That time I tried to join the army…

14 Signal Regiment Army

Children, gather round, I am going to fluster the curtains of OPSEC again and take you back a few years, to a time when I was bored with my job and looking for a change.

I was a fresh faced 20something, well fresh enough.. I had a little bum fluff chin thing going on (how I ever thought that was cool god only knows) and I had been working at my then employer for a few years and my development and talent had become stagnant.

I wasn’t challenged enough with my work as everything was a breeze but due to that they wouldn’t put me forward forward for bigger and better things, something about preferring the person they go out for drinks with rather then the person who could actually do the job (stop me if you have heard this before).

Now, job hunting for me has always been a pain, i’m not entirely sure why as my CV is beaming with good things and experience but I don’t seem to get enough people knocking or headhunting me (minus that one time 15 years ago when Blackberry in Canada wanted me to emigrate over and work on their java stuff) but non the less I would update the CV and spend a night on reed or indeed clicking apply for the things that looked good and rarely got anything back.

One day I happened to walk past the local army recruiters, I hadn’t given this much thought as I had been a Cadet and an Air Cadet when I was younger, I enjoyed the lifestyle but it wasn’t me. but something that did stand out was an poster showing a comparison between officer and infantry. Turns out officers get paid slightly more and at the time it was more than I was getting paid to sit around twiddling thumbs in an unchallenging, dead end job.

I didn’t give it much more thought other then ‘oohh’ and then walked right past and into the office.

Flash forwards a little and my keen interest in the army, love of history and further boredom had me playing ‘linked video roulette’ on youtube (thats where you just let it go for a while and see where you end up) and I happened to come across a video depicting the history of the Navy Seals, narrated by Gary Sinise – This story may take a little David Goggins detour if you understand where I am coming from.

I am fascinated with the development and refinement of turning man into hero, the epitome of freedom and all it represents.

I was a little inspired and popped into my browser army.mod.uk bringing me to the contact a recruiter page, having navigated around a little I started looking into officer roles and found that with my telecoms experience and general being a nerdy kid a SIGINT (Signals Intelligence) or similar role would be something to look into.

I decided that I would look into it, more a curiosity thing then anything else so the next day I went to work early and popped into the recruiters office. I still remember two completely kitted up mannequins staring at me in the waiting area, with my 10 gauge ears and pierced septum and labret (I knew I would have to take these out if I did move forwards and was fine with all that).

It was at this time I met the recruiter, a well built man, immaculately dressed and had a big smile on his face, let’s say his name was Charles. He was mild mannered and very understanding, we had a little chat about what the army is and what I was looking for and what could be offered. I guess that (UK army maybe) moniker stands well –

“THE ARMY SPOTS POTENTIAL. EVEN IF OTHERS DON’T.”

He took me away for some general medical, as you do, the majors here were weight and height this is where I first came into problems, you see, at the time the BMI was making all the headlines.

BMI is more guidelines and I wouldn’t trust something a belgian made in the 1900s to monitor social economic standings as a way of saying this person is healthy and this person isn’t,, fuck that!

My BMI was too high to join the army, basically my weight was a little too over what they would accept for an officer, however, Charles in all his wisdom didn’t just drop this bomb on me he broke it to me in the nicest way possible and I mean its not like I didn’t know i was a fatass.

We walked away and sat at a computer chatting about a few things and looking over roles again. I wanted to do my bit to help but it seems I was sorta stuck not being able to upgrade my job to something more exciting and better paying.

He agreed that an Officer role and something in IT and Comms would work out best and then handed me a couple or bits of information, some print outs for job specs and a poster. The poster was actually and Army Fit exercise guide and training plan. Charles said that even though I was a little over its not something that could hold me back especially if I put in the time and effort to reap the rewards (heres where some David Goggins stuff comes in). If I could loose some weight I could get into the Army as an officer in a field of awesome new stuff and challenges.

The only thing holding me back was my weight.

Now don’t get me wrong, it was a ‘fair’ amount of weight but I’m a well built guy so carry weight better then most, it still confuses me when the TV is showing super morbidly obese people and I’m like hey thats only 2 more stone then me but I look thin and stuff.

Back on story I did start to work out and start to loose some weight, abs are made in the kitchen and all that but I never did get back to the recruiters as after much change at the office I moved departments and had something new to conquer. Since this time much has changed, jobs have changed and I find myself thinking back to this time curious if things would have turned out different.

For those who don’t know I recently lost my job so this has brought up a lot of emotions and thoughts of times past, fear for the future and all that. Recently my memory has been terrible and i’ve let my programming slack behind too, even the fun stuff like hacking. I intend to get back on the horse and start learning again late at night when my son falls asleep,,, when he eventually falls asleep #dadlife

I will continue to apply for things and see just where I can go.

Signing off with… Stay Frosty

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