make a real difference
make the step from
student to soldier...
It’s important to make the right choices when you leave university.
Becoming a British Army soldier gives you the chance to use what you
have learned and get the most out of life. It is one of the most exciting
jobs in the world and a great way to start your career.
The Army will invest in your training and broaden your horizons. It will
provide countless opportunities to use the skills and qualifications you
gained at university while helping you acquire new ones. It will push you
to your limits, but give you the space you need for family and friends.
If you crave responsibility at an early stage in your career, the Army will
encourage you to pursue your goals. If you want a secure job combined
with the chance to travel the world, the Army will let you have both.
This brochure will introduce you to one of the most exciting career paths
around. You’ll get to meet people just like you – university graduates who
have taken the step and never looked back. If you think you might have
what it takes to join the Army, then read on and find out more.
on the job
ife in the Territorials
Meet graduate soldiers who are
you know you can combine
reaping the rewards of Army life
The offer explained
All the perks and benefits of
a career in the Army
here do you want to be?
Find out about jobs in the
Army and where you’d fit in
Where in the world
Soldiers operate in more than
80 countries. Ready to travel?
Guide to Phase 1
What you can expect during
an Army training course
Sport is an important part of
route to a career as
Army life. Find out why...
Army life with a civilian career?
a soldier in the British Army
“the army will invest
in your training and
broaden your horizons”
“as a soldier
signaller ROYAL SIGNALS
Katie, 25, studied Public Services at Anglia
Ruskin University. She’d been thinking about a
career in the Army since she was a teenager but
always knew she wanted to go to university first.
Robert, 26, studied Computer Science and
Games Development at Hull University. He
joined the Army as a Communications Systems
Engineer in the Royal Signals in 2008.
Soldier careers offer a world of opportunities to university graduates.
Over the next eight pages you can meet graduate soldiers, and learn their
reasons for joining the Army and what they get out of life as a soldier
Why did you choose the Army as a career?
I didn’t want a job where I’d have to spend
eight hours a day staring at lines of code. It’s
hard to get a hands-on job in the civilian world
without work experience. The Army offered the
perfect option – a career where I can be an
engineer, fix computers and solve problems.
What are the best things about your role as a
Royal Signals soldier?
I’ve always loved building, fixing and taking
apart my own computers. I wanted a job where
I could use my skills directly, and that’s exactly
what I’ve got. It really suits me to be doing the
work on the ground and getting involved with
the technical side of things.
Do you get lots of on-the-job training?
You get the best training as soon as it is available.
If a radio network goes down I can fix it, and if
the Army builds a new camp out on operations
I can establish a network from scratch. I’ve also
just completed a course on how to set up and
fix fibre optics. The Army has even paid for my
driving license – things like that are great.
How do the skills you learned at university relate
to the job you’re doing now?
There’s quite a big crossover. The technical skills
are different but my experience of operating
programmes and networks has been very useful.
» Learn more at army.mod.uk/jobs
What job do you do?
I’m a Geographical Technician in the Royal
Engineers. I basically survey the ground on
operations to make maps and 3D computer
models. It’s my job to include information such
as the location of roadside bombs. It’s vital for
helping soldiers stay safe and helping officers
decide how to deploy their troops.
What made you decide to choose the role of
I wanted to take on a soldier role and get my
hands dirty learning the job inside out. I really
liked the idea of joining the Royal Engineers and
I was encouraged to go for one of the more
technical roles because of my level of education.
Do you get to use your university skills at all in
your day-to-day work?
The presentation and report writing skills that
I picked up at university have definitely helped
me already. I’ve just completed my first year of
training and my next Army qualification will
require a lot more report writing.
Are you enjoying your job?
Yes, I really enjoy it. I’m going to Afghanistan at
the end of the year and I’m hoping operations
will give me the best of both worlds – I’ll be
combining the soldiering side of the job with
an academic element. Hopefully my skills will
develop a lot while I’m out there.
life is just
What convinced you to join
the Territorial Army?
I was in the University Officer
Training Corps and loved
it, so I decided to join the
Territorials once I’d graduated.
Is it a big commitment?
Yes. You can’t just join the
Territorials as a hobby. A lot
of the guys from my training
corps joined the Regular Army,
but combining a military and
civilian career is fantastic.
Are your military and
teaching skills transferable?
Definitely. You have to be able
to argue a point and handle
information in both roles.
hen the Army goes on operations,
various elements of units get mixed
together into a ‘battlegroup’ for a fixed
period of time. This is known as a tour
n Operational tours are the ultimate test
of your skills as a soldier – and the
chance to put your training into practice
n Most operational tours last six months
n An intensive programme of operational
training prepares you in advance for
n Most tour bases give soldiers access to
email, satellite TV and DVDs. Friends
and family can write for free
n During a six-month operational tour you
get a two-week rest and recuperation
(R&R) break. On completing a tour you
will get up to 20 days’ additional leave
Sally studied Music and American Studies
at Keele University. She has been in the
Army for five years and plays the clarinet
in the Band of the Coldstream Guards.
Matt, 21, studied History and
Politics at the University of
East Anglia. He is a secondary
school history teacher and an
Infantryman in the Territorials.
corps of army music
When you study history you
have to be able to pick out
what is important from huge
volumes of information – and
that’s a vital skill in the Army.
What are your future plans?
I want to commission as a
Territorial officer. I recently
passed the selection board
and I’ll hopefully start my
officer training in July 2011.
I can’t wait!
When did you decide to join the Army?
Not until after I had graduated. I thought
about teaching at first but really wanted
to play in a band as part of my career – the
Army offered that. I’m also very sporty
and the Army provides brilliant sporting
opportunities, so it became more and more
appealing. I haven’t regretted it!
What’s the best thing about the job?
The opportunities – particularly to further
my career and travel. I’ve been to Estonia,
Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden and the
USA already. I also play hockey for the Corps
team and I’ve had trials for the Army team,
which is fantastic. I love what I do.
What other opportunities have you
The Army has sponsored me to do a Masters
degree in music at Goldsmiths College and
I did my Performance Diploma while
training with the Army. My musicianship
has progressed a lot because I’m playing all
the time – and I’m playing an incredibly
wide variety of music, which is really great.
Would you recommend joining the Army
as a soldier to other graduates?
