A career as an Army Education officer

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Jane is one of the Army's teachers. She is a lieutenant in the Educational and Training Services branch of the Adjutant General's Corps.

What job do you do?

At present I am a platoon commander at the Army Technical Foundation College. There are 36 in my platoon – unusually, all female. They are all 16 or 17 years-old recruits who are at the College for 28 weeks to prepare them for entry into the Royal Signals, Royal Engineers, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers or the Royal Logistic Corps. I oversee their training and welfare and deal with any issues that arise such as discipline.

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What do you teach them?

There are a lot of practical subjects like map reading, health and hygiene and military education. We also cover key skills and basic skills for those who need them. Some of the teaching is in the classroom and some is out in the field or on exercise.

What's a typical day for you?

When we are out on an exercise I have to be up early so that I am ready to raise the platoon at 6.00 a.m. for inspection half-an-hour later.

For the rest of the day, my platoon sergeant and I take lessons on camouflage and concealment and how to cook and eat using ration packs. At night we teach other military skills such as how noise carries. We aim to get them to start thinking like soldiers.

We also have lessons on Saturday mornings and, at weekends, we go on educational trips. Some trips are a bit longer, for example, to the Normandy beaches of the Second World War.

How much free time do you get?

The students don't get a lot, and neither do I! I get some Saturday afternoons off but some evenings and weekends I am on duty so I have to be available if any problems arise. I get two or three weeks leave in the middle of the 28-week course, but, like most teachers, I can't have leave during term-time.

What made you want to become a teacher in the Army?

I first became interested in the Army at school when I joined the Cadets. In Year 11, I was selected for an Army scholarship for the sixth form. I had to pass the Regular Commissions Board. I took my A levels at school with the Army helping to pay the fees. After my A levels, the Army sent me on a personal development camp. I had decided to go to university and applied for an Army bursary. I also joined the Officer Training Corps.

What training have you done since joining?

I have spent the last 18 months studying for a postgraduate diploma in education (PGCE) in Further Education. I have done this by distance learning with assessors from the military and the university looking at my teaching.

What about the future?

There are lots of possibilities. I hope to work in an Army education centre in Germany, where I will be preparing soldiers and officers of all ages for their promotion exams. I might also be teaching in other places like Bosnia or Kosovo, doing liaison work with schools or working with the media.

Jane's tip

  • It's a great chance to try things.

Becoming an Army Education officer

  • After one year of Leadership, Army organisation and military skills training, you will undergo teacher training.
  • During your first two years you will qualify with a PGCE (FE) sponsored by a university.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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