How to apply
To begin your application, please click here. Please ensure that you specify in the online application that you wish to join as a Professionally Qualified Officer (PQO).
As a minimum, please ensure that any application contains the following details:
- GCSE subjects, or equivalent, and grades;
- A/AS level subjects, or equivalent, and grades;
- Law degree details and grade;
- Bar Professional Training Course/Legal Practice Course dates and grade;
- Details of training contract or pupillage;
- Details of legal and other relevant work experience (including any military experience, though it is emphasised that previous military experience is not essential);
- Details of other interests and achievements (e.g. sports and fitness, travel, volunteering etc);
- Date of birth (the Army Legal Services upper age limit is 32, although this can be waived in exceptional circumstances);
- Nationality (you must be either a British & Commonwealth Citizen or Citizen of the Republic of Ireland and have lived in the UK for the last 5 years);
- Full contact details (full name, address, e-mail and telephone number(s));
- Any other factors relevant to your suitability for a Commission in the Army Legal Services.
You are required to provide a CV and covering letter which will be considered alongside all other applicants. The National Recruiting Centre will contact you, via email, once the closing date for applications has passed regarding the interview. Please note that we are unable to give feedback for unsuccessful applicants.
Following the interview stage, up to 18 individuals per year will be invited to attend the Army Officer Selection Board (AOSB) in Westbury, Wiltshire. If successful, candidates will be offered a 4 year Short Service Commission (with an 18 month initial probationary period) with the Army Legal Services. This offer is subject to suitable medical, security and referee clearances.
For a confidential discussion about legal roles in the Army, please contact Dale Sullivan on 07808 011 870 or email Dale.Sullivan@capita.co.uk
Candidates should be aware that a career in the ALS is much more than a change in employer; it is a way of life. Some reasons you may wish to join the ALS are:
- High profile work in the UK and whilst deployed a legal advisor with combat forces on operations, potentially anywhere in the world
- Commission as a Captain with good career prospects
- No billing, no timesheets, no rat race - a job to be proud of in a progressive and dynamic organisation
- Through life career-long professional training courses in the UK and abroad
- Two or three-year assignments with occasional six-month operational tours providing a fresh challenge, in locations potentially anywhere in the world
- An attractive salary with a good benefits package, including accommodation, sport, adventurous training, generous holidays, medical and dental treatment and a very competitive pension
- Working in the UK or abroad, deploying to established posts and on operations or training to locations such as Australia, Canada, Cyprus, Germany, Italy, Kenya, Sierra Leone and the USA. This list is not exhaustive.
What do we want?
There is no one perfect candidate; the ALS is perhaps a surprisingly 'broad church'. However, in addition to the mandatory requirements set out above, we require individuals with strong academic credentials who are fit, dynamic, motivated, intellectually versatile and who possess the right leadership qualities to be a British Army Officer. A 'military background' or previous military experience is not essential.
Pre-qualification sponsorship and training
Unfortunately, the ALS do not currently offer sponsorship, training contracts or pupillage.
ALS hold Insight Visits, several times a year, at the Adjutant General's Corps Headquarters, Worthy Down, Winchester, SO21 2RG. These are designed to give prospective candidates an opportunity to find out more about a career in ALS and the application and training process.
During the ALS Insight Visit you will stay overnight in the Officers' Mess, visit a Court Martial Centre and meet some serving ALS officers in a relaxed environment.
Insight Visits are open to all interested law students, Solicitors, Barristers and Advocates who are qualified in England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland and who have expressed an interest in joining ALS in writing to the National Recruiting Centre as per contact details below.
Attendance is not mandatory as part of the ALS recruiting process but, attendance is strongly encouraged and demonstrates in genuine interest in joining ALS.
If you are interested in attending an Insight Visit or wish to find out more about joining ALS please contact Helen Reed on 0121 633 6409 (email firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dale Sullivan on 07808 011 870 (email Dale.Sullivan@capita.co.uk).
How old do I have to be to join the Army Reserve?
To join the Army Reserve you need to be 18. You can apply to join when you are 17 years and 9 months old, so that you're ready to join on your 18th birthday.
Maximum ages for joining the Reservists:
To join as a soldier, you must apply by the time you are 49 years and 11 months. You must start Phase 1 training by your 51st birthday, and be in Phase 2 by your 52nd birthday
To join as an officer, you must apply by the time you are 48 years and 9 months. You must start your training by your 50th birthday
Rejoiners can still join as a soldier until their 52nd birthday, and as an officer (if they have previously commissioned) until their 57th birthday.
Do Reservists get paid?
As a Reservist you get paid for the time you spend training, and a bonus payment for completing a certain amount of training days each year. The pay scale that you’ll be on is based on what a Regular soldier with the same job and rank would get. This increases as you get promoted and gain experience.
Depending on the unit you join, your minimum training commitment could be 19 or 27 days a year - rewarded with a tax-free lump sum called a bounty. This increases after each year of service. As well as the bounty, there are also subsidies that will pay for food while you're on duty and travel to the unit.
In addition, all volunteer reserves, their partners and their children are now eligible for the HM Forces Railcard. This costs £15 and offers a 34 per cent discount on rail travel throughout Great Britain for a whole year, helping to make off-duty travel more affordable.
Financial incentives for Reserves
Incentive payments for ex-Regulars As an ex-Regular you can get up to £10,000 on top of the tax-free bounty (paid on meeting your minimum annual commitment) and your Army Reserve salary.
You could get:
£2,000 on approval by the CO of your Army Reserve unit
£3,000 after completing your first year full training commitment
£3,000 after completing your second year full training commitment
£2,000 after completing your third year full training commitment
To be eligible you must meet these conditions:
You must have completed at least four years
Regular service with the rank of Captain or below
You must join the Army Reserve after 1st January 2014
You must have left the Regular Army no more than six years before enlisting in the Army Reserve
You must have applied for and be capable of employment in a post approved by an Army Reserve unit CO
You must be Medically Fully Deployable (MFD) or Medically Limited Deployable (MLD)
You must be under 35 when you apply
Incentive payments for new entrants
You will get these extra payments on top of your tax-free bounty (paid on meeting your annual minimum commitment) and your Army Reserve salary: £300 when you’re accepted on to training £1,000 when you complete your Phase 1 training £1,000 when you complete your Phase 2 training.
What is the time commitment for being a Reservist?
Depending on the unit you join, your minimum training commitment could be 19 or 27 days a year.
Will I be expected to deploy?
Yes, anyone joining the Army Reserve could be called out to serve on operations, in UK or abroad, for anything up to 12 months.
Will being a Reservist affect my day job?
Joining the Army as a Reservist won’t put your job at risk. There is a legal requirement to tell your employer, so make sure that you do. It’s also a good idea to do it in plenty of time. That way, if you need to take time off, you can give them plenty of warning and they can arrange to cover your absence.
Can I leave the Army Reserve?
As a Reservist, you can leave at any time you want, unless you've been mobilised. You can leave just after you've joined, during training or even if you've already joined your unit. If you decide at any point that the Army isn't for you, or your life changes and you can no longer give it as much time, all you need to do is tell your superiors. They'll check that you really do want to leave and explain the procedure to you.