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Thinking About Joining The Army


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#1 Mini Cheddars

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 10:36 AM

Some kind of driving career is what I'm after so will be asking about this at my local Army careers office on Monday.

http://www.army.mod....career/376.aspx

Went yesterday but it was closed. Even paid 90p for an hours parking. Bloody annoying. :lol:

I've done a few years in air cadets when I was still at school. Back in '04 I applied for the RAF Regiment as a gunner but that fell through as I failed on the medical. Flew through the multiple choice tests though. I weight 9.5st and needed to weight 10.5st, and I needed glasses as my right eye is blurry. Left eye is perfectly fine.

Since I passed my driving test in '10 I've really enjoyed driving, so I want to do a driving job. Looked into doing HGV driving but can't afford the cost of training. I also absolutely love adventure and exploring, getting muddy and seeing how far I can push myself. Being in the army I can satisfy all those needs and meet loads of great people.

I know some of you on here are in the forces so I was wondering if you'd like to share some of your tips and stories. Both through the first stage of training to what you're doing now and where you've travelled.

Just ordered a copy of my birth certficate and change of name deed poll. Then I can order my passport and get the wheels in motion. Pun intended.

Edited by Mini Cheddars, 31 March 2012 - 10:37 AM.


#2 Black.Ghost

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 11:18 AM

Driving in the forces will be very different to normal driving. The good bit is that you will get to drive in lots of different environments and do a lot of off-road driving in all kinds of trucks etc. But the flip side of that is you could be driving in some pretty arduous ad dangerous places. I don't know how much you know about Afghanistan, but imagine driving a great big truck in the dessert with all the added risks compared to normal driving.

Joining was the best decision I made. There are many good points - if you like sport/fitness its great. You can develop any sport you like and you will get the opportunity to take up plenty of new ones as well. Since joining I have tried snowboarding, sailing and caving. I also do MTB, but I would have done this before as well. If you like the fitness side of things, you get unlimited free use of a gym and facilities as well as regular PT and abuse :lol:

There are plenty of downsides which are mostly fairly obvious - large parts of your life are out of your control, 6 months away for tours at a time, exercises lasting for a few weeks at a time. The flip side is you will go to places most people never would as well.

There are many other different jobs you can get in the army, so while it is good to have an idea of the career you want, make sure you look at all the options. Go in to the careers office with an open mind. You might find something else you would rather do. Just be aware that the army is reducing in size somewhat. Its not quite as secure a job as it used to be however still more secure than pretty much any other job at the moment.

One of the best things is the people you will meet. The variety of people you meet is great, people from all walks of life. You make some brilliant friendships.

Oh and you get cheap accommodation and food. Compared to your mates earning the same money, you will have a lot of disposal income. On average, you need to earn approximately 10k more a year as a civilian when you factor in everything like accommodation, food, medical & dental care, gyms, etc.

Do you need to have the passport before you join? I know once you are in the army pays for any passport renewal as you need it for a job. I did have one but I'm not sure if it was a necessity.

#3 Mini Cheddars

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 11:35 AM

Great post, Black.Ghost

I know I saw something about needing a passport but I can't find it now. Will post the link when I eventually do.

Ya know, when I was reading about having to drive in very difficult and dangerous conditions, I was less scared and more excited because that's what I really do want to drive in. I want to extend my driving skills more than anything else and that is the exact kind of scenario I'd fall in love with. Well less the danger, more the difficulty.

I wouldn't call myself a fitness fanatic by any means but I'm very willing to start. In fact I'll start CV training tomorrow. Go for a run and see how I get on. Recording it using this to track my progress.

Ever since joining air cadets when I was a teenager, I've always wanted to join the forces in the back of my mind. Just now am I really willing to go for it.

#4 Mini Cheddars

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 12:01 PM

Aha, this is where it said a passport would be required.

http://www.army.mod....ning/18153.aspx

#5 Bungle

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 12:57 PM

did they promise you a summer holiday with lots of sand ?

#6 Frank the Tank

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 01:13 PM

Do you need to have the passport before you join? I know once you are in the army pays for any passport renewal as you need it for a job. I did have one but I'm not sure if it was a necessity.


The Army will no longer pay for your passport renewal unless you have been warned off for ops or posted abroad. All other circumstances, unfortunately, it is out of your pocket. I know this as I am currently having to renew mine now. Christ I never realised the cost of a passport until now, 1st time paying for one! :D

Mini Chedders.

Best decision I have made was signing up. As has been said though you really need to understand both sides of being in the Forces. There are many many great things to do whilst serving but there are the cons too.