Absolutely. I’ve done a diploma and Masters
since I joined, and am going to do a PhD,
all funded by the Army. They support you
brilliantly. If you like to travel, the chances
you get are second to none. It offers loads
of prospects for people who want to get on.
» Learn more at army.mod.uk/jobs
» Learn more at army.mod.uk/jobs
“I’ve done a diploma and
a masters, all funded
by the army”
MUSICIAN CORPS OF ARMY MUSIC
» Learn more at army.mod.uk/jobs
royal logistic corps
Adjutant general’s corps
Godlove was born and grew up in Cameroon.
He moved to England to study at the London
College of Accountancy and now puts his
university qualifications to use as an HR
Administrator in the Adjutant General’s Corps.
Did you decide to join the Army at university?
I wanted to join the Army as a youngster. When
I came to the UK, I investigated careers that
tied in with my skills and found that being
an HR Administrator allows me to combine
solidering with accountancy. It meant I could
use my education and fulfill my ambition of
being in the Army, and still have something to
fall back on if I ever went back to civvy street.
Do you use your university skills directly?
Yes, every day. I’m glad I’ve been able to make
the most of my education. It was a very tough
degree and I didn’t want to waste it. What I’ve
done is find the perfect balance between what
I have studied and the soldiering I love.
What’s the training like in the Army?
The support you get is incredible. At the moment
I am studying for another degree in Applied
Accountancy at Oxford Brookes University,
which is being funded by the Army. You just
don’t get these opportunities anywhere else.
So would you recommend a soldier role like
the one you’re doing to other graduates?
Absolutely. Very soon after you join you receive
training you’d never get in civvy street. I’m
learning quickly and getting lots of qualifications.
The travel opportunities are excellent too.
“I’m glad I’ve
been able to
make the most
of my education”
LANCE CORPORAL ADJUTANT GENERAL’S CORPS
Anthony, 29, studied Colour
Chemistry at Leeds University.
He joined the Army as an
Ammunition Technician and
has put his bomb disposal
skills to the test in Iraq.
Why did you decide to join up?
I didn’t join until I was 26. I’d
had enough of the Monday to
Friday, nine-to-five life. I went
to see what the Army could
offer me and it turned out to
be something very different!
Do you use your university
skills in your current role?
Well, they don’t teach bomb
disposal at university, but
my chemical background
definitely gave me a head
start in training. It helped
me understand all the
chemicals used in explosives
How do you see your career
Hopefully in the next 18
months I’ll be promoted to
Sergeant and qualify as an
EOD Operator, which means
I’ll be able to lead a bomb
disposal team. I’ll work in the
UK for a couple of years before
doing the High Threat
Operators course and using
what I’ve learned on operations.
queen alexandra’s royal
army nursing corps
Anita, 23, studied nursing at Birmingham
University. She thinks Army training and
experience puts her ahead of the game.
What does your job involve?
I’m at the Medical Assessment Unit at
Frimley working in triage. I prepare patients
for treatment and make sure they’re in a
stable condition. I enjoy it, but I’m looking
forward to doing it on operations even more.
What was the training like?
Amazing. I’m always being sent on courses
to upgrade my skills on areas like trauma
training – I have developed far more than
I would have as a civilian nurse. For example,
I do supernumery, which is where you’re
attached to a medical department as an
extra member of staff, working on the ward
and learning on the job. We get to do this
for three months, which gives us a great
chance to really learn from the experience.
What else do you like about the Army?
The range of opportunities. I’ve been to
Kenya, I’ve worked as a nurse in Vietnam
on an Army project, and I’ve done so much
adventure training – I’ve just come back
from skydiving in California. These kinds
of opportunities are what makes the Army
stand out. I think I must have recruited
about eight or nine other nurses to the
Army from my university already!
Sergeant Neil Brewster of the
Intelligence Corps studied
sociology and economics at
university before joining up as
a Military Intelligence Linguist
What’s the language training
like in the Army?
Very good – you spend 15
months learning a language
to degree level, then you go
on operations to use it. The
training is faster than when
I joined, with more financial
incentives to learn quickly.
What does your role involve
on a day-to-day basis?
I served on three tours as
a Military Intelligence
Linguist. Now I assess what
specialist training soldiers
need to do their jobs effectively
on operations. I’ve been
promoted to Sergeant and a
lot of my job is management.
I don’t mind that now I’m a
bit older, but as a 21-year-old
graduate I didn’t feel ready
for a management role.
Are there many graduates
in the Intelligence Corps?
Yes, the level of education is
very high. Whatever degree
you did, you can always find
something really challenging
in the Intelligence Corps.
“I’m way ahead of
where I’d have been
as a civilian nurse”
corporal queen alexandra’s
royal army nursing corps
» Learn more at army.mod.uk/jobs
it for me?
the perks of
Good pay, great benefits and unbeatable career development
– you’re on to a good thing when you join the British Army
You could get paid a one-off
lump sum, known in the
Army as a ‘Golden Hello’, if
you join the Regular Army
with certain qualifications.
The amounts on offer vary
from £1250 to £4500 – the
exact figure you are eligible
to receive will depend on the
type and level of qualification
you have. Not a bad start to
Whether you want to apply the skills you learned at university in your
job or master something completely different, the Army’s competitive
pay and benefits package will support you through your Army career
Being a soldier is much more than
just a job. With all the opportunities
for worldwide travel and leadership
development, the Army is the
perfect place for graduates to
use their qualifications to build
a rewarding career.
But life in the Army is not
just about excitement and
adventure, it has many practical
benefits too. With competitive
pay and a level of career
development that goes far
beyond what most civilian
employers offer, the Army will
help you achieve your goals –
whatever they might be.
“My main aim was to find a
career that allowed me to use my
engineering degree in a hands-
on role from day one,” says Corporal Lewis
Lloyd, an Electronics Technician in the Royal
Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. “My
job is extremely varied – I’m putting my
skills to use on all kinds of equipment.”
Lewis has discovered that a degree can offer
surprising benefits to those thinking of a
career as a soldier. “The knowledge I picked
up at university helped me fast track through
my trade training” he says. “I was promoted
to Corporal earlier than normal, and so was
given a better salary and more responsibility.
There are Army roles that will suit everyone,
no matter what degree you did. I would
encourage anyone to give it a go.”
