Author Topic: Joining UK Armed Forces  (Read 93507 times)

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Offline JWHarrison

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Re: Joining UK Armed Forces
« Reply #25 on: December 27, 2004, 23:28:51 »
sorry for not making use of the search, I had to break into this board with some sort of Topic, to introduce myself and get direct answers to my questions provided the veteran members here didn't mind answering them.


I was just asking cause I'M seriously interested in this, I am a history buff in a big way and I want to do something differant.
I would never in a million years give up my Canadian Citizenship cause simply put this is home, But getting away for a while and doing something unique with my life doesn't sound like such a bad option. As I already stated I have for ever since I was little been fascinated with the prospect of going to England.

I was also referring to going over as a Non Commissioned member, I have my High School Grades but No Post Secondary or University to speak of.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2004, 00:12:02 by Johnny_H »

Offline Canuck_25(Banned)

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Re: Joining UK Armed Forces
« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2004, 00:19:09 »
sorry for not making use of the search, I had to break into this board with some sort of Topic, to introduce myself and get direct answers to my questions provided the veteran members here didn't mind answering them.


I was just asking cause I'M seriously interested in this, I am a history buff in a big way and I want to do something differant.
I would never in a million years give up my Canadian Citizenship cause simply put this is home, But getting away for a while and doing something unique with my life doesn't sound like such a bad option. As I already stated I have for ever since I was little been fascinated with the prospect of going to England.

I was also referring to going over as a Non Commissioned member, I have my High School Grades but No Post Secondary or University to speak of.


 Well then, if your not going for officer status, it wont be 8 months. The 8 month example was Piemans. He had the ambition to join as an ifantry officer, but was turned down becuase of his age (he was 27)

Offline JWHarrison

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Re: Joining UK Armed Forces
« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2004, 00:22:01 »
I also have a close friend over there who can Vouch or "Sponsor me" i could even crash there a few days long enough to get my own place. Does this make any difference IE increase my chances or no difference at all?

Offline Canuck_25(Banned)

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Re: Joining UK Armed Forces
« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2004, 00:54:02 »
I also have a close friend over there who can Vouch or "Sponsor me" i could even crash there a few days long enough to get my own place. Does this make any difference IE increase my chances or no difference at all?

 Im pretty sure it does. I too have many relatives across Britain, and I considered living with them while going to a British UNI.

Offline Pieman

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Re: Joining UK Armed Forces
« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2004, 04:29:59 »
Johnny_H,

I recently returned from the UK after making a Officer application, which unfortunately was not successful. Too old to make the cut for Officer.

If you are interested in joining as a NCM, the process is a little different, and the chances you will be turned away are a lot lower.   I can probably help out with info on several aspects of getting yourself over there and set up. If you are planning on living in London, I got lots of advice for you.

Like the others mentioned, the first thing you must realise is that there is a strong 2 year residence requirement. You will not be able to apply to the forces over there until you satisfy that. This is a new policy they implemented while I was over there. So that is 2 years of doing what? Can you study over there? Are you willing to wait that long?

How old are you? Age is a very important issue there, if you are going to be over 25 by the time you have lived there for 2 years then it could be a serious obstacle.

Not to discourage you, but that is the reality. Really, I was so impressed with all the Army members I met over there, and it really does look like a great place to work. Lots of opportunity. But also a very different philosophy on how to do things that I found strange. They are, after all, British.  

If your reasons for going are because you don't want to wait until your CF application comes through, then think about why you want to do this some more. Yes, the UK is a pretty cool place to live, but do you really want to stay there for that long? It is different. It can be a difficult country to be in. It is very expensive! Just be sure you understand all the implications it will have on your life, good and bad.

I don't consider the time I put into my British application to be a waste of time at all. It took about 8 months, but I was in the UK for only about a month before I faced the selection board. I got to live in London, and have a wonderful time.   I did met some tremendous people there. Most importantly I learned a great deal about myself.

Mind you, if I had to live there for 2 years just to apply, I would not have done it. I am, after all, old. ;)

If you understand the risks/implications, and you feel this is your calling, then go for it.

Feel free to PM me of you have questions.

Pieman

« Last Edit: December 28, 2004, 04:37:39 by Pieman »
Graffiti in regimental toilet stalls: The official guide to troop moral....apparently.

