to do something during training, follow these steps:


Follow that and training will sail by :)

WingDad · 27/01/2011 02:03

Oh and forgot to add, one rank about Flight Sergeant is Warrant Officer. However, your son should address him as Sir.

mummyflood · 27/01/2011 08:50

Hi WingDad, many thanks for that - brilliant and very helpful!

Yes, he is going for Airman - avionics. You may remember previous thread - this is all going way faster than we anticipated!!

We do indeed have a large enthusiastic dog who will be delighted to help him break in his boots! Grin He was actually wondering about this as he was considering shelling out £100 approx for a pair for his road marching in cadets should his application take a while, but obviously now he can save his money for other things!

He's done an army 'look at life' course with school, and from what you've said the course content sounds similar in several ways to Halton so he doesn't envisage many problems. With that and cadets he feels more than ready to embrace the regime etc - I think he quite enjoys being barked at, the Flight Sergeant at cadets is quite enthusiastic in that department!! Grin

We are now wondering how quickly after the two days, if all goes well, he can expect the call for his RTS: as I say, this is all going more swiftly than we anticipated and we were wondering if they are working towards a start date, say, within the first half of this year?

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WingDad · 27/01/2011 16:11

It all depends on the start date of the next RTS, for which I don't know I'm afraid! (Nothing to do with me haha)

There's something I must say, which pains me to have to say but still...Tell your son that when he's going through RTS, do not tell any NCOs or instructing staff that he was in Cadets. Although it'll help him no bounds (such as experience in uniform care etc.), there are many recruits who come in from Cadets and think they are God's gift, which pisses EVERYONE off majorly. People have been failed for it. It's just best if he keeps quiet about it, and still listen attentively when the Corporal is explaining how to iron his trousers. He'll just have to bite the bullet.

Don't bother with the boots, he'll have to wear his issued boots through training :)

I'm actually at Halton every now and then, maybe I'll see him soon! I won't shout though don't worry, I'm not like that...

....I leave all of that to my lovely NCOs Grin

mummyflood · 27/01/2011 19:40

Thanks again WingDad - will pass on that advice! Wink

When he's in bother at home for not listening (frequently) he assures me that he is very good at listening to everyone else and following instructions, especially when away at the various activities he does with cadets so the proof will be in the pudding, as they say. With regard to the trouser ironing, he's better at it than me - gets a seriously impressive crease every time, but the boot polishing needs work Grin

If your paths were to cross at Halton, I won't be worrying about any shouting - would make him feel right at home, what with me and his Flight Sergeant he's had the taster course already! Grin

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Deafworm · 27/01/2011 20:10

on the note of how quickly, dont expect anything, dh joined 2 1/2 years ago (and did his fitness test the same day of his medical at the local careers office wingdad)we expected him to go in from the september onwards using the process so far as an indicator, he started at halton in early July. that was a bit of a shock :o after being around it for a while now i never expect anything and only believe things half an hour after they have happened! for all my moaning about cuts though its a great life mainly

Good luck to him

WingDad · 28/01/2011 00:29

The RAF is notorious for taking its time with things.

mummyflood · 29/01/2011 18:24

Well. Let's hope he gets his dates sooner rather than later, as he is now no longer a student but thankfully has a part-time job.

Since posting this, he has left 6th form as the school basically backed him into a corner. We were asked to pay £125 for a field trip, at very short notice, the penalty for not going being that he couldn't complete the course and the school were not prepared to keep him on with only the two remaining subjects. He tried to have a chat with his subject teacher along the lines of he possibly wouldn't be around during the dates of the trip (4 day residential) as he was waiting for the next stage of his application which could come any day. I was also unwilling to pay this amount as it has been sprung on us and I am Hmm at it being compulsory at such a cost, but that is a side issue.

The school have been well aware for at least the last 2.5years that it is his intention to join the RAF, albeit initially at the end of his 6th form studies but following the defence review he/we took the decision to bring his application forward. He discussed this at the time with the Assistant Head of vocational studies. One of his courses at GCSE was a vocational course geared towards preparation for a career in the uniformed services at which he excelled and received multiple commendations from teachers and visitors regarding his enthusiasm, etc.

So basically on Wednesday they gave him an ultimatum - pay for and go on the trip or leave 6th form, decision to be made by Thursday morning.

The killer blow? Instead of wishing him well, they told him that in their opinion he should defer his RAF training in order to complete 6th form. They also said that he was letting his teachers down as he had the RAF too much on his mind, and it would cost them a lot of money if he leaves now!

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WingDad · 30/01/2011 02:11

The decision is his and his alone, and one would hope the school understands and respects this.