Take a look at the benefits on offer for
soldiers (right) to see how you could make
your degree work harder for you.
In the Army you can gain
in areas such as healthcare,
and human resources.
Many of these are accredited
by professional bodies such
as the Chartered Management
Institute, and are widely
recognised by employers
in the civilian job market.
You will also be issued with
a Personal Development
Record when you join, which
allows you to map your career
progress against your own
Soldiers receive a competitive
benefits package that includes
and food, on-site sports and
entertainment facilities, free
medical and dental care,
discounted rail travel and
subsidised crèche and nursery
facilities on most bases.
Your wellbeing is important
to the Army. You’ll be looked
after with regular medical
examinations and fitness
tests. Army doctors and
dentists are always on hand
and you won’t pay for any
treatment you receive. If your
family are living with you
abroad, they will enjoy the
same healthcare entitlements.
Soldiers get 38 days of paid
leave a year – more than
most civilian companies
offer. You might have to work
on some Bank Holidays but
your evenings and weekends
are usually free. Operational
tours can last six months.
You are flown home for two
weeks during your tour and
given extra leave when it ends.
There are more than 140 jobs
on offer in the Army, from
engineering and cryptography
to overseas liaison and
Many of these roles offer a
fast track through the ranks,
meaning increased pay and
responsibility come sooner
for those prepared to put in
the extra effort that such
The Army offers all kinds of
financial support to its Regular
soldiers. With allowances that
cover everything from travel to
work to subsidies that recognise
the dangers of serving on
operations, and even interest
free loans to help you buy
your own property, there are
plenty of benefits available.
Soldiers in the Regular
Army also benefit from a final
salary pension scheme as long
as they have served for a
minimum of two years. Those
who serve for over 18 years
can qualify for a tax-free lump
sum from the age of 40.
From jungles to plains, mountains to oceans,
soldiers do their fair share of foreign travel
Have boots, will travel – that’s
certainly true of life in the Army.
Whether fighting wars or keeping
the peace, British soldiers are
active in more than 80 different
countries across the globe.
You might find yourself in the
heat of a battle in Afghanistan,
or in the midst of a monsoon
delivering aid to locals. You could
be drinking out of a coconut in
the jungle, trekking high in the
Himalayan mountains or diving
deep in the ocean.
Canada is home to British
Army Training Unit Suffield
(BATUS). It’s equal in size to
all the Army’s training areas
in Europe put together, and
every year 7000 soldiers travel
to Canada to train. Huge-scale
exercises take place here over
a number of weeks.
Miles from home: 4100
The British Army runs an
annual exchange programme
with the Jamaican Defence
Force. A unit of British troops
goes out to the Caribbean
for six weeks to take part in
a jungle training exercise,
while a company of Jamaican
soldiers trains in the UK.
Miles from home: 4500
British Army Training Support
Unit Belize (BATSUB) is a
permanent training unit in
this small Central American
country. Soldiers come here
to practise jungle warfare,
learning to dodge bullets as
well as deadly spiders in the
Miles from home: 5000
Ever since the Falklands War
in 1982 the Army has kept
a garrison on the Islands to
deter anyone who might think
of invading again. British
soldiers are also stationed
in other areas of the South
Atlantic, including South
Georgia and Ascension Island.
Miles from home: 7950
The Army’s International
Military Assistance Training
Team (IMATT (SL)) in Sierra
Leone has been helping the
government of this troubled
West African country to build
and train an effective and
disciplined army so it can take
care of its own security.
Miles from home: 3150
Soldiers work here as part of
the British Peace Support
Team, providing peacekeeping,
training and humanitarian aid.
Three Infantry battalions also
come to the British Army
Training Unit Kenya (BATUK)
each year in preparation for
deployment to Afghanistan.
Miles from home: 4350
The Army has two bases on
the Mediterranean island
of Cyprus. They are British
sovereign territory, support a
number of units and provide
a stepping stone for Britain
to the Middle East. There are
also British soldiers working in
Cyprus for the United Nations.
Miles from home: 2200
This tiny state on the jungle
island of Borneo in the South
China Sea hosts an Army
garrison of Infantry soldiers,
who are there at the request of
the Sultan of Brunei. Training
Team Brunei is also based
here, teaching soldiers the
art of jungle warfare.
Miles from home: 7100
British Army presence on ‘The
Rock’, the peninsula attached
to the south coast of Spain,
takes the form of the Royal
Gibraltar Regiment, an Infantry
unit made up of locals, run by
members of the British Armed
Forces. Army units also visit
the colony to train.
Miles from home: 1235
The largest number of the
Army’s overseas soldiers is
based in Germany. The British
Army has been there since the
end of WWII in case the Soviet
Union attacked. Now that
threat has disappeared but
some 18,000 British troops
still live and work there.
Miles from home: 540
British soldiers have been
deployed on Operation Telic
from the start of the Allied
invasion in 2003. Only a small
number are still there, some
in the capital, Baghdad,
providing training to Iraqi
soldiers and police officers
as part of a NATO task force.
Miles from home: 2730
The Army has been fighting
in Afghanistan since 2001
as part of the International
Security Assistance Force
(ISAF). The main aim is to
provide a secure environment
in which the Afghanistan
government can begin to
reconstruct the country.
Miles from home: 3600
Your first taste of military
overseas travel could come just
months into your Army career.
After completing Phase 1 and 2
training (see page 32) you will join
your unit, which could mean a
posting to Germany or Cyprus.
As your career progresses you
will have the chance to travel to
many more countries through
operations, exercises and expeditions.
Take a look at this map to find
out just a few of the places the
Army is active in the world today.
from page 9
life in the field
corporal royal Logistic Corps
What’s it like doing
your job on ops?
Working in bomb
disposal in Iraq could
get pretty nervy. For
the operator, the
for actually diffusing
the bomb, the nerves
must have been 100
How many people
were in your team?
There were four of
us. We all got on
really well because
we worked in a small,
close-knit team in
No-one got called ‘Sir’
– we were all on first
What’s the best bit
about Army life?
The variety and travel.
I’ve been skiing in
Germany and I’m
hoping to go to the
in Belize soon. You
really can see the
world in the Army –
there’s a lot on offer.
room for improvement
Royal armoured corps
Karl has spent several operational tours
commanding nimble reconnaissance
vehicles in Iraq. When he’s not on Army
duty, he gets his adrenaline fix by pushing
himself to the limit on a mountain bike.