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Offline CheersShag

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Re: Joining UK Armed Forces
« Reply #30 on: December 28, 2004, 23:40:58 »
My advice is to think about this decision a hell of a lot.
Britain is a pain in the arse, but that's what makes the Brits unique..they all seem to hate it, but that's worked into the good humor and dry evil sarcastic wit. At the same time they're quite cheery despite living in..well...England.
One thing I've noticed is that the English adapt quite well to other countries, but people rarely fully adapt to living in Britain.

I'd reccomend a long vacation there first too, one where you're not a "tourist" and have to ride the rail at 0530 to make to work in London for 8 because you couldn't find an apartment in London and have to live in Plymouth...just an example sorry.

My first vacation there was as a "tourist" and I've now been back 10 times (For varying lengths, at the expense of schoolwork no less) and I've found my rose coloured view of the majestic Isles have become tainted somewhat since my first trip. This was after living there as a young child for about 5 years, Englands changed even since then however.

I still maintain that the closest I've ever been to heaven was sitting on a Canal in Lichfield with a huge plate of Fish n' Chips, a Boddingtons and the most attractive young Englishwoman I've ever met laughing at my "wonderful Canadian Accent"

At the very least, don't go there without having at least taken a 2 week tourist junket to London...that's normally enough to discourage most but on the off chance you're a complete sadist try Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham see if you can make out a scouse accent, travel to London and try and understand a cockney then head south and see if you can "'ear wot et es they're troiying to sey" that's actually the funnest thing I've done yet.
Put a scouse, a cockney, a welshman, a scotsman, An Irishman, and a southern fairy in a room together and you really appreciate how painfully wierd and different England is.

I also notice you're from Halifax, North America's tailpipe, oi, me too. You'll find that England in general...pretty much looks like Nova Scotia..with more people....more lanes on the motorways (not more motorways however) and a lot of fat people and smokers (word of advice folks if you're trying to get your puffing under control, England is not the place to be)

Anyhow, my time spent in England is fairly extensive given my age and the fact that I live in Halifax. I have an address in Lichfield, UK however and maintain a passport and a Social Insurance diddy there too. So, if you're looking for advice you've got myself and Pieman for the "canadians lost in the UK" perspective as well as a few others around here who are transplanted from the UK to here, or still live there and long to enjoy our Frigid Water, Snow, Praries and...uh..Toronto.

I think the overall message is "The grass is not greener" it's actually sort of..sooty, but there are benefits, but it's best you know about all the negatives before you figure out the positives.

Ah that glass gets more empty everyday.

Sorry for the tangent folks, I just felt like being nostalgic for a moment.


Offline JWHarrison

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Re: Joining UK Armed Forces
« Reply #31 on: December 29, 2004, 07:44:25 »
^^ I loved reading that whole thing man, Except for Northamericas Tailpipe. I happen to think Halifax is a beautifull city and a wonderfull place to live.

Offline CheersShag

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Re: Joining UK Armed Forces
« Reply #32 on: December 29, 2004, 08:36:17 »
Yeah, self-deprecating humour is going to be something you'll have to adjust to as well.

Offline JWHarrison

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Re: Joining UK Armed Forces
« Reply #33 on: December 29, 2004, 10:36:48 »
One thing I think all Canadians are familiar with is the sense of humor to poke fun at ourselves.
I read what you said the top paragraph about England to a very close friend I would be there with when I go, and she said "Sooo true"
concerning this

Britain is a pain in the arse, but that's what makes the Brits unique..they all seem to hate it, but that's worked into the good humor and dry evil sarcastic wit. At the same time they're quite cheery despite living in..well...England.
One thing I've noticed is that the English adapt quite well to other countries, but people rarely fully adapt to living in Britain.

I'd reccomend a long vacation there first too, one where you're not a "tourist" and have to ride the rail at 0530 to make to work in London for 8 because you couldn't find an apartment in London and have to live in Plymouth...just an example sorry.


Point of this is, Army or not I am going to England and I originally planned to go there as a Civilian, But I thought maybe the army would be a good way to go there should i decide to stay much for the same reasons the army is a good option here, as its a stable secure and although the pay is less its still pretty good once you get going. I was thinkin of it in terms as a "Job" if I decided to stay there, But its not looking like its as easy as the UK Army recruiter told me it was.

