Medical Support Officer

Job Description

As an RAF Medical Support Officer, you will provide essential Health Service Support to both the Royal Air Force Medical Services and the wider Defence Medical Services


  • Management of operations at a regional level
  • Medical logistics to sustain overseas deployments
  • Development of new medical capabilities and doctrine
  • Design and delivery of medical training for practitioners and HSS personnel

As an RAF Medical Support Officer, you are vital to the safe and effective delivery of healthcare throughout Defence, at home and overseas. You can be employed in any of the healthcare sectors, e.g. Primary or Secondary care. Equally, you may be in a role that has an overarching authority across several healthcare sectors.

Regardless of role, you will have an understanding of how healthcare services are developed and delivered, at all levels, within both the military and civilian environments.

Within the sectors themselves Medical Support Officers, as healthcare professionals, are expected to fulfil a wide variety of functions including: management of operations at a regional level; medical logistics to sustain overseas deployments; development of new medical capabilities and doctrine, as well as the design and delivery of medical training for practitioners and personnel.

While this list is not exhaustive, irrespective of your role you are vital to the safe and effective delivery of healthcare throughout Defence, at home and overseas.

Reflecting other Branches in the RAF, you will be expected to move jobs every few years. Each of these jobs is known as a ‘tour’. Most of your tours will be on RAF bases and Ministry of Defence sites within the UK. Additionally, there are some emerging opportunities to work overseas as you progress through the ranks. There are operational roles for Medical Support Officers with Medical Operational Force Elements and you can, therefore, expect to be deployed in the future.


Like all our officers, you will begin your RAF career with Initial Officer Training (IOT) at the RAF College Cranwell in Lincolnshire. You will follow a challenging 24-week course designed to develop your leadership and management skills. The course includes fitness development, military training and academic study as well as practical outdoor leadership challenges.


Phase 2 training for the RAF MSO (Mainstream)1 is through completion of the Initial Medical Support Officer Course (IMSOC) during the first year of your first tour as a junior officer. IMSOC is based initially at the Defence College of Healthcare Education and Training near Lichfield, with distributed learning placements at several other units. The course introduces the 5 pillars of the MSO Branch (Operations, Logistics, Training, Primary and Secondary Healthcare Management and Administration); it will provide you with an understanding of healthcare in its widest sense and how health services are provided in a military context. Over a period of approximately 10 weeks you will be detached to HQ Air Command, HQ Surgeon General and HQ Tactical Medical Wing (TMW). On completion of this course, various Phase 3 training courses will be provided to support your initial postings/roles.

Most personnel should expect to complete the Medical Readiness Training course provided by HQ TMW at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. Phase 2 and (initial) Phase 3 training will be completed over an 18-month period and will collectively provide a comprehensive introduction to RAF Medical Services and Defence Medical Services, as well starting to develop the knowledge and skills that you will require to enjoy a successful career as a MSO.


  • Be aged 17.5 – 47 years old (Must attest before 48th birthday)
  • Have GCSE at Grade C/4-5 or SCE Standard Grades at Grade 2/Scottish National 5 in English Language, Maths and three other subjects
  • Have at least 2 A2 Levels/3 Highers at Grade C or above (excluding General Studies or Critical Thinking) which must total a minimum of 64 UCAS points
  • Be a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, holder of dual UK/other nationality or have been a Commonwealth citizen since birth
  • Commit to a minimum 12 years service
  • Meet the health and fitness criteria
  • Pass the Airman Selection Test
  • Pass a General Fitness Test