Keeping in shape is an essential part of being a soldier.
With all the sports on offer it’s also a perk of the job
What’s the appeal of mountain biking?
I used to run for the Army, but had to stop
because of injury. When I recovered, I started
riding to keep fit. I used to run 100 miles a
week and when I stopped, it left a void. I’m
now training hard again and pushing myself,
which is great, and the Army encourages me
to keep at it. It’s a serious thrill, especially
when you’re speeding down narrow, twisty
tracks, and trying to ignore the steep dropoffs on either side.
Have you entered any competitions?
A few. I’ve taken part in the TransWales race.
It’s about 60 miles a day for seven days.
What’s being a tank commander like?
You have to use your initiative, especially
when you are on a reconnaissance mission.
You might be in a small tank behind enemy
lines and you have to use your own skills and
seize chances. Any information you pass back
can make a big difference to a lot of people.
nly do this if you
have a beam above
head height that can
hold your weight
n Hang from the beam
with your arms
n Pull up until your
chin clears the beam
n Lower yourself
n Do as many as you
can in one minute
There will be times in every soldier’s career
when they are asked to perform tasks in very
difficult conditions and to a challenging
deadline. If they haven’t toughened up their
mind and body to operate under stress then
they might not be able to get the job done.
Being fit helps prepare the body to cope
with these stresses better.
But Army fitness is not just about obstacle
courses and endless marches. Participating
in sport promotes teamwork and tactical
awareness. It is actively encouraged and
supported, regardless of whether soldiers
are playing for fun or aspiring to represent
their country at the Olympics one day.
The Army also has access to worldwide
facilities for extreme sports including
climbing, white-water rafting, skiing and
caving. This kind of training – known in the
Army as adventurous training – is good for
developing fitness, courage and endurance.
The risky nature of these sports also
means leadership and risk assessment skills
are developed and tested in a challenging
environment, giving soldiers the qualities
and determination they need to succeed.
There’s a lot to take in during the first few weeks of
Army training, so you should aim to be at the front of
the pack when it comes to fitness.
That doesn’t mean you’ll have to shell out for a gym
membership though. You can improve your strength
and fitness with a few half-hour sessions a week – and
most of it can be done in the comfort of your bedroom…
Did you Know?
TO pass army selection you’ll
need to complete a 1.5-mile run
1 warm up and down
Jog on the spot for several minutes, then give
your muscles a good stretch. Cool down with
some light jogging and stretching.
3 Triceps dips
ith your arms
and legs straight,
rest your hands
behind you on a
n Lower your body
until you arms
are bent at 90°
n Push yourself back
up until you reach
the start position
n Do as many as you
can in one minute
back straight and
your feet shoulderwidth apart
n Bend at the knees
until they reach
a 90° angle
n Raise yourself back
to the start, making
sure you keep your
n Do as many as you
can in one minute
hands shoulderwidth apart
n Bend your elbows
to lower your body
until your chest
is just one inch
off the floor
n Push yourself
back up to the
n Do as many as you
can in one minute
L ie on a soft surface
with your knees
bent at a 90° angle
n Secure your feet
under a fixed object
n Raise your body in a
slow and controlled
movement to 45°
n Lower yourself back
to the floor in a
n Do as many as you
can in one minute
pay and benefits
You are paid for all the time you spend
at your Territorial unit. The daily rate is
equivalent to that received by a Regular
soldier of the same rank and experience
and in a comparable role. To find out what
you could earn as a Territorial soldier visit
Every year when you satisfy the minimum
annual training requirement (19 days in a
National unit and 27 days in a Regional
unit) and pass the relevant training tests
you receive a tax-free lump sum known as
a bounty. Find out what bounty you could
receive at army.mod.uk/pay
Travel to and from training and meals
taken while you’re on duty are subsidised
by the Army. Your uniform and any other
essential items of kit are provided free.
Take advantage of the best bits of Army life in your spare time
If you’re unsure about joining the Army fulltime, becoming a Territorial soldier could be a
great way to expand your horizons and develop
the skills you learned at university. Training
takes place in your spare time so it works in
tandem with your other career. What’s more,
you’ll get paid to develop skills that are valued
in business and can make your CV really stand
out from the crowd.
The Territorials make up a quarter of the Army’s
total strength and play a key role, providing
some 40,000 highly trained personnel ready to
deploy in support of their Regular colleagues
on exercises and operations overseas.
“I joined the Territorials because I wanted
to concentrate on my teaching career but I was
really interested in the Army too,” says Private
Matt Blayney (see page 6). “Combining them
is fantastic. I’ve got a tour of Cyprus coming
up and I’ll be going to Afghanistan after that.
It just shows all the options you can choose in
the Army – there’s something for everybody.”
If you deploy on operations and your
civilian salary is higher than your Army pay,
you can claim the difference in pay up to a
certain amount. You can also claim for the
cost of replacing certain benefits that your
employer provides while you’re away, such
as health insurance or school fees.
If you are deployed on
operations, your job is
protected under The
Employment) Act 1985.
Under this Act, employers
are guilty of an offence
if they terminate your
employment solely or
mainly because of your
liability to be called up
for military service.
For more go to army.mod.uk/territorial
From Intelligence Operative to Postal Courier Operator, the
range of soldier roles on offer gives you a world of opportunity
There are more than 140 jobs in the Army,
grouped into categories by the skills needed
and their specific roles on the battlefield.
To work safely and effectively, all units,
known as corps, must pull together. Be they
Infantry soldiers, engineers, drivers or dog
handlers, everyone has a key role to play and
all must combine to get the job done.
Over the next 12 pages you can find out
more about the different parts of the Army,
how they fit together, and which part might
suit you best. You can also find out about
the wide range of opportunities on offer.
p21 Royal Artillery
p22 Household Cavalry/
Royal Armoured Corps
p23 Royal Engineers
p24 Royal Logistic Corps
p25 Royal Signals
p26 Royal Electrical and
p27 Army Air Corps
p28 Army Medical Services
p30 Intelligence Corps
p31 Adjutant General’s Corps
infantry soldiers give the Army its
strength on the ground. Whether
engaging insurgents in close combat
or helping local communities, they
use their training and expertise where it matters
most – at the heart of the action.