So Ill shelf the army Prospect and work on getting enough money together to go there for a extended stay.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2004, 10:41:02 by Johnny_H »

Offline Towards_the_gap

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Re: Joining UK Armed Forces
« Reply #34 on: February 23, 2005, 17:16:03 »
Do it! join the british army, don't worry about being an officer, chances are that unless you join a corps or a relatively low profile county regt or the RTR (the peoples cavalry) you'll find the mess and subsequent lifestyle a bit, snooty. IMHO anyways. I joined 4 years ago and never looked back. seen a hell of a lot of the world, gotten recognised civvy qualfications out the wazoo, get paid to keep very fit, and every day is something different. beats a grey lifeless cubicle any day.

And if you do want to see england and experience life in england, the army is definitely one way of doing it, plus seeing alot of the world you wouldn't see with the CF (Cyprus, Falklands, Gibraltar, Iraq, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Brunei, Germany, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi, umm Alberta!).

Yes, the food is not like a canadian cookhouse, but it all depends on where you're posted. The pay is actually quite good, comparable to the CF, however the cost of living is greater.

Anyways, good luck with the joining up, if you do go for it that is.

oh and you'll probably get tired quickly of the rip-off that civvy street is over here, ie the cost of living. All I have to worry about as a single soldier is getting up on time and doing my job properly each day, what to do on the weekends, and where in the world I'll be going this year. Simplistic view? maybe, but it's certainly fun while you're young.

oh and Canuck_25, although the budget is being 'cut' so to speak, the biggest place the cuts are being felt is in the infantry, most other regiments/corps are expanding, for example, the sappers (my chosen vocation) are getting a new regiment, plus about 3-4 new close support squadrons, plus a new EOD squadron and geo tech unit.

Pm me or feel free to ask here any other questions you may have for someone serving at the moment.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2005, 17:34:18 by Towards_the_gap »

Offline big bad john (John Hill)

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Re: Joining UK Armed Forces
« Reply #35 on: February 24, 2005, 14:22:25 »
DON'T DO IT!!!!!!

That being said, please consider joining the Royal Marines.   We truly are the Elite.   The best people doing an amazing job.   Joining the Corps is like joining a family, the people that you meet, and even those you don't meet will always be there for you.   just ask around the forum.   Che and Marine837M can vouch for this.

Good luck!

Offline Jascar

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Re: Joining UK Armed Forces
« Reply #36 on: February 24, 2005, 22:47:55 »
DON'T DO IT!!!!!!

That being said, please consider joining the Royal Marines.   We truly are the Elite.   The best people doing an amazing job.   Joining the Corps is like joining a family, the people that you meet, and even those you don't meet will always be there for you.   just ask around the forum.   Che and Marine837M can vouch for this.

Good luck!

The variety of trades and qualifications available is what I like about the army. Elite or no, I can walk out of the army and into a decent job. I don't know much about the Marines, so what sort of civilian qualifications can someone get with them?

Offline big bad john (John Hill)

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Re: Joining UK Armed Forces
« Reply #37 on: February 24, 2005, 23:12:33 »
If you are talking about joining the British Army for 5 years to get a trade, stay in Canada and do it here.  Serve your country.  You will have some difficulty not going into Combat Arms in the UK.

Offline Morgs

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Re: Joining UK Armed Forces
« Reply #38 on: February 24, 2005, 23:32:01 »
I still maintain that the closest I've ever been to heaven was sitting on a Canal in Lichfield with a huge plate of Fish n' Chips, a Boddingtons and the most attractive young Englishwoman I've ever met laughing at my "wonderful Canadian Accent"

Don't listen to him, Lichfield is a sh*thole   :dontpanic:. I used to live in Whittington 3 miles outside of Lichfield and my dad lives there (sort of). It's an evil place and it's getting worse! Going to be there next week, lets hope I come back alive (ok not quite that bad). The only good thing about it is that it is probably the only place in the whole of the UK to have mini golf, that is if you count concrete slabs as putting greens. The Cathederal is a sight to behold though.

I'm sure it wasn't the city or the can of Boddies that made is heaven though  ;)
Cheers,
Morgs
I reject your reality and substitute my own.

Offline ReadyAyeReady

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Re: Joining UK Armed Forces
« Reply #39 on: February 25, 2005, 02:02:39 »
I'm no expert on the Brit Arny, but I did live in the UK for 2 years when I did my Master's and as the others on this board have said, its a huge adjustment...the England that we are often shown on TV and what not forms a very small part of the real UK...there is alot they don't show us...its not all that its cracked up to be...that being said, I loved my 2 years over there and am now a certified Anglophile (I should be committed)...

