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Joining the regular Army

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Whether it’s something you’ve always wanted to do or a career that you’ve recently become interested in, joining the regular army is a big step. Unlike other jobs, you don’t just work nine till five then come home and forget about work until the next day. However, an army career can be very rewarding and offer you training and experiences that you wouldn’t find elsewhere.

Can I join the army?

The army has certain requirements that you have to meet to be eligible to join. You must be between the ages of 16 and 33 and in good physical health. You must be a British citizen, or, if you’re from a Commonwealth country, have indefinite leave to remain in the UK or have lived here for at least five years before beginning the application process. There are no minimum qualifications required to become a soldier but if you’re interested in becoming an offer then you’ll need a minimum of five passes at GSCE (or equivalent) level at a grade C or above.

What will my role be?

The army has people working in over 200 different jobs so the role you play will depend on where your interests lie and what skills you possess. As well as the expected infantry soldier, sniper, health care and communications roles, the army also needs everything from management accountants through to musicians to plumbers and electricians.

How much will I be paid?

joining the regular armyThe basic rate of pay for regular soldiers is £275 per week during Phase One training, rising to at least £17,767 per year. The pay you take home will depend on your role within the army but as a general rule, you’ll receive around 14.5% more than a civilian doing a similar job. You’ll also be entitled to a daily allowance if you’re away from your base for over a week and you’ll get an extra £29.02 per day when deployed on operations. Other financial benefits include subsidised food and accommodation and 38 days paid leave each year. Your level of pay will increase throughout your army career.

How can I prepare to join the army?

While you don’t have to be amazingly fit to join up, you do need to have a good level of fitness. The army offers fitness training and facilities for recruits to use but increasing your overall fitness before your assessment will be beneficial.  It also pays to do your research. During the interview process, you’ll be asked which roles you’d like to be considered for. Being prepared and knowing what the roles you’re interested in will show enthusiasm and initiative.

What next?

The first step to joining the army is to visit an Army Careers Centre where you will be given an application form. You can also apply online but visiting an Army Careers Centre will give you the opportunity to chat about roles that interest you and ask any questions you may have. Once your form has been processed you’ll have to fill out a medical questionnaire then attend an interview. Presuming the interview goes well and both you and the army think you’ll fit in, you’ll be invited to spend two days at an Assessment Centre for a medical and to take part in tasks and exercises to assess your potential as a soldier or officer. On successful completion of this you’ll receive a confirmation letter and a date to start training. A Candidate Support Manager will be available to help and advise you throughout the process.

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About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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