Accounting for a quarter of the Army’s total
strength, the Infantry is split into regiments,
each with a strong identity based on its history
and traditions. There are four roles (below),
as well as The Parachute Regiment and Royal
Gurkha Rifles who operate in the Air Assault
role and Light role respectively. Some
regiments may also have a ceremonial role.
The soldiers of the Royal
Artillery operate the Army’s big
guns. From surveillance experts
operating on the front line with
the latest combat equipment to soldiers with
rocket systems that can clear kilometres of
ground in an instant, the Gunners’ job is to
find targets and destroy them.
There are five main roles covered by the
Royal Artillery’s regiments. Each has a different
part to play on the battlefield. Soldiers in the
Artillery will have the opportunity to serve in
Light role infantry
Highly mobile and versatile, light role infantry
operate in a wide range of environments, from
mountains to urban areas.
“I’m a Weapon Locating Radar Operator on
the MAMBA and COBRA vehicles,” says
Lance Bombardier Nikki Halliday. “I use
detection systems to track down enemy
missiles.” Nikki, 24, did a degree in Sports
Studies and Physical Education, and decided
the Army was for her after she graduated.
“I’ve risen through the ranks and now,
after three years, I’m about to get my next
promotion to Bombardier. That can take
some people six or seven years,” she says.
With a range of over 70km, the Multiple Launch
Tasked with protecting ground units
and important locations such as bridges and
headquarters, the air defence regiments are
equipped with surface-to-air missile systems
that can bring down enemy aircraft.
The Royal Artillery has its own mounted unit,
the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, which
is based in London. Its guns are used to fire
salutes and, along with its distinctive black
horses, the Troop plays a key part on many
As a vital part of the Army’s frontline team you’ll be involved in
everything from peacekeeping and
disaster relief to full-scale war.
You’ll spend your life in the thick of
the action as part of the Army’s elite
fighting force, combining bravery and
skill to face the enemy head-on. You’ll
The armoured infantry take and hold ground,
with the fast and heavily armed Warrior vehicles.
Equipped with the hard-hitting AS90 selfpropelled gun or the highly mobile 105mm light
gun, the close support regiments work alongside
other combat units, using the force of their
firepower to knock enemy units out of action.
Royal Artillery surveillance units operate
sophisticated technology, including radar
and remotely controlled unmanned air vehicles
to track enemy artillery fire and locate targets.
One of the units works closely with Special
Forces on an operational basis.
Air Assault Infantry
Mechanised Infantry use armoured personnel
carriers to deliver them into action.
Rocket System uses powerful long-range rockets
and GPS technology to attack targets, such as
headquarters and fuel dumps, that are outside
the reach of conventional weaponry.
Using helicopters or aircraft to carry them
to key locations on the battlefield, air assault
infantry rely on speed and surprise.
different roles with different regiments during
learn essential soldiering skills such
as how to survive in all environments
and use a variety of weapons.
You’ll also develop first class
communication skills and can go
on to specialise in advanced combat
roles such as Sniper, Mortarman,
Combat Medic or Infantry Commando.
For more go to army.mod.uk/infantry
For more go to army.mod.uk/artillery
The Household Cavalry and
the Royal Armoured Corps
present a potent combination
of mobility and firepower.
Soldiers in the Household Cavalry belong to
either The Life Guards or The Blues and Royals.
They can also opt to serve in the Household
Cavalry Mounted Regiment, which performs
ceremonial duties on state occasions. They are
trained fighters and also deploy on operations.
The Royal Armoured Corps uses powerful
tanks to find enemy positions and destroy their
armour. It offers soldiers a choice of combat,
reconnaissance and CBRN roles (see panel,
right) in the thick of the action.
This involves gathering information on enemy
movements using stealth equipment.
Armoured regiments use the Challenger 2
main battle tank to overwhelm enemy units.
As a CBRN Specialist, you’ll play a key part
in keeping soldiers safe from chemical,
biological, radiological and nuclear threats.
Your job is to check for hazardous and
lethal materials in areas where soldiers are
operating, using hi-tech detection equipment.
Specially sealed suits and air-tight vehicles
will keep you safe. During training you will
be introduced to the science behind the
detection and containment of hazardous
materials, as well as learning how to
decontaminate your vehicles and kit.
The detection and decontamination of chemical,
biological, radiological and nuclear materials.
In conflict or in peacetime, the Corps
of Royal Engineers rises to some of
the toughest challenges that military
life can present. Their role is to
provide engineering support, enabling other
units to get on with their jobs.
From clearing a path through a minefield
to providing clean water for an African village,
the Corps carries out a huge range of tasks.
With specialist skills specific to their roles
as well as the combat engineering expertise
needed on the battlefield, its soldiers are
resourceful and versatile. Over the course
of a career, they can train for several of the
following specialist roles:
Provide support to armoured infantry or tank units.
Help clear obstacles and provide fresh water.
airborne and commando
Work closely with Paras and Commandos.
AIR assault Engineers
Parachute-trained to work with and support
the Air Assault Brigade.
bomb disposal engineers
Safely dispose of unexploded enemy munitions.
Give geographic support and terrain analysis.
air support engineers
Help units to cross rivers using amphibious rigs.
Repair airfields and maintain operations.
royal engineer divers
Perform underwater construction and demolition.
Provide engineering support for Special Forces.
The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
parades during state occasions.
If it’s an academically challenging
job you’re after you should think
about becoming a Geographic
Technician. The job is incredibly
demanding – you need to pass
a five-day aptitude test to even
be considered for this role.
Geo Techs use cutting-edge
IT systems and technology to
For more go to army.mod.uk/armoured
For more go to army.mod.uk/royalengineers
compile, prepare and manage
geographic data and conduct
You need technical and
mathematical aptitude to perform
this job. Further into your career
you can specialise and may be
able to take courses that can count
towards another degree.
In the operational arena, intelligence is
passed from the front line to decisionmakers, orders are issued to combat
units, targets are identified and soldiers
communicate with each other. All of these
processes rely on the Royal Corps of Signals.
It’s their job to ensure that vital information
can be exchanged quickly and securely.
