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The joining process

These are the steps it takes to join the Regular Army or the Army Reserve.


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Getting started

Use In Your Area to find out what local units may be available for you to join, as well as role finder to help you choose what roles may be suitable for you. You will need to check with your preferred unit what roles they have available. Create an online account so you can fill in and submit your application (it should only take a couple of minutes). If you have any questions at all, chat to our Advisers on Live Chat or pop in to an Army Careers Centre.

Once your application has been received and your basic eligibility assessed, you’ll be sent a link to complete an online form about your general health.

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Face to face

If you’re medically fit you will be assigned to a Candidate Support Manager (CSM) who will guide you through the recruitment process. At this stage you will also be invited to a Face to Face chat at your chosen and most suitable unit. This lets you ask questions and allows the unit’s recruiting team to see if you are suitable for the Army Reserve. This is important because it also allows you to ensure that the unit is right for you. If you have not yet chosen a job preference the unit will be able to tell you about what is available to you.

The recruiting team will identify what training and development you require to be ready for the next stage of the application process.

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If you meet eligibility requirements and have completed your training and development set by your unit, you’ll be invited to spend 2 days at the Assessment Centre.

Here, you’ll do physical and mental tests to judge your fitness and soldier potential, plus have a medical examination. If you pass and have taken all the required documentation with you, you’ll be offered the chance to enlist into the Army Reserves.

You'll need to complete pre-employment checks, which involve filling out security forms and completing final medical checks which involve your Doctor sending us information about your medical background.

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Once you have been enlisted and your medical checks have been completed you will be booked to start your initial training to learn the basic soldier skills.

You don’t have to do all the training at once. It can be completed in shorter modules or in one go. Further training also takes place in your spare time. It can take weeks or months depending on your role, course and how much time you can give.

Drill nights at your unit will allow them to give you advice and support.


PQ soldiers

To join the Army Reserve as a Professionally Qualified Soldier you will need to be either a qualified healthcare professional, in the final year of qualification or undergoing training in the NHS.

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How to get ready

Lots of people worry about whether they’re fit enough to join up. Or about how they will do in the interviews and selection tests. You don’t need to be anxious, we'll help you to get ready for all the tests.

FAQs - How to join

Where can I get help with my application?

You can talk to your local careers office, contact our advisers on Live Chat or call us on 0345 600 8080. If you are planning on joining the Army Reserve, your local unit will support you throughout your application.

Why haven't I heard about my application?

Application timings can vary depending on the role you’ve applied for, but you should have received an email from us within 2 weeks from the date you first applied. If you haven’t received an email from us, or to find out about the progress of your application, get in touch with us using Live Chat.

How do I apply for AFC Harrogate?

To apply to AFC Harrogate you can use our normal Army application form, which you'll find it in My Account (you'll need to create an account to access this part of the site). Or if you'd like to talk to someone face to face about your options, visit your local Army Careers Centre.

When can I restart my application?

Restarting your application will vary depending on your individual circumstances. When you are told that you have not met the criteria, you should receive an indication of when you can reapply. If you have a question on this then go to Live Chat where someone will be able to advise on your circumstances.

How long will it take for me to reach the next stage in my application?

The whole application process can take around 3 – 5 months to complete, depending on the role you have applied for. The time to reach the next stage in your application can vary, so timings will not be the same for everyone. If you have a specific question about your application, use Live Chat to talk to us.

What documents do I need for my medical?

You do not need to bring any specific documents, but there are a few things that you can do to prepare for your medical. You will be asked questions about your family history and it would be helpful if you could be prepared for this. You should also bring your glasses with you and remove soft contact lenses 2 days before, and hard contact lenses 10 days before your assessment. In addition you are advised to avoid fizzy drinks, energy drinks, alcohol or coffee and sugary foods 12 hours before your medical.

Contact us

Call us on 0345 600 8080

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