Birmingham Universities Officer Training Corps is an OTC set in the midlands that is sung about in songs, and told in tales from Aberdeen to Exceter (probably for doing bad things...) We recruit from all the Universities in Birmingham (Brum, BCE, Aston, College of Cakes) and the surrounding uni's (Keele, Coventry, Warrick, Woecster, Harper Adams.) PSI's come from predominantly Infantry units, whilst RSMs appear from the Royal Corps of Signals. Officers are split amongst the teeth arms. We have an excellent Armourer. Selection takes place once a year, usually the first weekend in October (thus avoiding my birthday!) and consists of two days of "selection" and a piss up in between.
Selection is purely to see if you're a decent enough person, and to weed out the massively weak and the freaks of nature. I kid not, on my selection one guy turned up looking like Gandalf the white, with full beard/cape/hat combo, found his rod of power and decided to argue with one of his interviewers (a Major in the Yeomanry if i remember right) about what pattern the officers trousers were. I never saw that throbber again.
BUOTC is an unit which specialises in the teaching of Officer Development through the style of dismounted infantry. Rather than other units dividing into "troops" or "wings", we are a pure infantry unit - with everyone going through the same type of training. This is actually rather good, as everyone has a common bond and anyway, Sandhurst makes you do inf stuff so you might as well be good at it. Besides, pretending to be infantry is one thing - why would anyone want to pretend to be in a corps? First years go to Basic Company, where you do MTQ/MOD1 training. Second years go to Advanced Coy, where they grapple with the combat guesstimate for MTQ/MOD2. From this, they can go on to MOD 3 and commissioning, but it's not a requirement. If you want to stay on after A Coy, then you must pass MTQ2. Third years and above can apply for 1) B Coy DS (Sect cmdr, Plt Sgt, Plt Cmdr) 2) A Coy DS (More shadowing and instructing, than leading) or 3) Senior Wing (Biffs/Enemy/Genuinely busy people).
Shockingly, Buotc produces some people who can actually tell the dangerous end of the rifle from the less-dangerous end and fields a consistantly strong Cambrian team. This isn't to say that we're a unit of ninjas, but the average skill level is a little higher than in a lot of other otcs I've seen personally. Not a knock, but personal observation. We also seem a little happier on the beer than other units i've noticed (OTC weekends like Lightning strike, Minley Maze and Utopian Vagabond spring to mind).
Pay issues are dealt with quickly, and there is minimal mess-about factor. <winge> Unless you push for something gucci like P-Coy, get the Colonel onside and then get told a couple of months later, after thrashing yourself silly, that you can't go anymore and you have to go to the factory instead. But for sane people it's great.</winge>
BUOTC seems to run a lot of these: 2 ski trips a year, one at Xmas and one at Easter (fully MTD paid) Numerous hill walking trips At least one "BIG" expedition. This year (2008) we're going to Sweden to penetrate a circle or something... But there have been trips to Vietnam before. As much sailing as you want. Mountain Weekends (Adv training with Mil skills thrown in, you better like CBRN)
On the whole, we are a good unit that I am pleased to belong to. We don't tend to so utter wankers (Oh shit it's me isn't it?) and produce some genuinely good blokes. There is no pressure to go reg/TA afterwards, but the best thing i've seen is that even to the guys who don't care, they'll still work for you and won't jack. That's fairly special.
1 BBear 2 GINandSHEARS 3 2Tall