The challenge of providing safe, reliable
communications under difficult conditions
means the Army’s signalling specialists have to
stay on top of cutting-edge technology. Soldiers
in the Royal Signals are fully trained to set
up and run communications networks from
scratch and have the skills needed to repair
all sorts of components, from cabling to
generators. They’re always learning new skills
to keep up with the latest battlefield equipment.
The RLC is responsible for
keeping the Army equipped and
fed wherever it operates. It is the
most diverse corps in the Army
and offers the largest range of jobs. There are
five main roles within the Corps:
Transport and distribution
Transport units deal with the movement of food
and equipment to anyone who needs them.
With its own fleet of vessels, the RLC also handles
cargo in areas without proper port facilities.
The RLC manages and stores critical supplies like
fuel, food and ammunition.
RLC Chefs provide nutritious meals for Army units
by managing and preparing food.
There are many of these, ranging from bomb
disposal to running the Army’s postal service.
As an explosives expert you’ll handle, test
and dispose of bullets and bombs, ensuring
the safety of British troops in combat.
You will be trained to test, repair and safely
store everything from ammunition clips for
assault rifles to anti-aircraft missile systems.
Disposal of ammunition, including guided
weapons is also a major part of your role.
During training you will study the science
behind all the Army’s ammunition, and later
in your career you could work as part of
a bomb disposal team.
Your job is to eavesdrop on the enemy,
finding and blocking their messages with
the latest hi-tech digital equipment.
Elite training will unravel the science of
electronic warfare and teach you to intercept
a range of battlefield signals and messages.
You’ll learn about radio waves, satellite
technology, advanced computer skills and
how to use various antennae and devices in
order to carry out highly sensitive work such
as intercepting enemy messages.
For more go to army.mod.uk/rlc
For more go to army.mod.uk/signals
have to stay on top
air corps (aac)
The Army Air Corps is one of the
smallest combat arms in the Army,
but its fleet of helicopters makes it
one of the most potent. Providing
firepower from the skies, it has a unique role
to play on the modern battlefield.
With its Apache attack helicopters, the
corps delivers hard-hitting support to ground
forces on operations. Equipped with anti-tank
missiles, rockets and a fearsome gun, the
Apache is able to take on enemy tanks with
speed and precision.
The Royal Electrical and Mechanical
Engineers are responsible for the
maintenance and repair of all Army
equipment, from 9mm pistols to
Challenger 2 tanks. REME’s expert technicians
have the skills needed to fix equipment and get
it back to the soldiers who need it.
Many REME units operate close to the front
line, where the demands on equipment and the
need to keep it serviceable are at their most
intense. Known as 1st Line Units or Light Aid
Detachments, they work alongside other units
carrying out basic repairs to their vehicles and
weaponry, as well as offering engineering advice.
These are backed by 2nd Line Units, or
REME battalions, who have the means to make
more complex repairs and provide in-depth
equipment support further from the front line.
As every deployable unit in the Army has its
own REME support team, REME soldiers can
also serve with units such as The Parachute
Regiment and The Commandos.
The fast and agile Lynx helicopter moves
ahead of the main force, locating enemy
positions and relaying information about
potential hazards back to the commanders.
The Corps also airlifts soldiers and supplies
into locations unobtainable by ground vehicles.
It is also instrumental in evacuating casualties,
which makes it vital in humanitarian
operations as well as on the battlefield.
Every helicopter is backed by groundcrew
who are skilled in all aspects of preparing these
machines for operations, from loading the
armament to maintaining the airframe and
managing the on-board electronics systems.
Both in the air and on the ground, the
opportunities offered by the Army Air Corps
are as varied as its role.
As part of your career you can apply for
pilot selection. Those who are accepted
and pass the training provide support for
combat troops by tackling enemy targets,
airlifting troops or evacuating casualties.
Soldiers can transfer from other corps
in the Army to become helicopter pilots.
Receiving some of the best flying training
in the world, you will be well placed to take
on new challenges as a pilot, which might
even include two-year exchange tours with
other countries’ armed forces.
Your specialist skills, required to service
some of the Army’s most advanced kit,
will be in constant demand on the
battlefield. You will become familiar with
engineering and electronics workshops,
and learn how to repair combat systems,
optronics and guided missile launchers.
Training covers the repair of electronic
systems and standard engineering practice.
You can also pick up professional trade
qualifications, which can open up fantastic
job opportunities in the Army and beyond.
“the arMy air corps
has a unique
role to play
on the modern
For more go to army.mod.uk/reme
For more go to army.mod.uk/aviation
The royal army
medical corps ( ramc )
From first aid on the front line to
physiotherapy for sports injuries, the
Royal Army Medical Corps provides
first-class healthcare for every soldier
and officer in the Army.
In the UK, the Corps works closely with
the NHS, ensuring that its staff keep up with
the latest medical practice and get the chance
to train for further medical qualifications, right
up to and including postgraduate level.
Whenever the Army deploys on operations
overseas, RAMC soldiers go with them to
provide high-quality medical care where it’s
needed most. It also has a humanitarian role
to play and often gives life-saving medical
aid to civilian populations in areas where
the Army is operating.
There are three types of medical unit:
These units provide care for all injuries. Large
and complex, they are rarely moved and provide
an NHS standard of healthcare in the field.
Veterinary Corps ( ravc )
These provide medical support to front-line
units, treating casualties or arranging their
evacuation to more specialised facilities.
surveillance for disease and biological attacks)
and medical intelligence.
The RAVC deploys on operations to look
after the Army’s animals, but also to advise
commanders on the best means of employing
them. They also have a humanitarian role to
play, providing veterinary care to animals
owned by civilians in areas of conflict. Military
Working Dogs play a vital role in a conflict
zone, detecting and apprehending intruders
as well as searching for hidden arms and
explosives. It’s the job of the RAVC’s Dog
Handlers to shape their behaviour and
maintain their wellbeing in order to get the
best out of them.
These treat a wide range of injuries in large-scale
medical facilities further from the front line.
The RAVC deals with every aspect of
animal use within the military. Small
and highly specialised, the Corps sees
its people travelling all over the world.
Veterinary soldiers apply their expertise in
the defence context. This may be the clinical
care of military working animals (horses and
dogs), veterinary public health (such as
Registered Nurse (Adult Health)
Registered nurses provide both
general and specialist healthcare to
soldiers and civilians. You could be
working in modern UK hospitals or
in the more challenging conditions
of a field hospital. Wherever you are,
you will be providing the backbone of
the Army’s medical expertise – caring
for patients in physically and
emotionally demanding situations.
