Is The British Army Right For Me?

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already been considering joining the British army.

But what are the key things you need to think about before making the decision and committing yourself to life in the armed forces?

Are you thinking about the army in terms of a career or as a job? Do you recognise the challenges and benefits of life in the forces? Do you know what it takes to the difference between regular and territorial?

The British Army prides itself on ‘being the best’.

It demands high standards from all recruits and has an international reputation of excellence.

The recruitment processes of the army reflect these high standards and as such all applicants are required to go through a detailed recruitment process.

Before you apply, you should think about whether you want to join as an infantry soldier or as a territorial soldier.

You can join the Territorial Army from the age of 17 and you will be paid to participate in training in your spare time.

The benefit of this is that you can combine being in the TA with a civilian life, although it is possible that you could be called to serve overseas as a TA.

This part-time experience of army life can also stand you in good stead if you later want to apply to become a regular soldier.

Joining as ‘a regular’ means joining the Army as a full-time soldier. This means you will be paid full-time, receive a pension, and may go on tour overseas for up to six months at a time.

There are two levels at which you can join as a regular - these are Soldier and Officer.

To join at Officer level there are stricter and more demanding age and educational requirements.

There are varied roles within the army that can play to each applicant’s strengths.

There are options from engineering and logistics through to medical and musical.

It is important to research the many roles thoroughly as you will be asked about your preferences and strengths when you apply.

Remember that army life can be very tough.

There may be periods of heavy work, hazardous situations and you can be away from family and friends for periods of up to six months at a time.

That said, the vast majority of recruits enjoy life in the army and the chance to learn great skills and defend their country.

There are great benefits to joining the army apart from the many rewards and decent rate of pay as compared to most jobs, such as free sport facilities, subsidised accommodation and the opportunity to travel.

There are also medical care subsidies and travel discounts available to soldiers and a minimum of 38 days annual leave. 

What is clear is that army life is no walk in the park, but the many benefits the armed forces offer to recruits makes joining up a great option for many young people who desire to learn new skills and progress through the ranks on a promising career path.