Listen to everything the AFCO/AICO has to say and have a number of job choices in mind. Although we are reducing numbers recruiting is still happening but perhaps not in your 1st choice of jobs.

Get the fitness started but don't try too much too soon. Build yourself up to a decent level gradually, basic training will take care of the rest. :lol:

Oh and good luck.

#7 Frank the Tank

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 01:14 PM

did they promise you a summer holiday with lots of sand ?


They can do better than that, they can offer you that holiday with all expenses paid. Can't say fairer than that!

#8 TicTax

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 02:26 PM

Can I just say that I tip my hat to those in the forces and the outstanding work they do :)

#9 Criptix

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 02:46 PM

i have to say joining the military is one of the best things i have done in my life, i have a steady job with a good income, a good future ahead of me and i have learned a lot.
It can be hard at times but before you know it you'll be looking back at the old times and you'll have a huge smile on your face :P

you should do what you want, but i would say that don't let this great experience get away from you, you'll travel the world see places you other wise would never see and get paid for it.

i have been around the world for my job and i am glad i am doing all of it before i get to old.
Every soldier is a brother, and my respect goes to those who serve their country with pride and honor.

#10 gazza_sidewalk

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 02:53 PM

you can only just about drive a mini, how are you going to cope with something 10 times the size of that? :lol: :lol: :lol:

#11 Frank the Tank

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 03:50 PM

you can only just about drive a mini, how are you going to cope with something 10 times the size of that? :lol: :lol: :lol:


You don't need to drive that sort of thing properly. Either everything gets out of your way or you simply go over it, problem(s) solved.

#12 Criptix

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 03:59 PM


you can only just about drive a mini, how are you going to cope with something 10 times the size of that? :lol: :lol: :lol:


You don't need to drive that sort of thing properly. Either everything gets out of your way or you simply go over it, problem(s) solved.


so true :P

#13 Black.Ghost

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 05:16 PM

Mr Tank, fair enough. I thought you could still claim for it. There is still a Passport thing on JPA. I just need to time my renewal with a trip away somewhere.


did they promise you a summer holiday with lots of sand ?


They can do better than that, they can offer you that holiday with all expenses paid. Can't say fairer than that!

And we are talking half a year at a time as well :lol:

#14 Frank the Tank

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 05:18 PM

Mr Tank, fair enough. I thought you could still claim for it. There is still a Passport thing on JPA. I just need to time my renewal with a trip away somewhere.



did they promise you a summer holiday with lots of sand ?


They can do better than that, they can offer you that holiday with all expenses paid. Can't say fairer than that!

And we are talking half a year at a time as well :lol:


Unfortunately I have delayed and delayed my renewal but it expires next month so don't have a choice.

#15 Mini Cheddars

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 05:40 PM

Mini Chedders.

Best decision I have made was signing up. As has been said though you really need to understand both sides of being in the Forces. There are many many great things to do whilst serving but there are the cons too.

Listen to everything the AFCO/AICO has to say and have a number of job choices in mind. Although we are reducing numbers recruiting is still happening but perhaps not in your 1st choice of jobs.

Get the fitness started but don't try too much too soon. Build yourself up to a decent level gradually, basic training will take care of the rest. :lol:

Oh and good luck.

i have to say joining the military is one of the best things i have done in my life, i have a steady job with a good income, a good future ahead of me and i have learned a lot.
It can be hard at times but before you know it you'll be looking back at the old times and you'll have a huge smile on your face :P

you should do what you want, but i would say that don't let this great experience get away from you, you'll travel the world see places you other wise would never see and get paid for it.

i have been around the world for my job and i am glad i am doing all of it before i get to old.
Every soldier is a brother, and my respect goes to those who serve their country with pride and honor.

The bits I've bolded are just what I wanted to hear. :D

I'm really looking forward to the whole travelling abroad thing. 38 days holiday a year as well? That's fuzzlesticking awesome. :shades:

I'm 25 in 2 weeks and really wish I'd started this earlier but I only proper got the driving bug when I started learning 3 years ago and passed 2 years ago. Before now, I didn't have much of an interest in joining the army but I now realise how much of an amazing oppurtunity this could be and really want to pursue it.

What's the score with getting with a chick in the Army? Are there rules against it or just a case of whatever you do in your spare time is your business? I ask because most of the girls I saw in air cadets and when I worked as a kitchen porter through an employment agency at RAF Odiham, were absolutely stunning. That's most, not all!

you can only just about drive a mini, how are you going to cope with something 10 times the size of that? :lol: :lol: :lol:

Shut up, you git. I've been driving for 2 years and not crashed yet. Well I wouldn't have called that thing with Tia a crash. More of a dint. :lol:




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