Professional Development courses
will allow you to gain qualifications
up to Masters degree level. Your
first posting after training will be
to a hospital or primary care facility
in the UK or overseas.
Dental Corps ( radc )
The RADC takes care of the Army’s
dental health. Along with the other
members of the Army Medical
Services, its specialists help to ensure
that soldiers are fit and able to carry out duties.
Dental Nurses operate from within a
network of medical centres across the world.
Treatment is carried out in large, multi-chair
practices. When units deploy overseas on
exercises and operations, Dental Nurses
become part of small, mobile surgeries within
larger field medical units.
All the costs of dental treatment are met by
the Army and are based on clinical need. Dental
Nurses and Dental Hygienists therefore get the
chance to deliver top quality patient care and
develop a full range of professional skills.
Queen Alexandra’s Royal
Army Nursing Corps ( QARANC )
Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army
Nursing Corps provides the Army
Medical Services with their nursing
expertise. Home to over 800 fully
qualified professionals, the Corps helps to
deliver a high standard of Army healthcare.
Members of the Corps work in service
hospital units, which are attached to NHS
hospitals, or in medical centres in the UK and
overseas. When the Army deploys on operations,
nursing personnel work in field hospitals or in
For more go to army.mod.uk/ams
medical regiments. As well as supporting the
Army in Afghanistan, QARANC nurses are
often deployed to play important humanitarian
roles in other areas of conflict, such as Rwanda
and Angola. Their job there is to care for local
populations who have fallen victim to famine
or natural disaster.
Professional development is one of
QARANC’s highest priorities. It funds study
days for its nurses so that they can gain
second qualifications via specialist courses
such as in intensive care and A&E. Nurses
can also boost their academic prospects with
a range of postgraduate qualifications.
“soldiers in the ams
provide high quality
medical care where
it’s needed most”
The Intelligence Corps gathers vital
information on the enemy and prevents
hostile groups from gathering their
own information about the Army.
One in three soldiers is a graduate, and the
nature of the work means plenty of chances
to learn foreign languages. There are two core
disciplines. Operator Military Intelligence
involves gathering information on the enemy
using images from spy planes, intercepted
radio signals and even tip-offs from locals.
Military Intelligence Linguists, meanwhile,
process intercepted communications and
advise commanders on the cultural sensitivities
of the country in which they are stationed.
There are four further specialist areas:
Human Intelligence analyst
Processes information gathered from refugees,
civilians and prisoners of war.
weapons Intelligence analyst
Studies enemy weapons to find out how they
are likely to be used and how to defeat them.
counter intelligence operator
Keeps troops safe from hostile forces by
identifying and reacting to security threats.
Intelligence Corps soldiers must be selfmotivated decision makers. One in three
is a university graduate. They often work on
a strategic level, delving into the political
and economic patterns of war torn areas,
and can find themselves briefing high
ranking officials and politicians with
sensitive information early on in their
careers. Military Intelligence Linguists get
the opportunity to learn additional foreign
languages to degree level in just 15 months.
The Adjutant General’s Corps has
two branches open to soldiers. Both
have very different roles, but what
they do have in common is that
they both deal with the Army’s most important
asset – its people. Many soldiers in the AGC are
graduates and some have relevant professional
experience. The Corps gives them the chance
to develop new skills and apply existing ones
in a practical context.
Staff and Personnel
Support Branch (SPS)
IMagery intelligence analyst
Interprets imagery from a wide variety
of sources, including satellites and
Every unit in the Army has its team of SPS
specialists, making this branch the largest
in the Corps. Their role is to look after all the
documentation, pay and financial records
of the unit they are attached to.
Royal Military Police (RMP)
The RMP provides the Army with policing
wherever it operates. This can involve general
duties such as law enforcement and accident
investigation, as well as more specific duties
on operations, including liaison with host
nations or securing supply routes.
As an HR Administrator you will be a highly
trained soldier giving essential financial
and administrative support to soldiers
serving at home and abroad.
This job will certainly not see you chained
to a desk – you will be attached to a different
part of the Army every two years and travel
wherever your unit goes. This means that
HR Administrators work alongside and learn
from a huge variety of people. The role offers
great variety and a real chance to develop
your professional skills.
For more go to army.mod.uk/intelligence
For more go to army.mod.uk/agc
With a bit of grit and determination, you’ll learn
everything you need to be one of the Army’s finest.
Here’s a week-by-week guide to Phase 1 training...
This is where it all begins. Induction week
starts with Attestation, which is a formal
ceremony for new recruits joining the Army.
Everyone then receives their uniform and kit,
as well as getting a haircut and undergoing
a medical. Then comes the first overnight
training session – Exercise Icebreaker.
If you pass selection, the Army’s military training
course turns you into a fully-fledged soldier
radiological and nuclear
(CBRN) defence training.
Recruits must also pass
a swimming test and
do their first live firing
of an assault rifle.
Before anyone can become a soldier in the
British Army, they must pass Phase 1 training.
Once you’re selected, the Army’s 14-week
course prepares you for the challenges you
will face in your military career.
“Phase 1 was exactly how I’d imagined it,”
says graduate nurse Corporal Anita Cserbakoi.
“I’d always wanted to join the Army and I
wasn’t disappointed. It was hard work but
I loved it – meeting so many people from
different backgrounds was brilliant.”
mastering military skills
Recruits are taught all the skills they need
to survive outdoors – everything from
concealment, first aid and map reading
to observation and defence measures.
“The military skills training was awesome.
By the end of the course I really felt like a
soldier and was incredibly proud of what I had
achieved,” says Anita. “My personal standards
had risen enormously just because of what I’d
learned and what the Army expected of me.”
A good level of fitness is really
important during Phase 1 – all soldiers
run, swim, do gym work and tackle
obstacle courses (see page 17).
“I found it physically difficult,
especially at the start of training,” admits
Anita. “I had to do extra fitness lessons
in the first few weeks, but the instructors
were really supportive and gave me all
the help and guidance I needed – they
certainly brought me up to speed.”
