Any candidate wishing to enter the Army will need to undergo an interview, assessment and training. Army soldiers and officers will have different entry criteria to fulfil. Should a candidate like to enter as a specialist or as a qualified officer there are also slightly different steps to follow. The Army has regular soldiers, officers, reserves soldiers and officers.
For entry level positions such as soldier the candidate must be 16 years of age up to 33 years, where the beginning of phase 1 training occurs before the 33rd birthday. Anyone who is not yet 18 will require a parental consent form.
Unless a candidate is hoping to enter for a technical position there are no education requirements.
The beginning of the medical process is a GP medical questionnaire. The GP will assess heart, lungs, fitness, and look for any pre-existing conditions that may not qualify a person for service. Asthma, heart disorders and other severe health problems will automatically disqualify a person from entering the Army as a soldier. Men and women can join the Army; however, be aware that infantry and a few other units are for men only.
Fitness testing is a two day process in which candidates will attend the Army Assessment Centre. Strength and stamina testing is completed during this time frame. There is a 1.5 mile run that is timed. The timing of the run is dependent on the position the candidate is trying to enter the Army for. The time range is 9 minutes and 45 seconds up to 14 minutes 30 seconds depending on position.
A static lifting test requires a person to lift 20 to 40 kg and put it on a surface 1.45 metres in height. The weight lift is also based on the job being applied for.
The Jerry can test requires two 20 kg of water containers to be carried between 30 and 120 metres in two minutes or less.
After training the fitness tests will be given again and the standards will need to be met. During the initial phase of application a trainee just needs to do the best they can to meet the requirements. It is assumed that a candidate after training will be in better physical shape to handle better times and proper weight. The tests are indications of whether a candidate can handle the necessary walking, running, and moving about with gear on, possibly dragging equipment too.
A part of the medical procedure is a psychological test. The exam looks at the mental health of the individual applying as a means of determining if there are any triggers or worries such as potential PTSD during service. This test is not exclusionary of service, but certain issues like depression may disqualify the candidate.
Nationality and Residency
Any soldier is going to need to be a British citizen, Commonwealth citizen, or living in a British overseas territory. During the application process any person trying to enlist must be in the UK for the previous five years and not be absent from the UK for more than six months. The same is true of Army reservists.
Rehabilitation of certain convictions is “spent” meaning a candidate must mention the issue, but it will not be a factor in the application process. Other convictions may be a deciding factor against the candidate. It depends on the offense, the time that has as passed and the job a candidate is applying for. One must be honest on the application and no situation that could be prosecuted later on should be ongoing.
Tattoos and Piercings
Piercings should be limited to those that will close up when left alone. In other words the holes will heal. All jewellery is to be removed before service begins as a means of protecting the candidate. It is possible for jewellery to be ripped out or off harming the person, thus as a safety precaution for candidates no piercings or jewellery. It can also be a health issue. Tattoos are not a reason for disqualification; however, no obscene, offensive, or excessive body art is allowed. All tattoos must be hidden under dress uniforms or they will need to be removed prior to enlisting. All tattoos must be declared.