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How to Join the Army in the UK

Updated on April 25, 2012

Who is Eligible to Join the British Army?

Citizenship - British citizens, citizens of the Irish Republic, citizens of Commonwealth countries such as; Kiribati, Mauritius, Cameroon and Canada and citizens of British Overseas Territories such as; Bermuda, Gibraltar, Falkland Islands and Montserrat can all join the army.

Age - the age range for joining the army as a private is 16 – 32 years 11 months old on the day you are enlisted. To join as an officer you must be 18-26 years old.

Gender - men and women are eligibile, but women can't join the Household Cavalry, Infantry or Royal Armoured Corps.

Qualifications - There are no minimum entry requirements for entry to the army as a private, but you do need to be literate and numerate enough to pass the entrance tests.

Soldiers On Parade Through Town
Soldiers On Parade Through Town | Source

The Procedure for Joining the Army

1. Research the options available to you in the army on line, for more information you can call 0845 600 8080, visit your nearest army careers office or chat live with their on line office.

Jobs and Roles within the Army

There are over 220 roles within the army. You will receive specialist training for whichever role you are assigned and will have the opportunity to achieve nationally recognised qualifications.

Roles in the army include: Horse mounted musician, military police bodyguard, combat engineer, dental hygienist, unmanned aircraft operator, webmaster, weapons specialist adviser, counterintelligence operative and plumber.

3. Attend a meeting at your local armed forces careers office to discuss options and complete the army entrance test. This will give you the opportunity to ask questions about what joining the army entails and to find out which roles within the army are most suitable for you.

4. If successful at stage two, you will be invited to a selection course for two days. This rigorous process involves a medical, fitness tests and physical assessment, further entrance tests and an interview.

5. If you are applying to be a soldier, If you complete this successfully you will be given a grade and should discuss the result with an army careers officer. You will also get a date to start initial training which is likely to be several months ahead rather than immediately. If you are applying to be an officer if you complete this successfully you will be invited for a three day selection course.

6. Officers only - if you succeed at the second selection course you will be offered a place at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst.

Sponsorship Opportunities with the Army

There are various opportunities to get sponsorship from the British Army to study A levels, music or a degree, whereby you get financial support for your studies . You need to pass army selection tests to get sponsorship. Once you have finished your degree you are expected to serve as a soldier for at three to six years depending on your degree.

If you get support for A level study you will be offered a provisional place at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.

Sponsorship Opportunities with the Army

Alternatively there are 19 University Officer Training Corps, including Exeter, Manchester and Salford, Aberdeen and London. Each corps only serves specific universities, so if you are interested in joining you must select a university which is linked to a crops; for example Aberdeen Corps is linked to the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University.

You can join these in your first year at university via the recruiting stands at 'Fresher's Fairs' and get paid for the days you train and serve which are usually during weekends and holidays. There is no requirement to join the army once you have left university.

Join the army and you might find yourself doing some off-road driving
Join the army and you might find yourself doing some off-road driving | Source

Preparation for Applying to the Army

Interviews –dress smartly, be enthusiastic and honest and make sure you have done some research so that you can show you understand the options and have questions prepared about anything you don’t understand or need to know more about.

Fitness – you may need to do some training to get up to the level of fitness needed to join the army. This should involve running, increasing your stamina and weight bearing exercises. The army website has a program of suggested exercises as well as advice on nutrition to help you achieve this.

Tests – you will be tested on a variety of skills including literacy, memory and reasoning. You can practice for these tests online

Civilian Jobs with the Army

There are plenty of jobs whereby you can work alongside the army, enabling it to run smoothly, without being a serving soldier. These come under the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and you can find what jobs are available and apply via their website. There are opportunities for people with a wide range of qualifications from school leavers with GCSE's to graduates.


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    • profile image

      world please 

      4 years ago

      Can indian woman join the army

    • Nettlemere profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      Thank you for such a generous comment Jasmin, it's really made my day!

    • JasminRace profile image


      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Just had a brief look over your hubs you are my new HUBPAGE idol! Your fantastic. WOW. Your writing is incredible and very informative. I hope to pick up a lot of pointers from your hubs. Thanks


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