Exercise Halfway involves three
nights in the field. Prior to the
exercise soldiers-undertraining will take the
tough military skills
The five-night Exercise Final
Fling takes place during this
week. This is the new recruits’
last field exercise, where
everyone gets the chance to
put all that they have learned
begin learning about the
importance of teamwork.
They also take part in
Exercise First Night,
which involves sleeping
outside for two nights.
Bayonet fighting and longrange firing. The Annual
Personal Weapons Test
involves firing at targets from
several positions. Those who
pass are qualified to use the
SA80 assault rifle.
A two-and-a-half-day livefiring period in the field. This
involves soldiers-undertraining moving tactically
across the training ground
shooting at a series of targets
to simulate battle situations.
For more information go to army.mod.uk/training
Physical training (PT) begins:
gym, swimming, running.
Recruits get their first
taste of military skills –
weapons handling, drill,
first aid, map reading
and survival training.
exercises and military
prepare for a major
will take place in
More military skills tuition.
This includes further fieldcraft
skills, such as learning
how to build a camp
and how to use camouflage
inspected on the drill square.
If they pass they can wear the
cap badge of their regiment.
Visits to the barracks take
place, followed by a family
day and a weekend off.
Training moves to the Soldier
Development Wing in Wales.
This week is designed to build
teamwork skills and initiative,
and to instil soldier ethics.
Exercises include caving,
climbing and kayaking.
Passing Out. Recruits celebrate
becoming soldiers –
new skills by
front of family
Fieldcraft training in
preparation for the final
also visit their
they will do
Phase 2 training.
then PHASE 2
Soldiers get a
period of leave
before they begin
trade training – this
is known as Phase 2.
A soldier’s job can be
demanding but it’s
vital they maintain
high standards of
behaviour at all times
The Army is about
teamwork. Teams can
only work if everyone
puts the mission before
their own needs.
There is no place for
discrimination in the
British Army. Everyone
must treat others as
they wish to be treated.
Soldiers must support
each other, never
letting their teammates down, even
when the going
Soldiers must always
be sincere, reliable and
selfless. They must
never lie, cheat or steal.
This means doing
things properly and
setting an example
so everyone can be
confident that orders
will be carried out to
the best of your ability.
Soldiers should know
the right thing to do in
any situation that may
arise, and must be brave
enough to do it – even
if it means putting
themselves in danger.
how to BECOME A SOLDIER
Do you want to know more about the benefits of life as a British Army soldier? Whether you’d
like to apply or you just need a little more information, these are the next steps you need to take
It doesn’t matter if you want to join the fulltime Regular Army or serve with the Territorials
in your spare time, your first point of contact
will be an Army Careers Adviser.
If you’re not already in touch with an Army
Careers Adviser visit army.mod.uk/contactus
or call 0845 600 8080 to find your nearest Army
Careers Information Office. The soldiers and
officers working there all have years of
experience in the Army, so they will understand
your concerns and will answer any questions
you may have.
In the meantime, take a look at the routes
to becoming a serving member of the Army.
If, during the process, you decide you want to
join later or need more time to think about it,
you can take time out before training begins,
restart the process later, or pull out altogether.
Join as a Regular Soldier
After thinking about why
you want to join the Army
and doing some research,
visit a local Army Careers
Information Office. There an
Army Careers Adviser will talk
you through the different
options. Ask about trying an
Insight Course to experience
a few days of Army life.
sit an INITIAL
You will have an
interview and take
some basic tests at the
careers office to see
which area of the Army you
are best suited to. Once you
have completed them your
Careers Adviser will go
through your options and
discuss your next steps.
Join as a territorial Soldier
After thinking about
why you want to join
the Army and doing some
research, visit your local
Army Careers Information
Office. There an experienced
Army Careers Adviser will be
able to answer any questions
you have and arrange a visit
to a Territorial unit.
You will have an
interview and take
some basic tests at the
careers office to see
which area of the Army you
are best suited to. Once you
have completed them your
Careers Adviser will go
through your options and
discuss your next steps.
The two-day course at
an Army Development
and Selection Centre
(ADSC) includes fitness
and team problem solving tests.
These help us to see if you are
suited to Army life. If you don’t
meet the required standards,
you may have the chance to
retake the tests.
You’ll then be invited
to attend a Recruit
Selection Course (RSC)
where you’ll take mental
and physical tests. These will
help us to see if you are suited
to Army life. If you pass the
tests you will be formally
enlisted into the Army and
begin your training.
If you successfully
pass ADSC you will
be invited to start
your Army training.
Phase 1 is a 14-week military
skills course (see page 32),
while Phase 2 training
teaches you everything
you need to do the specific
role you have chosen.
Your training is
divided into three
modules spread over a
number of weekends,
and some weekday evenings
if you join a Regional unit.
Some of it will be taught
at your unit, and some at
one of the Army’s Regional
For more go to army.mod.uk/contactus
Army Life It offers more than meets the eye
As a soldier you’ll receive an incredible package
of benefits to help you make the most of
your time in the Army. When the time comes
to leave, you’ll have the qualifications and
practical experience to assist you with
whatever career you choose in civilian life.
What you can expect
n A huge range of jobs and trades
n Free vocational training and qualifications
n An opportunity to get fit, and stay fit
n The chance to take part in different sports
n A competitive salary
n 38 days’ holiday a year (inc Bank Holidays)
n Subsidised living expenses
n Opportunities to travel
n Time off to spend with family and friends
n An active social life and new friends
n Good quality food and accommodation
n Unrivalled leadership experience
Want to find out more?
If you want to experience Army life, but you’re
not quite ready to join, try an Insight Course.
They give you the opportunity to meet serving
soldiers and find out more about what they
do. Your local Army Careers Information
Office will have details of when they take place.
graduate soldier • Make a real difference
0845 600 8080
RG/BRO/110 August 2010
Produced for the Ministry of Defence by Army Recruiting Group
Crown Copyright August 2010
The British Army
the principle of equality of
opportunity in employment.
We are opposed to all forms of
unlawful discrimination on the
grounds of race, colour, ethnic
background, gender, marital
status, sexual orientation,
disability, religious belief
or age. We are committed,
wherever practicable, to
recruiting and maintaining
a workforce which broadly
reflects the UK population
we serve. We have a strict
code of conduct that ensures
zero tolerance of bullying,
harassment, discrimination and
victimisation on any grounds