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Army life

The Army is different from most jobs. The people you work alongside aren’t just your colleagues, they’re your best mates. And you don’t just get brilliant training and support, you get somewhere to call home.

There is no typical day. Some days you might be on base, the next you’re on exercise. However, after work your time is your own – as with any civilian job.


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What's life like in the Army?

Find out what it is like to serve in the British Army - from real service men and women

Hear from women who serve our country, at home and overseas.

With adventurous training and the chance to see the world, the Army could really take you places

Whatever your background, sexual orientation or faith, there’s a place here for you.

Families & the Army

A soldier and his family walking

Your civilian family

If you live away from your family, it’s good to know you have a minimum  of 38 days’ holiday a year to visit them, plus weekends.

For soldiers looking to raise a family of their own, the Army can make life easier with a range of financial benefits. You can get a house at a subsidised rent, help with childcare and all the advantages of living close to your friends.

Army pride

Preparing to pass out

Your proudest day

People mark the end of the first stage of training with what the Army calls a ‘passing out’ parade. Family and friends are invited to watch as new recruits formally become soldiers.

Soldiers often say this is the proudest day of their lives. And for their friends and family, it’s an emotional time as their loved ones take a successful step into a new career.

FAQs - Army Life

Where do I sleep?

At an initial training centre you may have your own room or sleep in a single sex dormitory. After training it is usual to have your own room. Men and women have separate accommodation blocks, where they wash and sleep. But all other aspects of Army life, including eating and training, is together.

How much free time will I have?

When you’re not on exercise or operations, you will have evenings and weekends to yourself.

Do women have access to the same jobs as men?

From July 2016, more roles in the Army have been opened up for women to join.

Women can now apply for the following units within the Royal Armoured Corps:
• The Royal Lancers
• The King's Royal Hussars
• The Royal Tank Regiment
• All Army Reserve Royal Armoured Corps regiments will now welcome women

Role-based training will start from November 2016 for those looking to join the regular Army.

Entry standards for the roles stay the same. Women are expected to meet the same fitness levels as men.

Women will be able to join the remaining Royal Armoured Corps units, or the Infantry by the end of 2018.

Do women deploy on operations?

Yes, everyone who joins the Army is expected to go on operations.

Do men and women train to the same level?

Men and women get the same high standard of training. The only difference is in fitness tests where targets are slightly different.

What if I want to get married or have children?

The Army full supports men and women who want to marry or have a family.
If you marry or enter into a civil partnership, you will be entitled to move into a family quarter. This will usually be offered before you are married.

If you decide to start a family, we offer a good maternity (and paternity) package, as well as support with childcare once your baby is born. If you already have children, you can still join, and the Army offers help with childcare. LGB personnel are entitled to the same maternity rights as heterosexual soldiers.

You can still join the Army if you already have children. We can offer help with your childcare.

Will I need to change how I look?

When you are in uniform, you may wear a pair of stud earrings, but be prepared to take them out when necessary. Hair should be a natural colour, and if it is long enough to tie back, must be in a bun.

Do men and women get paid and promoted equally?

Men and women are on the same pay scale and are paid according to their rank. The Army promotes people based on their performance, capability and potential. Every soldier receives an annual report and the best people are selected for promotion.

Which countries does the Army currently train in?

We're currently found in over 80 countries, but the main ones are Africa, Brunei, Canada, Cyprus, Germany, Gibraltar and the South Atlantic Islands. For more info about these places, read our guide to overseas operations.

What activities could I do as part of Adventurous Training?

There are many opportunities, but the most usual ones are; canoeing, kayaking, caving, freefall parachuting, gliding, mountaineering, mountain biking, offshore sailing, paragliding, skiing and sub-aqua diving.

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Call us on 0345 600 8080

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