Of course, the more qualifications, the better; but they're entirely unnecessary with most Airmen trades (which they'll train from scratch).

There are those in the RAF who would have agreed with the school and said it would have been good if he completed Sixth Form, but that's all in retrospect and not essential.

Deafworm · 30/01/2011 08:34

Good Luck to him, I hope it works out well. has he been given the kit list yet or is that on the 2 days at halton? Just as a warning depending on what you have in the house already that can work out to quite a bit of money. It was a shock to the system for us at the time :o.

mummyflood · 30/01/2011 12:13

That was our hope too, WingDad, unfortunately it seems it is not entirely the case. Some of his teachers were really pleased for him and wished him well, asking that he come back in uniform after his training, and told him they fully understand he is following his vocation. However those that are not fully supportive are of course in more senior roles and I am sure have their own agenda, which is, increasingly over the last couple of years, not necessarily the best interests of the individual students IYSWIM!

Deafworm - thank you. No kit list as yet. It's less than a week since he did his fitness test, so he's got his phone welded to his hand and checks his emails roughly every 30mins for further news! A friend's Son has recently joined the army, and received an 8-page epistle of requirements for Harrogate - I think overdraft/bank loan was being considered! Grin Oh well, there's always the doting Grandparents....

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Deafworm · 30/01/2011 12:54

a lot of it is things that wont be a problem him having if things don't work out like white sports socks, black socks, underpants rather than boxers for doing pt, plain dark (if i remember rightly) t shirts and shorts for pt. but some of it is a bit obscure!

has he found his way to e-goat yet? i know my dh and some other friends rate it quite highly.

mummyflood · 30/01/2011 14:06

He's gonna love going back to 'apple catchers' as DH calls them rather than boxers! Grin

What is e-goat?? Confused

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WingDad · 30/01/2011 17:06

I wear bollock stranglers on lenthgy field exercises and deployments 'cos it keeps everything together when you're dragging yourself about (TMI)...

E-goat is the unofficial website forum of the RAF. It's mostly populated by old and bitter ex-personnel but it does have some gems of advice and information (if you dig deep enough). I visit every now and then.

mummyflood · 31/01/2011 14:49
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mummyflood · 21/02/2011 20:45

Hi again - an update. Dates have arrived today. 2 days at Halton on 10/11 March, provisional training date of 25 May. It suddenly seems a lot more 'real' to me. Amongst other things, guess we won't be going to Waddie together this year if all goes well and he passes his final interview etc. Sad but Smile if we miss it because he has achieved his dream.

He's quite chuffed that he's just been promoted to Cpl at Cadets - he wanted to achieve that before he left.

Everyone please cross your fingers for him that his 2 days and interview goes well! Smile

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herbietea · 21/02/2011 20:54

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mummyflood · 21/02/2011 22:31

Thanks, herbietea!.

If all goes well, maybe DS will meet your DH one day! Where is he currently posted, and which aircraft does he work with? Good luck to your DS, I would imagine piloting a Chinook would be VERY challenging, what an achievement that would be! Smile

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herbietea · 22/02/2011 10:26

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penguin73 · 22/02/2011 10:44

HT, just make sure your son is aware that he can't apply to fly helicopters, he would have to pass selection for all flying duties then be streamed after EFTS. If he goes into the process only wanting helicopters he is unlikely to be accepted, particularly as it is so competitive at the moment.

GetOrfMoiLand · 22/02/2011 12:56

This is a very useful thread (my dd wants to join the RAF at 18). Good luck to your son mummy.

Also very interesting Wingdad that you say if you have been in cadets you should shut up about it - a good point to remember.

herbietea · 22/02/2011 19:10

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GetOrfMoiLand · 22/02/2011 22:28

Herbie - no, haven't made an appointment yet, I am housebound due to having an OP which won't heal, so we are planning to do it in the next couple of weeks.

WingDad · 23/02/2011 01:40

Excellent news MF, I'm glad he has his dates and everything is set in stone now. I hated the waiting game. Please do pass on my congratulations to him for being promoted to Cpl, I'm a firm believer that the Cdt -> Cpl promotion is the hardest because you're competing to stand out from the crowd the most!

I'll be thinking of him on those dates, how you've spoken about him makes him sound like an excellent candidate and I'm sure he will do very well. I also hope you can hold it together for him, I understand that it's a very stressful time for parents. It's OK, he'll still be your boy no matter what.

May I also pass on my best wishes to the few posters who have children wanting to apply. Though times are extremely tough in the military at the moment, please don't be disheartened, things will look up in the future.

Best wishes.

WingDad · 23/02/2011 01:41

I just said best wishes twice.

Fuckedy fuck.

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