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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 role finder to see what job might suit you. Create an online account so you can fill in and submit your application. (There’s a ‘save’ functionality so you don’t have to do it all at once.) 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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If you've passed the medical screening, you’ll  be given a Candidate Support Manager (CSM). Their job is to help you during the joining process. You’ll then be invited for an interview with a Senior Careers Advisor (SCA). This lets you ask questions and allows the SCA to see if you are suitable for the Army. They will also give you advice on how to prepare for the Army Officer Selection Board.

After your interview you will need to fill out your medical declaration (RGMD), this is handed to your GP, and Optician if required, reviewed by Westbury. You'll then be booked in for a medical assessment.

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Army Officer Selection Board (AOSB) is in two parts: a 24-hour briefing and a 3½ day Main Selection Board:

At the 24-hour briefing you'll perform physical and practical exercises to test your leadership and teamwork potential.

Once you pass AOSB Briefing you will be asked back to attend Main Board. Over a 3½ day period you’ll be assessed physically and mentally to demonstrate your abilities. You can find example exercises in the download library

Succeed, and you’ll be offered an officer training place at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS). Before your offer of employment can be confirmed, you'll need to complete some security forms and your doctor will be required to provide information.

Some candidates may be asked to attend an 11-week course at the Army School of Education, Worthy Down before starting at Sandhurst. This focuses on academic skills, cultural awareness and contemporary knowledge.

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Once you’ve accepted a place at Sandhurst, you’ll need to attend a mandatory 5 day pre-course briefing (PCCBC) where you’ll learn more about the course, have a medical and be issued some of your uniform.

Your officer career begins at Sandhurst where you will complete a 44-week course. This involves military and leadership training, preparing you for your first appointment as an officer.

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Specialist training

Once you have completed your initial training at Sandhurst (and become a ‘commissioned’ officer), you will undertake specialist training to prepare you for your first appointment. The emphasis here will be on developing your leadership skills in a practical context. Continual professional development is a theme of Army life.


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Professionally Qualified Officers will undergo an additional Army Selection Board before or after their completion of Army Officer Selection Board. They will also complete as a shorter course at Sandhurst.

If you have any of these skills, looking to join the Army, but are older than 26, you can still apply. Contact our team on 0345 600 8080 for advice on how to submit your application.

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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.

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Call us on 0345 600 8080

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