Members of the British Army are elite, professional and incredibly talented. With all this being said, the competition to join the British Army is tougher than ever before, and you will need to be extremely competent to gain a place in Britain’s elite military force. In this blog, we’ll show you what army eligibility criteria you need to meet to get in, and earn your place at the top military table.
British Army Eligibility: Age Requirements
In order to join the army as a regular soldier, there are several army eligibility age requirements that you first must meet:
- You must be 16 years of age or older to sign up to the Army as a soldier. In order to start the application process at all, you must be at least 15 years and 7 months old. Applicants who are under the age of 18 will need to gain parental consent to join.
- You must be entered into Phase 1 training before you turn 33 years old.
In order to join the army as an officer, the age requirements are slightly different:
- You must be between 18 and 29 years old in order to apply to become an officer. However, for specialist roles you may need to be older. If you are over the age of 30 then you will not be automatically ruled out, but it is worth discussing with the army prior to application to discover whether you are eligible.
- In order to enter Welbeck training college, you must be between the ages of 15 years and 6 months, and 17 years and 6 months.
British Army Nationality Requirements
In order to join the Army, you must meet the following nationality requirements:
- You must be a British Citizen, a British subject under the Nationality Act of 1981, or a British Protected person.
- You can also apply if you are an Irish Citizen.
- Commonwealth citizens don’t need to have UK residency, but there are a limited number of spaces available. You must have a passport that is valid for at least 2 years, from the start of your time in the Army.
- Refugees or asylum seekers are not eligible to join the Army
British Army Fitness Requirements
In order to join the Army, you will need to have a good level of fitness. You won’t be expected to demonstrate Olympic levels of fitness, but of course it’s really important. When you join the Army, you’ll have to pass a fitness test. If you are a soldier then this will include strength and stamina assessments, plus running and lifting.
Officer Fitness Requirements
In order to join the Army as an officer there are four army eligibility tests that you’ll have to take. These tests are as follows:
The Bleep Test
The Bleep Test requires candidates to run between two lines, in time with a bleeping sound. The bleeps get faster as time progresses. When you can no longer keep in time with the bleeps, the test will be over.
- Male candidates will need to reach a level of 10.2
- Female candidates will need to reach a level of 8.1
- You must be able to perform 50 sit ups in two minutes.
- Male candidates will need to perform 44 press ups in two minutes.
- Female candidates will need to perform 21 press ups in two minutes.
Candidates will need to go on a 1.5 mile run. Male candidates will need to complete this in 10 minutes and 30 seconds. Female candidates will need to complete this in 12 minutes and 45 seconds.
When joining the Army, your BMI matters. You will need to meet the following criteria:
- If you are over the age of 18 then you must have a BMI of between 18 and 28.
- If you are under the age of 18 then you must have a BMI of 17 and 27.
British Army Educational Requirements
In order to join the British Army as a solider, you will not need educational qualifications. However, more technical roles will require some qualifications. If you are aiming to join as an officer then the same applies – unless you are applying as a Professionally Qualified Officer, in which case you’d need to demonstrate educational qualifications in the sector you’re applying to.
The Army and Criminal Convictions
The Army is naturally strict on the criminal record of their candidates, but having a criminal conviction will not completely disqualify you from the process. The type of offence you committed will be considered, along with the time when it was committed. There are some offences which will completely disqualify you from entering the Army.
The Army and Tattoos
The Army have various policies surrounding tattoos, and do allow tattoos, just as long as they aren’t:
- On the face, throat or the front of a candidate’s ears.
- Offensive or inflammatory.
- Any piercings which cannot be removed will also be a barrier to entry.