Do you know someone who wants to join the Army? Make sure they read the informative leaflet from Edinburgh Stop the War Coalition first.
Do you want to join the army?
Have you thought about the implications for you and your life- style? Below are some sobering thoughts and some things they may not tell you at the careers office.
A big majority of the British population is opposed to the continuation of the war in Afghanistan. It's an unwinnable war and nine years on the situation is getting worse. The British government have continually changed their reasons for being in Afghanistan— women's rights worsen, the heroin trade flourishes, Bin Laden stays free and the war lords are in the Karzai government which is one of the most corrupt in the world.
Joining the army is not the same as working for any other ordinary employer. You can't just decide to leave if you feel the rigours of the lifestyle are not for you. The rules are quite stringent. They are governed by 'Queens Regulations for the Army' or the 'Manual of Military Law'.
The six year trap' under 18 years old (from At Ease)
- You are not allowed to leave during the first month.
- You may then give 14 days notice and leave, but only between the 2nd and 6th months. If you decide not to leave then you must remain in the Army—FULL TIME until you are 22. This is the 6 year trap.
- There is no right to buy yourself out.
- After the first 6 months you DO NOT have the right to obtain a discharge until you are 22.
- After the first 6 months and before your 18th birthday your Commanding Officer can discharge you. But its discretionary and he can refuse.
- After leaving the army you must remain in the Reserves for another 6 years (QR 9.478)
- If you go absent without leave (AWOL) you will be liable for punishment by detention. The length of time you were AWOL may be added to your release date after you are 22.
- If you join at age 18 or over you must serve at least 4 years. Then you must give a years notice of your wish to leave.
Beware 'education opportunities'
Before joining a course soldiers are asked to sign forms stating that in return for the course (except initial training) they GIVE UP THEIR RIGHT TO 12 MONTHS NOTICE to terminate their contract. Premature Voluntary Discharge was abolished in 1991. You CANNOT now buy yourself out of the Army.
Beware when you give up your right to 12 months notice
When you give up your right to give 12 months notice to leave the Army, the Army can decide to retain your services for many more years.
(TACOS—Terms and Conditions of service in the British Army—MOD 2002 p37)
Before you make the decision that will change your life and your lifestyle
GET INDEPENDENT ADVICE
Recruiters want you to join up Their advice will not be independent or objective GET ADVICE FIRST BEFORE YOU SIGN Then you can make an informed decision
TAKE CARE AND GOOD LUCK