I would love to go back there and recently tried for an Officer Commission...that didn't work out too well in the end because even having had my 2 years residency (2001-2003...not that long ago), they still wanted me to spend some more time there...so remember that the 2 years requirement is an absolute minimum...you could be waiting for up to 5 years as stated by the MOD...anyway, thats for Officer's so I don't know if its different for NCM's...even then, I was pretty well established in the UK (Bank Accounts, NHS registry, Voting Registry, Permanent Address for 2 years, University, Uncle living in Leeds etc.) and that still wasn't enough...its a shame, I would have loved to go back there...but I'm 26 and so time is a huge factor, as Pieman indicated, the older you are the tougher it is on the RCB...at 26 I don't have the time to wait and it would be too much of a gamble when there are no guarantees...

All I am saying is that be forewarned that you could be waiting for a while...if you're young and willing to wait then sure...but if you're keen on getting going right away then don't be dissapointed when the Queen tells you that you have to live in Bally-go-Backward, UK for 2 years before you can enlist...

Also remember that you're dealing with an overseas application...even with the CF's slow-*** recuriting process you could be waiting just as long or even longer with the UK app...I didn't even get over there and I spent easily 5 months getting all the forms filled out and sent away...there are loads of forms!...and then they have to do background investigation as well...so it might just take as long as the CF and there is just as much red tape...your medical forms could get sent back for clarification due to something as minor as a previous ankle sprain...its just common sense that when you are dealing with this from across the Atlantic its going to take much longer!  And this is all before you even get over there for interviews and stuff...

From my experience my advice is to seriously consider it because you could be waiting longer then you think and with all its recuriting faults, the CF is really no different or less efficient then the Brits...just because they send you your info forms in 4 days doesn't mean the process will be any quicker...Royal Mail has always kicked *** anyway!

I'm no expert, but from what I see of the CF, they have just as much tradition and just as much great history as the Brits...maybe not as long of a history but still packed with great stories and traditions...alot of them taken diredtly from the CF's British heritage...that's just my though on that issue...

Anyway with that, a few things I remeber about the UK:

1-In the grocery store...the furits and veg take up half an aisle while the chocolate and crisps occupy 3 aisles...and the frozen fried foods take up another 2 aisles...
2-Most public spaces seem to double as general garbage dumping grounds...especially along the rail lines...I've seen full sofas thrown down the side of the train tracks...
3-Recycling...what's that?
4-London-Absurdly expensive
5-Pair of Levis in Canada-50 Dollars/Pair of Levis in England-50 Quid

Every Brit I know who lives in Canada thought I was crazy for wanting to move to the UK...they all say they will never go back there to live...

Great place to visit...being a Canadian in London is loads of fun...but not so great place to live in my mind...

Cheers...sorry for the long rant!


"He who dies with the most toys, still dies." (No Fear T-Shirt)

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Offline Jascar

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Re: Joining UK Armed Forces
« Reply #40 on: February 25, 2005, 02:56:46 »
I got my application forms a couple of weeks ago and I'm almost ready to send them off. I'm guessing officer applications take longer than NCM. The NCM application is 7 pages, easily filled out in an hour, then there's a medical questionnaire to be filled out by your doctor, 2 reference letters, police record check....can't remember what I'm missing.

From what I've heard from other Canadians who've joined the British army, the application process takes about a year to a year and a half between sending in the application and starting training. That's quicker than here in Canada.

Offline Jascar

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Re: Joining UK Armed Forces
« Reply #41 on: February 25, 2005, 02:58:52 »
If you are talking about joining the British Army for 5 years to get a trade, stay in Canada and do it here.   Serve your country.   You will have some difficulty not going into Combat Arms in the UK.

I've heard anyone who shows any intelligence whatsoever is steered away from the combat arms, particularly infantry.

Offline ReadyAyeReady

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Re: Joining UK Armed Forces
« Reply #42 on: February 25, 2005, 03:05:50 »
Jascar:

"From what I've heard from other Canadians who've joined the British army, the application process takes about a year to a year and a half between sending in the application and starting training. That's quicker than here in Canada."

