support an educated choice
SCdt Elisabeth McLeod
action: SCdt Sam Wythes-Willis enjoys the benefits of the
Officer Tertiary Recruitment Scheme.
TWO years after the launch of the Officer Tertiary Recruitment Scheme
(OTRS), the program has become the ideal avenue of entry for officer
candidates studying subjects not on offer through ADFA.
SCdt Sam Wythes-Willis enlisted into the scheme in November 2004
and is currently studying an honours degree in Arabic and Islamic
Studies at the University of Sydney.
I decided to apply for the scheme, as it offered the flexibility
of part-time military training, while studying the subjects which
interest me at a university of my choice, he says.
OTRS is aimed at civilians already studying a full-time degree at
a recognised Australian tertiary institution, whose subjects are
not offered for study through ADFA. Successful candidates are sponsored
to complete their studies and, while studying, undertake the Part
Time General Service Officer First Appointment Course (GSO FAC)
through a University Regiment. Upon completion of their degree,
they transfer into II Class at RMC-D, where they complete the final
12 months of the full-time GSO FAC before graduating as lieutenants.
As part of the requirements of the scheme, SCdt Wythes-Willis undertakes
part-time officer training at the Sydney University Regiment and
will transfer to RMC-D in January next year, after submitting his
He admits that occasionally there are times when his civilian studies
and military commitments conflict especially around
exam time and when assignments are due but says its
a matter of being organised and planning ahead, which is definitely
where Army training has paid off.
SCdt Katie Chapman was one of the first two candidates to enlist
in the scheme while studying for her Bachelor of Science degree
at the University of Sydney and is now in the final phase of her
training at RMC-D. Although she found the transition to full-time
Army life difficult at first, she has no regrets and is looking
forward to graduating as a lieutenant in December this year.
The reserve training more than adequately prepared me for
RMC, she says. Throughout my time at university, the
scheme allowed me to purchase texts and materials I would not have
otherwise been able to afford. I also developed my physical fitness
through the use of Army facilities, and the medical and dental support
ensured I received treatment that I would not have had without the
In general, applicants for OTRS undergraduate sponsorship must have
completed and passed at least one semester of their full-time academic
study prior to applying for the scheme.
Specific conditions of service have been developed to cater for
participants in the program, which includes a regular wage, and
medical and dental cover while they are studying. The scheme also
pays tertiary institution fees and the members HECS debt upon
successful completion of their degree.
For more information visit www.defencejobs.gov.au.