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Visit Us

RA Officer Familiarisation Visits are run at the Regimental Headquarters, Larkhill. Courses are open to anyone interested in a career as Gunner and specifically in finding out more about the RA. During the course you can see for yourself, without obligation, what a career as a 'Gunner' Officer has to offer. It could change your life.

Ex BRIEF ENCOUNTER 17-19 March 17

EX BRIEF ENCOUNTER 17 is the Royal Artillery annual competition for UOTCs/OTRs took place on 17-19 MARCH 17.  It saw Officer Cadets complete a number of arduous, informative and competitive stands all based around the Regiments within the Royal Artillery.

The First Step

Your first step is to check the recruiting pages, follow the Joining the Army tab at the top of the page. You will then be able to register your interest online and be referred to a Careers Advisor. Once you have passed the AOSB Briefing you are welcome to come here on a visit.

Army Officer Selection Board (Briefing) (AOSB)

Where potential officers undergo selection. The AOSB Briefing is the first stage and is designed to give you an idea of what to expect at the AOSB Main Board and how best to prepare for it.

You need to be physically fit and ensure your knowledge of current affairs is up to date.

The AOSB website is a good starting point and your ACA will also provide advice. Ask yourself why the Army would want to employ you as an officer.

Royal Artillery Officer Familiarisation Visit (OFV)

If you have passed the AOSB Briefing you can attend a visit to the Royal Artillery.

The Royal Artillery OFVs run over three days and you can find details under "Visit us". You will visit our Regimental Headquarters at Larkhill, Wiltshire. You will meet our soldiers, other potential officers and newly commissioned Young Officers. You will see guns firing live rounds, and some of the sophisticated equipment that we use on operations. You should be fit, motivated and interested in learning about one of the many careers available as an Army Officer.

Army Officer Selection Board (Main Board) AOSB (MB)

A rigorous selection process intended to test you physically and mentally.
It is the final stage of selection and all of your fitness and medical tests will be completed. Although a challenge, it should be enjoyable.

You should prepare by looking at both the AOSB website and the Army website.

Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS)

Before arriving at RMAS in January, May or September, you will attend a Pre Commissioning Course Briefing Course. 

The Commissioning Course is widely recognised as the best leadership training in the world; the arduous 44 weeks are designed to develop you into a British Army Officer fit to lead its soldiers. 

It is here that you will confirm your interest in the Gunners and compete for a place at Regimental Selection Board.

If you are lucky enough to commission into The Royal Regiment of Artillery then your next step will be to attend the Young Officers' Course at The Royal School of Artillery, Larkhill.

The Young Officers' Course

The Young Officers' (YOs') Course is 4 months long and will give you the specialist training you require to be a Gunner Officer. 

At the start of this course you will be taught about each part of the Royal Artillery, and once fully informed, you get to choose which part you wish to serve in.

Once you have decided what you wish to specialise in you will spend 3 months learning how to become a Troop Command in this field. 

On completion of the course you will be posted to your Regiment, and your life as a Troop Commander begins.

What you need and what you get

Entry Requirements - click on link on right hand side to find out about age, fitness, medical, academical and nationality requirements for officers joining the Army.

Variety - We have the widest range of career opportunities and disciplines in the Army and most officers serve in at least two different types of artillery regiment during their career.

Equipment - The diverse range of kit means you can work with Field Artillery (AS90, Light Gun and MLRS), Air Defence (Rapier and High Velocity Missile) and Surveillance and Target Acquisition (Radars, Sound Ranging, Specialist Patrols and Unmanned Air Systems).

Travel - With such diverse roles, the opportunities for operational experience and travel are second to none. Regiments are based in the UK, Germany and Northern Ireland and we deploy to every location where the British Army serve.

Sport and Adventure Training -The Royal Artillery offer fantastic prospects to take part in all manner of extra activities. As well as producing top level sports teams, the Gunners also run their own Adventure Training and Sailing Centres.

Combat-technical mix - The Royal Artillery is expected to man its equipment in combat situations and all Gunners are trained Infantry soldiers too, providing the best of both worlds.

Command - You get to command our most valuable asset - Gunner Soldiers

3-Day RA Officer Familiarisation Visit

2017 Dates:

  • 16-18 October
  • 06-08 November

2018 Dates:

  • 15-17 Jan
  • 12-14 Feb
  • 05-07 March
  • 02-04 Apr
Aimed primarily at under-graduate and graduates who are intending to enter RMAS within the next two years. Candidates should have already passed AOSB Briefing prior to attending. This is your chance to gather the information you need to help make your choice-of-arm decision in term one. Those who intend to enter RMAS as non-graduates are also encouraged to attend.

You can see for yourself, over three days, what life in the 'Gunners' is all about. Accommodated in the Officers' Mess, you will get the chance to meet a variety of newly commissioned officers who will be able to tell you about life at Sandhurst and their own reasons for joining the Royal Artillery. You will be briefed about the Royal Artillery and the role that you, as a junior officer, would take on.

We will take you on to Salisbury Plain and spend a morning live-firing with a light gun battery. This will give you an excellent opportunity to speak to some of our soldiers - the men and women you could end up leading. 

There are several physical and team-building activities, so make sure you are prepared for a bit of hard work. 

You will also be interviewed which will give you the chance to ask questions and allow the interviewing officer to discuss the best route forward for you. 

The course is designed to give you a detailed insight into life as a Royal Artillery Officer and is regarded by all as great fun.


Exercise BRIEF ENCOUNTER, is a brief and enjoyable introduction to the Royal Regiment and what it has to offer as a career. The cadets complete gruelling gun runs and go on a rotation through different Gunner-themed stands, their subject matter varying from observation posts, through the AS90, the assault course The King’s Troop RHA and weapon locating radars to clay pigeon shooting.

The University Officer Training Corps provides a large portion of the Royal Artillery’s current regular and Army Reserve pool of officers, and it is crucial that we, the Gunners, continue to ensure that they are aware of all of the roles and capabilities on offer in the regiment. For this reason Exercise BRIEF ENCOUNTER is run annually by RHQ RA, with considerable support from 14 Regt RA, to give officer cadets a feel for the Royal Artillery in order to try and whet their appetites for life as a Gunner Officer. 

The exercise is run over a weekend and as well as comprising the King George VI Cup competition, it also includes a dinner party and an evening of entertainment.

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