That may be so...but I'm assuming they joined when the 2-5 year residency requirement was not enforced as you said that they are already serving...as of Jan 2005 they have changed that...or so I ws told by the Overseas Application Office...they are now enforcing the residency requirement...just ask pieman, he squeaked by cause he was already over there...I was told that my 2 years wasn't enough...etc etc

That's just my experience anyway...
"He who dies with the most toys, still dies." (No Fear T-Shirt)

"University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small." (Henry Kissinger)

Offline Jascar

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Re: Joining UK Armed Forces
« Reply #43 on: February 25, 2005, 03:25:57 »
I know the 2 year residency requirement is now being enforced, but is that for NCM's too or just officers? Nobody seems to know for sure. It sounds like the residency requirement is looked at on a case by case basis, so I'm just going to take my chances. I'd imagine I won't have as much trouble with it as you and Pieman did since I'm only going for NCM.

Offline ReadyAyeReady

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Re: Joining UK Armed Forces
« Reply #44 on: February 25, 2005, 03:30:32 »
I agree.

I'm not trying to rain on your parade...or discourage you...I think they will probably take NCM's more readily...I'm just warning you...don't be surprised if they tell you that yoiu have to live there for 2 years...it sucks, but things have changed since 9-11 I think...they are more concerned about the security issue...
"He who dies with the most toys, still dies." (No Fear T-Shirt)

"University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small." (Henry Kissinger)

Offline Towards_the_gap

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Re: Joining UK Armed Forces
« Reply #45 on: February 25, 2005, 08:47:18 »
I personally have no idea about this 2 year residency requirement, however I can see it being more applicable to those applying to sandhurst then us common scum!

As to how long it took to process my application, I made it clear when I first walked in to the careers office in Wembley, London that I was on 'borrowed time' financially (quite literally, I was living off savings, credit cards and whatever cash-in-hand work I could find) and needed to start earning a decent wage as soon as possible. They really helped me out, after first contact at the careers office in february, I was on the train to bassingbourne for basic training in may. The longest part of the application was the letter from the canadian embassy stating I had no 'military commitments' ie was awol from the CF, in canada.

However, I joined in 2001 so the residency rules may indeed have changed.

This is the official line at the moment:

www.army.mod.uk

I am a Commonwealth citizen but have never lived in the UK. Can I join?
 
 Citizens of Commonwealth countries and the Republic of Ireland can apply to join, but certain jobs may not be available.   If you would like more info, we suggest you email the Overseas Cell at aa.overseasrecruiting@recruitinggroup.mod.uk

If you have not found the answer you are looking for why not log into the Online Office?   This is the Army Online Careers Office.   You can log in to the chat room and talk with a serving British Army Soldier.   The office is open Mon to Fri 1200-2200hrs and Sun 1200-2000hrs.   Click on the link below.


When I joined, the 'certain jobs' were in sensitive posts such as the Intelligence Corps.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2005, 08:57:13 by Towards_the_gap »

Offline big bad john (John Hill)

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Re: Joining UK Armed Forces
« Reply #46 on: February 25, 2005, 09:05:04 »
I've heard anyone who shows any intelligence whatsoever is steered away from the combat arms, particularly infantry.
Not if you are not from the UK.  They are not hard up for recruits over there.  Remember, they are not mandated to accept you.

Offline Towards_the_gap

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Re: Joining UK Armed Forces
« Reply #47 on: February 25, 2005, 09:17:28 »
I dare say you're not steered in any particular direction. Having said that, if you score very high on the BARB test (british army recruit battery, a basic test of cognizance and verbal acuity) yet are adamant you want to join as an RLC Pioneer, they may try and dissuade you, but at the end of the day the choice is yours (unless this nasty residence requirement pops its head up of course).

Offline CheersShag

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Re: Joining UK Armed Forces
« Reply #48 on: February 25, 2005, 10:47:39 »
Got another big fat package from the AFCO today.

Complete with "The Globe and Laurel"
"An Insight into operational capability" of 3 Commando
A copy of the rehabilitation of offenders act.
A very comprehensive practice book for the navy selection process.
Potential recruit fitness schedule (about 3 different copies of this)
And what I think is referred to as "The Green bible"...it's like a study guide.



I need to get a confirmation of non-liability for military service with the CF, does anyone know the procedure for doing this?
Starting over again is not easy.

Offline big bad john (John Hill)

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Re: Joining UK Armed Forces
« Reply #49 on: February 25, 2005, 10:54:36 »
Be prepared an the history of the Corps, all the VCs and Hannah Snell, ect..  BTW I'll be in Halifax on my honeymoon I found out last night, lol.  I'll buy you a beer or three.