'There is no job like being in the Army'

As a full time soldier, you'll work, live and socialise with people who are not just your work mates but your best mates. You'll be more than a soldier, you'll also be a skilled trades person.


You'll start life as a recruit in phase 1 training, which takes you from civilian to soldier. Find out what happens there, and hear from people like you.


How fit do I need to be for phase 1 (basic) training?

You don’t have to be super fit to become a soldier. However, you do need a basic level of fitness to pass the selection stage. The Army Fit app and exercise plans will help you prepare.

How long does phase 1 (basic) training last?

Phase 1 lasts for 14 weeks unless you’re under 17 where you would attend the Army Foundation College, Harrogate. If you join the Infantry your Phase 1 and Phase 2 training is combined in a 28-week soldier training course. (30 weeks for Para and Guards).

How long does phase 2 (specialist) training last?

The length of your course depends on the job you do. Some roles can be learned in a few months. Others might take more than a year to master.

How do I apply to 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.

How old do I have to be to join the Army?

You need to be 16 to join the Army as a soldier, although you can start the application process earlier, with your parents' permission. To become an Officer you need to be 18, although you can apply for sixth form and university sponsorship before you reach this age. To join the Army Reserve you need to be 18.

Do you need GCSEs to join the Army?

To join the Army as a soldier you don't normally need GCSEs. There are a few exceptions though, for example, you may need GCSEs for some technical roles. For all roles in the Army, you'll need to pass the Army entrance tests.

How long do I sign up for?

When you become a soldier you sign up for at least four years including the time you spend training.

How much does a soldier earn?

Regular soldiers are paid as soon as they start their Phase 1 training. They earn at least £18,488 a year when they finish training and move on to their unit. How much you get will depend on which Army job you do. Some specialist roles receive extra pay. Your salary will increase annually as your career continues, regardless of promotion and extra responsibilities. Within five years you could reach the rank of Corporal which starts at £29,768.

Can I join as a soldier and work my way up to officer?

Yes, many officers start their Army life as a soldier before being commissioned.



When we look for our future leaders, we look for people with the qualities to push themselves to achieve more, in challenging environments at home and abroad.