Meet the troops
- Laura, Lance Corporal, Royal Signals
"I joined at 16 and went to the Army Foundation College in Harrogate to do my basic training (Phase 1). The chance to get qualifications was one of the main things that attracted me to Army life. If you're thinking about joining, I'd say just go for it - the Army is a fantastic career."
- Josh, Guardsman, Coldstream Guards (Infantry)
"I joined the Army after college to carry on with my passion - sport. In just three years, I've been skiing in France, bobsleighing in Austria and to the US where I competed against the US Army in long jump - and won. It was a good experience and great to bond with the lads - your mates will support you through anything."
If you are deployed on operations, you're normally away for six months, but you'll get extra time off when you get back on top of your annual leave. What's more, you'll earn extra cash while you're away.
MILITARY & TECHNICAL TRAINING
You'll start your career with Initial training (Phase 1), where you'll learn to be a soldier. After that you'll move on to learn the skills of your trade in your Phase 2 training.
If you're 16 or 17, you'll start your Army training at the Army Foundation College, Harrogate. You'll do your Phase 1 training here with other Junior Soldiers.
Adventurous training is great for working as a team as well as improving fitness. It includes activites like skiing, kayaking and mountaineering.
APPRENTICESHIPS & SKILLS
The Army has one of the largest apprenticeship programmes in the UK. There are around 18,000 soldiers working towards an apprenticeship and over 8,000 finish their apprenticeship every year. Your apprenticeship will be planned to fit around your military training and relate closely to your role.
All jobs in the Army fall into one of the following areas:
- HR, Finance & Support
- Intelligence, Communications & IT
- Logistics & Support
You'll join your unit as a Private. This might have a different name, depending on the Corps you join, e.g. Sapper in the Royal Engineers or Gunner in the Royal Artillery.
You'll earn promotions over time, rising to Lance Corporal after around 3 years, and Corporal after 5 years.
On top of challenge and adventure, competitive pay and plenty of travel, you'll get benefits including cheaper living costs, access to gym and sports facilities, free dental and medical care and a free pension.
You'll also be paid from the day you start training. You'll also get extra pay when you're away on operations.