PROMOTION AND CAREER PROGRESSION IS CLEARLY DEFINED IN THE ARMY
Your initial commission is for 12 years, but you may choose to leave during training or after at least 3 years' commissioned service. You can typically expect to reach the rank of Captain after three years' commissioned service.
Your first rank after Sandhurst. It's held for 1 year, during which time you'll complete special-to-arm training relevant to your Regiment or Corps. Afterwards you'll be responsible for leading up to 30 soldiers in a platoon or troop, both in training and on operations.
Lieutenant is a rank typically held for up to 2 years. You'll command a platoon or troop of around 30 soldiers, but with experience come increased responsibilities. You'll also have the opportunity to gain specialised skills outside your unit.
As a Captain, you'll normally be made second in command of a sub-unit of between 50 - 120 soldiers. You'll play an important role in the planning and decision-making process, with tactical responsibility for operations on the ground as well as equipment maintenance, logistic support and manpower.
Once you've been in the Army for between 8 and 10 years, you could promote to Major. You'll be given command of a sub-unit of about 120 soldiers and officers. You'll look after their training and welfare, leading them on operations.
At this rank, you'll normally command a unit of up to 650 soldiers. You'll be responsible for the overall operational effectiveness of your unit - this includes military capability, welfare and discipline.
Most Colonels work as staff officers, but a few have command appointments. They are key advisers to the very senior officers on the staff and in operational commands.
Also known as a 1 star General, Brigadiers in the Army will command a wide range of formations and also fill senior appointments on the Army Staff.
Also known as a 2 star General, Major Generals command divisions of the Army. They will hold very senior positions in the Ministry of Defence and other in other headquarters, both in the UK and abroad.
Also known as a 3 star general, Lieutenant Generals command Corps, and other equivalent commands in the UK and overseas. They work at the very highest levels of the Ministry of Defence.
Also known as a 4 star General, this is the most senior rank in the British Army, and you will find that people at this rank include the Chief of Defence Staff and the Chief of the General Staff.
HOW LONG WILL I SERVE?
Most officers serve between 3 and 12 years. This is known as a short service commission. This doesn't necessarily mean that you have to leave after your initial contract finishes. You will have the opportunity to apply to extend your service through the intermediate Regular Commission (IRC) and Regular Commission (RegC), the latter allowing service up to the age of 60.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Queen's Commission signals the Sovereign's trust in her new officers - that they will be dedicated to the Army values and standards, and will be the embodiment of leadership and character.